The role of Eddard Stark is going to be another crucial casting decision that the producers will have to make. Ned’s role in the pilot episode will be important and whomever they get to play Ned will need to pull it off well if this series is to get past the pilot stage. Due to the nature of the role, the rest of this post is going to be spoiler-territory. Proceed at your own risk.
Due to Ned’s condition at the end of the first book (namely that he is a head shorter then when the book began) there has been talk of HBO possibly going with a big name actor for the role. Obviously he would only need to commit to one season and having a star actor in what is essentially the lead role for the first season would help attract viewers. Plus it would be all the more shocking when he is offed. With that in mind, let’s take a look at four names that are being talked about amongst the fans for the role.
While most people are hung up on the idea of casting a big-name actor as Ned, I don’t think that Benioff and Weiss will go that route. I admit, it is a good idea and could certainly help the series attract viewers early on. But I believe HBO and the producers are going to stick to casting talented but unknown actors and use the rest of the budget on getting the highest production values they can. In the end, I think that this is the right choice.