- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2011

SAN DIEGO (AP) - The cast and crew of “Game of Thrones” are ready to go off the wall for the second season of the HBO fantasy saga.

During an uproarious panel Thursday at Comic-Con, actors and executive producers from “Game of Thrones” offered a few clues about what’s to come next season, which will soon go into production.

“For the second season, we’ve got a bunch of great new characters coming in,” said executive producer David Benioff. “We’ve got such an incredible cast, but it’s time to meet the Red Priestess, and see those dragons and wolves start to grow up. There’s bad stuff lurking north of the Wall. It’s a season of exploration.”

Many of the die-hard fans of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” book series, which “Game of Thrones” is based on, already know what’s to come from reading “A Clash of Kings.”

When one fan asked how the show could possibly depict the epic Battle of Blackwater, the executive producers insisted it would be included on the show, and Martin, who served as moderator for the panel, jokingly appealed to fans to contribute funds for computer-generated effects.

“We’re going to pass my hat around to get some contributions,” he said.

Lena Headey, who plays the vicious Cersei Lannister, dodged another fan’s question about her favorite scenes from the first season, which was nominated for 13 Emmys last week.

“My favorites are still to come because I just read some of season two,” she teased.

Martin noted that he has an idea of how he wants to conclude the entire saga in his coming novels and that he is a fan of “bittersweet endings.”

Peter Dinklidge, who is nominated for an Emmy for his role as pragmatic Tyrion Lannister, offered an entirely different kind of conclusion.

“Dance number,” he deadpanned to the crowd of more than 4,000 fans.

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Derrik J. Lang can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.

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