Our watch may have ended but our obsession with Game of Thrones isn't over just yet. For one last time, (select) cast members from the HBO series headed to Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con to share their final thoughts about the series and the characters they played for eight seasons.
While the stars — Isaac Hempstead Wright, Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Maisie Williams, Jacob Anderson, Liam Cunningham, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau — didn't have anything to tease about the series that just finished, they were more than game to spill secrets about the HBO hit and joke about what they did on-screen for the last decade.
If you're not ready to say goodbye to Westeros forever, know that more is coming, but as always, the wait will be long and full of terrors (a Game of Thrones spin-off is headed to HBO next year). In the meantime, here's everything we learned from the last ever Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel.
Addressing the coffee cup in the room. When the cast came out on stage they found rogue coffee cups already waiting for them there. They were clearly filled with something, with Cunningham claiming it was "Dornish wine." The cups were not discussed again for the next 45 minutes.
We were always going to be upset about the ending. Before the panel even started, the audience was told to basically play nice and keep our emotions in check when it came to our frustration about the finale of the series. When the cast took to the stage, they all also gave their own little explanation about how they felt, many echoing the sentiment, "it's not about the destination, but the journey." Said Coster-Waldau: "[When] it comes to an end, it's gonna piss you off no matter what because it's the end. If you hated the ending, if you loved the ending, that's great, just don't call people names."
For the fans, not the critics? Fan outrage over the final Game of Thrones episodes reached a fever pitch online earlier this year, with one petition — which called for the entire final season to be rewritten — drawing more than 1 million signatures. Speaking on the panel, Varys actor Conleth Hill joked that he started the now-infamous Game of Thrones petition, before adding, "We're very grateful for your fandom over the years and I think this is the reality rather than a media-led hate campaign."
Let's pause here to highlight what Hill said about Game of Thrones in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that published after Varys was killed off. "I was very bummed to not have a final scene with [his onscreen antagonist Littlefinger, who died one season earlier]. I was bummed not to have any reaction to him dying, if he was my nemesis. That's been my feeling the last couple seasons, that my character became more peripheral, that they concentrated on others more. That's fine. It's the nature of a multi-character show. It was kind of frustrating. As a whole, it's been overwhelmingly positive and brilliant but I suppose the last couple seasons weren't my favorite."
Brienne would have eventually kicked Jaime to the curb. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau explained that yes, if he had survived the falling rubble in King's Landing, and Cersei (Lena Headey) had still died, he would have gone back to Brienne (Gwendoline Christie). "It would have been Brienne and Jaime forever and ever," he said, before adding, "[but] I think, he's got a lot of baggage and she would have found out and [kicked him out]."
Stop shipping Arya and Gendry. Arya turned down Gendry's (Joe Dempsie) marriage proposal, but it was for the best, said Williams, because marriage was never in the cards for her character. "I think Arya has always been a lone wolf, she's always felt like a bit of a misfit," she explained to the crowd. "I don't think being with a partner would make her feel the most at home or the most fulfilled, so I think that's what the whole exchange was. And know that it wasn't necessarily what she wants, which is an important learning curve for everyone." If the two ever run into each other in the future, it will be an awkward exchange. "They'd probably see each other at a friends' wedding. And [talk like], 'Hey how have you've been?' and she's like 'Life's great, so good!'"
John Bradley stole nothing from the set. Unlike his "kleptomaniac" counterpart Samwell Tarly, Bradley took nothing from the Game of Thrones set because he's terrified of getting in trouble. And this is completely unlike his character, who stole everything not tied down, including just about every book in the citadel. Bradley also reminds the crowd, "[Sam] stole a baby!" reminding us about Little Sam. When someone from the audience mentioned that he also stole Gilly, Bradley yelled back, "You can't steal her, she's a person, not a goat!"
A water bottle conspiracy theory. Bradley refused to be blamed for the water bottle in the finale. Bringing up, once again, the fact that he's terrified of getting in trouble. Bradley at first felt awful that a water bottle had made it into the finale. But then he spent a lot of time thinking about it — specifically the placement of the bottle, which was on his left side. (Bradley, as it turns out, is right-handed and speculated the bottle, were it his, would be on his right side.) So was it his? Bradley tried to blame Cunningham, but the older actor quipped, "I don't drink water."
I was saying boo-urns. Coster-Waldau commented on how he liked Jaime's ending with Cersei, staying, "It made sense to me." A beat later, one lone "BOO" rang out in the hall, which was the only sour part of the whole panel. The whole cast laughed it off.
Gone, but not forgotten. The cast all made some sort of comment about how they had been on the show for over a decade, and now that it's over, they'll miss it. As for exactly what they'll miss, Coster-Waldau has something specific in mind: Jaime's gold hand. Williams will miss the sword fighting. Anderson and Hempstead Wright will miss how their characters made them feel, since Grey Worm was a calming presence and Bran was like a "meditation."