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What We Learned From GAME OF THRONES’ SXSW Panel, and What It Might Mean

Since HBO is making us wait longer than normal for the next season of Game of Thrones, we have even more time than usual to wildly speculate and obsess over what’s to come. Fortunately for those of us that study and analyze every tidbit about the series like Samwell Tarly reading an old dusty book, stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner hosted a panel with the show’s creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss at this year’s South by Southwest, giving us just enough nuggets to help tide us over a little while longer.

So here’s everything we’ve gathered from the old gods and the new of the internet, and what we think it all might mean.

Ed Sheeran will be appearing on the show this year: Variety reports that after trying to get the musician to be on the show for a few seasons, the same way members of Sigur Rós, Coldplay, Mastodon, and Of Monsters and Men have, Sheeran will finally do it this season.

We don’t know who he’ll play (hold on for our guesses, because the reason he’s appearing will influence them), but we do know that co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have wanted to make this happen as a surprise for one of his biggest fans, Maisie Williams.

ed-sheeran-radioImage: Capital FM

If he is recognizable on the show (and not a wildling or White Walker), his red hair would indicate….oh, man so many people on the show have red hair. He could be a Tully, a remaining Tyrell, a red priest of R’hllor, or literally anyone anywhere. IT’S A BIG WORLD.

But here’s our best guess: he will be a victim of Arya Stark. What better gift for Williams than a chance to kill one of her favorite musicians on Game of Thrones?

Season Eight Will Have Six Episodes: Also in that report from Variety is the confirmation that season eight will only have six episodes. This was the number being thrown out before, but there had been talk recently it could be longer. However, Benioff and Weiss now have the final number at only six, and they’re writing four of them, with Bryan Cogman, who has written for the show for every season, and Dave Hill who has writing credits from seasons five and six, penning the other two.

So what does six episodes tell us? That the end will be fast and furious, and it will necessitate a major event bringing the remaining characters together. What could do that? I’m firmly and forever in the camp of “That Wall is Coming Down!

Benioff and Weiss Would Let “New Blood” Handle Any Spin-Off: According to Deadline the two creators said if HBO decides to explore the world of George R.R. Martin further, they’ll be happy to watch others bring it to life.

We don’t know who those people could be (we’ll be mulling that over), but we already have some ideas for them on what the series could be about.

Although, Geeks of Doom says that Benioff and Weiss expressed a desire to do an episode of Rick and Morty. Unless we wished that in a fever dream. :checks: Both. They actually said it, and we may have wished such a situation into existence.

Sophie Turner’s Current Hair Color Means Nothing…OR SOMETHING:

They’re not filming season eight yet, and the two young actresses have dyed their hair between seasons before. There’s no way Williams just gave away a spoiler that big.

Unless she did. Oh god no…

You monsters.

Oh, no, we aren’t joking. These two are monsters, and this we know because of one answer they gave.

They Hate Book Readers (Though They Won’t Admit It):

How else can we take that!?

Even if they are joking: NOT. FUNNY.

If a Dragon Dies, It Might Be Able to Come Back as a Member of the Dead’s Army: This is a popular fan theory, and one that they did not throw water (or ice) on.

Dragon flame would be the ultimate weapon against the White Walkers, but what if they could raise one, and possibly turn it into an ice dragon instead? That would be a monumental moment with huge ramifications for the great war.

Please make it so!

That’s it for relevant news, but they did also talk about how Mark Addy’s audition for Robert Baratheon was the best they saw, that Peter Dinklage and Sean Bean were the only two parts they knew before starting, how casting Arya was the hardest (that worked out), how killing Khal Drogo was the most difficult (and how Jason Momoa injured Benioff’s hand during a game of Slap Hand).

We’re still a few months from the July premiere, and we have roughly a billion more questions, but this was a nice way to help us bide our time until winter arrives this summer.

What do you make of this news? Tell us what you think it all means in the comments below.

Featured Image: HBO

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