Westeros came to San Diego on Friday, as the cast of “Game Of Thrones” made one last Comic-Con appearance following their epic series finale.
Cast members from the hit HBO drama — Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jacob Anderson, John Bradley, Liam Cunningham and Conleth Hill — gathered in Hall H to discuss their controversial final season and leaving the show behind after eight groundbreaking seasons. Creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss pulled out of the panel ahead of Comic-Con weekend, as did stars Nathalie Emmanuel and Iain Glenn.
The cast was asked about the divisive final season during its last panel on Friday night and they didn’t hold back in defending the controversial fan response to the way the HBO drama wrapped up.
“You look at the amount of people who are here and we’re here to thank you for watching us all these years,” Hill said. “We weren’t divisive as a cast. We always did our hardest work… This is the reality rather than a media-led hate.”
Coster-Waldau was candid about the passionate fan response that has followed “Game Of Thrones” during its eight-season run.
“It was surprising, the level [of backlash],” Coster-Waldau said. “‘Yes, we’re going to change [the final season] ’cause that’s the power of the Internet!'”
“Every season we had huge controversies. It was from Ned Stark getting killed — ‘We’re never going to watch that s**t show again’ — the Red Wedding, the end…,” he mentioned. “Obviously when it comes to an end, it’s going to piss you off no matter what. Of course, at the end of the day, it’s absolutely fine. If you hated the ending, that’s great, just don’t call people names.”
“It’s almost a metaphor for life. That’s the point of this whole thing. It’s the journey,” Cunningham added. “To watch that grow and to be on the set when we were doing the work. We, and you, are all on this journey together… We didn’t know where it was going to go. Nobody knew it was going to be as big as it was going to get. We’re all huge fans of the show. It’s a beautiful, beautiful show.”
Despite the controversy that surrounded the show’s final season — which included rogue coffee cups, which Coster-Waldau and his co-stars poked fun during the panel, and other continuity errors, lighting complaints and the infamous fan petition to remake the episodes — “Game Of Thrones” recently landed 32 Emmy nominations for season eight, including Outstanding Drama Series.
In addition to the top prize, “Game Of Thrones” picked up a number of acting nominations, including Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Peter Dinklage, who has been nominated for every season of the show and has won three times prior. He’s joined by Coster-Waldau, a second-time nominee, and Alfie Allen in the category. Elsewhere, Emilia Clarke was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress, while Williams, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner and Gwendoline Christie are all vying in the supporting category. Kit Harington is also up for Outstanding Lead Actor.
Meanwhile, co-creators Benioff and Weiss were nominated for writing and directing while returning directors David Nutter and Miguel Sapochnik also picked up additional nominations for the latter.
See more on the “Game Of Thrones” series finale in the video below. For more Comic-Con 2019 coverage, follow along all weekend on ET Live, and check ET’s YouTube page for videos of all of our exclusive cast interviews.