Casting Rumors

Insider: Sean Bean cast as Ned

I’ve received word, from what looks to be a legit inside source, that Sean Bean has been cast as Eddard Stark in the Game of Thrones pilot. The source mentioned that it happened yesterday but does not know when it might be officially announced.

Winter Is Coming: Would be great, if true. I’m filing it under rumors for now, but it seems like the real deal. We will just have to wait and see at this point. If the deal was finalized yesterday then one can hope that it will be officially announced very soon. Keep an eye on this blog and my Twitter page, for as soon as we get some official confirmation, I will let everyone know.

UPDATE: It looks like Daily Mail gossip columnist Baz Bamigboye is reporting the “Sean Bean as Ned” rumor as well. He doesn’t list a source, so no way of knowing if he is just reporting what he is seeing online or if he has some other inside info. But since it is in the gossip section I’m still considering this a rumor. But the chances of it being true are looking more and more likely. Hopefully HBO will give us the official word soon.


  • Great news, to be sure, but the ending of the first season would sure have an unfortunate parallel to the ending of the first LotR movie. More ironic than unfortunate, I guess, given that GoT will no noubt be played up as something completely different than LotR.

  • Sean Bean, ever since I saw the movie GoldenEye as a kid, has been one of my favorite actors. And, in truth, he is the only person I can think of who can bring that quiet solidarity that the character requires. He has the look of the north about him as well, I think it is a great casting choice.

    Sadly, it is most probably a rumor.

  • Yeah, unless we can hear more about this seemingly "legit inside source", this doesn't hold any more weight than any other rumor. I guess Winter's assessment of what looks to be legit counts for something though. Could go either way. So in other words, I just said nothing. But I'm going to post the comment anyway.

  • i don't like sean bean. didn't like him in ronin. didn't like him in lotr. won't like him in GoT.

    would be too bad to see him and just be waiting for him to try and steal the ring from frodo the whole time. so many other options out there. let's hope this one is false!


  • Sean Bean is so way above this production—especially a fuckin pilot. You guys need a job and an education.

  • I hate to say it, but I may agree with some of the above posts. Watching Sean Bean (who did a tremendous job in LOTR, imho) is going to only make me think of Boromir.

    And then I'll think of LOTR. Which isn't a bad thing in and of itself, only… one aspect I've loved about ASoIF is that it so clearly distances itself from LOTR (unlike so many Dragonlance and D&D novels). No disrespect to Mr. Bean, but I don't know if his casting in this role would be ideal. I like the Jorah Mormont suggestion MUCH more.

    But, hey. Who am I to complain? This will only add to the credibility and viability of this series. Two HUGE gets (legitimate movie stars) can only help GoT get picked up. :D

  • WinterIsComing wouldn't have made a post about this and said he thought it was legit unless the source he's getting it from was at least slightly credible.

    I know it's too early to start celebrating but if this is true we can look forward to Game of Thrones taking a hefty share of the ratings.

  • Getting a high profile actor such as Sean Bean to play Eddard Stark will help a lot. It will add a lot of credibility and attract people to watch it (if it eventually gets picked up).

  • You can get any actor you want if you have the money. This wouldn't be an achievement. And it will not help either since hbo foots the bill. Sides I think you can easily do as well as bean and for much less cash.

  • But Bean already has a serious fan base that he would bring to the series were he cast. Whatever HBO pays him, they will make it back when his involvement garners a boatload more viewers/subscribers.

  • a credible source (stanley kubrick) told me that marlon brando is going to be cast as varys.

    no joke. dingleberries FTW!


  • I really hope this is true!

    I haven't really pictured him as Ned but I'm sure he'd definitely make it work.

  • Well, WiC was the first to get the leaked script – he said he believed it was legit at the time but wasn't 100% certain.

    The script I saw and reviewed early was the same that he got – again, I couldn't say I was 100% certain that it was legit, but I thought it probably was.

    Once the sides came out it was clear that the script we both saw (and which got posted online later by somebody) was the real deal. Whether it's the ultimate shooting script or not, who can say?

    All I'm saying is, he's been careful to not go too far out on a limb on these things, but the one other time he did before – the leaked script – it turned out to be true. So he's 1/1, with that and this one is still pending. I'm hoping he'll be 2/2, since I am a big fan of Sean Bean.

  • Sean Bean is one of the actors that is just *great* for Ned. Yes, it is unfortunate with how it will parallel LotR, but oh well.

  • so peter dinklage, gillian anderson and sean bean eh? not sure they can afford this much b-list talent guys. just being realistic here. might as well add matthew mcconaughey as jamie and a blonde mila jovovich as cersei.


  • Well, Sean Bean was on that "Crusoe" show, granted not a lead or anything, but I'm hoping Game of Thrones has a better budget than that.

    No celebrating from me until we get confirmation, but thanks WiC for the update!

  • Dinklage is B talent? You are aware he is pretty much one of the, if not the, best "small" actors around. Gillian and Bean are still unconfirmed, and while I can't speak for Gillian, Bean is more than a B movie guy.

    Some people are just never satisfied though and will always have to nitpick at something.

  • Ryan, do you mean B-list talent in the Hollywood economic sense (i.e., not A-list like Will Smith or Tom Cruise) or B-list in the sense of their acting abilities? I honestly can't figure out what you mean with your post. Are you concerned they are spending too much on these actors, or not getting high enough quality talent.

    Also, there have been no serious rumors about Gillian Anderson, just a lot of hopeful people who are big fans of her work.

  • Sean Bean is 50 years old, Ned is 35 at the beginning of the first book. Now, of course they need to age him up a bit since they're aging the kids, but 15 years?

  • Ned is listed as 40 in the version of the script I saw. Like many actors, I think Bean can pass for a 40-something age. It's not too big of a problem if he looks like a grizzled, tough, craggy-faced 45 year-old from the harsh, cold North.

  • Really, really hope this turns out to be true. And i kinda think it is.

    Sean Bean IS a really good actor and he would for sure drag quite a few viewers.

    Dinklage was probably the only "perfect" cast we will get that everyone could be happy about, so most should be able to at least appreciate this, i think.

    I, for one, love it!

    Oh, IF its true… thats right, i forgot already.

  • Hey! Heres a thought:

    Would Sean Bean bother to sign up for this if the series wasn't a sure thing yet?

    He kinda seems a little bit too big for that, maybe..

  • Sean Bean is a great guy and a true Blade but he is a dreadful, truly dreadful actor. "Hey Up Gandalf, 'ow tha' doin'"

    If true then, as someone said, to throw away a large amount of budget on this is just plain stupid

  • Would Sean Bean bother to sign up for this if the series wasn't a sure thing yet?

    Yes. A lot of bigger stars are doing TV now, but their shows still need to go through the pilot process (usually, at any rate). This is a chance for a starring role on a major HBO series and right now HBO has huge artistic credibility within the industry and without (as does Showtime, though to a lesser degree).

    Actors look at shows like The Wire, The Sopranos, Weeds, Deadwood, etc. or minis like Band of Brothers and Angels In America, and they want to be a part of something like that. It's a chance to do work that is both very good and very high profile – and these shows have international reach, not just in the U.K., but they are shown around the world.

    You'll never see Russell Crowe doing an HBO series (though he could do a mini or a movie, if it was big enough like Angels in America, which got Pacino, Streep and Emma Thompson), but for second-tier stars ('B-listers'), it can be a great thing.

  • @ebv and anyone else who is concerned they will think of LotR too much if Bean is cast:

    I think if Bean does a good enough job, you would see him as Ned Stark within a few episodes. Especially because Ned is such a different character than Boromir was.

    I remember him in National Treasure, and while I don't recall much of his acting ability per se, I did not think of Boromir — and I saw National Treasure for the first time after all three LotR movies had come out.

    There are the concerns with money by some people, and if it takes away too much of the budget, I would be concerned. Otherwise, two or more actors with significant fan bases (Dinklage and maybe Bean) will be a big help in getting the show shot. And I think he looks enough like Ned to fit that bill.

  • It's not stupid. Game of Thrones needs to have a high rating to survive or to get a second season. What Sean Bean will bring to the table in terms of viewership is worth the money it'll take to have him as Ned.

  • (Would Sean Bean bother to sign up for this if the series wasn't a sure thing yet?)



    Oh… Okey, then. Lol

  • I hope this is true. I always pictured Sean Bean as Ned when reading the books. Let's hope we hear some official casting news soon!

  • Well, considering the man made a name for himself as Sharpe and played that role until very recently, it seems like a realistic chance. Of course, it would be amazing to have him in this, as not only it adds another big name to the series, but also a very good actor.

    There's only one question remaining.. is it "Sheen Been" or "Shawn Bawn"? ;)

  • That would be great if it gets official!

    Brude, I consider Dinklage a correct call for Winter as well, and thus hold him at 2/2 already :) hoping for 3/3 now.

    Winter, could you tell us more about your source? There is a minor typo in your post: "if the deal was finalized tomorrow" should be "yesterday", I guess.

  • @Marko: That's not a typo. The way I read it was much like this "If we got across the street, we could catch the bus on time."

  • @anon

    "this is a lie. let's talk more about dante nero"

    How about we not? I don't think I could make it through that with my sanity still intact.

  • @Marko

    "Winter, could you tell us more about your source? There is a minor typo in your post: "if the deal was finalized tomorrow" should be "yesterday", I guess."

    Yes, do tell winter :)

    P.S.- Here is a link to a cool after effects reel made by bompakk…

    Games of thrones teaser

    One I made to look like an HBO promo like you would see between shows on HBO….

    HBO promo

    and of course my Hodor video…


  • We've got Dinklage. If this rumour is true, and if the Anderson=Catelyn rumour is also true, I think I may have just died and gone to heaven.

  • @Stfudonny: I see what you're trying to say. Could be an option. Still, before that we read that the reported rumour is that Bean had been cast the day before, so I take it for a typo. Also, "than" should be "then" :)

  • OMFG, please be true- one of my favourite British actors ever.

    Anyone saying the whole budget will go on him couldn't be more wrong. Bean is first and foremost a TV actor, he's just never done american TV.

    In UK, he is best known as Richard Sharpe (well over 12 2hr movies), he was in Lady Chatterly's Lover (as t'gardner) and was recently excellent in Channel 4's Red Riding as a sleazy 70s property developer/gang boss/possible paedophile.

    His TV credentials are SOLID trust me.

  • @ Carl Timms

    The sharpes series was awesome!

    Bernard Cornwell wrote that and he also wrote the "Saxon Stories". Great historical fiction stuff. If you're looking for something awesome to read while waiting for AGoT then try out "The Last Kingdom" by Bernard Cornwell.

  • For every helpful, fact-filled "this is the way film-making goes" post, our lovely Ryan Dunn posts nine other ego-tinted, snide entries, possibly hoping to cement in all our minds that he is yet another typical Hollywood asshat.

    …ryan: Way to go into this open minded and positive, brah. And in typical SoCal form, you'll probably retract everything negative you ever said if your friend gets to write for the show. As highly as you think of them, your opinions aren't facts, especially when most of them are wrong.

    To the subject of Sean Bean, I hope he's cast. I think he can play the quiet, noble father figure without blinking. He can become stony. He can do Ned, and well. Have every one of his roles been perfect? No. He was terrible in The Island, overacting (as many often do) in yet another hardly-lauded moneymaking Michael Bay tour de farce.

    But everything else I've seen him in, from the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring to Troy (yeah, he made a pretty witty Odysseus, for the short time he was on screen) to the slightly campy turn he did in National Treasure … I enjoyed them all, and primarily due to his talent. There is no denying Sean Bean's talent.

    But of course not everyone's going to agree he's right for the role, for whatever their personal reasons. My wife loves Sean Bean, but recently envisioned Jon Hamm in the role and is still trying to picture Bean's face holding Ned's solumn mien. Different people will have different mental blocks to overcome, and I think almost every actor and actress that gets these coveted roles will have their fair share of detractors. Hopefully those detractors will be able to communicate their dissatisfaction beyond typing "these actorz suckzorz."

    Personally, I think this is where it starts. The rest of the casting is right around the corner; let it happen, then open the flood gates and let the second-guessers and doubters charge into their own personal frays. Many of you have read the books and have pictured certain faces affixed to their more beloved (or hated) ASoIaF characters, and seeing other faces there – especially ones you recognize – may prove hard.

    Dinklage is Dinklage, of course, and is pretty much immune from criticism, casting wise. But even he had a few doubters. No one is immune.

    I'll end it with this: the thing I want most of Game of Thrones is success. I want it to be well made, well acted, well produced, and I want to see all of it. If Ryan suggests it will fail because Bean's asking price will rape the budget, well, that's his opinion and he can point and laugh at everyone if that does happen.

    I agree with Brude, with Marko, with Rer, and many others: if Sean Bean is cast as Ned, it will only help bring in a wider net of fans. And once they see that it's motherfrackin' awesome, they'll tell their friends, and their friends' dogs.

    Let the buzz keep growing, and let the talent keep striding right through that swinging, fire-burnt Mud Gate. Talent trumps everything else.

  • I hope that this rumor is true. I think that Sean Bean is very good actor, and very good choice for this role. Well, to be honest, i wouldn't care if they cast my grandfather for this role, as long as we get some real news.

  • @About Yeah High: Agree with everything you say here. Bean is an excellent choice for numerous reasons. And even if he costs more than the average actor, he will also certainly bring more viewers than the average actor. A great choice.

    @Ryan dunn: Putting Matthew McConaughey in the same sentence as the quite talented Bean and Anderson is asylum stuff. And, by the way, it's JAIME not JAMIE.

  • @yea high… whoa! wasn't trying to rile anyone here. i post my opinions (yes opinions, go and re-read them) because i'm passionate about this series. not because i'm trying to take a piss on the production. where else have i done that?

    i just don't like sean bean (what can i say?). i think he'd bring interest to the show, for sure, but just don't think he's going to overcome boromir comparisons, and thus people who haven't tuned in yet to say "oh great another lotr show trying to tap into that market" when it's so so much more than that.

    also, i never criticized dinklage, never criticized gillian anderson rumor, i don't live in hollywood, i'm not an asshole, and i don't work in hollywood. i just come here to give my opinions, share any insights, and offer my excitement. sorry you feel i'm and egotistical asshole for it.

    @brude… oh i meant b-list as in not brad pitt. i personally (hey, yea high, that means this is my opinion!) define b-list as the ones who usually play supporting roles, and don't command $10-40 million a movie. and i also think (opinion) that dinklage is definitely the premier small actor of our time, a great actor taking up vern troyer's mantle. and also that gillian anderson is very underrated as an actress.

    @JG… i just sort of randomly chose two other actors there, sorry was feeling a little smarmy at the prospect of ned being played by bean.

    and are you realllllly going to get on me for misspelling jamie? wow talk about ganging up!

    *ponders becoming this board's most hated poster and considers hiding in a bathroom stall in shame.*

    sorry guys. bye bye now.


  • Ryan, if it's really a typo no probs. It's just I've been seeing loads of people all over the net saying Jamie this, Jamie that (probably thinking that it actually is Jamie) since the Game of Thrones bandwagon started up. I see now that you're not one of them and it was a genuine typo.

    No excuses on the Matthew McConaughey thing however!! :P

  • Sean Bean is perfect for the role, he's the obvious choice, just like Dinklage for Tyrion.

    Besides, it won't be the first time he plays a character who doesn't survive till the end of the story …

  • If this is true, I'm hoping the Gillian Anderson rumours are true also. They both work with the slightly aged up cast we need since Dinklage was cast as tyrion. I can see this couple in my head already, and it's a pretty vision. I don't get the boromir fears, Ned is a very different character, and Sean Bean has a far larger body of work.

  • I think people thinking of Sharpe will be a bigger problem (since he was in LotR for a couple of hours and in Sharpe for about forty hours). But he's done enough different roles now (006 in GoldenEye, that dude in Equilibrium etc) that he's not so associated with just one role.

    This is a publicity photo from his new film BLACK DEATH. Definitely got a Neddish vibe going on:

  • "Dinklage: if not the, best "small" actors around."

    I don't know… Mini-Me is really funny. That's the other small actor, right?

    Did someone suggest that the leaked GoT script that is all over the internet originated from the person who runs this site? And that therefore, this page is a trusted source of information?


  • You people have been drooling about Sean Bean and Gillian Anderson for these parts for months. It doesn't make rumors more true. It just shows that you need a job and an education.

  • Yeah, we got it. We need job and education.
    I have both a job and an education, so I can waste my time arguing on teh interwerbs.

  • Marko: Thanks for the typo and grammar corrections. I guess that is what happens when you hurriedly type up a post at 11:30 at night after working for 14 straight hours!

    As to my source, all I can say is this person works in the entertainment industry.

  • @ Ryan Dunn

    I appreciate your right to your opinion. I really don't think you should be based for it.

    As good as your previous post was you did it quite a bit of harm me thinks when you said:

    "and i also think (opinion) that dinklage is definitely the premier small actor of our time, a great actor taking up vern troyer's mantle"

    Dinklage is a real actor. Vern Troyer is not. He just happened to be funny in the Austin Powers movies. No offense to him but I don't think he actually has any great acting ability.

  • Winter: You're welcome. This is obviously one of the things where the content is way more important than the form (not that it's bad in any way!). So no need to appologise, appreciating every bit you write for us. I have no connections and very very limited experience in filming, so this is one way I can try to help – hope I'm not too nitpicky.

    Concerning the source, I hope they're worthy of a high level of anonymity and will provide you with more info in the future :) I like your moral stance and caution towards rumours since the beginning.

  • Or some people might be like me… I didn't even remember that Bean was in LotR… I haven't seen the series since it was in theaters either and although I read the books 10 years ago I've forgotten much of the story as well.

    Anyways, I'm really excited to hear this news and I hope its true!!!

  • anyone else finds it funny that, when commenting on dinklage being cast as tyrion, GRRM said there were "many more beans to come"? xD

  • I like Sean Bean, and I think he can pull off Ned, but isn't he a little old for the part? Ned is supposed to be in his early 30s. Sean Bean turned 50 this year.

  • Dude 50 today is like being 30 back "then". They often grow up fast and die early after a hard life.

  • If Gillian Anderson is cast as Catelyn, maybe they should cast David Duchovny as Ned.

    Seriously though, I am always curious how some sources are "legit" (like the one who leaked Sean Bean) and some are shady (like then one who started the Gillian Anderson rumor). Was the source for Bean correct with other rumors? Was the Gillian source incorrect with other stuff?

    Personally, I think Sean Bean will be very good. He is a good actor. It's odd that most of his movie roles he plays bad guys (Bond, National Treasure) and good guys who are weak (LOTR, Ronin) Ned will be an interesting turn for him, what with all the intregity and honor and whatnot. Additionally, he is a big enough name to draw an audience and won't bankrupt the series.

  • Bean will be great in the role, and he will bring in viewership. Hope this is true. Now we need Tricia Helfer as Cersei!

  • Yeah, GRRM's bean remark fits with this.

    Great news. This will surely get my sisters to watch it. They both loved Boromir.

  • I didn't think I could possibly be more excited about this show, but with this casting possibility I am totally over the moon. He would be a great Eddard. Keeping my fingers crossed that this is true.

  • @anon above…

    i didn't mean acting quality when comparing vern troyer to peter dinklage. i was comparing the commodity factor, mostly because someone was asking what i mean by b-list actors. both troyer and dinklage are/were b-list, but dinklage is the hot commodity in the little person realm right now, no question.

    and station agent is one of my favorite indie films ever, while austin powers 3 is one of my least favorite films ever.


  • While I can see Ryan's point about the LOTR comparisons (which I agree with) I can't say it's a bad choice. He's not a bad actor. He's been in some bad movies but what actor hasn't. I'd say it's a very safe and solid choice. (If true) And for those who don't like him, look on the bright side, you will only have to endure him for one season.

  • @anon

    to anon posting earlier about wanting to talk about Dante Nero. LOL please that guy is a stand up comedian hack… and too fat for the role he's trying to get… let's all hope he does not land the role.

  • I'll wait and see what happens before freaking out.

    But I do like Sean Bean.

    However, for Ned? I would have picked the actor who did Faramir instead.

  • Sean Bean is ideal casting! If this rumor turns out to be true, GOT will be a better production with his involvement. Sean is an intense actor, and GOT is an intense narrative, so I feel the casting fits.

    In further casting speculation, I'd like to see Angus Macfadyen in the part of King Robert. His age would fit right in with the Bean casting. Also, Taylor Kitsch and Audrina Patridge merit some consideration for the Lannister twins.

  • Hope this is true, Bean would be terrific as Ned, and – just as important – would bring a lot of cachet and buzz to the show.

    Slam dunk!

    Also, how do I get to post with a screen name, nothing works but "Anonymous"

  • Yeah, the bean comment by GRRM is surely a not so subtle hint that the rumor is true . . .

    In that case, it does indicates that HBO is going all out with the pilot, thereby the chances of GOT being approved as a series is almost a sure thing.

  • Hope this is true. Now we need Tricia Helfer as Cersei!

    Helfer is doing a comedy pilot right now (not sure if it's done/picked-up/etc.), but so long as that is out there, she can't do another series.

    Regarding Matthew McConaughey, the sad thing about the guy is that when he started he did some very good, very interesting performances and it looked like he was going to be the 'next big thing' (remember "Dazed & Confused?"). But pretty quickly he fell into some annoying performance habits and took some very bad roles, so that now he's got the rep of being just lame. There's a lot of talent there, but I think he lost his acting mojo a long time ago.

  • As much as I like Sean Bean, I almost want relative unknowns for these parts. The characters would feel more "real" to me, instead of, "oh, that's Sean Bean as Ned." HBO usually does a great job casting unknowns who then go on to become accomplished actors.

  • When Dinklage was announced on Not a Blog, GRRM had this to say:

    "The Beans Are Spilled

    Well, the first two beans, anyway. There will be many more beans to come."

    Now this may have been reading into that too much, but it seemed like a very deliberate choice of words and that he was maybe being clever and hinting at Sean Bean, who seems to be a very likely fit for this role(in terms of look, acting, and a big but not too big name actor they can afford for Ned…)

    This was just over two months ago, but maybe they were already decided on him and maybe it takes a while to work out the details with the bigger actors, who knows…

    Anyways, just thought I'd throw that out there…could be way off base, but after reading ASOIF, we all know George can AND loves to be clever.

  • With a little Hollywood magic… bring Bean back again in the later season as Benjen.

    A little Hollywood magic to age Bean for Eddard, a little Hollywood magic to make him appear younger for Benjen. :)

  • I gotta say that this is a great casting move. While Bean may not be a huge actor, he is recognizable enough that when people see him get beheaded towards the end of the season they will be fairly shocked. It will cement the idea that no character is ever truly safe in throughout the entire series either.

    I really hope this casting is true!

  • It would make sense that HBO go with someone big, but not huge for this role.

    He'd only be in series one and maybe the odd flashback later on, so he wouldn't cost that much.

    I see this as akin to Ciaran Hinds being Caesar in HBO's Rome.

    I would expect that maybe Robert will also be a biggish name as well. Beyond that, not so much, but we'll see.

    Gosh, I hope this is true. Sean Bean with a beard is EXACTLY how I pictured Ned when I read the books. Brilliant stuff.

  • okay with some caffeine and a couple lumps from earlier posters, i will say this much in FAVOR of a sean bean move (and someone above mentioned it as well).

    if they get 1. peter dinklage, 2. gillian anderson, 3. thomas mccarthy to direct, and 4. sean bean….

    then this would (to my mind) be a clear indication that hbo is taking this show very seriously, and looking for a reason NOT to pick it up. seems like it's built for success. not to mention committing to shooting this pilot in northern ireland and morocco.

    that's more importantly the issue isn't it? whether or not this show gets made!?

    can i bring up one more thought that nobody has touched upon? if sean bean makes the cut, wont that now be two clear fan choices that the creators agreed on for casting? i don't know if the chatter around here had gillian anderson as a possibility for catelyn, but if so, this would be an unprecedented example of show creators listening to the fans when putting their show together. even if they totally agreed with the casting, the interest for sean bean and dinklage came early and often, well before casting began.

    < /rant >


  • There's been chatter about Sean Bean as Ned and Gillian Anderson as Catelyn from pretty early on. We know that Benioff and Weiss were hanging out on the Westeros boards and taking casting suggestions from there – they actually asked us for them. So it's a strong possibility that they have been at least listening, and quite possibly exploring the suggestions that we gave that they thought would be suitable.

  • WiC, could you please remove any posts with blatant book-ruining spoilers? Like that one line anonymous post up there that adds nothing to the conversation? Thanks.

    Sean Bean is a great, talented actor who could bring a lot of credibility to this series. Two thumbs up from me!

  • I expect apologies from all of the doubters when the information is released publically. My information is true. I just reconfirmed it. -The Source

  • Anon: Yes. Please try to refrain from spoilers in the comments guys.

    Also, to anyone commenting under anonymous, you can use the "Name/URL" option and type in whatever name you'd like and leave the URL blank. Will make it easier for people to respond to your posts.

  • After reading about this and Gillian Anderson, I realized that I don't actually WANT that many big name actors in GoT. I know it will help it get recognition and viewers, but I really hate going into the show with preconceived notions about the actors of some of the major roles.

    Plus, I pictured Ned different. Similar to his bust at Valyrian Resin, actually:

    ^I just don't see that in Sean Bean

  • Seriously though, if this is indeed true then the real bonus is that the series is being taken very seriously. Whether or not Bean is perfect for the role it just helps everything on so many levels. The show is now GUARANTEED fangirls (which is somewhat annoying, but will definitely boost ratings).

  • Yup, Sean Bean will bring in many SHARPE fans, LotR fans and many simply of his own fans as well. It'd be a canny casting choice. Gillian Anderson would be another one.

    Beyond that I'm not sure we need many more big names. Dany and Jon are two of the most important characters and it looks like they are going to be newcomers, at least.

  • Could a second "Bean" be spilled in the immediate future? Such as Rowan Atkinson (AKA Mr. Bean) for Varys?

  • mr. bean and sean bean, cajunman you're a beanius. grrm does want rowan atkinson for varys.

    man, writers. so tricksy.


  • It would be interesting to see Rowan Atkinson in such a straight role (excuse the phrasing), but Varys isnt really a comedy role and im not sure Mr Atkinson has ever done anything other than.

  • Ever since someone else mentioned it on this blog a little while back, I can't see anyone but Matt Lucas for Varys now. He looks more or less exactly the way Varys is described. I've only seen him in "Krod Mandoon" where I thought he was quite good, but I admit I have no idea if he has the dramatic chops to pull it off.

  • Atkinson has done some serious roles on-stage, but I've never seen him do anything dramatic on screen.

    Varys is plump but not huge: he disguises himself as a dangerous-looking miscreant several times to talk to Ned and Tyrion on the QT, which I imagine would be difficult if he was carrying round 20 stone.

  • Catelyn: "You cannot be thinking of riding with the Lannisters all the way to Kings Landing…!"

    Ned: "One does not simply… WALK… into Kings Landing…!"

    Catelyn: "It just feels like a trap–"

    Ned: "IT IS A GIFT!"


    Sex scene.

    Fade to Black.

  • Atkinson can definitely do non comedy. He would be a WONDERFUL Varys. Or Littlefinger I think.

  • @ Ser Not Appearing and @ WiC

    I never really saw, in my mind's eye, Atkinson either. But, Varys' "plumpness" is not crucial to the plot (I know, he's a eunuch) and he is a bit of a "master of disguise" anyway… We also know that GRRM is a big fan (from interviews, etc).

    @ Legion

    Atkinson does have some serious credits, not many, but some…

    @ Tim and Legion
    I always saw Clive Owen as Ned while reading the books, but I'm no less pumped about Bean.

    @ Ryan Dunn

    Thanks for the beany compliment. I also agree that McCarthy, Dinklage, Bean demonstrate a BIG TIME committment to the series. Bravo so far.

  • I should really be working right now to get my companies web server "unjacked up"…. but I really want to know if anyone else thinks Robert Baratheon is a lot like "prince Vultan" from "Flash Gordan"(the early 80's version)? Might only be me /shrug

  • I would die (well, noy literally) if Matt Lucas was Varys. I can see where it comes from, but I just don't think he has the range to do it and not make it overly comedic.

  • I love Atkinson, but I can't picture him in this production at all for any role. He's forever embedded into my head as Mr. Bean.

  • @ Rer: Brian Blessed–who played Prince Vultan–is always who I pictured as Robert when I was reading the books. Unfortunately, I was picturing Blessed the way he looked 30 years ago. LOL He's far too old for the character now.

    To the Anonymous poster who suggested it, though, I have to say, Angus MacFadyen is an inspired suggestion. I am a huge fan of his, but I never would have thought of him. Now that you mention it, though, I can so see it.

  • Agreed with Legion, i really wouldnt want Matt Lucas as Varys (judging from that Krod Mandoon thing anyway).

    As for Atkinson, i've never seen any role with him in it which suggested Varys, nor does his physical appearance match my own idea of the character. He's still a good actor, i just don't understand why people see him as Varys.

  • To everyone who says Sean Bean will remind them too much of LOTR:

    You are a very small minority. So you've watched your LOTR DVDs so many times that you can't differentiate the actor from the part. That's on you. Watch some other films.

  • If they are going for Bean as Ned, and thus aging the guys a bit, then I have to admit that the person I always say as Robert when I was reading the books was Ray Winston.

    He was Henry VIII in a production a few years ago, playing a sort of modern londoner Henry VIII and it just was old fat Robert.

  • Actually, Ray Winstone is the best suggestion by far for Robert. The right age, the right look, the right build and a damn good actor as well.

    One concern I'm having for Sean Bean is that he has a bit of an odd mid-English accent he puts on when he's trying to disguise his Sheffield accent, which I found vaguely distracting (but not overwhelmingly so) in LotR. Which is odd as he can do a bit of a posh accent (as in GoldenEye) quite well. So I'm wondering which he'll go for if he is cast as Ned?

  • That would work. I get the impression that Robert is supposed to be very 'big' all round, and is taller than Ned, but frankly I'd sacrifice that if we got those two actors.

    I suspect that's one piece of wishful casting too far though :-)

  • That picture of them from the Henry VIII show is pretty good….maybe needs a bit of dye to make Sean Bean's hair darker…..and Ray needs the same and maybe a beer gut suit.

    That is pairing I would love. If anyone is member of the forum where the casting guys actually go – go suggest it!!!

  • Brian Blessed–who played Prince Vultan–is always who I pictured as Robert when I was reading the books. Unfortunately, I was picturing Blessed the way he looked 30 years ago. LOL He's far too old for the character now.

    Exactly my sentiments – too bad he's too old now. A younger John Rhys Davies, or a younger and alive Leo McKern, too – all of those RSC Fallstaff-types are what the Robert role requires. Brian Blessed as Vultan (minus the wings, of course) – that's Robert in my mind!

    I get the impression that Robert is supposed to be very 'big' all round, and is taller than Ned, but frankly I'd sacrifice that if we got those two actors.

    Apple boxes. The least expensive form of movie magic can solve that problem, easy. Alan Ladd was only 5'5" and he played "Shane" and was made to look 10' tall (metaphorically).

  • I think he'll be great…
    Can pull off the sword thing – Baramir
    Can pull off the wise thing – Odysseus

    He has the right commonplace face, the right stature, somewhat "nordic" features.
    I give him a yes.

  • We should browse through the cast of "300"… I find a lot of faces I could picture in GoT… Rodrigo Santoro for Renly (with blue contacts) for one…

  • There was a time when I loved Sean Bean, and would have been very pleased by this. But not now, not here.

    Personally, I was hoping not to have any big name actors for the sake of making them more easily identifiable with the characters. If you've seen an actor in a dozen movies, it's really difficult to attach their face to a character you've come to know and love from a book. Which would be a very true case with Sean Bean for me. And I don't even think Boromir when I think Sean Bean.

    I guess I just don't think Sean Bean is a very good "character" actor… Every time I see him in a movie he acts like… Sean Bean…

  • I still think whoever plays Robert should be a tall, buff dude wearing a fat suit. This is so flashbacks could be shown and the same actor can be used. Also, Robert should give the impression that once upon a time he was a fearsome man to behold. Ray Winstone is short and squat. I agree that if this had been done back in the late 80's, Brian Blessed would have been the only choice, but now, I'm thinking Rory McCann. He's a scottish actor who looks like a young Sean Connery and stands 6'4". His voice is also much like Connery's was. Unfortunately, he's not a huge name, so I'm having a hard time finding decent pictures of him online. Here's a pretty good one:

    One on horseback (kinda small):


  • I can see where you are coming from with Rory McCann there. If it would lead to Stannis being Scottish (I don't know why but Stannis is always Scottish in my head) then I could get on board that train.

    Though I still prefer the idea of Winstone as old Robert. He just is.

  • Am watching the BBC Ivanhoe production from 1997 (try youtube ivanhoe 1997)
    That's a very well made series and is somehow the way I would imagine GoT (with more magic of course, and some greater scale)

  • Off of work now and I still can't get "Oh well, who wants to live forever? Ha, ha, ha!" out of my head!!!

    We need some anti aging cream (that really works) for Mr Blessed!!!

  • I did not see Bean as Ned but I can live with it. I do think he has the skills to pull it off. I can't see Mr. Bean in this show. No way. No how.

  • Timothy Spall would actually make for a compelling varys also.

    Look him up as mr. Weasley in Harry potter. He's been in sweeny Todd and will be in burtons upcoming alice in wonderland.

    Anyone else agree?


  • He isn't Mr Weasley in HP, he is the rat guy whose name has gone out of my head.

    Peter Pettigrew, it came back.

    He'd be a good Varys actually. Hadn't thought about him, now I am, yeah. See that.

    The one character I always find it hard to cast is Lord Frey – I think that is a role that as understated but seriously important villain could do with a named actor rather than an undiscovered. But I never want to cast anyone that isnt Peter O'Toole and I don't see him doing TV work at his age and with his status. Any thoughts?

  • Peter O'Tool would be a good one, he does do tv work, was the Pope in the recent Tudors tv series. doubt this series could afford him though if it has Dinklage, Bean, and possibly Gillian Anderson!

    Also, on topic of casting Robert, I'd like to see the same actor play Renly as well, just with extra padding and make up to make him look older for Robert. Just a thought..

  • From Anon's confirmation link: "There are warring factions and divided loyalties and I can’t pretend to tell you much more, because I couldn’t get beyond the first couple of chapters."

    tee hee

  • Sean Bean is really old looking. Would be cool to have him, but as Ned? Well.. we'll see I guess.

  • Hey Ryan, wanted to apologize, we completely misunderstood each other there, when I think B movie actors, I think of the talent/quality not the pay. I totally understand what you meant now, glad that's all sorted out.

  • Anon@6:19PM link to a daily mail rumour page is interesting. But it's only a confirmation if that rumour is not based one the same source that WiC has (or WiC himself).

    The segment itself is has some dubious facts, I mean a Game of Thrones computer game? But, this does make a case that this is a rumour that's going round on entertainment side and is even parroted by non-fans, which is a good sign.

  • Hm. The Daily Mail.

    "But I know Game Of Thrones has legions of fans — not least because it’s also a computer game."

    I think this pretty much rules them out as a reliable source.

  • It has been confirmed a couple of weeks ago that it is being made into a computer game, but yeah, it isn't yet.

  • Isn't there a total war game about ASOIF? also GRRM confirmed cyanide games are making a game based on the series. Saying this, neither of thoe would account for what this idiot of a journalist has claimed, even the most basic of research could've told them that the popularity of the series is due to the wonderful writing, brilliant plot twists and turns, and the sheer mind boggling scope of the books, not some computer game. Though someone who couldn't hack it past the first few chapters of GOT couldn't hope to appreciate this. Then again it is the Daily Mail, and GRRM will've finished writing the whole series before i read something decent from that rag!

  • Josh,

    That wasn't very convincing to me, about Ned being too old or young or whatever. He looks OLD. Period… Very Old.

  • I'm not sure what your standard of "old" is. He's 50 but could pass for 40. I guess we're gonna have to agree to disagree, but I don't see how a young-looking 50-year-old qualifies as looking "VERY old".

  • yeah i don't think he looks that old either he could totally pull of a 40-year-old, especially with the right makeup.

  • @Rer oh yea a younger taller Brian Blessed would be perfect for Robert. too bad he is old now

  • Winter, any idea on who the 'Rain Mark production company' are? I thought HBO just had everything made under the 'HBO Original Programming' name.

  • Btw, Dante Nero was asked about GoT on his Twitter and his reply was that he thinks they've passed on him (well he wrote 'pasted', which I assume is a misspelling of 'passed').

  • As Drogo, that isn't much of a suprise, but totally, i think that is a shame as he would make a great bloodrider.

  • Things are finally starting to heat up. While neither Gillian or Sean would be my first choices, they would both be up there on the list. Further, they both add weight to HBOs seriousness for picking up this series. Rowan Atkinson would be all wrong for Varys IMO, but he would be the cat's meow as Dollrous Edd Tollet. Hopefully we will learn something more concrete in the next few days as George gets back in the swing of things with the conclusion of Fincon.

  • nothing is heating up at all, just this here cauldron that literally thrives on falsehoods speculations and rantings. It's like being on the ground floor on wall street but geekier.

  • I can't believe someone seriously suggested Audrina Partridge for a part in this series. You have got to be fucking kidding.

    On the other hand, Angus MacFayden for Robert is an awesome suggestion. I also was thinking Oliver Platt.

  • I can definitely see Rowan Atkinson as Littlefinger. Blackadder and him share some traits, for sure. Another person I always picture as Littlefinger is Christopher Guest, but only exactly as he played that bad guy in Princess Bride.

  • I think Bean is a great choice, though I have to say I always pictured a bearded Liam Neeson, for some reason.

  • Rowan Atkinson is too old for Littlefinger I`m afraid. Littlefinger is even younger than Ned in the books, isn`t he? And perhaps Catelyn too?

    Yes, I know Sean Bean is a little older than Ned and Dinklage a little older than Tyrion.

    But Rowan Atkinson is going on 55. A stretch too far imo.

  • IMO MHO I think that that the Rowan references are ahem….
    Like are you seriously serious or did the joke go over my head cuz…..

  • while we're on the subject though I'm gonna throw Ed off "Ace of Cakes" out there. He's young but you can't freak this dude out. he flew in an helicopter and his voice didn't even go up like a single notch he just has a monotone I think of with The V Man

  • I know this is still a rumor, but I was looking at and it looks like he has 2 movies in post-production, and 1 in pre-production which is due out in 2011, so it seems like he has some time this year. So it seems like there is a good possibility that this rumor might be true. As far as him playing Ned, I think it is a good choice. He is a fairly good actor, and him being high profile adds to the flair and importance of the show itself. He is soft spoken, which I think Ned is, but can have the intensity which Ned needs as well.

    Grades for Bean as Ned

    Looks A-
    Acting B+
    Availability A-
    Profile (high/low) A

  • Horribly inaccurate Daily Mail writing, hope no one uninitiated bases any knowledge of ASOIAF on that crap :P

  • OK Guys, time to put in my 2 cents ……

    Totally happy about Sean Bean & Gillian Anderson if its true …

    As for people not being able to see him as anything but Boromir, BUllOCKS ….. how many period pieces we've seen Orlando Bloom in and not once was he confused for Legolas while playing Will Turner (sorry for the comparison just needed an example)… also, not that there's a drought in Hollywood but the economy's not good for them either and actors need jobs and there's not alot of them around right now, so I'm pretty sure contract wise Bean and Anderson would be reasonable and remember Bean is around for 1 season ….

    Watched an episode of Warehouse 13 on SyFy (let's get it right) and Tricia Helfer guest starred … I could see the hoopla surrounding her for Cersei but she's doing something else ….

    @ Chrysee … would love to see David Wenham in this (Faramir) … not as Ned, but I'll take BenJen to keep it all Brotherly … LOL … but believe it or not I could see him as Jaime (nice range for him) … if Helfer was Cersei ….

    Someone mentioned Angus MacFadyen as King Robert … Again acceptable to me and if not I could see Jeffery Dean Morgan (Another acceptable Ned) …

    Rowan Atkinson …. love him as Mr. Bean, have never seen him in anything serious, so I'm not feeling him as Varys, maybe LittleFinger … I googled him via images and there's one where he's gruffy looking so maybe? ….

    If I could remember who suggested him I would give them credit but I would go for Ian McNeice as Varys, He played Baron Harkonnen on SyFy's version of DUNE and once he was suggested I've pictured him ever since (could also go with Timothy Spall)

    @ Ryan

    I could see Christopher Plummer as Ser Barristan Selmy if he was strong enough … I could see Martin Landau as Maester Aemon … I could see Kirk Dougles as Old Man Frey if it wasn't for the stroke and just because I love them as actors …. would love to see them in GOT one way or another, so I'm taking suggestions on …

    F. Murray Abraham; Anthony Hopkins; Peter O'Toole (He was great on The Tudors)and Mickey Rooney … LOL …

  • Daily Mail is not a reliable source for any news, not even rumors. They actually printed a fan-made mock-up news story on an internet forum as a real news story a while back (it dealt with Liverpool FC), so I'm guessing their source for this rumor is this blog. And look at the facts they present, computer game? Yeah, it's under development, but that's all. And the premise of the story is wrong in that as well.

    Anyway, I wouldn't take this as any kind of proof or confirmation that the rumor about Bean is correct.

    By the way, why doesn't commenting work on Firefox?

  • British tabloids invent rumors or just pick them up on forums, blogs and such. They are just about the most unreliable source of information imaginable and not worth quoting.

  • According to some people in the know, Voyager don't have any inside info for this. They're probably misquoting the WiC article.

  • can I ask a very silly question? too late! But seriously…

    the source who said bean would be announced soon, did THEIR source indicate he was for sure playing NED?

    Just thought I'd make sure, as there a couple of other roles he would fit for.


  • Marko: Indeed. Will feel even better if (when?) we get some official confirmation.

  • Ryan: They said they "believed" it was for the role of Ned. And honestly, I would be pretty surprised if it was for any other role.

  • The Daily Mail source (assuming it wasn't WiC) said it was for one of the heads of the Great Houses who appears in the pilot. So it's either Ned, Robert or Jon Arryn. According to them anyway.

  • @ LADYNYC74

    I think the opposite. Martin Landau would be perfect as old man walder frey. and kirk douglas is old enough for Aemon.

    Angus McFaden would only do as Ned, not Robert.

    Rowen Atkinson can do drama, but is too old for Littlefinger, and too old and too skinny for Varys.

  • According to Parris on, HBO are planning to do 12 episodes (including the pilot) not 10.

  • Think he could be announced at Comic-Con, possibly along with Gillian Anderson? Less than a week away.

  • Oh, nice find and nice news, Adam! that's great … although we once established that 10 could just work for the first book, 12 is better if not perfect. HBO seasons are not too long and that is the right way to do it.

  • @ Ryan Dunn

    MY source didn't specify Ned actually, they specified "The Lead," but who else could "The Lead" be? Based on that I told WiC that it was "probably" Ned, but that part I wasn't sure about.

  • I can't wait to see episode 12. If they acctually show in detail what happens at the end of book one it will be amazingly awesome to see! lol

  • 12 episodes would be great. don't the sometimes even do 2 hour episodes for finales? i seem to remember sopranos or six feet or some other show do it. i could be wrong.

    i know this is all speculation, rumor and hypothesis, but you guys have to admit it's getting tangible to the point of palpable. it is starting to feel like there's just too much buzz about the show to NOT pick it up for at least one season.


  • I don't think there can be any real doubt that HBO understands casting their shows. Even for "Hung" they landed some actual names. Thomas Jane, Anne Heche, Jane Adams. Now these aren't exactly A-listers (okay, they're not even really B-listers), they are names people have heard of, and the show is, let's not forget, a comedy about a basketball coach with an enormous cock. Their presence gives the impression that the show is actually real, and not some tin-can-with-a-string lean-to production shot by 3 guys playing with a digital camera.

    Bean is just about perfect in that sense. Assuming the rumor is true, his presence will draw viewers in, and he is an extraordinary actor. If they do it right, he will be divorced from Boromir within the first 10 minutes. That shouldn't be hard – the characters are very different.

  • this is exactly what the series needs for momentum and buzz…your work and effort on this site will push it over the top…get ready for the ride….

  • Woo-hoo! Great choice if it's true, and Bean will give the project instant Hollywood cred.

  • @ Ryan: LadyNYC74 has it I think. Christopher Plummer would be a great diginified tall old Ser Barristan.

    The more I think about it, the more I can see it.

    That picture you put up of potential and dream casting looks really good. Gillian Anderson could really work, Sean Bean and Ray Winstone are perfect as Ned and Robert and the American stars for the Lannisters are pretty good as well. The guy you've got for Jamie is a decent mix of recognisable but not big, so costs wouldnt be much. Looks wise, he is perfect for the role, talent wise, maybe, never seen him in much where he wasn't just the ladies eye candy.

  • Here's an idea (without budget constraints). How about a guest shot of Jeremy Irons as Eddard's father for a flashback scene (scenes?) detailing Arys Stark BBQ?
    Perhaps they could flesh out what we get in the book a little to provide more of a backstory for Ned.

  • I wonder what they plan to do about Ned in later seasons. Specifically I'm thinking of the tourney outside of Harrenhall from Jojen's tale. Would they option Bean(if he is indeed cast) to act int hat scene? Would they do while filming season one and save it for later? Or would they recast the role with a younger actor?
    If they chose the latter, it might be neat to use whomever they pick in season one to show him and a younger Robert running around the Vale.

  • Please, not G. Anderson. She is not Catelyn at all. I hope that she won't be next confirmed casting news

  • Angus MacFadyen as Robert, he gained weight recently for Showtime's Californication.

    Christopher Plummer as anything, really, but maybe Tywin Lannister. Really though, anything.

    Wallace Shawn (Vizzini from Princess Bride) as Walder Frey, could there be no other? Has there ever been an actor so obviously a Frey? If not Walder, one of his spawn.

    James Callis (Baltar from Battlestar Galactica) as Littlefinger. With the aging up he is now the appropriate age. He can play both conniving, and lovestruck puppy. Also, he is probably available.

    Philip Seymour Hoffman as Varys. Probably not available, probably too big for the role, but that'd be my first choice. I imagine Varys will be a noname actor.

    David Wenham as Jaime… interesting idea, I could see it as well.

    Mickey Rourke as the Hound – no makeup required.

  • re: jeremy irons…

    yeah, plus the whole eragon debacle. OUCH! i'm sure mr. irons will be more than a little leery of taking on another fantasy role. ha.


  • First post over 200 :) The buzz and the community here is growing. Can't wait for it to explode.

    @Brude: That might well be it (I think someone posted a similar link earlier). I wouldn't be surprised if they announce some more names together with Bean – perhaps even some we've heard no rumours about yet :) – and HBO might be still in the process of finalizing those talks. Just a guess.

  • lol @ The Source. Nice way to identify yourself. :) And that's probably a good guess as well.

  • glad you guys agree about christopher plummer.

    and to yea high, or whoever else was giving me shit… i am going to gracefully retract my disdain for sean bean. i've been watching some episodes of sharpe, and i have new respect for his abilities. i think he became a little typecast as a one dimensional villain, with LOTR not being any different.

    i stand by my prediction that critics will undoubtedly give HBO shit for casting boromir as eddard, mostly due to the latter's story arc.

    and someone above asked who i had in my screengrab for the role of jaime, and that person is jason lewis. he's been in the tv show brothers and sisters, and beyond that has played one-off roles on shows like CSI and Sex and the City. i personally think he would be better than the skaarsgard favorite floating around westeros.

    and to anon above who said eragon was awesome. did we SEE the same movie? did you not have ANY issues with john malkovich and robert carlyle? or are you just being sarcastic? hah.


  • For the love of God can we PLEASE stop talking about Jeremy Irons!?

    He's been in every failed fantasy production I can think of. I know Irons has a legion of mouth breathing, DnD playing fans who would like nothing more then to see him cast in AGoT… But I highly doubt that Benioff and Weiss would do such a thing.

    The producers want thrones to be taken seriously, or else it won't be a success. Iron's presence would only cheapen the production in the eyes of the majority of the audience.

  • I have to say that I hate the idea of Jason Lewis as Jamie. I mean, cmon…he was in the SATC movies. We can do better.

  • not only too old, but washed up as an actor. After Jeremy Irons' performance in Dungeons and Dragons I lost all respect for him as an aactor. He was not just terrible, he was horrifyingly terrible. Was one of the worst performances in cinematic history. Please do not cast that washed up old fart.

  • It isn't remotely fair to say he is washed up.

    The guy can pull out a good performance but is typecast as the over acting villain most of the time.

    Watch him in Kingdom of Heaven to see how decent he is and how, as someone else as mentioned, he would make a decent Blackfish.

    I'd love to see Ian McDiarmid get cast in this. Seen as they seem to be going for the Brits/Scotts, he'd add some high level but not A-List experience which you need if the majority of the cast is to be children, teens and unknowns.

  • Comment pagination should be working now. If you don't see the newer/older links at the bottom of the comments, please let me know. Thanks!

  • I like Sean Bean…think he'll do a great job…hope I don't see Boromir in the performance is all….Does anyone know what happens if HBO passes on this, can another network pick it up and is that common?

  • After Jeremy Irons' performance in Dungeons and Dragons I lost all respect for him as an aactor.

    Irons is still a great actor, he's got a movie about Georgia O'Keeffe coming up where he plays Alfred Stieglitz, he was in Appaloosa most recently. Unfortunately, he's just done some really bad fantasy, for some reason. His quote about the D&D movie when he was asked why he did it was classic. It was something like, "sometimes you do a movie because you love the script or because there is a director or another actor already involved that you have always wanted to work with. Other times you do a movie because you've just bought a new manor house in the English countryside that needs some major renovations."

    He didn't say which was which in the case of the D&D movie, but one can guess.

  • If Bean gets casts as Ned, hopefully the show won't loose viewers at the end of season 1 because of the…spoiler alert…..loss of character. It needs to hook people right off the bat.

  • GRRM just updated his blog. He's back from Finland and as he describes it he's got "Tons of emails, a mountain of mail, and much sleep to catch up on."

    He didn't specifically mention Sean Bean but his post goes on to say that there is "lots of cool stuff happening too, on all sorts of fronts."

    That's kind of vague, could he be referring to Sean Bean?

  • this first book is the perfect model for a season of a show. starts with a bang (episode 101 will have an ending people can't NOT tune in next week for). and it ends with a bang (i remember how devastated i was at the end of the first book, but also compelled to find out these peoples' fates).

    the elements are there for this to be one of the most important tv series of all time. i think that's why there is such interest and buzz going already (besides the reader fan base of course). readers care for the material, and the author is alive and writing (unlike tolkien) so there's a sense of camaraderie with the material even if it's fictional.

    just my two cents.


  • @ Legion

    Well is performance in Kingdom of Heaven was so riviting I forgot he was even in the film. LOL! I stand by my statement. Jeremey Irons is a washed up old fart, and lets add in Has Been. :oP

  • I don't dislike Irons, but given the history of his fantasy work I'd rather not have him in this. I would not like his presence to doom this production.

  • The bigger problem is that there hasn't been enough GOOD fantasy made of late. LOTR was proof that — if done right — fantasy is as viable a genre as any.

    Irons just hasn't found the right venue for his innate skills, as he is a terrific actor without question.

    All that said, his perception as a second rate fantasy actor may tarnish this production, the same way as casting lucy lawless to play Lysa might. Don't you think?


  • Fair hope for this series?

    Saving Private Ryan is to Band of Brothers what LOTR is to GoT.



  • While I get where that's coming fromm GoT and LotR are utterly different. Same genre, but beyond that is there anything that is similar at all?

    The thing with GoT, and possibly one of the key reasons I like it is that beyond the dragons, shadow creatures and things beyond the wall, there isnt that much actual outlandish fantasy in the books – and even when it is outlandish it is presented in such a way that you don't even really notice.

    In terms of recognition and success though, let's hope that indeed Saving Private Ryan is to Band of Brothers what LOTR is to GoT

  • @Legion Other than the fact that the 3rd person limited format set in medieval times fantasy basically STARTED with LotR, I would agree the plots share little in common.

    that was why I insisted boromir WILL come up as an issue, because these roles are both noble men in medieval times, in a fantasy genre, and GoT will likely have only one peer, one cinematic comparison: LotR.

    That was my qualm initially (now that I'm jiving on Sean beans older work now).


  • I don't think that him being Boromir tends to come up much when people talk about him.

    He is Sharpe and Alex Trevellian – I almost always forget he was in LotR….

  • I was thinking that, internet rumors being internet rumors, the Sean Bean thing was probably 90% likely, being that Winter Is Coming said it was from a credible source (and he's been 2 for 2 thus far).

    Now I'm 99.9% sold. Why? The very words of George R. R. Martin's wife on the Westeros boards, posted today:

    Parris: "I can't comment on the truthfulness of the gossip part, I can point out there's several bits they do have wrong:
    1) there has never been a 'computer game' of ASoI&F, although it has been optioned.
    2) if HBO does greenlight production, they'll shoot a total of 12 1hr episodes, including the pilot, not 9 episodes."

    She denied everything but the Sean Bean rumor in a Sean Bean-as-Ned Stark dedicated thread. Looks like George was being clever with his "beans" comment.

    If Bean isn't cast now, I'll be shocked.

  • I'm pretty happy with Sean Bean being possibly cast. He's not a perfect fit for me, but pretty darned close. I to like the fact that he draws more attention to the show, and fits the goal so many talked about of spending a little money in year 1 on some name actors to get the series picked up.

    That said, despite all the hoopla and hopes that this indicates that it is already picked up, it appears (per GRRM) that HBO hasn't actually done that yet. Doesn't mean that they won't, but they haven't as of today.

    Unless of course, the e-mail with that announcement is buried in GRRM's inbox!

  • Now that is simply something they can't do unless they really want to cash in on LotR, which would only anger casual fans of those films expecting something similar. Mortenson is a good actor, but can't be in this if Bean is.

    On a side note, not that it matters so much for this series, if indeed at all, but who do people see playing Brienne? I always pictured Clea DuVall, but she she doesnt have the build for it at all in reality.

  • Comic-Con might be a place for them to announce any casting news, there sure are quite a lot of people there who're interested in fantasy, and anything that makes an impact at comic-con is sure to create some online buzz.

  • But what about his misaligned eyes?

    I think Bean could do a great job if this is true. Dye his hair and he fits the picture of Ned I have in my head exactly.

  • But what about his misaligned eyes? :p

    This would be awesome if true. Dye Bean's hair darker and he becomes the very image of Ned I have in my head.

  • As for Jeremy Irons, I simply ask any skeptics to watch The Mission. The man can fucking act, and that type of preformance could fit any number of ASOIAF characters.

  • it would sought of make sense if he did get picked up for the role….it would be for one season only…hence they wouldn't have to take out a large portion of their budget for him

  • That said, despite all the hoopla and hopes that this indicates that it is already picked up, it appears (per GRRM) that HBO hasn't actually done that yet. Doesn't mean that they won't, but they haven't as of today.

    They won't greenlight the show until they've seen the pilot, or at least a rough cut to get an idea of how things are coming along with it. Best possible scenario, they are 2/3 done shooting and the daillies are so spectacular they greenlight it before it's even in the can – but I doubt that.


  • I hvae a feeling HBO are about 95% sure they are gonna pick ut up, but wants to wait to make absolutely sure its gonna be good first.

  • The Tudors is an incredible show. I'm on season 3. What actor is Will, the king's fool? He deserves a medal. Thinking about the got pilot almost every day for a few months is really tiring. And the fear brought on by rumor Trekkies that gillian Anderson is involved –oh my god, how they love this insignificant actress–it's killing me. The notion of mr bean as ned is already a downer. People talk about a buzz——–really is this what you call a buzz–unconfirmed rumors that spread to two or three fan sites? It's like a couple of lunatics keep repeating themselves on this blog as different names.

  • J irons is grade a, getting shifty parts lately and that's bad. I blame LOLITA which was a courageous role to take and he nailed it. Nabakov. Cool.

  • Wow. Haven't checked the site in couple days and there's 250+ comments on this post … that has to be a record.

    Winter: it seems the site is really taking off lately. Congrats!

    And my 2 cents re: Sean Bean … loved him ever since Patriot Games. While he's no Daniel Day-Lewis, he'll surely make a fine Ned.

  • Is it just me thinking that the biggest casting problem isn't exactly tyrion, ned, cat, or robert, but those characters that become big later on and appear in the pilot… Especially Cersei, kind of an important secondary role all the way till A Feast for Crows. So, would a big name enjoy "falling back" for 3 or 4 seasons just to play Cersei? Just my 2c, but chances are Littlefinger, Varys, Cersei, Jaime and even Benjen (right spelling?) will be cast as unknowns with (I hope) some potential acting talent.

    I also always said that Ned was perfect character to receive a famous actor… Pivotal role, only one season (so, they can even dish out a big contract since it is just 12 episodes.

    And I keep seeing people complaining about the age of this actor or the other… Remember that, for example, for the children, it'd be better to cast young looking but already almost adult actors (for consistency's sake during the 7 or so years the series will have), to avoid having Arya grow breasts by the third season (for example). Harry Potter is a price example of how NOT to cast actors for multi-part roles.

    PS: And I read somewhere that Rowan Atkinson was actually the Varys dream cast for GRRM, so even if you imagine him a bit plumper… that's what fat suits are for.

  • I have to say i am amused about all this "omg jeremy irons is a shit actor" stuff. The man is a great actor that can pull off anything, but come on, Eragon is so badly written that no cast can make it work. I agree he had some poor choice of characters as of late but the man is a monster acting wise and if given the right story he can definately make it work. I'm still hoping he gets a guest role for some part in this production.

    About Jaime, while i have always been picturing Josh Holloway in my head – and he might be available also seeing as how Lost is ending next season – i can see the guy Ryan Dunn posted also. He is the perfect mix of hateable and loveable, and could pretty much pull it off as i dont see Jaime as a very demanding role acting wise, also the guy might be able to act, surprises do happen.

    One thing that i would personally like tho is to see the Cersei-Jaime twins similarity. I want two actors that look like twins and have that vibe on screen. I can see that happening with Josh Holloway – Tricia Helfer , and that would be my dream cast, with Michael Hogan as Tywin, col. Tigh from Galactica.

    Mickey Rourke, while awesome, is too old for the Hound. This is where they have to pull a rabbit from the hat, as the Hound IS a demanding role and needs a right fit.

  • My assumption is that we might get biggish names for the main characters in season one (basically, Tyrion, Ned and Catelyn), and everyone else will be unknown, or almost unknowns. That way, by the time it's their chance to shine, later on in the series, they won't be unknowns any longer, and will have grown into their roles. HBO can easily pull in a good viewship with just a couple of semi-big names for Ned and Cat right at the start.

  • Eragon and Dungeons and Dragons were terrible movies, and both were considered flops. I'm not saying it's Jeremy Irons' fault that these movies failed. Nor am I saying he's a terrible actor.

    What I AM saying is that because Irons has been unfortunate enough to have been cast in these films, he's become somewhat of a warning sign in the fantasy genre. Viewers will assume AGoT is another cheesy fantasy production simply because Irons is in it.

    AGoT is a story and concept that will be depending on audiences to keep an open mind from the outset, what with the dragons and direwolves etc…

    It would be very difficult for viewers to accept AGoT as a character driven drama in such a fantastical setting when Jeremy Irons is there constantly reminding them of his cheesy fantasy background.

    Does that make any sense at all? I hope Jeremy Irons' career flourishes… but not at the expense of our new series.

  • "Liselle: Oh sweet baby Jesus tell me this is true!"

    What kind of fake shit is this? Who are these these new generic people with almost-an-opinions.

  • Anon @5:34 I totally agree with you just as much as I agree with the guy who says Sean Bean acts like the typecasted actor Sean Bean. I don't want to see Sean Bean act Ned. Instead, I was someone to become Ned.

    But I'm not so frightened that the show needs ALL brainless duh picks for the series and to exclude people like J Irons for the fear that brainless duh people are shied away. I don't know what part he could do or do I care if he's in GoT or not–but this has been filed under another ridiculous point carefully plotted out at WiC.

  • I wonder: Do you think theres any chance for a casting announcement of Sean before monday?

  • Littlefinger is much younger than even Catelyn. He can't be Mr Bean. And he is good looking too.

  • @ mother

    In other words, quality is more important than the show having huge ratings. I think a few people are swept away with the notion that the pilot can't be said no to by the HBO execs. There is a balance, for sure. I agree with you though, and with those that say D&D and Eragon were so bad that even a wild card like Irons could not help. I think ultimately we will see the vision of those people involved more than a rating magnet machine, so if one of them sees someone like Irons as needed or an asset, they won't care about those bad movies. And if they do, the addition would be merely a wild card but instead another quality to a delicious hot pie.

  • I doubt there will be a big comment before Monday. The release casting news to drum up interest in the project earlier in its development, and releasing that news on a weekend when most people are doing other things than following the news is generally not a good idea.

    My guess would be next week, possibly just before or just after Comic-Con. They may not say anything during it as it might get lost in the noise of other announcements.

  • Adam:

    I guess you're right. And god damn it, thats so annoying! We are sooo painfully close to finally getting another casting news.

    (Yeah, i'm a baby, what of it?)

  • I'd be suprised if we get anything at Comic-Con as there is no mention of Game of Thrones having any sort of stall or presence in any of the programs for any of the days….

  • No, of course not. Its too early for sure to promote the show unless they had made a final decision on picking it up. And thats a little bit too much to hope for, i guess…

  • "Whoever said Jeremy Irons, he would not be a good ned stark…way too old"

    Yeah Mr Irons is a great actor but way way to old to play Ned, lol.

    The good news is that I have a new AGoT video up on youtube!

  • @ about Yea High

    "Now I'm 99.9% sold. Why? The very words of George R. R. Martin's wife on the Westeros boards, posted today:"

    George got hitched? I thought he and Paris where just really good friends, or am I missing something here? (I do that from time to time)

  • Parris is GRRM's girlfriend. I don't think they're married, but they are a couple, as far as I know.

  • So he has a girlfriend? Well, thats nice. Somehow i pictured him single. What with his comparisons to Tyrion and his bad love experiences and all.

  • GRRM and Parris have been together for something like 20 years or more; I don't think they ever actually got officially hitched but I think people refer to her as his 'wife' simply because it's easier than saying 'live-in girlfriend of 20+ years,' or whatever. Depending on the laws in New Mexico, they might even have a Common Law marriage now (I really have no idea).

  • Good for him. It'll keep him happy and alive longer. So that we'll be sure to get the last three volumes of ASOIAF.

    20+ years… Thats quite amazing even for married couples…

  • Ahh cool. I read all his "not a blog" stuff and watch all his youtube videos, but didn't know that. He is always talking about her so this all makes sense, someone call me dense please.

  • @rer, what the hell are you trying to achieve with claiming that crappy trailer is the real one?

    Random guy browsing youtube: Hey the real GoT trailer! Lets see if it is any good!
    "Guy watches the crappy trailer you put up"
    Damn that was bad, guess I am not gonna buy HBO to watch this shit.

    Good job you twat

  • What are you people talking about. Man that fake trailer was simply awesome. Where can I get some of that shit (meaning whats the original movie)?

  • @yoenit

    I thought it was pretty good. You really thought it was that bad?

    You where pretty harsh also.

  • @anon

    Its excalibur. From 1981 I believe, I used mostly the darker gritty fight scenes. I spent forever in After Effects and Premiere working on it. All for naught according to Yoenit though :(

  • The only thing I disliked about it was the text at the end as it stood out a little too much. Otherwise I thought it was a decent battle trailer with some moments that certainly fit the GoT story.

    @Rer – I wouldn't call it 'the real', you might get in trouble with HBO. Other than that, feel happy in your work.

    @Yeonit – Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but, equally, everyone is entitled to manners and some degree respect.

  • @rer, I am sorry, but it is not that good. If you would not have called it the "real" trailer I would not have been so negative, but that just pissed me off.

    There are two main things I don't like about your trailer:
    – A battle, some knights riding out the gate, some girl taking of her clothes, some dead guy being carried in. What are they supposed to mean? Which character from GoT is that dead guy supposed to be? Who is that girl? what battle is being fought? None of the scenes remind me of a game of thrones in any way.
    For a very good example check out this vid:

    – your intro and outtro (or however you name that shit) look much like moving wordart. I am sure you can do better then that.
    An example of what is possible using a program such as after effects:

  • @ Borre:

    My personal guess is that if we get the series, we'll see a possible trailer released around next year's Comic-Con (2010) as a way of starting to build the hype, with the first episode airing either November 2010 or January 2011. GRRM and the producers have both said they think, "Winter is coming," is the perfect tagline, so starting earlier than that, as well as unlikely due to the post-production requirements, wouldn't make much sense.

  • @yoenit

    Actually I'm familiar with Bompak's stuff. The intro and outro are manipulated 3D objects with particle backgrounds and some cc particle world for the faint parks and stuff, not sure what yah mean by moving wordart?

    I'll probably just take it down if it's that bad.

  • Rer, thanks for removing the "real" part from the name.

    With regards to the wordart thing. Manipulating a 3d object like you did reminds me of using the movement effects on a wordart object in microsoft powerpoint.

    Also, don't let some random guy writing stuff on the internet get you down. I might not like it but it seems other people do.

  • Nah, it's cool. I've done a ton of videos and if they start to get bad ratings or a lot of negative reactions I take them down and start over. No big deal. I just thought I was onto some awesome sauce is all, redo time.

  • Well. Are you two done flirting so that we can back to the endless pit of waiting for stuff?

  • I find it hilarious that people on this thread have suggested:

    Brian Blessed as Robert (should appear between 40 and 50)

    Jeremy Irons as Ned (same age as Robert)

    Rowan Atkinson as Littlefinger (a man just shy of 30)

    and yet think Sean Bean looks too old to play Ned.

    I don't necessarily think that the actors should always be as young or old as they are shown in the book, but some attention to age is a must. Why would Catelyn look at a man Rowan Atkinson's age as a little brother? How would you explain two men in their sixties (seventies in Blessed's case) being young bachelors a mere thirteen years ago (in a time when people get married in their teens)? I know both men are supposed to look older than they are but…sheesh!

  • Boromir could not have been cast better than with Beans. The idea of him as Ned feels more like a half baked Hollywood trick for ratings (or like a fantasy fan's wet dream) but we'll see. Even if it's true, it's not the worst thing to ever happen.

  • Can someone please highlight to me what the issue is with Sean Bean being Ned? IMO it's inspired and exactly what a series needs; a good known solid worldwide name.

  • Sure Legion.

    Here are some of the the highlights of other people's opinions:

    Beans is too old for Ned.
    Beans is typecast.
    Beans is Beans (ie., his Beans persona is too strong and overtakes his character).

    Now I'm sure you will say these are not true. Can't wait, coz it will change everything.

  • Some good points.

    I dont think he is too old. It was obvious that alot of the production was going to get aged up. Some of the characters are going to need it in order to get it through various sensors on tv. If his kids have been aged, Ned needs aging.

    Typecasting is a terrible thing. I wouldn't say Sean Bean is type cast. He was Boromir, a fantasy character so he can't be this! If you say so.

    I'm not sure I get your last point, but being that I think Sean Bean is a perfect Ned, i guess it doesnt matter if i agree or disagree here as his persona is obviously what i want from Ned.

    Of course my opinion wont change anything, nor will yours mine, but that's the point of these sort of discussion.

    Nice sarcasm by the way.

  • I see where the typecasting thing comes from as Ned isn't a million miles away from Boromir: a good man and decent warrior who gets into a bad situation and suffers for it. True, Ned's problems don't come from some cursed magical item, but there is a vein of similarity in the characters.

    Of course, there are key differences. In most of Bean's other famous roles he is a confirmed batchelor (Boromir) or shoots between lots of different women (Sharpe). Ned is a family man, a husband with children, which is a different dynamic to start off with.

    However, as a big-name draw it's a relatively canny bit of casting, and as important as Ned is to the first book, his role is not much more than to get the story moving. We can deal with a slightly miscast Ned (and I don't think Bean would be miscast at all, but he is certainly perhaps a 'safe choice' for the role) better than a bad Jon or a bad Daenerys. I'd actually be a lot more concerned about the casting decisions for the younger actors since they are almost certainly going to be inexperienced and untested for such a huge project.

  • I soke with Sean tonight and he is definitely playing Ned Stark. Ray Winstone is up for Robert Baratheon.

  • I'd love to think you were legit. because that would be two people from my own dreamcast in the roles i gave them…..

  • @Anonymous above. Well and I just had tea and biscuits with Her Majesty the Queen, but didn't see you there. *Doffs his overlarge top hat in a salute*

  • If Sean Bean gets it, he'll probably do a good job, but his previous roles have been very un-Stark. If I had my way they'd go for David Wenham, but he's just basically Sean Bean Lite.

  • Adam's totally right that the importance of getting the other characters (Dany, Jon, Bran, etc.) just right are very important, and that Sean Bean as Ned is a "safe" choice.

    I think the type cast thing is not given proper context though. Saying this pilot gets filmed, the show gets picked up, and it is slated to come out fall of 2010.

    During all of the promotion of this new Original Series by HBO, set to ring in a new era in the network's post-Sopranos funk, all of the junkets and posters and billboards and trailers that go out to promote this thing, will have SEAN BEAN as one of the stars.

    SEAN BEAN, playing a medieval fantasy hero, in an LotR-esque series only HBO could make. They will need to attract viewers who don't know GRRM, who don't know ASoIaF, who don't particularly like fantasy. I just don't see how this casting move won't create that LotR connotation.

    Am I wrong in this?

    And whether this will increase or decrease the likely number of new subscribers remains to be seen, but I don't think it is escapable, and personally I don't want anybody rolling their eyes at HBO with "safe" casting for an epic fantasy series that is said to be unlike anything you've ever seen before in the genre.

    That's all I'm worried about, really.


  • A quick Sidenote, sorry…

    @Adam: Why haven't you reviewed any Gene Wolfe on your blog. Shame on you!


  • Adam,

    Not that this makes much of a difference (the typecast doesn't care about peculiars) but…

    Boromir is essentially what is wrong with men in Tolkien's world. In common day ethics he is if nothing else a premeditating traitor who validates himself at the last moment by paying with his life.

    Ned is in a sense the reverse of Boromir. He is the perfect model of honor and has hardly hidden motives; even rejects court intrigue; doesn't want to be the Hand; does it out of duty. He pays for it with his life for being just that, in a world that betrays itself continually.

    So maybe a million miles away is not a good simile as a polar opposite.

  • Well, Anon … it's us who edit it, so what do you expect? :) A bit too soon, in my opinion, but of course I hope it won't need changing.

  • @Josh

    "I find it hilarious that people on this thread have suggested:

    Brian Blessed as Robert (should appear between 40 and 50)

    Jeremy Irons as Ned (same age as Robert)"

    Most of us have been saying that they would have been great for the roles if they where younger, not that they are perfect in their current state.

  • From Rer's Wikipedia reference link:

    "There are warring factions and divided loyalties and I can’t pretend to tell you much more, because I couldn’t get beyond the first couple of chapters."

    tee hee

  • Just backing up Rer…I don't believe anyone has said that Brian Blessed, now, should play Robert. Only that a young Brian Blessed was what some of us pictured when we read the books, and that he would have been perfect 30 years ago.

    Irons is a different story. I can't swear there haven't been folks advocating him as Ned, now. Personally, I also think he's an amazing actor, but yeah…not for Ned. Honestly, even when he was the right age for it, I don't think he was the right type. Irons has this odd coldness about him. I think he might have made an interesting Roose Bolton, back in the day, though.

    Just my thoughts.



  • Yeah me too–as awesome as J Irons is, he's not Ned at all. I hate to bring up Viggo Mortensen since one of the main arguments (pros AND against) about Sean Bean is his association with LOTR, but Viggo imo would make a great Ned.

  • @King of the Northeast
    Yep The Mission- amazing movie.
    Jeremy Irons was fantastic in that movie. As was Robert Deniro.

    I really don't think anyone has seen it though unfortunately.

  • Other than Dinklage as Tyrion, to me the next most perfect actor for a role is Jason Lewis as Jaime Lannister. He's perfect. He's big, muscular, blonde, extremely handsome, and he's got good range. He would be perfect. SIGN HIM!

  • I saw the mission some time ago, I liked it! I remember watching it because The Killing Fields was directed by Roland Joffe also.

  • "@Adam: Why haven't you reviewed any Gene Wolfe on your blog. Shame on you!"

    He is on the reread list. I love THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN but every time I think about rereading it my eyes glaze over and I put it off to some future time. Brilliant but demanding. I'll probably be more likely to read THE WIZARD-KNIGHT before then.

  • @coltaine777

    You might be watching some of my older stuff. I took the new one down (though I received a few positive comments) because I had a lot of negative comments about every conceivable aspect that could be imagined through messages, e-mails and video comments. No big deal though, everything is a work in progress to me and I aim to please the masses (heh) so I'll start over again and I hope to get it right next time. You're probably looking at the video I did that I made to look like an HBO (between show) promo that I got an idea for from a True Blood promo, True Blood is awesome (even though it can be kinda over dramatic in my opinion sometimes) and I'm really enjoying it. The rest of my stuff is videos from the many many betas I've been involved in after the respective games lift their NDA agreements.

  • @ ANON suggesting Jason Lewis.

    Said so some months ago, but I think nowadays he is just too old. He looks really worn out and somewhat weird (botox I believe). He was Jaime when in SATC.

  • When it comes to Jeremy Irons, actually I think he's more or less the one I subconsciously pictured as Ilyn Payne when reading. Not that Irons could be cast for such a fleeting role, but anyways.

    Sean Bean I believe is a good choice for Ned and certainly better than many others who have been suggested, though he's not exactly as gaunt as I pictured Ned to be, lookwise.
    On typecast-side, I think Ned would be quite different role for him, except the fantasy setting (which, of course, IS quite predominant factor when it comes to some random guy who doesn't know else).
    Both Boromir and Ned are honourable, but whereas honour is quite in the middle of Ned's inner conflicts and his ultimate downfall, Boromir's fate plays more on his greed (triggered by the ring) and thrive to shine. Both of these being quite unknown to Ned.

  • Peter Dinklage=Tyrion Lannister, Sean Bean=Ned Stark Batting a thousand so far!

    What I'd also like to see
    Paul Giamatti=Varys. Don't laugh. Giamatti has such an acting range he can play anything. Like Helena Bonham-Carter in the Harry Potter series, Giamatti could be the recurring Varys in GoT.

  • Catelyn (I couldn't figure out how to use the Name/URL thing without a URL…oh, computers…)

    I know it's been said a million times, but I really do think Sean Bean would be fantastic as Ned. He's an excellent actor, and I think he would bring Lord of the Rings fans to the show. And @ Albor, I agree– Jeremy Irons would be a great Blackfish: he's slightly grizzled with a strong presence.

  • Catelyn

    P.S. I still say David Bamber would be an amazing Varys. I think he was in Rome, and he was a really amusing Mr. Collins in the Pride and Prejudice mini-series with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Speaking of Jennifer Ehle, I think she would make a wonderful Catelyn, although she may be a smidge too old at this point.

  • Anon: "Littlefinger is much younger than even Catelyn. He can't be Mr Bean. And he is good looking too."

    Varys is NOT Littlefinger. Petyr Baelish is Littlefinger, the guy with the love-crush on Catelyn. Varys is the master of whispers, the bald guy who love purple who wears disguises and talks to Ned before his trial.

  • @ Stfudonny

    There *have* been a couple of people who have said that they thought Rowan Atkinson would make a better Littlefinger than Varys. I think that's what the above mentioned Anon poster was responding to.

  • Looks like it's official:

    Reuters via Hollywood reporter.

    LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Sean Bean has nabbed the lead in "Game of Thrones," HBO's adaptation of the George R.R. Martin fantasy-book series.
    Tom McCarthy ("The Visitor") is directing.
    The books revolves around a battle among seven kingdoms and between two ruling families for control of the Iron Throne, the possession that ensures survival through a 40-year winter to come.
    Bean will play Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark, known for his sense of honor and justice, who becomes closest adviser to King Robert (Mark Addy).

  • Intersting news there. From Yahoo via Reuters, so quite reliable as well.

    Mark Addy is a good actor, but i'm not sure I'd buy he was ever young and strong and ruthless. He always seems far too nice. Prefered my Ray Winstone suggestion.

  • Posting the whole article because it has a WHOLE HOST of casting:

    LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Sean Bean has nabbed the lead in "Game of Thrones," HBO's adaptation of the George R.R. Martin fantasy-book series.

    Tom McCarthy ("The Visitor") is directing.

    The books revolves around a battle among seven kingdoms and between two ruling families for control of the Iron Throne, the possession that ensures survival through a 40-year winter to come.

    Bean will play Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark, known for his sense of honor and justice, who becomes closest adviser to King Robert (Mark Addy).

    Kit Harrington will play Jon Snow, Bean's bastard son, and Harry Lloyd will play Viserys, a powerless ruler who seeks to marry off his sister to a powerful king. Jack Gleeson will play Joffrey, King Robert's son.

    Peter Dinklage, who starred for McCarthy in "The Station Agent," also is in the cast for the production, which is in the pilot stage and begins shooting in October in Ireland.

  • Little bit og goggling tells me that Kit Harrington is a stage actor and pretty much an unknown quantity.

    Harry Llyod is a great actor and was in the BBC Robin Hood series as Will Scarlet and in Doctor Who as the eldest son in the family of blood two parter. He was also Prince Ruprecht in a recent show about the civil war in England called the devil's whore.

    Jack Gleeson was the little boy in Batman Begins and is essentially another unknown.

  • Lloyd doesn't look like Viserys to me at all (I can't see him pulling off the hair color). I'm not familiar with his work outside of that Robin Hood series (which I didn't particularly care for).

    I'd like to see a current photo of Gleeson; going by what I see from Batman Begins – while I think he looks like he could be a brat, I don't think he's good looking enough (not enough to warrant Sansa swooning over him).

    I'm happy they've gone with an unknown for Jon. Hope someone will be able to dig up a front-facing photo of him; profile looks okay though. :)

  • Awesome news. Lloyd looks great, and I like Addy.

    Someone needs to find a good picture of Harrington.

  • I just noticed it said Mark Addy for Robert. Yikes. While I do like Addy, he is not how I picture Robert at all. I also would've preferred Angus McFadyen. Oh well…

  • I think Addy is a perfect choice. He will look much better when we see him with a full head of dark hair and a beard.

  • Yeah, found a picture of Addy with a beard…I suppose I can kind of see it a bit better now. Still not my first pick, but I'm sure he'll do a fine job acting-wise, so I'm happy with the choice in that respect.

  • Terrific find ebleyes! Not a bad looking fellow. I have no idea how Harrington's acting is, but I trust the casting directors know what they're doing.

  • That is indeed a much better picture of Harrington (WiC – you should use that one if you do a post including pics). Yes, I can definitely see him as Jon Snow.

    Great job ebleyes! Can you dig one up of Gleeson? ;)

  • Batman Begins came out 4 years ago (2005) – a young boy can change quite a bit over the course of their teen years. I'm only finding one decent photo of him (from Batman), and he's an okay looking boy; just nothing special really. I am curious to see a current photo of the kid.

  • so…. is mark addy our varys?

    i'll wait until WiC posts the most important post they've posted yet, tomorrow, before the deep speculation ensues.


  • Awesome casting so far. You can't always get who you want exactly, but Peter Dinklage was exactly who I had in mind for that role, and Sean Bean is not anything to balk at. I saw Harry Lloyd's role in Doctor Who a while back after certain people pegged him for Viserys. Excellent choice.

  • I honestly thought they meant Meat Loaf Aday when I first read that Mark Addy would be in this, but he's Michael Aday, not Mark Addy. Honestly, Meat Loaf could have pulled it off, I think (he's a good actor, really), but Mark Addy, who I'm not terribly familiar with, except from A Knight's Tale, seems to have a serious following.

    All so very exciting.

  • Wow … alot can happen in a few days …. Well everyone thanks for the links, I checked them all and I'm just giddy from it …. Sean Bean looks to be our Ned and I couldn't be happier! … I'm comfortable with Mark Addy being Robert, Doesn't he have a TV show on CBS with Jaime Gertz? … and Harry Lloyd has a Viserys quality in him, have to see him in the wig and contacts … Kit Harrington as Jon Snow, I don't know, for me, not quite Starkish for me, but who am I to judge, he just might pull it off ….

    Touching on Jeremy Irons for a bit , great actor hands down, A couple of hit and misses but nothing to deter from the man …. if anything was redeemed with an Emmy a year or two ago for HBO's Elizabeth with Helen Mirran, so need I say more …. Would love for him to be attached in anyway, as some has suggested Blackfish or Ned's Dad … Does it really matter what part?

    Paul Giamatti would be awesome for Varys, but would he do, HBO has been good to him, so let's see …. and as for Ian McDiarmid, anything for the Sith Lord … maybe Tywin Lannister?

    Brian Blessed …. For me, He was Karstark, that's who I envisioned when Karstark was described …

    Now someone mentioned Clea Duvall for Brianna … I agree, but for her build, too small for the role now I'm not trying to be funny but I always pictured Brianna as Joannie Lauder aka China from the WWE.

  • Let the floodgates open! Quick hits:

    Kit Harrington certainly looks the part. We'll see if he can shed his "stage actor-only" rep and jump into the big pool. "You know nothing, Jon Snow," could be a theme here. Swim or die. But then, most great movie actors started as stage actors. Though what a way to learn, right?

    Mark Addy is a surprise; mostly known for comedic roles. He does have a certain Baratheonesque gleam to his eye. He's a bit younger than Sean Bean, though makeup will certain age him.

    Harry Lloyd could easily work for Viserys; he's gaunt, and a lot less pretty than Tom Payne, so that's likely what they're going for.

    Jack Gleeson I only remember from Batman Begins. Who really knows? He should still look pretty young.

  • I am so excited! This is great news. I love Mark Addy. I will be smiling for the rest of the week.

  • Well, it was worth it to stay awake till 10 am, after all. Interesting news! None of the choices seems like an obvious miss at least. How good they turn to be must wait for times when we have more material to analyze.

  • Wow. That's 3/3 for WiC. That's a great source you have there.

    Kit Harrington – could totally see him as the bastard son. Got that gleam in his eyes.

    Mark Addy – sure I could easily picture him as the drunken Robert but I'm not excited.

    Harry Lloyd – perfect.

    Jack Gleeson – I visited his imdb site and some people seem to think he's a brutal actor in Batman Begins. Hopes he'll do better as Joffrey.

    So, any news about female casts?

  • It has been confirmed by Martin himself along with other characters like Jon Snow, Joeffrey, Robert Baratheon and Viserys.

  • here's a video from "A Knight's Tale" with Addy in it. He's at about 2 minutes 31 seconds if you want to fast forward it.

    Youtube video

    My time tag doesn't seem to be working correctly so you'll need to fast forward to 2m31s.

  • @Børre @Freyja @Bubba @Josh

    If yah want you can make a link in here like so

    Making HTML links

    So people can just click on your URL's instead of copy and paste. Just a thought and you might already know this, so don't take offense :)

  • Awesome news! :)

    Now we need is some news on some of the female cast members.

    Bean and Addy are both fantastic, though.

  • "Of course, there's a lot more roles still to fill, including some very crucial ones like the Lannister twins, the Stark children, and Daenerys Targaryen"

    He didn't mention Catelyn! I'm wondering if the G.A. rumor is true.

  • So Jack Gleeson is Joffrey – he's Irish and about 16 or 17 now. So older than the original casting brief (which was 13) – but I think he's still quite small/young looking? Do you think this means they'll be ageing up all the children or can he play 13?

  • Lovely! Seems like they are pacing their announcements carefully. I expect the next one to be a big name for Catelyn (maybe they even already know who they want) together with the next bunch of less-known actors for a number of other roles. This way they ensure maximum impact :)

  • I think Roobb especially will be aged up to make later event more viable to a tv audience. Sansa too. The others are alright staying young, but simply because of what happens to these two, I'd assume some aging up.

    Same with Dany but even more so for the events of this series.

  • George R. R. Martin has confirmed that Sean Bean will be Eddard. He also unveiled a few other key-roles as well. Look at his blog.

  • Wow guys, this is really happening!!!! ….. I can't help but wonder who the other actors are …… damm I'm wishing I was an extra!!!! …. shit, I'll even play Shea!

  • Interesting too what Martin says about the rest of the casting still to be done:
    "Of course, there's a lot more roles still to fill, including some very crucial ones like the Lannister twins, the Stark children, and Daenerys Targaryen, so the search will continue for awhile. But we've begun, and so far I couldn't be happier. October is right around the corner."
    They're still looking for Daenerys…

  • Agree with Anon3, I always pictured someone angular, bony-cheecked. So I have mixed feelings about this casting. Love Sean Bean as an actor, but I'm not sure it's the right role for him… I hope the Ned casting turns out alright.

  • I am very very very disappointed. I cried when I read it on GRRM site. I always thought Sean Bean perfect for Jaime Lannister. He has that cocksure smile that I always pictured him to have, and just from the open sky — Ned Stark! You couldn't think of greater shock. Next thing, we're going to get all the wrong actors, with Rose McGowen as Cersei and Scarlet Johansson as Catelyn and Emma Watson as Dany and we can all go to hell.

  • GILLIAN ANDERSON IS A BITCH arrogant and ungrateful. One of the most greed person in the world. She is too old for the role and she is AMERICAN with the most false British accent I´ve heard in my live.
    To the Producers: Ignore this woman. Her name is problem.
    Why do you think she can´t work in her country? Why do you think nobody wants works with her besides the The X-files people?
    Do you know she doesn´t promete her shows?

  • "She is too old for the role" … as is Sean Bean for Ned and Peter Dinklage for Tyrion. Your point?

    "and she is AMERICAN with the most false British accent I´ve heard in my live" … her English accent is actually genuine and picked up when she lived in England for a large part of her childhood.

    "Why do you think she can´t work in her country?" … can't she? Says who?

    "Why do you think nobody wants works with her besides the The X-files people?" … except, ya know, the BBC for example.

    "Do you know she doesn´t promete her shows?" … I've seen her promoting shows. Huh?

    You know, I do get that everyone has different opinions on who should be cast in different roles, but I really don't understand all the hate here. How's about, instead of dumping all over other people's ideas, people start coming up with their own?

  • LOL, that anonymous spam about Gillian is so funny. The 5-year-old's grammar and lexicon is so typical of her haters who have been trolling online forums forever. FYI, The X-Files is basically over, so start hating someone else. And get a life.

    The gorgeous and talented Gillian would be a fantastic Catelyn, but I'm worried she won't be available for "A Game of Thrones": she will probably be shooting "The Smell of Apples" this autumn and has at least two other projects she'll be either directing or producing. Can we have more insider gossip on the casting of Catelyn, please?

  • I think Gillian Anderson is a very beautiful woman and a fine actor…That was a vicious and unwarranted attack by Anon…she is not my first pick for Catelyn but I wouldn't be upset if she was cast…there's no need for personal insults…what did she do to deserve that ?….Show some class …it's ok to not like her but the language used is way over the top!