It's official; HBO has confirmed that Game of Thrones will be returning to Comic-Con for one last panel in Hall H on Friday, July 19. Per TVLine, the cast members in attendance will include Jacob Anderson, John Bradley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Liam Cunningham, Nathalie Emmanuel, Iain Glen, Conleth Hill, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright, as well as director Miguel Sapochnik. The panel is also set to mark the first public appearance of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss since the divisive series finale aired.
Missing from that lineup are several of the shows heavy-hitters and frequent Comic-Con attendees, including Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, and Gwendoline Christie. Author George R.R. Martin is also not currently scheduled to appear. As noted by TV Insider, the lineup is subject to change, but for now, it looks like many members of the cast will be missing from the panel.
While it might seem strange for the show to journey to Comic-Con now that this chapter of Westeros' story has been closed, this will give the fans and cast a chance to interact one last time. That's a chance they missed out on in 2018, because filming for Season 8 was underway. At the time, HBO issued a statement about Game of Thrones' lack of a Comic-Con presence that read,
"Due to production schedules and air dates for Game of Thrones and Westworld, these series will not be presented at San Diego Comic-Con this summer. HBO has a longstanding relationship with SDCC, and we are very grateful for the fans’ enthusiastic response over the years. We look forward to returning in the future."
Westworld will also be returning to the convention this year as HBO prepares for the premiere of Season 3.
Since the series is over, it's unclear what the panel will include aside from reminiscing. HBO is currently filming one prequel, but it's likely too early for footage to be available — plus, Benioff and Weiss aren't involved with the project. There could potentially be deleted scenes or new behind-the-scenes footage from the filming of Season 8, though. And there will definitely be plenty of time for the actors to discuss their experience filming the final season and the show in general.
For many fans, the most interesting aspect of the panel could be the opportunity to hear Benioff and Weiss share their thoughts on the final season for the first time. It's no secret that Season 8 as a whole has faced criticism for its pacing and narrative twists, including Daenerys' sudden turn from hero to villain. Up until now, the cast has been tasked with discussing their characters' motivations and addressing the backlash. However, now the showrunners will be in a position to potentially answer questions about the final season and share the behind-the-scenes thought process that went into crafting the last six episodes.
Whatever your feelings about Season 8 are, seeing part of the cast together again one last time is sure to be bittersweet. While at least some of them will no doubt make the journey to the 2019 Emmys, seeing Williams, Anderson, Emmanuel, and the rest of the actors celebrate Game of Thrones' legacy at Comic-Con is a fitting way to wrap up their Westeros journey.