Considering just how massive Game of Thrones has become since its inception on HBO in 2011, it’s not surprising that this year’s Comic-Con Panel, which feature a huge portion of the cast alongside veteran executive producer Carolyn Strauss and prominent director David Nutter, focused mainly on reflecting on all that went down in Season 5. Alongside Strauss and Nutter, Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Natalie Dormer, Conleth Hill, Hannah Murray, Sophie Turner, Carice van Houten, and Maisie Williams fielded a series of questions that covered quite a lot of Season 5 ground, as well as referencing the overall goals, trajectory, and impulses of their characters. Oh, and all the immense work that goes into producing a show that may be the most cinematic-looking series currently still in production. (Note: Hannibal is no longer in production.)
The biggest surprise of the panel, honestly, was its moderator, Seth Meyers, who proved a hugely engaging presence with the cast members, a few of which he counts as good friends. The discussion with Meyers was lightning quick and often uproarious, with Hill and Cunningham proving to be especially quick wits when discussing the production and influence of the HBO program. Speaking of which, Meyers kicked off the discussion with a sizzle reel of all the times that Game of Thrones has shown up in other pockets of culture, starting with Kit Harington’s hilarious dinner-party sketch on Meyers’ show and going on from there to include references in The Simpsons, South Park, Sesame Street, Parks and Recreation, and New Girl, amongst others (check out the end of the post for the video). The assemblage of clips proved to be the perfect intro to a lively discussion about what will likely go down as one of the great fantasy works of the television medium, or any visual medium really.