Thoughts on Theon
By Winter Is Coming on in Casting, Speculation.

Theon will be a tough one to cast. His screen time will be relatively limited in the first season, but he becomes one of the more main characters in later books. They will most likely have to cast an actor that doesn’t mind being relegated to the background that first season, but one who has the talent to pull off a more major role down the line. Basically, they will need to find a talented, but relatively unknown actor. Let’s take a look at some of the fan suggestions.

Avery Clark – You might remember Clark from his Youtube audition videos I linked to a while back. Well it seems he has garnered enough support among the fans to be taken as a serious candidate for Theon. Clark’s acting experience is all theater, but he is a big fan of the books and is trying hard to get an audition. While I think he certainly seems to be a talented actor, I just don’t know if the producers are going to give a semi-major role to a relatively inexperienced actor.

Alex Wyndham – Unlike Clark, Wyndham has television experience. His big roles being in the BBC’s mini-series Little Dorrit and HBO’s Rome. He seems to have the right look, despite being a bit older than Theon is supposed to be at the opening of the series. I don’t think they will be looking to cast exact age for this role anyway though. Also, being a veteran of BBC and HBO projects certainly gives him a leg up on the competition.

Sam Riley – Lacking the experience of Wyndham, Riley’s credits are mostly made-for-TV movies and bit roles in a few Law & Order episodes. His breakout role, however, came in the biopic Control. His turn as Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis, earned him critical praise and a few awards. He has yet to capitalize on that breakout role though, maybe the role of Theon could be his opportunity.

Tom Payne – Another actor with predominately television credits to his name, Payne is best known for his role in BBC’s drama series Waterloo Road. He also has recently been cast as the lead in the BBC’s film about footballer great George Best. The positives on Payne are his age, he is the actor closest in age to Theon on this list, and his connection to the BBC. In remains to be seen if that is enough though to get him the role.

Like I said, casting Theon may be tough. Finding an actor that is willing to be relegated to a background role during the first season, but that is talented enough to help carry the series later on down the road won’t be easy. It will be interesting to see which direction they go with this. Cast a young up-and-comer or a complete unknown? Only time will tell.


29 Comments

  1. Adam Whitehead
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Interesting choices. I think the issue is that Theon, whilst not an outstanding warrior, is certainly decent in a fight. Wyndham as Maecenas in ROME didn’t really have that kind of physicality, although the attitude of smarmy arrogance wasn’t far off Theon. If he got some training in, he could do well in the role.

    Riley was excellent as Ian Curtis in CONTROL, but he’s gotten some big theatre and middling film roles off the back of that. I’m not sure about his availability, but if he’s building a profile following a critically-lauded biopic up with a big-budget epic TV series could be the way to go. Much would depend on his willingness not to just be in the background for Season 1 but also to sit out all of Season 3 and possibly Season 4 as well before coming back, which could be a stretch. However, given what happens to him in the interim, recasting could be viable.

  2. coltaine777
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Winter….you seem to be pushing Avery quite a bit…and I don’t understand why….I watched his ‘auditions’ ….wasn’t impressed…. But I give him credit for being pro-active …

  3. WinterIsComing
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    coltaine777: Not trying to. With these lists I usually go off of popular fan suggestions. That includes ones I think are somewhat unrealistic (Rachel Hurd-Wood as Sansa for example). Both Hurd-Wood and Clark were the top suggestions for those respective roles, so I included them on this list.

    That being said I think he is a decent enough actor. Certainly capable enough to get a role in the series. I think Theon may be a bit of a stretch, but a small role like Royce or Viserys is a possibility.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    After watching Avery and re-reading the first book I think Avery would make a perfect Viserys. In my opinion he captured the selfish maniacal insecurity of the young dragon lord perfectly.

  5. Enchante
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I second Avery being a good Viserys

    He’ll be crap as Theon and I don’t know if I like the other 3 you have as possible Theons.

  6. coltaine777
    Posted February 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    I hear ya Winter….either way the guy is trying and someone hungry like that may surprise…

  7. Jan
    Posted February 14, 2009 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Wyndham was good in ROME, I think he’d be a cool Theon if they put some muscle on him ;)

  8. Wired Grenadier
    Posted February 14, 2009 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Why not give Avery a chance at it? Theon's appearances in the first book are irregular and usually rather minor, and that's suitable for an actor without TV or movie experience, because he can grow into the role and the necessary environment. In any way, I'd rather give someone who has read and loves the books & has acting experience a chance to become a professional then "outsource" this role to someone whose only experience with Theon will be the script he is handed.

    That, and Avery will probably be way cheaper than any of the others. If this series is to succeed, costs are a matter to keep an eye on, and actor wages are always a huge block in that department.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted February 14, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I agree. Theon, throughout GoT, is a very minor character, perhaps even more minor than Viserys. He’s always there, but he rarely has any significant roles or lines that I remember. Granted, he becomes more important in the second book, but I think a fairly talented actor like Avery seems to be, especially with a year of exposure to TV, should be able to pull him off well enough to satisfy. If he’s expressed enthusiasm for the role, I don’t see much reason why he shouldn’t be given the chance.

  10. Garrett Gabehart
    Posted February 14, 2009 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Alex Wyndham’s personality and overall demeanor is the BEST fit for Theon I could POSSIBLY imagine.

    If you don’t see it, or jsut don’t know, I suggest you watch Rome Season 2. The guy is brilliant in his small role as Augustus’ right hand man, a part of very similar importance to Theon Greyjoy.

  11. SubTech Zero
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Winter, why do you keep mentioning getting the ages right? It’s rarely a factor in TV that an actor be an exact match to the age of the character he/she is playing – it’s not unheard of for them to be several years (even 5-10) older or younger than the role they are portraying. You know this, man!

    Also, this is just me nitpicking on you, but every time you post one of these, one of your main points is always “They have to have talent for this role. They must be a good actor to pull THIS ONE off” …

    But you say it for every role! So, which one’s DONT they have to be “talented” to pull off??

    ;-)

  12. Dave
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    I have to say that I enjoy all the speculation about who “we” (the fans) think would be a good match for certain characters. However, I’ve gotta assume that, aside from maybe a few roles, the majority of the actors and actresses cast in this series will be unknowns or relative unknowns who show up for auditions and stand out to the casting director.

  13. WinterIsComing
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    STZ: I agree with you regarding the ages. Especially when it comes to the older characters (Ned, Sandor, Theon, etc.). However, it has been talked about a lot on Westeros and other boards, with many people wanting to stick as close to the ages as possible, so that is why I usually give it a mention here. I did note in this entry that they probably won’t be casting for age in this role. Anyone that is 18-28 will probably be considered.

    As far as talent goes, it is true that I harp on talent a lot. But a lot of the roles are going to require talented actors. I would say there are a few roles that are a little one-dimensional though. Cersei comes to mind. As does Robb. Possibly Catelyn. Certainly many of the more minor characters could be adequately filled with inexperienced or less talented actors. I would say Tyrion, Ned, and Jaime (not necessarily in that order) will be the roles that would benefit most from a real quality actor.

  14. Toerning
    Posted February 16, 2009 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    What’s interesting about posting casting speculations for roles that don’t call for talented actors?

    Anway I agree that Avery should get a chance. The way I understand it, acting for television is mostly about catching the well-acted moments and piecing them together, and I think he definitely has enough talent to carry that off. I can’t imagine him as viserys, honestly, I don’t think he looks the part or can carry that level of crazy. At least for the first volume, Theon is far less important as a character, and even later when he becomes more important, there are much more complex characters.

  15. world-dancer
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I liked Avery for Visrys, or possibly some other role. His Theon was the worst of his interpretations, hands down. I disliked it for the “sex” scene because he played it more like a 50 year old man reminiscing about what had been, rather than a young man who was high on dreams of power and the tales of his ancestors. There’s just a very different energy between the character on the page and what he presented. It’s a major arc for Theon that he has these sorts of legendary expectations which don’t meet the reality he’s exposed to. That Avery didn’t express that means he either doesn’t get it, or is lacking in the means to express it at this point.

    As far as age, I think it doesn’t matter so long as whoever they cast is closer to 21 than to 31.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I think they’ll relegate Theon to a secondary character on every season of ASOIAF. If they need to cut stuff (and they’ll need) Theon will be there only for support even in the later seasons, with only some importance as villian at the North.

  17. world-dancer
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    “I think they’ll relegate Theon to a secondary character on every season of ASOIAF. If they need to cut stuff (and they’ll need) Theon will be there only for support even in the later seasons, with only some importance as villian at the North.”

    I’m not sure they can, as I wonder some times if the politics of the Iron Islands aren’t going to intersect with Dany’s plots. I often think Asa will be a major factor in Dany’s attempts at a takeover. And Asa/Theon’s disagreements and fight are very representative of the struggle for women’s rights in a masculine culture, which is not a plot line I’d want to lose.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    How about Nicholas D’Agosto? I liked his work in Heroes, and I saw him sporting a chinstrap beard at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles once and know he can pull off scruffy.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted February 17, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, this Avery Clark guy is a joke. One Tree Hill caliber acting at best. Thrones should take out a restraining order on him.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    I’m not going to be quite so harsh but I agree.

    If they really have to do the whole nod to the fanboys thing with him, I was thinking he should play Ser Waymar in the prologue. Twat of a character, and he gets killed off straight away.

    Plus his horrible over the top English accent and swarmyness would suit Royce to a tee.

    =P

  21. Jon Snow
    Posted February 18, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    totally agree too
    the others aren’t much better at all
    someone more hardcore needs to play Theon, especially once he becomes Reek in ADwD

  22. jousha
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Alex Wyndham would be great as Theon–I’m not sure why I didn’t think of that before. Plus, I never saw Theon as some buff guy anyway. More lean and good with a bow. Can’t give my input on the others as I haven’t seen their performances.

    Implying Theon as “hardcore” is nowhere near my portrayal of the character.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted February 20, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I like Tom Payne best. I haven’t seen any of these guys acting, but just by the looks Payne is the closest to my thoughts of Theon. He looks a bit slimy, dishonorable… someone who you can’t trust.

    Avery Clark’s performance didn’t convince me, but I understand his desire to be a part of the filming. So I would give him a small part, ser Waymar would be good for this purpose

  24. Ana Stark
    Posted March 11, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I think Drew Fuller would be good Theon !

  25. Anonymous
    Posted April 27, 2009 at 10:32 am | Permalink
  26. bardamu
    Posted May 18, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Tom Payne is clearly and excellent choice for a number of characters including Theon. .. the other choices don’t look like the type to kick a decapitated head and laugh.

  27. Njord
    Posted May 19, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Nothing against Avery but his stage acting experience shows because he’s quite melodramatic in his Youtube videos. I think Alex Wyndham would be perfect, and he has an HBO connection.

  28. Ausir
    Posted June 30, 2009 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    I'd add Sebastian Stan from Kings to the list. He'd make a great Theon.

  29. Screenterrier
    Posted August 16, 2009 at 6:25 am | Permalink
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