Although HBO’s blockbuster Game Of Thrones ended earlier this year—you may have heard about it on one of your favorite petition sites—that didn’t stop the series from carving out a choice piece of real estate at San Diego Comic-Con this year, announcing a short while ago that it’d be performing a sort of victory lap panel this Friday at 5:30 p.m. PT in the venerable Hall H. Originally, that panel was supposed to include the participation of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. And now, uh…It’s not.
This is per Variety, which notes that Benioff and Weiss—who, for guys who have brought home a veritable fuck-ton of money (and Emmy nominations!) for their parent company over the last decade, seem to have become persona non Greyjoy over the last few months—have just been removed from the list of attendees at the panel. (Also no longer appearing: Iain “Jorah Mormont” Glen and Nathalie “Missandei” Emmanuel, plus long-time series director Miguel Sapochnik.) HBO gave a blanket statement for all the cancellations, citing, “production and schedule conflicts,” and refused to elaborate any further.
And while it might all be a coincidence—the duo does, hypothetically, have a Star War to work on—it’s impossible not to note that Benioff and Weiss have become the public face of fan displeasure with the show’s eight and final season, a groundswell of “Hey, this isn’t the ice dragon battle that I ordered” discontent that started at ire, blew right past indignation, and settled in as just the latest expression of the internet’s ongoing addiction to rage. Neither writer has made a public appearance since the outcry began, and it does track that, were one trying to build back up a bit of fan goodwill as the series takes its bows, keeping the pair out of the limelight—and away from questions about their “Hey, what if slavery was still happening?” follow-up series, while you’re at it—might be a wise tactical decision.
So, hey, anyway: Game Of Thrones is at Comic-Con this year, and the panel only has the people you like on it now! Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jacob “Grey Worm” Anderson, John “Samwell” Bradley, Conleth “Varys” Hill, Isaac “Little King Story Boy” Hempstead Wright, and Liam “Davos” Cunningham will all be in attendance, y’all still like Davos, right? (Jesus Christ, we hope y’all still like Davos.)