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Game of Thrones cast tell Comic-Con crowd only one actor has read the books

The secret is out: almost no one among the cast of actors playing still-living Game of Thrones characters has read George RR Martin’s bestselling bullet-stopper novels on which their scripts are based. The one who did actually do the reading?

Gwendoline Christie, who plays knight errant Brienne. “Gwendoline, you did the reading?” asked moderator Seth Meyers, shocked. “I did the homework for once,” Christie replied.

“People would come up and be like ‘Arya goes blind!’” said Maisie Williams, the youngest of the panelists. “And I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I knew that. I totally knew that.’ Even though I didn’t.”

It’s still early days on season six of the popular series, so rather than snippets of upcoming footage, the panel had an audition reel of performers from Natalie Dormer to Carice van Houten trying out for their parts.

Christie was popular among the questioners, one of whom asked her about the way her character had evolved. The conception of Brienne, who moves from being held in contempt to grudging respect from her peers, is a progressive one, she said. “It doesn’t have its roots in sexuality and I thought it was a very powerful, modern representation,” she said, forcefully enough to elicit applause and cheers from the audience.

The show’s behind-the-camera talent, producer Carolyn Strauss and director David Nutter, fielded questions about the brutal death this season of Shireen Baratheon, one of the younger characters on the show. “It was an amazingly powerful moment that I think turned out just right,” Nutter said flatly.

“It hurts more the more you know the characters, but just because it’s painful doesn’t mean it’s not a good point in the story,” Strauss said. “It wasn’t done because of the pain, but in spite of it.”

Alfie Allen, Sophie Turner, Natalie Dormer, Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, Gwendoline Christie<br>on the panel.
Alfie Allen, Sophie Turner, Natalie Dormer, Carice van Houten, Liam Cunningham, Gwendoline Christie on the panel. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The cast had had plenty of interesting interactions with their viewers, notably Nutter’s encounter with regular viewer Barack Obama. “He shook my hand, and he put his other hand on my shoulder and he said, ‘You didn’t kill Jon Snow did you?’ and I said, ‘Mr President, Jon Snow is deader than dead.’”

Much of what the audience wanted to know, of course, wasn’t on offer. One man, addressing his question to “the beautiful and talented Natalie Dormer”, asked about future plotlines, but to no avail. “To be perfectly honest, honey, a lot of us here at the table are in the same position as you guys and I don’t have an effing clue what will happen,” Dormer told him.

Conleth Hill, who plays Machiavellian royal fixer Varys, kept the crowd in stitches. “First season, I was the only eunuch in the village, then Theon, now those other guys, so, you know, trendsetter,” he deadpanned.

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One audience member asked the group about their strangest experience with a fan, and Hill stepped up to the plate. “I once had a woman run at me with her hand at my crotch level – that was a great party – no, but I said ‘What are you doing?’ and she said, ‘I just wanted to see if something was there.’

“I don’t speak to my mother anymore.”



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