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'Game of Thrones' cast dodges Jon Snow, controversy questions at Comic-Con

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SAN DIEGO — Jon Snow isn't the only one who knows nothing. Fans who attended the "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic-Con found themselves in a similar position Friday afternoon.

The large cast who gathered at the annual comic book convention danced around questions about the future of the story, Jon Snow's fate, and even the hotly debated treatment of its female characters in Season 5.

Showrunners David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and "Game of Thrones" author George R. R. Martin were not present to help tease out even the slightest bit of information about Season 6 of the popular HBO show.

"We've always tried to maintain a level of surprise for people who watch the show," said "Game of Thrones" producer Carolyn Strauss. They were not going to abandon that premise even for the large Hall H crowd, many of whom waited overnight for the panel.

Host Seth Myers joked that, as a fan of the show, he also tried to mine answers from the cast backstage to no avail. "And I'm kind of famous," he laughed.

Instead, the panel functioned more as a retrospective, with an amusing audition reel from many of the cast reciting some of their most famous lines and a montage of how "Game of Thrones" has permeated pop culture with appearances on everything from "South Park" to "Sesame Street."

Audience members still tried their best to glean any information from the large ensemble, including actors Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen and Liam Cunningham, especially about Kit Harington, who was not present.

Fans were left hanging at the end of Season 5 when the pivotal Jon Snow was stabbed to death, but many believe that Harington will still be back for the upcoming season somehow. The cast was little help though, mumbling and laughing nervously when a man in the audience asked, pointedly, what they'll miss most about working with Harington.

PHOTO: This photo provided by courtesy of HBO shows, Anton Lesser,  left, and Lena Headey, in a scene from "Game of Thrones," season 5.  The HBO television series panel for "Game of Thrones" is scheduled for Friday, July 10, 2015, during the 2015 Comic-Con International held at the San Diego Convention Center. (Macall B. Polay/HBO via AP)
This photo provided by courtesy of HBO shows, Anton Lesser, left, and Lena Headey, in a scene from "Game of Thrones," season 5. The HBO television series panel for "Game of Thrones" is scheduled for Friday, July 10, 2015, during the 2015 Comic-Con International held at the San Diego Convention Center. (Macall B. Polay/HBO via AP)

Their silence might be telling, but as far as we know for certain, Jon Snow is still dead.

Director David Nutter even told President Barack Obama as much. "Jon Snow is deader than dead," he recalled telling the president just a few weeks ago.

The audience was also eager to discuss some of the treatment of the show's female characters in Season 5, which included rape, death by burning and a naked walk of shame through town.

When asked if they'll more overtly address the criticisms in Season 6, Strauss gave a cryptic answer about just trying to find the best stories to tell in the world. "Things were not great for a lot of people, male and female," she said.

As for the burning of Princess Shireen, Strauss said that, "just because it's painful doesn't mean it's not a good point in the story. It wasn't done because of the pain, it was done in spite of the pain."

Nutter recalled that day on set as a particularly difficult one.

"Everyone needed to feel what was going to happen to this young girl," he said. "It was an amazingly powerful moment that turned out just right."

Actress Lena Headey was not on hand to discuss her character's extended nude shame walk.

And yet, although answers were few, there is still one inevitability with "Game of Thrones": Winter is coming, even if we don't know when.


Online: http://www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones

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