Casting Speculation

Let’s predict!

So with casting drawing near I thought it would be fun to make some predictions about who we think will be cast in the upcoming pilot. This is going to be different than most casting discussions because it is not about who you think would be good for a role but about who you think they will actually cast. Sure a lot of people may want Sean Bean for the role of Ned, but what are the chances he would actually do it? It will be fun to look back on this post in a few months and see how many (if any) we actually got right.

Just so you know what characters to make predictions on, here is a list of the major characters appearing in the pilot (based off the leaked script).

Eddard Stark
Catelyn Stark
Robb Stark
Jon Snow
Sansa Stark
Arya Stark
Bran Stark
Dany Targaryen
Robert Baratheon
Cersei Lannister
Jaime Lannister
Tyrion Lannister
Joffrey Baratheon
Sandor Clegane

I’ll start us off with probably the easiest prediction to make, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion. With the AICN rumor reported on a while back, he is the only actor to have any sort of connection to the series. Plus everyone and their mom agrees he was born to play the role.

Now it’s your turn. Channel your inner Nostradamus and let us know who you think will be starring in the Game of Thrones pilot!


  • I guess it’s wouldn’t be a surprise to see actors from previous HBO shows in there, as it’s happened often before. But since the filming will be based in the UK I guess we may rule a lot of them out, and I am expecting actors with English accents.

    Tough one! But Ron Perlman as Sandor Clegane would be great. Maybe Dominic West could get in there.

  • LeftHanded Matt: Good point. It would be pertinent to also mention that Benioff and Weiss themselves stated that the majority of the cast would be UK-based. For any that didn’t already know that.

  • The only one other than Tirion that I’d venture a guess on would be Nicholas Hoult as Rob or Jon. He was excellent in Skins

  • I predict Max Pirkis as Robb Stark.

    He is about the right age (around 19, but looks younger), he is English, he was in a previous HBO series (Rome), he doesn’t appear to have had any significant roles since Rome, he has Robb’s Tully coloring, and, finally – he’s very, very good.

  • balfizan: Yeah, Hoult is a good guess. If not Robb or Jon, possibly Joffrey as well.

    Anon: Smurfit is a name I’ve never heard mentioned before. But having just looked her up and seeing what she looks like I think on looks alone she could work for Cersei. The others are good guesses as well.

  • I predict that we will not have heard of 90% of this cast. Tyrion and Ned will be the exception.

  • Funny, I always pictured Purefoy playing Renly. He’s certainly demonstrated that he can play a cocky baffoon that’s in love with himself.

    Although I think he’d be fantastic as Sandor, too.

  • I think it’d be nearly impossible to predict the casting of the children (Arya, Sansa, Bran): they’re making the pilot long before it will be broadcast, and then if the series gets picked up, they won’t start shooting for a while after that– in short, anyone who is the “right” age to play any of the child characters now will be too old by the time the series itself starts shooting.

  • As much as I love James Purefoy…he is way too old to play Renly. Try like 30 years too old. And unless they seriously disfigure him, he is way too good-looking and animated of an actor to play Sandor. But he might surprise us!

  • i agree with dizzy that we won’t know the names of most of the cast although we might recognize some faces. some thoughts:

    -toby jones as varys (kind of a perfect choice)
    -harry dean stanton as walder frey (also kinda perfect)
    -vinnie jones as the hound (and martin keamy as the mountain)
    -mathieu amalric as littlefinger
    -frances o’connor as katelyn stark
    -simon baker as jaime lannister

    i’m at a loss for ned and cersei. they should get a big name for ned. it would be cheap in the long run and a good draw in the short run. too bad kyle chandler will be busy with FNL. don’t like tricia helfer for cersei. a younger blonder famke janssen or carrie-anne moss.

    they’re gonna have to be age-flexible with casting of the kids which will upset the purists.

    oh, not sure dinklage is a shoe-in for tyrion. jordan prentice could pull it off, although i think dinklage is a stronger actor.

  • Viggo Mortensen as Ned Stark! I know he’d never do it, but as with Dinklage, he was born to play the part!

  • Sticking with the HBO theme, here’s a few predictions…

    Jaime – Dominic West / James Purefoy
    Sandor – Dominic West / James Purefoy
    Robert – Ray Stevenson
    Joffrey – Max Pirkis

    West or Purefoy would be perfect for either Jaime or The Hound. Both are great actors and I think they’d relish playing these loveable yet despicable characters. And if Stevenson doesn’t get cast initially, maybe he could fill the role of Gregor later on.

  • STL: the reason people think Viggo was born to play Ned is because he was in LoTR. I guarantee you virtual no avarage fantasy fan would have ever conceived of Viggo Mortensen as aragorn before Jackson cast him. This can be applied to all the parts in ASOIF. You think someone star is perfect for the role untill an unknown blows it out of the water and then we all say “i can’t imagine everything else in the part.” Good acting is good acting is good acting. Only fanboys cast with steroypes. Really? you think Vinnie Jones can play a tough guy and Viggo can do brooding authority? how boring.

  • STL: only the first two sentences of the above post were in response to you. the rest was just a general rant.

  • I ussually do not post on the casting threads because 90% of the names thrown out there are just completely impossible. Now this thread seems to have a better premise, but again we read things here that make absolutely no sense at all:

    -simon baker as jaime lannister

    really? you mean the guy will leave a lead character in a show that’s pulling better ratings than pretty much anything in CBS for a secondary role in a series that isn’t even picked up?

    Anonymous said…
    Kevin McKidd as Jaime

    Another guy with what appears to be a stable job on an extremely popular series. ALthough he is not a lead in Grey’s Anathomy I don’t see one good reason for him to leave.

    Ron Perlman is consistently getting leading roles in action movies. And we all love the hound but he is far from a leading role. Although it would be awesome if someone brainwashes him into agreeing to sign a multiseason contract to play Hodor =)

    And those are just 3 of the most obvious ones. I don’t mean to sound rude and I love this blog but the casting threads, although fun, just don’t add much at all.

  • ^Well if we’re going to continue to be unrealistic, I’d like to throw Andre the Giant for Hodor out there for consideration

  • this is just opinions and for fun, right? we’re not actually casting the series are we?

    i saw an add for the mentalist after i posted simon baker and was like, oops. thanks spadey for policing the bad suggestion. make one obvious fanboi faux paus and the internet is all over it.

    ron perlman is a great idea for hodor (i like jamel debbouze). a few more ideas:

    -kivanc tatlitug: as jaime lannister
    -shane rangi as khal drogo (or would you prefer danny trejo minus the tats?)
    -eion bailey as ned stark
    -brooke smith as brienne
    -i still like vinnie jones for the hound although i’ve never seen him act with the type of vulnerability needed for that role. hardly boring.

  • Sheryl:

    How about Adrian Paul as Walder Frey’s mentally challenged son/grandson/nephew/whatever the hell the guy that had his neck slashed by Catelyn?

    Paul is a horrendous actor; Highlander had such potential as a TV show…

    No offense though.

  • Adrian Paul as Ned
    Tom Payne as Theon
    Callum Keith Rennie as The Hound
    Stuart Townsend as Jaime Lannister
    Alexander Siddig as Petry

  • Hm: I don’t want to spoil anyones fun, but I think this whole project is happening far too soon. Let’s say the pilot turns out great and is picked up:

    The first season would air somewhere in 2011, maybe 2012. If they try to turn out one season every year from there on, that would bring us

    A Clash of Kings in 2012/2013,
    A Storm of Swords in 2013/2014,
    A Feast for Crows in 2014/2015,
    A Dance with Dragons in 2015/2016,
    The Winds of Winter in 2016/2017,
    A Dream of Spring in 2017/2018.

    Considering that it already took 13 years for the first five volumes to be published (I still hope to see ADwD late in 2009 and I don’t have a clue when GRRM actually started WRITING the series), and the fact that the project already grew from three to seven books, I strongly doubt that A Dream of Spring will arrive in time to meet this schedule.

    In my opinion, Mr. Martin should take whatever time it needs for this saga to be finished properly. His involvement in the production of the TV series won’t help to speed this up.

    And there is still more to consider:

    – We still don’t know the ultimate fate of the characters. Anyone who only played a minor part till now could be standing in the spotlight once the story further unfolds. Just look at all the POV characters introduced in Feast. On this basis, casting should be a real pain in the ass…

    – Contrary to the Harry Potter series of books, with its one book = one year approach, ASoIaFs narrative spans a much shorter timeframe; my guess is about 2-3 years from start to finish max (please correct me if I’m wrong here). Therefore, filming one book per year will be much too long for all the quite importend “child actors” to not outgrow their roles.

    – As the story continues to grow more and more complex, certain elements of it will need to be cut. Not knowing how it all will get together in the end, who can decide right now about what can “securely” be omited?

    Don’t get me wrong: I AM excited about the whole TV project, and I WANT to see it happen. But since we all want (as I guess) to see the best, most complete, most faithful adaption possible, they should put it on hold for a few more years.

    That said, I’m going back to wait for any minor news of the pilot taking shape… ;-)

  • “Anonymous said…

    How about Adrian Paul as Walder Frey’s mentally challenged …?”

    Spoilers? really? That’s like 2 books later. Even though that’s a minor detail of a much larger scene there’s still people who haven’t read that.

    Also this is casting just for the pilot. There’s a lot of characters people are suggesting that don’t appear until much later.

    And finally, I’d agree that Ron Perlman would be awesome somewhere in here. I think he’d be really wasted as Hodor though! That guy is in a lot of roles in movies, true, but that guy does not turn down work haha!

  • As long as they get good actors to pull off the emotional punches this series throws I relly don’t care who they cast. Within reason, I don’t want any Jonas Brothers showing up as Jon Snow but HBO has never really gone with bad actors in the past (except that surfer kid from John from Cincinati)so I think they get it.

  • Matt damon as Hodor! (Team America fan).
    Liam Neeson as Ned (I wish)
    Jordan Prentice as Tyrion.
    It would be great to see any of the British HBO actors turn up too.

  • I completely agree with the above. Give her purple contacts and cross your fingers that she can fake a good British accent.

  • Guys, this is not a casting suggestion thread. It’s for predicting who they might actually cast. There are casting suggestion threads on the forum.

  • This is not one of the main characters, but maybe David Bamber as Varys? I believe he was in HBO’s Rome.

  • I am not sure what role he could play, but Ian McShane has to be involved in this, he has got to be the most talented actor out there right now, and with his new show Kings on the cancelation bubble. It would be a good opportunity to pick him up. (too bad really Kings is a fantastic show)

  • As awesome as it would be for Ron Perlman to play the Hound, as has been suggested, he turned 59 this week. Thus – well into his 60’s by the time Sandor is fighting Lord Beric. Have we learned nothing from George Lucas’ mistakes??

  • Also, is thinking HBO would cast Sean Bean as Ned really that unrealistic? He is unquestionably the main character in AGOT, thus Bean’s would be a big enough name to advertise as a star and try to grab extra viewers. SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!! Since he also won’t last past season 1, his salary (which would be high)wouldn’t tax the show that long. Even if it isn’t Bean, Eddard’s character is the perfect opportunity to cast a big, fairly well known name. A star could earn good money and also know that he wouldn’t become embroiled in a decade long show.

  • Josh Holloway as Jaime Lannister. If Sawyer can pull off another accent, or at least “neutral”, I’d be thrilled.

  • Lawrence Olivie as Tywin Lannister
    Raquel Welch as Cersei
    Richard Burton as Robert Baratheon
    Al Pacino as Tyrion
    Robert Deniro as the hound
    Vincent Pryce as Pycelle
    Peter Ustinoff as the Spyder
    Peter O’toole as Jamie
    Marlon Brando as Theon
    Marcello Mastroiani Syrio Forell
    Richard Harris as Ned
    John Gilgood as Maester Lewin

    All in their prime of course.

  • I’m not sure if anyone has already mentioned this, may be a new take on the character. I personally think Damian Lewis would make a great Ned. For people who don’t know who he is, he played Captain Dick Winters in Band of Brothers. He has experience working with HBO (Band of Brothers), he’s British, and best of all, he’s not that well known in the US. True, he is a redhead, but if Hollywood can create 10,000 CGI orcs that are able to autonomously battle each other for LOTR, I’m pretty sure they can swing a dye job.

  • I’ve thought Damian Lewis as Ned too. Captain Winters is very Ned-like.

    Then how about Dominic West as Robert?

  • Or maybe Damian Lewis could be cast as Jaime… Quote from an interview with him I just watched: “It is fun to play villains. Villains register very strongly with people.”

  • b.: Lewis as the chilly, slightly awkward ned, and West as his boozing, whoring best friend? That would be brilliant.

    also, what about Tom Hardy as Jamie? He is right in age and looks, and more importantly he’s got the range needed to pull off the mix of arrogance, charm, menace and conflict that is the Kingslayer.

    Although he’s had a few good-sized film roles lately, so maybe he’s too famous for a pilot now.

  • Keeley Hawes as Catelyn.

    Also, people have been talking alot about the ages of the people they’ll get to play the children, but what about the adult characters? I notice alot of the people being suggested are considerably older then their characters are meant to be: i.e. Ned and Rob are about 35, Jamie, Cersei and Cat are all 30ish, The Hound is in his late 20’s (i think), Tyrion mid 20s etc.

    Ultimately, I think the producers will probably go with slightly older actors, for a number of pragmatic reasons. Although if they kept the adult characters as young as they’re supposed to be, it’d really help give it that authentic “medieval” feel.

  • Wait…there’s no Viserys in the pilot? I didn’t see his name listed. This is disappointing.

  • Anon: He’s in there, at least according to the leaked script. Just didn’t list him above since he is not likely to be played by a known actor.

  • Regarding Max Pirkis as Robb Stark (or anyone else): the reason Pirkis hasn’t done anything since Rome is because he’s now at Cambridge, and has said he doesn’t want to do any projects that will interfere with school. So, the likelihood of him wanting to do a series again at this point seems remote. I wish he would, though!

  • And…although James Purefoy would be great as the Hound, I think he is too old for the part. In the books, Sandor is in his twenties. And Gregor is in his late twenties/early thirties. I think getting an actor within range of the character’s age will be essential.

  • Would these be beyond the realm of possibilities?
    (with much age tweaking)

    Jaime: James Marsters
    Sandor (or Bronn): Ray Stevenson
    Ned: Sam Neill
    Robert: Bob Hoskins
    Little Finger: Jason Flemyng

  • Kaya Scodelario for Sansa… She is tiny and could easily be mistaken for younger. She rocks in skins!
    She would be better as Arya, but Arya is really young in the first book.

  • And yes, I think that someone from skins is definitely going to be in here… That show is spawning talents!

  • Sam Neill is a little too old to play Ned in my opinion. Though now that I think about it, he could make an awesome Tywin Lannister.

  • jimweed: None, I expect there is a good chance he will be. The list above comprises characters appearing in the pilot only.

  • ahh gotcha. i got a little overzealous with my predictions.

    i think we might see some big directors attached as well.

  • I might be a complete tool, but this is my prediction (and wish, of course) based on years and years of telly :)

    Eddard Stark – Matthew Macfayden/Mads Mikkelsen/Jack Davenport
    Catelyn Stark – Jennifer Ehle
    Robb Stark – Douglas Smith/Jamie Bell
    Jon Snow – Harry Eden
    Sansa Stark – Kimberley Nixon
    Arya Stark – Jodelle Ferland
    Dany Targaryen – Clemence Poesy
    Robert Baratheon – Abraham Benrubi
    Cersei Lannister – Julie Benz (Billie Piper?)
    Jaime Lannister – David Anders/Paul Bettany/Rhys Ifans
    Tyrion Lannister – Peter Dinklage
    Sandor Clegane – Richard Armitage
    Petyr Baelish – Tom Hollander

  • Ned Stark = Christian Bale

    Jaime Lannister = Kevin McKidd

    Sandor Clegane = Ray Stevenson

    Petyr “Littlefinger” Baeylish = Michael C Hall

    Eurion Greyjoy = Gary Oldman

    Robb Stark = Damien Lewis

    Tywin Lannister = Ian McShane

  • Julie Benz is an absolutely inspired choice for Cersei, she didn’t even occur to me. Anyone who’s seen her in Angel knows she could totally rock this part. I was hoping Tricia Helfer would get it but i’ve changed my mind now!

  • Wouldn’t Benz be filming Dexter? Also, I doubt she would take a role with a competing network when she already has a main role in Dexter, which is ungodly popular.

  • Well heres a suggestion for Daenerys Targaryen Shes a new fresh face… has done ALOT of tv work and i dunno just seems to fit the part…for me atlest (i know this is a bit off topic but… still, Gives people somthing to think about) the actresses name is Sara Sanderson shes lined up for four new movies that are all in post production! shes been in movies like “norbit” and “to the altar” check her out at:

  • I *just* sat down and watched all of Rome Season 1 today for the first time. Purefoy is Jaime, there can be no one else… And when I saw this girl who played Cleopatra I knew she must be Daenerys.

  • “Jon Snow – Robert Pattinson”

    I guess filming the Twilight-saga will keep Pattinson busy. Dunno, maybe AGOT isn’t even his “thing”. Potters and Twilights are quite different from it. Although Jon seems to be that kind of character Pattinson could do.

  • Mads Mikkelsen for Eddard Stark is a nice choice, and maybe another scandinavian for Jon Snow: Alexander Skarsgård. (Generation kill, True blood)

  • I think Liam Neeson would be brilliant for Ned. Throw on a wig and have him dye his beard salt-and-pepper and he’s very close to my mental picture of Ned. He has the right sort of deep voice, and can do Ned’s solemn nature absolutely perfectly.

  • how about beyonce knowles to play daenerys? i think she would be a perfect daenerys or is she too old

  • I’m hoping Mads Mikkelsen gets the nod for Ned. His face screams Northman…probably b/c he is one.

  • Here’s the reality of it–we can expect 3-4 more “name” actors, 1-3 American or British “fresh faces,” likely for the kids, and the rest of the cast is going to, out of necessity, be local hires–it’s part of the contract with Ireland. It’s New Zealand syndrome all over again. Which is a shame for us American actors who would love to be working on this! :-)

  • Ahem, Beyonce is of a wrong colour to be Daenerys.

    Agree that Gary Oldman and Gary Sinise could both pull of the role of Euron, the psychopath badass perfectly.

  • Wow – amazing to read some of these… So many seem so… bad. (I was guilty of many bad casting suggestions myself). It’s so weird, but now that the show is up and running and kicking major a$$ – I just can’t imagine other people playing the roles of all the principles. (with the lone exception of Yara).

  • omg… Jon Snow… played by Alex Skarsgaard?
    what is this i dont even.
    he’s like 20 years too old??
    loling… so amazing.

  • lmao beyonce knowles as daenerys??? really??? first off targaryans aren’t black and second off her character is way to young for someone whos almost 40