Game of Thrones cast members Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Liam Cunningham, and Jacob Anderson showed up at San Diego Comic-Con 2019 on Friday to reflect on the final season of the HBO epic fantasy series — and their journey on the show as a whole. (Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were originally planned to join them, but they dropped out.) The GoT stars touched upon the backlash to season 8, their characters’ ends, Westeros’ future, big season 8 moments, and what they will miss about the show among other things.
“Arya has always been a lone wolf, always felt a bit of a misfit in her own family,” Williams said, when asked if Arya might ever get back with Gendry. “And I don’t think being with a partner is what would make her feel the most fulfilled.”
Williams also clarified and put an end to the ridiculous fan theory that Jon Snow had helped Arya kill the Night King by attracting attention: “No, she did it on her own. But if we’re to give credit to anyone, it would be Melisandre for getting Arya’s head back on track.”
“Of course, HBO is gonna change the whole thing, that’s the power of the Internet,” Coster-Waldau joked, referring to the petition to remake Game of Thrones season 8. “It comes to an end, it’s going to piss you off because it’s the end. “It was surprising the level and absurdity of it. […] Whether you loved or hated the ending… just don’t call people names!”
“For all intents and purposes, Westeros is now a surveillance state, with Bran seeing and knowing everything,” Hempstead Wright joked at the beginning of the Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel. “There’s not going to be anyone succeeding Bran for a couple of thousand years.”
“I don’t think Bran knows per se what’s going to happen in the future,” he added later, in a more serious manner. “I think his vision of the future is cloudier, which is my excuse for why he doesn’t know everything. But I like that it’s ambiguous.”
“Well, I don’t regret starting the petition,” Hill joked, when asked how he felt about Varys’ death, possible referring to comments he made earlier. “For the record, I loved all my 10 years on Game of Thrones. It was a life-changing experience. If you take one thing from show, it’s the pointlessness of war.”
“One of the nice things about that final scene… I felt personally that you wanted to stay with them.” – Bradley, who played Samwell Tarly, said of the small council meeting in the Game of Thrones series finale.
“In terms of playing Sam, I’ll miss charting that progress,” Bradley said later. “He started season 1 being told he was worthless and in season 8, he has been made Grand Maester and his opinion is valued, and he didn’t have to change himself to be accepted. […] Over the course of eight seasons, you see this process of self-discovery and seeing him find his self-worth and learning that he’s valued.”
Cunningham joked that he had an idea for spin-off. It’s called “Better Call Davos”, after the Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul.
“Grey Worm didn’t necessarily want to kill Jon Snow… he just didn’t want him to live,” Anderson said, addressing the complicated situation in the series finale.
Asked later if there was anything he was told about his character that never made it on screen, Anderson said he’s only going to say this once: “D–k, no balls.”
The Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel was really meant as a victory lap for the cast members — and to have a laugh about several controversies. (Fans didn’t get to ask any questions as the moderator took up too much time.) The stars deliberately had coffee cups placed near their name placards, referring to the slip-up that led to coffee cups appear on-screen in an episode, and water bottles in the series finale.
“Someone left some coffee cups here,” Hill said to laughs from the audience.
Bradley tried to explain that the plastic water bottle couldn’t have been his as he’s right-handed and the bottle was on his left. He had thought a lot about it, he claimed.
“I think I’ve taken enough blame,” Bradley said, and added he didn’t think it was him but to “excuse [him] for being thirsty” if it was.