George R.R. Martin's presence at a Game of Thrones event can feel a little odd. The creator of source material A Song of Ice and Fire, he's something of an occasionally seen biological parent to the HBO series. Without him, they wouldn't be here -- but he's not exactly part of the a-team.
So with series' co-creators and executive producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss off filming the third season in Northern Ireland, Martin's was the sole authoritative voice on the Comic-Con panel of cast members. His unparalleled familiarity with the characters could have prompted thoughtful analysis of the recent season or the upcoming take on A Storm of Swords, but Martin kept returning to his default topic: boobs.
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To hilarious and frequently awkward results, Martin's Game of Thrones discussion was preoccupied with the series' -- and his own -- clear affection for nudity and sex scenes.
Martin began by apologizing for the absence of Benioff, Weiss and his co-creator, "the 13-year-old boy who is responsible for all the boobies." Apparently there was a scene being shot in Belfast with "no boobies," and the imaginary young scribe, a reference to a Saturday Night Live sketch poking fun of the series' mature content, flew there straightaway to remedy the situation.
After showing an introductory video to the series' many new cast members joining the third season, Martin then made not-so-subtle reference to his childhood crush on The Avengers star Diana Rigg before bringing out the cast -- and most of them were in for a lighthearted interrogation about on-screen sex.
First up: Alfie Allen. The frequently disrobed Theon Greyjoy did much of season two's heavy lifting with sex scenes, something Martin noted Allen has yet to thank him for. "What's it like doing all those sex scenes?" he asked. Allen, more game than some of his costars, said that he was apprehensive about having to stay fit. "I enjoyed it," he said. "It was good. I wanted to get in shape for it anyway. I wanted to feel like a warrior."
Not one for a subtle segue, Martin then moved on to Richard Madden. "So Richard, you've done a sex scene too," he said, matter-of-factly, bringing up Robb Stark's recent run-in with Talisa Maegyr (Oona Chaplin). Madden, a bit shy, admitted that he was more fond of filming battle scenes than the romantic moments and promptly stepped into a well-received double-entendre.
"Swinging a sword is a lot more fun," he said, before fully realizing what he was saying and drawing whoops from the Hall H crowd.
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And then came Emilia Clarke. The Khaleesi, who famously finished the freshman run completely nude and covered in ashes, managed to stay in wardrobe throughout season two. Martin noticed that her Qarthian garb was less revealing than he'd written it in the books and made a point of his expressing his disappointment.
Looking more confused than anything, Clarke just smiled and laughed.
Several more references to his imaginary co-creator and "boobies" later, Martin ended the panel with the first teaser for the series' third season. It contained not a single breast or butt cheek -- or any actual footage, for that matter -- but it certainly pleased the audience.