“I may have to start killing some of these characters to make room for new ones.”
George R.R. Martin’s joke while serving as the moderator for the panel devoted to HBO’s epic fantasy series “Game of Thrones” at Comic-Con International on Friday in Hall H really resonated given the large number of characters that feature in the show, adapted from Martin’s novels. But the biggest casting news came last, with the announcement that genre icon Diana Rigg would be signing on as Olenna Redwyne, the Queen of Thorns. Rigg is most widely known for her role as Emma Peel in the ’60s British TV series “The Avengers.”
Among the other new cast members highlighted via a short video montage were Mackenzie Crook (from the British iteration of “The Office” and the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies) as Orell, Clive Russell as Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully, Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon, Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion, Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed and Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr.
The cast members who did make it to San Diego this year included only one returning performer from last year’s panel – Emilia Clarke. She was joined by Michelle Fairley, Alfie Allen, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden and series producer Carolyn Strauss. The rest of the cast is currently overseas where the third season is already in production. It is set to premiere March 31, 2013.
As moderator, Martin seemed quite proud of the sexual content of the show, making frequent references to his “co-creator,” a 13-year-old breast-obsessed boy who was invented in a “Saturday Night Live” sketch earlier this year that explained just why so many actresses appeared nude on the show. He apologized to the fans that neither the show’s creators, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, nor the supposed 13-year-old co-creator could make it to Comic-Con.
“There was a scene in Belfast with no boobies in it and he needed to go there to put that to rights.”
Martin also prodded the actors to discuss their frequent nudity during the series. To Allen, he said, “You’ve had a lot of sex scenes, all thanks to things I wrote…. And I haven’t even gotten a box of chocolates.”
To Madden he said, “So Richard, you’ve got a sex scene too this season.”
When asked whether he preferred his love story lines or his war story lines, Madden responded that he much preferred the swordplay his role required him to display over his romantic story lines.
Martin seemed incredulous. “So you liked getting hit on the head better than all the naked sex scenes?”
He also prodded the actresses on the panel, including Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, who traveled to the middle eastern-inspired city of Qarth in the second season. In Martin’s original books, the Qarth-ian wardrobe included a gown that bared the breasts of the women wearing them. In the series, the attire was considerably more covering.
“My 13-year-old producer in charge of boobies has fallen down on the job,” he told Clarke. “Someone has changed the design of the Qarth-ian gown.”
“We did change it slightly,” Clarke responded. “So we could be more warm.”
— Patrick Kevin Day
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