Casting News

Actors names revealed, WiC posters are geniuses

We were right. We were 100% correct on our guesses for the five adult roles. It was just announced by The Hollywood Reporter that Jaime, Dany, Theon, Robb, Jorah, Sansa and Arya have all been cast.

HBO is filling out the cast of its fantasy pilot “Game of Thrones” with the addition of former “New Amsterdam” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and several others.

The group joins the previously cast lead Sean Bean as battle-weary Ned Stark, who leaves his home to serve the king. Mark Addy, Kit Harrington, Jennifer Ehle, Jack Gleeson, Peter Dinklage and Harry Lloyd also star.

In the adaptation of the George R.R. Martin fantasy-book series, Coster-Waldau will play Jaime Lannister, one of the king’s guards and a ruthless usurper of the previous king. The actor, most recently seen in Ron Moore’s Fox pilot “Virtuality,” is repped by WME, Impression and Independent Talent Group.

Another addition is Tamzin Merchant (Showtime’s “The Tudors”), who’ll play Daenerys, an exiled teenage princess.

Also new to the cast: Richard Madden (“Hope Springs”) as Stark’s eldest son, Robb; Iain Glen (“Into the Storm”) as Ser Jorah Mormont, a disgraced knight; Alfie Allen (“The Other Boleyn Girl”) as Theon, Stark’s young ward; Sophie Turner (“Doctor Who”), as Stark’s eldest daughter, Sansa; Maisie Williams as Stark’s young tomboy daughter, Arya.

The group joins the previously cast lead Sean Bean as battle-weary Ned Stark who leaves his home to serve the king, Mark Addy, Kit Harrington, Jennifer Ehle, Jack Gleeson, Peter Dinklage and Harry Lloyd.

HBO still has a few more roles to fill in the large ensemble cast of “Thrones,” one of the more buzzed-about titles on the premium network’s development slate. The pilot shoots in Ireland in October.

Winter Is Coming: Congrats all for figuring it out! Nice assist by those over at the Westeros forums and Tower of the Hand as well. However, this was where most of the comments were concentrated though and I think many of the suggested actors’ names first popped up here. So good job everyone!

Now we can begin (or rather renew) the debate over whether Coster-Waldau’s nose is too big or Merchant isn’t pretty enough. I’m sure these choices will give us plenty to talk about for the time being. Let’s try to keep it civil though, okay?

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  • Not having seen him in anything, I wasn't entirely thrilled with the suggestions of NCW as Jaime, just based on looks, but the picture accompanying the HR article is VERY reassuring. He is quite attractive indeed.

  • It's hard to say NCW couldn't pull off Jaime after looking at this video :

    I'm a bit concerned about Theon and Daenerys, but both could be fantastic. Can WiC posters provide some youtube vids of some of the lesser known actors/actresses?

    Also is there a picture of Sansa on the web from Dr. Who?

  • Hooray! Job well done to the folks who came up with the answers! Good to know the official word. Now people can quit arguing over clues. :)

  • not to brag but i suggested NCW months ago on the Westeros forums when there were no clues or any cast whatsoever … but that is mostly because I really like KOH (what can I say, Eva Green is the most beautiful woman on the planet IMHO).

    i must congratulate all of the deducers tho … it reminded me of the logic games on the LSAT … there are 7 people having dinner, 4 are having chicken, one of those is not Mary ….

  • I posted this on the other thread, but it bears repeating- plus people were probably fainting from the news so they might of missed it. I saw every epi of New Amsterdam w/ NCW. (I might have been the only one.) I thought he was a fine actor in a mediocre show. I don't know about an English Accent, but his American one was certainly passable. He played a lot of different aspects of a character as he was immortal and had to take on many personas in flashbacks and such. I like this decision, folks.

    Oh, and BTW- his nose is totally not as prominent on film as it is in stills, and his sex appeal only increases as you watch him.

  • Now I'm just waiting for George's annoyed post about HR getting the news out before he could Not-A-Blog about it.

    And he should have head shots/photos of everyone!!
    Signing off, we're under tornado watch. That never happens in Eastern Ontario. Wacked!


  • I wonder how many WiC posters will sleep in tomorrow as it may be their first good night in about a week…

  • @Brienne – just started watching New Amsterdam via Hulu (thanks Paul Gude for heads up). Agreed…NCW is very yummy to watch. ;)

  • @Brienne
    thanks for that info about NCW nose, because from I am very dubious based on the photos of how this guy could look anything like Jaime…..
    I don't recall in the books Ned being better looking than Jaime…
    Then again if your 'average' guy is going to look like Alfie Allen…… then yeah…. NCW = good looking

  • altho now that i look it up on westeros forums i suggested NCW as renly not jamie … so i only get half a lemon cake i guess …

    and in the same post i told people to get real with there guesses and that sean bean was out of the question as 'too big' … so maybe i have to give back that half lemon cake … =)

  • Sansa can't be played by the Sophie Turner in Doctor Who – that's a much older woman who played a vicar in a brief scene at the end of Family of Blood. Must be another young actress with the same name.

  • WoW! Good Going Guys and Gals!, we did guess them all. Congrats, especially to those that came up with the correct actors first. Now we can wait for the next round of Game of Names.
    I also want to toast all the actors who were chosen for their respective parts, all of you are excellent selections.

  • GRRM did say you couldn't find the child actors on Google so I doubt they were on anything as (relatively) prominent as Doctor Who.

  • congrats to all! special congrats to WiC who had to put up with it. it has been so much fun! excited to see everybody in the show!

  • ok, plz no more casting for 4-6 days must have some sleep good night and all great still not sure about Merchant but i guess she doesn't look too bad on the tudors

  • As I said in the comments on the previous blog entry, those who think Merchant isn't "beautiful enough" to be Dany are simply living in a different world than I am.

    I can see how she may not be exactly what people wanted Dany to look like, and I can understand if there are concerns about her acting ability if people were disappointed with her performance in the Tudors.

    But all this stuff about being ugly or plain or not beautiful enough? Good grief. I wonder what the color of the grass is in that world.

  • Before I sign off for the night I want to express my gratitude to the casting team and HBO, great job so far, keep them coming.
    CONSIDER CASTING CARICE VAN HOUTEN AS CERCEI!, she is a great match for Nikolaj (my opinion).
    Thanks also for creating this Game of Names. Please continue this, it was a little nerve-racking but way fun, and by the way …………

  • Here is video of Tamzin Merchant from The Tudors (some NSFW moments):

    Here is video of Alfie Allen (he's the young one in the bowler hat smoking a cigarette when you first see him):

    As for the girl playing Sansa, she was NOT in that episode of "Dr. Who." Someone at THR tried to fill out their article and did some bad googling. According to GRRM, there is really nothing about her out there and she hasn't done any film or TV before.

  • Once we have announcements for Cersei, Bran and Drogo, I'm convinced that we'll know the names of everyone who will be billed in the opening sequence.

    I think the billing order will look like this (plus the missing three in alphabetical order):

    Sean Bean as Lord Eddard Stark
    Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
    Jennifer Ehle as Lady Catelyn Stark
    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister
    Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont
    Kit Harington as Jon Snow
    Tamzin Merchant as Khaleesi Daenerys Targaryen
    Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
    Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
    Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy
    Jack Gleeson as Prince Joffrey Baratheon
    Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen
    Richard Madden as Robb Stark
    and Mark Addy as King Robert Baratheon

  • @JRQ

    She certainly isn't beautiful, but far from ugly or pretty even. I don't have any way to describe her looks, which, I think, is how Dany should be: indescribable.

  • @Kelsey
    There's already youtube footage of one that touched down in Vaughn

    Woot for southern Ontario

  • For those who think TZ isn't pretty enough need to remember that this is HBO. To get this part, I bet she's an amazing actor and they will make her look amazingly beautiful.

  • I always say photos aren't enough to assess someone's attractiveness. You need to see the person move, speak etc. I'm happy with the choices personally.

  • Good job again, everyone. My head was hurting from all the early speculation and the clues seemed so vague. But as George released more clues things started to become clearer and you guys started to help make the pieces fall into place. I knew we were getting close when we got Glen as Jorah. Never thought that we would have got them all though.

    I think Silverstar was the first to get Alfie Allen and I know Legion (sorry Yags, it doesn't count if you just list 4 people from the movie) was the first to get Iain Glen. Someone want to wade through close to 2000 comments and see who first figured out NC-W and Merchant? Or Richard Madden? I feel bad I don't have any prizes to give out to the winners. ;)

    Also shout out to Paul Gude, Ryan Dunn, Johnny from ToTH, About Yea High, Sparq, Brienne, Jenny, Em, Fate's Bitch, Jaimee and a whole bunch of others that I'm probably forgetting who came up with some great posts to help the cause.

    It's been an interesting week, that is for sure. Now it's time for me to get some sleep. Be back tomorrow with some reactions to the announcement. Good night all!

  • i'd be interested to know which actors had already read the books in just their regular lives, who read the books for the auditioning, who has/will read the books before the production starts and which actors "never like to be tainted by the source materiel" …

    i know that this is also off topic … but does anybody else think that the martells should have a middle eastern vibe? i always thought of them in that vein when i read the books … i have always thought of alexander siddig as oberyn martell … he was in KOH with NCW and IG so that is why i was having this thought

  • Dear George
    Thank you for this week of craziness. I hope HBO doesn't mind that your fans are super-sleuths

    From your weary, sleep-deprived fans lol

  • Just realized that the not a Boney pop singer clue did refer to the group Boney M. One of members is named Maisie Williams. So people were on the right track, only we couldn't really get an answer to it as the actress is an unknown.

  • Wow! I got a shout out! Since almost all of my logic turned out to be incorrect- especially as to why the first 3 clues should not apply to the kids, when it turns out the boney pop singer=Boney M=Maisie Williams- I feel guilty. I guess GRRM is crueler than we all thought. ;)
    Soooo- Drogo? I like Keith Hamilton Cobb, but I think he lost the dreads a while back…

  • @Mwoimp

    i think we all just assumed that once GRRM said that the two children were complete unknowns he wouldn't then go and waste clues on them … which, if i am honest … is a bit annoying … if they are unknowns and we wouldn't know them even if they were sitting down across from us on a subway then why refer to them in the clues …

  • thanks Littleboots, I was thinking NCW's eyes have to be blue, but some of the photos made them seem brown.

    and at this point, the youtubes of T.M. as Catherine Howard are troubling rather than reassuring…I am not sold on her acting ability. But I'm going to try to chalk it up to a really corny script that required her to overdo the slut factor (I don't regularly watch the Tudors, so I can't fit it into context very well). Hair, makeup, setting and costume can cover a lot of ground, so I'll hope.

    NCW is simply yum. om nom nom

  • Just noticed this comment on the HR article:

    The Sophie Turner cast in Game of Thrones is not the Sophie Turner from Dr. Who. She is an (as yet) unknown child actor.

    Wonder if this is true. Based on GRRM's previous comments about the child actors being "unknowns" it would certainly seem to be.

  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau…. check
    Richard Madden…. check

    Sophie Turner… had to be checked
    Maisie Williams… had to be checked

    Iain Glen…. will be checked
    Alfie Allen…. will be checked

    Tamzin Merchant….. I hope, I sincerely hope to check this one. But for now, I'm sorry, no.

  • Awww Shucks! Thanks! I love you WIC!!!!! It was my pleasure. I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of this. I can't wait for the pilot! How are we gonna get through the next few months LOL at least we have eachother.
    *hugs WIC.
    *hugs GRRM
    *group hug for all you cool folks.
    Wow I feel like we've won something. LOL
    WIC posters are so damn smart aren't they!
    ARG I wish I had a portal that I could peek through to see the pilot. Anybody have a spare time machine I can borrow. I have to say I am REALLY pleased with the choices.

    *does happy dance!!!!

  • I've said it once before, and I'll say it again: "Legion, you are my hero". And to add to that: "Jaimee, you are my heroine."

  • Winter – Thank *you* for this great blog. I was happy I found it and happier still with your consistent quality.

    Brude – Thanks for posting those links. Tamzin Merchant especially was nice to see, and certainly not what I was expecting from the negative comments I had seen before. I've got confidence that GoT has a great cast from all players.

    Jonias – I agree. Carice van Houten as Cersei would be a fine addition.

    That said, well done HBO! I think you've got a great cast.

  • @julia – Yeah, I agree. She is awkward to watch on The Tudors, but like you said, it's not exactly a great show. I'm sure she must have had a great audition to win over the casting people – keeping my fingers crossed and hope for a phenomenal performance as Dany.

  • First, I just wanted to express my excitement for the Dany casting. I think she is beautiful and perfect for the role!

    Second, the more I think about how late this pilot is filming, the time they're taking, etc. it makes me think that HBO is probably saving AGoT for last, after these other new dramas (Treme, Boardwalk Empire) aire, that way they know how much attention Thrones is gonna need. Basically, I see it as a good omen. :)

  • is it just me or where Tazmin and Alfie in the same tv show one year apart? is London 1906 and London 1907 the same show just one year after the other? anybody from Australia know anything about this show? assuming the show really is Australian like IMDB says ….

  • @furrever

    "Wonder if this is true. Based on GRRM's previous comments about the child actors being "unknowns" it would certainly seem to be."

    It has to be true, unless Sansa is really played by an older woman (the Doctor Who actress with the same name).

  • @Jacopo Belbo
    I'm Australian and I've never heard of that show – I think IMDB is saying it had an alternate title in Australia, not that it's Australian
    I think it's from the UK

  • @zoidberg

    yeah, i figured that out just after i hit post unfortunately … but good looking out tho … so anybody from the UK ever heard of these shows London 1906 and London 1907? are they the same show? all i know is Taz and Alfie have both benn on the show(s)

  • Wow! Maisie Williams/Boney M. In my defense if you put "Maisie Williams" into Google it *will* come up with Boney M in the first few hits, and my main problem with people with the Boney M/Banks connection was that it didn't work for her.

    Nice one, folks!

  • Just added all the new cast members to IMDB. Hopefully the update will be made within the next few days.

  • I am too happy right now that we've guessed correctly to even start talking about the cast's abilities. Good job, everyone! ^__^

    @ WiC: Ah, no need for gratitude — after all, it's all thanks to you for creating this informative blog so we could spend time doing so.

  • Also want to chime in and congratulate all of you on your sleuthing skills. Well done. Now, get a good night's sleep, because you never know when GRRM's gonna drop clues about Cersei. And the Mother help us all if he expects us to figure out every role cast from Cersei to Eunuch #2. (My money, btw, is on David Tennant. ;)

  • @WiC
    So I looked around, and it would appear that these people get the prize:
    NCW=Fate's Bitch
    Tamzin Merchant=Anonymous@8/13 4:09 (saying that s/he hoped they hadn't cast her. Making him/her the charter member of a very annoying club.)
    Richard Madden=Sparq


  • I'm glad Alfie was cast as Theon 'cause I get a slightly creepy feeling from him as I always got from Theon.
    Richard Madden looks great for Robb.
    Can't wait to see who is cast as Cercei opposite NCW.
    Also can't wait to see pictures of Maisie and Sophie. That'll drive me nuts with anticipation until I see them.

    My husband, who refuses to read the books 'cause of the whole Jaime/Cercei thing, actually mentioned to me that he can't wait to see the show (we were talking about fantasy done right in movies/TV) so I may yet convince him to read the series before it airs. But it's a good endorsement for HBO if he thinks they can do it right and he'll watch it despite his initial aversion. (I keep telling him it's only a small part of the overall series).

  • Wow! Nice work everyone. I wonder if HBO felt pressure to release the details after yesterday's post which pretty much had them all nailed. If so, that's pretty cool. It's really starting to feel like we're all part of something special here, isn't it?

    Winter – full credit to you, man. Not sure if you fully understood what you were getting yourself into when you started this blog but you've been doing a brilliant job. I have no idea how you can still be holding down a day job … my productivity at work has taken a nose-dive just reading this bloody thing!!

    Anyway, I don't know a whole lot about the actors that were cast but I'm looking forward to seeing more of them and I've got faith in HBO that they've made smart decisions once again.

  • @WiC

    Will you be updating the Cast and Crew post? If so could you sticky it to the front page with a link? Exciting stuff!

  • Hussah!!! Brilliant work everyone!!! I'm extatic!!
    Aand to NCW.. Yes-yum om nomnom indeed!! ;)*fawns* *sighs* *breaths out*

  • Coster-Waldau is certainly hot, and has a very Jaimeish smile… And I'm so excited about Richard Madden!

  • Thanks one and all for providing me with stress and angst a plenty this last week. Having trawled through this latest lot of casting announcements my opinion is:

    Tamzin Merchant – if she can act she should be fairly decent based on the Tudors YouTube vid posted earlier.
    Iain Glen – Fair enough, not ecstatic but not upset at all
    Richard Madden – nice choice, melikey
    Alfie Allen – Dear God in heaven NO!!!!!! The guy is not classy enough in appearance to pull off an aristocrat and his acting is shockingly bad even in the terrible Cuasualty thing. NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Doom, doom and thrice doom.
    NCW – I'm gonna cry. Nothing against the man irrespective of whether or not he can act. He is also pretty hot so that ain't it either but – I'm in the Skarskgaard/Friend style of Jaime camp. Jaime is meant to be beautiful not rugged. NCW is rugged. No matter how good he can act (if he can) I cannot imagine Cersei thinking he is the only man worthwhile. Honestly, Sean Bean is sexier, come to think of it so is Richard Madden. Jaime should scream off the screen 'I am the sexiest manliest man in this room bow down before me.' NCW don't do that for me.

    A very upset fan hoping against all hope that HBO are as good with this as they usually are with everything else.

  • If Cersei would pick Alexander Skarsgard or Rupert Friend over NCW, then she'd be crazy. From a hetero male's perspective, NCW is far more attractive than either Skarsgard or Friend.

  • I'm in awe that as GRRM posts his reasoning it completely matches the thought processes you guys came up with when making your cases for your particular clues.

    Again, good show everyone!

    For those upset with certain cast members, I'm sorry you've been disappointed. I for one couldn't be happier, and can't wait to see who's next.

  • Sorry guys, but this is just a nightmare for me. All the time I was hoping this Alfie Allen thing is not true. As someone wrote before, this choice is made for reason, it's their own version for Theon, but I don't like this version and don't want to see it anymore. (This is just my very personal opinion, of course!)

  • Really looking forward to all the actors. Seeing the youtube clips I totally get every choice they made.

    I'm impressed :D

  • Ok, that youtube vid and pic of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, kinda off convinced he can do Jaime, appearance wise at least. Well not much we can do now, though personally Rupert Friend would've been my ideal choice.

  • Alfie Allen – Dear God in heaven NO!!!!!! The guy is not classy enough in appearance to pull off an aristocrat

    Don't forget, Theon is Iron Born. He's not some pansy-ass lordling from The Reach (no matter what Balon might think of him). He should be somewhat rough around the edges, IMO.

  • Sergio – you are a hetero-male, fair enough but I'm a hetero woman and I'd rather have AS over NCW any day of the week *goes off into inappropriate thought land*. BUT…

    I have just re-watched the NCW '2 good' vid a few times. He sure as hell isn't the Jaimes I read but I will give him the benefit of the doubt for three reasons: 1) This is HBO. 2) He is sexy as hell. 3) I want this to work.

    In my head I'll be reading AS but from here on in I'll be giving NCW the benefit of the doubt.

    Positive vibes from me so Bring On The Next Cast-List!

  • @ Paul Gude: Agreed. It's nice that GRRM posted his reasoning, it'll probably help us for the next set of clues for the other cast, i.e. Cersei.

  • NCW is so totally Jaime. He gives off the same attitude as in my favorite artist rendition of Jaime found here: Jaime

    Basically, your cocky, badass, man's man knight with that sneer of a smile which NCW pulls off all too perfectly.

  • I'm also a hetero woman and I'd take NCW over AS. I've watched the first season of True Blood and never really got the whole Eric appeal (or the Bill appeal but that's a whole different matter). After watching the youtube video GRRM linked us though I'm completely on board with NCW.

  • The picture GRRM just posted of the young Miss Maisie Williams doesn't strike me as being very Arya-like. Her face is round with a bit of baby fat, whereas Arya is supposed to be thin and long-faced.

  • Honestly, I think NCW's nose is what throws a lot of people for Jaime. Were it more traditionally "perfect" I think some who don't like him would see him as more acceptable. Personally, I don't care. He has enough of the right kind of look and the fact that his nose is a bit unusual is so minor as to not be worth worrying about. It's a pretty distinctive feature about his face, for sure (which usually is a plus for an actor, helps them be more recognizable).

    As others have said, he's got the cocky grin down pat – and it's just naturally a part of who he is, it seems. I see it in half the candid photos I see online of him.

  • @ Brude & Co, I get what your saying about Theon bein Iron Born but Theon is a pancy-ass lordling. He has been ward with the Stark's for years. Theon wants to be Balon's but in reality he likes the soft-life (Stark style anyway) a little too much. He won't have built up the 'grrr' rugged-roughness that AA seems to have.

  • @Lurker: I think even though Theon is "soft" by Ironborn standards…in the end, he is a wannabe badass who needs to front as the tough outcast among the Starks, so needs to act and look that way. I think AA looks a whole lot like he can pull off that kind of personality.

  • WOW, going on vacation in a few hours with no internet service and now I can go on my vacation in PEACE!!! Thank you HBO, WiC, GRRM … thank you, thank you, THANK YOU … Congrats to all my fellow posters who cracked the clues and hints …. I'm happy with the new cast members and I wish them all luck ….. have to admit that I'm not too happy with Tamzin Merchant as Dany, not what I had in my mind's eye but the girl can act … let's see what costume and makeup can do, plus the girl can do nudity as seen in the Tudors (hot shot of her naked on the swing)

  • LadyNYC74, Wow I'm in the same boat. I leave on vacation for a week with no Internet early Saturday so I was really hoping the casting would be Thursday or Friday. Lucky us!

  • Sergio, that is why books are sooooo fabulous! Fingers crossed you are right. Theon is a small enough character for me to be able to ignore.

    The girls on NAB look fine from what we can tell, no gripes there…from me at least ;o)

    Back to waiting now, man I hate that…

  • Seems to me like great castings all around.

    Tazmin Merchant – I still don't get it why some people think she's ugly. Also, from the Tudors clip it seems like she can act. I hope she's versatile enough to pull off Dany, but I have trust in D&D.

    NCW – I don't know the guy, but he looks great in the youtube clip.

    Richard Madden – Lookswise, he's perfect Robb.

    Sansa and Arya – I hope we get some better pics pretty soon. Hard to say anything with such bad photos.

    Jorah and Theon – Don't know any of them.

  • I'm the anonymous who posted the first Tamzin Merchant post. And yes, I hoped that they wouldn't have chosen her. But I'm ok now. She's not bad actress in those three roles I've seen from her. Not excellent either but maybe she will be as Daenerys. I refuse to belong any Tamzin hate club. I don't hate her. That's stupid.

  • good choice on jaime, theon, jorah, and robb.

    Stark children look exactly how i imagined them especially arya.

    tamzin merchant…..yeaaahhhh ………

  • I don't think Tamzin Merchant has the acting chops to pull off Daenerys, I'd love to be proven wrong by HBO, but honestly I just don't see it, even after watching that tudors clip.

  • Aaah!! So exciting, this! I think all the actors will be great, even if some don't exactly look how I pictured then before (Jaime, however, is perfect)

    That being said: what would it be like if we got Lily Allen to play Asha? :D

  • @Chelsea

    See, the gods do smile down on us :)

    @ Anon

    Regarding Asha …. what a coup!!! … but can she act and would be willing to cut her hair (don't know why but always saw Asha with short hair)

  • Robb up now. Huh, I thought he'd do Daenerys next. Guess he's just thinking up aomething appropriately smart alecky to say to all her naysayers.

  • Well, it seems like Tamzin Merchant might have been GRRM's casting find. If the author likes her that much, I'll go along with it.

  • I kind of wonder how comfortable Lily and Alfie would be in the scene before Theon knows he's talking to his sister…honestly, I think that would be pretty weird for a real brother and sister to play (though Justine and Jason Bateman did something very much like that in "Arrested Development," which was hilarious).

  • I now am a little excited to watch the next season of Tudor's. I watch it cuz I love the supporting cast and the production design. (And cuz I have SHO for Dexter.) But now I admit I might be totally distracted…

  • Just read Martin's write up on Tamzin, might change my mind a bit about her. He seems pretty damn confident about her.

  • This is what I found most interesting from George's post about Merchant:

    "I believe I mentioned at worldcon that we were down to three finalists for Dany, which was true at the time. It was a hell of a hard choice, since the other two contenders were also great… so great, in fact, that I hope we can use both of them in other roles should the series last several seasons." (The bold emphasis is mine's.)

  • @Anon 3:23 – same here…I was dubious about TM at first, but GRRM seems mighty confident that she'll be a knockout Dany so I will have to trust him and HBO with this. Besides, the more I look at her, the more she's beginning to grow on me as the Dany in the books.

  • The two roles GRRM has in mind for Merchant's competitors are probably Margaery Tyrell and Jeyne Westerling.

  • @Lurker Delurks
    Really?? AS? over NCW?
    Guess as a swedish hetero female I ought to be more inclined in the AS direction – for patriot reasons or so… But I don't see it. Never AS as Jaime. He's better as Eric – and hopes to his blossoming hollywood career – but NCW anyday…
    "Jaime should scream off the screen 'I am the sexiest manliest man in this room bow down before me.' NCW don't do that for me."
    He does to me-ee!! ;)

    So agreed with Sergio, WolfofWinter and others – and add Jaime needs to be that rugged in my opinion – highly doubt any kings men and knight would last long in that "day and age" without becoming a little rugged. A bit poor phrasing, but hope you catch my meaning. And Cersei would be crazy not to find him attractive.

    oops… see now that you commented more – sorry! :)

    @ Brude, Sergio etc.
    Count me in about Theon/AA. no pancy-ass lordling like Joffrey strikes me really, at least not by blood and "dna". Need to stand out, yes.

    also @ Sergio about Arya.
    I actually think she looks just like I pictured her. Books description a little bit aside. Or at least – she can BECOME Arya to me. She has that little bit broad nose, that Sansa would think unladylike, and looks like she could be the daughter of Ned. Plus I can easily see her *SPOILER* in Harrenhall (sorry if I get the name wrong – poor memory for names) being the petulant Arya, and on the run, killing people, learning swordsmanship or what-you-call-it by Syrio… etcetc.
    And color Sophies hair to match my Sansa and I'm happy as can be about the children! By GRRM's description on his Not-A-Blog – they seem like great picks!

    Happyhappyhappy! :D And for those of you with more troubled minds -remember that HBO will deliver, and give these actors a chance, god willing the series will get picked up, it won't take long before we see these actors in our minds as the characters.
    My friends this is so WONDERFUL!

    …though truth be told – I rather enjoyed the guessinggame… Next cast n' clues please George! ;) Sweet Tormentor of Innocent Fans.

  • I'm extremely disappointed that they picked Tamzin Merchant. I've watched the video clip from Tudors and I can't see her as Danny at all, I might be a bit shallow but wasn't Danny supposed to be a lady, who is beautiful in the ethereal kind of way? I just hope that she has loads of talent to compensate . . .

    (The fact that actors in a pilot can be recasted for the main series gives me hope.)

    I'm particularly happy with the choices for Arya and Sansa. Even tho they're unknowns, George's reaction to them seems to scream that they're going to do great in their respective roles.

    Based on that pic of NCW posted by WiC, I have no problem thinking of him as Jamie Lannister.

  • The two roles GRRM has in mind for Merchant's competitors are probably Margaery Tyrell and Jeyne Westerling.

    I'm thinking Margaery and Doreah. I suppose it could be Jeyne though.

  • I think it's funny that everyone is saying that TM looks wrong for Dany, whereas George says that he had her in mind for Dany right from the first time he saw her in The Tudors.

    If he thinks she looks right, then she looks right. He invented Dany, after all!

  • Ashli, nice comparison pic there! The Jaime in that isn't my idea of Jaime but I'm happy to go with it and NCW sure does fit the pic…

  • "I think Silverstar was the first to get Alfie Allen and I know Legion (sorry Yags, it doesn't count if you just list 4 people from the movie) was the first to get Iain Glen. Someone want to wade through close to 2000 comments and see who first figured out NC-W and Merchant? Or Richard Madden? I feel bad I don't have any prizes to give out to the winners. ;)"

    When HBO congratulates you on the amazing job you've done with the blog and all the buzz you've stirred up, and offers you the chance to go watch the filming, you can take us along too ;)

  • Well said, Silverstar! Everyone needs to calm the heck down and think that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the showrunners and HBO cast these people because they GAVE THE BEST AUDITIONS? If you want the character to look EXACTLY as described in the book, you should have lobbied for a cartoon version. And that worked SO WELL for "Lord of the Rings"…

  • Oh man totally disappointed about Dany. Tamzin Merchant looks like someone hit her with an ugly stick. horrible choice for that role.

  • Nine month follower, first time poster.
    We're being taken care of and I'm overwhelmed by the accuracy of everyones deductions. Fortunately for all, I shall now be involved in the sleuthing yet I've recently delayed working. To those Merchant haters, sorry you lose. And to NCW, You've got the smirk. My kingslayer isn't feminine in the least bit. Bring on Cersei! (Awaiting GRRM's clue, "Female, aged equivelent as the Dutchmen. You may begin WIC bloggers."

  • Amazing job everyone. This blog is better than Bletchley Park at cracking codes. Well done Winter, well done team. A part of the me is strangely proud of all the fans for this achievement. It makes all the hours spent on this site feel almost not wasted. And to all the Merchant 'fans' out there. HAHAHA – im happy.

  • Btw, great job you did, with guessing the clues out! And otherside, I think NWC would be an awsome Jaime. All I need is an edited version with all the Theon scenes cut, and I'll be okay;)

  • I like all the casting choiches, except Merchant. I'm not one of these who says that she's fugly and so on; she's very pretty, but I'm not satisfied with her acting skills; in The Tudors she was terrible. I just hope she will make me change my mind ;)
    PS: Sorry for my bad English.

  • Well done, everyone. And big Laugh Out Loud and a Bronx Cheer to all the rude jerks who insulted Tamzin Merchant. Go Tamzin!

  • I've never been disappointed with actors in an HBO series, so I have full trust in their casting staff.

  • Tamzin can't act and she's fugly; no matter how much you nerds say otherwise, the majority of the public will agree. This girl has to carry the most important story arc of the series?? wont' happen

  • If your going to denounce people and call them ugly, have the guts to add your name cause its kinda cowardly to make those comments and be "Anonymous"

    @Hunter Tremayne

    being from the Bronx, you should have heard me already

  • Gonna jump to other castmembers cuz that's where my brain is now.
    I like Andrew Divoff for the Hound. No, he's not huge but he does menacing/near sympathetic well. Don't know if anyone's ever mentioned him in that context. It says on IMDB he speaks like 8 languages, yet he always almost always plays a Russian. Yet in YouTube the vids of his natural speaking voice almost sound- Canadian?

  • "Tamzin can't act and she's fugly; no matter how much you nerds say otherwise, the majority of the public will agree. This girl has to carry the most important story arc of the series?? wont' happen"

    George disagrees with you?

  • I am so relieved it's over!!!


    Thanks everybody for a great time!!!

    I don't see NCW much as Jaime yet, but I hope he'll pull it off, I'm positive he will though.

  • Lady, what does it matter who the name is commenting, that's gonna be the general opinion of people watching TV; just b/c you're ugly doesn't mean most people like looking at ugly people

  • "What do you expect George to say? He had no say so"

    No, but he really didn't need to say "I had her tagged as Dany right from the first time I saw her in the Tudors" if he didn't like her, did he?

  • he had to spin getting an ugly girl somehow, there's no way you'll convince anybody that GRRM had this person pictured when he wrote the character. He's gonna say what he has to to make it seem better than it is b/c it's his series and he knows how many ppl know she's fugly

  • Oh, for crying out loud. SHE ISN'T UGLY!!

    You must think practically everyone you meet is ugly, if you're insisting she is.

  • It's been so aggravating having to wait, I can't tell you how many times a day I check WiC hoping for an update. I was about to go to bed and decided to take one last look,and I am thrilled!!!! Congratulations and Kudos to everyone that worked hard on the clues for the rest of us. Now it's on to Cersei and Bran!

    Arya is exactly what I pictured, (if that is her on the facebook).

    Has someone found Sansa yet?

  • yeah she is, silver; and no, there's thousands of attractive women out there w/ talent that would have made a better choice than TM who's friggen head shot is subpar

  • @ Anonymous 4:12

    Get over it, sheesh!

    How many days have you been bitching about Tamzin? Give it a rest already.

  • have shed my tears (metaphorically speaking) for the non McKidd casting, and I'm now behind the Nikolaj Coster-Waldau casting. The video, GRRM posted on his blog, does a good job of showing the guy's acting range and versatility. I think Coster- Waldau can pull off the off the Kingslayer both look and acting wise.

    Tamzin Merchant is hot enough to play, Dany, in my opinion. Besides, it's not her beauty we should be worrying about, it's her acting. She did a decent job as Henry's fifth wife, but I'm not sure how she will fare as Dany. It's not like we have much to judge on either.

  • one day, this fugly actress that can't act needs to be recast; no way she can carry her own story arc for 4 years.

  • The shows Alfie & Tamzin were in are actually called "Casualty 1906" and "Casualty 1907".

    They are more or less one show (there is also the newest season "Casualty 1909").

    1906 was a one-off episode, probably to test the format, 1907 had 3 episodes and 1909 has 6 episodes.

    They are historical medical-dramas set in "The London", the biggest hospital in Britain at the time (and still today).

  • There's a troll? Oh dear, I left my troll-bashing stick behind, will have to ignore him instead. No doubt it is a he, trolls usually are. It is amazing they breed so quickly…

  • Well, in the bigging, Danzy, sorry Dany is supposed to be lanky, hungry, beaten and scared.

    With hair and makeup in the right places I'm sure we'll all be delighted.

  • I just hope that after filming the pilot, at HBO they're not too convinced and they decide to recast some of the actors, starting with Tazmin!

  • Hey there. I've been reading this blog for quite some time, and man, I've not had so much fun in a long long time. The journey so far's been great. Lets hope the excitement continues! :~)

    Winter Is Coming, I think it would be great if you could update the cast page and post it on top. I think someone else has already said this earlier….

    Keep up the awesome work! :~)

  • My rankings of the casting choices thus far:

    1.) Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont – This is a perfect casting. Watch some of the newer clips on Glen's website and you'll be convinced.

    2.) Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister – Great look for Jaime.

    3.) Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark – Great pick for Catelyn.

    4.) Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister – Yes, this was a good casting, but it was also the most obvious casting ever. No kudos for making the best and only choice.

    5.) Kit Harrington as Jon Snow – Looks good, but can he exert the forcefulness that Jon Snow possesses?

    6.) Richard Madden as Robb Stark – Same as above.

    7.) Sean Bean as Eddard Stark – The star factor influenced this pick. If Bean weren't so famous, I wouldn't be all that thrilled.

    8.) Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen – She does have a fragile beauty, but Dany is a role that needs a strong actor.

    9.) Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon – Physically underwhelming.

    10.) Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy – I don't like such a boyish looking Theon.

    11.) Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen – They went with the completely insane interpretation of Viserys. I would have preferred a more regal, attractive Viserys.

    I didn't rank Jack Gleeson, Maisie Williams, or Sophie Turner because there aren't enough information and pictures to really assess them.

  • @Lurker Delurks
    I agree with your assessment, I feel a bit worried now based on some of the casting choices…
    Alfie Allen, doesn't look anything like I envisaged the Greyjoys, more maybe a peasant farmer look or something? Not like lean, mean seafaring race….
    NCW as Jaime – errrr well Jaime is meant to be gorgeous and I am PRETTY sure it would have been mentioned if he had a large and weirdly shaped nose (or had it broken)….. I am in the camp of having envisaged Jaime as much more 'pretty' .. and yes the other guys will look more attractive than he does (Ned, Robb) which is just totally wrong….. seeing as the twins are said to be uncannily alike I cannot wait to see them find a professional actress with THAT nose….

    Richard Madden – he seems fine but looks a heck of a lot older than Robb should be …. as I am sure someone mentioned way back, we should see Robb as a very young man going off to war …. this guy looks old enough to go off to war with no questions asked…. doesnt work so well for me….

  • Will ignore troll in a minute – but can't resist saying one thing.
    George is happy, D&D are happy, HBO is happy, most of us are at least satisfied/willing to give her the sporting chance of showing us wrong(I have no strong personal opinion abt acting skills/not but obviously she won over two other great actresses), in my opinion looks like no mind-blowing Pam Anderson babe – BUT, she is eyecatching, will win peoples hearts over(if she can be Dany), and in all fairness, who'd ACTUALLY want PA/lookalike as Dany…
    If you wanted to have anything remotely important say in this, you should have made a career in casting business, in which case you'd have seen her auditions – again, where she outdid two other great choices – and would actually KNOW something about TM=Dany.

    Got agitated a bit at the end there – but hopefully I'll resist baiting the troll more after this. ;)

    And in either case. WiC etc, HAS asked us to keep it nice in here, and I don't see namecalling or the such falling under that category.
    (From work… better get back on it!)

  • @Anon

    Sticks and Stones my friend, sticks and stones … and if you know I'm ugly, then you must really have a nose for your own kind!!! … and yeah, it's real easy to post negative comments behind "Anonymous" then saying it up-front and letting people know WHO said, but then that's how we do it "Da Bx" … UP-FRONT AND IN YOUR FACE!!!!

  • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau did a pretty good Engl(ish) accent in Kingdom of heaven so that should be covered ok. Why dont they get virtuality co-star Sienna Guillory to play Cersei, they were getting it on ok in that.

  • I happened to catch "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead" on Ovation Cannel the other day (probably the 4th or so time I've seen it). While watching I kept noticing how good the guy playing Hamlet was (even though in THIS play it's a fairly small role). Just noticed the guy who played Hamlet in that was none other than Iain Glen. (Boy, did he look young when that movie was made!)

  • Oh – and another thing.
    About anonymity. Like has been said. Only cowards trash people anonymously. It's easy throwing out unpleasantries when noone knows your name or who you are.

  • Tazmin Merchant as Dany ? Really ?

    Sigh. The first (and to date only) really big casting letdown for me. Sure, she's not bad looking or even ugly as some posters here claim, but she certainly isn't overly good looking either…for most female roles that would be more than "ok" if the actress in question can …well…act good.

    But for Dany ? She's described as being of exceptional beauty -it's part of what Dany is, what defines her character. TM is a really bad fit for that, no matter how good she might act.

  • @ WolfofWinter
    Thank you!
    That's so sweet. You and WIC (and GRRM and HBO team) have made my day! *Hugs again super tight!*

    I'm so happy right now. I thought I'd be able to sleep after we found out this news BUT NO! Now I'm too excited to sit down much less sleep! LOL

  • I Like the castings all of them.

    I can see Merchant as Dany, don't go blind on the Tudors clip, since she's brought at court to be a total slut and get king to favour her benefactors. She has a very youthful look that wil make her perfect. As for beauty well as said before beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • Denise van Outen really does look like Cersei. Have no idea if she can act though.

    Just watched a few of Alfie's videos. I like him even if he looks nothing like how I pictured Theon. He carries himself well.

  • At Tudors, it's noticeable that she lacks the certain charisma Danny should have. In all honesty, her portrayal of Katherine as a woman of no morals was too good that I really can't envision her as anything else. But as I really want the pilot to succeed I wish her well.

  • Congrats to everyone for the guessing game, it was awesome. I love how the psych report I did on GRRMs youtube searching actually turned out to be true. I think I can claim Richard Madden for lemoncake.

    Tamzins choice as dany is reasonable to me, this is HBO after all. I like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau a lot, he was outstanding in the TV series he was in. Alfie Allen for Theon works for me, and the kid actors look great. Our poor Iain Glen was one of the fasted guessed, but he looks great for Ser Jorah Mormont.

    Who's up for a Cersei guessing game? :P
    The Sienna Guillory suggestion mentioned before is very good actually.

  • @all the stupid jerks who keep being rude, calling people fugly.

    It's ok saying someone is not to you taste. It's not ok to say they look like someone hit her with an ugly stick. Yes, I'm talking to you, Anachronite.

    Once GoT is up, I believe you will be forced to have some headwear dinner.

  • Good thing with GRRM is that if you dislike an actor, you can always tell yourself "bah (s)he's gonna die before the end anyway".

  • Wow! You guys from this blog are awesome. Cracked every clue…Nice! I'm not very pleased with all actors, but I still can't wait for show to begin. :)))))))))) Guess that HBO read my letter. XD

  • I'm Very happy with Nikolaj as Jaimee. I would have loved Alex Skarsgard but Nikolaj will do :)
    I really liked him in Virtuality. He played there really well. and kinda Jaimeish.

    As someone posed before me Merchant is also my big 1st disappointment. Dany was supposed to be 'the most beautiful girl in the world' and Merchant is well only Blah. On the street I wouldn't even look behind me. She's not even close as to how I pictured Dany. And I guess I'm not the only one.

    are there any pictures of Sansa?

  • Can someone point to me the words in the books that refer to Dany's beauty? All I seem to remember is Viserys complaining that her breasts were too small and being worried that she DIDN'T look like a princess.

    The ethereal beauty thing was entirely a message board suggestion not supported by book text — I should know, it was my image! — so that can be ruled out.

  • Hey people, well done everyone. Read the news early in the morning, only found the time to comment now.

    I am amazed the commenters got every single one right, was definitely not expecting that! The waiting was part fun and (big) part agonising … the announcement came just in time, I think. Almost seems like they were waiting for us to get everyone right first, heheh.

    The casting decisions, again, are superb. Sure, for some of the people I will need to see them in the role first, but I have all the confidence in the directors to pick people with the right skills (there's very little to complain about the looks, really). In the previous posts somewhere I have already outlined my views on Tamzin Merchant. As for Madden, I only hope he doesn't appear too adult on screen, otherwise great. I'm fully behind NCW, he has both an apparent charisma and a smirk. The nose would only be a problem when they're looking for a matching Cersei, as someone remarked earlier :) Perhaps I'd welcome just one more household name in a bigger role, we'll see what the future brings.

    Strange, somehow the announcement is less exciting than the previous ones. Surely because there were no surprises and we have checked the actors cast time and time again. The great part is that HBO acknowledged the buzz in the press release as well. Thanks, Winter, keep it up! Enjoy it now, people, and get some sleep.

  • Watching some New Amsterdam right now Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will make a badass Jaime. I just figured out where I know him from. He was Gordon in Black Hawk Down.

  • NCW is my dream Jaime, he is beautiful and manly at the same time. Granted, Jaime looks like his sister but he is a man, and has to look like one. According to Cersei, Loras and Margaery look more alike than Jaime and her, even though they are not twins. Loras is always described as beautiful in a girly kind of way. So, while Rupert Friend and Skarsgard are very handsome, I think NCW has a more manly look which is perfect for Jaime. And Jaime's nose has never been described in the books, so we can't complain.

    I would like to see Rupert Friend as a Tyrell, together with Hugh Dancy: they have that look.

  • The people complaining about Tamzin Merchant as Dany are insensitive morons. She isn't exactly how I pictured Dany (I pictured Lily Cole or Bjork!) but I think she'll be just fine. Make up and costume can do a lot. And she's by no means ugly.

  • @ulix: thanks for the update on the show Casualty 1906-1907, i was getting the name mixed up with the australian name from IDMB (it is called london hospital there) … did you see the show? was the show any good? were taz and alfie good?

    @brude: Roz & Guild Are Dead is one of my all time favourite movies … A. it is written by the brilliant tom stoppard (the real reazon Shakespeare In Love was so good), i got to see the original stage play in the west end and it was fantastic B. Tim Roth and Gary Oldman are the best actors of their generation and to see them together was amazing … speaking of which wasn't tim roth on TV recently in Lie To Me on FOX? i assume that show got cancelled so is he available now? I can totally picture him as litle finger … creepy and slick and vilely hateful … like in Rob Roy … C. when someone first guessed Ian Glenn i looked up his IMDB and saw that he was in fact Hamlet in one of my favourite movies so I whipped out my vhs copy and watched it and was totally blown away by how good he was and how young he looked

    here is hoping they can get Tim Roth for some part in AGOT …

  • What a great birthday present :)

    In all I'm happy with the casting, though some more than others.

    Jaime- perfect. Coster-Waldau is absolutely gorgeous (that youtube vid is definitely worth a watch), he's strong enough to be believable as a knight, great casting. I'm happier with him than the image of Jaime in my mind- I had always pictured him as slightly more of a pretty boy and less masculine, but he's essentially a professional bodyguard, so needs to be a little more rugged- which is more to my taste anyway. He's still beautiful enough. Fingers crossed for a good Cersei to match.

    Theon- hard to say. The youtube link posted above didn't give us that much clue about Allen's acting, but I presume he wouldn't be cast if he wasn't good- and certainly wouldn't have played the lead in Equus unless a good actor. He's not quite how I pictured Theon- has the boyish looks (Theon, to my mind, is a jumped up ungrateful kid, annoying teenager who wants everything and thinks the world revolves around him) but I imagined Theon with darker hair (easily fixed) and slightly stronger features. Still, he's not too far off.

    Arya- very cruel making that clue relate to her. I think with her hair messed up and looking less smart, Williams will look very like the Arya in my mind. She, Sansa and Robb are believable as siblings which helps. I wonder how old the actress is?

    Sansa- it's hard to tell from that picture, but I think Turner has a good look. Of course she needs a wig or some hair dye, but I can see her as Sansa. And she's not the one from Dr Who!

    Robb- Madden isn't quite how I pictured Robb either, though he looks closer with long hair than short. He looks older than Robb to me, but if he plays the role well it shouldn't matter.

    Dany- clearly a contentious choice, but GRRM liked her from the start and that says a lot. Having seen the youtube vid, she looks prettier than I first thought, though still a long way from the Dany in my mind. But the silver hair and violet eyes will make her more exotic, and she has a similar face shape to Lloyd so Dany and Viserys will look right as brother and sister. Can't comment on her acting as playing Katherine didn't seem too challenging, but she was believable in that role, and though Dany is completely different, I'm sure she wouldn't be cast if she wasn't up to it. They did have two others to choose from.

    Jorah- again perfect. Glen is a brilliant actor and just right for this role. He looks almost exactly like the vision in my mind as I think he'll be superb.

  • Congratulations on extremely fine guessing work!

    I'm not worried at all about the acting abilities of the Chosen Ones. HBO wouldn't have picked them if they didn't know how to handle their roles. Look-wise I'm mostly happy with the actors/tresses. I think Tamzin Merchant is pretty enough for Dany, and most importantly, her beauty is right kind of beauty – she is cute and petite. And she does look like Harry Lloyd!

    As for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, well, he is definetely handsome and reminds a lot of Komarkc's version of Jaime, but the thing is I've never thought Jaime as rugged and harsh-sort-of-way-handsome. His character is undoubtedly that, but look-wise I've always considered him beautiful (these make a very interesting combo). But what really disturbs me, is that NCW looks a lot like Kit Harrington. I said before that NCW should have make an excellent Robert, but now I see him as Ned…

    I'm quite happy with Alfie Allen and Richard Madden, though perhaps Madden is a little bit too old. Iain Glen is a good choice as well. Difficult to say anything about Arya and Sansa, pictures are so little

    Can't wait to know who will be Cersei!

  • i really dont know what all of the Tazmin smack is about … personally i never really had a good casting idea for dany because i always thought of the tarygens as slightly asain … am i wrong or didn't they come out of the "exotic" east to take over the kingdom? not asian per se but like i guess the Finnish which have that slightly exotic/asian look … which is why once someone mentioned emily browning i was totally sold on her but having said that tazmin merchant is fairly pretty, kind of odd looking like i pictured dany and if you here tudors premier pick standing next to John-Ryhs Meyers she looks like the perferct woman/child mix to me … i haven't seen enough of her acting to know if she hast he chops for dany (which i personally think is one of the roles that will take the most chops) but in this i will totally trust Nina and D&D until proven otherwise that I shouldn't … but anybody who has seen Tazmin in something larger than her Tudors role should chime in with their more "informed" opinion …

  • Well, maybe Ned broke his nose after he found Jaime sitting on the Iron Throne with the dead king in front of him.

  • *Squee* :D

    I am so happy with these casting choices. HBO rocks. Okay, AA is pretty far from what I imagined for Theon but so what? Reading GRRMs post, I'm convinced he can play it well. Or at least there's no reason to believe he won't.

    I happen to love Alexander Skarsgard (*drool*), but he was never going to be available for this show. NCW seems fantastic, though. I can completely picture him as Jaime. And when he's actually playing the character and into that persona, he'll be Jaime through and through.

    As for TM.. I always imagined Dany as having very distinctive features, not traditionally beautiful like Cersei. In that sense, TM fits perfectly. She's beautiful and – more importantly, since we know what a hard role Dany is – she has acting experience. I also think she's another one that people will love more when they see her actually playing the role.

    With such an amazing cast, surely it'll get picked up for at least a season? I'm optimistic.

  • I can't understand why people complain about Tamzin's look. She is pretty and what's more important she looks personal just like I imagined Dany to look like. Can't really argue about it though, it seems that aslo beauty is a matter of taste.

  • Tee Hee Hee…I can't resist….

    "I'm Very happy with Nikolaj as Jaimee…"

    I am Jaimee, HE is Jaime, and although I'd love to be Cersei, I am Jaimee and he is, in fact, now Jaime, howerever I was once a Nichol and now at once, he is a Jaime and thus far neither one of us is Cersei…*yet*. :)

    Oh happy day!

  • Wow. Awesome news to wake up to. Glad it's all been confirmed… you guys are indeed geniuses for figuring it all out. Cheers!

    Can't wait to find out who will play Cersei.

  • WiC, maybe it's time to add this guys to cast and crew? :) And to make that post (cast and crew) more available. :)

  • Can I just say, it will be torture to wait until 2010 to see the show! Wish I discovered WiC about 12 months later! heh.

  • I'm really, really happy with all the casting choices so far. And I've learned to trust in casting decisions made by talented people like David Benioff and GRRM based on my own experience. I remember being pissed of when Heath Ledger was cast as the Joker or when Viggo Mortensen had been cast as Aragorn and look how that turned out. You really never know until you see it with your own eyes.

    And regarding Tamzin. I definitely think she's not ugly and you never know what a silver wig, purple contact lenses and make up can do to her.

    May I suggest a new post with other characters like The Hound, Ser Rodrik, Cersei, Littlefinger, etc so we can speculate further.

    THanks WIC, you've certainly made my productivity reached the lowest ever since The Hobbit was announced!

  • just a little more on my wanting of Tim Roth as Little Finger (or Bronn) … not only has he worked with Ian Glenn before (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead), not only has he recently "reduced" himself to TV (FOX no less), not only does his IMDB show no "in production" it also shows he has recently worked with our Tyrion … in Pete Smalls Is Dead … let's start the Tim Roth must be cast in AGOT groundswell now folks !!!

  • One more thought I wanted to share before: Coster-Waldau has all the potential to be HBO's next Skarsgaard.

  • alright my fellow breathren, on my way on a much needed vacation … will complete miss all the updates for all the roles uncast … well something to look forward too, I guess …. still insist on Polly Walker as Melissandre, Michael Wincott for Bronn and Ray Stevenson for The Hound

  • @Jacopo Belbo
    Tim Roth = awesome!!!!! Yeah I'd love to see him in it, I think I once considered him a potential for Littlefinger….

  • @zoidberg: the only problem is i think he is almost 50 … so probably too old for Littlefinger … can we think of any other role for him? I am racking my brain … Davos?

  • wow! I cant beleive that all the clues got cracked, that is awesome! can we lay off the Tazmin=incest,troll,ugly thing its kinda tacky and childish

  • Ok here's my opinion on the casting:
    Dany: perfect.
    If The Great and Wonderful Creator Brother Martin is of the opinion that she is stupendous, than I am more than confident that she is exemplary. He had physical reaction to this girl AS SOON AS HE SAW HER.
    And for those in doubt of his choice, refer to the definition of creator in Merriam Webster.

    Main Entry: cre·a·tor
    Pronunciation: \krē-ˈā-tər\
    Function: noun
    Date: 13th century
    : one that creates usually by bringing something new or original into being; especially capitalized :

    Ok Anonomys-Doubters OF Laurels/Tamzin crowd(AKA A-DOLT) look at that last part. Tha last word in the definition. See it? It says GOD and it's followed by a period. In other words
    God needs no introduction or definition.
    Nuff said.
    But just for the sake of clarity I will include the definition of GOD as it is listed in Merriam Webster.
    Main Entry: 1god
    Pronunciation: \ˈgäd also ˈgȯd\
    Function: noun
    Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German got god
    Date: before 12th century
    1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind
    2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality
    3 : a person or thing of supreme value
    4 : a powerful ruler

    Ok A-DOLTs, to recap,
    Who is the all MIGHTY all POWERFUL supreme being in this book? It's creator? He who created the characters and gave them life? Whose blood, sweat, tears, time, sacrafice, and commitment is poured into this world? Whose heart and soul did they spring from to be shared and remembered and wept for?
    Was it yours? No.
    It was George RR Martin's. AKA:
    George Martin is GOD.
    And you are not.
    He is also not your bitch FTR.
    I know this upsets you.
    Try to get over yourself.
    You have a right to feel how you feel, but if you cannot articulate your opinion without resorting to cruel and hurtful unfounded critisism, then sulk to yourself. Look at yourself and find what it is in *your* soul that makes you that makes you resort to petty bully behaivor. What happened to you that makes you need to make yourself feel better by slinging cruel insults? Will you let that black emotion (AKA jealousy/envy/a feeling of self ineptitude) rule your behavior forever? Were you picked on today? Can you convey an opposing viewpoint without using hateful mean words?
    We, the readers of ASOIAF are for the most part an insightful, intelligent, enlightened qabal that encompasses all walks of life worldwide. Be proud of that and know that you can be a better person and state your opinion without the ugliness. Who knows, perhaps she welcomes *constructive* critisism. I know I do, which is why I hope that if I appeal to your good nature, you will stop slinging insults and (please do) specificate your veiw in the high road manner we, as humans, are all capable of.

    But I hope she doesn't read this Blog for obvious reasons. I have to assume that they all do at least a little, because why wouldn't you?
    This entourage is HUGE! The buzz is HUGE! The news broke today and we (WIC)were mentioned! IF she has not been here, there is no reason to believe she won't, so in honor of the supreme creator/GOD/man we all obviously *worship* in our ways, let's try to be nice. Honest, but nice, not because you have to, but because you can be.
    I'm not telling you you can't be A-DOLT I'm just asking that we all be adults, and stop the petty fugly name calling.
    The End

  • ROFL at all the coward anons trashing Tamzin. Pathetic.

    That's what George envisaged Dany to be like. So if you disgree, I guess it means you're wrong. Dany isn't supposed to be Nuts magazine wank fodder for lonely internet trolls, so please feel free to piss off. Your petulant bawwwwing was funny at first, now it's just sad.

  • Tamzin Merchant is my big, really big disappointment.

    But boys, if GRRM thinks that she is OK I am not going to be more catholic than the Pope.

    Wrong choice for me but i'll live.

    Jon Nieve

  • Not thrilled about Alfie Allen, hopefully he'll prove me wrong but i'm really not sure about his acting ability. Everything else is pretty good though :-)

    Dominic West for Littlefinger or Bronn!

  • Good morning.

    About Tamzin (I'm trying to like her as Dany) I figured something out when I read GRRM's Blog: How can they get an actress that looks 12 but can be in soft porn? There are not many choices. So we should be happy that they found Tamzin Merchant I suppose.

    Another reason I am/was/am against Tamzin is because her role is so nasty in Tudors. It could be she is a fantastic actor but never had a good role to prove it????

    Also I hope she starts doing some push ups, she's so bony, how can we expect her to be able to hold a sword or ride a horse?

    My wife wasn't phased when I told her about Tamzin (she loved the SOIAF books also, and watches Tudors), but I am still in shock. Thanks for helping me in the difficult time.

  • And btw, stop calling people who don't like Tamzin trolls. You have to admit, she is not what anyone imagined while reading the books–making a show and finding someone that would do Dany is something completely different.

    We're all in shock that's all. Troll feeders are really the nastiest people.

  • @ all the babies crying about casting choices they don't like (especially TMs role)…nobody cares what you think.

    It may come as a shock to you, but this is not your creation, your project, your production or your choice. These people have been cast because they fit the roles the producers (and GRRM) want them for. These are professionals who do this for a living (not flippin' burgers like you do).

    Show a little respect…sheesh, my 5 yr old is better behaved than you bunch spoilt brats.

    I'm on board with ALL the choices, irrespective of what my preconceptions are. Lend your support and make sure the series gets picked up. Bitching and moaning won't help one bit.

  • GRRM: "Hmmm, she could be a good candidate for Dany."

    I mean… in Tudors when she first walks into the frame, she's an abandoned half-noble bastard sold into some sort of quasi-whorehouse.

    Sounds like it could have been Dany's fate. Except the character in Tudors appears to enjoy being it.

  • all the babies crying about casting choices they don't like (especially TMs role)…nobody cares what you think.

    You care enough to respond with all the unpleasantry.

    Nice one for Anon the brave

  • I know what HBO can do about NCW broken nose. In the banquet hall scene they can add a little scene, after Ned and Jaime's little joist.
    You can have Tyrion passing by Jaime on his way out. Moving in close to him.

    (turning to Tyrion)
    "I believe you have had a little too much tonight brother, get away from me before you ruin these garments of mine like you have done countless others." (pushing him away)

    Tryion stares at Jaime then over to Ned (who is walking away) then back at Jaime, but more intently with a drunken glaze in his eyes.

    JAIME: (smirking)
    "What are you staring at, you drunken whore lover."


    "Now that I can see more clearly (low belch), yes, I do believe he did make an improvement to your appearance, my beautiful brother."

    Jaime starts to move his hand carefully toward his face (eyes opening wide in surprise) then moves it gracefully back to his goblet. A slight grin emerging from his face, (with a tiny glint of rage in is eyes).


    Well, little brother, the only way Lord Stark could ever make an improvement to your appearance, is to shorten you even more by removing your head.

    Tyrion laughs loudly.


    Well as long as he doesn't cut off my other head, for the woman of the Westeros would be be greatly distressed.

    JAIME: (laughing back)

    "Yes my brother I do believe the whore's of the Kingdom just might be at that. Now leave and vomit outside before our dear sister has something to say."

    Tyrion turns and walks away.

    Watching his brother stagger away in a somewhat dignified manner. Jaime turns his gaze back in the direction of Ned.

  • The rude comments about Tamzin seem to all come from "Anonymous" ….

    Is it the same kid posting over and over again?

  • Anonymous@9:11 : Yeah whatever -you could care even less by not posting.

    Casting TM might be considered "less than ideal" because looks is an important part of Dany as ASOIF character. TM just doesn't look very…attractive. Of course all the ugly-trash talk by some Anons is BS but she still isn't the kind of girl that would turn heads when she walks down the street. Much too plain looking for Dany.

    …yeah well, whatever -the dice are cast. Perhaps a white/silver wig and contacts will do wonders, who knows ?

    I sure hope so :-/

  • Finally an end to the madness. I'm cool with all the choices. Good job to all who racked their brain over all this. A guess Cersi, the Hound and Khal Drogo are the next three biggies.

  • Hey, on the web 'Anon' is a valid a pseudonym as 'bardamu'

    How is that any different? You're no more 'brave' than any Anon.

    Where's a :rolleyes: emoticon when you need one?

  • Between Bridget Regan and Tamzin Merchant there is no competition, no way, even Jennifer Ehle is prettier than TM.

    But I said earlier, if GRRM is ok with TM then i'll have to eat some snakes and get over it.

    Jon Nieve

  • "George's opinions on casting are worth next to nothing. He lacks objectivity".

    Are you forgetting that he actually invented the characters?

  • Honestly, I think some the pro-Tamzin people are some of the rudest. Honestly, the majority of the anti-Tamzin comments seem to be along the lines of – not pretty enough (and quite a few say, pretty – just not pretty enough) or not my preferred choice. Yes, there are obviously a couple of trolls who have gone the "fugly" route. The people who seem to be doing most of the ranting and raving are the ones telling us who are disappointed with Tamzin's casting that we're basically stupid or from another planet. Just as you are free to celebrate her casting, we are also free to express our disappointment.

    Give them a day or two to vent – this too shall pass. Don't forget this also was the case on the Catelyn casting post.

  • I am 100% dissapointed in the casting of Tamzin Merchant as Dany. I like all the other castings. That's all I've got to say.

  • "The people who seem to be doing most of the ranting and raving are the ones telling us who are disappointed with Tamzin's casting that we're basically stupid or from another planet."

    I believe these comments are (at least mostly) directed to the people calling her fugly…

  • Anon@9:20 – are you dissing Katee Sackhoff? Wash your mouth out with soap and water!

    Ok everyone, bored with the dissing TM, AA etc. Who is gonna be Cersei? As a reminder here is the list from WiC:

    Nicole Kidman 6 IF
    Elizabeth Banks 13 IF 8 A
    Ashley Jones 5 IF
    Carice Van Houten 7 IF 1 A
    Bridget Forrester 1 IF
    Gabrielle Anwar 2 IF 2 A
    Charlize Theron 2 IF
    Natilie Domer 1 IF
    Tricia Helfer 1 IF
    Catherine McCormack 1 IF
    Laurie Holden 1 IF
    Jodie Whittaker 1 IF
    Peta wilson 1 IF
    Kate Vernon 1 IF
    Emily Blunt 5 IF
    Rhada Mitchell 1 IF
    Julia Bowman 2 IF
    Sarah Wynter 1 IF
    Milla Jovich 4 IF 2 A
    Claire Danes 6 IF
    Gwyneth Paltrow 4 IF
    Helena Bonham Carter 1 IF

  • @Børre – Perhaps, but they really don't need to "feed the trolls." Getting all worked up over an obvious troll comment is just as silly as being a troll.

  • After TM for Dany, I choose Helena Bonham Carter for Cercei, I think that they are looking for excepcionally beautiful stars!!!
    You know, with make up, hair change, a lot of make up and contact lens…

  • Th first time I see a photo of TM I thought, "wait, isn't this Mr Darcy's little sister?", and I remembered her as a beautiful little thing on that movie (one of my favourites, BTW), "How can it be that she is so normal-looking now?".
    And she didn't make my personal picture of Dany at all.


    After seeing the Youtube Videos on "The Tudors", a show I haven't seen, I must say that she has something that makes her look much more beautiful in a screen that in a picture. And I think that's done by sheer acting chops.

    On top of that, GRRM said "when Tamzin Merchant came on screen as the fifteen year old Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. I sat up at once, thinking, "Hmmm, she could be a good candidate for Dany.""
    'Nuff said. Dany is her child. Dany, as all characters, belong to her.

    So, right now, in front of all of you I pledge my allegiance to the Tamzin Merchant Will Be A Great Daenerys (TMWBAGD) lobby group.
    And I exhort you, my fellow not-so-lovers-but-keeping-the-manners to think again and see all of it in a new light.

    BTW: Congrats to you all, specially WiC. You're the man. HBO should invite you to visit the production.

  • "Give them a day or two to vent – this too shall pass. Don't forget this also was the case on the Catelyn casting post."

    Indeed. Funny how it's always the female characters and actors that end up getting trashed on here.

  • Silverstar: Not true. I've seen some disparaging remarks towards the looks of Friend, Allen, and NC-W as well. Maybe not with the same amount of venom though.

  • Congrats everyone! This is so amazing. I just caught up to everyone's posts (I'm in NYC, so it is only 9:43am for me here) plus GRRM's wonderful updates. I have to say, I was smiling ear to ear reading his posts. I wasn't fully on the Tamzin bandwagon until this morning, but if he thinks she's great — guy's — she's gonna be awesome.

    It doesn't get better than NCW as Jaime. He's PERFECT.

    Great job HBO!

  • AWESOME!!! So happy to finally have the news. I'm stoked with all the choices so far…. but still holding onto thin hope that Elizabeth Banks will eventually be cast as Cersei…. eh HBO?

  • @WiC

    I have to agree with Silverstar here. I recall about one really nasty remark about Alfie Allen compared to a whole lot of mean-spiritedness directed at Jennifer Ehle, Tamzin Merchant, and even Gillian Anderson. There's a noticeable difference in both venom and quantity of the remarks directed at female casting choices compared to the males. A few scattered remarks complaining that NCW is too rugged or Friend is too skinny and pretty-boyish don't compare.

  • Well personally, I was hoping that Jaime would be a bit prettier. NCW is a handsome man, but he doesn't have the effeminate features I imagined him as having.

    I'm conflicted about Merchant. While I think she is very pretty and close to Dany's type – waify and wide-eyed – I don't feel she pulls off being a 15 year old to me. She has a youngish look, sure. But not as young as she is meant to be, imo.

    Madden also seems a tad too mature looking as well.

    But at the end of the day I am reserving judgments until I actually watch the pilot. GRRM seems happy and he's the author. Between that and the history of HBO's amazing casting in previous series, I have faith and await to see what they have to offer.

  • TAMZIN MERCHANT! WHAT!?!? That is such a fail. I really doubt they will get the response their looking for. This is such a critical role. She certainly wont get a good reaction from me or the people Ive talked with. Seriously HBO, think again.

  • Okay. We -people who aren't ecstatic about TM- were expecting someone different from her to play Danny. Our expectations were running high. We were told by GRRM himself that they're having difficulty casting her, so I for one thought that the person they'll ultimately choose is someone special which I just didn't see in TM while watching that clip from Tudors.

    This is a big disappointment because I fear that she's going to be one of those characters I won't care about when Game of Thrones starts showing . . . :(

  • the explainer re: Tamzin Merchant:

    physical beauty is subjective, yes– but we are programmed to recognize certain clues in facial structure that tip us off to genetic soundness and reproductive ability. Symmetry and proportion are the big factors, and while Tamzin is very pretty, her eyes are much more wide-set than normal. This creates a walleyed effect as well as the illusion of a wide, flat nose. Some people might not even notice this, but others (for whatever reason) pick up on it and are distracted by it. I admit that this is a hangup of mine, and I'm trying to get over it.

    This isn't being rude or "insensitive"–we're just being picky about actors (who entered a field where getting picked apart based on looks is their job). But since the Targaryens are extremely inbred anyway, with draconic influences, I think it's going to work out great.

    and a note about anonymity–unless you attach an identifying URL to your name, you, too, are posting anonymously.

  • We need to get the Agent Scully trolls to battle the Tamzin Merchant Haters trolls.

    It would surely be an epic battle, and hopefully there would be lots of causalities :)

  • "Tamzin can't act and she's fugly; no matter how much you nerds say otherwise, the majority of the public will agree."

    Hmm, yase, it's not nerdy and pathetic at all to be insanely critical about a public figure's looks.

  • I like how all people care about is Merchant's looks, while the male actors (even for roles that are supposed to be attractive, like Theon and Jaime) get a pass based on acting ability.

    You are all stupid nerds. Stop obsessing over her looks. Jesus Christ.

  • "physical beauty is subjective, yes– but we are programmed to recognize certain clues in facial structure that tip us off to genetic soundness and reproductive ability."


    You guys are pathetic.


  • If the producers of the show are reading this, I want you to know that you should keep Tamzin Merchant because a) she is in fact attractive, and b) I love watching all the nerds commenting to this blog flail around as THE HIDEOUS WHOREBEAST TAMZIN MERCHANT ASSAILS THEIR IMMACULATE ANGEL DAENERYS TARGARYEN

  • It is so beyond silly to judge a person's acting by the role she played. She was playing a floozy and all you folks are thinking she's too much of a floozy to play Dany. How many actresses at the age of 22 have played world conquerors? Just about none. You cannot judge by a single performance of a role that has little or nothing in common with her role in GoT. Well, or you can and you do and I'm kinda sick of it.

    Carry on.


  • I'm not really sure for Tamzin Merchant. I don't really like her face, and Dany is "the most beautiful woman"… But, if George Martin is excited, i will trust his taste…
    Nicolaj have a face a little too "manly" ( I'm pictured Jaime with a face more feminin, after all, he look like Cersei), but, he's quite good looking (maybe too old?). But, is actor playing is like Jaime would have done. So it's great!
    For Ser Jorah, it's really good.
    Theon… I don't like this choice. Maybe the picture not good, but… I will wait.
    For Arya and Robb, it's a big mystery for everyone, so we have too wait.
    And I will try to watch Sophie Turner in Dor Who…