Natalie Dormer, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie and John Bradley attend the 2014 Game of Thrones San Diego Comic-Con panel“Game of Thrones” is coming to San Diego Comic-Con again in 2015, and it will likely be one of the biggest panels of the convention, as it has been in years past. But this year a lot of big names are missing from the panel lineup, including the one most fans will probably want to see: Kit Harington.

Those attending the Friday, July 10 event include cast members Alfie Allen (Theon/Reek), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Conleth Hill (Varys), Hannah Murray (Gilly), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Carice van Houten (Melissandre) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark). On the production side are executive producer Carolyn Strauss and director David Nutter.
This will be the first Comic-Con for almost half the cast on the panel — Cunningham, Hill, Murray, van Houten — and Allen’s second time since coming in 2012. While fans will likely be pleased to see a lot of new and favorite faces on the panel, arguably the biggest stars on the show — Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Harington (Jon Snow) and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) — are all sitting this one out.

It’s only slightly unexpected that Harington isn’t attending. Typically “Game of Thrones'” panels serve as retrospectives on the previous season, only looking ahead to reveal new cast members and sometimes a premiere date, but not delving into plot details about the forthcoming season. Richard Madden (Robb Stark), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell) are all examples of actors who made post-humous appearances.
Since by all cast and crew accounts Season 5 was Harington’s final season on the show, it would have made sense for him to have one last hurrah at SDCC — except, of course, few fans actually think Jon Snow is gone for good. If he’d attended, there would have been no avoiding a barrage of “is Jon really dead?” questions that no one would be able to answer, so it makes sense that he would pass. Fingers crossed this is a sign he’ll be returning somewhere down the road.
This will also be the first year since “Game of Thrones” made its Comic-Con debut in 2011 that author and executive producer George R.R. Martin is not attending the convention, though that isn’t a surprise. He revealed back in March that he would take a pass on the event this year to better focus on writing “The Winds of Winter,” the next book in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” series.

However, this will be only the second time in “Thrones'” history of presenting Comic-Con that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are absent (they also didn’t attend in 2012, with Strauss again taking their place).
There is one significant new face on “Game of Thrones'” panel: Seth Meyers. The massive “Thrones” fan will moderate the event, which takes place at 2:30 p.m. on July 10 in Hall H. (An autograph signing will follow at 4:15 p.m.) He’s following in the shows of Craig Ferguson, who moderated 2014’s panel.

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