UPDATE, 11:11 AM: Talk about putting the cart before the throne. Turns out Game Of Thrones executive producer David Benioff misspoke when he said Tuesday that creator George R.R. Martin would make a cameo in Season 3 of the hit HBO series. The network says filming is completed for the season, which debuts March 31, and Martin isn’t in it. What Benioff meant to say, the network confirmed to me today, was that plans are in place for the author of the books on which the series is based to appear in a Season 4. Sounds like things must be pretty far along on getting a fourth season in gear if they are working out such small details. Of course, that assumes HBO is picking up the hit series for another cycle, something it has not done yet — though if you were a gambling person, I’d say you wouldn’t lose if you bet your kingdom on it.
PREVIOUSLY, TUESDAY PM: Game Of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin will be making an onscreen appearance in the upcoming season of HBO’s flagship series, executive producer David Benioff revealed tonight. “You will see him”, he told Deadline, though he would not say what role Martin would play. Season 3 of the hit epic fantasy drama premieres March 31. Benioff was appearing with the author of the sprawling book series and co-executive producer of the TV show Tuesday at the “Evening With Game Of Thrones”, put on by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. As fans of the show know, Martin, who recently inked a two-year overall deal with the pay cable network to develop new projects, actually had a cameo in the Game Of Thrones pilot. “90% of the pilot was re-shot and George’s cameo ended up on the cutting room floor”, admitted Weiss to the sold out crowd. In a spoiler-free event, Martin did let one plot twist or twists slip out: “There’ll be a few people on the throne before it’s over”, he said when asked who would end up victorious as king on the series. Benioff and fellow exec producer D.B. Weiss joked that “George has told us.” With HBO execs in the audience, Benioff also said that no order for Season 4 has been made. The crowd groaned in obvious displeasure.
Also appearing on the panel tonight were the Emmy-winning show’s cast members Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), and Peter Dinklage, who has garnered an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role on the series as the conniving and lascivious Tyrion Lannister.
Moderated by It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia creator-star Rob McElhenney, the panel started off with a short video recap of Seasons 1 and 2 followed by a brief and unrevealing preview of Season 3. It is known that the upcoming season is loosely based on the portion of Martin’s A Storm of Swords novel, the third in his A Song of Ice And Fire series. The producers have said that Season 4 will delve deeper into the book. As you’d expect, besides Martin’s Kingship quip, the producers and cast were tight-lipped about the upcoming season, spending most of the panel joking about each other as actors and the harsh locations where they film in Europe. Martin did tell the crowd about first meeting Benioff and Weiss at the Palm restaurant several years ago for a long lunch that eventually turned into a deal among the trio. “They took the ball and ran with it and next thing I know we’re in business with HBO”, he said. Martin, who is now working on Book 6 The Winds Of Winter, also told the crowd that he was sometimes worried he wasn’t writing new novels quick enough for the TV show. “They’re moving faster than I am”, he said.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.