Every year, the preparation and anticipation leading up to San Diego Comic-Con is a tidal wave, consuming all other news and information in its path. Did the world stop turning from July 12 to July 15? We're not sure... we were at Comic-Con.
And with four days of nonstop information overload, it'd be nice to have a little rundown or guide to help us grasp the all-consuming phenomenon of this past weekend. So guess what? We've got that, too. (You can thank us later.)
1. Game of Thones added 10 new characters, which surprised no one. But, you may be shocked to know that two of those characters are played by the same actors who played Gareth on the British version of The Office (Mackenzie Crook) and the lovesick little boy from Love Actually (Thomas Brodie-Sangster).
2. We finally got to see what happened after Deb caught Dexter mid-kill on Dexter. And lo and behold, our lovable serial killer tells a giant, winding, clever lie. And just when we thought we might get a secret criminal duo!
3. The cast of Fringe love the show just as much as you do. They discussed (or teased) elements of the fifth and final season during their panel, but mostly, there were lots and lots of tears.
4. Trouty Mouth will be back full time on Glee, which is great because the under-appreciated Chord Overstreet (Sam) is one of the only remaining adorable parts of that series.
5. Joel McHale is joining Sons of Anarchy for an arc in Season 5. He's simultaneously making the (television) world a better place and inching closer to Ryan Seacrest's record number of jobs. Perhaps Seacrest should nab a guest spot as a killer or spooky spirit on American Horror Story to even the score.
6. The True Blood panel teased a messy, exciting conclusion for Season 5, but all we can think about is how well Joe Manganiello (Alcide) has retained his stripper lessons from Magic Mike. Plus, Rutina Wesley (Tara) and creator Alan Ball joined him and made the panel a full-on strip fest. Which is a pretty good teaser for the rest of the season, too.
7. The Vampire Diaries will keep Katherine (Nina Dobrev's double duty as an evil vampiress) away, but EP Julie Plec is happy to bring Alric (Matt Davis, who's now on Cult) back to play.
8. TVD's Paul Wesley coined the term "Salvatore Sandwich" and now we want one.
9. Breaking Bad will go to Germany this season. Guten tag! Oh, and Vince Gilligan promised not to leave us hanging at the end of these final 16 episodes. But Germany, you guys!
10. Once Upon a Time has one helluva Season 2 hook: Captain Hook. The preview trailer revealed the hook itself and the cast discussed its upcoming journey to Neverland... or rather, Neverland's journey to Storybrooke.
11. Joss Whedon loves you. A lot. At the panel to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Firefly, the man behind the magic closed the discussion with a heartfelt thank you to the fans who've so obsessively kept the series' memory from flickering out. "The way in which you have inhabited this universe, you're living Firefly," he said. "When I see you guys, I don't think the show is off the air."
12. The Walking Dead will return Oct. 14 and from what we've seen of the Governor (and Michonne... and the Prison... and Rick) the Season 2 "lollygagging" problem that miffed so many fans will be a thing of the past. Andrea will still be annoying, unfortunately.
13. The Legend of Korra panel revealed some serious Book 2 details, including Asami going corporate? Way to make the wait that much harder!
14. The new Community showrunners vow to keep the Dan Harmon vision alive. "It's not going to change," they promised.
15. Spartacus celebrated its final season with a gory, sexual trailer, but not without paying homage to the man who brought the inaugural season to life. The panel included a heartbreaking standing ovation for original series star, the late Andy Whitfield, who lost his battle with lymphoma in the fall of 2011.
16. We learned that Wilfred is imaginary. The director of the FX comedy, Randall Einhorn, says the man in a dog suit is really just a dog. Ryan (Elijah Wood) just doesn't know it yet. I don't use this word often, but it's so relevant here: BUZZKILL.
17. The Big Bang Theory sent one very lucky, uncontrollably happy fan to space. You know, because Howard went to space at the end of last season. They just wanted to send the message home... or to space.
18. The Simpsons panel was pretty uneventful, until Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher, we'll let you retain that legacy because it's Comic-Con, or Nerd Christmas) crashed it.
19. Doctor Who is going where no Doctor has gone before... oh wait, let's think. There are 32 seasons of this series. Previous Doctors have definitely gone there before. Okay. Doctor Who is cooking up a Western episode. Hi-Ho TARDIS?
20. Homeland will return hot on the heels of its first season, with Carrie (Claire Danes) recovering from her removal from the CIA and her hospital stay. Plus, this season, we'll get to head to the Middle East, instead of just going there in flashbacks. Clearly, they're going for broke this season.
21. Psych, the lucky bastard, gets to do a musical episode, a Clue-themed episode, and they get to borrow Christopher Lloyd. That's almost as good as going to space. Okay, nothing is as good as going to space.
22. Joel McHale convinced Twitter (for like 45 seconds) that Community had cast Eddie Murphy as Jeff Winger's dad. Sadly, McHale was joking about bringing "Pluto Nash himself" onto the niche comedy.
What was your favorite TV moment from Comic-Con? And for a full rundown on all these series and the movies from Comic-Con, be sure to hop over to the Hollywood.com hub!
[Image: FilmMagic/Getty Images]
More: Legend of Korra Panel Reveals Book 2: Spirit Details Community Future: Spacetime Conventions, Romance, and Floorgasms — VIDEO True Blood Panel is All Stripping and Sex Talk Comic-Con TV
The actress, who played Emma Peel in the cult 1960s drama, will join fellow Brits Nathalie Emmanuel and Mackenzie Crook among the new faces in the third season of the TV adaptation of writer George R.R. Martin's books.
Martin himself revealed who would be joining the cast at Comic-Con in San Diego, California on Friday (13Jul12).
Former Bond girl Rigg, 73, will play Olenna Tyrell, The Queen of Thorns, while Crook will play wildling raider Orell. Emmanuel has been cast as child slave Missandei.
Other new additions include Kerry Ingram, Tara Fitzgerald, Paul Kaye and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
One of the most sought after panels at the Con is, of course, HBO's Game of Thrones. The panel, along with AMC's The Walking Dead that preceded it, had fans lined up in an almost futile line that wrapped around the bay front. Those inside, however, were treated to a conversation with author and executive producer George R.R. Martin and members of the cast, including Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), and Richard Madden (Robb Stark).
The biggest news to emerge from the panel — aside from the fun announcement that the show will be filming in Belfast, Croatia, Morocco and Iceland this year — is the casting of a host of new, fantastical characters that will make their debut in Season 3. Of course, if you're a fan of the show yet unfamiliar with the Song of Ice and Fire book series upon which the HBO fantasy is based, the new cast won't mean anything to you until you see them slashing, drinking and — most likely — shedding their robes onscreen.
The new characters and their portrayers include Clive Russell (Brynden "Blackfish" Tully), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Mackenzie Crook (Orell), Kerry Ingram (Shireen Baratheon), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed), Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion), Paul Kaye (Thoros of Myr), and Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell). Watch the new faces discuss their characters and the future of the series below:
The series also set a premiere date for March 31, 2013, so mark your calendars now (feel free to simply write "Winter is coming" in all caps).
[Photo credit: HBO] More: Game of Thrones Removes Bush's Head From the Stake HBO Pulls Game of Thrones Episode with George W. Bush's Head Game of Thrones Adds Some New Faces