Casting Speculation The Hound

GRRM updates on casting progress

George R. R. Martin in his most recent blog post updated us on the progress of casting the Game of Thrones pilot. His comments seem to confirm that Benioff and Weiss’ tease was indeed about casting. Here is what GRRM has to say:

Meanwhile, off across the water, casting continues. The latest auditions I have screened were for “Nameless Eunuch” and “Red-Headed Whore.” (Remember, there are no small parts. Red-Headed Whore has a great line). Only one part has been filled since the Secret Seven were announced, but I expect to hear about more castings Real Soon Now.

Winter Is Coming: The one part that has been filled is most likely the part that David & Dan teased at the other day. Which means it is very likely the Hound has been cast. George also mentions that they are onto casting unnamed characters. Which makes me wonder about the only two remaining major roles, Bran and Cersei. Have the actors for these roles been chosen and it is just a matter of negotiating the contract? Or will they continue auditioning for the major roles during this process of filling out the minor parts?


  • Love it. Wish i'd gotten myself an equity card and moved to Northern Ireland now.

    I'd play a great Nameless Eunuch………

    wait, ignore that…..

  • Anyone else think it is weird that he capitalized "Real Soon Now"? Is there an actor in the running for Sandor that has the initials RSN? Just a thought. I could be reading too much into it, just a bit punchy after all the riddles.

  • By now I only want to know who the Hound is and who Cersei is. Bugger the others, they'll be cast allright.

  • Bran is the most important to me now. I know that adult players they choose as Cersei and Hound will do they part fine. But being Bran is not easy for young actor.

  • @Robert: she's not in the books, appearing in the added scenes in the pilot script.

    Apart from the major characters mentioned, I'm also interested in Drogo. The rest will be less interesting and less consequential for the series as well. Hope for some pleasant surprises in the minor roles, though.

  • @Robert

    tyrion is with the red headed whore when jaime busts in to tell him they're off to winterfell. it's a new scene that did not exist in the books prior.


  • Speaking of chasing after rumors…

    While my outer working-person is too busy, my inner crazy person wants to scour the web and find out who first suggested Tamzin Merchant, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, etc. for their respective roles.

    I know that Legion called it once the clues were out, after some brilliant detective work. What I'm wondering is if there were people who suggested them even before the clues were out.

    If so, who are those people suggesting for the roles that are open?

    Not making a determination one way or another whether they're insiders testing the waters or good-luck charms with premonitions. Just something that would be interesting to see while we don't have any clues or news to go on.

  • There were definitely people had made suggestions before me. I only claim Iain Glen as the true first to say it.

    It'd take forever to find out who first suggested the others!

  • I can't wait for "Undead Other Whore" and "Unnamed Disemboweled Peasant" or "Stabbed by Needle #17"


  • I think that Tamzin Merchant was suggested at westeros forum for the first time, someone connected the clue the 4. is the 5. with Henry VIII and Catherine.

    Alfie Allen was suggested here.

  • @Mauberly

    I am too lazy to search the evidences but I have impression that Tamzin was mentioned for the first time at westeros..I could easily be wrong, it was such a madness.

  • I was just wondering if anyone had suggested Tamzin Merchant, Alfie, etc. before any clues came out at all. I know there were already suggestions for Sean Bean before he was cast for sure, and Dinklage was a near-mandate for me and my friends.

    Again, my conspiracy brain operating while being starved for facts has my mind considering the idea of agents testing the waters for their clients, etc. There's absolutely no reason for it.

  • He mentions red headed whore. Does this mean that the script we have received may in fact be the correct script?

    I can't think of any part in the book where there are whores, but there is in the leaked script. Proof or not?

  • Matthew, I think there's a good bet that the leaked script was correct at one point in time. I also think it's very possible that what we end up seeing on screen will deviate from it at parts. Does anyone know at what point a script gets "locked in" when shooting a TV show?

  • I also favor Saffron Burrows as Cersei. I used to think Sofia Myles would be the best, but she's like 8 years younger than NCW.

    As for the Real Soon Now "clue", isn't the phrase "Real Soon Now" an old psi phi writer's code word for "some time soon, have no idea when, could be never"?

  • Yep, Josh, Adam Whitehead pointed that out to me in a different thread. I'd never heard of it before that time, but it does seem consistent with GRRM's sometimes-voiced impatience with having to wait to tell us who's been cast. I think he enjoys the clues now, but originally he said he was doing it because HBO wouldn't let him release the information outright.

  • @Paul Gude – I have just found over the westeros forum that NCW was suggested, not as Jaime, but as Mance Raider.

  • I wonder if the lack of real clues over this one are because the previous clues were ALL guessed. Perhaps HBO said "Okay, no more hints."

  • The first mention of Tamzin Merchant here was by an Anonymous commenter to the GRRM dropping hints thread on August 13, 2009 at 4:09 AM, apparently prompted (correctly, as it turned out) by the "something in common with Ned" clue:

    I hope they haven't cast Tamzin Merchant (Catherine Howard in Tudors) as Daenerys. She's about the right age, though, and Catherine H. was beheaded.

    This led to the first flurry of debate over whether she would be good for the role or not, largely by anonymous commenters. When Martin dropped his "The fourth is the fifth" line, it accelerated the speculation later in that thread.

    My own feeling about all the fierce debate over whether she looks the part or acts well enough is, we weren't there for her auditions; D&D and GRRM were, and when other people are much, much better informed than you are about the subject under discussion, it's usually wise to respect their opinions.

  • "My own feeling about all the fierce debate over whether she looks the part or acts well enough is, we weren't there for her auditions; D&D and GRRM were, and when other people are much, much better informed than you are about the subject under discussion, it's usually wise to respect their opinions."


  • I have always been a little bit ambivalent towards Dany s character, so I think I could accept Tamzin..she looks a little "alienish" and "not from this world", but that is the point about the Targs, they are a sort of aliens for the rest of the Westeros.

  • Josh, I do think it's very possible that a moratorium on GRRM clues could have caused a somewhat grumpy "Real Soon Now" comment to occur.

    "Whaddya mean I can't give any clues? D&D got to give a clue! This is taking FOREVER!!!"

    Or, maybe they're getting all their ducks in a row and will put out more clues when there's a little more ambiguity.

  • The "un-named eunuch" is at Illyrio's, right? It will be interesting to see if he turns out to be Strong Belwas down the line. I love Strong Belwas.

  • Bran's Muffin suggested Tamzin as Dany at Westeros in May 18 2009:

    "I'd like to put it out there that I think Tamzin Merchant would make a good Dany. She played Georgiana Darcy in the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice. Although, it seems she has been cast on "The Tudors" as Queen Katherine Howard. I'm not sure how that would affect filming (she can't be on that show for more than a season, I would think, since Katherine quickly gets the axe–literally) and maybe it'd be good practice being Queen."

    Next time Tamzin was mentioned at Westeros Aug 15 2009.

  • @gofalcons

    I don't think Illyrio is an eunuch. However he did send Belwas, and this one for sure is eunuch.

  • @mac2

    No, no. I was asking if the "Nameless Eunuch" is at Illyrio's house in the pilot. I know Illyrio isn't.

  • Illyrio – how do people see him?

    I always saw a sorta large turkish/arab looking guy.

    People agree?

  • @legion
    Agreed, big fat greasy Arab, pampered, jeweled and oozing decadence. I can't think of an actor off the top of my head though. It'll come to me.

  • And, even though it was more a joke, Nelson 'Big Daddy V' Fraser, who is that picture, left wrestling to try and do some acting. So he actually could be avaliable to do it and it wouldn't matter if he wasn't English as Belwas isn't from the Seven Kingdoms.

  • Legion, if he's serious about acting I think Strong Belwas would be a great role for him. He should at least audition.

  • Omid Djalili was the first person I thought of. Funnily, I imagined him putting on weight but that was being picky. Definitely Omid.

  • @ Paul

    Yeah, it really would fit him as I always saw Belwas as this big fat black dude. So high five for you as well!

  • I could live with either Alexei Sayle or Omid Djalili as Illyrio if they have the acting ability. Isn't Omid primarily a stand up comic? I remember him in The Mummy but he wasn't given much chance to show any range in that role.

    It's just that when you're looking for a very large man the first name that jumps out in terms of acting ability is Ian McNeice just like Dinklage was essentially a given for Tyrion.

  • There was some talk earlier about Craster's Keep. I think the series will probably gloss over the level of incest there. We'll be told that he sacrifices his sons but they'll kind of ignore the question of what happens to his daughters. If the viewer guesses good for them but if you can't imagine that that is what's going on the show isn't going to tell you.

    On a side note how about Brad "Grima Wormtongue" Dourif as Craster? He's nearly 60 years old now.

  • Comedians make the best actors, and Ilyrio is not a dark character. Omid could bring that character to life with his "brand" of ham acting, switching from friendly, jovial patron to crazy fundamentalist as he does.

    I don't see McNeice, he is too British.

  • If they get far enough in the series for Caster I think the audience is gonna be well prepared. It is the instant incest, first episode that makes me tense up in anxiety. Too much of a shock. But by the third book when we meet Caster, well he isn't supposed to be a likable guy so viewers won't be outraged as much as disgusted. Me tinks

  • If the incest is too much in terms of Craster, Craster can just be a dirty old man with a house full of girl slaves.

  • I'm guessing these are the two characters in the leaked scrips. The whore Tyriion was with at the start, and the eunuch introducing Dany and Viserys.

    Also, I think Matt Lucas would be great as Varys.

  • I doubt HBO is going to be pulling any punches with the material. I don't think they'll want or need to tone anything down.

  • Off topic:
    Does anyone know what Martin read at Bubonicon? New chapter from Dance or something old?

  • Can anyone point me to an in-depth discussion of the "zombies" in the ASOIAF universe? On my first read this device really shocked me, especially since the person who recommended the books praised Martin's realism. Specifically I'm looking for how the book explores themes of death, magic, religion, and resurrection (e.g. Others, Beric, Cat, Drogo, Gregor, and all the Drowned God stuff)? Bran as a resurrected figure might also fit in here. I want to read other people's theories because I believe it is the key to understanding how the books will end.

  • OK

    Others are mystical creatures themselves, whereas the whites are "zombies" created by them.
    Berci is resurrected by the power of the Firegod R'hllor, Drogo is human but what you may call a completey degenerate = half brain dead. Gregor will be some sort of Terminator as seen in recent movie, Drowned God is loss of consciousness and reanimation.

    Note: all supernatural phenomena grow stronger throughout the series. (Direwolf showing up, three eyed crow, dragons born and so forth)

  • @Meg

    I don't know if this is exactly what you're looking for, but there was a discussion on the nature of death and resurrection in ASOIAF over on Westeros a few weeks ago.

  • BTW, I have a question too.

    I do NOT want the Brienne/Jaime thing to happen.
    I'm absolutely against it.

    Just as a personal statement.

  • Interesting suggestions for Illyrio. Personally I hope they go with someone Arabic, or at least not anyone who's white to the point of not being able to pass for anything else. I've never pictured anyone from outside of Westeros as white, though I won't really care too much about specific races of the actors as long as they seem vaguely foreign in their roles.

    For Drogo, it's interesting that I've mostly seen black people suggested so far… I always thought the Dothrakis were pretty obviously supposed to be Mongols. Then again, finding a big, burly Asian actor might be tough.

  • @ Mauberly

    yukk yukk to both!
    It's San/San and then, now here's MY theory, it'll be Jaime and Dany! Dadaa!

  • My theory: I don't think Sandor will ever have a woman by his side. He will stay where he is the rest of his life and that would be the best for his tormented soul.

  • It sucks that we haven't heard anything about who was cast as Sandor. If we're going to talk couples instead, I want to see Sandor/Sansa and Jaime/Brienne. Tyrion, I think, will be reunited with no-longer-loving Tysha…

  • But would Tysha want Tyrion back after all these years and what have happened, except for money?
    It would be bittersweet if Tyrion finds out that the feelings they share once are gone when they'll meet again.

  • I can see Brienne and Jaime being good friends, but he's never going to find her attractive. The best looking guy in Westeros decides he wants the least attractive woman, because she's such a great person underneath? Horrible cliche, I don't see it.

    Tyrion acted like a gentleman towards Sansa, which is nice, but I didn't read it as there being any attraction there- it's just not in Tyrion's nature to force a young girl who isn't interested, he'll pay willing whores unless and until he finds someone who chooses to be with him. Sansa might have been grateful for that, but she clearly finds him repulsive- and she's never likely to love a Lannister. I don't see her with Sandor either- it's a bit creepy, would be nice for him but saving his soul is a hell of a responsibility for a young girl and likely to be rather frightening. Sandor is a tragic figure, I don't see him finding any happiness.

    @Demokritos- I've always seen the Dothraki as arabic, so hope they pick Drogo accrodingly. Ilyrio could be any race. Djalili could no doubt play the role but may well be busy with his comedy career.

  • he'll find Tysha to be an ugly hag somewhere. Likely toothless, probably she'll have been some Mummer's whore.

  • I don't believe there's going to be any "happily ever after".
    I'm only theorizing about who will sort of "find mutual love", without anticipating a positive outcome.

  • "My theory: I don't think Sandor will ever have a woman by his side. He will stay where he is the rest of his life and that would be the best for his tormented soul."

    Yeah, but that wouldn't be the best for an interesting, unpredictable story arc.

    It doesn't have to be finding love, but there should be something that changes in/for the character, to shake things up in an unpredictable way.

    I think George has set Sandor up for more than "staying where he is". Things could get better for him–or worse–the change is what's interesting, at least for me.

  • Given what happened to Tysha, she's probably not particularly well off. Her family may not have taken her back, and if they did, she's still got mental and physical scars. There's a fair chance she's dead of syphilis after being raped by so many soldiers.

  • San/San would be Beauty and the Beast cliche, instead.


    You're probably right about the changes. And because Sandor will not be POV character we'll see his story in someone else's POV chapters.

  • The Hound won't be POV, but nobody said Sandor wouldn't… ;D
    The Hound is dead.
    Also, GRRM spoke only of DWD afaik.

  • Tysha didn't have a family to take her back. Her family had died and she was on her own. That's how Jaime and Tyrion met her. She was wandering on her own.

    When I said I think Tyrion and Tysha will meet, I didn't mean I expect or want them to have a loving reunion. Tysha wasn't a whore. She was just an innocent girl. Tyrion obeyed his father and raped her after an entire barracks of soldiers had already raped her. I can't imagine Tysha or any other woman forgiving that kind of betrayal.

    The marriage to Sansa was a chance for Tyrion to disobey his father and refuse to rape another teenage girl. I don't see him having any further relationship with Sansa. She already served her purpose in terms of his character development.

    In Braavos we meet a whore called the Sailor's Wife. She appears in both Arya's and Sam's chapters and is too visible not to play a greater role later on. She marries all her clients before she has sex with them, she speaks the Common Tongue of Westeros, and she has a blonde fourteen year old daughter named Lanna. I don't think it's all a coincidence.

  • Non-Anon, that makes a ton of sense, even if I wouldn't have seen it until you mentioned it.

    Thanks for that!

  • The horse-centered culture, fermented mare's milk, nomadic tribalism, tendency to raid sedentary farmers, etc. all point very strongly towards the Dothraki being based on real word Mongolian culture, so Drogo should be East Asian. That said, I don't necessarily expect him to be, and won't be too disappointed if he's Arabic, black, etc.

    As for all this relationship stuff… My guess is that Sandor either dies, or ends up alone somewhere.

    Tyrion… Well, my gut instinct is that Tysha won't show up again, and that will be something Tyrion will have to work through by himself. I also get the impression that after Shae he's lost much of his interest in women and may not do much whoring for awhile. Non-Anon does make an interesting point about the Sailor's Wife, but considering that the Free Cities have a lot of people coming and going from all over, I'm not ready to assume that she must be Tysha.

    As has been said, I really doubt Jaime/Brienne is at all likely. Jaime may have changed a lot since losing his hand, but I still don't think he's the kind of guy who would fall in love with a woman's inner beauty etc. He's still vain, sarcastic, and a fighter, not a lover, more than ever now that he and Cersei are over.

    I can see several of the characters ending up scarred but relatively happy by the end, but pairing them off with each other in nice little couples seems way too "Happily ever after" for GRRM. I'd expect one lasting romance between major players at absolute most, and I have no idea who that would be.

  • Agree. Everything else would be so Stephenie Meyer.

    No happily ever after. But there could be some "in betweens".

    I mean, come on, a dog will die for you but never lie for you, that's going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy of the worst kind, seeing Sandor dying in Sansa's arms, just when she realised she wanted to be with him forever. "Little bird" and then beheaded by his Frankenstein brother.

  • Or even most likely, Sansa will meet him, tell him she loved him, he'll say "I'm not the man I used to be" turn around and keep digging graves.

  • @ Demokritos

    I agree that the Dothraki are inspired by the Mongols, but we know that they're looking to cast a Middle Eastern man as Drogo. The change makes sense since Dany's scenes will be filmed in Morocco.

    Just because I want to see Sansa/Sandor and Jaime/Brienne doesn't mean I expect happy endings. I know what series I'm reading. I expect both relationships, if they happen, to end tragically. And Jaime/Brienne is not that unlikely. She's definitely in love with him and if Jaime enters a relationship with anyone other than Cersei, it will be Brienne. They've got an emotional connection he doesn't have with anyone else. He told her the truth about Aerys, which he never even told Cersei.

  • The Dothraki are inspired by the Mongols in culture, perhaps, but they're inspired by Native Americans when it comes to looks.

    However, I think they're going for Middle-Easterners because it'll be far easier to get a lot of Moroccan extras than it will be to bring a lot of British extras over to Morocco.

  • @Jenny
    -Lanna is her forteen year old daughter.
    -Tyrion was 14 (that is a guess but it was there or there abouts)
    -That would make Tyrion 29 now(I think thats about right).
    -Cersei & Jaime were 8 or 9 when Tyrion was born (according to Oberyn Martell)
    -So C & J would be 36 or 37 now.

    Does that add up or has anyone any corrections to make?

  • @ Silverstar
    Where are you getting Native Americans for looks? Did George say he pictures them that way somewhere or something?

    And, yeah, like I said, I didn't really expect them to actually cast an Asian guy. Middle Eastern will make a lot of sense both due to the location and as a good choice for appearance.

  • @Demokritos

    George's comment on the Dothraki is:

    "I have tried to mix and match ethnic and cultural traits in creating my imaginary fantasy peoples, so there are no direct one-for-one correspodences. The Dothraki, for example, are based in part on the Mongols, the Alans, and the Huns, but their skin coloring is Amerindian"

    So my assumption is that their culture is based on the Mongols, but their looks are more leaning towards Native American.

  • There was a convention last year where Martin stated that it will be very interesting to read the ending of Sandor's plotline in the future.
    According to that, I don't think he will stay restrained to the place where he is supposed to be now ;-)
    As for San/San, I don't think either that there will be a happily ever after ending.
    I would really love a really unexpected but satisfactory conclusion. My fancies go to an evolution of their relationship towards a "San Francesco and Santa Chiara" pattern. That would be loving to read.

  • Alright, thanks for the clarification, Silverstar.


    Yeah, I really would not expect Sandor to stick around with monks for long. I'd also really hate it if he did. I imagine nearly dying will have changed him some, but if he gets THAT far away from being an irreverent, cynical badass, he'd be ruined as a character IMO.

  • Sandor is probably the character I'd like to see most as a POV. I have no interest in Melisandre, but it seems like from all GRRM's clues that she's who we are gonna get. Yuck.

  • The one plus for a Melisandre POV is that at this point the she's really alien to me. She's the character with which I connect the least. Having her as a POV character would force me to integrate her into the world a bit more, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

  • I've laid low a few days, reading various comments regarding the much talked-about hope a few people have of a Sandor / Sansa pairing, and trying to put it in some sort of perspective.

    My initial reaction was "Well that's just sick." People commenting on how they'd hate to see a 40+ year-old actor play a role they deem as romantic opposite 13-year old Sansa. Actors in their late 20's / early 30's were instead offered as acceptable, which … I still don't really get, but hey.

    However, for people who like the He Can Only Be Redeemed By Her sort of story (mostly women, I've noted), and looking at the archetypes we're presented with, Sandor really is the only quiet, tortured, tragic male figure. Jaime isn't the "strong silent" type by any stretch, and neither is Tyrion. Jon isn't flawed enough for the kind of character rescue these sorts of fans like. So people gravitate to the Hound and his Little Bird, hoping, I think, for some down-the-road miracle encounter.

    It may not be implausible. Remember, Martin's initial plan was to skip 5 years. In that context, an 18-year old Sansa in the arms of an adult Sandor doesn't give me the willies a 13-year old Sansa does. It may have been his initial intent, in fact.

    That said, Martin did not make the 5-year jump.

    My personal belief is Sansa will see him again. I don't think she'll recognize him at first; I think the UnMountain that No Longer Rides will be set loose in an attempt to kill her, and I think Sandor will save her … and in doing so will avenge himself on his brother, and then perish afterward — likely dying in her arms. Sansa gets the storybook ending she's always dreamed of (delivered ironically by the man who detested them so), but not the sort she likes.

    At least, with the hints the story has given us thus far, that's what I believe. It's how I'd write it.

    Lastly, saying Jaime / Brienne is "cliché" is kind of off base. "Good looking guy who falls for unattractive girl" is far less cliché than "Good looking girl who falls for ugly guy." And even putting it that simply is kind of missing the target. It's like saying "unlikely love stories" are cliché.

    I love Brienne. I personally think she is exactly what Jaime needs. The question is whether either one is smart enough to figure it out.

  • @ Paul — Yea, hopefully reading her POV will be insightful/interesting, because as of right now I find anything to with her/Stannis/Davos the weakest plotline in the entire series. And now that they are at the wall they are ruining my Jon chapters (who I love)!

  • I've had an abiding hatred for Melisandre ever since the prologue of ACoK. I'm not really sure what George will do with her as a POV. She doesn't seem redeemable at all to me, and George has probably already redeemed/partly redeemed enough former villains at this point. Having her at the wall won't help, either, because while I like Jon, I don't see her being anything but a thorn in his side (Or worse). I do agree that she's one of the most mysterious characters, though, so hopefully George throws in a bunch of little reveals about her past or something to keep things interesting.

    And then I hope she gets killed. Preferably by Davos, though if Thoros does it for some reason I could yell "In Soviet Westeros, R'hllor smites you!" while reading, which would be a nice change from calling George unspeakable names over things like the Red Wedding :p

  • @About Yea High

    Absolutely love your take on the San/San ending. I could absolutely see something like that happening.

  • @ yea high one more

    about casting Sandor.
    I'd cast him mid twenties.
    So, we never had much trouble with Dany and Khal Drogo's age gap or that of Margeary and Renly…

    @ Mozart


    Cersei and Jaime are thirty-four so Tyrion is twenty-five, that's a given fact.
    You can always calculate Jaime's age from when he slew the king. He was 18, right?

  • What would you do if GRRM makes Brienne/Jaime happen?

    Throw book out of the window? Stop reading becourse it's "yukk"?

  • @About Yea High
    I'm afraid I don't think that is credible in the slightest, regarding the San/San ending. That is way too holiwood, and not GRRM's style. I think he would gag at the suggestion. No offence but Sandor is a political figure and his "misdeeds" were morally political. Therefore to make amends he must effect the political circumstances somehow. I think he will join the militant churchmen, whatever they are called, and fight in some bloody rebelion, but only after religious persecution destroys the place he is hiding and kills his new hosts, uprooting him or waking the dog, so to speak, to create a zealot. Sansa and he may meet again, who knows he might fight alongside Arya, but his end won't be romantic in the sense yee would like me tinks.

    My 2c

  • @Mauberly

    I probably would chuck it out of the window, yes. And stop reading. Why not?
    I don't dislike Brienne for being ugly, but for being stupid.

  • Sorry, I sound so militant today, don't know what's going on. PMS I guess.
    Gotta go to sleep.
    Good night everybody.

  • LOL Every single character in the book does stupid things that make me want to take the book and throw it against the wall. But that's why they are so believable and "real." Brienne never strikes me as one of the more stupid characters in the book though, more like naive.

  • @Mozart- Sandor joining the faith militant is certainly possible, I think that would fit quite well.

    Of course we're all assuming that he's not dead.

    As for Brienne and Jaime, beautiful person falling for ugly person because they're lovely inside is cliche, and I don't see it. Unless Jaime's just trying to prove a point to himself, that he's no longer completely devoted to Cersei. As I said before, I could see them being good friends though.

  • @Mauberly

    Since when is Sansa stupid? She's a child, so is Arya.
    Sansa aka Alayne is growing up fast. At the End of AFFC she strikes me as rather mature.

  • There are plenty of "cliches" in ASoIaF. The biggest cliche is one that few readers appear to even realize is a cliche: Ned's death. The noble father dying and leaving the orphaned heroes to struggle before triumphing in the end is one of the most popular themes. It's just that the noble father got his own POV for the first book, obscuring his true role in the series. And before anyone brings up Robb, I'll point out now that he was never a POV so I don't count him as one of our orphan Stark heroes. The quality of the writing is what matters. GRRM can pull off Sansa/Sandor and Jaime/Brienne without making them look cliched, if he chooses to.

    But by the way, I don't like Sandor/Sansa and Jaime/Brienne because of the Beauty and the Beast trope. For me they're both appealing because of the bad boy/good girl thing.

  • I also like that bad boy thing.
    I don't want The Hound to be redeemed. I want him to carry of Sansa to some Tower and guard her there to the end of days. In my book they'd just disappear together during some battle never to be seen or heard of again.

  • Just for something to talk about.

    Do over
    -Lanna is her forteen year old daughter.(15 years since conception)
    -Tyrion was 10 (that doesn't sound right)
    -That would make Tyrion 25 now(I think thats about right).
    -Cersei & Jaime were 8 or 9 when Tyrion was born (according to Oberyn Martell)
    -So C & J would be 34 or 35 now.

    Sound plausible? No, whore that marries then f%$ks is not Tysha.

  • – Lanna is 14
    – Tyrion tells Bronn he was 13 when the whole Tysha thing happened
    – Jaime was 17 when he killed Aerys 14 years before the start of AGoT
    – Oberyn says Jaime and Cersei were 8 or 9 when he met them shortly after Tyrion was born
    – 2 years seemed to have passed between AGoT and AFfC
    – Tyrion should be 25 now

    It's a stretch but depending on when everybody's birthday falls, it's still possible for Tyrion to be Lanna's father. It's also possible GRRM messed up the ages a bit. I know the appendix in one of the books has ages for some of the kids that contradicts what's stated in the text.

  • I don't give a damn about age…. After all auditions …and D+D tell us this "actor " is Sandor …I'll be on board…I want a good actor for the role…if it's Ray Stevenson so be it…. I trust D+D…believe in the "force"…ooops wrongfan site LOL …forgive my English today …it's weak…I'm tired can't focus LOL

  • "She doesn't seem redeemable at all to me, and George has probably already redeemed/partly redeemed enough former villains at this point."

    If Mel's actions, convincing Stannis to bring his troops to the Wall, contributes to the salvation of Westeros or even just slowing the Others down long enough for Dany to arrive and take them out, then her actions so far may be seen as necessary, if extremely unpleasent. I don't think 'redemption' would be the goal of a Mel POV, merely clarification of her character and motivation, and possibly because she might be the only character around when something important happens which the audience needs to know about.

    As for the Drowned Men, GRRM has said that they aren't really 'drowned', they are simply immersed to the point of unconsciousness and then brought back again. They don't actually die in the clinical sense.

  • Dany coming back on her dragons and saving the world is TOO obvious …George is fan of bittersweet endings…that's what we have to look forward too….alot of our favorites will die..get ready

  • @Adam Whitehead

    To clarify, I didn't think redemption would be the point of a Melisandre POV at all, just that it would be a potential way to make reading about her point of view tolerable, if not for the fact that I can't imagine away for her to be redeemed in my eyes.

    I also don't think her actions have been in any way necessary, or even helpful, for the salvation of Westeros. First off, though this is thoroughly hypothetical, without her the war might have ended much more quickly. If Renly had lived, Catelyn may have gotten him to ally with Robb, and victory may have been theirs. Without her influence, Stannis may even have been convinced to join forces with his brother and Robb, as he would not have had constant ego inflation in the form of false prophecies. If Westeros had been stable, help for the wall would have been much more likely from all involved.

    As for any mitigation due to getting Stannis up on the wall, it seems like that was Davos' idea in the first place, though I might be misremembering. She may have gotten on board with it, but wasn't a necessary part of it happening. Without her, Stannis and Davos would be on the wall instead.

    Her motivations also seem more oriented towards creating a hero and then acting as his puppet master, as opposed to any serious interest in fighting evil. She may believe some of her prophecies, but I don't think she actually buys the part about Stannis being Azor Ahai. If she did, she would be taking orders from him, not the other way around.

    Obviously all of this would completely ruin the story, but I'm not saying I wish this had happened. Just that without Melisandre, the people of Westeros would be much better off. I like hating her, and wouldn't want her out of the books, I just don't think I'll like her as a POV too much.

  • Reading the books for the second time, I like Stannis' story more and more and wish him luck. He's not perfect, of course, and I do think Mel is wrong about him being the promised messiah, but in these books nobody is perfect.

  • @Josh

    Fantastic idea for Cersei. Has anyone suggested her before? I have been in love with Lena Headey since Jungle Book.

  • just watching our beloved Catelyn in Pride And Glory on HBO. Seeing her with a shaved head I can really see her doing "Un-Cat". Even more happy about the choice now ….

  • Lena Headey wouldn't be bad in my book at all.

    While we're talking about The Brothers Grimm, I wouldn't mind seeing Peter Stormare in a role, either. Anyone ideas where he would be best placed?

    *POTENTIAL SPOILER* My idea for Varys has always been that he's actually a little fitter than he seems. The fact that he always disappears into whomever he's chosen as a disguise makes me think that he may not even be a eunuch at all but it's simply another role he's playing. If Varys ever had to disappear, the ability to drop his trousers and prove he's not who they think would be well worth years of pretending. *POTENTIAL SPOILER*

  • Interesting idea about Varys… The part about him being in good shape seems a bit easier to believe than the Eunuch part, though. I suppose he could be lying about it, and the story he gives on how he became one. He is not, after all, the most trustworthy guy around. It seems like a rather unusual thing to lie about, though. I don't think he'd need to rely on that to be able to disappear. He'd be able to make it so they never even suspect he's Varys in the first place.

  • @gofalcons

    Lena Headey was a fairly popular suggestion for Catelyn actually. I've never seen her play a character like Cersei. But she is an actress so maybe she could do a good job acting like a bitch.

    @Who Is John Galt?

    I'm watching Pride and Glory right now too. I'm impressed by how lovely Jennifer Ehle looks with a shaved head. I'm also suddenly terrified of Colin Farrell. He might have made a good Jaime after all.

  • Indeed, Demokritos. I don't think he would ever honestly think it would ever get to that point. It's just another thing that he would have up his sleeve, so to speak. It's just a thought I've had ever since he was first introduced. I think I'm being influenced by the "hook-handed man" in Tales of the Gold Monkey who reveals himself to have two normal hands, thus rendering his most distinguishing feature non-existent.

    I got a kick out of seeing John Hodgman suggested for Varys elsewhere. I could actually see it working.

  • @non-anon: in that final scene with Jennifer where they are in the bathroom and she is looking really really haggard i totally saw her as **SPOILER** our less than fully alive lady of vengance …

    i never really liked colin farrell but he does play a really good psycho/scumbag … unfortuantely i am pretty sure Jamie is far more nuanced than what Colin is capable of … but he was good in In Brugges and this as far as playing a completely corrupt soul … i also recently saw him in pretty decent film with Cillian Murphy called Intermission … i really like cillian … too bad he is probably a bit to "big" for AGOT otherwise i would like to see him as Bronn or Littlefinger … and this film also had Kelly MacDonald (who i have loved since Trainspotting)who i always thought would have made a nice Catelyn … but maybe she would work as Melisandre?

  • @Who Is John Galt?

    I've always found Farrell likeable even when playing bad guys, and I've always found him attractive. But it's been hours since the movie ended and I'm still repulsed. I hope the actors who play Jaime(defenestrating Bran) and Sandor(killing Mycah) will give performances as amazing and stomach-turning as Farrell did in this movie.

    There's something creepy about Cillian Murphy. I can more see him as Ramsay Bolton than the outwardly charming Littlefinger. But it's a moot point since, as you said, he's too big for any of those roles.

    I just looked at Kelly MacDonald's IMDB page and she'll be in GoT's rival HBO pilot Boardwalk Empire. If GoT gets picked up and BE doesn't, it's possible they'd give her a role on GoT.

  • @Non-Anon,

    Sean Bean mostly plays villains, and now he's playing the epitome of honor.

    Perhaps Lena Headey, who usually plays the heroine, could show her bad side?

  • GRRM Just posted:
    Aug. 30th, 2009 at 1:01 AM

    "Eat your porage and you'll grow up big and strong.

    Just sayin'"

    Wonder what he means with porage?

  • There's a company called Scott's Porage Oats apparently. I'll start looking through their advertisements for potential Hounds.

  • I'm googling frantically but I can't find decent photographs of McCann. If anyone finds some, could you please link to them here?

  • wow. if that is who it is what a very unclever clue … or we just have some super sleuths here at WiC.

    @ non-anon: all i was saying is that i am not sure farrell can do anything BUT thuggish psycho (mostly because, from all that one reads, is that he IS a thuggish psycho, so i am not really sure what he does is "acting"). but if you need a totally despicable character there are few better than colin. and i totally forgot Kelly was doing BWE … she just sneaks up on you and is in tons of stuff. i sort of wish she was doing "our" project and not that other silly thing …

  • Try "Attila the Hun" BBC on youtube.

    Well, he wouldn't be the perfect Hound for me, but I wouldn't mind him either.
    No hook nose, no dark eyes. Could also be they cast him for somebody else. One of the other Sers.

  • I just saw GRRM's update, and I googled the word "porage". I found that same commercial on youtube! I thought I was the first, but I guess not (although I was close!).

    I came to the exact same conclusion. This Rory McCann guy is definitely The Hound! I'm calling it now, for a certainty!

  • Wow, Rhys Meyers and Jared Leto are incredibly good looking in that flick… Jared Leto shout be cast for SOMEONE.

  • It just occurred to me watching the Attila trailer that they might have cast him as Drogo. But we haven't heard about Drogo being cast and we did hear about Sandor so we're probably right.

  • @Jenny

    IMO, it'd be a waste to cast him as Jory. Jory doesn't need to be a big man, but Sandor and Drogo need to be big men.

  • @jenny: ha, jared is very pretty. enough to be renly but i've met him (he hit on my GF once who was working at a Starbucks) and he is a midget … like 5'6" … much to short to be any of GRRM very tall knights (all of them are pretty much at least 6ft).

  • I actually thought of him before, but the obvious role for him was Hodor. (this was based on Hot Fuzz)

  • Yeah, he could be Drogo or Hodor..
    Actually the Hound had been cast already when GRRM made the previous announcement.

    I say he's most likely the Hound, but I'd prefer him to be Khal Drogo, though I guess the won't cast a scot for a Mongol-style guy.

  • I'm convinced it must be McCann.

    "I will be good, I will, I will." Sansa's words

    "Eat your Porage" The tv commercial. Besides, does poridge ever spelled like "porage"? I dunno, for I'm from spain and we have no such things, but find it curious that GRRM used "porage", just like the brand advertised there.

    Youtube flick: After the "clues week" we all know now how does GRRM search for clues: remember the "To good to be true" video of NCW

    "Grow up big and Strong": besides the Mountain, Sandor is indeed a big and strong man. Also is McCann.

    I certainly like him as Sandor. I didn't had a real mental picture of the Hound, so I'm content with him being large and brawny. Never saw him on a show before, so no idea about his acting.
    Can he do the british accent?

    One great thing is that he and my favorite Mountain, Matthew Willig, could really pass as brothers!


  • Hodor would be much younger, wouldn't he?
    Like in his teens?

    On "Not a blog" Grrm was mainly asked about Hodor, not so much about the Hound being cast (strange but true).

    Well, I hope Rory is NOT Hodor.

  • If he's Hodor, it'll be just a rehash of his role in Hot Fuzz (instead of yarp and narp he'll be saying Hodor). Waste of good actor, I say.

    I've always pictured Sandor younger, but this guy is both big and strong and with the right makeup can be scary too.

    P.S. Everyone should see Hot Fuzz, one of the funniest movies of this decade.

  • I'm almost positive Rory McCann has not been cast as Hodor. Hodor wasn't in the pilot, and I don't see them adding him except as an unspoken background part. If he's not in the pilot, I would suggest that they're not even reading for him yet.

    We have a clue from D&D ("Woof Woof") and now we have GRRM pointing at an actor (Rory McCann; if it's anyone else I'll shave my eyebrows), so that tells me McCann is the Hound.

    It's an odd bit of casting; McCann is older than I pictured the Hound being, and his voice is deep and resonant rather than raspy, but I've seen him in several productions now and I am convinced he is a talented (and chameleonic) actor (I didn't even realize it was him in Hot Fuzz until the credits rolled).

    He'll bring a nuance to the Hound that we never envisioned before, I'm sure of it.

  • I am kind of surprised that there are comments about Jaime and Brienne being unbelievable or cliche as a couple. I actually think they would be very good for each other. I think the last thing Jaime really needs is a crazy manipulative woman in his life. And seriously, Brienne just needs to get laid.

    As for Sansa/Sandor, I can see why that would appeal to people (including me, but I'm an eternal optimist) but I don't know if I really think it's going to happen. I love the Hound to death but I'm just really sure. And right now, I think Sansa has a whole mess of other problems she needs to deal with. Like trying to avoid Baelish's creepy attempts to be a creepster.

  • @Paul Gude 8:46
    That owuld add up because he can put on a bit of stubble when he wears his boiled leather get-up. And if nead be he could always tuck it up between his legs like that one in Ace Ventura Pet Detective.:D

  • Wow. If it was Rory McCann you guys are fast on the uptake ;) I'm not concerned so much with how the actor looks, I just want him to be able to do the character justice. If he can (and I'm inclined to be believe he wouldn't have been cast if he can't) then I'm happy :)

    About Brienne/Jaime.. I see why some people think it's cliche, but I think that's missing the point. GRRM's books *aren't* completely devoid of cliche. Take Dany, the last of the Targaryens and beautiful, orphaned warrior princess, on a journey to reclaim her birthright as an example.
    The amazing thing about GRRM is how he writes those storylines. He gives it his own unique spin so that we barely recognise the cliche and it's about a million times more fun to read.

    Personally, I don't see Jaime/Brienne happening. I see them forming some sort of deep attachment and maybe having a 'moment' or two, and I can even see their relationship changing eachother. But I don't think it'll cross the border into romance as we typically recognise it. If it did, tho – I'd be happy. It'd be nice for Brienne to feel admired.

    Just wanted to pitch in those thoughts, because I think cliches get a bad rep. It's all in how they're written.

  • Oh man, Cillian Murphy would make an EXCELLENT Littlefinger! He would bring the whole series to life. Cillian Murphy is a legend.

  • Damn, you are fast! I haven't had time to even think this trough for a sec. I woke up, checked this and i found that Rory McCann fits some clues. You are probably right, just like before. I'm not very familiar with this guy's work. Can someone tell me if he's good or bad?

  • Thanks, Josh! About Littlefinger: I almost expected that he through the series says: Eeeexcellent! I would like to see Tim Roth in this role. :)

  • Jaime/Brinne never. Jaime is a White Knight. It fits his character development that he should now be committed and celibate, I reckon.

    And Sandor doesn't get a happy ending. It's part of his tragedy. More poignent and all that shite. So San/San don't happen neither, unless he champions for her at some point in the future (against the monster?). He kills him in the bloodiest affair since the red wedding. Then Sandor dies of his wounds like in first terminator film. But San/San never get jiggy. He is the father she never had. Ned was cursed by the same faults as her. It was probably a Stark thing. But Sandor is a realist, a broken realist, but fixable (by the faith not a girl), and could have been a pragmatic leader in alternative circumstances.

    I know that won't suit the women here, sorry for being a wet blanket.

  • I think McCann would be a pretty flat Hound. I dunno, I'm not one to complain about casting; I think it is a bit pointless, but I've seen him in numerous things and he has never produced the level of malice and spite that I see in the Hounds dialogues. I know the Hound is presumed reformed and he is really a nice guy at heart and all that BS, but his issues are too deep and he is really a brutal c%£t, with no faith in humanity. But maybe I'm wrong.

  • I don't think McCann can pull it off personally, but he and Matthew Willig could make excellent siblings.

    But I haven't got any alternatives. I hate when people complain about casting and have no feasible, possible alternatives that fit the clues. I hate those guys.

    Anyway, McCann/Sandor no can do-do!

  • I wouldn't mind Rory much for the Hound but I'd never be happy with him.
    I keep on thinking somehow casting a 40 year old makes the whole Sandor dilemma less gripping (not only Sansa, but all of it).

    I hope D&D are not too blinded by their own expertise. It's hard for NON Asoiaf-cognoscenti like us, to fathom out some of the tragical aspects of the show.
    Plus, some scenes would seem terribly paedophiliac to the broader american public.
    It might cost them viewers.

  • I don't view the Hound/Sansa scenario as paedopheliac. I never viewed it romantically at all. He is a broken man with a need to care for someone, but it his own life he has such a lack of faith in people, which automantically leads to a self-hatred, born from the brutality and ambiguity of his times. So the self-loathing is manifest in refusing his knighthood.

    So I think he is sexually and emotionally repressed and bares massive inner turmoil in the guise of cynicism. But he is just like any dog really, any pack animal, he just wants some love and comfort, which is not sexual, although there is never a sharp border-line to distinguish these things.

    But anyway, his redemption is in building faith in other human beings and their goodness, which he is developing, we presume, through a new religious orientation.

    So my point is he could easilly be pushing 40 like McCann and the Sansa/paedopheliac issues would not be relevantm IMO.

  • @ Mozart-

    Sorry quote: "I meant to take her (…) I should have fucked her bloody."

    He's known to go to the whores all the time too.

    And I didn't say I'd find it personally peadophiliac, but that the general US audience would (I'd find it peado with a 40 year old Sandor though thinking about it).

  • I mean, can you honestly picture the American audience to accept a scene like the one between the Hound and Sansa during the Battle of the Blackwater???

    I think if he was so old anyway, it wouldn't bother him so much that she can't look at him, but since he's not so old (Tyrions age) she would certainly consider him if he weren't so deformed.

  • If Sandor's found religion, I may puke. I'd be happier if he ended up with Sansa and was redeemed through that, which is something I doubt will happen and don't want at all. I could see him gaining some faith in humanity after being helped by the monks, but only to the point of trying to focus his violent tendencies towards good, not actually reversing his core (dis)beliefs and characteristics. I think Sandor is on a path to redemption of sorts, but I believe it will be a personal redemption. Not religious, not romantic, but a coming to terms with himself and his past. The cynicism will stay, but the rage will be directed towards something more productive. He could very well join the militant religious faction, but I don't see him doing so out of a fervent belief in the Seven. He'd do it because they're the most convenient group around that's not working for one King or another.

  • My argument is: HBO wants viewers.

    I don't give the show a chance if there's no romance in it.

    And I know that's not what ASOIAF is about, but as I said, people (at least women, wich makes 51 % of humanity) wants a little romance. Otherwise they're not going to watch.
    Where else could we get that potential romance?

  • "I meant to take her (…) I should have fucked her bloody."

    I don't, I take it as being antagonistic and sensational. He could have been trying to free her, but as he doesn't have faith in people, he doesn't think they would believe his vulnerability or caring, and so he says what he thinks they expect to hear. He also questions his motives and one part of him might deride himself for even thinking it. Also, Tyrion "wants" Sansa, as it says in his POV, does that mean he is a paedo. And the difference between the sexual appetite of a person in their mid-late twenties and early 40s is really minimal if existant at all, when speaking on the base level that you are considering.

    I know this might sound like a bit of a stretch, but I personally think it is much more plausible than the simplistic notion of branding him as a paedophile if GRRM and D&D cast him as a near 40 year old. The simple answers in these sorts of topics are always unfounded populist BS.

    And I know the US public will find it uncomfortable but I think there are worse things in the books than threatened "paedophelia", which it might seem like to someone that doesn't feel like thinking more deeply about the characters. But I don't see it as paedophelic in the slightest. His comment was mere bluster. His real motive was the shame that he was leaving her to the lions. But there are obviously all sorts of interpretations to any good complex story like SoIaF.

  • @ Mozart

    I disagree, they were like his last words, he regretted that he left her there for another man to take.
    He heard in the inn from Polliver and Co. that Sansa had been married to Tyrion.
    So, he had restrained himself because he felt her disgust towards him, but in the end, she married another monster (in his eyes) so he could've taken her himself.
    Maybe it's different interpretation.

    Well, if he was cast in his mid-twenties and the series laid out for 7 years, there might be the promise of a future in it, not if he was cast forty.

    And I repeat, it's not my opinion that Sandor is peadophile I'd simply doubt the US public would've any tolerance.
    Same with Khal Drogo btw.
    Might be difficult stuff in general.

  • Almost every biography for Rory McCann mentions the Scott's Porage Oats ads at the very top, so I agree with everyone who says it's a pretty safe bet that he's the one to whom GRRM is referring.

    Like the last time, we're sort of bound to the timing of announcements. D&D say "Woof woof," GRRM says one person has been cast, we have a clue that points to Rory McCann. If we take these as a whole, it strongly indicates that Rory McCann has been cast as the Hound.

    There are alternatives, of course. Maybe GRRM hasn't given any clues for the Hound, and Rory McCann has just been cast as Hodor, and our Hound is not announced yet. Perhaps they saw him as Attila the Hun and cast him as Drogo, and again have not dropped any Hound hints.

    However, at the moment absent of any other clues, I think Rory McCann as the Hound is the answer. I don't think the clue was too easy. I just think you guys are good.

  • @Demokritos
    SPOILERS(I always forget that)
    I don't think the nature of his religious experience is relevant. Thats just speculation. He is obviously redeeming himself in a religious order (if he is who we think he is?) but obviously he won't start acting pious and all that shite. That wouldn't make any sense. But religious experience (even though I don't consider myself religious) is complex and inexplicable and it definitely wouldn't make me puke. GRRM ventures into the subject of religin numerous times in his short stories, sometimes explicitly, sometimes implicitly, and it is quite likely that Sandor will "find religion" in whatever that means. I could even see it done in a way that would make lots of people "puke". It wouldn't bother me though. It would be just one of those inexplicible changes of character and fortune, just like in real life. But his fightin' ain't done, I reckon.

  • I would love to see Ciaran Hinds. He is top-drawer. Who could he play? Tywin? That would be F*$KIN EXCELLENT. He was class in 'There Will Be Blood' and 'Rome'. Any other characters he could play? WAIT! STANNIS! PERFECT!

  • I'd see him maybe as, maybe the old Tyrell. I think Stannis and Tywin are more like Ed Harris, Clint Eastwood types.

    Am watching Attila the Hun on youtube right now, I like Rory, but not as a Hound… he would've been perfect for Robert.

  • Ugh, I am going to be disappointed if Rory is the hound. I wanted to hound to be in his late 20s. Bummer.

  • With regard to the age difference between Rory McCann and Sophie Turner, I still firmly believe that the ages represent GRRM's intention in that scene. It was, in my interpretation, supposed to be an extremely awkward and dangerous situation.

    There is a precedent here, and I wish I knew some concrete examples in popular media. The desperate, broken man, (often drunk) pouring his heart out to the girl who is simply too young to fully appreciate what he's telling her, often coupled with a clumsy pass that goes nowhere.

    Any romance the reader gets from the situation speaks to the fact that GRRM rarely does anything simply. The sexuality of it, while perhaps present, was completely inappropriate for both parties. This was set up as an unworkable situation from the onset.

    As I've mentioned before in other threads, given Sophie Turner's age, there is really no way to cast the Hound to a point where that scene wouldn't be creepy.

    Finally, with regard to the idea of romance somehow being necessary for HBO, I go back to Deadwood. Romance is where you find it. There's absolutely no relationship there that doesn't have some amounts of damage to it. There's nothing entirely wholesome. GoT has this same quality. No one is entirely perfect, and you have to get used to horrible things happening to you pretty quickly when you're a Stark child. A twisted, inappropriate, unworkable connection between Sandor and Sansa fits into that realm. Tweaking things so that a slashfic-style relationship between the two of them that is somehow "okay" is formed would not.

    That being said, before I wrote this, I had no idea there was such a Sansa/Sandor community out there. In light of what I mentioned above, HBO could have succeed in making this scene creepy for most viewers while still giving folks who somehow view this as a viable relationship something to hold onto by casting a younger Hound.

    However, at the moment it looks like that hasn't happened.

  • @ Paul Gude

    agree. Sophie Turner and Rory McCann would be totally undoable.

    De facto though in the books, the age difference wouldn't be less than Drogo and Dany, and mayhaps the same as Margaery and Renly (how old's Renly anyway??)

  • Jenny, I'm also saying that an adolescent Sansa and early twenties Sandor would be undoable, at least in my eyes.

    As far as Drogo and Dany go, I don't view the start of that relationship as anything less than horrible. Dany was a young girl, sold to Drogo by an abusive brother.

    Again, things are so awful in GRRM's world that things like this may be overlooked, but horrible relationships between near-children and adults abound.

  • @ Paul Gude…
    Well, it would be undoable, but it would be a prospect, if you know what I mean.

    At the end of season 5 for example, she'd be 18. That wouldn't be so problematic.

    What about 13 year old Dany and 30 year old Khal Drogo.
    Is that doable???

  • How old is Dany? She isn't 13, if thats what you meant. I thought she was 15 in the GoT and aged up to 17.


    Just because Dany appears to have fallen in love with Drogo by the time he dies doesn't make the situation any better. What we see afterwards with Dany (and with Sansa/Littlefinger) are the girls put into these horrible situations surviving, and trying to normalize.

    I think when these things are put on the screen, people should feel a little sick to their stomachs when they get the full measure of how many incredibly bad things Sansa and Dany have had to deal with.

  • I would say that if we're ranking "bad things that happen to Sansa," however, that creepy between her and Sandor isn't that horrible when compared to her relationship with Joffery or Littlefinger. Again, this is an issue of relativity, however. Just because he isn't abusing her or brainwashing her doesn't mean that a physical relationship between the two of them at that point would be appropriate.

    Even if they were to age Sandor down to a point where when they meet in the future she's 18 and he's 30, that wouldn't make the initial situation between the two of them when she's 13 and he's 25 any less creepy.

    If they *were* interested in pushing that sort of a relationship, they'd have aged her up like they did Dany. It should be remembered that GRRM stated they aged Dany specifically so they could include sex, however, not necessarily to make the relationship between her and Drogo more palatable.

    Also, can you go into how the 13/25 Sansa/Sandor angle is okay for you but the 15/30 Dany/Drogo one isn't?

    I don't find either of them okay, so I'd really be interested in your reasoning.

  • I'm not saying it's ok for Sansa to have sex. I'm just saying it would be ok as a romantic prospect for the future.

    And I was only being provocative, because most people don't seem to have any qualms about Dany Drogo.

  • Yeah, I'm with Paul Gude. I think there are many taboos this series is gonna brake through by just showing this material. I don't know what you are talking about Jenny, but I'm not trying to condone the material or make it more palatable. It is what it is, and it is not wholesome. You know that, I know that GRRM knows that. We disagreed on the nature of the San/San relationship, if you're talking about how the way the US is gonna take it well, I have no idea. I hope their isn't an uproar. I don't think there will be cos GRRM isn't promoting incest or relationships between adults and young teenagers. It is an awful situation no doubt.

  • Martin said: The dog is green. Just sayin'

    It must be McCann guy. he has that "green commercial, right?

  • All I'm saying is, maybe (since this is TV) D&D should not be blinded by their own fandom, so to say.
    I know we all love the books, but will people really want to SEE it?
    Shouldn't they consider to add some romance at some points and take out some of the very controversial stuff?

    Not what I would personally want but I'm thinking about how GoT would become a really popular show.

  • I'm a firm believer that GoT will be a popular show by them putting forth exactly what GRRM intended, with all of the ugliness intact. The Wire did not become critically acclaimed for pulling punches.

  • @Paul Gude

    There are no 15 year olds having sex with 30 year olds, right? And enjoying it too?

    I'm sure America won't have it.

  • I'd rather it be true to the books and end after a season than have it run for 7 and mess around with things. I could tolerate glossing over some of the nastier stuff (As one person said, they could avoid ever explicitly stating the fate of Craster's daughters, as an example), but adding in new romances isn't something I see working. Very few characters are in a position to have any sort of decent romance, and the ones who sort of almost are would have their stories changed significantly by such an alteration. For example, if they aged Sansa a bit and made her relationship with Sandor overtly romantic, this could detract a bit from the awfulness of her situation and alter the expectations of people new to the show to the point of making potential future developments seem out of place (For example, if Sandor and Sansa never meet again, it would seem like a huge letdown to everyone, and not just a significant minority who want them to get together.) So unless George wants to tell them a few secrets about the future of the series, I don't think it would be wise for them to add overtly romantic angles where there aren't any. I guess they could play up Loras and Renly, but I don't think that's what you're after.

    Besides, we've got a few messed up/star-crossed romances strewn here and there anyway. Tyrion and Shae, Jon and Ygritte, Robb and Jeyne…

  • new GRRM post: "the dog is green, just sayin'"

    actor for the hound with the last name green? green as in new? like we've never seen him before?

  • Now I'm really confused, Jenny. Are you advocating they cut an already established scene because a potential casting choice doesn't fit some aspect of where you had hoped the series might go? Drogo and Dany have sex. It's in the pilot, and it influenced casting. If you're holding that up as something that's going to cause the show to fail, you might as well give up on the whole series right now.

    That being said how the the "enjoyment" factor plays out is up to HBO. My interpretation of that scene has always been that she's doing what she has to do, not what she wants to do. I think on the most basic level she's trying to make the best of a horrible situation.
    How that scene is handled is entirely up to HBO and the show's production team. I am in no way going to presume what they will or won't do.

    I'll say it again. I trust HBO to know what they're doing here. They're going to make their own decisions about what plays better in the United States. They should. They no better than you or me. We're debating things over which we have no control.

    Again, it's ludicrous for either of us to second-guess what HBO is going to decide to do to make this a popular show. They may not agree with all of our interpretations of what GRRM's series means to us, but they're not in the business of making bad television.

  • In the Wire there are children dealing and getting the shit kicked out of them. There are also children blowing shit out of eachother, shooting eachother in the face and what not, on screen and lying in pools of blood.

    I hope they change nothing and if they change more than minor alterations due to the transition to TV being an alternate artform needing its own considewrations, then I will personally not watch it. The books are good enough for me. I don't think they'll change much though. Romance would be diabolically shit for me.

    No offence Jenny

  • @ Demokritos

    you think the Sansa/Sandor appassionati are a minority? Ever checked the fanart pages?

    I'm not saying I want new romances, I'm only saying I'm fearing the lack of them will put off regular TV audiences.

    @ educatedpony

    Rory McCann is a supporter of the scottish green party.

  • @ Paul Gude

    then I'm expecting HBO producers will stop it before it happens.

    Again, I'm not saying what I WANT to be done, I'm just trying to share some worries.

    Oh darn, it's hard to talk with men. Where are the girls???
    Somebody please understand me!!

    Well, I'm overdoing this anyway. Gotta go. Bye.

  • @jenny

    jeeze! you guys are smart…and fast! after looking over the evidence it's gotta be rory, right? he's huge! how are they going to find a guy bigger than him to play the mountain?

    i really can't wait for the cersei announcement. hopefully soon.

  • Rory McGrath was absolutely brilliant in STATE OF PLAY (the TV mini-series, not the recent meh Affleck film). Excellent choice.

    Although there will be many, many, "YARP?" jokes to come if that is the case.

    "There are no 15 year olds having sex with 30 year olds, right? And enjoying it too?"

    First episode of Season 3, thirty-something retired gangster Cutty has sex with a teenage girl (difficult to tell if she was legal or not) at a 'coming home' party thrown by his other gangster friends just after getting out of prison. In another episode in Season 2, the thirty-something McNulty has a drunken binge-out of epic proportions which culminates in him sleeping with a teenage waitress in a diner (fairly explicitly as well), although I think she was about 18-19.

    I haven't seen DEADWOOD but I think that had far more dubious scenes as well involving prostitutes. And in ROME Octavian as a 14 or 15-year-old (and played by an actor of the same age) sleeps with his much older sister, which I think efficiently encapsulates both the age difference and incest storylines of GAME OF THRONES.

  • I think they're a minority, yes. There are people who want them to end up elsewhere, I'm sure, and I'm also sure there are people who don't really want to attach themselves too strongly to any particular possibilities. It seems like mostly females who are strongly attached to the idea, and while I'd be willing to believe that even a slight majority of fans might be female, not ALL females want Sandor and Sansa together, and I don't believe we've heard from any males that do? So "significant minority" seems like a pretty fair guess. This isn't me being disdainful of the idea, just my best estimate based on what I've seen.

    And, yeah, I guess you didn't really say you want to add in new romance, but it still makes sense to point out why that would probably not be feasible, and sticking to GRRM's guns is their best bet, so to speak. I could see them fleshing out Robb & Jeyne, though. Might be nice to actually see the battles he fought, for that matter.

  • Can anyone confirm that Dany was fifteen not 13 in GoT. I gave the book away last week and I'm too lazy to search. It has been 16 years between Robert taking the thrown and Dany was born shortly after. I really don't think she is 13.

    Eh, Jenny, you know you won't be able to stay away from this blog for long. Something new could happen at any time. And I'm sure there'll be girls along soon to drewl over Sandor with. Where is PlainJain? I thought I saw around.

  • Dany is 13 at the start of AGoT. She has her 14th birthday whilst crossing the plains. She is 15 by the end of ASoS.

  • @ Demokritos

    Tyrion/Shae was a client deluding himself about a whore. There was nothing romantic about it. Robb/Jeyne takes place off screen and doesn't happen until the third book anyway. Ygritte doesn't appear until half way through the second book and practically everyone in fandom despises her.

    I latch on to character interactions that look that possible romance, especially between characters I like, because frankly ASoIaF would be too damn depressing otherwise.

    @ Adam Whitehead

    Funny you should mention the Octavian/Octavia sex scene. It's the reason I'm not convinced it was necessary for them to cast a 22 year old as Dany. The Dany/Drogo sex scenes don't have to be explicit. Not that I care either way, because I don't care about Dany/Drogo. Drogo was always more of a plot device than a character.

  • Nice work Jenny….George also mentions " eat your porridge and grow big and strong"…or something like that….well on Wikipedia it states that Rory got his start in a commercial for porridge…He is our hound …

  • Mozart, Dany is 13 in A Game of Thrones. Says so in her very first POV.

    Still, I don't see D&D stopping the Dany/Drogo scene from going forward. As established, the casting of Tamzin Merchant was (at least in part) based on having an actress for Dany that could play younger than her own age and appear in sex scenes.

    Again, I don't expect it to be any less cringeworthy than it should be.

    I need to say, also, that I do think GRRM has put a sort of Beauty/Beast relationship in play with Sansa and Sandor. Its undeniable that he has been kind to her where others have not. He may even have feelings for her, just as she may feel something for him. The scene between them did have an air of both menace and tenderness to it, a very uncomfortable place indeed.

    It was in dealing with the argument that the casting of Rory McCann as the Hound somehow undercuts a grand romance that could have been between Sansa and Sandor that I really saw just how creepy that scene is. Creepy, yet touching? GRRM is complicated like that.

  • The Hound is straight out of Steinbeck, NOT Disney. He is not a Beast, he is a C$%T. I hate that Beauty/Beast crap.

  • @ Paul Grude

    I'm more concerned with Sansa later misremembering a kiss between herself and Sandor. I'll have a harder time believing a young girl is fantasizing about a 40 year old man than I do imagining her fantasizing about a 28 year old one.

  • @Non-Anon
    Tyrion/Shae is absolutely romantic. Just because Shae is a backstabbing whore doesn't make Tyrion's feelings any less legitimate. This is a big part of the tragedy of her betrayal. Granted, it's a one-sided, fucked up romance, but Tyrion's feelings are still genuine. True about Robb/Jeyne being rather late, and I wasn't aware that everyone hated Ygritte. I didn't care for her too much, but hate didn't enter into it. It's always possible she'd be received better on film, though.

    My point is that there are a lot of half-romances and romances that don't work out, though. There's plenty of content to tug the heartstrings, etc. I guess people looking for a love story might be disappointed, but the same can be said for horror films, and they seem to do pretty well.

  • @ Mozart

    I'm sorry to inform you that GRRM spent several years of his life working on Beauty and the Beast "crap."

  • @ Demokritos

    Tyrion/Shae is not romantic. Romance, by my definition, is something that makes the reader/viewer feel pleasant emotions and maybe have a good cry if it's sad. It's abundantly clear from the beginning that Shae is the lowest, worst sort of whore and that Tyrion is fooling himself by believing she genuinely cares about him. There's nothing romantic about about it. Tragic, yes. Pitiful, yes. But not romantic.

  • @Non-Anon
    I know that. It is disney though. And every writer has to ply their trade. It isn't his style though.

  • The Hound will be 35-40, yes.

    But you seem to be forgetting that they've aged up Sansa, too!

    She's 11(!) in A game of thrones. In the pilot, she'll be 13. And the actor is actually 15, by the way.

    So its not really any more creepy now. ABout the same, i'd say.

  • @The Dany sex / nudity situations –
    GRRM did mention that he and D&D had specifically discussed how to handle these things, and they both agreed that the sex and the nudity were important to her storyline, thus one of the reasons they cast a 22 year old who looked younger.

    I always assumed they would play up the romance on screen, not really in a cheesy way, but just flesh out Drogo's character a little more. He is basically a cardboard cut-out in the book, and given very minimal characterization and because of that, I always felt the whole relationship between them was really flat. But Dany does fall for him pretty quickly and grows to really care for him and respect him, so I assume they would flesh out that aspect more on screen and show the viewer more of what Dany sees in him.

    @The Hound speculation –
    It's GOT to be Rory McCann. Between the Porage, and Jenny mentioned the Irish Green Party connection… and if you search his name in YouTube, the first thing that comes up is a commercial for the Green Party with him in it. Georgy is going to have to start getting more clever with his clues…. or its just much easier to pin down when it's only one character and not seven.

  • @Non-anon –
    Kind of agree with the Tyrion / Shae thing not being romantic from the reader's viewpoint, knowing what we know. I think it is really the closest thing Tyrion can come to romance, which is incredible tragic.

  • Mozart, I'm not talking about Disney when I say Beauty/Beast. It's shorthand for the convention that a young woman will have strong feelings for a disfigured and/or mentally tormented man due to the overwhelming desire to "fix" him. Or maybe it's not as universal as I thought? The basic thing is that Sandor can be exactly who you think he is, and Sansa could still have feelings for him.

    Non-Anon, as with other aspects of people's casting issues, it's time to start working through your problems if you want to enjoy the series.

    Wow, sjwenings, Sansa's 11 in the books? I had completely forgotten that. Yeah, then, I suppose the creepiness factor for 13/40 is about the same for 11/25.

  • Wow, finally some clues that were so easy even I could figure them out!

    Rory McCann for Sandor, eh? Not bad…different from how I see him, but not very much.

    Though, after watching his Green Party video, it's tough to imagine such a sweet, environmentally concerned guy chopping little kids in half.

    Can't wait to see him in full costume. Wonder if he'll try the gravelly voice? I hope so.

  • @Non-Anon
    Alright, thanks for the clarification. Tyrion's situation is still "romantic" by at least one dictionary definition, but now I get what you mean better.

    Personally, I didn't think it was abundantly clear that Shae was the lowest, worst sort of whore from the beginning. There's basically no evidence aside from the fact that she's a whore. I'm an evidence kind of guy. I recognize there are emotional cues, expectations about the way a whore will tend to behave, etc., but I tend to purposefully ignore that kind of thing as far as making actual judgments. I didn't expect things to work out anyway, but I guess my point of view might have been more sympathetic with Tyrion, as opposed to feeling like an outsider watching him get into a horrible situation. In a way, even knowing about Shae, I think the situation retains a degree of romance if you break it down. Tyrion feels genuine love. This is presumably misdirected love for Tysha. The object of Tyrion's love is taken from him, and he is emotionally destroyed by it. The fact that the object of his love was undeserving, and that she was taken from him by her own betrayal and him strangler her for this isn't really relevant in the sense of whether it's romantic or not; aside from that fact, everything syncs up quite well with a standard tragic romance. Whether it's romantic has a lot to do with whether you're empathizing with Tyrion, or strictly watching from the outside.

    Again, this is all irrelevant as far as any sort of "I was right/you were wrong" argument, as I completely understand what you mean by romance, and how Tyrion still doesn't fit it. Just further clarifying my take on the situation.

  • @ Demokritos

    Personally I found Shae trashy and I lost respect for Tyrion for being enchanted by a woman like that. Contrast her with Alayaya, who is also a whore by profession but not by character. Maybe Shae's true nature wasn't clear in AGoT since she only shows up near the end. But ACoK showed us what she was like. Her reaction to poor Lollys being gangraped by the mob was basically "so what." She actually said, "They only fucked her."

  • As I suggested over at, had they cast Rory as Hodor, he would have had great training for the role in "Hot Fuzz." He'd have to make the leap from monosyllabic to duosyllabic, though.

    Of course he had had far more talkative roles, too, such as in Alexander (a stand-out scene in that otherwise largely problematic movie) and as Attila the Hun in the show "Warriors"/"Heros & Villains," a very well done docudrama series from the BBC.

  • Ok. He's not Ray, but add a few burn marks and damn McCann fits my view of the Hound almost perfectly. I have no idea of he has the gravitas to pull off the role, but visually he's about perfect.
    Jenny. We're all entitled to our opinions and I definately respect yours, but I feel completely opposite about an older Hound for Sansa. Make him younger and I feel like you get an unrealistic case of puppy (sorry) love, but an Older Sandor becoming mesmerized (not actually falling for, because he never really does) by Sansa's innocent beauty smacks of a dark mature realisim that someone cursed by Sandor's situation might face. It seems extremely plausible and infininetly more interesting (and HBOish) to me to go this route.

  • @ Demokritos

    "not ALL females want Sandor and Sansa together, and I don't believe we've heard from any males that do"

    Males do, believe :-P

  • heres where the problem of interpreting situations through modern societal conventions comes into play.

    the premise of aSoIaF is to illustrate a fictional environment set in as legitimate a medieval atmosphere as possible.

    way i look at it:

    to put this as delicately as possible, women in that particular time frame served one primary purpose: structured geneology (whether by child-bearing means or marriage). therefore, any female capable of such function was of "sufficient age" –

    the advent of industrial times and and the accompanying social structures has resulted in an increased valuation of the intellectual characteristics a female brings to the relationship. as reasons for marriage shift to pleasure rather than obligation, there is an increased emphasis placed upon the intellectual maturity of the female. at a fundamental level, the only functional differences between a 13 year girl and a 25 year old woman are mental.

    i believe if the production team can effectively relate this distinct environmental/cultural device, viewers will be able to accept the physical relationships between characters.

  • @Demokritos & Non-Anon
    I am a proponent of the theory that Tyrion is actually a Targaryen. It is pure speculation and I am just saying it so you'll know were I'm coming from, not to give the theory undo credit.

    So from that perspective I believe Tysha may not have been a whore. Tywin can never allow Tyrion to syre a theat to the Lannister bloodline. I believe that Aerys raped Joanna because Tywin was getting too powerful, which produced the monster that is Tyrion. Tywin couldn't kill a part of Joanna, or prove Tyrion wasn't of his blood at the time of conception. To do that would doom himself and his line. Once time had passed and Aerys dethrowned, for him to declare Tyrion a monster born of rape would be a humiliation too grotesque to bare. Tywin is nothing if not prideful. But Tyrion still can never hold Casterly Rock though. Tywin would never allow it while he was allive. The reason for this is obvious. If Tywin could have stopped Jaime becoming a white knight he would have, but again Aerys was too powerful. So it was always a struggle, a chess game, between Aerys and his hand, the Tyrion's "whore" Tysha, was merely a part of that, an innocent caught in the cross-fire. She was probably genuine, and at most a gold-digger. Tywin probably forced Jaime to lie about it, which damaged his relationship with his heir for good. So that played into Aerys' hands also.

    So thats why I think Tysha and Tyrion might have been genuine. Call it naive but it is possible.

    With regard to shae, well I call that as genuine as lots of so-called "loving relationships". She was a whore who, as they all have, trained herself to reacte the way men wished and expected them to reacte, as if they were authentically aroused. Women do it all the time I reckon; they don't have to be whores. Tywin may have forced her to come up to be sure she wasn't carrying, and then fucked her to be sure. Ye know, so it would be his seed and not Tyrions to world. So I don't think it was genuine romance but it was as close as alot of relationships are.

    But thats not how it will come across on screen, just how I see it.

  • @ Non-anon
    Personally, I think that's a fairly natural opinion for Shae to have, as someone who sells herself for a living and who has probably experienced rape, if not gang rape. It's something she has to live with, so becoming desensitized to it is to be expected. If she got emotional about Lollys, she'd have to get emotional about herself.

    I think the unrealistic case of puppy love might be exactly what Jenny thinks is missing with an older Sandor. Not in the sense of being hung up on Sansa/Sandor slash, but in the sense that the fact that a younger Sandor COULD be with Sansa, if not for his disfigurement and bitterness, adds a layer of tragedy that is not present if he's too old for it to make any sense anyway. In short, Sandor is ugly and bitter like an older man might be, but prematurely. The natural course of his life is disrupted.

  • Oh, no. We're back onto the pedophilia conversation. For what it's worth, I believe Mr. Martin worked with the ages and situations he did in the books because ASoIaF owes heavily to Historical Fiction and the period of the War of the Roses in England.

    At that time, it would not have been uncommon for teenagers and near-adolescents (think age 12+) to be married and start sexual relationships.

    Worse, from a female perspective it would probably have been common for older/MUCH older men to take advantage of these very young, yet probably more mature than our modern, young ladies.

    If Martin himself gave the green light on aging people up, then I think we have nearly no room to complain. If the author himself is satisfied, then we should be.

    Also, and this might merit its own longer post, our current interpretation of the First Amendment prohibits visual depictions of minors engaging in almost any kind of sexual intercourse. The rationale behind it is long and complex, but can be boiled down to "We don't want to sexualize our children, even in fiction, and consider people children until they're 18."

    Anyway, I'm just stoked that the casting is moving forward so well and so quickly. This production is going to be top notch. Kudos to all on the great investigating and deductive reasoning.

    I think we all deserve an award for overall fan awesomeness. :D

  • A younger Sandor (28) COULD be with Sansa (11)?

    Not anymore than older Sandor (35) and older Sansa (13) Witch is their ages in the pilot.

  • @ ebv

    I agree completely and am just wondering about how the average US public will take it.

    As said many times before, I'm in favour of a Sansa/Sandor romantic entanglement (to whatever end, good or bad).
    And I think it's fine she's 13 and he's 26 (or whatever) in the books.
    For medieval standard it's a perfect match.

    Just saying, the whole Sansa Sandor tension gets lost when the guy is 40, because then she wouldn't be attracted to him at all.

    I have exhausted the topic I know… sorry everybody.

  • a1227k, while I'll go with the idea that understanding this fictional world will allow us to see how these events are allowed to happen there, I don't think we're required to suspend our own views of those events.

  • Jenny

    she's 13 by AFFC

    -Uh, yeah. Because two years have passed. So… i'm right then.

  • No, no suspension of belief is required. However, a good historical grounding can at least allow the reader or viewer to come to the text with an understanding of "how it was" back then.

    That said, these conversations usually run too close to the "Age is arbitrary anyway! We should be allowed to make our own choices from age (X) and upward" with X usually being a few years younger than 18.

    Hate to break it to those who advocate for age X over 18, but I and the rest of the nation prefer an arbitrary age to any other system, if for no other reason than I believe that it is better safe than sorry.

    Actually, I love to break that to people. I understand that many people are much more mature at 16 than some people are at 25. But ours is a nation of laws, and we are governed by the rule of law. And without that, we could be as messed up as the world of aSoIaF.

    And as much fun as dragons would be, no one wants to end up in a pot of Brown.

  • @ Mozart

    We know that Tysha was not a whore. No one here said she was. I fervently hope that Tyrion is not some secret Targaryen. It completely undermines the brilliant story of the dysfunctional Lannister family. The Lannisters held on to the throne and won the war by working together(when Tyrion and Cersei weren't squabbling over whores and sellswords) while the Baratheons were fighing each other. Then Jaime gets his hand cut off by a sellsword Tywin brought to Westeros, Cersei accuses Tyrion of poisoning Joffrey, Tyrion kills Tywin, and Cersei and Jaime turn on each other. Wonderful to read.

    There's absolutely no evidence that Tyrion is Targaryen, especially when people try to argue that Tywin knew. That contradicts itself. Tywin is not the sort of man to raise his wife's bastard by another man. Tywin might hate Tyrion for being a dwarf – thereby making House Lannister a source of mockery – but family is important to him so he raised him. If he actually believed Tyrion wasn't his – well, he's not a man who has scruples about ordering the murder of a baby.

  • @paul gude

    I suppose a better way of expressing it is not to suspend one's beliefs, but rather create a situation in which those particular beliefs simply wouldn't apply.

    naturally, achieving this while simultaneously maintaining an world which successfully captures the audience is difficult, but… i guess thats the essence of being a producer

  • Hitler's Dad married his niece, who was 15, syring Adolf, meaning Adolf's mam was also his cousin. Adolf's father was around 40+, maybe 50 and that wasn't much more than 115 years ago. That stuff was rampant, and not very long ago. We are not talking 100s of years ago that it was common, even normal, even if it is unwise(to be mild).

  • @ Mozart

    One more good reason for it to be illegal.
    But thanks to Tarantino Hitler was shot in a Cinema.

  • I can't believe all the supposed people who are bothered by a little incest or age difference in relationships. First of all if someone is physically sexually mature like Danny and probably Sansa, then it's not pedophilia by definition.

    As for incest, why shouldn't a consenting brother and sister have sex if they want to? And even if someone doesn't think so, why would it bother them to watch it?

    With all the terrible violence and thousands of people dying and suffering, why is it the sex that bothers people?

  • @Non-Anon
    You didn't really read what I said, so here it is for you again.

    "It is pure speculation and I am just saying it so you'll know were I'm coming from, not to give the theory undo credit."

    There is subtle evidence, which I don't care to mention as I said it is just to back up the fact that I do think Tyrion/Tysha was a romance, and I have a hunch that Shae will turn out to be a bit more genuine, hence a bit more romantic than popularly considered.

    Twyin tells Tyrion that Tysha was a whore and they all fuck her. So how does you(plural) know Tysha was not a whore.

  • You don't need to go back very far to find very young adolescent girls marrying older men. My own great grandmother was only 14 when she married my great grandfather in the early 20th Century, who was in his 20's. In that time, it was completely normal for a 14 year old girl to marry. It wasn't considered strange in the least.

    Tywin can never allow Tyrion to syre a theat to the Lannister bloodline.

    This isn't so. Tywinn was very keen on Tyrion siring children with Sansa so as to make solid Tyrion's claim on The North. Of course this did not happen.

  • @Paul J
    Thats crazy! Incest is sick, and if you take a liberal attitude to that then you do not have the ability to think things through to there consequences. It is a damn good taboo. And I am very liberal. I have no doubt that if wasn't consciously and actively stigmatised then it would be a problem and it's effects would be noticable.

    You are NUTS man! Luckilly GRRM is not condoning it. It is an offense in Westeros as well as the real world.

  • @Brude
    That was for the North, not Casterly Rock. He can handle a Targaryen/Lannister/Stark like Tyrion holding the North. But yeah I take your point. My theory has holes as the child would still have a claim to the Rock.

  • Another thing, Tywinn did not automatically hate the Targaryens, indeed he had hoped to marry Cersei to Rhaegar to make her Queen. He only turned on the Targaryens when it was clear they were losing the war. Targaryen blood was not, in itself, a threat to Tywinn.

  • I would absolutely hate if Tyrion was a secret Targaryen. One of my favorite lines from the books is when Genna tells Jaime that Tyrion was Tywin's "true son" or something of that matter. I think that would completely ruin the Tyrion/Tywin relationship dynamic that we see in the books.

  • @mozart. theoretically, we are all products of initial incest. ..just saying.

    logically though, heres my argument:

    Without a visible label designating "RELATED, HANDS OFF" males and females are attracted to members of the opposite sex based primarily on physical characteristics. Lacking modern scientific/medical evidence illustrating the negative effects of inbreeding, historical characters would have no true logical reason to abstain from such behavior.

    I personally don't see how an attraction can exist between family members with heavy blood ties. whether this stems from genetic coding or society's influence, I cannot definitively say.

  • @ebv
    Age of consent in the US actually varies by state and I believe it goes as low as 14 in some places. That said, it's still kind of a gray area at best until 18. I do agree that an arbitrary age is the best policy for protecting children, but this doesn't mean the age MUST be 18, and a lot of nations and states do in fact have different ages, some higher, some lower. I think most people watching AGoT will probably be able to accept that it's acceptable to marry and/or have sex at a younger age in Westeros, at least to the degree of not turning off the TV the second they see anything remotely questionable.

    @Mozart 3:31
    We know Tysha wasn't a whore because Jaime admits it to Tyrion. Or, at least, she was not a whore to his knowledge. She may have been a gold digger, or hypothetically even a whore, but we have no real reason to believe the latter, and the former is frankly about the best Tyrion could expect, assuming she didn't plan to kill him and take his fortune or anything. On the other topic, I don't buy Tyrion as a Targaryen, but I do kind of like the idea of Aerys intentionally trying to set him up as the heir to the Lannister house. It would be a good way to piss off Tywin regardless of his heritage, and he may have hoped to use Tywin's mistreatment of Tyrion as a way to bring Tyrion over to his side.

    @Mozart 3:39
    I agree that incest is sick. I do think Paul J has a point about people getting worked up about sex as opposed to violence, though. Then again, I think if we took a poll the majority would find the red wedding and Ned's execution to have been more traumatic for us as readers than Jaime and Cersei doin' it.

  • It is not genetic coding anyway. Tribes have always stolen women and spread their genes in a natural process. All of the most complex organisms have processes that reduse the probability of incest. Just look at lions. We never needed science to tell us why it was bad. Human beings always knew it was bad, whether you named it offensive to the gods or whatever. The issue arrose when you hand powerful families with interests supplanted this natural stigma, namely the retention of power and monarchic dominance. But there almost certainly is a "RELATED, HANDS OFF" reaction and it is very primal, yet cultural in it's process.

  • I guess with the sex scenes, yes, it might make someone uncomfortable to witness incest or a much younger girl having sex with an older man (props to GRRM for being one of the few fantasy authors who sets his books in a medieval setting and doesn't leave out all the grimy details–I'm sick of other authors' idyllic "best of times" interpretations) BUT isn't it just like when you're watching a horror movie and you can say, "Well, it's just a movie"? Since this is a TV show, we know these things aren't REALLY happening. The actors aren't really brother and sister and HBO certainly isn't forcing underage girls to have sex with older men. Sure, the visual is probably going to be a bit disturbing, but think of this–twas all an HBO series. ^.^

  • @ Everybody

    I think people are much more clear on violence.
    It's bad.

    No there's all sort of debate about military intervention and torture and death penalty, but it's nothing anybody (healthy) should, if not forced to, do to anybody else.

    Sex is something nice (or should be) and necessary, so it's much harder to have clear ideas about it.
    Rules on sex are moral… there's no saying: people only enjoy Sex from age 16, but whether they SHOULD enjoy it first and who WITH and WHY etc….

    Most people say: violence should not be done by anybody to anybody (if not absolutely necessary = that can depend on what somebody consideres necessary).

    But, when you watch TV with your child and somebody gets shot, you can say: NEVER DO THAT!


  • I think that if Tyrion was a Targaryen, and not Tywin's son, Tywin would've just had Tyrion killed. At the very least, he would have gotten rid of him. He's too prideful to just keep Tyrion around.

  • I find Jaime and Cersei's attraction to each other as a product of their extreme vanity- their looking so much alike leading to a type of self love that manifests itself into incest in this case. It also begins to wane once SPOILER Jaime is maimed, beginning to seperate them both physically and spiritually. END SPOILER. I'm not writing incest off as acceptable, and I don't think PaulG was either, but it is amazing especially in America how much sex is the end all and be all of our defintion of "decency". I mean, you can now say almost all of George Carlin's famous 7 words you can't say on television, but god forbid you should show a little tit, cuz then you'd only be able to be on Premium cable.

    Good find on the Hound y'all. Green, porage definately = Rory Mccann. Thanks for getting the work done before I even logged in today! I think GRRM made the clues easier this time so his fans wouldn't get into virtual screaming matches over it. ;)

  • @ Chris- And isn't is possible the same pride wouldn't allow him to admit his wife had conceied a son with another man? (really just playing devil's advocate here, as I don't yet subscribe to Tyrion=Targaryen.)

  • @ Mozart

    The sequence of events goes like this: Jaime and Tyrion find a young peasant girl being terrorized by bandits. Jaime chases the bandits while Tyrion takes the girl to an inn and buys her dinner. They get drunk and sleep together. Tyrion finds a septon to marry them. Tywin finds out and is furious. He tells Jaime to tell Tyrion that whole thing was staged and the girl was a whore he hired for Tyrion to lose his virginity. Jaime tells the lie, and Tywin makes Tyrion watch as a barracks of guardsmen rape Tysha and then Tywin urges Tyrion to rape her last and pay her for it. Tyrion does it.

    Jaime's confession to Tyrion in ASoS is what leads Tyrion to kill Tywin. It's pretty damn important. I don't understand how you can miss something as big as that and yet come up with theories about Tyrion being a Targ.

    As for Shae being genuine, she gave false testimony condemning Tyrion and Sansa for Joffrey's murder and then Tyrion strangled her to death.

  • It's also illegal and sick to tie people up and torture them, but movies like Saw make tons of money. I'm not going to say incest or compromising sexual situations are acceptable, just why can they not be depicted on screen, but torture porn can become blockbuster movies. We live in a weird society….

  • Yeesh, do I even dare?

    One of Showtime's most successful series, and critically acclaimed (go figure), is Dexter which features a protagonist using power tools on helpless victims in nearly every episode. This same character has a thoroughly "romantic" relationship (romantic in the strict Jennian sense–evocative of nice feelings and sadness) with a woman who knows nothing about his serial murders.

    Sick sells, folks. Even in the U.S. :)

    And people take their romance where they can find it.

    Also: Fox & Mulder. Sexual tension tends to keep people watching TV more than kisses and consummation. I promise you, there will be sexual tension between Sansa and Sandor, as there will be between Jaime and Brienne–that's human nature and GRRM wrote it in. It will be very sad and perhaps once or twice almost pleasant. But it may not be wisdom for either couple to get it on in earnest.

    It's gonna be a grim series folks, and all of us will be grateful for the few moments of kindness or tenderness meted out in the course of events, just as we've all been grateful for those moments as we read the books. People will exaggerate those moments, prolong them in their minds, turn them into grandiloquent fanfic of "what might have been," just as they've done while reading the books.

    People will find the relationship between Dany and Drogo very "hot." Other people will see the relationship between Dany and Drogo as an insult to whatever ethnicity from which D&D decide to draw their actors to play the Dothraki.

    People will find the relationship between Jaime and Cercei "delicious." Others will find the relationship between Jaime and Cercei abhorrent and stop watching after the first episode (if their church group hasn't warned them against the show by then, sight unseen). Still others will find it as upsetting as a car wreck, and just as fascinating.

    People will be shocked to find out that Shae was playing Tyrion all along. Others will be shocked and saddened that Tyrion could even for a minute be taken in by the likes of Shae.

    People will deny that Littlefinger is trying to get with Sansa as long as they possibly can and then just deny it. And many others will be onto Littlefinger as soon as they lay eyes on the bastard.

    It's a good story, a rich story, full of ambiguity and tantalizing implications–AND THAT AIN'T GONNA CHANGE just 'cause it's on TV. It better not, if HBO wants the thing to be a hit.

  • Hear, hear HKC! Great art is always open to interpretation. Many people will have many different views after watching this series, as many as have after reading the books. Ugliness such as a serial killer (Dexter) or a sociopathic mob boss (Sopranos) can still make beautiful art. I personally can't wait for folks to be exposed to this rich, intricate story through the series and look forward to reading viewers' comments that perhaps haven't read the books.

  • @HKCavalier

    Perfectly said: its the sexual tension that audiences find most interesting. Situations in which an extended courtship, etc… is finally consummated may be gratifying for a short period of time, but often leaves the audience with an empty feeling where the interplay once existed.

  • @Demokritos:

    Age of consent does not go lower than 16 in any state. Still, the most prevalent age is 18.

    All that said, I think this is gonna be a rock star of a show.

  • just incase it hasnt been stated renly is about 21 in a game of thrones which is stated at some point i think.

  • wenderric,

    I like the parallel with a horror movie. When I say that people will/should find aspects of the story disturbing, I'm not saying they're going to be turned off to the entire series. I'm just saying that the scenes aren't going to be ones that you watch and say, "Yeah, I'm okay with everything going on here." I think many viewers will have the so-called "healthy shudder" at certain points, but not from disgust at HBO for putting the show on, but from the actions of characters with whom they have become invested.

    And, HKCavalier, I think you have a really good point that may have been overshadowed by my own moralizing on this subject. I don't think the Dany/Drogo or Sansa/Sandor scenes should be taken out or toned down. Just the opposite. I think they're important. I simply don't see them as romantic. I'm in no way prudish when it comes to the events of the series, just got thrown by the argument that somehow casting Sandor as a 40-year-old ruins the scene's potential. It means that my understanding of what the scene is about greatly differs from those who see it as a doorway to romance later on in the series.

    Regardless of how you may feel about how the scene plays out in the books, the ages as they're set for the series are going to make that scene much more complicated than, "Hey, things might work out between them in a few years." That's not a bad thing in my opinion.

  • I never really saw any sexual overtones to Sansa/Sandor. He is drunk finds amusement in her innocence, and she pities him for the man he might have been that she sees come through from time to time.

    I think if anything i always read it as Sandor being a drunken arse who feels sorry for her, but is just too screwed up himself to be anything but horrible.

    I just never saw that scenerio as a sexual one. Her and Petyr, absolutely….but not her and Sandor.

  • Legion, that's really close to the thing I was trying to describe earlier. While I think there may be a clumsy advance thrown in as well, it's all part of a somewhat miserable, creepy mess of a situation.

    *SPOILER* Littlefinger, on the other hand, has a very predatory relationship, basically manipulating events to the point where she is completely dependent on him. He wants her for a lover, but has cast her as his daughter to keep her accessible. There's is definitely an adult/child relationship, but he's more Clare Quilty than Humbert. I'm sure there will be a select few who see no harm in their relationship, but they're going to have to work extra hard to convince themselves. *SPOILER*

  • I think Petry is just as screwed up in the head as anyone else. Obviously something happened when he was younger with Cat and Lysa, althouh we've heard two versions of the tale. Either way he only 'wants' Sansa because he can't have Cat and never wanted Lysa.

    He wants Sansa around for now but if it came down to it, he'd discard her. I don't believe there are any feelings there from him toward her.

  • @Kinjishiek….I was thinking about Cillian Murphy ..wasn't sure what role though…Littlefinger ?….why not…wonder if he's available ?….he's real good …loved him in Sunshine

  • Legion, do you have any idea what Petyr's endgame is?

    *POTENTIAL SPOILER* I always thought that possessing Sansa was a fulfillment of his wish for the younger Cat, who had grown apart from him. I always thought it would be poetic if he were eventually to get back together with Cat in a sense, with a visitation from Lady Stoneheart. *POTENTIAL SPOILER*

  • i believe that petyr is driven by the wrongs done him in childhood and i see him as a very slight man

  • Paul, my assumption with Petyr has always been that his plan is to make as much money as possible and rule the place.

    He has the East and, potentially, the North in his power.

    I just don't see Sansa as the endgame. Having her gives him leverage over people and he gets some cheap thrills, but I can't see that being his final thing.

    I've always assumed Petyr might turn out like Harren. The day he finally finishes his life of scheming and gets what he wants will be the day Dany shows up ;)

  • Legion,

    Okay I can see that, especially in light of where he comes from.

    Still, I get the impression that his feelings for Sansa have caused him to take some missteps along his path, and he's just a good enough player that he's been able to recover.

  • And when I say "feelings for," I need to point out that I mean this almost in terms of pathology, not romantic love.

  • Spoiler…the Lords of the vale will never support Petyr..he'll have to use someone to gain power:..the best he could do is hope to marry Sansa to the soon to be Arryn heir…and if that is the case his inlfluence over the new rulers will be huge..he'll be made the hand of the king…

    @whoever…all this talk about viewers being turned off by some aspects of this story are silly…the bottom line is if they make a quality show people will watch..more than enough to keep it on air

  • @Non-Anon 4:20
    I didn't miss it actually, I just forgot I remembered it. I read the books years ago and just picked them up recently when I started following this blog. I'm gettin' to that bit now actually. But really it makes no difference. My theory works perfectly, I just forgot Jaime confessed, and I vaguely remember that now. But I knew all along and it just backs up my theory. Tywin uses whores and yet won't allow his son cos he is a monster? No, there are political reasons behind that for sure. He don't want no son of Tyrion's comin' back and causin' havock.

  • And one more thing, Shae was under all kinds of pressure to say that. For f%&k sake, if Cersei theatened you, would you tell the truth. The only person who could protect her was in prison, what could she have done. I never said it was love.

  • Agreed, coltaine777. Echoing HKCavalier again, the key to this series being successful is to present it all exactly as GRRM intended. No softening of things, no pulling punches.

  • Mozart
    And one more thing, Shae was under all kinds of pressure to say that. For f%&k sake, if Cersei theatened you, would you tell the truth. The only person who could protect her was in prison, what could she have done. I never said it was love.

    -Are you sure Cersei actually threatened her and made her lie?

    And either way, the "He made me call him the Giant of Lannister" comment was rather unecessary…

  • @Paul Gude…damn right…
    Spoiler…We all seem to forgetting a major new player/:..the High Septon and his faith militant…George has given him an army for a reason …I think he will back Stannis…gut feeling

  • @Coltraine
    SPOILER – don't read if you haven't finished Sansa's chapters. I have been guilty of forgetting to alert people recently.

    Petyr will marry Sansa to Harrold Hardyng, heir to the Vale after young Robert Arryn, who has to die subsequently.

    Petyr has only power in mind when he uses Sansa. He is the most well rounded person in the books I reckon. I don't think he is making sexual serious advances on Sansa. He would probably like to, but is smart enough to know that it would effect his plans, and I do think he is genuine in wanting to attain power for Sansa, and teaching her how to play the game. He will wield power through her, but she will be a more equal part of his plans and he won't use her liek he would use others. That is what I think.

    Petyr has his eyes on the East more than anyone and will be the person (behind Doran Martell) most prepared for Dany's arrival. Most likely Sansa will, under Petyr's guidence, pledge her allegiance to Dany first, and Sansa will give her the North. That is not taking into account the Others, but I doubt Petyr does either. He is too much of a realist to bother with the dead walking. Dragons are far easier to believe in. So I think that is Petyr's plan, but the Others will put a spanner in the works.


    But my favourite thing about Petyr is that you never know what he is capable of or what he is planning. You really only take him into account as a serious contender to power, I think, when he whisks Sansa away. Does he kill Joff? Or was that the Queen of Thornes? Or both?

  • On the subject of Dany/Drogo and Sansa/Sandor, and the respective age differences;
    Yes, it's sick and twisted, and uncomfortable, but why change that? It's supposed to make you feel uncomfortable. How is that necessarily a bad thing?

  • @sjwenings
    SPOILERS – When Tyrion found her in Tywins bed she was chained up so she couldn't escape. That is not a collaborator, that is a captive. And "the Giant of Lannister" comment was most likely what Cersei, or one of her spies heard through the walls, and Shae was told to say it for effect. Cersei wanted to stick the knife in.

  • Mozart,

    *SPOILER* I'm of the opinion that while the killing of Lysa may have been Littlefinger's plan all along, the method in which it was accomplished was hastened by her witnessing the kiss. I don't view the kiss as a tactical maneuver on his part. I think it was him having a brief moment of weakness, if you will, or just doing what he wanted if you'd rather. I think both the kiss and Lysa's murder were impulses, and its the cover-up was quick thinking on Petyr's part. It showed what a master of manipulation he was. Again, I think he may have been planing to murder Lysa all along, but not in that way. That being said, I *could* see how he maybe used the kiss and its repercussions to show Sansa that he "had no choice" but to murder Lysa. I just don't favor that theory at the moment. *SPOILER*

    Daniel, exactly my point. Some folks have a different view of how the Sansa/Sandor thing should play out, which I feel detracts from the original intent. I think you hit it right on.

  • This might be really stupid (undermining whatever credit I have with you guys forever ;)) but I think the reason I don't like Rory McGann as the Hound, but really wanted Richard Armitage (who's the same age), has everything to do with *me* and nothing to do with Sansa.

    See, I don't fancy McGann at all :) When I read the Blackwater San-San chapter, I read it as "the beginning of a beautiful romance" – or something to that end. I identify with Sansa the most (not because our lives are much alike tho') – favourite female character and all – and my preferred male-trope is "bad-boy-turned-good". Hopelessly cliché I know, but that is what rocks my boat (though never with vampire stories. I disliked Angel, hated Spike, and want Edward to burn with the fire of a thousand suns). So if you put those things together, what I sort of did when I read the books, was 'translating' my affection for the Beast into Sansa's.

    (And I mentally upped her age too. Did it with all of the kids subconsciously – and was mighty surprised when somebody pointed their real age out. This is, I think, what concerns me the most about the show. In the books I'm able to turn something truely horrifying into something horrible *I can bear to read about* – watching it doesn't give me the same luxury.)

    Bottom line: I can't *pretend* with McGann. As Jenny said, I can't imagine any future for S & S with McGann as the Hound.And I need a bit of romance. I don't think it's too girly-girl to want that. Love stories (not 'sex' stories or whatever goes for love for most of the characters in ASoIaF) are a big part of the cultural melting pot. But I might be wrong. Perhaps the show/HBO can survieve on a sole male* fanbase ;)

    *My apologies to any female/males who didn't wanted to be included in my gross generalization :)

  • @ Flower

    You still have love in the show:

    and even Renly/Loras for any fans of gay romance

    Loads of it. ;)

  • @ Legion

    Sex, my friend, does not (necessary) a love story make :)
    Or to break it down:
    Jaime/Brienne – perhaps
    Petyr/Cat/Sansa – yikes!
    Robb/Jayne – dead
    Jon/Ygritte – dead
    Tyrion/Whores – sure thing
    Jaime/Cersei – yikes!
    and even Renly/Loras for any fans of gay romance – dead

    See my point? :)

  • @legion
    Fans of puppy love could add Arya/Gendry to that list:)
    And you can be top again. If Rocky came back, so can you.
    But not once I have the title. Don't forget, I fight dirty:(

  • Flower, I think you've done a good job at explaining a motivation that I haven't been able to understand fully until now. The idea of subconsciously manipulating what GRRM has written to fit something you felt was missing, something you wanted to find, makes a lot of sense to me.

    Again, I think the show will find its audience without altering the original intent of the author, and as Legion points out you may actually see some things in the way HBO brings this to screen that you actually like, which play out in ways you didn't visualize in the book.

    As I have implied before, wanting to normalize Sandor/Sansa because you see them as the only chance for romance speaks more of what you're bringing to the books than what GRRM intended, in my opinion.

  • I think you have got it smack on Paul. I think people see romance in Sandor/Sansa because, and im going to over generalise here, because the female audience for the books do seem to be fans of the bad boy turns good stuff; the innocent little princess turns the big evil man and they all live happily ever after as he becomes her 'knight' in shining armour. It's the classic story that, generalising again, women tend to want from their stories (see every chick flick ever made).

    Yeah, obviously it's over generalised and might be utterly wrong, but GRRM doesn't strike me as a soft hearted romantic in his writing (Red Wedding anyone?) and S/S is about as soppy as you could get without Eddard being brought back to life by someone crying on his head!

  • *SPOILER* And, Legion, if we get several seasons, you get Samwell/Gilly, which is probably the closest thing to to honest-to-goodness two people who actually love each other romance the series has to offer. *SPOILER*

  • Yeah, a lot of people do. *SPOILER* Fat cowardly people and somewhat-slow products of incest need love too, though. *SPOILER*

  • I, for one, am happy for them. I was kind of astonished when everything seemed to go as well as could be expected. Makes me a little nervous, to tell you the truth.

  • @Flower
    There probably aren't enough prominent female characters in the book who aren't children/evil/manly/whores. That is a point against the series. It is painful, if not hard, to relate to Catelyn because she is such a tragedy, and she isn't young in search of love, or any of that shite. So romance is at a premium. But hold onto Tyrion and Tysha. I am confident that that was made way too large an event in Tyrion's chapters for it to lead to nothing. Even Dany's a tragedy, because the maegi said she wouldn't have a child. Sansa will grow up soon though, and Harrold Hardyng could turn out to be a strapping young buck. But I still cannot abide the beauty and the beast crap. Sandor is a tragedy and he will die a tragedy and thats the way I like it. He doesn't get to get the girl.

  • SPOILERS (I guess. Never understand the need for em, but I guess some folks would rather read boards about ASoIaF than actually read the books first lol).

    Petyr's endgame is simply this. "I'll show you!" He was scorned by all the big guns inWesteros (specifically the Riverlands and the North) and he is driven to make people see his worth and make them pay if they don't.

    Another word on the Sansa Sandor thing. Can I please get some evidence of sexual tension between them? Sansa seems nothing other than repulsed by the Hound. I think she reflects that he was kidner to her than some of the other knights but that's a looong way off from wanting to get (to use the vernacular)"buggered" by him.
    From Sandors perspective I think he views Sansa as innoncence of youth that he has lost. He longs to have the blissful ignorance of youth that Sansa has been gifted with. A gift that he was robbed of at far too early of an age. Yes in a drunken rage one night he kissed her, but it was more of a cry in the dark for his past and not a steamy foreshadowing of things to come.

  • @legion
    "S/S is about as soppy as you could get without Eddard being brought back to life by someone crying on his head!" – That is funny:D

  • @lordnedshead

    Exactly. Agree completely there. Well, except for the buggering part. I doubt Sansa would even know what buggering is….

  • Mozart, the only reason I could see Sandor not end tragically is if GRRM takes it as a challenge to completely dismantle the entire make-up of the character. I just don't see it happening, and if it does he'd totally pull a rabbit out of a hat.

    Lordnedshead, Legion, agreed as well.

    Coltaine777, I could see that. I always pictured Crispin Glover as Jaqen H'ghar, but Cillian Murphy would work for me.

  • @lordnedshead
    Exactly, his lost innocence. That is so poignent, and I can see GRRM writing it as well. The Hound longs for this naive ignorance just for the fact that one can't see the real even in people's eyes. She can sugre-coat everything with her fairy-tails (to a certain extent) and although certain people might lose her faith, she can always project her fantasies onto the next young stead that enters her world. She even makes a fantasy of Dontos, which we all fall for because it is her POV we see it through (After thought – beware Petyr, because we only see him through her POV. He could change dramatically.) But Sandor can't stick his head in teh sand and he can't stop any of the evil all around him and in him. So he asks her to sing a song. My 2c

  • Could someone clarify the Sandor/Sansa kiss thing, now that it's been brought up?

    In the original scene in question, there's no actual kiss, but Sansa later remembers being kissed. Am I missing something from the original scene or what?

  • there is a bit where Sansa sings to him in the dark, no? It's pretty intimate. As I recall she somehow winds up with his white cloak.

    To provide another angle on why San-San is appealing — I read their interaction not so much from the perspective of Sansa making the Hound a "good" man, but rather from the perspective of the Hound making Sansa more three-dimensional and interesting. I always root against the pretty, polite girly-girl, and as such I found her insipid and even hateful (e.g., her fawning over Joffrey) throughout the first couple of books. It wasn't until she had undergone some trauma at King's Landing and had those experiences with Sandor that I could start to get interested in her development. Perhaps she can stray a little from the predictable nice girl paradigm. At least I hope so.

    on that note, I hope McCann can pull off this complex character. I'd wanted someone with more of an aquiline, angular face (someone had suggested a guy a few days ago.. Liam someone?); but I think his towering height and deep voice will help get him there.

    and I've always seen Cillian Murphy as Roose Bolton's bastard. Probably not a plum enough role to tempt him, but he does creepy psycho second to none.

  • question: this *relationship* between renly and loras… are there any specific references to it being gay?

    I always took it as Loras simply idolizing renly, although my subconscious could have glossed over any definite allusions to the fact because I found renly's character one of my closest comparisons in the series.

  • @a1227k

    I don't have the link, but there is an interview with GRRM where he catagorically states Renly and Loras were in a gay relationship.

    It's hinted at several times throughout the books, mainly as an insult. Cersei especially, for a dirty incest whore, seems really disgusted by it hinting that if Loras didn't do something something was going to end up somewhere even Renly wouldn't have been able to find it….

  • i always see the fact that renly didnt consummate his marraige seemed to validate the questionable nature of his relationship with loras bt i dnt kno if its sexual.

  • @feathermade – GRRM has said that's a case of "unreliable narrator." We're seeing the memory of that event through her eyes, and she's remembering it incorrectly.

    I'm pretty sure he put that in there to hint that maybe she's subconsciously attracted to some part of him on some level.

  • I miswrote. Sandor never actually kisses her. Sansa remembering the kiss I think is one example of Martin's penchant for flawed PoVs

  • quick work legion, thanks.. i suppose instead ill have to resign myself to relating to a *SPOILER* fallen-from-grace-one-handed-knight *END SPOILER*

  • Ashli, Jenny (and one other?) pointed out that Rory McCann (who was in a porage commercial) also did a commercial for Scotland's Green Party.

    I've got a link to that ad somewhere above.

  • @Ashli

    People have posted those clues and decyphered them to mean that Rory McGann has been cast as the hound as he was in an advert for porridge and a political supporter of the Green party.

  • @legion
    Really? Thats f&$ked up! I thought it was a joke fans made up because he is the knight of flowers and he idolizes Renly. I didn't take it seriously, I thought the only thing like that in Westeros was in Dorne with the Red Viper and all. That is pretty funny. And it is funny that Renly wouldn't consumate his marraige before riding into battle. That is an over-sight by an otherwise clever Renly that couldn't be an isolated incident. Interesting!

  • Yeah, I didn't even check beforehand. My (now deleted :) ) comment said something to the effect of what you just said, but instead of "people here have already figured it out" it was "I haven't scrolled up to see if anyone's figured it out…"

  • @a1227k

    It's something that has always struck me as odd, that in the middle of this Medieval world you have a random gay relationship going on.

    I was hoping Loras would be the new POV character for DWD as I wanted to see what GRRM would have done with a gay character in that setting,(Spoilers) especially one whose bf is dead and whose face has been burnt off (/Spoilers)

  • "I'm sorry to inform you that GRRM spent several years of his life working on Beauty and the Beast "crap.""

    True, but the 'Beauty and the Beast' TV series was a dark and violent urban fantasy series in which some of the main characters died in very horrible ways and nothing (apart from the basic premise) to do with the legend or the Disney movie. It was, after all, a partially-GRRM-written production ;-)

  • Adam, I'd be interested to see if anyone who used "Beauty and the Beast" in these discussions was actually talking about the Disney cartoon. I honestly can't think of how anyone could draw that parallel with a straight face. I, for one, had absolutely no intention of invoking that image for people when using that term.

    Again, for me, it was a blanket term for the idea that a physically disfigured/mentally twisted "outsider" male character could be "healed" by an innocent female character. I think that someone with an agenda can bring that archetype into the Sandor/Sansa relationship, as all that's required is a belief that Sansa could somehow bring him peace. Sandor supplies the "Beast" easily with his burnt face and horrible life experiences.

    Again, I think this is something someone needs to bring with them, not GRRM's original intention.

  • I was using it as a way to try to figure out for myself could turn something that I basically see as a creepy scene of a broken adult and an adolescent into some type of story of unrequited love, as others seem to have done.

  • @ Ashli–Thanks for clearing that up for me. "Unreliable narrator" makes sense, though I always figured it was an unreliable author retconning a little, or thinking he wrote something in the original scene that he didn't!

  • I am ashamed to say I was thinking of the cartoon:(
    Sorry, my bad. Crossed wires is an understatement. I knew for ages that GRRM had worked on Beauty and the Beast. and I assumed it was the cartoon cos I've never heard of the series. I just thought it was GRRM whoring himself out as a writer cos he hadn't made it big then and Disney might have paid well. That might sound retarded but at least I came clean.

  • @ MOZART:

    When Tyrion found her in Tywins bed she was chained up so she couldn't escape. That is not a collaborator, that is a captive.

    –This in incorrect. She had the chain The Hand wears around her neck. You know – like a necklace.

    And "the Giant of Lannister" comment was most likely what Cersei, or one of her spies heard through the walls, and Shae was told to say it for effect. Cersei wanted to stick the knife in.

    –"Most likely"? You're just making stuff up here.

  • Anyone have more footage of McCann? Besides the Green Party Ad and the Porage commercial, the only thing I've seen that has him more than just a quick glimpse is a NSFW scene from "The Crew."

    I'm 99.99% sure it's him at the moment. If GRRM has a post that talks about the dangers of glass tables, we'll know it's him for sure.

  • George just posted another clue…
    "The dog is green. Just sayin'"

    I'm guessing this is confirmation of it being Rory McCann. Porage Oats & Green Party ad

  • And…I just realized how far behind I am ;p apparently I'm in the wrong time zone to be caught up on his updates LOL.

  • This is spooky…

    Rory McCann vs. Sean Connery

    But not as spooky as the abilities of some of you guys to demystify GRRM's clues!!

    I have to give ebv special props; I'm fairly sure the guess is right.

    And I don't mind him as Sandor whatsoever. He has the look and chops to pull it off, and I think he's sort of method when it comes to his roles, so size plus looks plus make-up plus acting = win!

    I think, however, that based on the photo of Sophie as Sansa, I'm going to be more than a little uncomfortable at a certain scene between the two.


  • has anyone else been having some problems posting things recently?

    BTW you guys are truly amazing at cracking the hints.

  • Thanks, invertebrae. It was more lucky timing on my part than anything. Some of the genius posters up here would have had it even quicker, but I happened on NAB at just the right time.

    Now, if GRRM could get Dance with Dragons out at just the right time, this would be the finest Fall of my life.

    Although, to be honest, I'm marrying the most beautiful woman on earth in October, so anything with GoT or DwD would be just gravy…


  • HAHA Rory McCann…..YARP!

    I really hope my Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead Blu Rays get here tomorrow.

  • Personally, Rory McCann is almost exactly as I pictured the hound. Again I'm impressed with the casting.

    Things that in my view would be a cop out/to the detritement of the story:

    – Tyrion being a Targ; before we know it the dragon will have 27 heads.

    – a romance between Sandor and Sansa; for me the whole point of those two was to make you feel slightly awkward. Sansa represents everything Sandor has *lost* (innocence, ideals, beauty, dreams) which is why he cares for her, it's also why they would never get together in my view.

    – Littlefinger not going for Sansa; the man is a predator.

    The whole age issue vs believability doesn't bother me so much. I can believe a 40 year old as twisted as Sandor caring for the little bird. As for Sansa caring for the hound, she obviously does in a way and not particularly surprisingly after all she's been through. Wouldn't surprise me if she had a bit of Stockholm Syndrome as well, to be honest.

  • Yeah, Sansa's looking for the safety and because her father had always taken care of her, she's naive enough to trust other older men to protect her, too. But Sansa's learning (as we can see in AFfC), IMO. Sometimes young girls muddle up safety and love. They think they're in love when all they really want is someone (knight) to protect them. It's nothing to do with sexuality.

  • @sjwenings
    Alright, my Shae theory has been debunked…

    There was no romance with Shae, she was a whore. But why did Tywin give Tysha to his household guard and then fuck Shae after Tyrion? I think there is something to that story. Tywin definitely does not want Tyrion to syre a child, me tinks.

  • hold on a minute ….. the relationship between sandor and sansa has already served it's purpose. For it affected the most evident changes in both of their narrative arcs. Sansa gave Sandor a heart. And Sandor gave Sansa her motherly instincts. If you look at Sansa now, liberated from the Lannister court, we have to cite her pity for and attraction to Sandor as a major clause in where she is now.

    Sansa was one of the characters who, when I would turn the page and see her name, I would sigh deeply and trudge through. But later in the series her chapters became the ones to look forward to. The reason she bothered me was her utter lack of driving her path. She has always been pulled by GRRM's strings, whereas other characters seemed to jump off the page and do things even Martin couldn't have expected.

    I had the good fortune of living five houses down from one of the best genre writers on Earth, Mr. Gene Wolfe. He is the master of the unreliable narrator, and shares enough in common with GRRM to warrant my anecdote….

    Mr. Wolfe was talking with me outside my driveway one afternoon on his dog walk. He told me he had a new novel coming out called An Evil Guest, which was a period noir Scifi with a Lovecraftian tone. Anyhow he thought it would be interesting to write a story about a guy who everyone thinks is a wizard and then it turns out he actually is! There was only one problem. Halfway through writing the first draft, the love interest, and supporting role, demanded to Wolfe that she be the star. She essentially took over his own story, and he spent most of his second draft repairing the chapters to let her shine.

    It's worth noting that Wolfe was tearing up when he told me this, and when he said how hard it was to end the book, mostly because he would never write from her POV again.

    I found this a fascinating depiction of what authors who give a shut about their characters must go through. And my friends, we all know that GRRM cares deey about Westerps and the Free Cities and the rest of his universe.

    So we can maybe understand why it may be problematic to hope that he rush anything out the door. If he has a problem with one part of his plot and realizes he must make a mild change, well that's like an epic house of cards that has toppled over: he has all the pieces but now they're strewn across the table, and must dilligently be rebuilt one card at a time.

    I surely rambled there and lost my point but I think it has to do with discovering deep within a story a renewed faith in or attraction to a character who may gave lingered in the shadows of your interest. GRRM takes strides to give us enough dinension in a character to confuse our emotions at best (Jaime, Cersei, Sansa, etc.) and that's why we love him.


  • and also can I make a personal request?


    I'm tired of hatred saying why tamzin won't work because she's too ugly and they didn't like her in Tudors. And already the antagonizers have come out saying they don't think Rory can't pull it off. Honestly, what you're really saying is that you have no faith in the producers, the casting director, the director, and GRRM himself, who must surely get a vote even if he denies it.

    Just hold your tongues so you don't end up biting it if they turn out great, or worse you become beholden to your original prophecy because you're to proud to admit they turned out great.

    Thank you kindly.


  • I do not understand the people who think the Sandor/Sansa relationship is supposed to be romantic and sweet, or say that Rory McCann can't be the Hound because it would be uncomfortable to watch him with a young girl.

    IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE. The Hound is NOT the love of Sansa's life. He's a creep. He represents everything Sansa has ever been afraid of. Any attraction on Sansa's part later on is simply the young person's brief flirtation with danger. The Hound's "attraction" to Sansa is supposed to be disturbing.

    As for those who complain that McCann is not attractive enough…were you people paying attention when you read the books? The number of times he's described as ugly–not just scarred, but UGLY–are too many to count. Let's think about this: GRRM didn't envision any actors playing his characters with one exception. He always thought of Ron Perlman for Sandor. Yep. Ron Perlman. Hellboy. There are many things Ron Perlman is, but handsome is not one of them. When you put it into that perspective, the Connery-esque Rory McCann is nearly TOO handsome. (If you go to his IMDB page you'll see all kinds of user comments like "sexy" or "hunky Rory".)

    I think a lot of people wanted Sandor to be something he isn't, and wanted the Sandor/Sansa duo to be something it wasn't.

  • I'm happy with McCann for Sandor, he seems about right to me- and can look attractive or not depending on makeup etc.

    All those saying he's not attractive enough, watch the porridge advert again. He looks very good there! The hot fuzz look is less appealing, but rest assured he'll look different again as the Hound.

    Personally I don't want a Sandor/Sansa romance, the small moment they had is enough. Sansa will grow up and want other things, she's becoming smarter and more capable all the time. Littlefinger is trying to control her, but I think if he tries to go too far she will surprise him. Sandor, presuming he is alive, has gone through some sort of change. I can certainly see him with the faith militant.

    As regards the age taboo, it's worth remembering that in Westeros, a teenage girl is considered a woman and eligible for marriage as soon as she starts her periods. We may not agree with that, but it is the case in many parts of the world, and certainly was in Europe not so long ago. There is a difference between paedophilia (not referring to the legal definition), as in attraction to children, and attraction to teenagers, who, physically, are somewhere between child and adult. A young teenage girl can have a very adult appearance.

    Having said that, I expect there will be many complaints, particularly about Dany- the insinuation that a teenage girl can choose to have sex and enjoy it, as well as having a loving relationship with a much older man. Though I don't think Tamzin looks quite young enough (18 I can believe, but 15 will be difficult), so it may be seen as acceptable.

  • It always strikes me as odd that people focus on Dany's age rather than also taking into account that her brother sold her to Drogo.

    Granted, one can make the argument that just like having sex with thirteen-year-olds, the selling of people was the norm back then and we should just accept it.

    Personally, I can take the suspension of disbelief argument only so far. Yes, it's worth keeping in mind that this sort of thing was happening then, and it does explain how many people in that environment accept things that would not pass in today's society. The argument, however,that we're supposed to check our own morality at the door when observing the events that unfold is just not one with which I agree.

    Don't get me wrong, as I've stated many times in the past, I think these scenes are essential to the books. I think they're some of the most powerful scenes there are.

    I am, however, entirely against any and all attempts to normalize these events and somehow make them okay. Dany was sold to Drogo, then had sex with him by her own volition. The two events don't cancel each other out. No, this wasn't some rape of a young girl by an adult, but it wasn't "okay" either.

    It was a messed up situation, and she got through it. The fact that she had any affection for Drogo instead of fear-based obedience is a statement of Dany's character, not an endorsement of the culture in which it happened.

    *SPOILER And while she may have mourned for Drogo, I don't think she ever totally got over her brother's betrayal. I mean, she does seem to have a pretty hard stance against the selling of people, doesn't she? *SPOILER*