Casting Speculation The Hound

Martin’s clues point to Rory McCann casting

Martin has posted two separate posts on his Not A Blog that appear to contain two clues for the actor that was cast as the Hound.

1st clue: “Eat your porage and you’ll grow up big and strong.”
2nd clue: “The dog is green.”

The super sleuthing readers of Winter Is Coming have suggested these clues fit Scottish actor Rory McCann. Commenter ebv first mentioned McCann when he discovered that he had filmed a commercial for Scott’s Porage Oats, making a connection with the first clue. Then, commenter Jenny informed us that McCann is affiliated with the Scottish Green Party, making a connection with the second clue.

Winter Is Coming: We’ll have to wait and get official confirmation from HBO, but it seems that we nailed this one. Either this is getting easier or we are just getting better at it. George is going to have to think up more obscure clues next time. Assuming it is true, I think it is a good bit of casting. McCann, at 6′ 6″, definitely has the size for the role. He’s also won a Scottish BAFTA award before, so he can act as well. Another top casting choice by Nina Gold and company.


  • I'm confident it's McCann, and I'm very pleased. By now we've learnt exactly how George thinks, so it's getting easier. However, finding a single actor that fits the clues and a specific role we know was cast cannot compare to figuring out (5 adults out of) 7 new members of the cast at once.

  • Wuhuu Rory McCann, very good choice. Hopefully they are starting to be ready with the settings, that all they need to is get the actors ready and mentally prepared for their roles. So they can start the cameras rolling…

    Hopefully the pilot might be ready Late november / Early december…

  • I was so excited by the possibility of it being this actor. He really look like he could pull off what I believe is one of the most important roles in the novels.

  • i love this guy!! i remember wathcing him in the book group and thinking i wanted to see more of him and now i finally get to!!

  • I think after the last round of clues, he wanted to be less obscure and have everyone feel like they got it right. A little self esteem booster :)

  • I can't find any photos of this guy (and the videos on IMDB are blocked on my work computer T_T). Could somebody share a link or something?

  • This is totally off-topic, but… the IMDB page for GoT has the cheesiest sounding plot snippet on the main page. I'm not sure if you have IMDBpro that you can change this, but would someone check it out??


    An adaptation of George R. R. Martin's epic fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire," in which kings, queens, knights and renegades use swords and magic to battle for the throne.

    "swords and magic"?? wtf? just sounds cheesy, IMO.

  • Yarp I thought his performance in hot fuzz demostrated he can pull off the intensity and sensitivity that is required for the Hounds emotionaly driven and tortured soul.

  • a repost from the other thread, and something i want to say in advance…


    I'm tired of the hatred (as are many others) saying why Tamzin won't work because she's too ugly or they didn't like her in Tudors or she can't act. And already the antagonizers have come out (on the previous thread) saying they don't think Rory can pull it off for whatever the f*ck reason.

    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 is under his control.

    Please, 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.


  • we weren't hatin at all… why'd you have to bring that in here?

    Thanks! He definitely has a good look for this part (though I can't comment on his acting since I haven't seen any of it), but….is the man balding? Not hating or anything (*eyes Ryan* >_>), but is the Hound really supposed to have thinning hair? o_O

    I really like his face though. Especially in that pic. lol so scary! xD

  • two shots of mccann (one from a previous post, but without the watermark).

    Rory McCann

    I can see it now!

    "A knight's a sword with a horse. The rest, the vows and the sacred oild and the ladys favors, they're silk ribbons tied round the sword. Maybe the sword's prettier with the ribbons hanging off it, but it will kill you just as dead."



  • @Lauren
    Yeah he isn't ideal in look for me either, but he can look fairly grizzly. And you know what they say about bald men and virility.

    Kindly wait until the trolls come out before you start beating on them. You are flapping your hands at thin air. Expressing mild dissatisfaction at the casting is perfectly reaasonable. We all have images that the casting is gonna alter with regard to the characters and we are all obsessed so it is only to be expected. Tamzin bashing went way over the top – that was ridiculous. But if I want to say that McCann is too much of a big cuddly bear to be the malicious, spiteful and brutal Hound then that is perfectly reasonable. And before you bring it up, Attila the Hun was more like Robert or Drogo than the Hound also. He was less complex. So EFF OFF yourself, it's not your blog.

  • @Lauren

    "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…"

    "I wouldn't mind Rory much for the Hound but I'd never be happy with him…"

    "I think McCann would be a pretty flat Hound…"

    "I don't think McCann can pull it off personally…"

    "I like Rory, but not as a Hound…"

    "Ugh, I am going to be disappointed if Rory is the hound…"

    "Sophie Turner and Rory McCann would be totally undoable…"

    Just a few highlights from the last thread, I'm sure there will be more. It's just annoying and non-constructive. Nobody really cares if Person X pictured Hound differently. Nobody really cares if you can't use some vision and realize that balding hair might be the easiest thing to fix in wardrobing and costuming.

    Unless it's a complete outrage, ie. they cast Hodor as a Chinese basketball star, we have no reason to be second guessing the team for the GoT pilot.

    Not yet anyways…

    End rant!


  • Can someone please give me a clue about how long 6'6" is in a normal length system (grumbles on about stiffheaded brittains/americans and their annoying measuring units)

  • @Mozart

    No, it's not my blog, but it's the central blog to talk about the show. It's just mildly annoying for people to say they don't think an actor can pull off a part, or they don't think his voice is raspy enough.

    That shit is as easy as pie to address, if the actor is worth their salt. And as I said before, let's go into this debate with an iota of confidence that the team at HBO, D&D, GRRM, etc. know what they're doing, and that they've probably looked at over a hundred options for every single cast member, if not more.


    P.S. I never told anybody to "EFF OFF", I told the non-constructive haters to SHUTT THE EFF UP!! Which I stand by.

  • @Ryan:
    Well I'm tired of hearing rude complaints too, but I'm also tired of hearing that disagreements with casting aren't important enough to be posted. There are right and wrong ways to post one's opinions (whether it's for or against) and it's just important to keep things civil and reasonable.

    Also, many of those complaints which you posted weren't all that rude and were pretty fair assessments of the casting decision from those people's points of view.

  • McCann isn't my head Hound, the same way NCW isn't my head Jaime. However, unlike with NCW i have seen McCann in stuff before and have no qualms about his ability to play the role. So not dream casting for me, but a good cast imo.

    If it turns out to be true of course

  • Those pictures look great. I think I'm going to love this guy as the Hound!

    Also, about the thinning hair, FWIW I'm pretty sure somewhere Sandor is described as having thin hair, and anyways half his hair is burnt off on one side. So…I'm not too worried about accurate hair portrayal. ;)

  • Mozart said, “But if I want to say that McCann is too much of a big cuddly bear to be the malicious, spiteful and brutal Hound then that is perfectly reasonable.”

    lol @ McCann being a big cuddle bear. xD

  • good point about the burn scar, feathermade. and I didn't realize he had been described as having thin hair. My idea of the Hound may be a bit off! lol Can you find reference to that in the book anywhere?

    (I really need to reread these books… I think I'll start GoT tomorrow night.)

  • High-5 Lauren

    I know this has been mentioned numerous times and I don't know who Matthew Willig is or what kind of actor he is, but he would make an excellent Gregor next to McCann. He doesn't have to do any acting at all really and he doesn't need an English accent. He just has to look like a giant psociopath with chainmail and a sword. The choreographer and camera work will do the rest.

  • @Lauren et al…

    Yeah, I guess I'm just surly this Monday morning. I respect this blog and most of the posters on it. I just don't want THIS thread to devolve into drivel where by the end we're looking at posts like "I can't picture Rory McCann as Sandor because he wore a kilt in a commercial once."

    That's all I'm saying.

    That said, the other reason I take issue, is that this guy looks like he could not only a passable Sandor, but that he can be a GREAT one. He blends into his characters, he's huge, he's a talented actor, and he has the good fortune of being a character with a lot of make-up to achieve his look.

    My two cents…


  • I have to agree a little with Ryan, though on this thread alone, people were being very positive. The nonsense over Tamzin really turned me off from this site, and I left for like a week… came back and anon posting was gone and the argument had died down.

    I think his point is that, beyond saying that he doesn't LOOK like your idea of Sandor, its silly and disrespectful to the producers to criticize much else. He's only been in a few roles, and he's never really played anything like Sandor… so how can anyone know if he can "pull it off or not" besides the casting people that have been seen all the auditions and have been wracking their brains over it for months now.

    To add to the conversation, I think he'll be awesome. The Hound is one of my favorite characters, and I can't wait to see him in costume and make-up. I'm just wondering how nasty they will make his burns, they were pretty intense in the books – black and raw and oozy and all kinds of nastiness.

  • Jeez louise. People can't express their opinions on this blog if they aren't positive? I've loved the casting so far, but yes, when I first heard that Rory could be our Hound I was disappointed. He is MUCH older than I expected to be cast as this role. So much older, that it absolutely changes my idea of the Hound. My apologies if I offended you Ryan, for expressing my opinion. Also don't think it is fair for you to quote me above and tell me to "shut the eff up" since I have a different opinion than you. Yes, I am sure that he will be great in the end, and never did I once say anything bad about him as an actor as I do not know him from a hole in the wall. But he is much older than anticipated, which I think is why a lot of people were shocked by this one.

  • Sandor's first real detailed description from a Sansa chapter in GoT.

    The right side of his face was gaunt, with sharp cheek-bones and a grey eye beneath a heavy brow. His nose was large and hooked, his hair thin, dark. He wore it long and brushed it sideways, because no hair grew on the other side of this face.
    The left side of his face was a ruin. His ear had been burned away; there was nothing left but a hole. His eye was still good, but all around it was a twisted mass of scar, slick black flesh as hard as leather, pocked with craters and fissures by deep cracks that gleamed red and wet when he moved. Down by his jaw you could see a hint of bone where the flesh had been seared away.

  • And its funny how people have such different ideas in their heads of the characters… I pictured him without much hair, especially on the side of his face that got burnt. I'm not sure how GRRM described it, but for some reason, that's how I always pictured it.

  • Lauren: From AGoT, Sansa's second chapter.

    The right side of his face was gaunt, with sharp cheekbones and a grey eye beneath a heavy brow. His nose was large and hooked, his hair thin, dark. He wore it long and brushed it sideways, because no hair grew on the other side of that face.

  • @Mozart


    Willig is a good choice. He's a veteran NFL player (spent a year with my team, the Packers), and I could TOTALLY see him working as Gregor.

    I wonder how beholden they are to casting British/Irish/Scottish actors at this point, especially for the less leading roles. If it's not an issue, the producers should definitely give this guy a fair look.


  • thanks legion! and man, that's going to look gnarly on screen if they go with that description, it's going to be hard to look at. Let's see who REALLY wants the Sansa / Sandor love tryst after seeing it in all its glory.

  • Oh, I have no doubt he'll be able to pull off the role — HBO knows what they're doing — I was just surprised by the slight balding factor. ;)

    And all the Tamzin bashing seriously repulsed me as well. I stopped reading comments on those topics for quite a while and got very bored until a new blog post made an appearance. That was a lot of nastiness. xP

    I'm glad anonymous people can no longer post and all of that can now be put behind us. :)

    I just don't want THIS thread to devolve into drivel where by the end we're looking at posts like "I can't picture Rory McCann as Sandor because he wore a kilt in a commercial once."
    Yes, that's truly ridiculous and such reasoning shouldn't be allowed to see the light of day. lol Let's hope things stay positive. ^_^

  • @PlainJane

    I didn't aim to offend you personally, and the quotes I pulled didn't represent the ones I think were mindlessly bashing, I pulled them for the poster who claimed nobody was hatin'

    I think my request was more precautionary, to avoid the Exxon oil spill wreckage that became the Tamzin bashing. It's just not fair to an actor to give them a thumbs down out of hand.

    Now, your point of his age affecting your view of him, and the sensitive relationship with Sansa…. TOTALLY VALID!

    However, I will say that Rory McCann has the benefit of a lot of make up. Half his face is going to be burnt off, his thin, long hair will be combed over to the bald side.

    I think he'll be more/less unrecognizable, and you won't really know what age he is, or supposed to be, once the burns etc. are part of his character.



  • @Invertebrae
    TRUCE! HA! You're just saying that cos I'm winning. Have you ever heard 'The Rains od Castamere'?

  • @legion and WiC:

    Thanks for the quote!

    lol I guess HBO got it more accurate than I thought. Yay for thin hair! lol He's still a bit older than I expected, but considering most of his face is going to be covered with scars I don't think it'll be an issue at all.

  • Here are a fair bit of lines delivered by McCann for the Scottish Green Party…

    Scottish Green Party Advert

    I think this was posted before, but it's a good reveal of him as a regular guy. You guys really think his voice is too deep to achieve the raspy?

    And I posted this on the other thread, but it is SPOOKY how much he reminds me of a younger (larger) Sean Connery. Could be his son, easily.


  • sorry I keep double posting, but i must comment! lol An "edit" function sure would be nice. xP

    Matthew Willig as Gregor
    That's a great photo of a possible Gregor. I'd vote for him; he looks friggin huge and I can't even see all of him! xD

  • @ Ryan

    Okay, cool. I just saw that and was like "what the heck…I wasn't even being mean!" and then to kinda compare it to the Tamzin thing made me mad because I was actually one of the people asking the trolls to calm the hell down. No matter what, I think people expressing their concern is fine, as long as it doesn't go down that route again.

    I think seeing the Hound on tv is going to scare the hell out of me. He certainly doesn't look as scary in my head as he does in that description Legion posted above (but that's probably because I have built him up in my head to be less hideous as he's supposed to be.) It's going to be interesting!

  • You guys beat me to the's on page 302 of the paperback, by the way.

    If you've seen the painting from the Dabel Bros calendar of Sandor & Beric, that seems to me like an accurate Hound. I can't find it anywhere on the web though, maybe someone else can.

  • I always assumed Sandor's hair was "thin" because it was only half a head of hair due to one side of his scalp being burned. I never thought he was going bald. McCann still has more hair than Sandor in any case. :P

    I've watched that Scott's Porage Oats ad about ten times now. He was quite the hottie when he was younger.

  • To all the people who complain about the ages of actors – this is supposed to be middle ages-like kingdom, meaning healthcare wasn't as good as today and most people probably looked older compared to what they would look now at the same age.

    Actually, I hope it won't be like in The Tudors where everyone is perpetually young and hot despite some 15-20 years pass between the beginning of the first season and the third …

  • @Mozart

    Matthew Willig is actually only 1 inch taller than Rory McCann, at 6'7". However, he has a much more "ripped" physique and could be made to be huge I would guess.

    But one reality, is that when it comes to huge dudes who don't have many lines, and don't need to be the best actor in the world, I think there is going to be a pretty sizeable selection overseas. Unfortuntely perhaps, but back to the "having faith" bit, I'm sure they'll find a great choice. He's a very stylized character to cast.


  • "I can't picture Rory McCann as Sandor because he wore a kilt in a commercial once."

    I've got to say, I wore my kilt to the Renaissance Festival this weekend and nobody mistook me for the Hound. :)

    Matthew Willig has a great look for the Mountain compared to Rory. I could believe them as brothers. Can someone with more tech savvy do one of those side-by-side comparison shots like we've seen for Jaime and possible Cerseis? Didn't somebody say that Willig is 6'8"? I always got the impression that Gregor was A LOT bigger than Sandor.

    They would have to do camera tricks to make him look big enough in comparison to his brother. LOTR certainly showed us how easy that is to do, though.

  • Gregor's meant to be 8foot, So whoever they cast is going to need to be forever on a box or mounted.

    I did wonder how hard it would be to CGI up a guy to that height/size?

  • I had posted the Green Party commercial in the other thread, yeah, but it's nice to see it over here as well.

    I agree that judging Rory's suitability from his commercial is ludicrous, and I think almost all of us can see that. What's harder is being able to realize the same logic can go for his other roles as well.

    We've got a great opportunity here to get to know who's going to be playing our favorite roles before filming begins. The difference between us and the people who are actually casting these actors is that the casting directors have actually seen them read for the roles. Also, they cast people in television shows for a living, and most importantly they're casting this show for a living. Even if they aren't our first choices, they're who we're getting. I think a post about how someone's disappointing is warranted, but dragging it out or suggesting write-in campaigns gets tiresome.

    While you can use an actor's past roles to gauge whether on not they can play a certain role, it's a very different thing to try and use them to prove they can't play a role. To use Mozart's example, if Attila the Hun is a less complex character than the Hound, you can't turn around and say that Rory isn't good at complex roles based on that example. You can say you've never seen him in a complex role, which is entirely valid, but at that point trusting those in charge of the production might make you feel better.

    That all being said, I agree that this thread is much happier than the last one. Also, I really hope all of us keep these points in mind when Cersei is cast. I anticipate it will be even more contentious.

  • Oh, and by "His Commercial" I meant the porage commercial.

    This ad actually showed me a side of him I hadn't gotten anywhere else, which was pretty nice.

  • Cersei's casting will get as venomous as the TM thread and the Ehle thread before that. The female roles do seem to inspire that don't they

  • @Alexander
    I really don't like that argument about people from the middle ages looking older due to lack of health care. I might think it's a valid excuse if folks from Medeival Europe were going to be watching this tv show, but they're not. People from modern societies are going to be watching it, and the ages need to be relatable according to modern day terms and experiences.

  • Komarck is a god. Really hope Gemma Jackson and team get some inspiration from him when designing the look of this series. Or better yet, bring him on board.

  • I'm with Alexander on the Medieval appropriate ages. Characters are described as old, spent men at 60. Patrick Stewart (for example) is 69 and looks far too good to play an old, spent man without a lot of makeup.

  • I just scanned the image from the calendar, which came out crappy, but Non-Anon beat me to it anyway. Quick service around here! :)

    Given the descriptions of just how scarred the Hound is, I wonder if they will go that far for the series–imagining something like the Komarck image, it's going to be pretty extreme if they do.

  • The better argument for the age issue would be the make-up and disfiguration factor. In that Green Party youtube clip which is just a couple years old, he doesn't look that old.

    The receding hair-line is really the biggest indicator of Rory's age, and that will be gone once he has a wig on. Here are two of the more famous transformations of very familiar actors becoming different through disfiguration (I'm not counting Harvey Dent in Nolan's Dark Knight because I thought that was underimpressive and CG to boot).

    Gary Oldman in Hannibal

    Charlize Theron in Monster


  • It's interesting that you should mention Dark Knight's Two Face.

    The burnt almost skeletal look that had was always how I pictured Sandor's scars. I hope we wont get ignorant reviewers trying to claim a rip off….

  • The problem with Medieval aging, is that nobody watching the show will really know that from a cultural standpoint. We see someone who looks 40, we assume they're 40.

    On a different note, here is the miniature of Sandor, probably closer to what Rory might look like once he's made up. Personally I like Kormarck's image more…

    Valyrian Resin's Sandor Miniature


  • I don't think any of the adults will be going around discussing their ages with each other, so I think Lauren and Ryan's take on this is going to be the one that plays out. Viewers are going to go off of what they see and decide how old someone is off of that.

    I have to agree that Sandor's scarring is going to make him a little harder to pin down, though. Anyone who cares is probably going to be going meta: finding out the age of the actor to determine the age of the character.

  • Charlize Theron for Cersei? :D

    But anyone know if Tricia Helfer is out of the competition, because of her new series that she is on "Inseperable"? It's so sad that we might not get Tricia to play Cersei, most of the options that have been made only Tricia is the right age and still stunningly beatiful. And many know her from BSG, she did a pretty good job acting in that show. Another point is that she has lots of similarities with Jaime's actor Nicolas…

    Aaghh, I want to already know Cersei's actor. So I can make my decision if it hits in the spot for being the most beatiful in all of westeros. And being pretty psychotic to boot :D

  • I'm not that pushed on Cersei actually. I know it will be contentious, but I will switch off at that point. She has to be a hot, evil bitch. Any number of female actors have played that role, and I don't think it will be that difficult to cast. Saying that, I am not in showbiz, so what the hell do I know. I just need to hate the bitch, really. Then I'm happy. If she was a bit younger that ol' blonde bitch off Sex and the City. But she doesn't look like WC.

  • I see the following trap:

    1) Cast our Cersei at a similar age to our Jaime, a vocal group of people will say she's too old for them to consider her as attractive as they imagined her in the books.

    2) Cast her too young, a different group of people will complain that she can't be his twin, and they sacrificed realism.

    I'd be leaning more towards being in camp #2 myself, but I've been able to adjust my thinking pretty readily when they pick someone I didn't expect.

  • Mozart, Kim Catrall as Cersei?

    If they did that, I'd finally have the Game of Thrones, Big Trouble in Little China connection I'd been missing.

    But, yeah, 14 years is a big stretch. Just wouldn't happen.

  • Guys, I hope someone is good enough in photoshop to turn this into the Hound. Or photoshop McCann's face onto Kormack's picture.

  • And, Mozart, I agree that there's an opportunity to get someone who would satisfy most of the people from both groups.

    Not all, though.

  • @Paul
    Yeah, I think she could play the character but for some technical issues that can't be over-come. But as example, any1 that can play a similar role as hers on Sex & the City is fine by me. I just want to hate her sufficiently.

  • I really hope they use some of Komarck's work as inspiration… how awesome would it be for the scene in the pilot with Ned sitting in the Godswood to look just like the picture that Komarck did? I would lose any ounce of doubt in the direction of the show once I saw that.

  • Oh and also, anybody who mentioned Hodor as a possibility to fool us. Well the clue was:


    So I'm not sure how the clue could be for anyone else. Unless we're going to get a bonus leprechaun direwolf?


  • @Paul
    They're never going to please everybody, and if that's what they try to do then they'll end up pleasing nobody. They simply need to stay as true to the books as they can and all should be well in the long run.

  • Lauren, totally agreed.

    I've simply seen over the last few weeks that "true to the books" can mean wildly different things to some people.

    Luckily, since GRRM is so close to the production, I have every confidence that their casting choices are true to what he intended.

  • @ Paul Gude,

    I think that some people use the words "true to the books" to mean "true to how I pictured it."

    And, as we've seen, that's not at all the same. Case in point, all those who seem to believe that the Hound is supposed to be an attractive man except for his burn scars. Some of the pictures you'll find online are close to that, but the books unfailingly describe him as ugly, and GRRM had Ron Perlman in mind to play him initially.

  • @ Age debate

    If old people are older, young people are much older two and Sansa, Dany et al should be played by actresses who are 21 and look it (since Tamzin is 22 but looks younger).

    I for one am not HAPPY with Rory for the Hound, simply because the Book Hound is younger.
    The same way that I'm not happy with NCW, since he's also 39, but he doesn't look it quite so much.

    I like Rory McCann as an actor, he's a good.

    @ ryan
    My comment about Sophie Turner and Rory wouldn't be doable was referring to their Wildfire night scene, which causes Sansa to have Stockholm syndrom later on (I'm still loving it though :p ).

    Now he's cast and here we go! I also wonder how gruesome they're going to make him.

    I actually pictured the Hound exactly as he was described in the book.
    I listened to the audiobooks 3 times and I couldnt skip pagagraphs like I tend to do when reading.
    I'm now having some sort of lexicon knowledge now. LOL!
    I guess I'm a hardliner now.

  • @ Josh

    You're getting it wrong. Nobody said the Hound was good looking.
    He's still very attractive though. But it's not about looks.

  • Is there a site where I can see all the Komarck pictures? I've seen a few but not all and love the ones you guys keep posting. Thanks!

  • Jenny, I think Josh is talking about posts like this:

    Lol. I think that's a good point, Jenny. No doubt there's differences in the way we all perceive the characters but the Hound is so multi-faceted that people see him in many ways.

    We all know half of his face is burned, so he's obviously not a looker. But beneath the burns, Sansa seemed to find his angry eyes his least appealing attribute. So I don't think it's unreasonable to assume it's the burns that are ugly, and the man underneath could have been handsome. (Not that it matters, since all we're going to get to see are the burns :P)

    Posted on August 26, 2009 5:07 PM

  • I mean, I also disagree that anything about him is supposed to be attractive. He does try to redeem himself in the last book, but nothing about him is attractive. At all.

    But whether you think he's supposed to be "ugly but sexy", or something, you can't deny that other posters have questioned McCann's ability to play the part based on not being attractive enough.

    Which is odd because he reminds me of Sean Connery.

  • @ Josh…

    I agree with the cuddly bear thing…
    I went for the actual description, gaunt face, grey eyes, hook nose.

    Well, I think it's been an eternal misunderstanding between the sexes, about what's attractive to whom. And what's handsome and what's not.

    I'd say most women would agree if I said Adrian Brody was attractive. He's handsome too.
    But not beautiful at all.

  • Can I also say, that for all of our disagreements over suitability, etc., that the folks here are top notch at following the clues. After seeing some threads about them elsewhere, I think it only looked easy this time because we're used to the people making guesses over here.

  • I like Rory McCann quite well for the hound. Looks about how I picture him, though I admit the way I picture people isn't always 100% book-based, and I personally don't think he looks too old at all. He looks about 5 years younger than he is, to me, and makeup etc. should close any gap past that. I can definitely imagine him looking like the Komarck picture.

    On the topic of Cersei, I agree with Mozart. Sexy, hateful bitch is not the trickiest role in the world to cast. I'm sure there will be some people with sticks firmly in their buttocks over it, but I doubt it will be as bad as the Tamzin wars. I've seen a lot of suggestiosn that I like, at least based on looks, and very few if any that I'd find intolerable. I just hope she's a good enough actress to make it perfect.

  • @Josh:
    I think that some people use the words "true to the books" to mean "true to how I pictured it."

    I think you nailed that one on the head. And that's the source of most of the disappointments that seem to be floating around.

    I confess that I had imagined Sandor to have different looks, but after reading the excerpt that was posted earlier, I see my error and am liking this guy more and more for the Hound. :)

  • Well, I thought the Kurgan was sexy, so I pictured Sandor like THIS with one side of his face burned black and no hair on that side.

    I would've prefered the gaunt, hooknose, pale eyed type to the round faced, stub nosed Rory type, but there's not much choice in actors and Clancy's like 30000 years too old.

  • Oh, on Matthew Willig for Gregor… Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Sandor and Gregor are seen side by side more than one or two times during the whole series? So McCann's height shouldn't have any serious bearing on who they cast for Gregor. I think general hugeness and an evil vibe are more important than any one specific measurement.

  • Nathan Jones could be Gregor…
    or Tyler Mane…

    Both known from Troy as the big guy who gets slaughtered by Brad right at the beginning and as Ajax… (and he's Michael Myers of course)

  • Looking at the leaked script with regards to age, it actually almost never comes up. At least not spoken.

    In the descriptive text it says (for example) JON SNOW (17); BRAN (8); DAENERYS (15); SANSA (13); SANDOR (35), etc.

    But the only actual verbal mentions of age are these two lines:

    CATELYN (regarding Bran): Eight is too young to see such things.


    JON: I turn seventeen on my next name day.

    Note that JON was described as 17 already when first introduced in the text, so I'm guessing his next name day is close. Very nearly 17.

    Sansa's actual age is never addressed. In fact, King Robert asks Ned, "How old is your daughter?" but at the time it's a rhetorical question and it goes unanswered.

    So I guess what I'm saying is this: Sophie Turner is 15. From the two pictures we have of her, she could pass for anywhere between 13-16. She could quite possibly look 17 or even 18 by the time Sandor kisses his "Little Bird."

    Rory McCann is 40, but you know his hair will be completely changed – probably a half wig, not to mention tons of makeup and prosthetics; I can pretty much guarantee you won't be able to tell his age. What you need with the Hound is the ability to emote with the eyes only, and McCann has that in spades. He literally stole an otherwise dreadful scene from Colin Farrel in Alexander. Dude's got a good smile too (not that the Hound will be smiling much), as well as other skills. I guarantee you: if they want to turn Sandor into a tragically romantic figure, they will be able to. There are much, much uglier 6' 6" men they could have chosen.

  • @ About Yea High

    Off subject, but do you know Maisie Williams' age? You mentioned that Turner is 15 so I figured you might know Williams as well.


  • To chime in on the subject of attractiveness and men vs. women, I ask the men to consider Asha. She's expressly said to be not beautiful and described as having "a beak of a nose." Yet Theon still finds her sexy and so do most male fans. It's like that with the Hound and his fangirls. Plus, he's tall, broad-shouldered, and built. We can overlook a scarred face for that body. ;)

    @ About Yea High

    I've been admiring McCann's smile in that porridge commercial and mourning the fact that we won't see it in GoT.

  • @Non-Anon

    You'll see his smile when he boasts about slicing Arya's pet nearly in two.

    And you'll see it again when he's drunk and asking Sansa to sing to her.


  • "Sansa's actual age is never addressed. In fact, King Robert asks Ned, "How old is your daughter?" but at the time it's a rhetorical question and it goes unanswered."

    Actually Ned does reply to Robert, Sansa is 1 year younger than Joffrey, if I remember correctly Joffrey was 13 and Sansa 12 in the books…

  • OK, I am REPENTING myself.


    NCW all blonde and vicious… I had tears in my eyes when I saw that.

    I'll never say a word again.

  • I think people may be putting one argument up against another that don't actually fit.

    When Jo made the statement, "I don't think it's unreasonable to assume it's the burns that are ugly, and the man underneath could have been handsome," its context indicated to me that this was a statement about his physical appearance, that he could have a handsome face if it weren't for the scarring. This is what I was arguing against. I'm not putting my own definition of handsome in there. Take whomever she thinks is physically attractive and use him as the example.

    Now, I see many people making the arguments against people who said, "I never thought of the Hound as physically attractive," saying there are more things that would make the Hound attractive than physical appearance. I agree with this wholeheartedly.

    1) The Hound isn't someone whose face would necessarily be physically handsome without his scars.

    2) The Hound has other qualities that would make others consider him attractive, without physical beauty.

    Both these statements can be true, in my opinion. I don't know if the majority of us are actually in disagreement.

  • Oh, on Matthew Willig for Gregor… Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Sandor and Gregor are seen side by side more than one or two times during the whole series? So McCann's height shouldn't have any serious bearing on who they cast for Gregor. I think general hugeness and an evil vibe are more important than any one specific measurement.

    This is another great point that people need to keep in mind. We need the best possible TV show we can get. We don't need to make certain that every character is directly proportional to the way they are described in the books. If the Hound is 6'6" and Gregor is only 6'7" or 6'8" that won't be the end of the world. Obviously if he was 6'0" or something that would be a problem, but we have no reason to suspect something that silly would happen. As the above poster points out, we'll hardly ever (if at all) see them side by side.

    Not to mention that Gregor isn't even in the Pilot, is he? It'll be quite some time till we hear about that casting I think. Worrying about how tall the Mountain will be in proportion to Sandor is a bit premature, and silly, IMO.

  • That brings up a good question.

    When will characters that aren't shown on screen until later in the season be cast?

    Are they all cast when the season is given the go?

    Do they wait until actually shooting the episode they are in?

  • In trying to get a handle on the whole Sansa/Sandor thing, I think I've hit upon something:

    In the past thread, Flowers Adams said:

    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".

    For the women who think it's a romantic thing, how many of you are putting yourself in Sansa's position when reading that scene?

    I ask because, I just realized that the opposite is definitely not true for me. I'm not reading that scene imagining myself as Sandor at all. I'm watching the scene as an outside observer.

    I think that may go a long way to explain our differing perspectives on how that scene plays out.

  • I think it was Legion_666 that mentioned Paul 'big show ' Wight…he's huge and he'd bring a ton of publicity and a few more eyeballs to the 'show'…many more than any other actor out there…
    @Non-Anon …thanks fir the pick …it's wicked !

  • DNix7, I'm guessing that it'll be premature to cast anyone until the series is officially picked up. Still, I'd guess that they've been keeping notes about the people who have read so far and have a few in mind for later roles. We know that's true for at least two of the people who read for Dany.

  • @ Paul

    I assumed that…but wondering if they do all season casting up front or as they get closer to actually filming the episode.

  • @Timo: You may have a different leaked script than I do (fascinating if you do – I've only seen one). Sansa's exact age is not addressed in the one I grabbed, nor is Joff's. At least not in dialogue.

    Jack Gleeson is 18 playing a 13-year old Joffrey, though again this is only stated in descriptive text, not dialogue (i.e., the actors and director know the character ages because they have the script, but the viewing audience won't know anything until a character actually speaks of it).

    I did find one more age mention: Robb mentions he's sixteen while sparring with Joff (yet the text says he's 17).

    @izakmo: unfortunately I don't know Maizie Williams' age. To me she looks 10-11-ish.

  • I'd assume that they'd try to get all their casting into place before they go into shooting their season, especially someone who turns into a "regular" on the series.

    Still, maybe they'll wait until they're fully established before going after a bigger name for certain parts.

    Maybe someone more knowledgeable on HBO's casting of shows like Deadwood could shed some light. Anyone know how early Gerald McRaney was cast as George Hearst? There was a lot of foreshadowing to his character before his eventual arrival onscreen.

    That's the closest parallel I could think of to casting roles that we know are coming but aren't in the first few episodes.

  • DNix7: They will film all episodes in one chunk, probably over 3 or 4 months. So they would want to have the whole cast lined up prior to filming.

  • Paul: They probably won't be shooting the episodes in chronological order anyway. So just because someone only shows up in the last few episodes (i.e. Tywin) doesn't mean they will be shooting those episodes last. They may want to shoot those episodes first, depending on the schedule of the actor they cast.

  • @FalconGK81

    "Not to mention that Gregor isn't even in the Pilot, is he? It'll be quite some time till we hear about that casting I think. Worrying about how tall the Mountain will be in proportion to Sandor is a bit premature, and silly, IMO."

    I don't think it's silly to expect that D&D are keeping Gregor in the back of their minds when casting Sandor. They are doing this with the express goal of selling the series not just the pilot and therefore need to be concerned that they can get a Mountain who will scare the Hound. Had they cast Nathan Jones as Sandor I can't imagine where they would go for Gregor. This is not a one-off project.

    It's a little silly (but lots of fun) to imagine who would play characters that don't show up until later books but it must matter in terms of important relationships for season one.

  • most of the players will be cast during the filming of the pilot.

    WiC. the pilot is diff from the main filming, if i'm not mistaken. meaning, they key players for pilot obviously HAVE to be secured, and most of them will need contracts in place for the longer term.

    but the players who arrive later on, tywin, gregor, shae, etc. they will be actively being cast starting now and through the filming of the pilot. because if the show is picked up, they will be moving into pre-pro of the first season straight away.


  • When do we think the Pilot will actually be shown? When is 'pilot time' in the American TV system?

  • We wont see the pilot at all until the entire series airs. If the show doesn't get picked up we'll probably never see it. Just like the LA Confidential pilot that HBO made with Keifer Sutherland and Jack Vincennes.

    Probably early 2011 is when we can expect to see the series air if it makes it that far.

  • I remember it being stated in other threads that HBO's pilots don't often get broadcast. Can someone confirm?

  • American broadcast networks premiere most of their top line shows either in September or January. ABc, CBS, NBC, Fox usually run mostly reruns and some throw away shows in the summer. Basic Cable (TNT, USA, and so on) show a lot of better quality (for them) programming in the summer. HBO seems to run programming seasonally so there is no way to predict what their time line might turn out to be. I think premiering in November under a big "Winter is Coming" advertising campaign would be brilliant.

  • Im now confused.

    They are filming a pilot that we wont even get to see?

    How does that work?

  • @ Paul
    1) The Hound isn't someone whose face would necessarily be physically handsome without his scars.

    2) The Hound has other qualities that would make others consider him attractive, without physical beauty.

    Both these statements can be true, in my opinion. I don't know if the majority of us are actually in disagreement.

    Thanks for that. I run into a lot of "you idiot, Sandor is specifically described in the books as NOT handsome, so you are wrong to find him attractive" arguments–it's nice to see someone who gets it!

    The majority of us Sandor fangirls agree with your points, so take it easy on us! :)

    As for putting ourselves in Sansa's place during the battle night…I didn't, because I don't identify with Sansa much (I'm more of an Arya girl). I wouldn't call it the "beginning of a beautiful romance", but an important scene in a tragic, effed up, heartwrenching relationship between two characters that underneath all the horror going on around them & within them, cared for each other in some (admittedly effed up) way, whether it ever becomes more than that or not.

  • A pilot is used to show the network (HBO in this case) what the show will be like. The network then decides if they want to buy the series or not, if they think there should be changes made before airing {cue the TM trolls} or not, etc. If they buy the series they may or may not show the pilot although in this case they wuold need to show some form of the pilot since it sets up the whole premise of the series.

    As an example, the original pilot of Star Trek was completely different from what aired. Only Spock made the cut. That episode was later worked into another episode of the series later on.

  • "I remember it being stated in other threads that HBO's pilots don't often get broadcast. Can someone confirm?"

    I ~think~ what was meant by that is that if the series isn't picked up, we'll never see the pilot, because HBO don't tend to show them.

    It will be broadcast if they pick the series up.

  • The pilot is the first episode, and HBO executives decide if they want to make the entire show based on that. It is not screened anywhere publicly or to any kind of target audience. You see it as part of the first season if it gets an order, potentially overhauled a bit, or with re-casting of a role or two. Very plainly put, that's what usually happens.

  • It must be different here in the UK. Usually here they tend to show the pilot, usually a feature length of double episode, check ratings and write ups, and then order a series.

    I assumed it would be the same in this case. How disappointing I was wrong. I'm suddenly less excited knowing it might be over a year until we see anything.

    Guess I'll just have to hope some HBO exec. takes pity and releases it, or someone nicks it and posts it online.

    That's annoying. And sad……:(

  • That'd be great if someone could gank the pilot and post it online somewhere. Granted, they'd probably lose their job, but it'd totally be worth it… for me at least. >:D

  • I'll need an intermediate obsession!!!!

    2011… maybe I will have moved to the USA by then.. Gods only know.

  • @ feathermade
    I wrote "the beginning of a beautiful romance" because I've got a head full of Oscar Wilde at the moment (required reading for the next semester), but I didn't really mean it that way. Your description is far closer to what I thought of it. And no, I don't think it'll end "happily ever after" for them – and I don't want it to. The Hound works best as a tragic figur of "might-have-been", and I like it that way.

    @ Paul Gude
    I wrote this looong reply to you in the other thread – and then I deleted it. Arguing the pros and cons of reception theory belongs in my thesis paper, not on this blog :) In short, I agree with you concerning what we bring to the text, but it doesn't make *my* reading less valid, I think, considering Sansa herself in retrospect 'read' the scene as a romantic one. It doesn't make the scene less creepy in the young-old dictomy, but points to the age discussion "Is 13 really 13 in the middle-ages? Or is 13 really 17/18/xx?"

    Since I 'translated' the ages to what I could *bear* to read about in my head, I'm fine with a 16-year-old playing a 13-year-old Sansa. I'll just go by what I see instead of what I hear – and I suspect most viewers will too. (Or "I agree with you completely, Lauren" :))

  • @ invertebrae

    I know you were being sarcastic and mean, but I'll answer you seriously anyway. Sandor doesn't smile when he deposits Mycah's body at Ned's feet, he laughs. And he doesn't smile when he forces Sansa to sing, he cries. I really don't know what your problem is with Sandor having fans.

  • I just read what shinyteapot wrote in the other thread, and I think he/she captured exactly what I wanted to say in the last part of my post – so I'm repeating :)

    "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."

  • @ Flower Adams

    I believe most readers don't take much notice of the subtle details in some scences that are not much of their interest, like some minor Sansa phrases, where there's Tyrion wit, Littlefinger conniving or "what knight could kill Gregor" debate.

    So I think those of us who do focus so much on this one sujet among a hundred, have a very different attitude towards it.

    It's like those people who are very much concerned about Jon's ancestory, they go into in depth discussions about "R+L=J, yes or no".
    It's important to them to find out.

    Always having been an admire of the archetypal romantic hero (Mr. Rotchester, Mr. Darcy… can't help myself), I wan't to know what becomes of the bad boys.
    Jaime, Sandor, Dark Star, Dario…

  • Personally i was hoping if they were going to do some of the sexual stuff, that they would at least age the characters doing those things to 16 (the legal age here in the UK).

    It was one of the very few things in the books I disliked reading and one of the few I shall equally likely dislike on screen. Underage people, even legal age acting younger, if they have stated their age, is just a nasty thought to me, likely because i'm a teacher and it's always drilled into you about underage stuff like that.

    However, as a historian and as has been pointed out, with this show having the Medieval setting, it would be more than likely to see 14/15 year olds going out and getting married and settling down and the rest of it. That was just how it worked because the age of death was that much younger during that period, and indeed in periods before that (The Virgin Mary for example was likely only about 15/16 but was interestingly aged in the Middle Ages so as to be more motherly – this was not meant to start a debate on religion by the way, it's just a good famous example of the point being made).

  • I said on the last thread that the San/San thing is not meant to be romantic. It's meant to be creepy. GRRM isn't trying to suggest that Sandor is falling in love with her, or she with him. He's not a romantic figure, even when he tries to redeem himself by rescuing Arya (and even there, he means to hold her for ransom, not just hand her to her mom).

    He's a creep. Plain and simple. He may be a conflicted creep, but he's still a creep. He's a creep who develops an obsession for a little girl, but who has no problem riding down and killing a young boy.

    I can understand people wanting to like him, but let's not pretend he's something he's not.

  • I was excited by some of the previous suggestions for Sandor, but I'm ultimately glad they went with an actor who's unknown to me. I don't know what McCann's acting is like, but from the clips and pics I've seen posted here and at Not A Blog, I think they probably made a great choice. I look forward to getting to know this guy and seeing how he evolves in the role.

  • @ Josh


    He's not insinuating he's falling in love with her?

    Please, read again. Esp ASOS chapters of Arya.

    And if you read ASOS and AFFC, read her chapters carefully.
    "He kissed her and left her with nothing but a white cloak"… come on!
    (and we all know he didn't even kiss her)

    PS Nobody says it's a healthy happy thing he's falling in love with her.

  • @Josh

    Yeah, Sandor intended to collect a ransom for Arya. But do you think he would have kidnapped her if the oh-so heroic Brotherhood Without Banners hadn't stolen every penny he had? I agree that Sandor is a bad guy, but it's unfair to hold some characters accountable for every single thing they do while giving others free passes.

  • @ Josh
    Yes, if you think of Sandor as a "creep who develops an obsession for a little girl, but who has no problem riding down and killing a young boy." it is a creepy scene with a creepy man. But the way I read him was more of a Mr. Rochester-type (tm Jenny) who sees his lost innocence in Sansa, and so it doesn't comes across as 'creepy' in the same way. YMMV of course.

    Furthermore, the 'sexualisation' of their encounter comes *only* from Sansa (again, thanks, Jenny!) not the Hound. He breaks down in the midst of battle – she likens it to a knight in shining armour being comforted by his lady.

    @ Legion
    I hoped too that they would have aged the children further – especially Dany and Sansa. An 18-year-old Dany and a 16-year-old Sansa would have been fine by me – screw realism in this case :)

  • I'm not giving anyone a free pass. I like Catelyn, but the way she treats Jon sickens me.

    In fact, nearly everyone in this series has their dark side, and that's fine.

    Heck, I even like Sandor! He's a very interesting character. I was sad when he seemed to die (and I still think he is dead, but it's tough to tell) but anyone who could ride the butcher boy down and have not a shred of remorse is a creep.

    @ Jenny: Sandor is obsessed with Sansa, not in love with her. Big difference.

  • "They are filming a pilot that we wont even get to see?"

    Based on current information, it appears that the pilot script is being filmed on the sets of YOUR HIGHNESS to save money. It will show HBO how the show will work and is predominantly there to show the actors and the script in action, so HBO can decide if the project is worth pursuing or not.

    When they film Season 1 proper they will most likely build new, custom-built sets for the show and will refilm the pilot as Episode 1 on those sets.

    As a result, the pilot to be filmed in October/November will be 'for internal consumption only' and will not have completed visual effects or music. It's there as a rough draft for the HBO execs to take a look at and use to improve things for the main shoot. It will not be finished or polished enough for professional transmission, and as a result it would not be released for public consumption.

    It MAY appear on the DVD set and I suppose it's not impossible it might be leaked out, but otherwise we won't see it.

  • I hope there is lots of underage sex in the show, because the public is way too caught up on it and could use some desensitization. Social improvement through television! It's not too late to take the prudishment out of America (and the UK).

  • @Jenny–good point about fans of a particular character/story line picking up on more subtleties than those who aren't so interested.

    @Josh's "let's not pretend he's something he's not" statement–I think there are ambiguities to Sandor that fans of his character pick up on and spin in a positive direction, while those who think he's just a creep read them as non-ambiguous creepiness.

    For instance: he saves Sansa from the crowd (but later denies that it was brave), he doesn't "take her" when he could have on the night of the battle (though later says he should have), cries when she sings for him about "teaching us all a kinder way" (so?), saves Arya (though it could be just for the money), and talks about how Knights who claim to be great are just out for themselves (then admits to being just like them), etc, etc.

    There are things about his character that can be read in a positive OR negative light–it doesn't make any of us "wrong" for how we read it. If we totally make things up that aren't there, that's a different matter, but we're talking about things that ARE there, but are ambiguous.

  • As much as I enjoy and hope to see more of a tragically twisted "romance" angle between Sandor and Sansa, I strongly suspect his obsession with and attempts to protect her (and Arya, too) has a lot to do with his confession to Sansa that first time he walks her home from the lists. He mentioned that he had a little sister, and implied that he was unable to protect her from being killed (and who knows what else) by Gregor. I think there's a lot of trying to make up for his sister (albeit in a twisted way) in how he relates to the Stark girls.

    Which is not to say I don't also think he's fallen for Sansa. But I love reading and watching that type of romance play out, so I fully admit it could be projection and wishful thinking on my part.

  • @ Adam
    But wouldn't it be good PR to release the pilot? Like they did with the pilot episode of Glee? It really helped build anticipation, I think – plus most of us would pay to see it on itunes, and that way the could gauge the interest as well…
    They did it with True Blood too, didn't they? I at least remember being able to buy the pilot episode on a seperate dvd in HMV.

    (I don't know much about how this works, so if these are obvious questions, feel free to ignore me :))

  • @ Paul J

    It would take a lot to desensitize Americans when it comes to the mere idea of sex and anyone a day under 18. I was just reading a certain blog and laughing at the people who feel guilty just for looking at a 17 year old old actor famous for a shirtless scene in a PG-rated movie.

  • @ J. M. Bauhaus

    Sandor never says a word about his sister. We only learn that he had a sister from the Ned chapter that follows that Sansa chapter. The only time the Clegane sister is ever mentioned in the series is in this passage:

    Ned Stark could not recall ever speaking to the man, though Gregor had ridden with them during Balon Greyjoy's rebellion, one knight among thousands. He watched him with disquiet. Ned seldom put much stock in gossip, but the things said of Ser Gregor were more than ominous. He was soon to be married for the third time, and one heard dark whisperings about the deaths of his first two wives. It was said that his keep was a grim place where servants disappeared unaccountably and even the dogs were afraid to enter the hall. And there had been a sister who had died young under queer circumstances, and the fire that had disfigured his brother, and the hunting accident that had killed their father. Gregor had inherited the keep, the gold, and the family estates. His younger brother Sandor had left the same day to take service with the Lannisters as a sworn sword, and it was said that he had never returned, not even to visit. (AGoT 313-14)

    The idea that Sandor failed to save his sister from his brother is a fan theory. It happens to be a theory I believe myself, but I thought I should point out that it's just a theory.

  • @Non-Anon – Thanks for the correction. It's been more than five years since I read GoT – I'm sure that's not my only memory of the book that's gotten muddled with fan speculation.

  • @ who thinks he's not in love

    I don't think he's obsessed with her.
    He didn't take her, because he felt she was scared and disgusted by him.

    The shock came to him, when he heard that Tyrion had gotten her, so all in vain, she was given to a monster anyway, so he should've taken her right away.

    No if that's not love…

  • I agree that it's an excellent point about our perceptions causing us to pick up on different story cues. A good example of this is that I was completely oblivious to the implications about Loras and Renly when I read the books, and when my husband read them later and pointed it out to me I had no idea what he was talking about. Conversely, he totally failed to pick up on any hints about Jon's true parentage.

    When I read FfC, I was chomping at the bit to discuss Sandor's fate with him, but I kept quiet to see if he'd pick up on the same clues I did, since he's not nearly as invested in Sandor as I am. So I was thrilled when, without any prompting, he said he thought it was obvious that the big monk was Sandor. Now I know mine won't be the only heart broken if George proves that theory wrong.

  • That's what's great about these forums. I completely missed the possible dead sister motivation with Sandor. But now it seems completely possible he could be unconsciously making amends. I actually imagine Sandor, in his early youth, may have thought of knights in a semi-romantic way as well. What a rude awakening. In retrospect his comments against knighthood and all that it stands for have a very real and grounded motivation; it's almost as though he's warning them so they can open their eyes.

    In that respect I think he would connect to Arya even more. Perhaps he sees what she is becoming: something like him.

    Ironic. I think Sansa would be jealous of that attention.

    To the point of what's what regarding age and propriety … all we really have to go on these days is the law. But the laws of nature are sometimes entirely different; noticing a 15 year-old cheerleader is not the same as looking lustily at a nine-year old, no matter what today's media might suggest. You're still not going to go out and try to nail the cheerleader (hopefully – and if you do I hope you get caught), but anyone who says a 15-year old Britney Spears wasn't sexually provocative in "…Baby One More Time" is a straight up liar.

    As someone (Brude, I think) posted a while back, there's an actual scientific definition for prepubescent,, and that's still a far cry from legal in any country.

    In the simplest terms, I can certainly remember wanting to kiss various attractive 14-year old girls when I was 14 (I failed, of course) … but when I was nine, I pretty much only thought of my fellow nine-year old female classmates as an annoyance.

    The ones that sexualize the nine-year olds are the ones that freak me out. Not the ones raising an eyebrow at Britney.

  • @ Jenny
    Nothing says love like bemoaning a lost opportunity for rape, huh? :p

    Personally, I don't think Sandor loves Sansa. I don't think he's obsessed with her, either. I think she was a focal point for his feelings about his lost innocence (And quite probably his lost sister.) I think he'd behave similarly towards any other young lady. In fact, we see this to some degree with Arya. In both cases he is menacing, but doesn't make serious attempts to harm them, and in fact seems to try and help them as much as his baser instincts (greed and self-preservation) will allow. I'm a big fan of Sandor. I think, in his own way, he's a good person. I don't forgive him for killing Mycah, but in his scarred and twisted head, that didn't count as being bad. For some reason, harming Sansa or Arya would have. I think saying he should have raped Sansa was pure bluster. Not a guy I'd want to meet without a prison cell between us, but a lot of fun to read about.

  • If we're really, really, really lucky we might get it next winter.

    I can't believe i was getting hyped for a Pilot im not even going to get to see.

    That is balls. Pure balls.

  • @Non-Anon

    I wasn't trying to be sarcastic. I guess I misunderstood. You said he never smiles, but I take laughing to include smiling. I am a big Sandor fan, don't be confused.

    As to the romance. Sansa clearly desires him in at least the crudest sense. Examples:

    "She was afraid of Sandor Clegane . . . and yet, some part of her wished that Ser Dontos had a little of the Hound's ferocity." ACoK

    "Some intinct made her lift her hand and cup his cheek with her fingers." ACoK

    "She had his stained white cloak hidden in a cedar chest beneath her summer silks. She could not say why she'd kept it." ASoS

    her feelings are evident, if confused. As for the Hounds motivations, I think he saw redemption in Sansa, his Little Bird, and also found a carnal attraction. She is a beautiful young woman who has come of age.

    I dunno, but to rule out even the creepiest of attractions would be errant I think.


  • Flower Adams, I completely agree with you about your interpretation being no less valid for someone reading the novel.

    The only thing I'd argue is that what version they decide to put on screen collapses the waveform in terms of the series. It doesn't mean your version stops working for your own interpretation, but your interpretation of the same scene has to adjust itself to incorporate what's been produced.

    Still, the scenes between Hamlet and Ophelia change from production to production, depending on what the actors and directors bring to the scene. Just because we have a 40 year old Sandor doesn't mean that there still aren't many many ways for that scene to go down.

  • @ Demokritos

    There's a big difference in the way Sandor treated Arya versus the way he treated Sansa. IMO, he treated Arya like an annoying kid sister and he treated Sansa like a girl he was sexually aware of, if not outright attracted to. People who saw him and Arya together assumed she was his daughter. Do you think people would think Sansa was his daughter if they saw them interact?

  • @ invertebrae

    I'm glad we cleared up that confusion. I don't remember Sandor smiling ever. He laughs a lot, but it's always bitter and/or cruel laughter. If he smiles, I assume it would be an unpleasant smile. When I talked about McCann's smile earlier, I meant it was a pity we wouldn't see him smile the sexy, sweet smile I saw in the porridge commercial.

  • By the way, this being ASoIaF, I will admit it's possible that Sandor thinks of Sansa like the sister he lost *and* that he's attracted to her. ;)

  • @ Paul

    I'm the one that said – 'I don't think it's unreasonable to assume it's the burns that are ugly, and the man underneath could have been handsome'

    And right now, I'll hold up my hands and admit I was wrong. At least in the way 'handsome' is generally perceived. I think when I wrote that I wasn't successfully separating Sandor's physical appearance from the way I see his inner nature. So no, he's not handsome. Not at all. But you got it spot on about why he can still be appealing to female viewers.

    Also – for the record – I'm more than happy with Rory McCann. All the Hound need to come alive and successfully represent the character in the books, is a good actor. And I think we got that :)

  • @Non-Anon

    I definitely agree there are differences in how Sandor interacts with Arya and Sansa, but I still don't think Sansa was especially important to him in and of herself. She was more innocent and defenseless than Arya, so she made a better fit as an embodiment of those ideals. The point I'm making is that it's not about the real Sansa, but what she represents to him. Arya doesn't represent those things as well, but still enough that he wouldn't want to harm her. And of course there are sexual overtones with Sansa that are not there with Arya, but I don't think Sandor is ever seriously interested in Sansa in a sexual way (Though "seriously" is perhaps a key word there).

  • @J. M. Bauhaus
    Collosal SPOILER
    "I was completely oblivious to the implications about Loras and Renly when I read the books, and when my husband read them later and pointed it out to me I had no idea what he was talking about".

    I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but your husbands gay.


  • "Since I 'translated' the ages to what I could *bear* to read about in my head, I'm fine with a 16-year-old playing a 13-year-old Sansa. I'll just go by what I see instead of what I hear – and I suspect most viewers will too. (Or "I agree with you completely, Lauren" :))"

    It is the Hermeneutic circle. We interprate the book the way we already believe the book to construct itself. We have a prior understanding of what the book is about and adapt our imaginations to those prerequisite archetypes, which are different to every1. Ta-Daaa!

  • Also, I just now watched the porage commercial…

    Rory IS a big cuddle bear! xD Such a cute smile. :3

  • Mozart, between that post and the "Yarp/Hodor" business earlier, your posts now encompass the entire range of human expression. Well done!

  • Wow wow wow wow. I totally missed the Clegane sister mention in EVERY read I have done of the books. I'm going to have to think on this one. Might change my opinions on why Sandor acts the way he does with the Stark girls.

    I love this blog & its posters!! :-D

  • personally i think the image of The Hound that i had is more like the Kormack painting than that silly resin bust. i always thought of the Hound as a tallish (it seems that everyone in GRRM world is at least 6 ft anyway) but gaunt and haggard greasy man. I always thought of The Hound like say an Irish Wolfhound compared to Gregor's Mastiff … still "large" but not massive or bulky. Which makes this casting a bit odd really but as with all of the others that seemed "off" appearance wise as long as he can act i guess i am fine.

  • @ Who Is John Galt?

    Actually the first description we get of Sandor, in the very first Arya chapter, describes him as follows:

    Joffrey said nothing, but a man strange to Arya, a tall knight with black hair and burn scars on his face, pushed forward in front of the prince. "This is your prince. Who are you to tell him he may not have an edge on his sword, ser?"

    "Master-at-arms of Winterfell, Clegane, and you would do well not to forget it."

    "Are you training women here?" the burned man wanted to know. He was muscled like a bull. (AGoT 74)

    He's also on Ned's list of very tall men. When Ned sees Gregor for the first time, he notes that he makes even Robert and his brothers, Sandor, and Hodor look small.

  • One other thing is that I finally got a chance to watch The Book Group, and that thing that someone said about the fact that they could have picked a less attractive man to play the Hound is very true. Between that and the porage commercial, Rory seems to get cast as "the attractive guy" a lot.

    He's no Randall 'Tex' Cobb. (No offense to Mr. Cobb, as I think he's great, but Leonard Smalls would not be mistaken for an attractive man.)

  • @ Paul Gude

    Personally I view his good looks as compensation for him being 13/14 years older than book Sandor. :)

  • @non-anon: i guess that goes to prove the talk about how people pay attention to different things when they are reading. i think the way i picture characters in my head is often equal parts physical description and personality physically manifest. it has been a while since i have read the book but i am pretty sure i may have filtered GRRM actual description thru my image of his personality made manifest. i guess that is what makes for so much interesting casting debate/discussion on here =).

  • Non-Anon, yeah, I heard about that but for the life of me can't remember reading it. Where did we learn his age?

    Someone should do a chart that has each character and how much older they are in the pilot than in the books.

    I think 13/14 years would be the biggest jump so far, yes?

  • @ Paul Gude

    It's not the biggest jump. Tyrion is actually a couple of years younger than Sandor, about 23 and his actor is also a 40 year old. Though his is a special case since they were limited in who they could cast.

    As for Sandor's age:

    "Gregor is five years older than me." (AGoT 303)

    Unlike his brother, Ser Gregor did not live at court. He was a solitary man who seldom left his own lands, but for wars and tourneys. He had been with Lord Tywin when King's Landing fell, a new-made knight of seventeen years, even then distinguished by his size and his implacable ferocity. (AGoT 313)

    The war ended fourteen years ago so Sandor should be 26 in AGoT.

  • See, I knew it.

    Pure brilliance! Thanks for that.

    I completely forgot about Tyrion mostly because I had wanted Dinklage for him from the beginning, and therefore never paid too much attention to the differences between actor and character.

  • No problem. :) I've had these discussions so often that I just keep the relevant quotations in a file on my computer.

  • GRRM just posted on NAB:

    "Our Queen is Cast… but I can't tell you who she is.

    Only who she isn't.

    (1) She has no lines in common with Mr. Miyagi, but maybe she should.

    (2) If we were playing "Six Degrees," there would only be one link between us.

    (3) Her mother and Big Ben are strangers.

    So…who is Cersei? Investigation time… :D

  • I was thinking Ben Roethlisberger, too. Either that, or it refers to maybe something this actress' mother was in (it sounds like her mother might be well known too…at least that's a guess). It could also mean the actress played a character whose mother in the role fits this clue.

    I'm gonna poke around at Blythe Danner stuff on the off chance that our earlier incorrect speculations about Gwyneth Paltrow could wind up, by luck, being true.

  • 1. women who've been in wax commercials.

    2. women who have worked with Kevin Bacon.

    3. Ben Rothlisberger is a good call. Or way off base if it's simply "London." Either/or!

  • I don't think Kevin Bacon has anything to do with the second clue. GRRM seems to be saying that the actress and he are separated by one degree. So, someone who was involved in a production with GRRM was also involved in another production with our Cersei.

  • (2) If we were playing "Six Degrees," there would only be one link between us.

    GRRM played a restaurant patron in the Beauty and the Beast episode Fever.

    I believe that Cersei appeared in a movie or TV show with one of GRRM's co-stars from that episode.

  • There are lots of actors to choose from with that, of course. Ron Perlman's worked with a lot of people. Linda Hamilton worked with a lot of people up to a certain point. It could be one of the lesser-known actors as well, of course.

    It may not be a way to generate a name, but a way to check it once a name is chosen from one of the other clues.

  • I was at a reception for Davis Guggenheim, Elisabeth Shue's husband, a few years ago. This was right before he directed An Inconvenient Truth. Elisabeth was in attendance and I couldn't say anything to her; she was my crush when I was a teenager.

    Here's the thing; Davis Guggenheim directed four episodes of Deadwood (and he's directed plenty of episodes for other TV shows). That just adds another potential connection, and a possibility he could direct.

  • Just being in a Karate Kid movie is not enough to satisfy the first clue. The person has to have played a role where she might have been expected to utter a line that could conceivably also be said by Mr. Miyagi.

  • @ Sergio

    we notices the clues are more straightforward.
    It's normally something that appears when you google their names – our problem: we don't know their names.

  • Hey, it's unlikely, but that seems to be where the clues are pointed. Plus, it's called Hollywood. The industry where 30-somethings are cast in High School roles. Makeup, please.

    Plus, they have been aging everyone up. Bean is in his 50s. He'll probably look his 40s when the makeup is done.

  • Hmm … so, what are the famous lines of Mr. Miyagi? And I understand the last clue as: Her mother is not British.

  • I agree with Josh at Sandor being creepy and obsessed with Sansa rather than in love. Though, the sings are not clear. We'll see. Just hope no cheesy romance will pop out.

  • It's just dawning on me that I see no way to make Carice Van Houten fit these clues, unfortunately :-( . Man, was she good in Black Book.

  • Just checking on imdb on what productions GRRM worked

    And when I go to his latest series he worked on "outer limits" then I just browse through the actors who played there and I find Kate Vernon, aka Ellen Tigh. If I understand the 6 degrees correctly then she is the 1 link that leads to Tricia Helfer.

  • poster at other site is 100% sure it's Robyn Elaine Lively that George is referring to….she's 37…nice looking….don't know much about her acting ability…I'm just throwing her name out there…she did appear Karate kid 3

  • I don't think the Karate Kid connection is so straightforward. The actor likely just has a link to something the character of Mr. Miyagi says (sth to do with wax, for example).

  • And… Robyn Lively has three children with Bart Johnson if we're desperate to connect her to Ben Johnson.

    It won't be Carice, regardless of whether or not we could make the clues fit.

  • Yeah, I misread that Robyn Lively's mother is Johnson, but it's her mother-in-law. Anyway she was in Karate Kid 3.

  • hmm it seems that my last post linking to Tricia Helfer was premature. 1 link really means that GRRM worked directly with our Queen.

    in that case I am still going for the episode Sandkings for Outer Limits which GRRM wrote and I see a certain Patricia Harras over there. I guess she is 35+ and looks a bit like a Cersei

  • in that case I am still going for the episode Sandkings for Outer Limits which GRRM wrote and I see a certain Patricia Harras over there. I guess she is 35+ and looks a bit like a Cersei

    Depends on how you read it – a 'link between us' can mean another person in between. Each piece of a chain is called a link, so it's more appropriate for the phrase to mean that they both are connected to someone else, and through that person they are linked. I'm not sure how GRRM visualized the meaning of that, either to be honest.

  • @ Mozart
    I think it's absolutely fantastic that you bring up the Hermeneutic Circle on this blog. Gadamer never gets the credit he deserves :)

    @ Paul Gude
    You are completely right of course, when you compare reading A Game of Thrones with various productions of the same plays. I can't expect TPTB to put *my* exact vision on the screen – but I hope they'll pick up on some of the ambiguities (like Sandor/Sansa, Loras/Renly etc) and at least play around with them a bit :)

    A straight-faced reading/rendering of ASoIaF with none of the complexities – even the ones the casual reader hasn't picked up – doesn't make for a very compelling drama. But I have every faith in TPTB – and in HBO – *not* to do that. So I'll learned to love McCann. (Can he speak without his Scottish accent? Because that'll narrow the casting choices for Gregor significantly if they are looking for an 8 foot tall, Scottish man :))

  • ok. so i had two ideas. "has no lines in common with mr. miyagi but maybe should." i am thinkng might refer to "paint the fence" which made me think of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Anne Heche was in The Adventures of Huck Finn. Ron Perlman was also in Adv Of Huck Finn thus "one link between us" and Anne's mom is pretty famous in her own right (Nancy Heche) as some sort of psychotic "chritian" psychologist who tries to "de-gayify" people … i cannot find how this relates to "a stranger with big ben" however so this is not a really good possibility. Plus Anne is currently busy with Hung.

    My other thoughts were "no line in common with Mr Miyagi but should" might refer to the most famous line of "wax on wax off" which made me think of surfing movies. Blue Crush is the most famous surfing movie and starred Kate Bosworth. She is normally a blonde but too young for or Jamie probably. Plus I cannot find a "link" between Kate and George. And again I have no idea about "big ben".

    I am hoping my thoughts might spur others to more correct paths of thinking …

  • @Brude

    I think you might be right. That means GRRM is 2 degrees away from the actress with both of them knowing the linking first degree.
    So I can still hope for my first idea: Tricia Helfer with Kate Vernon as link.
    For the other hints I have no idea

  • just a thought – could McCann play both? they already have to add burns to him, so maybe they could make him look different if he was Gregor. it's not like they have alot of scenes together.

  • @mauberly: well sara polley was in a movie called No Such Thing (by my favourite director Hal Hartley) which is basically an odd/modern retelling of Beauty and The Beast in Iceland. so that could be "one degree" away from George working on "Beauty and the Beast". Of course I don't see how she fits the other two clues …

    I did see her last night when watched the Adventures of Baron Munchausen … man she was such an adorable kid.

  • Tricia Helfer would be awesome to get, but 2 shows she is in are currently filming according to IMDB. so unless they have wrapped or will be very quickly i don't think it's her.

  • Lot of McCann bashing in here, which surprises the hell out of me. At least they got a guy who physically fits the role. (unlike Mark Addy).

  • The clue about strangers/big ben–a film/play/show with the word "strangers" in it that has a character/actor named Ben?

    I"m going to work, I expect you all to have figured this out by the time I get home! ;)

  • My first thought on the Mr. Miyagi thing was Cynthia Nixon who should have said "wax on, wax off" in Sex and the City. Don't know how the other clues would fit though. I'll work on it this afternoon.

  • I'm still thinking Johnson connection. There's many Johnson Wax commercials but don't know if any famous actress has been in one.

  • I thought the Big Ben hint means her mother isn't British. But she is… otherwise why would it be significant that her mother isn't? So I would think we're looking for an actress who has performed with someone in one of GRRM's shows – perhaps Perlman or Hamilton – who is British, but whose mother is not, and who has played a role with something in common with Mr Myagi – maybe a teacher or mentor of sorts.

  • The film 'when a stranger calls' has a character called Ben Johnson. Perhaps a link to one of the actors in that?

  • @invertebrate Like your thinking about Daniel-san… apparently, Danielsen is a common Danish surname… could they be picking a danish actress to play opposit NCW?