Comic-Con 2012: The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones Panels Chat Upcoming Seasons
Guest post by Jeremy Singer
AMC and HBO both grabbed the attention of excited television fans on Friday, as The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones had cast members on-scene at the San Diego Comic-Con to discuss the upcoming seasons of each show.
Based on the graphic novel series, The Walking Dead is expected to begin right where it left off when it premiers non Oct. 14. And from what the panel’s season three trailer showed, it will introduce the popular prison story arc. Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick moderated the panel, which featured the series’ production team and stars.
Since the show left off on a intense season two cliff hanger, fans in Comic-Con’s Hall H were waiting on the edge of their seats for any satisfying season three spoilers. However, graphic novel creator and show executive producer Robert Kirkman refused to reveal any crucial information. “We open on a scene of I can’t tell you, and it quickly transitions into a scene of you’ll have to wait and see,” says Kirkman. Executive producer Dave Alpert decided to chip in too, saying “the pace picked up at the end of season two, and now we have our foot on the accelerator in a big way.”
Walking Dead’s Greg Nicotero, known as the show’s special effects guru, will get his directing debut in season three episode six, which will include a few iconic moments from the graphic novel. His insight on zombie realism is always top notch, and says that he’s constantly trying to raise the bar for the scare factor. “We want to show and refine and determine what we love about certain zombies. We’re always changing the contact lenses and the dentures, we put bald caps on the guys.”
Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln spoke a bit about his character Rick’s development in the upcoming season. He said that Rick feels he has to isolate himself from everyone around him including his wife and son, in order to better protect them. “I certainly think this season you meet him at a place where he has been pushing people away to protect his son, and in so doing he loses his humanity,” says Lincoln.
Game of Thrones also gave fans a few highlights, as the popular HBO series based on George R.R. Martin’s medieval fantasy novels, introduced 14 new characters, and provided behind-the-scenes stories about the show. The second season just wrapped up in early June, and a third season has been green lit, with an expected release date of March 2013. Martin moderated the panel, and talent included Emilia Clarke, Alfie Allen, Richard Madden, Michelle Fairley and Rose Leslie.
Alfie Allen says that he was the victim of a prank by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Alenn plays the character Theon Greyjoy, and says he was sent a script saying that his character was killed by Bran Stark. But when he didn’t appear to be affected by the news, the show runners decided to get more creative.
“They said ‘we’ve got another thing for you, how do you feel being a zombie?” says Allen, who still wasn’t shocked, “and then they asked ‘ok, how do you feel being a naked zombie without any dialogue whatsoever?” Eventually Allen picked up on the prank, and realized “ok, you’re having me on!”
After Martin asked Richard Madden (Rob Stark) if he prefers violent or sex scenes, Madden said he’d rather be in battle. “I think I’d rather do violence. I get more of a kick out of that than standing in a quite cold set in Ireland without my clothes on. Swinging a sword is a lot more fun.”
Near the end of the panel, Martin told a packed audience that as a poor child in New Jersey, he wasn’t allowed cats or dogs in his housing project, so he raised pet turtles instead. He says that he put his turtles in a toy castle, and used his imagination to create fantasy stories about them being in a kingdom, betraying and killing each other.