Comic-Con 2011: ‘Game of Thrones’ seeks a ‘magnificent’ ending

July 21, 2011 | 6:08 p.m.
game of thrones sean bean Comic Con 2011: Game of Thrones seeks a magnificent ending

Sean Bean in "Game of Thrones" (Nick Briggs / HBO)

The death of Lord Eddard ‘”Ned” Stark in the first season of “Game of Thrones” was still eliciting gasps at Comic-Con. As for George R.R. Martin, the man who penned the character’s killing, it was not  easy to write. That holds true for all the characters who meet untimely ends in his story.

game of thrones Comic Con 2011: Game of Thrones seeks a magnificent ending

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who portrays Jaime Lannister on "The Game of Thrones" at Comic-Con International 2011. (Denis Poroy / Associated Press)

“I mourn all the characters as I kill them,” Martin said to a roomful of fans of the books and the HBO-adapted series. In fact, judging from the at-capacity turnout in Ballroom 20, it seemed like everyone in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros might well have made the pilgrimage Thursday to San Diego for the “Game of Thrones” panel, which featured the show’s cast and producers and which was moderated by Martin.

But it’s that ability to tug at emotions and provoke such strong reactions that compelled producer David Benioff to adapt the fantasy book series with D.B. Weiss into a TV series.

“I remember the scene when Bran gets out the window and from that point on I was completely hooked,” Benioff said. “It’s like crack on paper.”

And it’s been like crack on TV for many fans. The series recently snagged 13 Emmy nominations, a tough act to follow as it gears up to embark on its second season. So what can we expect when the show returns?

peter dinklage Comic Con 2011: Game of Thrones seeks a magnificent ending

"Game of Thrones" star Peter Dinklage (Denis Poroy / Associated Press)

“Everyone dies,” Benioff deadpanned.

“ It was all a dream,” fellow producer  Weiss added.

In reality, viewers will finally be introduced to the Red Priestess. And they’ll get to see those wolves and dragons age slightly. And some new characters will join the mix. Benioff, though, has his sights set on a third season and he offered a cryptic reason (for those who haven’t read the books) on why that is:

“’A Storm of Swords’ is too big to do as one season,” Benioff said. “There’s a certain scene in ‘Swords’ — if we can get to ‘RW’ we’ve accomplished something. I think we can get to ‘RW.’”

Martin called the scene the “hardest thing” he ever wrote, even skipping it to complete the rest of the book before finally tackling it.

“It was very emotionally wrenching to write,” he said.

And should the series be renewed for a third season, Martin said he would have to arrange to be out of the country to avoid rehashing those emotions. Perhaps, then, he can finish writing the follow-up books in the series. But let’s not rush that. When a fan asked if Martin was still concerned about “pulling a ‘Lost,’” the author was coy and frank.

“Well I think Damon Lindelof is in the room, so I have to be careful what I say,” he said. “Yes, I am concerned about the ending. I’m juggling a lot of balls. I’m going to juggle as fast as I can and bring everything together in the magnificent way I see it in my head. In terms of making people happy, hopefully it will make some people happy. I’ve always been a fan of the bittersweet ending.”

— Yvonne Villarreal


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10 Responses to Comic-Con 2011: ‘Game of Thrones’ seeks a ‘magnificent’ ending

  1. papa says:

    By RW, you're referring to the Righteous Waffle that Sam eats, right?

  2. phoenixeyrie says:

    Yes, sir George, RW was also very emotionally wrenching for us readers.

    I had to pause. After a while, I finally muttered a, "hedidwhatnao?" and re-read the whole thing again. And then muttered a, "noooo, he (Martin) didn't." Then re-read it again.

    If there was a "Most Awesome Moments in Fantasy and Sci-Fi Literature" list, RW should be in it.

  3. hbsheila says:

    Storm of Swords is the third book. They need four seasons to do it. I think they will get it easily…

  4. Neptuny says:

    'Storm' is too big for one season, I agree. Also, filming RW would be a hell of an undertaking.

    • birdsofberkshire says:

      and I wonder if there would be a season after that? Killing off most of the good guys in one room would lose50% of the audience I'd guess

  5. EYK says:

    "RW" is probably the "Red Wedding" chapter

  6. Ned Stark says:

    no kidding that is what RW is. They are trying not to create a spoiler here.

  7. JonSnowIsATargaryen says:

    Hell yeah, they were asking comic-con goers for petty cash from their pockets for the Righteous Waffle scene to be filmed a year from now! That's one effing big waffle! hahaa. Brilliant. :)

  8. Jane DeBano says:

    RW was wrenching to read and I had to reset my mind to the new opportunities it opened up. I think Martin is a genius is taking the risk that readers and viewers will be turned off, but the story remains so compelling I can't put my Kindle down long enough to recharge it.I just started Book four the the ending of three also came as a shock. Wow!

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