[This article contains spoilers for the fifth season finale of Game Of Thrones.]
Much of the speculation around the latest Game Of Thrones finale hinged on whether fans believed the show’s strident efforts to convince them that partial protagonist Jon Snow was actually dead, struck down as a traitor by his brothers in the Night’s Watch. Despite the lethal nature of life in Westeros, it’s been a little hard for viewers to believe that star Kit Harington is really off the show, especially with his fellow cast mates dropping hints that they don’t think he’s gone for good.
Still, if the show’s creative team is running a hoax, they’ve now taken it to the highest levels of power, with director David Nutter revealing during the show’s Comic-Con panel that President Obama asked him about Snow’s fate during a recent trip to the White House. Despite apparently worrying that he’d be on his way to a detention camp if he gave the wrong answer, Nutter resolutely told the Fan-In-Chief, “Mr. President, Jon Snow is deader than dead.” (Cue rampant fan speculation that “deader-than-dead” is some fancy three-eyed crow way of saying “too pretty to actually die.”) While he was dispensing of potential corpses, Nutter also confirmed today that potential king Stannis Baratheon is now an ex-Stannis, although he managed that one without presidential assistance, simply confirming that Stephen Dillane’s character died when he was struck down by Brienne of Tarth.
Other than all the corpse talk, the panel was apparently a lively affair, with the show’s stars, including Maisie Williams, Natalie Dormer, and Sophie Turner, all on hand to trade quips about the lighter side of rape, murder, and blindness. Williams expressed her worries about the next portion of Arya Stark’s arc, which might force her to practice swordsmanship and acrobatics while wearing large, light-obstructing contact lenses. And Turner waded back into the controversy surrounding the season’s much-talked-about rape scene, twisting the knife by revealing that Iwan Rheon was wearing Robb Stark’s old wedding garb during the act, and that she believes Sansa allowed the assault to happen as part of a more subtle scheme. “Sansa could’ve fought back but she chose not to,” Turner said, also joking about how disappointed she was that the camera panned away from her suffering to Alfie Allen’s Theon Greyjoy. “I don’t know why they panned in on him… I was giving a great performance.”
On the lighter, less-thinkpiece-inspiring side of things, Natalie Dormer revealed that, while she doesn’t know what’s in store for currently imprisoned would-be monarch Margaery Tyrell, she does know why one beloved star of the show has been absent for so long: “Ser Pounce was a nightmare. He would not stay on that bed,” she said, presumably inspiring wide-spread riots in Comic-Con’s Hall H.
Although the show’s sixth season if still too far away for HBO to have had a trailer to show off for the convention, Game Of Thrones did bring a bit of video footage for fans to enjoy: an audition reel of various stars trying out for their parts. Among several others, the footage shows Gwendoline Christie nailing Brienne’s bitter confidence from the get-go, and Rose Leslie trying out for Ygritte, saying that thing she used to say to that guy she used to say it to, before they were both murdered forever, because that’s what happens on Game Of Thrones.