As an internationally renowned jetsetting journalist I have covered all the big comic conventions, from bustling little LFCC in London to the soul-sapping behemoth that is Comic Con International in San Diego. After my first ever visit to Wales Comic Con I can sum it up as ‘Most Adorable Comic Con Ever’.
The thing is in a sports hall for goodness sake. It’s so cute. The staff are all happy and friendly, the organiser was walking around smiling. Smiling! Rather than firing a flash into your face and barking at you to fuck off the photographers were taking three pictures and letting you choose one. It was like they didn’t know that they were supposed to be angry misanthropes. All of this was quite disconcerting at the time but it left me with a warm glow. My friend and I were actually happy when we left rather than feeling like we’d been robbed, violated and left in ditch looking at our signed photographs and gently sobbing.
Impressively, WCC managed to bring together eight members of the Game of Thrones cast ; Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont), Julian Glover (Pycelle), Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon), Spencer Wilding (White Walker), Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell) and Gethin Anthony (Renly Baratheon).
The latter two appearing together for the first time (this was Gethin Anthony’s first convention) caused a great deal of giggling, blushing and swooning, and that was just from me. The relaxed atmosphere at the con led to a tumblrgasm of sweet over-the-table pictures and a paucity of dead eyed celebs being marshalled by staff like recently-acquired pandas at the zoo.
At the afternoon Q and A it was standing room only. When asked what their characters would be doing if they existed in 2012 Anthony replied that Renly would be working on the Obama campaign. Finn Jones added that Loras would simply be “Still Renly’s bitch” whilst Gemma Whelan guessed that Yara would be working in Starbucks. Julian Glover thought that Grand Maester Pycelle would be “one of those men behind the scenes in parliament who controls everything” (who wants to see a GoT and The Thick of It crossover? I do!) and James Cosmo answered melancholically with “I don’t think there are men like Jeor Mormont around anymore.”
I’m always puzzled as to why people ask questions about fanfiction at these panels. No matter how they phrase it the subtext is “I wrote a story about you fucking one of your colleagues, have you had a chance to read it yet? Yes, that’s right, the man sat next to you, I fictionalised an account of you two banging each other’s brains out, have you seen it?” Anyhow, Finn Jones seemed positively au fait with the Loraly oeuvre. Bet he’s not yet seen that one where he becomes pregnant with Renly’s baby and lays an egg.
It was heart-warming to see how involved in the world of Game of Thrones the actors become – most of them have read the books, they all watch the show, and when asked which other house they would belong to besides their own they all looked quite puzzled, as if they had just been asked to choose another set of parents. “I’m a Baratheon!” said Gethin Anthony. “Yeah, I’m a Greyjoy!” said Gemma Whelan. “I might be a Stark” said Jerome Flynn. But then he is a sellsword. Jones could never be anything but a son of Highgarden. Look at those curls!
Julian Glover turned the question back on the audience. “Who do you think is the good guy in Game of Thrones now that Ned is gone?” The general consensus seemed to be Tyrion, though Gethin Anthony was visibly disgusted when someone suggested Stannis. Too soon, man. Too soon.
More photos here, here, and here