New 'Game of Thrones' characters revealed at Comic-Con's Hall H -- and 'special surprise' ends panel with a groan

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The King of the North found his people in Comic-Con's Hall H. Of course, so did the Mother of Dragons. Prince Greyjoy, however, got quite the chilly welcome.

The "Game of Thrones" Hall H Comic-Con panel just convened, and while plot points of Season 3 remained hush-hush, 14 new participants in the next epic season were definitely a big reveal. Yep, the biggest cast on TV just got bigger -- a fact that didn't elude George R.R. Martin, the writer of the books on which the series is based and the moderator of the panel. "Clearly I'm going to have to start killing off some of them to make room for the new ones," Martin said.

[Photos: Meet the new faces joining Season 3 of 'Game of Thrones'

The panel got started when Martin introduced a sizzle reel of last year's season. Wow, it's amazing to see how much happened when you condense it all into five minutes of fun.

The lights remained dimmed as slides were shown of the faces of the new actors, their names, and their character names. Some of them you'll likely recognize, though how many you can actually name will be a true test of your TV-watching prowess.

Unfortunately, the surprises stopped after the slideshow. The cast Martin brought along -- Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) -- remained mum about next season's plot, though there was plenty of banter about last year's favorite moments.

[Photos: See more TV stars at this year's Comic-Con]

The lack of revelation seems to have been part of the fun for Martin, who, at the end of the panel, told fans not to go anywhere because he had a special surprise! The lights went down. The audience held their breath. The "Game of Thrones" title card went up. Then the next title card boldly revealed "Game of Thrones Season 3 March 31, 2013." Fade to black. That was it. Lights up. Panel done.

Oh well, you can always read the books!

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