As fans gear up for San Diego Comic Con and the Game of Thrones panel some fans already got the chance to meet some of the cast members including Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister, Jerome Flynn, who played Bronn, Hannah Murray, who played Gilly, and Miltos Yerolemou, who played Syrio Forel, this past weekend at Con of Thrones in Nashville. According to TV Guide, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau defended the writers of this past season of Game of Thrones during the Q & A session of the panel. The actor had previously defended co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss after the series finale aired in May stating, “I don’t think they could have done it any better. It makes sense. There’s a logic to it without it being obvious at all.” The actor started the panel off by stating how proud he was of the show and to be apart of it, “We’re so lucky to be part of a show where people love the show so much that they care so much about it that you also get upset it doesn’t go the way you wanted it.”
This past season of Game of Thrones has gone through major criticism that started with the 90 minute episode “The Long Night” for its especially dark aesthetic as well as other criticisms. During the panel, the cast was asked about the show’s pacing problems as well as the criticism of the show’s finale. Coster-Waldau insisted that the co-creators, Benioff and Weiss, worked hard on the show’s ending and even predicted the finale would have backlash. Coster-Waldau went as far to state, “I loved that there was an online petition to have it re-written,” that referred to the petition that was send out online to re-do the final season of the show with different writers. However, his use of the word “loved” was said in a joking manner comparing the petition to the petition that was created to have Netflix cancel Amazon’s series Good Omens.
The actor continued to discuss how the criticism has affected both the co-creators and the cast. First, he worked to dispel the rumors that Benioff and Weiss phoned in for the final season as they moved onto their new Star Wars film. He stated “For anyone to imagine or to think that the two creators of this show are not the most passionate, the greatest, the most invested of all, and to think for a second that they didn’t spend the last 10 years thinking about how they were going to end it is kind of silly.” He continued to state how they were affected by the fans’ disdain for the final season, “Know that they too read the comments, and it is — even though you’re sitting on your own and going, ‘F—ing stupid writers, assholes!’ They really, like everyone on Game of Thrones, every single person, and there are thousands, we worked our asses off to make the best show we could for the ending.”
According to Huffington Post, the actor stated how the cast has a private Whatsapp group chat where they discussed the fans’ criticism. He said, “Every season has been intense in terms of the attention and discussion, but it was extraordinarily intense for a final season. And we have this WhatsApp group, the actors, and I saw some people getting a little upset because some of the stuff is vicious, and if you make the mistake of start reading all that shit, because if you guys get really angry about something ― I’m sure you did, some of you ― so you write to each other and go, ‘Fucking assholes. This is so not what would happen! They ruined, they butchered George’s world!’ It’s just fun for you, but of course some got a little upset.” He continued by saying, “There was that kind of weird feeling of, ‘What the hell? We worked so hard’ I’m not asking anyone to feel sorry, by the way. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m just saying how it was to get through that whole thing.”
Later in the Q&A session a fan expressed their frustration with the show’s final season by telling the cast, “I just wish Dan and David could be here to hear this, to understand that people really love the show, that suddenly they’re not the most hated people in the world. I mean, because that’s how they might ― I know how they feel.”
The Game of Thrones San Diego Comic-Con panel will take place Friday July 19 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Hall H. The panel will include co-creators David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, Jacob Anderson, who played Grey Worm, John Bradley, who played Samwell Tarly, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, who played Davos Seaworth, Nathalie Emmanuel, who played Missandei, Iain Glen, who played Ser Jorah Mormont, Conleth Hill, who played Varys, Maisie Williams, who played Arya Stark, and Isaac Hempstead Wright, who played Bran Stark.