Casting Speculation

GRRM with a brief update

George R. R. Martin has a blog post that touches on a variety of topics. In it he gives us an update on Game of Thrones casting.

D&D have cast one more role and have an offer out to a wonderful actor on another. Sorry, no clues, I’m clued out for the present. One of the roles that was yet to be filled has been written out of the pilot. No huge thing, he wasn’t in that part of the book in any case… though we did have a world-class thespian lined up to play the part. Character and actor will both be back if we go to series.

Winter Is Coming: No more clues? What are we gonna obsess over now? I guess we could speculate over what role was written out of the pilot and who they have lined up to play said role. I’m 95% certain they’ve written out Pycelle. He originally only appeared in one short scene with a few short lines. With the knowledge that they have a “world class thespian” lined up to play the role, it’s possible they didn’t feel the need to force said actor to show up for a couple days of shooting. Or maybe the actor they really wanted is unavailable during the time they are set to shoot the pilot so they wrote out his scene.

Now I wonder if they will still have a scene introducing Cersei at all. We know they still have the Tyrion and Jaime brothel scene because Martin has referred to the Red-Headed Whore numerous times. Will Cersei first appear in Winterfell? Or have they come up with another scene to introduce her with? Or maybe they kept the Arryn deathbed scene but have Cersei delivering her lines to someone other than Pycelle?


  • He says "clued out for the present." That means come tomorrow he may have some clues, right? Right? Please GRRM, please.

  • Importing from the last thread:

    First of all:

    "Character and actor will both be back if we go to series."

    Rejoice, everyone! We've got our first confirmation that they've made a deal to cast someone in the series who isn't in the pilot. Not exactly the same circumstances that we've speculated by a long shot, but I say it counts. No matter how it happened, we now know there's at least one series character/actor who isn't in the pilot that has been cast. Pretty cool as far as I'm concerned.


    If Conan is auditioning for Drogo, and the role was open on September 2nd, it most likely means that Drogo isn't the one that's already cast. Drogo may be the one where an offer's out to a wonderful actor, but if so I really hope the audition for Drogo/get Gregor scenario is open for Conan if they're putting him to an audition for a role they hope goes to someone else. (Unless Conan is the wonderful actor? Seems a little soon to me, though.)

    Third, and this is super speculation, the term "wonderful" to me seems to me to indicate someone, if not super famous, at least well-traveled enough to have made an impression. If it were an unknown for Bran, I'd expect a word like "talented," or what not. I'm going with semi-famous adult actor. Again, that's super-speculation on my part.


    Along the same lines, "World-Class Thespian" says to me someone with tons of experience and acclaim. That's why Pycelle seems to be the obvious choice for the actor that didn't get cast, but is in reserve for the series.

    Also, just in case it shows up here, the quote "The Bird is Cruel" comes from The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag.

    When I pointed this out in the last thread, Brienne noticed that Heinlein was referenced earlier in GRRM's post. While it could be a clue, there's a good chance that it's just a reference to a famous line associated with the author.

  • You guys started a new thread so I'm moving my comment! Yeah "The bird…" definately NOT a clue. I haven't read Heinlein so that referrence went over my head. That's ok though, that's why I have you guys!
    My money's on Pycelle for the cut character too.
    That being said- I wonder if GRRM is actually clued out or if little HBO birdies said "It might be a while until we announce this one & any clue no matter how obscure will enable your fans to figure it out by then, so don't do it." Cersei's clues were more obscure, but we were only on the 2nd day of dissecting them when Lena was announced- we woulda had it. Legion would have totally figured out that "wax on wax off" the papyrus history referrence, I bet. (Legion is the history teacher, right?) So now there's two cast we don't know, one with clues (Hound)- that we all think is Rory McCann & one without. My bet's on Drogo. How cool is it Conan sought us out to comment, however enigmatically with us? What an example that brawn and brains are not neccesarily mutually exclusive! I hope he's up for Gregor, and I hope he gets it.

  • Well, GRRM is a long time Heinlein fan. And he does reference Unpleasant Profession in another part of the post, when talking about the new anthology he's going to edit with Gardiner.
    So I doubt that line is diagnostic of anything.

    Just sayin.

  • @WiC

    My guess is that they are going to introduce her how she is introduced in the books, at Winterfell . . .

    Robert's queen, Cersei Lannister, entered on foot with her younger children. The wheelhouse in which they had ridden, a huge double- decked carriage of oiled oak and gilded metal pulled by forty heavy draft horses, was too wide to pass through the castle gate. Ned knelt in the snow to kiss the queen's ring, while Robert embraced Catelyn like a long-lost sister.

    You can do so much with this scene to build tension and unease in the subtlest of ways (how Ned kneels for the kiss, the jovial embrace between Robert and Catelyn, Cersei's reaction to setting her feet in the snow, getting her dress dirty, etc.), and I bet D&D see this and will simply do it this way.

    It almost works better because your first scene with Cersei is as queen, with Robert, not on her own. So for all the viewer knows she is a loyal queen attached to her king. But little do they know . . .


  • Brienne, oh man, I completely left the Hound out of my speculation of the "Cast one more role" because in my mind he was already a done deal.

    If that's the case, he could also be clued out because he's referring to the Hound (who's already been cast) and some other character (whose actor has yet to be secured, so a clue would be premature.)

    Still, though, I can't help but shake the idea that his thinking is along the same lines as mine, and the "cast one more role" is in reference to a totally different character.

  • And Ryan, I was thinking along the same lines. She's already introduced pretty well in the books as far as I'm concerned.

    Also, another thought to end any "Drogo got cut" speculation that was occurring in the last thread:

    They cast Dany older so they could include the Dany/Drogo sex scene. Cutting Drogo would completely defeat the purpose of that, and I doubt HBO would keep some tacked on exposition in favor of a sex scene.

  • Well, yeah Paul, that's what I meant as well. The Hound was cast with clues and then we have one more that he hasn't given clues for. (I poured over that post 10x!) And then a 3rd (Bran?) that they have an offer out to a "wonderful" actor for.
    I also meant "the 'wax on, wax off' clay tablet clue, not papyrus. Sorry for the anachronism.

  • I believe, while we haven't gotten an official announcement, that The Hound was definitely already cast awhile ago. So I don't think he's in the running for these mystery roles. The fact that he wasn't on George's list of uncast people awhile back supports this idea, though he did say it wasn't exhaustive.

    I agree the cut character is almost certainly Pycelle. Also liking the idea of introducing Cersei they way they do in the books, as Ryan suggests. Someone in the last thread mentioned a desire to have a speaking scene for Bran before Jaime's, uh, act of love. Perhaps he could get a quick line in that scene? Maybe run around a little on his functional legs. That sort of thing.

  • EARLY SPOILERS! Well Bran's in the finding of the Direwolves scene, and the beheading of Gared. It's an adaptation so we may get vocals of character's inner thoughts- he'll probably have dialogue well before the "fall".

  • @brienne

    Yes I am. And… Yes, he did!!


    you know, i always imagined in my head, a scene where catelyn finds bran climbing and gives him a little firm talking to about it. i can't seem to find it in the text.

    the reason i think that would be a good scene (if it isn't one already!), would be that it would add to her grief after the incident, not because she warned him, but because she was harsh toward him before he fell.


  • @Demokritos

    FOUND IT! Well, sort of. I think they could rework this and make it an active scene between Bran and Catelyn and would be stronger:

    "He told her that he wouldn't, but she never believed him. Once she made him promise that he would stay on the ground. He had managed to keep that promise for almost a fortnight, miserable every day, until one night he had gone out the window of his bedroom when his brothers were fast asleep. He confessed his crime the next day in a fit of guilt. Lord Eddard ordered him to the godswood to cleanse himself. Guards were posted to see that Bran remained there alone all night to reflect on his disobedience. The next morning Bran was nowhere to be seen. They finally found him fast asleep in the upper branches of the tallest sentinel in the grove."

  • @Ryan
    Yeah, I think I remember that, too. Definitely would be nice if they could work that in, even if they shorten it down to two or three quick exchanges between mother and son.

  • also, guys, bran has four speaking scenes:

    one with his father after the execution. ned asks bran if he knows why it was his father who did the execution himself, ending with bran asking about the others.

    one during the assigning of the direwolves, briefly.

    and also, i'm an idiot. the scene i was imagining was actually a scene they already reworked into the pilot! a scene where catelyn scolds bran for climbing. he promises he won't, but looks down when he does:

    You know what?


    You always look at your feet before you lie.

    the fourth scene is with jon in the courtyard as the lannisters and baratheons enter court.

    a possible fifth speaking scene would be his food fight with arya at the feats.

    he also has a couple lines where he gives commands to Summer.



  • @Brienne et al

    AOL Screenname: invertebrae

    Personal Site: liftingfaces

    Name: Ryan Dunn

    for clarity hereforward, and apologies for aliases.


  • I think even if they pushed the sex scene between Daenerys and Drogo to episode two, Tamzin Merchant would still be (relatively) the same age – as would an underage performer if they had chosen to go that route. The time between filming the pilot and the rest of season 1, assuming they got the order, wouldn't be very far apart. Not even a year.

    I think it's more like … If you push Drogo to episode two, you won't even show him being introduced, which is in the very first Pentos scene. So they can't lose Drogo without losing Pentos (and Dany) altogether.

    On the subject of the Hound, I find it a little odd they have yet to actually announce McCann in the role. GRRM pretty much acquiesced the casting when he admitted the "last clues were too easy." So McCann is Sandor … unless some other snafu has prevented him from taking the part.

    There's also the possibility that it's the Hound they cut from the pilot, though they'd probably then be cutting the whole Joffrey-sparring-with-Robb-in-the-yard scene as well (and they shouldn't).

  • HAHA Ryan are you the Ryan Dunn of Jackass fame?
    And aliases are fun!
    So I think the "wonderful" actor is Bran. GRRM likes that particular superlative for the kiddie actors. The other could be anyone else he listed in the "yet to be cast" post- that IMDB casting requirement update may be out dated or maybe they're having trouble with Drogo; and yet I think he might be the one. But maybe it's Mordane, he didn't say actor or actress. I'm lost w/o my clues and a little "rambley".

  • @Brienne

    no i am not. and i agree that bran is "wonderful".


    agree they shouldn't cut joffrey scene, and i also don't think they cut the hound. the cersei / luwin scene makes MUCH more sense, and would relate to the "world class thespian" not being in the pilot, but being in the series a little better than if the "thespian" were the hound.

    just my 2 cents.


  • I'm with everyone who says it's the Pycelle scene, because GRRM said that the character isn't introduced at this point in the books anyway. That seals the deal. The only character introduced in the pilot early is Pycelle (well, the only continuing character).

    As for the actor, I wouldn't even begin to speculate, but I'm sure they chose well.

    For those of you speculating that it could be Drogo or the Hound left out, that doesn't fit with GRRM's suggestion that the character has been introduced earlier than in the book.

    I hope that scene was cut in preparation for an introductory scene for Sansa (she has no dialogue in the leaked script).

    As for Cersei, her introduction is easy. The King's company rides through Winterfell's gates, and we focus on Cersei for a longer period than some of the others. Long enough to show her cruel, hard face. Her cruelty is confirmed with her first line: "We’ve been riding since dawn. Surely, the dead will wait."

    That's solid enough.

  • @ invertebrae- I bet you get that all the time. Sorry to join in on that particular annoyance. I'm a little punch drunk from lack of sleep.

    There is no way they would cut Drogo or the Hound from this pilot. I still think they might be adding a bit more to the King's Landing scenes before the Lannisters set out to Winterfell- which is why I think Gregor may be seen (briefly?) in the pilot. (GO CONAN!) Kind of a "meet the opposition" type of character introduction. WiC is right though- if the first glimpse of Cersei we have is the same as in the book, it will be just as powerful.

  • Hi, Brienne.

    Sorry I misinterpreted your statement earlier. So, we're agreed the Hound doesn't come into play for this post.

    The IMDB post was on September 4th, saying that the side had been updated on September 2nd.

    That's a week ago, so they *could* have cast someone as Drogo by now. A lot of my speculation of it still being open was based on the idea that Conan was going to audition for Drogo but hoped to get Gregor. My reasoning for that is in the last thread. It's possible that the "audition for one part but hope for Gregor" idea would apply to Hodor, too, in which case it would be good news too since up until now there's been no indication that Hodor was in the pilot. If he isn't auditioning for either of those two roles, so much the better as far as I'm concerned, because it probably means that they're auditioning for season one roles.

    Where does he use "wonderful" when talking about the kid actors? Not that I don't believe you, I just want to have the same point of reference.

    I see it used in reference to Lena Headey, Iain Glen, and Jennifer Ehle, but none of the main "not a blog" posts about the kids. He uses "talented" for Tamzin Merchant, and for the younger kids things like "eager" and "enthusiastic."

    I realize I may be missing it, so am hoping you can point it out.

  • Josh, I didn't have my book handy when I responded to Legion's comment.

    While the wedding scene is a bit out of order from the book, Drogo has been introduced by the time of Bran's fall.

    So, yeah, like you said, can't be Drogo or the Hound.

  • Got to be Pycell, he was the first that came to mind when I read it – really he's the only one that fits the description that I can think of (unless he means the corpse of Jon Arryn – doubt they need a world class thespian for that role).

  • Hmmm I thought I remembered him specifically talking about casting the Stark younguns and mentioning he had seen a lot of "wonderful" kids & talking about the difficulty of finding good child actors- but I'll be damned if I can find it. So strike what I said. I love how you keep everyone on their toes Gude.
    That being said- I still think it's Bran. This time I'll chalk it up to women's intuition- impossible to debunk.

  • If the Cersei/Pycelle scene is truly cut, then I love the fact that it makes Tyrion the first Lannister we get to see in the show. :D

  • All the scenes you mentioned for Bran were in the script my son had for the casting I would have thought that they have to cast Bran soon if they havn't already, as they have to arrange a schooling schedule by October.

  • Brienne, your intuition is perfectly acceptable, and at this stage of the game it's no less reliable.

    I have to admit that I felt Bran had been cast but as the "one role," not the "wonderful actor" yet-to-be-signed.

  • Considering that filming is set to begin in just over a month, they'd better get crackin' on casting Bran, assuming this isn't Bran they have cast.

    But I'm with Brienne. I'd say that Bran is cast.

  • After reading the synopsis of "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag" where the mantra "The bird is cruel" is from, I'm pretty sure they've cast Bran. Also, Bran means raven in Welsh.

  • Pycelle? Nah, clearly it's MANCE RAYDER who's been written in, then written right back out, as we don't see him till season 2 anyway! :)

    Yay for good thespian for Mance!

  • I'm still not convinced the Hoag thing is a clue. I'm a fan of the story, and can't remember anything that applies. Plus, I go back to the thing Brienne mentioned about the author being mentioned elsewhere in the post. That being said, I acknowledge that maybe I'm overlooking something. Also, even if it does turn out to be a red herring, your guess could still be right. This is all speculation anyway, a thought experiment that will end when the names are given to the public. Every day is a day closer to knowing the truth. With that, goodnight. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

  • I suppose it could be a minor role that was filled, but when it comes to major roles, we have yet to cast:

    Pycelle (who I'm 99.999999999% sure was the cut character)
    Ser Rodrik
    Maester Luwin
    Illyrio Mopatis (who will be a guest character)

    So…our choices as to who it is are pretty limited. And Bran is a very (VERY) important role, and one that needs to be cast soon, especially since, as Sue pointed out, a school schedule will need to be in place by early October, so…I doubt they're wasting any more time finding a Bran.

  • Yeah, there already is a very cute Catelyn/Bran scene that's been added about his climbing. Helps to show both Bran and Catelyn's characters, which is nice.

  • If we're right about the Cersei/Pycelle scene being cut, I wonder what they've added in its place?

    I'd love another Stark family scene of some type.

  • Give me an introductory scene for Sansa in its place. She's the only Stark child (besides Rickon) that doesn't have one in the leaked script.

  • I'm pretty certain a Sansa scene has been added. Remember George implied that Jeyne Poole and Septa Mordane are speaking roles now. Which seems to indicate they've added the needlework scene.

  • Winter, is there any chance you can score an interview with some of the producers, actors or the director? Have you tried to contact them?
    I still hope you gonna be invited to filming.

  • Hi all … is that leaked script available anywhere online? When I first heard of it I did not want to read it , but now I do, so I can follow all this…. stuff.

    Heh Heh he wrote "thesbian" .. heh heh

  • @hayrickman,

    I saved a copy. If you want me to email it to you, I can. But I can understand you not wanting to put your email on a public forum.

  • ebv: Ha! Nice catch. To be fair, I did write this post on my cell phone at 11:00 at night after working for 14 straight hours. So I hope I'm allowed one little typo. :)

    Cristiano: There has been attempts to contact the actors involved and so far, no luck. I haven't tried to get in touch with the producers or director, but I figure they are quite busy at the moment.

  • Isn't "the bird is cruel" at the end of GRRM's post kind of a clue? Or is he referring to something else completely?

    He IS a cagey old bugger!

  • I agree that Pycelle is the most likely part to be cut- and I'm glad, as I think Cersei will be more effective if we first see her getting out of the carriage at Winterfell. I also think it helps us empathise with Ned- we first hear that an old friend of his (who we don't yet know anything about of course) has died as he does, and see his reaction straight away. Drogo won't be written out, his marriage to Dany is far too important.

    There are quite a few options to play Pycelle, so guessing would be a stab in the dark. I'm still hoping Jacobi gets a role, and he could play Pycelle, though I always saw him (with some old age makeup, obviously- Jacobi is only 70) as Maester Aemon. He has the right look for a Targaryen, should we see a flashback of Aemon as a younger man.

    It seems likely that a scene has been added to introduce Sansa. It doesn't need to be long, just enough to show us that she's a proper, girly young lady- as well as introducing her, it strengthens the contrast with Arya.

    I immediately thought Bran must be one of the roles cast too. I'm sure the young actors will have been doing readings for the part all through the summer holiday, so most likely one has now been chosen. I'm looking forward to seeing what he looks like- he's probably an unknown, and has a very difficult role to play.

  • "No huge thing, he wasn't in that part of the book in any case… though we did have a world-class thespian lined up to play the part. Character and actor will both be back if we go to series."

    For some reason when I read this the word Huge caught my attention – and I thought straight away about The Mountain That Rides.

    Could this not mean that it was Conan who had been cast as Ser Gregor and then written out of the pilot – but will return if the series is taken?

  • "There has been attempts to contact the actors involved and so far, no luck. I haven't tried to get in touch with the producers or director, but I figure they are quite busy at the moment."

    They ought to invite you on set once the filming starts and let you be the official blogger for the show, with all the sterling work you've been doing so far.

    Don't forget us loyal followers if they do ;)

  • "Could this not mean that it was Conan who had been cast as Ser Gregor and then written out of the pilot – but will return if the series is taken?"

    I don't think Gregor was in the pilot in the first place, but I guess they might have added a scene with him in, and then removed it, possibly.

  • @Estel_mm I'm sure Conan is a fine actor, but when I read "world-class thespian", I'm thinking more along the lines of Patrick Stewart, or Sir Ian McKellen. I think it almost certain that the role alluded to is Pycelle.

  • Estel_mm, it is possible. So much of this is speculation, and we have very little to go on. So, for example, I'm making assumptions that the missing role was on that GRRM previously announced and that he wasn't lying when he said he wasn't giving any clues. Both of these assumptions could be completely wrong, but I have to make some choices in order to guess. As always, there are real choices that have already been made, so these are all thought exercises until the official annnouncements.

  • I agree with the conclusions. So there's another role cast, apart from McCann as the Hound, they are in talks with a third actor, and they've written out Pycelle (whose role they have an actor eyed for) as well as given Sansa a scene. We know a bit more again, and it all fits nicely.

  • Marko, until more information comes out or someone floats a better theory. I'm behind all those guesses. While they may have varying levels of speculation, the end products make the most sense to me.

  • @Josh- Gough is a great actor, but he's 95. Sadly I don't think he's likely to be cast in a long term role.

    I don't think 'no huge thing' refers to a character- Drogo and Sandor will almost certainly still be in the pilot, Gregor and Hodor weren't (as far as we know) supposed to appear. If one of those two has been written in then out again though, I'd think Hodor is most likely, since he might be expected to be in the background at Winterfell.

  • Remember, a while back GRRM posted a long list of people, saying the following:

    "We're not done yet by any means. Roles still to be filled for the pilot include…"

    Then, yesterday he posted:

    One of the roles that was yet to be filled has been written out of the pilot.

    It's kind of a big leap adding people that aren't on that original list when the references are so similar. You can do it, but to me it seems really stretched.

    Also, as I've stated, I don't think "huge" or "the bird is cruel" are clues. GRRM said he wasn't going to do any. No reason to believe him I suppose, but I'm doing it for now. That said, if you think "no huge thing" is a clue, why wouldn't you make the assumption that if whomever was cut was "no huge thing" that it's GRRM's way of telling you that a huge character (such as Drogo) is not the one who was cut?

    Plus, I still can't help but think that Conan was hinting that his reading was going to be for a part other than Gregor:

    Also to keep in mind is that regardles of the part I audition for the casting team might have different ideas once they see me.

    An odd statement if he thought he was going to be reading for the Mountain, as that both he and the folks on this board thought he was perfect to play.

    This isn't to say that I don't want him for Gregor, I just think that taking that want and the word huge and coming up with the idea that he was written out of the pilot when there was never any mention of him being in it in the first place by any official source is a very very long shot.

    A lot of this clue work seems backwards to me. Sometimes it seems like we start with the name and then work our logic backwards to make the clue fit. I still want Conan for Gregor, just don't think that this is our confirmation. As always, I could be wrong.

  • my money is on the knitting scene getting embellished in place of the cersei and pycelle scene. just makes sense to me and keeps the page count in similar shape, which will dictate the length of the pilot…



    Sansa and Princess Myrcella both knit, overseen by Myrcella’s ladies-in-waiting, and Sansa’s tutor, SEPTA MORDANE (60s).

    Arya sits near the door. Her needlework is as grim as Sansa’s is perfect, her face as plain as Sansa’s is beautiful.

    She doesn’t want to be here. While the Septa fawns over the princess, Arya quietly lays down her knitting and sneaks away.


    I did a reworking of that scene for fun, and it would look something like this… It's about the same length as the Cersei/Pycelle scene.



    Sansa and Princess Myrcella both knit, overseen by Myrcella’s ladies-in-waiting — JEYNE POOL (13) and BETH CASSEL (9) — along with Sansa’s tutor, SEPTA MORDANE (60s).

    Arya sits near the door. Her needlework is as grim as Sansa's is perfect, her face as plain as Sansa's is beautiful.

    (to the girls)
    What are you talking about?

    Jeyne shoots a startled look her way then giggles. Sansa flushes. Myrcella looks away. No-one answers.

    Tell me.

    Jeyne glances toward Septa Mordane to make sure she cannot hear.

    We were talking about the prince.

    Joffrey likes your sister.

    (interrupting, giddy)
    He's going to marry her. Then Sansa will be queen of all the realm.

    Sansa did her best to look flattered and embarrased, but there was a gleam in her eye just the same, and Arya could see it as plain as day.

    (stroking Beth's hair)
    Now Beth, you shouldn't make up stories.
    (to Arya)
    What did you think of Prince Joffrey, sister?

    Jon says he looks like a girl.

    Poor Jon. He's just jealous because he's a bastard.

    Arya flushes red, throws her needle and thread to the floor.

    He's our brother!

    Everyone stops and looks at Arya in shock. Myrcella and Jeyne gape in disbelief, Septa Mordane looks on with disapproval. Sansa, as calm as a kitten, corrects her.

    Half brother, you mean.

    Arya can feel the sting in her eyes. There were so many things she wanted to say to Sansa, but she would rather die than allow these girls to see her cry.

    She pushes herself from her chair and bolts for the door. Somewhere in the distance, she hears girlish giggles followed by Septa Mordane calling for her to come back, but by now she is too far gone.

    She runs down the halls of Winterfell, doing her best to wipe the tears off her ruddy cheeks.



  • Paul: Completely agree. There is no way Gregor, Varys or any other character was written into the pilot after Sept. 1 and written out again yesterday. And if there was George just wouldn't even mention it, because as far as we know, the character was never in the pilot to begin with.

    Ryan: Love the scene write up. I think that is pretty much what they will be doing. (Although George intimated that Beth Cassel doesn't have any lines and Septa Mordane does.)

    I think this scene is better than the Cersei/Pycelle one because it sets up the Arya/Sansa relationship which will be important in episode 2. The Jon Arryn mystery is established pretty well with the letter from Lysa so that makes the original scene a bit redundant in that sense.

  • Ryan, I have to say that I had to recheck the script to make sure your scene (or something resembling it) wasn't already in there.

    The Pycell scene seems tacked on and unnecessary by comparison. Well done.

  • I will be perfectly happy if they choose to get rid of the King's Landing scenes altogether. I do like the Jaime and Tyrion brothel scene, but I really like the structure of the books and how we get to meet the Lannisters and Robert as the Starks are meeting them and we see things from the Stark POV. It also gives them a grand entrance when the huge King's Landing party arrives in the cold, plain Winterfell and we get to see them for the first time after hearing Cat and Ned talk about them and see their obvious trepidation and foresight about the whole thing.

  • There is still a copy of the script here if people want to read it.

    Winter, if you'd rather not have it linked to for some reason, feel free to delete the post, though.

  • Chris: completely agree about the King's landing scenes. I think, just like the books, the world should start small and grow with the telling of the story

  • Wabawanga, Chris, I have to agree that there's a certain power granted to the Lannisters if we get the Starks' reactions before we actually see them.

    As always, I'm trusting HBO with their decisions, but they could lose those opening scenes as far as I'm concerned as well.

  • I posted this on a thread that petered out Theresa Churcher for Brienne

    Paul J can do the "google this for me " thingy… 'kay?

  • What do y'all think? about my last post….sorry just learning how things come out , spaces, line breaks etc.

  • There are things about Theresa Churcher that I don't know.

    1) How tall is she?
    2) How old is she now? Godford Park was eight years ago.
    3) Does she have any fight experience?
    4) What about horse riding skills?

    I want Brienne to be able to kick someone's ass.

  • Looks like she played a teen in 1995 so yeah probably too old, too short and maybe she could kick my ass but not Jamie's

  • @hayrickman

    Aside from the height issue that Thoros mentioned you're still running into the problem that we all have trying to cast Brienne. Teresa Churcher is prettier than almost anyone expects Brienne to be. (See previous threads for extensive debate on this issue.)

    I think someone else posited the idea of having her play Lysa Arryn, if I'm not mistaken.

  • Thanks, Thoros of Myr.

    5.5 is way too short in my opinion.

    Without bringing all of my baggage from the other threads, there are plenty of women none of us have heard of who could do this role. If some known actress fits the bill, that's great, but I don't think I can take more suggestions about "uglying up" some well-known actress, using camera tricks to make some well-known actress taller, casting a woman just because she's large or mannish (and doesn't have any of the necessary skills) or casting a man (of all things!) because people don't think HBO could find a woman who can embody all the things people like me are hoping from Brienne.

    You can suggest all of these things, of course but it'll still make me sigh heavily and weep for humanity.

    There are women who exist who can fight, act, and doesn't fit the normal standards of beauty we force on our actresses.

    Brienne is probably the first role in a long time that is perfect for them. Then again, I concede that this is my dream, not reality. After all, look at who usually ends up playing Joan of Arc.

    Still, I'm holding out hope until something changes for sure.

  • @Paul Gude

    Well said. I too sometimes sigh heavily at knee jerk suggestions like mine. I really do believe that there have to be some savvy agents out there that thought: " Finally a role for her!" and picked up the phone.

  • and by "her" in my last post I meant those unknown hard to cast talented women.

    New to this blogging thing and you really have to be careful before you hit Post Comment. Thanks for lwtting me play…whew!

  • Still, I also have to say that my current pick for the role whom I'm advocating, Hannah Summers, is still attractive in many of her publicity photos.

    I think there's a nagging doubt in the back of my mind that believes she's the closest we'll get to the actual Brienne. She fits a lot of the qualifications, and I ask myself it there's any working actress that would actually have unattractive headshots of herself.

    This goes to the idea that any human being can be seen as beautiful, and the things Brienne definitely needs, strength and agility for example, can make someone more attractive to some people. Given the fierceness with which some posters were attacking the female cast members so far, it's very possible that there could be an actress for Brienne that I find attractive but the majority of viewers do not.

    Still, something makes me wonder if the qualities I'm looking for would preclude someone from taking a role as a professional actor. I'm not sure about professional athletes, though.

    I think they could split the difference and look at stuntwomen.

  • theresa churcher has the plain, homely looks, but lacks the height and stature appropriate for brienne. maybe a little too plump for the role. it is said brienne is of a height with jaime, who is no stout man himself, and built like a man.

    i'm feeling like they'll find a theater actor, someone unknown to the film world, someone with imposing features, an awkward presence and empathetic eyes. we need to feel for her, and fear she may kick our ass if we mess with her.

    as we're learning as well, there is no lack of agent/actor interest in this series, and the casting should be a situation where they can get very very picky due to the influx of actor reels and auditions.


  • I actually really like Hannah Summers for Brienne but I'm just going by her headshots since I couldn't tell how tall she is or her build from the pictures I found. She has the kind of face that could easily be . . . uglied up. I personally don't think she's ugly but then again, if they can make Charlize Theron look the way she did in Monster then they could definitely make Hannah Summers 'ugly'.
    Can't speak for her acting either though.

  • LOL at my Isabel Penoni IMG. Please disregard as that is actually Maria Falconetti, who has long since passed.

    *sulks out of room with head down*


  • So, barring a knockout unknown, I could see someone like Pollyanna McIntosh getting cast.

    I'd love someone who has extensive stunt work like Monique Ganderton but, as you can see by her website, she's still a little "too pretty" for Brienne.

    It's weird, almost like for some reason unattractive people don't get a lot of publicity in the film world.

  • I may be in the minority, but I think its more important for Brienne to be large and masculine than to be ugly. The main thing for her actor is just to look believable in a role where she can not only compete with but also kick the ass of most of the guys around her. I never thought of her as downright ugly, just didn't possess the things guys would look for in women, more plain than ugly I guess. Just put her in mail, muss her hair up and don't make her up at all and the rest can be done with good acting and body language and a little movie magic.

  • Chris, you make a point that I'm always wrestling with. I mean, a few people called Lena "masculine" in the threads when she was chosen, so that throws everything up in the air. How much is it that society and Brienne's own fears coming through in the POV descriptions?

    Oh, and as an explanation of why I thought Monique Ganderton might be cool, here's an montage.

  • Casting Brienne is like casting Gregor. You start with size, and go from there. I think you need a woman who is around 6'3" to 6'5", with a muscular build. Maybe my numbers aren't right, but something like that. There can't be many actresses who would fit. Worry about looks later.

  • From
    "She has large, blue eyes, straw-colored hair, broad, coarse features, and a flat face. Her teeth are prominent and crooked, her mouth is too wide, her lips are swollen, her nose is battered and has been broken more than once, and her face is covered in freckles. She is tall and ungainly, thick for a woman."

    Personally I'd be fine with 6' or so: she just needs to be fairly tall for a woman, not necessarily above average for a man. A lot of the ugliness could be done with makeup etc., and of course the exact description isn't as important as the overall look being appropriate for the character. Definitely on board with starting with stature as the most important physical characteristic.

  • Paul Gude: Pollyanna McIntosh has exactly the proportions I had pictured Brienne to have. She has a nice looking face, but I think makeup could handle that. Give her with freckles, light hair and bad teeth and that's my Brienne

  • hey y'all,

    i was wondering two things:

    1. if we're talking about who would be a good brienne, which means we're talking casting season 2, who do you guys think would be a good melisandre? how about ygritte?

    2. @ryan/invertebre, i liked your posters from a few posts back, the lines you picked were interesting and i liked your style. what line would you use for dany? robb? king robert?

    now that the main casting is over the chatting in here has gotten really pared down and intelligent, i love it! asoif fans are such smart cookies, happy to be among the ranks.

    -the former e.g

  • @Demokritos –
    Well, she definitely doesn't sound pretty, heh.

    I guess I have taught myself from book adaptations to remember that the books describe the character not the actor. And its not as important for the actor to match individual features and traits, but to be able to represent that character well. Having a really attractive girl play Brienne would be wrong, but I guess if I had my choice, I'd prefer a tough 6'3 girl with a really pretty face over a 5'5 girl with a face perfectly matching the description in the book.

    A bigger question for me, is how much emphasis they put on her at all. Maybe a bit extreme, but she probably could be taken out of the show entirely… I feel like she was there more as an "interesting layer character" and as an interesting way to show Jaime in a new light, but not a whole lot else. I'd be surprised if she is gone entirely, but I can't see them giving her as much emphasis in the show as she got in the book… we know screen adaptations are bound to get certain chops and I'd see her as the Tom Bombadil of aSoIaF.

  • @Chris
    Not sure I could see Jaime's redemption working without her, though. Making the promise to Catelyn was a big part, obviously, but having someone for him to interact with afterwards was a big part of it, I think. Might be even more necessary on screen than in the books, because lengthy internal monologues don't work as well in a visual medium. I suppose they could just have him encounter various no name peasants, but I don't think that would work well. I think Jaime's changes in personality are fairly important, and will probably get more important in books to come, so preserving them seems necessary. That said, it does seem rather likely that they'd abbreviate a lot of things, such as her travels with Pod. I hope they don't cut too much, though. With a miniseries (as opposed to movies) they should be able to keep things comparatively close.

    I'm no good at coming up with casting ideas, but if anyone wants to talk about season 2 casting, what about Davos? Or maybe we should try and stick with season 1, at least, even if not the pilot.

  • Chris, I completely disagree as far as axing Brienne.

    GRRM made her a POV character for a reason. The problem I see is that he does such a good job of describing her inner conflicts that she comes off as weak or unlikeable. In my opinion she suffers from the same problem people have with Davos in that respect.

    If they get the right actress and you see Brienne's outward actions without so much of the indecision, the TV viewer is going to come off with a much different opinion, I think.

  • Demokritos, wow, synchronicity.

    I was using Davos in my example because I didn't actually have a good picture of him in my mind from reading him, because I didn't like him that much.

    However, a friend of mine suggested Robert Carlyle and when I heard that, not only did it stick, but I started liking Davos a lot better.

  • @Paul Gude
    Looks like an excellent choice for Davos. Almost perfect for how I picture him, especially with the beard.

    I also agree that Davos and Brienne's internal conflicts might make them a bit unlikeable to some. Personally I like them both fine, but there are definitely some times when I want to slap them around a little bit for being dumb.

  • Educatedpony:

    For Ygritte, I'm going to go with River George. She's not a stranger to fighting, and her face looks like what I expect Ygritte's to look like.

    For Melisandre, I'm going with either Tilda Swinton or a very dark horse, Amanda Palmer, who (while perhaps shy on acting experience) is one of the few people of whom I'm aware who I would totally buy in a "giving birth to shadows" scene.

    I acknowledge at this time that my choices may not match anyone elses, and ask you to rest easy in the knowledge that I am not casting the series.

  • Just to clarify, by no means do I think Brienne will or should get cut, at least entirely… I was just thinking in terms of previous adaptations. A lot of times, if something doesn't very specifically "drive the plot" it will be hugely abbreviated or dropped entirely. Brienne isn't even really a "plot device" but more of a "character device" in that her role seems to help bring out another side of Jaime to the reader that they never would've seen. But not much in terms of central plot happens with her.

    The thing is that this production will be much different than most, in that it will be episodic and done by HBO. They have much more time to elaborate on character elements that aren't necessarily plot elements. At least, I hope they do this, as its really the characters that drive the story.

    I like Brienne and shes a very unique character and I hope she stays. And I remember a particular scene involving her and Biter and thinking, damn that would be scary and awesome on screen!

  • Brienne's whole plotline in Feast could be cut and it wouldn't bother me. Should've been cut from the book too.

  • I think something else to keep in mind is that, aside from all of us wanting the characters to stay more or less as prominent as they are in the books, with 3 books unreleased so far, its entirely possible that less important characters, as far as driving the central plot, will become completely mandatory later on. Take a look, for example, at Theon, who was pretty much unnecessary in AGoT, *SPOILER* but then became a POV who was integral in the destruction of Winterfell, spurring Bran on his trip North *END SPOILER*. George could potentially give them advice on who could be safely diminished/removed, but then again he might not know for sure himself.

  • I see the structure of the show becoming similar to Deadwood. It will be more of ensemble, with various characters getting more or less time depending on the episode.

  • Uhg, "more of AN ensemble" that is. Which poster menitioned themes like the dinner table scenes being all in one episode?

  • Assuming STARGATE UNIVERSE gets a second season, Robert Carlyle will likely be unavailable to play Davos.

    I'm always surprised how many people dislike Davos. He's actually one of the more interesting characters to me, although for such an experienced sailor he does seem to get sunk and shipwrecked quite a lot.

  • Adam, Amir, taking both of your posts into consideration, I'd say James Nesbitt would be a great choice for Davos.

    I've always wanted him as Blake if they ever do a remake of Blake's 7, but I'd love to see him in Game of Thrones as well.

  • @Paul – Tilda Swinton is exactly how I picture Melisandre! I've never been able to put a face to her, but she'd be perfect!

    As for Brienne, I've been following this site for a long long time and have never posted, but I've always thought that the only women that might fit Brienne's description are bodybuilders. The suggestions that have been posted here are all good ones, but none of them really fits.
    Someone here said that Clea DuVall would work and I can see her as Brienne, but with her 5'5" she'd be way too short…

  • I'd disagree that Brienne could/should be cut; she's Jaime's foil. Yes, you could have his character develop independent of her, but it would almost certainly end up feeling engineered.

    Saying that, she's not a character that I overly warm to or enjoy reading, I just think she's a necessary part of the overall puzzle.

  • Monnick8, you just suggested two former Doctor Who's and one man who was strongly suggested to be the new Doctor. That's kinda funny!

    Eccleston was my choice for Stannis for years, but recently changed it to Mark Strong. He just looks so much like Stannis it's scary.

  • Eccleston is a brilliant actor and I'd be happy to see him in any role. While I have no doubt he could carry off Stannis, I still want him to play one of the Greyjoy brothers. He'd be brilliant as any of them.

    I'd like to see McGann in the show too, but I'm not sure which role, I don't see him as Davos.

    Carlyle is another actor I'd be happy to see in the series. By the time Davos appears he may be available, depends on how well stargate universe does, and whether or not his character gets killed off.

    Swinton would make a great Melisandre.

  • I still want to think "The Bird is Cruel" is a clue. "The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag" is soon to be adapted into a movie by director Alex Proyas, who also directed he movie "Crow". And that leeds us to Bran :)

    I would like to see Tilda Swinton as Melisandre, too.

  • @Josh …Just looks wise …put me in the Mark Strong for Stannis camp….He is the spitting image of the Stannis in my 'The Art of a Song of Ice and FirE' book…

  • Mauberly, while I'm strictly in the "no clue" camp, that's a sweet bit of work. I'll go so far as to say if it is a clue, you've got the solution. Shinyteapot et al, I agree with all three of those actor. I've also decided Tom Hardy (from the upcoming Bronson would be great as one of the Greyjoy brothers. I'd been trying to think of where he'd fit, and I'd love to see him and Eccleston together.

  • I have a theory, and it's just an absolute hunch, but here goes: I really get the feeling that all these characters that readers have tended to dislike, or "just not get into"–that is, folk like Catelyn, Davos, Brienne, Ygritte–will turn out to be huge favorites on the show. One thing that binds all these characters together is that they SUFFER tremendously throughout their stories. And unlike a Tyrion or an Arya they don't bend over backwards to compensate for it with daily doses of badassery. So in the book the reader will likely think, "ach, not this sad-sack loser again, gimme some more Dany!" in a tv series these characters, embodied by talented living, breathing actors, will absolutely demand our sympathy.

    Think of it this way: would anyone here fancy reading a novelization of, say, "Terms of Endearment?" Can you imagine how dreary that would be? lol I know, plenty here, I'm sure, hated that movie–just using it as an example of how characters who do more suffering than being badass may not keep readers of fantasy enthralled, while watching actors really (fictionally) live through their suffering can be rivetting.

    In a novel, Ygritte's infamous "You don't know nothin', John Snow" can become an annoying mannerism–but in the tv series we'll be actually WATCHING John Snow do the boneheaded things he does, ignoring a real live flesh and blood beautiful girl who's in love with him and we'll be right there with her–"What an IDIOT!" See what I mean? TV and film are just far more immediate and sympathetic media than the written word.

    I mean, when they get our Brienne and she's 6'3", with an absolutely fascinating face, the likes of which we may never have seen on tv before, living through the constant cruelty and abuse heaped on her by everyone, even children, and persevering and fighting like an Achilles, she could very easily steal every scene she's in!

    And oh, man, Catelyn she's gonna make EVERY LAST ONE OF YOU cry your eyes out! Just you watch! :)

    Just my hunch. Can't wait to find out if I'm right!

  • @Paul Gude

    5 of the 7 projects still active for Mark Strong, only 2 are either filming or in pre production. Eagle of the Ninth will likely be wrapping before Oct 1, as filming began on Aug 24, and it's a low-budget (£15M) film.

    Not sure what his role is in John Carter of Mars but I'm very excited to see a Pixar animator turned director shoot his first live-action film! I don't know what Strong's role is in that film, but I wouldn't doubt if he has the ability to take on the part-time work on GoT and handle John Carter as well.

    All that is to say… I think Strong would make a great Stannis as well!! What an amazing voice and disposition. I can see us not understanding his motives, but trusting his judgment as absurd/unreasonabl as Stannis can sometimes be. I can see his repoire with Davos as well.

    For some reason, I can picture Strong playing Davos amazingly as well. Capturing the pain of losing his sons, and a father who feels he has failed his family.

    Interesting how I can picture him as both, for different yet similar reasons.


  • HKCavalier, I really think you're right.

    I originally was couching this in terms of new viewers who had never read the books really liking characters who until now have never been fan favorites.

    You're entirely correct, though, even our tiny black hardened hearts may be moved by people we never expected once we actually see what happens to these people.

    That brings me back to the idea that scenes that we can read about and be okay with in the books are absolutely going to wreck us when we see them played out with flesh-and-blood actors and music.

    I should note, I don't mean to say that readers don't have imagination or emotional connections. Books have made me cry many times. Still, actually seeing these things is going to have a different sort of impact, and I think your statements above illustrate that beautifully.

  • Ryan, I see what you mean about schedules.

    I think there are a great many actors (Strong, Dillahunt, Eccleston, Nesbitt, etc.) that a lot of us see as working in many different roles.

    The great thing is that as the project moves forward, the chances of roles on Game of Thrones being coveted, perhaps fought over is a very real possibility. So, for example, an actor may try to adjust his schedule so he can appear in the series. With the wonderful cast they've already assembled, I have high hopes for the future.

    My ultimate pipe-dream is that savvy actors start reading the books to gain an advantage over others who will be going for the same roles.

  • @HKC –
    I think you are right, but also, I guess I look at it from a different angle. I agree that the viewers will definitely relate to the characters more, and things are more moving on screen a lot of the times. But on the other hand, I think that certain things work better in novel form then on the screen. And when you break it down, for most of her part in a aFfC, she is simply traveling with one or two other people, not saying much, and doing a bit of sulking. Most of what we learn through that whole passage is from reading the experience from both her and Jaime's perspective and from their inner dialogues and inner struggles, etc. I just think it will be a difficult thing to pull off on screen and manage to keep the interest of the viewers.

    If we make it to aFfC that is :)

  • Guys, how could I have forgotten Strong? Just last year I saw him in Henry VIII on DVD and thought of Stannis immediately. He can join Eccleston at the top of my list for Stannis.

    As for McGann, he's in my dream cast as Roose Bolton. And Swinton is terrific. I agree she'd be a great Melisandre.

    The last several posts had good hunches and points made all around. Really enjoying this thread so far. Shame I keep getting pulled away as I'd love to join in, so I'll just read on for now. :)

  • @Mauberly
    I think I have "The bird is cruel" figured out, but I was waiting for it to come up again, since it's not TV-related. The summary of The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag on wikipedia mentions that the world it's set in is a fiction within the fiction, and that the Sons of the Bird are something the author decided were a mistake, but didn't have time to remove. I think this points pretty strongly to the possibility that George is alluding to his Meereenese Knot. My guess is it's just a generic nod, as opposed to an attempt to actually hint at the nature of the knot, but I could be wrong. If it is a casting clue, though, I agree that Bran is by far the most likely. The Three Eyed Crow fits both with The Crow and "The Bird", though I wouldn't call it cruel. You could also go out on a limb and try to wedge in the fact that BRANdon Lee plays The Crow…

    @HKCavalier/Paul Gude/Chris
    All great points on how the characters might seem different onscreen. Personally I liked Brienne and Davos quite a bit. Ygritte's "You know nothing, Jon Snow" got a bit old, but I didn't hate her or anything. I like Catelyn pretty well, but I must admit I always really wished Robb could've been a POV instead in at least one book (Or half and half for ACoK and ASoS). I sympathized with her sorrow at (to her knowledge) losing her children, but after awhile it seemed like her chapters were just the same worries and fears over and over again, with the only new/interesting parts being descriptions of what Robb had been doing lately. Then again, Robb's chapters could've gotten tiresome if he spent half of them pining away for Jeyne Westerling or some crap. I think I'll like Catelyn a lot better onscreen, and hopefully Robb gets a bit more limelight. @Chris specifically, I think your concerns make a lot of sense, but I'm pretty sure they'll be able to translate at least some of the inner struggles into dialogue somehow or other. There's also something to be said for the potential of body language, etc. Or maybe we'll get a soliloquy or two. Anyway, I think they'll work it out admirably.

    Lastly, I'm curious about who people like for Littlefinger. I've seen several great suggestions, but all the ones I remember checking up on were 6' or taller, which is well outside what I think makes sense for Petyr. Anyone have any good enough actors with the right look who are 5'5"-5'10" or so? Obviously they could make a 6' guy work, but I think it's best if they try for someone at least slightly shorter than Sean Bean.

  • @My above post
    When I say "the author decided were a mistake" I mean the fictional author in the story. Not Heinlein. Just realized that wasn't clear.

  • Oh man so many of my favorite characters are disliked by the community! Davos, Catelyn and Brienne are awesome (although I hated Brienne's POV chapters in AFFC).

  • who doesn't like davos? the onion knight is the best! if paul gude's wishes come true, i would love to see davos played by oldman.


  • Chris, I'm reminded of my same argument when people said that aFfC moves the plot sideways rather than forwards. If there are certain characters that people don't care about as much as others, then long stretches of time when you stay with those characters are going to feel like "nothing's happening" if they don't meet up with or do anything in relation to the other characters.

    I think that a lot of the problems that people have with the Brienne scenes is that she goes all over the place but never finds Sansa. This is the part of the plot that we're set up to expect her to fulfill, and so what they're witnessing is her riding around not doing anything. I think this is somewhat essential, to show how good Littlefinger was at making Sansa disappear. Still, a lot of things happen to Brienne herself while this is happening, and we find out things that (if you care about her character as its own story) are kind of important.

    To use other HBO shows as an example, after Brienne is introduced I see her getting a fair amount of screen time, comparable to Jane on Deadwood or Sofie on Carnivàle. Not the main character, but one that we follow significantly.

    I get the impression, and please correct me if I'm wrong because I realize I'm making a huge guess here, that you're saying you'd see her turning into more of a minor character that we see for bits throughout the series but don't stay with long, such as Jewel or Charlie Utter. Is that close to being correct?

  • @Ryan
    Oldman would make an awesome as hell Davos. I think he'd also do a great job as Roose Bolton, though perhaps he's tired of playing villains. He'd do a great job as Yoren, too, or any of a number of other less important characters, but that does seem like a little bit of a waste.

  • @Paul
    Thanks for the suggestions. Kind of surprised I didn't think of Billy Boyd myself. I really like fantasy casting, but my knowledge of British actors is mostly from old-ish comedies so I'm basically useless at coming up with anything original. I've resorted to amusing myself by coming up with really, really bad casting ideas which are somehow also sort of fitting. Example: R. Lee Ermey as Alliser Thorne.

  • Still pulling for Dominic West to be Petyr.

    So far i've been about 99% pleased with the choices made by the casting team. Whoever they get will be great.

    Billy Boyd is an interesting suggestion. He has a friendly face, so it would be interesting to see him do cunning.

  • Billy Boyd and Tom Hollander might be a bit typecast in most people's minds to be seen as Littlefinger. It would be hard to believe Peregrine Took being that smart and if it was Cutler Beckett then everybody would know from the start that he was just out for himself.

    I'm sure they've done other work and other kinds of roles but that is all I've ever seen them in and I probably have a more typical movie/tv viewing experience than some. I'm always amazed at the casting ideas you guys come up with for actors I've never heard of or if I did see them in something it wasn't significant enough for their name to register with me (like Dinklage in Narnia). I don't live somewhere that indie films come to (we have to drive an hour this weekend to see 9, for Pete's sake) and I've never been an HBO subscriber.

  • @Paul Gude –
    I guess my thought is that her character will never get as much "screen time" as she did in the books, and I could see her whole story arc abbreviated quite a bit. I am kind of ambivalent towards whether that is a good thing or a bad thing. We've yet to see where a lot of these new story lines are going ( though hers looks a little bleak as of now… ) so they may play a huge role in the last act of the story. But so much of aFfC seems so ancillary to the main plot that I think it frustrated a lot of people. After a 5 year wait, instead of a continuation of the story we had been reading, it felt like almost a whole new story was introduced and the rest was put on hold. With Brienne's story, I feel like out of all story lines in the books, at this point, hers is the most likely to get the axe, or at least a blunt chisel.

    My main concern is that viewers tend to be much less patient than readers, and watching a new character running all over the map to no end, and to never come to fruition, might try their patience… but I could very well be wrong.

    If I were to guess, I would think that she will stay in the story. I think there's no way that they use the same structure as the aFfC and DwD books do, but will combine those to keep the fluidity of the story. This structure should work better, as her segments will relate to Sansa, but will be interspersed with cool stuff happening with Jon and Tyrion and Dany, and will make her not seem so "side-questy." I do think her story arc will be truncated, and I hold the view that AFfC could have benefited from quite a bit of editing as well.

  • @gofalcons
    I'm probably in about the same boat as you. I also have the added problem of not usually remembering actors' names unless I've really noticed them in at least a couple different things. I'm not really familiar with Tom Hollander's work, though he looks the part. I admit Billy Boyd seems a bit weird when I think of him as Peregrine Took, but I think that could be a benefit assuming he's a good enough actor, much the same way that Boromir being a significantly different personality from Ned is a good thing with Sean Bean. If Pippin had been a conniving genius, or if Petyr were a mischievous, easygoing guy, that would be a problem, I think.

  • Hey, Chris.

    I think you're exactly right about aFfC and DwD being combined when it comes time to doing the show.

    I guess my point is that the structure of a TV show deviates enough from the structure of a novel that the issue for me isn't so much which points of Brienne's travels are highlighted, but rather how much screentime the character gets in general.

  • @Chris
    I didn't mind the Brienne chapters in AFfC. I think I started out not caring for them much, and there were points when they dragged on a bit, but overall I like Brienne enough that they kept me reading. Then again, I'm a fairly recent ASoIaF fan, so I got to go straight from ASoS to AFfC. Personally, if I had to choose a set of chapters to cut, it would be the ones in Dorne. Brienne was at least decently established, even if not quite well enough to be interesting to everyone on her own. The entire Dorne storyline seemed to me like it could have been replaced with a letter to Cersei, Jaime, etc. about the end result of the whole Myrcella plot, and maybe a chapter about Doran to set up the upcoming Quentyn POV. I liked getting a first person look at Dorne, the Martells, and the Sand Snakes, but that part of the book didn't really interest me much and seemed less likely to turn out to be important later than Brienne's character development. Not saying I think it should have been cut, but if there's any plotline I thought could have been, it's that one.

    I do agree that Brienne's AFfC plotline probably needs a trim, but I think the relative impatience of TV viewers should be countered by the inherent faster pace of TV. We won't need to read descriptions for every new place she shows up at, for instance. And yes, I think/hope they arrange AFfC and ADwD together chronologically, which should help a lot with keeping things interesting. Just spreading Brienne's story out a little more should help it stay appealing instead of getting old.

  • @Paul Gude

    Marc Warren would be wonderful. He looks like a nice pleasant person but does creepy evil very well. Loved him in Hogfather.

  • Brienne wont be going anywhere. If GRRM still has any control anyway, as he likes her.

    If any storyline needs to go, or be trimmed, it's the stuff on Pyke. That went on for far too long and all it ended up doing really was setting up the Crow's Eye goes east storyline.

    Marc Warren would be an awesome actor for the show…..but I'm not seeing Petyr. He'd be a briliant brilliant brilliant Ramsey Bolton though

  • I was more thinking of him in Hustle, than in Hogfather, but he was brilliant as Teatime, too.

    I guess I think of Littlefinger as having a slightly higher-pitched, reedy kind of a voice, and being sort of a baby-face. That's a tribute to Dillahunt, the fact that that I'd say, "Sure, why not?" when he's suggested.

  • See, that just confirms what I was saying earlier. I saw Hogfather through Netflix because my daughter is a Pratchett fanatic. I don't even know what Hustle is. :(

  • So now I have three new dream cast options…

    1. Marc Warren plays Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.

    2. Gary Oldman plays Davos "The Onion Knight" Seaworth.

    3. Dominic West plays Bronn the Sellsword.

    Let's start making our campaign posters now!


  • Hustle is a show about conmen.

    Marc Warren isn't actually in the show anymore, but he was a decent comedy foil to the straight main actor.

    He's gone on to show real acting chops in Hogfather and in a Dracula adaption, playing insane and charming – which is why i'd be thinking he'd be a great Ramsey.

  • @Paul Gude
    I think Marc Warren's my favorite, too. He didn't look quite right at first, but I managed to imagine him in costume with the right hair, eyes, etc. and I think he's about perfect. He seems really good at the sort of thoughtful, quietly amused, "I know something you don't know" expression I've always imagined Petyr having on his face a lot.

    I guess I have to agree with Pyke being at least as cuttable as Dorne. The plus for me is that it deals with characters we already knew, and I'm a fan of Asha, which not only meant I wanted to read about her, but also that I had a vested interest in seeing whether she'd rule the Iron Islands. The downside, of course, is that we've already seen the Iron Islands, whereas Dorne was largely a mystery that might have gone unseen otherwise. The fact that Myrcella's almost a blank slate, though, meant that I had no real feelings one way or the other about a plot to put her in power, especially since Tommen's pretty flat as well so far. It would have been more interesting if the plot surrounding Myrcella hadn't basically amounted to nothing. With Pyke, things at least led pretty directly to Euron going East, instead of setting up Quentyn in a really roundabout way without him even being there. I suppose the death of Arys will cause some turmoil, but compared to everything else going down in Westeros, that's a drop in a bucket. Again, not necessarily saying I'd cut the Dorne chapters, just explaining why they were my least favorite. Hopefully the Quentyn chapters (Or some other chapters where Arianne or Areo get involved?) justify them in the series as a whole. I get the feeling ADwD (And/or The Winds of Winter) will be better than AFfC while simultaneously making AFfC make more sense in retrospect…

    On Brienne, I hope you're right about her storyline staying right where it is.

  • @Demokritos

    I think that's why I liked Dorne. It was new and I didnt predict what was going to happen. With Asha, no way was a woman going to win the 'vikings' over. It was predictable, although it did introduce Aeron who became one of my favourite characters – it just went on too long imo.

    Oldman would be a great Davos, but let's face it, he wouldn't do I don't think. Here is my suggestion – Angus MacFadyen

    Still can't get behind Warren as Petyr. It might change, but not right now.

  • @legion_quest666
    That's definitely true. I wasn't sure if it would be Victarion, Euron or some Dark Horse candidate at the last minute, though. With GRRM you can never really be too sure, though it's usually something bad. I think on the whole, a lot of AFfC just seemed to go too long, in varying degrees for different people. Not sure how much of that might have been padding to fill out the book, and how much is just monotony from the absence of so many favorites, though. It might be interesting in the future to try reading it and ADwD simultaneously, switching back and forth, to find out.

    Angus McFadyen looks good for Davos. I still like Oldman better, but partly because I'm familiar with his acting. Angus looks burlier than Gary, which fits my mental image better, but just based on pictures I think Gary has a better overall vibe to me.

  • @ninamarth

    really wishing i hadn't clicked on that youtube link. really wishing i hadn't clicked that . . . really wishing . . . really . . .

    *rocks back and forth in fetal position on floor. cold sweats.*


  • and i don't see why oldman wouldn't do GoT. i think this show is going to be a hot commodity in the acting world, for film and tv actors alike.

    true, oldman hasn't done that much television, especially lately, and the tv he HAS done has only been one or two episodes of a show, but you just never know!

    if they threw some sirius black money at him, i'm sure they could work something out!


  • @ Demokritos
    Im not saying Gary wouldn't be the best, frankly, at any role they gave him. I'm simply saying I don't think he would do it.

    As for the AFfC….I always got the feeling that Pyke and Dorne were set ups for something else, and because we were so use to the war of the other books, the slowness of those, combined with Brienne took the book off in a direction it hadn't really been in before

  • just heard that they are still calling boy's up for Bran, age has dropped tp 7, still living in hope for Freddy tho.

  • @legion_quest666
    On Gary: understood. Not sure if you're right, but then none of us could be… It will depend on a lot of things, including the success of the first season, and I'm hoping Ryan's right about the likelihood. On AFfC, agreed.

    If you need to violently remove your eyes, might I recommend a grapefruit spoon? I could see Brienne being played by an amateur bodybuilder, but bodies like those seem like they'd be impossible without steroids, which would make them out of place in a medeival fantasy world.

  • Intersting that they are dropping the age for Bran.

    That has always been the thing that have put me off Bran, and Arya too for that matter, was that were always too young to go through what they do and act the way they do. I was hoping for some aging up….not aging down!

    Good luck to your son though Sue, be great to have someone from out little community linked to the show like that.

  • This sort of show is already going to cost alot.

    While HBO isn't NBC, who bulked at the price of their show Kings (apparently 2million an episode), I can't see them throwing Sirius Black money at Oldman for what is a relatively minor part so far.

    If they want Oldman, an want to spend that much, then get him in for a meatier role.

  • @legion

    probably right about cashola, however i wouldn't put anything out of the realm of likelihood just yet. another thought is that a name-actor may be willing to work at independent feature rates for a show that they respect and a critically-accclaimed production.

    meatier role for oldman huh? what would you suggest that is meatier? he has a pretty big role in ASoS i would think. trying to think of larger roles for him.


  • maybe they should look woman tennis pros for brienne. they tend to run the gamut, and are usually quite tall and fit.


  • I think Cara Seymour is in her forties, which is probably too old….

    I still want to see Clea DuVall. Give her some lifts and some camera trickery and she'll be fine. From face to freckles to slightly innocent look, she is perfect.

  • I don't think a bodybuilder would be right for Brienne- as Demokritos said, they look a little too unnaturally muscular. Brienne is tall and broad shouldered, as strong as a knight needs to be, but I don't imagine her looking quite that OTT.

    It seems Bran hasn't been cast, so open guesses on who has.

    As regards Littlefinger, I'd love to see Marc Warren in the show but I don't see him in that role. I think he'd be great as Ramsay Bolton though. I'm not quite sure why, but I keep picturing Jeremy Davies as Littlefinger. He's a good actor and could probably pull off the role, not too tall either.

  • @Ryan
    Interesting thought. How many woman tennis pros can act, though? Finding someone who looks the part shouldn't be too hard, and neither should finding someone who can act well enough, but both in one body… Hm. Back on Oldman, you could also try coming up with a small-but-interesting part. Less of a commitment, but still a good chance to be a (brief) highlight of a great production.

    In other news, I've been fiddling with Google Insights, and think I might've figured out a way to compare AGoT's popularity with shows such as True Blood at parallel points in their development, in spite of no raw numbers.

    First, choose something at random that is going to stay relatively steady in search popularity:
    I chose "bic pen"

    Then compare that to True Blood when it was roughly a year from airing:
    True Blood vs. Bic Pen

    Do the same for Game of Thrones:
    Game of Thrones vs. Bic Pen

    I went with January to September on both to keep the charts the same timespan. Obviously AGoT will not be ready by September next year, but we don't have statistics for Nov/Dec 09 yet. True Blood has a big spike in August '07, but otherwise AGoT is the clear winner, and is still farther from airing than True Blood was then. I realize this is all a little anal but I felt like sharing.

  • We don't know that GoT wont be ready by next year.

    I'm still holding out for that. I swear, if I have to wait longer I think I would scream. I can't believe we dont even get to see the pilot before the series airs, if it even airs.

  • I'm telling you, Ryan, stunt women who focus on fight scenes and getting hit in the face but have had a few acting roles would be perfect. Monique Ganderton isn't 6'3", but honestly someone who's 5'10" with fighting experience would work for me better than someone who's big but looks awkward with a sword.

    In the same way, a kickboxer from the UK with acting experience would work for me, too.

    Brienne may be socially awkward, but to me when she's on the battlefield, she has to be completely competent.

    I know that I may be in the minority here, but this is the one case where I would rather they work to get a good performance out of a non-actress with great physical prowess than get an accomplished actress "up to speed" on fighting.

    In my opinion you can't underestimate how incredibly important Brienne's fighting ability is to her character's success. She wins tournaments, she holds her own against Jaime. When people see her fight, they can't think, "That's pretty good," they have to flip out and say, "That was FUCKING INCREDIBLE!"

    She has to be Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, she has to be Tony Jaa, she has to be Bruce Lee. Not using those types of moves, but in the, "It's inevitable that I am going to lay you out, even if it takes me all damn day" sort of way. She's has to be that good, but exist in a world where people don't stand around waiting for you to hit them. So she gets captured, she gets hurt, but she still is one of the best fighters in the world. She's not just a woman who can fight like a man, she's a woman who can kick almost any man's ass.

    The more I think about it, the more I realize that's where I'm afraid Brienne is going to fall short, and I'm afraid no one else is going to agree with me. One, I expect people won't agree with my assessment of her abilities. It seems pretty clear from the books to me that she's damn awesome, but I'm expecting arguments like Jaime was weak and therefore couldn't fight at full strength, look at all the people who beat her, etc. Two, I'm expecting people to say that there have been plenty of famous actresses who have done good fight scenes. I'd say that there have been many great choreographed fight scenes, but nothing with the realism I'm expecting for Game of Thrones. The fighting is going to be very important, and all of my judgements at this time are based on what I hope it's going to look like, rather than what it is.

    Like I said, I fully expect to be in the minority here, but I wanted to get my thoughts out about it.

  • @Solamente Dave & Legion
    Hm… Maybe this is desperation, but I think I'd be willing to ignore her age, assuming she's 40. Since she'll need a bit of makeup anyway, and isn't obviously old by looking at her, I think it could work. That said, she looks about even height with Noah Fleiss in a picture on IMDB. He is listed as 5' 8½", so I'm not convinced she has the build for it. She doesn't look very burly either. Her face seems to fit the "broad features" part of the description, though, which is what would be toughest to costume over out of that. I could see Clea Duvall working, too. I'm sure the folks at HBO know a lot more about what can or can't be done with costumes and cameras than I do, so hopefully they find someone they like.

    I don't see Ramsay looking like Marc Warren at all. I always imagined him as a little above average height, and strong-looking without being bulky, with coarse features. The description in the Theon preview chapter doesn't fit that or Marc Warren, though, so it's a moot point. I do also like Jeremy Davies for Littlefinger. I think I've seen him suggested before, back when I wasn't paying quite as much attention. Still like Warren better, though.

    I think the consensus is to expect it next year, but in November or December. I don't really know myself, just saying what I've read.

    @Paul J
    Thanks! Glad you approve.

    @Paul Gude
    I agree somewhat. I think Brienne will not require acting of the level of a lot of other characters, as she's not outwardly over-emotional most of the time, in my imaginings anyway. So the acting ability is not as much of a priority as with some. Still, I'd rather see her slightly disappointing in fight scenes than slightly disappointing at acting. Hopefully we get someone who's superior at both.

  • I think, and this is just my two cents, that Brienne can be changed to simply being good at fighting as long as the rest of her character remains.

    She doesn't need to be so big, she could simply be smaller but quicker, as long as she can hold her own and as long as she is enough of an ugmo that you can believe her backstory, they don't need to go the Nicole Bass route, but if they do go for a more book like big Brienne, then I think it will HAVE to be either a complete unknown or a stunt woman with acting ability.

    There is simple no one that meets Brienne's book description in the acting world that I have seen. Clea DuVall truly is the most looks wise, but not build wise as far as I can see.

  • my choices for some season 2 casting:

    1. lily cole as ygritte (she has that strange pretty/not pretty thing going which i think works for wildlings)
    lily cole kissed by fire

    her imdb page:
    lily cole imdb

    2. eva green as melisandre. i think eva green could kill it (those eyes! that voice!) there are some pictures around of her with red hair if you feel like looking:
    eva in jewels
    and check her out in this red dress if you just can't see it:
    eva in melisandrea like outfit
    her imdb page:
    eva green imdb

    3. davos has always been gary oldman to me!

    4. as little finger wouldn't michael sheen be fabulous? he's so flipping talented and versatile. when someone told me that david frost from frost/nixon was the same guy as the main wearwolf from underworld movies, i didn't believe them. he also can be a little snide and very charming which i think little finger needs.
    michael looking smug
    michael sheen imdb
    we need to get this guy out of vampire movies!

  • Sheen would be a brilliant Petyr, but I have the feeling his star is on the rise and he likely wouldn't do a tv show. He would be awesome though.

    I'd also love to see John Simm as Petyr. He was excellent in Life on Mars, brilliant as Caligula in a docu-drama and was fan-bloody-tastic as the Master in Doctor Who.

    Yeah. Im officially changing my Petyr from Dominic West to John Simm.

  • @ paul gude

    i know it's been suggested before, but what do you think of zoe bell as brienne? i would be down. i really liked her in death proof and she's hella tough and accomplished in the realm of the physical. a little short but i don't think brienne's height is as important as her strength. if she can kick jamie's ass then why does it matter if she's 5'8 or 6'2

    zoe bell imdb

    and no, she's not ugly. but i think you put her in a show filled with lena headey's and tamizin merchant's, the girl who is playing sansa (can't think of her name) whoever they get to play all the pretty courtesans and she's going to look plain in comparison. a little make up will do the rest.

  • @legion

    I have a hard enough time watching her act in American (carnivale, girl, interruped, grudge) I can't imagine how crappy shell be doing an accent.

    What has she been in that you've liked? Maybe I'm just blanketing her based on a few roles but man, she may have a certain look for brienne, but were not supposed to want to choke her every time she comes on screen!

    I'm a little bit biased, can you tell? In good news, I don't hate get acting as much as I do Laura Linneys.


  • @legion

    really? you think sheen is on the rise? i mean, he totally SHOULD be. but his imdb said something about being in production for a tinkerbell movie? and he's in the new twilight movie which, y'know, you don't see like christian bale doing, as a rising star example.

    plus petyr is a juicy role! i would think if i was an actor i would be stoked to be offered a key role on a successful HBO show (i am just going to go ahead an assume this will be a huge hit).

    but i like your john simm as well, has a thom york look to him.

  • @Ryan

    I actually like her in Carnivale and in the few episodes of Heroes he she was in. Plus, I liked her in Faculty.

    If you look at the description of Brienne and then at her, other than size, it's pretty spot on.

    Anyway, let's think more about John Simm as Petyr. I think it's been one of my better suggestions.

  • educatedpony,

    5'8" is right at the limit of how far down I'd be willing to go, but yeah, that's kind of the same argument I had with Monique Ganderton. Getting someone who can fight is a huge deal. The two inches between them are in my opinion the difference between being just tall enough and having to fake it a little. Past 5'8" and you get into serious trickery or just rewriting the character.

    Still, Zoe is a Kiwi, which means she'd have less road to travel as far as making her accent work.

    GRRM's quote about HBO knowing about wigs and things was apropos when Lena Headey was cast, and it's obviously possible that this will come into play here as well.

    As far as the idea of using camera angles, make-up, and costumes to transform an actress into Brienne, however, I'm still of the opinion that while all these things are possible but each little thing you add makes shooting a bit more complicated.

    So, with Brienne you have:

    1) Odd-looking face
    Options: Actress with an odd-looking face/Makeup/write it out of the character

    2) Mannish body shape
    Options: Actress with a mannish body shape/Costume Tricks/write it out of the character

    3) Height
    Options: Tall Actress/Lifts/Camera Tricks/write it out of the character

    4) Superior fighting ability
    Options: Actress who can fight/Stunt Double/write it out of the character

    5) Social awkwardness
    Options: Actress who can portray this believably/rely on good takes to get a "good enough" performance/write it out of the character

    6) Maddening innocence
    Options: Actress who can portray this believably/rely on good takes to get a "good enough" performance/write it out of the character

    7) British accent
    Options: Cast a Brit/Cast an actress who can do a British accent/Use a different accent for the character or series

    This could be a limited list, but you get the idea. Finding someone who hits all of the first points (my ideals) may be hard. All of the compensations (the second points) could add time and headache for the production. Writing bits of her character out could be an option, but where do you stop?

    The one thing I notice looking at my list is that none of my choices hit all these points.

    I think that's why I'm holding out for an unknown, even with all the suggestions. There have to be some tall sword-wielding Brits with acting chops out there.

  • @Paul Gude re: Brienne Casting Criteria

    Yes, she has to be a competent atete ideally with fighting experience, but she doesn't need to be Tony Jaa in real life. As an example I submit Carrie Ann Moss. In the matrix, she could easily kick most mens ass, but she is an actress first and foremost. And before that trilogy fell apart, we believed in her longing, her plight.

    HBO will want to capture Briennes plight more than her ability to fight. That's what fight choreographers and stunt coordinators are for.

    And to whomever mentioned her size not being as important as her fight skills, I partially disagree. Her size has more to do with her awkwardness in the quieter scenes. You need to see why men would torment her in a more cruel way than they would a pretty or even normal looking woman. It's sort of like Stephen Kings Carrie, where the character has to be so different from her peers that she is almost removed from reality and treated less than human.

    I hope that makes sense, sorry for babbling.


  • @legion

    John Simm was my pick for Petyr a while back as well, so you have my unfiltered support there. I'm going to recheck the book for descriptions like I did with Hodor just so we have a visual refresher.


  • @Ryan

    I get what you are saying about her size being important, but I think those sorta things can be achieved with psychological writing and have the same effect if the casting people are/will find it hard to cast a tall book Brienne.

    On saying that, as Paul thinks, they may find a brilliant unknown to do it.

    We'll see in a few years…

  • @Ryan
    Great point on size vs. fighting skill with Brienne. Size is also specifically important (as opposed to just ugliness) because this means men are not only sexually uninterested, but threatened. I think this effect would be diminished if she were just a good fighter like Asha, or like Arya's shaping up to be. They may be leaving their gender roles a bit by being good at fighting, but they're still relying much more on quick reflexes and skill than on brute strength. Brienne has all three, and is therefore seen an unambiguous threat to masculinity by the men around her, while Asha is just enough like a man (think guys looking for a girlfriend who loves football) to be exciting without crossing the line.

  • put me in the James Callis for Littlefinger camp…I'm convinced …age concerns aside that he's made for this role…he plays the lovable weasel sooooo well:…I was very impressed with him in BSG….I hated him but almost felt sorry for him ….he is Littlefinger….I just hope he has his agent on it

  • Ryan, Carrie Ann Moss is exactly what I'm talking about when I'm saying, "Two, I'm expecting people to say that there have been plenty of famous actresses who have done good fight scenes." Uma Thurman in some parts of Kill Bill (even though I used her as an example myself) and Summer Glau in Serenity fit into this category, too. And, yes, I suppose Tony Jaa and even (especially?) Bruce Lee fit into this category, too:

    Our hero runs around kicking people's asses and looking good doing it.

    So, I guess I explained it wrong. Maybe instead I should have used Oldboy, Fight Club, or the fight towards the end of Deadwood. Two people beating the shit out of each other and looking absolutely brutal while doing it.

    Oh, and I now completely agree with her height contributing to the awkwardness of quieter scenes. As soon as I read that I realized, that the spectacle of her wearing a dress isn't just a flat-chested thing, but the fact that she looks like a gangly giant someone stuck in a dress.

    Again, I have to say that a lot of my worries are completely unfounded. HBO did a great job with Jane, and while they might not hit all the points I listed above I think they're going to surprise a few people with more than a few aspects of whomever they choose.

    [EDIT] Corrected a typo. I had "he height" instead of "her height." Move along.

  • While I still like Jeremy Davies, the idea of Michael 'Tony Blair' Sheen as Littlefinger is inspired. I'm not sure I could watch it without thinking of him as Blair though- which adds a whole new level of utterly horrible creepiness!

    Poor Sansa.


  • May seem like too much of a mainstream choice, but I'm thinking back to before he got his soul drained out of him on a Law and Order show and was the best damn actor I'd seen in a long time. So bear with me:

    Vincent Donofrio for Varys.

    He seriously disappears into every role he does, and I think he'd be pretty cheap at the moment.

    Varys is another one where I fully trust HBO and there are lots of varied choices, so this is just a fun idea, not who I think they'll get.

  • @Paul Gude
    Honestly, I can't imagine Vincent Donofrio as Varys. I've basically only seen him on Law & Order and Full Metal Jacket, though. I've actually been impressed by his acting on L&O:CI, though I haven't really found the more recent episodes interesting. He's basically the best thing that show ever had going for it, though, in my opinion. I imagine he could pull it off very well, even though he's not at all what I pictured, current girth aside. Of course, he's probably a bit too busy anyway. Varys doesn't get as much time as a lot of characters, but in AGoT at least he was pretty prominent as I recall.

    Funny thing is, way back before AGoT was even officially picked up, I found myself wishing he were younger and in better shape so he could play Sandor. Looks-wise probably not much at all like anybody imagined him, including me, but I think he would've knocked it out of the park in the acting department.

  • There's a specific scene in The Cell where his character is made up with a white-powdered face and is doing this high pitched giggling thing while torturing Vince Vaughn that pretty much got burned into my brain. He'd have to tone it down a bit, but it's got Varys written all over it to me.

  • That, plus his chameleon-like ability is what made me think of him.

    (I looked for a clip but couldn't find one. Anyone else know what I'm talking about?)

  • I'm on the side of those who want (and are expecting) an unknown to be cast as Brienne. None of the casting suggestions for her work for one reason or another. Brienne cannot be in her 30s or 40s. Her idealism just doesn't fit as well in a character that old.

    As for body type, bodybuilders are as wrong for the role as skinny waifs. She can't look like an artificial, steroid-pumped hulk.

    I agree with the poster who mentioned tennis players, specifically the Mauresmo types. That's exactly the look I hope they go for. Broad-shouldered, flat-chested, visibly muscular, and believably able to hold a bloody great sword.

    Height, I think they can futz around with a little.

  • Ewwwww, The Cell!?

    That movie sucked so badly.

    Guys not how I pictured Varys, but if it gets us away from Matt Lucas as Varys then I am all over it as a decent suggestion

  • Again my pick for Varys (that weasel. ,that scumbag ,that slimeball) Matt Lucas…he is inspired casting…someone who I think is capable of so much more…For Brienne …I don't care how good looking or ugly the actor is who plays her …as long as she can embody the role…I think Katee Sackhoff is that actor ….I like Mark Strong for Stannis….but I wouldn't mind Colm Freore as Stannis(I've had hard time thinking of ideal Role for Freore) but he's a quality actor ….could see him as Davos too…..For Melisandre….Michelle Pfeiffer….

  • Colm Freore has an awesome voice, so I'd like to see him do something more with that.

    Lucas……….I just can't bring myself to say he'd be a good Varys. His Little Britain show is just everything that is wrong with comedy.

  • Legion, I think The Cell was a sub-standard script with brilliant visuals. The Fall is so much better.

    Still, the quality of the movie isn't the reason I brought it up, obviously. It's the one place where that side of VD is showcased. Again, there are so many talented folks who've already been mentioned. I'm not worried about this one at all. My only criteria is thar the actor display the ability to play two or three vastly different roles. Tom Hardy could do it. Lesser-known would be my choice, as Mike Meyer's type of disappearing is more of a party trick than actual magic.

  • (Meaning that you'd be looking for him and excited to spot him rather than being genuinely surprised. Someone a little less well-known could sustain the illusions longer.)

  • @Legion
    Eesh… Yeah. I'm not familiar with Matt Lucas as an actor, but based on commercials for Kröd Mändoon and his appearance, I do not like the idea. Granted, a lot of good actors get involved in stupid crap (Haven't actually watched Kröd Mändoon but it's the impression I get… Correct me if it's wrong.), but the appearance is so absolutely wrong that I can't get over it. To me, Varys, like Khal Drogo, can't be played by someone who looks thoroughly white. Some caucasians could pull it off (Vincent Dinofrio in makeup, perhaps. Slavic and/or Mediterranean people in general.), but Matt Lucas is not one of them. Perhaps another part of it is the way he's making a goofy face in 90% of all pictures I can find, which is admittedly not a good reason.

    I kind of like the idea of Hank Azaria, who someone mentioned somewhere, even though he's nowhere near heavy enough and I've never been convinced by "fat suit" arguments for anyone. Personally I think Nathan Lane could do a great job, and would be passable as a pale foreigner with the right costuming. Of course, they're both Americans, so yeah. Not likely. And yes, I must admit I'm thinking of their roles in The Birdcage, which is wrong on several levels.

  • Nathan Lane can do a British accent, and I'd buy him as Varys…..but I dunno if others would.

    Lucas looks exactly how I pictured Varys to be honest, I just don't like the guys acting/shows. He might be able to do it, but i've never seen anything that makes me think he can.

  • @Legion_quest666…you're a good dude…it's because of you I think of Freore…never thought of him till you suggested him…kind of ashamed because he's one of Canada best performers…I shouldve brought him up LOL ….as for Matt Lucas ….I like Little Britain…but I like most things British LOL …not sure why but I do love the Brit comedies…damn …they make me laugh …I think Matt Lucas could pull it off and surprise you and everyone else….HBO …. Be brave and cast outside the box…like you often do…I wonder if he is even available ?

  • NOooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    No one should like Little Britain.


    It's the same joke and the same lazy writing every single episode. There is no skill in being able to do that. It's testimont to how shit British comedy has become. To go from Blackadder and Fawlty Towers to that……makes my blood boil.

  • I have to say that I'm not familiar enough with Matt Lucas to make the judgement on this. If BBC viewers see him, will they go, "Hey! It's Matt Lucas!" or is he not that type of famous? People from the US have suggested John Hodgman, but I think he's too famous as himself. Would this be the same thing?

  • Another thing I like about Nathan Lane is that he looks believable as someone who was castrated at a young age. I guess that's a pretty horrible thing to say about a guy, but it's not like he's awful-looking, he just has kind of a round baby face. Compare Alessandro Moreschi. Just one guy, so not enough to make a judgement about any and all eunuchs, but doing a google image search for the word is not something I have the stomach for.

  • @Leigion_quest666….and I also immediately pictured Matt Lucas when I read about Varys(that weasel..that scumbag ….that slimeball)…he can play so many different characters…I think he's ready to graduate to something more 'meaty'….though comedy is not so easy …I think he ready for more…much more…give him a chance I say

  • @Leigion_quest666….and I also immediately pictured Matt Lucas when I read about Varys(that weasel..that scumbag ….that slimeball)…he can play so many different characters…I think he's ready to graduate to something more 'meaty'….though comedy is not so easy …I think he ready for more…much more…give him a chance I say

  • If people from the UK saw him, they would know him right away. His terrible Little Britain show is that big.

    Youtube it. Watch any clip. It's the same god damn joke every episode so it honestly doesnt matter what you see.

    I'm trying to think of a better Varys….how about Kevin Pollak?

  • Okay, here are all of the descriptions I could find in the first book, for Littlefinger, not to interrupt the inspired Varys debate :)


    "Petyr had been slight and short for his age."
    (AGoT p.149)

    "Petyr challenged for the right to my hand. It was madness. Brandon was twenty, Petyr scarcely fifteen. I had to beg Brandon to spare Petyr's life. He let him off with a scar."
    (AGoT p.149)

    "Petyr had been a small boy, and he had grown into a small man, an inch or two shorter than Catelyn, slender and quick, with the sharp features she remembered and the same laughing grey-green eyes. He had a little pointed chin beard now, and threads of silver in his dark hair, though he was still shy of thirty. They went well with the silver mockingbird that fastened his cloak."
    (AgoT p.153)

    "Littlefinger fingered his small pointed beard."
    (AGoT p.228)

    "The man wore a heavy cloak with a fur collar, fastened with a silver mockingbird, and he had the effortless manner of a high lord."
    (AGoT p.263)

    "He wore a slashed velvet doublet in cream-and-silver, a grey silk cloak trimmed with black fox, and his customary mocking smile."
    (AGoT p.315)

    "Lord Petyr was clad in a blue velvet tunic with puffed sleeves, his silvery cape patterned with mockingbirds."
    (AGoT p.449)


    And there's a whole lot of sly smiles, smirking, etc.

    It's important that he and Catelyn be of an age, which in the books would make him probably 27 or 28, though older looking for his age (sidetone: to those who were making the "medieval times people aged different, GRRM cites it as unusual for a person in their late 20's to have gray hair, so I don't think he subscribed to the same "advanced aging" that history may profess).

    We know also that he needs to be short. That's an important part of his disposition as well. He needs the pointed beard and pointed features in general.

    Beyond that, the rest is wardrobing and body language. His face has to betray unease, mistrust, and yet charm. I still can see Paul Bettany in this role, which is what I liked about John Simm. Both have those sharp, slight features.

    Too clever by half, that's a good line from the books as well, and should be how you "feel" when you see Littlefinger.

  • @Ryan
    From the height description of 1 or 2 inches shorter than Catelyn, that means he should optimally be 5'5" or 5'6" to Jennifer Ehle's 5'7". I still think 5'9" or so should work just fine, but it's interesting.

    Anyway, on Varys I still like my own suggestion of Nathan Lane best, currently. I do have a little trouble imagining him bald, though, and really doubt there's any chance in hell of him being cast.

  • In my mind, Petyr Baelish would be played brilliantly by Michael Sheen. He would be my first choice. Unfortunately, I do think he's too big a name for such a background role (or at least one that will probably need to commit to multiple years).

    Matt Lucas playing Varys isn't a stretch, but it's also a bit of typecasting: forever the bald weaselly dude.

    To the Brienne casting dilemma … I agree it's tough. However, physicality is not what I primarily want from that role. Yes, I want her to exude a certain manliness – she needs to convince us she has worn armor all her life. But mostly I want an actress who, ugly or not, can conjure up the sort of inner hurt Brienne is supposed to have. The expected rejection, the suspicion of mockery, all of that. I want it in the depths of her eyes, and I want to be able to see it go to steely determination in one blink.

    My initial thought was Katee Sackhoff actually, who was never considered sexy by anyone until BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. But I'm not sure now how that would work. She's great, emotionally, but I was never sold on her physique, and she's rather short.

    I considered Katherine Moennig of THE L WORD fame; tall, big jaw, walks like a dude, talks like a dude, and can express all sorts of emotions … but they'd have to do something about that pretty smile. Maybe fake buck teeth. And who the hell knows how she'd look as a blonde?

    She's not perfect either, and I can't begin to figure out who would be. I just know needs to be able to act, our Beauty. I'm less concerned with the fighting aspect. I don't see GAME OF THRONES as an action show. There won't be many flips, summersaults, roundhouse kicks … just sharp, realistic, make-you-believe-they-hurt blows. Were I filming it (please note I am not) I would opt for multiple, slightly messy close-in shots during fights rather than panoramic Kung-Fu style multi-person flurries. I want the fights to be realistic. And intimate. And to hurt.

  • I'd say no to Matt Lucas for the fame reason alone, then. Hank or Kevin could work for me a little better, but I'd forgotten about the ethnicity issue.

  • AYH, it's weird, because from your description it sounds like you and I want the same style of fighting, but are completely at odds at the skill level needed to convey that realistic style of fighting. Still, I think that deep down we both want the same things, and what we're arguing about is what we're willing to compromise because we're pretty sure we won't get everything we want.

  • @Paul Gude
    I must admit, on Varys' ethnicity, it's much more my opinion/imagined idea of how he looks than anything, as opposed to Khal Drogo. Varys doesn't get an in-depth physical description to my knowledge (Bald and fat sums it up.), and I seem to recall that he's from the Free Cities (Braavos maybe?), which have not been given the specific cultural connotations of the Dothraki. In fact, if anything seem rather multi-ethnic. I think of them as probably Middle Eastern/Mediterranean inspired for the most part, though. Tempering this, I have a much less specific image of what ethnicity Varys should be compared to Drogo. Just generally not what Nazis/Klansmen/Country Clubs would consider "white", as opposed to a specific preference for someone asiatic.

  • Demikritos, I think your statement just made me realize that there were a whole group of actors I wasn't considering. No names spring to mind yet, but the net could be cast wider.

  • I have been reading the books all over again, and I caught something new. Jaime had a dream/vision where he is under Casterly Rock and spectres of the dead come toward him. Brienne then appears to help defend him and she is different more attractive/lovely but he can tell its her. I wonder if GRRM is going to pull a Beauty/Beast on us and Brienne has been glamoured w/o her knowledge when she was young and only a man who falls for her inner beauty can unglamour her.

  • @ Jonias

    While that would be a nicey nice ending, if he does some sort of magic glamour crap it would fly a bit in the face of………well……..everything!

  • @Legion
    It definitely widens things up, but aside from skin color, different ethnicities have very obviously different facial structures. For instance, no amount of makeup can make most white guys look convincingly black, and vice versa. Again, it's mostly my personal opinion that Varys can't be white, but it's more the face than the pigment.

  • Varys is a master of disguises and apparently is good enough to fool most people. I wonder if he apprenticed to be one of the faceless and left early in training (maybe he only wanted to learn some of the skills). My point being I think they will look for a highly skilled thespian who can morph into many roles for the part of Varys.

  • Paul Gude, I think we both want the show to be flawless. Is it really too much to ask? (Bahaha.)

    Seriously though, all I'm saying is I would value acting over physical skills. You don't need to really know how to kill someone with a sword if everything is quick-cut and chaotic.

    Some of my friends accuse me of being more of a GAME OF THRONES fanboi than a critic … mostly because I trust HBO, I LOVE the casting thus far, am hopeful for Tom McCarthy directing skills, and think Gemma Jackson is the bees knees. But I think if I see something I don't like in the show I'll be quick to point it out.

    There are a lot of things they can mess up. But if they tell a good story, if it's as gripping as it should be, I'll be happy.

    Plus, if it's a major success, we'll find out the end of the story in about 8 to 9 years – much shorter than if we waited for the novels to be finished.

    Accursed Myreenese knots…

  • @ Jonias
    Wouldn't suprise me if Varys was a full on faceless man who just does the spying instead of the killing. He's certainly vanished after Tywin, but i'm hoping he isn't gone forever.

  • @Jonias
    I think I may have heard the faceless theory before. Definitely sounds likely. We know from Arya's experiences of at least two damaged people joining their ranks (Arya, emotionally damaged, The Waif, growth stunted by poison.) Also, it's entirely possible that Varys is a fully-fledged member, and simply either biding his time for a specific kill, or so good at his job that nobody ever suspects him (Possibly manipulates others into killing for him?))

  • Paul Gude
    With Legion, Jonias, and Demokritos's ideas in mind.

    I suggest:


    Out of any actor I've seen, he's the most versatile, I think.

  • @Paul Gude
    Hm… Well, he does present a weight problem, and I'm sure a lot of people will be startled by the idea of a black Varys, but I think he'd work quite well. His skin doesn't look so dark that it would show through a good layering of the powder Varys' wears, and if he's as good and versatile an actor as the biography and your statement seem to say…

  • Also it is a matter of opinion. In medieval times beauty was a woman who basically had an oval face, full red lips, delicate features, slim neck, not muscular but feminine. So to men of those times actresses like Sackoff, Swank would be considered unattractive and if you gave them tight hard lean muscles, the men of those times would call them ugly.

  • I could get behind a black Varys.

    I'm champion of the idea of a black Melisandre, so, yeah, Jeffrey Wright would be ok by me.

  • Just on a slightly different path
    I just got back from seeing a screening of Perrier's Bounty, an Irish film by Ian Fitzgibbon During the Q&A the director said because of the smallish acting community in Dublin, a lot of the actors in the smaller roles had worked together before. It might be interesting to look at some of these actors for Thrones, at least for some of the more minor roles, and not neccessarily for the pilot. And for what it's worth, the film was Cast by Nina Gold too.
    (Sorry I still haven't figured out links…)

  • My point being, any tall muscular actress with the right facial features can play Brienne. All that needs to be done is to not have her wear makeup, except the type needed for lighting purposes and tooth caps that give her a slight overbite.

  • I picture Varys(that…well you know) as a fat white guy…I wouldn't be upset if someone dark skinned is cast…never really thought of it for Varys(that weasel…that scumbag …that slimeball)….Jeffrey Wright ? ….he would be good …but not better than Matt Varys….ooooops I mean Matt Lucas…forgive me Legion_quest 666 LOL

  • @Paul Gude again
    Checking out some youtube clips of Jeffrey Wright. So far I'm impressed with what I'm seeing. Between this and Marc Warren you are basically my fan-casting hero right now.

  • About Yea High, I think I need to make one other point of clarification to my stance.

    I'm not advocating that they cast someone who can fight but who can't act, just that they look at people who can fight as their primary pool, rather than going after people who have proven themselves as actresses and then trying to train them to fight.

    It may be to fine a distinction, but for the type of person I want to see cast, I think more of them are in the fighting pool.

    Again, going back to the "unknown" thing, I'm looking for someone who hasn't had a chance to have a starring role until now. I'm looking for someone who doesn't have a lot of major film or TV roles until now. I think the ability to express the kind of emotion Brienne feels will be within the capabilities of quite a few actresses. The ability to take a realistic punch to the face is not.

    I don't expect HBO to cast someone who can't act, just as you don't expect them to cast someone who can't fight. We may simply have different priorities. I realize now that I don't want quick shots where you can't see what's happening, or long choreographed sequences.

    I want clear, brutal fights. No shaky camera, no people standing around to get hit, nothing unrealistic or techniques for distracting the audience that the fighters aren't good at what they're doing.

    Fight choreography is going to be a big deal when we get to it. I really want a Brienne that doesn't need to be brought up to speed. Again, I think that and the build I want can go hand in hand.

    Again, of course, if they can't find someone that fits that bill and be realistic in a scene, that's one thing. Still, though, I think in this case it's the harder skill to find.

  • I think Mr. Wright would be a good choice for Varys. He has the right background and he plays strong supporting roles. A great actor who is unappreciated and underused.

  • Thanks for the support, folks. I think Jeffrey Wright is great and would love to see him in this.

    Jillian, I really want the "world class thespian" who will be coming back if the series is picked up to be Broadbent as Pycelle.

  • Broadbent would be a great Pycelle, but isn't he quite busy with Potter?

    Granted that could be why he was removed – a problem with filing what with him off being Horace – and he may be back or the series affter Potter is all done?

    Who knows.

  • Jonias, it's weird. In that one picture I see what you're talking about. None of the other images I've seen online work for me. It's almost like they're of a different person.

  • I don't know if any have suggested him but I like Jeremy Irons for Ser Barristan. He is the right age, build, height, and can play physical roles still. Although if the show goes a full 7, he would be 68 then.

  • Hey. Brienne will NOT be impossible to cast. There are 1000's of actors who go to Hollywood or NY or London and never have a chance at the big time because they're just not pretty/handsome enough. But they are ACTORS, so they go. 1000's.

    And if you're big, female, genuinely athletic, flat chested and non-gorgeous, but acting is in your blood, you just might, oh I dunno, become a stunt woman in the movies that none of y'all have ever, ever heard of. You might play Lady Macbeth and Clytemnestra in small theatres, wowing every critic who finds you, but, oh well, you're 6'3" and will never get down to your "tv weight." If you have an agent, your agent knows about GoT, and you have cleared your calendar, I promise.

    And, jeez folks, *BEWARE: HERE BE SPOILERS* y'all know what happens to Brienne at the end of that rope, yes? She chooses "the sword" and agrees to hunt one Jaime Lannister down and kill him like the dog he is for what he did to poor dead Catelyn Stark! Y'all know that, don't ye?

    Brienne is NOT being cut out. The next time we read about her, her story will rival anyone else's in that book. Yeah, GRRM likes her. He really, really likes her. :)

  • Oh, and one more thing: Ever hear of Darlene Cates? I didn't think so. She played Johny Depp's mother in What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

    In that situation, there simply were NO actresses who weighed 500 lbs. to play the role. She was found for the role and she was magnificent.

  • That's a great example, HKCavalier.

    If you port the arguments to there it would be:

    "They're never going to find an actress who weighs 500lbs who could play that role. Kathy Bates is a pretty big woman, and if they shot her right I'd belive she was 500lbs. Plus, she was great in Misery. I'd rather have a good actress than an actress who weighs 500lbs and can't hold a believable conversation."

    Note: All of the above statements are true, it just so happens that no one would have been able to throw Darlene Cates out as an example.

    It's the same thing. And "About Yea High," I want you to know that when I say that I'm not trying to call you out. Again, I'm not saying that my examples from the fight world are any better.

    It's like if I was saying:

    "There are 500lb women. You just have to look on talk shows. I saw a 500lb woman on Jerry Springer the other day. She's been on TV and they might be able to teach her to act."

    I'm saying that there are probably some good actresses with the right look who can fight in the UK who we've never heard of. HKCavalier just put it into perspective for me.

  • Okay, here are the Varys descriptions . . .


    "The man who stepped through the door was plump, perfumed, powdered, and as hairless as an egg. He wore a vest of woven gold thread over a loose gown of purple silk, and on his feet were pointed slippers of soft velvet . . . His flesh was soft and moist, and his breath smelled of lilacs."
    (AGoT p.154)

    "Ned had not heard the eunuch approach, but when he looked around, there he stood. He wore a black velvet robe that brushed the floor, and his face was freshly powdered."
    (AGoT p.446)

    "Varys entered in a wash of lavender, pink from his bath, his plump face scrubbed and freshly powdered, his soft slippers all but soundless."
    (AGoT p.462)

    "Lord Petyr Baelish sat on the queen's left hand, Grand Maester Pycelle at the end of the table, while Lord Varys hovered over them, smelling flowery. All of them were clad in black, she realized with a feeling of dread. Mourning clothes . . ."
    (AGoT p.480)

    "She saw Varys the eunuch gliding among the lords in soft slippers and a patterned damask robe . . ."
    (AGoT p.633)

    "When they were done, Varys came gliding into the hall, wearing flowing lavender robes that matched his smell."
    (ACoK p.63)

    "'Who cut you, Varys? When and why? Who are you, truly?' . . . The eunuch's smile never flickered, but his eyes glittered with something that was not laughter."
    (ACoK p.65)

    "Varys did not look at all like himself. A scarred face and a stubble of dark beard showed under his spiked steel cap, and he wore mail over boiled leather, dirk and shortsword at his belt."
    (ACoK p.117)

    "Even his walk is different, Tyrion observed. The scent of sour wine and garlic clung to Varys instead of lavender."
    (ACoK p.117)

    "A smile flickered across Varys's plump lips."
    (ACoK p.200)

    "Behind her stood one of the begging brothers, a portly man in filthy patched robes, his bare feet crusty with dirt, a bowl hung about his neck on a leather thong where a septon would have worn a crystal. The smell of him would have gagged a rat. . . 'Lord Varys has come to see you,' Shae announced."
    (ACoK p.310)

    "He gave me a potion that made me powerless to move or speak, yet did nothing to dull my senses. With a long hooked blade, he sliced me root and stem, chanting all the while. I watched him burn my manly parts on a brazier."
    (ACoK p.315)

    "A woman sidled into the light; plump, soft, matronly, with a round pink moon of a face and heavy dark curls. Tyrion recoiled. "Is something amiss?" she asked . . . Varys, [Tyrion] realized with annoyance."
    (ASoS p.91)

    "Powdered, primped, and smelling of rosewater, the Spider rubbed his hands one over the other all the time he spoke."
    (ASoS p.487)

    "The eunuch was lurking in the dark of a twisting turnpike stair, garbed in a moth-eaten brown robe with a hood that hid the paleness of his face."
    (ASoS p.572)

    "Varys entered in a wash of powder and lavender. Jaime stepped out behind him, kicked him in the back of the knee, knelt on his chest, and shoved the knife up under his soft white chin, forcing his head up."
    (AFfC p.186)


    And there are a LOT of descriptors about his soft powdered hands and face, and his soundless, slippered feet. He also produces parchment and other items from his robe sleeves with regularity.

    Not sure a black Varys, or dark skinned, would really work with the constantly primed and powdered, lavender smelling cretin that is the Master of Whispers.


  • @Ryan
    The powdered, lavender smelling stuff doesn't seem too much of an obstacle to me. The problems I do see, though, are the mentions of "pink", and the fact that Varys does need to be able to blend in in Westeros. I still don't think he should be what would be considered white, but it might be difficult if his skin is dark. Then again, I'm not sure there's really anyone suggested so far who could pull off

    "A woman sidled into the light; plump, soft, matronly, with a round pink moon of a face and heavy dark curls. Tyrion recoiled. "Is something amiss?" she asked . . . Varys, [Tyrion] realized with annoyance."

    I realize Matt Lucas has done drag in a comedy context, but for Varys it needs to be convincing enough that the audience is at least not quite sure who they're looking at for a second. My suggestion, Nathan Lane, has done drag, but again I'm not sure it could be convincing enough to fool the audience. I'm not ready to count Jeffrey Wright out, as I'm not sure his obstacles are much greater than anyone else suggested.

  • oh, and by the by, i'm repeating my earlier prediction. and that is





    Ever since GRRM mentioned him, I couldn't stop picturing him. You have to use a little vision, but it works. Master of disguise indeed.

    And if he doesn't work, there's always Omid Djalili.

    And then there's the obvious choice of Matt Lucas, which almost seems TOO obvious to me, but maybe that's alright. He would totally work. There's just room to employ a bit of ingenuity here, hence the Rowan Atkinson bent.


  • Atkinson is who GRRM wants.

    Lucas needs to be shot. I dont care if he looks the part.

    Omid Djalili is Ilyrio Mopatis.

  • @Demokritos

    You're right about the drag thing, but also, the "powdering" to me is not like baby powder that rubs in, but more like this.

    I don't see a dark complexion working for Varys, there needs to be a pale, pallid, pink slimy quality to him, like a cave dweller who can't be out in the sun.


  • Ryan, after reading those descriptions, Jeffrey Wright is still the first person that comes to mind would be able to change himself so completely that Tyrion wouldn't be able to spot him every time after the first disguise happens.

    Then again, I'm often short-sighted.

    Can people come up with more chameleon actors who change their entire manner, voice, and "aura" for lack of a better term with each role?

    I'm shying away from people like Philip Seymour Hoffman and Gary Oldman, because while they can do that I just don't see them taking the role.

    Although, in there is a fine British tradition of taking work that others would consider beneath oneself to pay for a new kitchen. Again, that's a pessimistic view. This project is great, and we may be getting all kinds of actors showing up for it who would normally not do a "television" role.

    Hugo Weaving?

    Atkinson I could kind of see. Omid Djalili and Matt Lucas I'd have to see their character work.

    I know I may be in the minority here, but I still think that "Varys the Eunuch" may be another role Varys is playing. If you cast someone just because they're fat and bald I think you're limiting the possibilities of the character.

  • Don't know if he's been mentioned, and I know most of y'all will see him as a comedian, full stop, but the one big thing I think Varys needs most is the big brain–the guy has to be absolutely the smartest guy in the room and be able to pull off drag and be pink and plump and so, I give you: Ricky Gervais. He can be utterly corrupt and dispicable when he wants and then win you back with his next wink and a smile. I know, kinda in the Oldman as Davos realm of casting, but what are we here for if not to dream a little?

  • What I like about Atkinson over these others, is that he is NOT plump. It's all a ruse with him, you never know who he really is.

    Jeffrey Wright I just don't really see for Varys. Sure he's a chameleon, but so is Russell Crowe. That doesn't make them the Eunuch in my mind though.

    Not at all sadly.

    Just my two cents.


  • Ryan,

    This might be another case where my admiration makes me a bad judge in these situations, but to me Russell Crowe is not in the same league as Jeffrey Wright. Jeffrey Wright disappears, whereas I can still see Russell Crowe. Again, this is a case of where just because I've never seen Jeffrey Wright as a character like the Eunuch doesn't make me think he can't play him.

    I don't know if I can really articulate the negation of self well enough, just to say that Wright has it and Crowe doesn't.

    That being said, again, if I want Wright and you don't chances are your wish is going to come true and you can rejoice in the fact that I'm just throwing out ideas on a message board.

    HKC, Gervais has usually seemed like the same guy to me in most of his stuff. Granted I *like* that guy, and if he could pull off other characters for real it might be interesting.

    Again, though, I'm not sure I could watch it without going, "Hey! It's Ricky Gervais!"

  • @Paul Gude

    I get you, I think it's a matter of personal taste. Love Wright though, don't think it's a reflection of his abilities. Syriana was amazing, he was great in Manchurian Candidate (a bad movie otherwise, though Liev Schrieber's narration on HBO's 24/7 series is second to none), his Basquiat was marvelous, I liked him in Lackawanna blues, and he was even good in Casino Royale.

    He's just not Varys to me. Because Varys is whiter than white. Maybe the whitest character in all of ASoIaF to my mind.


  • @Ryan & Legion
    Atkinson works for me. I think his face may be too distinct for the disguises to convince the audience, but like I just said, problems like that will be there for almost anyone. Djalili works for me, too. I think my initial idea for Varys was always someone Middle Eastern. Like I've said awhile back, Matt Lucas doesn't work for me at all. I think part of it is that with a pasty white man, Varys comes off as doughy and outright disgusting. With a Middle Easterner, I think he could be unnerving with his strange mannerisms without it being a total grossout. Not that I have a problem with flamboyantly effeminate men, in general, and I'm not sure why race makes a difference here for me. I think part of it is the idea of a fat rich Arabian Sultan who sits around in silk vests and eats fruit or something. Similarly, Mediterranean Europeans could work for me because of the hedonism associated with Rome. A guy who looks like he's from the pastiest of British or German stock seems very out of place as Varys to me. By the way, the powdering means the same to me. I think most lighter skinned people will also look patently ridiculous in what is essentially clown makeup.

    I think I'd shy away from saying that Atkinson is who GRRM wants, unless there's a mention aside from his christmas blog post awhile back. He says "I could see him as Varys." Could mean he really loves him for the role, but it doesn't say that, just that he'd work. I would be fine with Atkinson in the role, though.

    Don't really like Ricky Gervais for Varys, but I don't totally hate him either…

    Anyway, I'd like to mention Alessandro Moreschi again as someone who I think we could compare Varys candidates to. He was the last of a tradition of men castrated at a young age to preserve their pre-puberty singing abilities. Someone castrated at a young age retains a youthful face. I do kind of like Paul's idea about Varys the Eunuch being just another role, but I do think that should be the first template we check against. Obviously they don't need to bear a strong resemblance to Moreschi in particular, but they should be able to pull off a similarly "aged-but-immature" look.

    I get the impression that some of the disconnect might be a lot of people really hating Varys, thinking he needs to seem creepy and revolting. I always pictured him as a guy who's a little disturbing to be around, and ultimately quite dangerous and untrustworthy, but who sort of projects a childlike innocence that kind of works but kind of makes him more unnerving.

  • Gude, you're insane. Insane!

    This is all a contrived personal attack against me. I take deep offense.

    Don't think you can fool me with your leftist pretty-foot fumbling about nonsense. I can read what you're spelling out.

    AT kinson
    T iny tits on Brienne
    A lways have to be right, don't you?
    K = kilos = lbs = 500 lbs = somethingsomething

    It spells ATTAK.

    Friggin' northwestern lefties

  • (My geek cred survives: the first thing I thought when I saw this was "Oligaaaarrrrgghhhhh. Perhaps he was dictating.")

  • Also, I think we should age-up Brian Cox and make him Walder Frey, just because that hasn't been suggested yet.

    but yeah, Jeor Mormont is a good fit

  • So, Ian McNice is a possiblity if you want to swing the other way, but I think he'd be too slimy.

    Oh, which reminds me that Timothy Spall would work in that case, too.

    Really, it all depends which way you want to go with the character.

    Right now, I'm for the idea that you're looking right at Vayrs and you don't see him.

    You really paint yourself into a corner casting for one side of his persona, in my opinion.

    And, yeah, obviously my Northwest sensibilities got the better of me.

    You know it's only a matter of time before everything I type has some secret message just for AYH.

    However, I love you all, and throw these ideas into our community pool out of admiration and respect.

  • Oh, and I wouldn't mind seeing Lee Evans as one of the Frey clan, or perhaps Patchface.

    His turn in Funny Bones was both comic and tragic, and I just want to get all of my favorite people in the series.

  • "I just want to get all my favourite people in the series"

    For the last 4 years i lived in a student house with a bunch of my friends and we found some re-occuring themes in the things we watched. If the casting of this followed that pattern the following people would be cast in this show
    David Wenham-Edmure Tully
    Brian Cox-Jeor Mormont
    Ian Mckellen-Pycelle, Luwin, someone else
    Dominic West-Bronn
    Shuler Hensley-…Hodor?

  • @ninamarth – After looking at that, I'm not so sure anymore. But they should definitely be looking in the sporting world for a Brienne!

    If only Brigitte Nielsen were younger…

  • Several points this morning:

    1. Vincent Donofrio is too physically intimidating for Varys. They're both masters of disguise (watch Vincent in Men in Black as the bug in an Edgar suit for proof) but it would scare the hell out of me to get in an argument with him. Varys is completely unassuming physically. Someone has said it before but I would lean more towards Paul Giamatti.

    2. Eva Green strikes me as a little too thin and a little too young for Melisandre. I would go with Polly Walker or if she's too busy Melinda Clarke in that role. Eva Green would make a perfect Asha, though.

    3. Gary Oldman strikes me as a little to classy/aristocratic for Davos. I love Gary but can't think where he would fit in all of this. He maybe lacks the physical presence for Stannis, he's too old for Littlefinger. He would be perfect for Rodrik Harlaw, the Reader, but he'd only get one long scene as far as we know. Tim Roth, on the other hand, strikes me as a belligerent, lower class semi-thug and would be perfect as Davos. If you've ever seen him on Lie to Me you probably know what I mean. His character, Dr. Cal Lightman, runs a fancy consulting firm in expensive offices in Washington, DC but you get the feeling he could have been a football hooligan in his school days. I'd love to see the two of them butting heads as Stannis and Davos. (What's funny about this is that I was reading about them on imdb yesterday and their respective childhoods run exactly opposite of my perceptions. Gary Oldman being the blue-collar son of a welder and Tim Roth, the upper middle class son of a newspaper reporter.)

    4. Brienne – I think the acting (as with everyone else) needs to be the first concern, followed by looks/size, then fighting ability. A combination of tough and naive won't be easy to pull off, they can do wonders with make up and trickery and a stuntwoman (or even stuntman) in a helm won't be hard to pass off in a fight scene. The only time she would have to fight without a helm would be in the bear pit and she's so exhausted by the time we see her that all her skill is gone anyway. As far as a suggestion the only person I can find that works looks/size-wise is 20 years too old: Kristen Johnston.

    5. Littlefinger in my mind can't be more than 5'9". His (lack of) height is essential to his psychology. Talented, intelligent short men feel the need and will find ways to compensate for their height. Oh yes we do! It's bad enough in the 21st century. I can only imagine the level of scorn and derision Petyr would face in a world where a man's size and battle prowess are the main attributes everybody looks for. So, please stop suggesting guys who are over 6 feet tall for this role. Garret Dillahunt would have the world handed to him on a silver platter in Westeros, not have to fight and claw for every boon and still be despised despite his success.

  • This going to make me sound awful, but Alan Cumming, in everything I have ever seen him in, cannot hide the fact he's gay.

    Even when he's trying to, something will flail, or his voice will crack on something and it clicks in (and back out again pretty quickly). Petyr needs to be a character that can suck you and others in, and while he sometimes has the odd camp quip, I don't really think that he's the sort of character, with all the Cat and Sansa stuff that the audience should, even remotely, ask the question 'is he gay?'

    If anyone can prove me wrong and show me Cumming in something where it isn't pretty obvious I live to be corrected (preferably something on youtube, asking me to go watch something likely wont happen unless by some universal coincidence it happens to be on tv this very day, lol)

  • The idea of Ian McNeice or Timothy Spall in a dress just makes me shudder.

    I am glad to see that people are jumping on my bandwagon that when season two rolls around actors are going to be begging to get in on this if not sooner.

  • I could live with a black Melisandre as well but HBO will have to brace for the "racism" backlash here in the States. People screamed that the voodoo priestess in District 9 was black and that was actually set in Africa. Now you want to make the priestess who does dark magic black!? How dare you!?!?! yadda-yadda-yadda…

  • gofalcons, excellent points all:

    1) It's true, Vincent Donofrio could play Varys as unassuming, but it would be one of those "extra effort" things I'm trying to avoid. Plus, horrible to say, I'd forgotten about Paul Giamatti. Horrible, because he's an old member of Annex Theatre in Seattle, with whom I now perform regularly and that kind of oversight is just plain mean. Even though he was gone before I got there, there's footage in the archives of him doing some pretty cool things. Plus, his movie work is kind of amazing. I think he'd do great.

    2) Don't know either of them enough to have an opinion.

    3) Tim Roth would be a good Davos, I think. I'd been thinking of where he'd fit in, and I think a reunion of him and Gary Oldman would be great.

    4) My wife and I had a long conversation about the type of fighting I want to see and the Chinese opera tradition vs. realistic fighting, etc. Basically, she supported About Yea High up and down the boards with the idea that a good actress could pull off a fight scene that didn't require a ballet-type performance, camera tricks being unnecessary. Since she knows what she's talking about, I'll concede the point. Plus, as I stated above, it's not like I want a bad actress, just someone who can do what.

    5) Like with Varys, this point with Littlefinger is a good one. It's very much the case that their brains are what got them to where they are, not their physical presence. I think my exuberance in finding a place for Dillahunt had me fit him into a role that he could play acting-wise, but doesn't fit physically.

    A point was made to me by a friend of mine recently that casting Game of Thrones is actually like casting a historical drama. While we don't have photographs of these characters, we do have paintings and descriptions. You could find a 400-pound Samoan with the acting ability to play Ben Franklin, but that doesn't mean people would accept it. Even though we're dealing with fantasy, there is a somewhat established historical accuracy that some will find jarring if it's disturbed.

    So, I understand that it might be a good idea if this is factored into my future choices.

  • gofalcons,

    That last point about the voodoo priestess surprised me. People were complaining?

    Among my friends in the Seattle theatre community, which some would term ultra-liberal, no one batted an eye.

  • I'd have thought more people would complain about the lack of Black people in this – isn't that something big in America….positive affirmative action or something like that

  • Legion,

    Not to sound like a broken record, but you can't Alan Cumming can't do something just because there isn't footage of him doing it. However in my newfound philosophy of pseudo-historical-accuracy I'll concede that there may be a bit to get over with him, no matter how butch he can get.

    You know, speaking of broken records, Lee Evans is 5'9", and I'm a fan of his dramatic work. He's still not very popular in the states, so he could appear as Littlefinger perhaps. Still, for the folks in the UK, is he too well known as a stand-up comedian to appear in a dramatic role without it being jarring?

  • Paul,

    You're right, I can't say he 'can't' do something, but the guys been around long enough that surely if he could, he would have by now. I don't think he is actually type cast as a flaming homosexual, as he does lots of different roles, but as I say, his flamboyance slips in whatever he is doing because it's part of who he is, and is obviously something he can't (and shouldn't) hide completely.

    As for Lee Evans……I would fly to America and murder you for making that suggestion……..but im poor ;)

    Lee Evans is very well known, though I honestly don't know why. The guy isn't funny and his comedy seems to be some sort of flailing funny face with odd noises over and over. I don't get why he is funny.

    He couldn't be Petyr in my mind, in fact, and I'm a super fan, look at my post count (yeah, it isn't beating you, but still) in fact, if Lee Evans was cast as Petyr I would actually consider not watching rather than have Petyr ruined by him.

    That is how much I would protest him in that role.

  • Oh, and the fact that Lee Evans is very well known would exclude him as far as I'm concerned. Still, I wasn't basing the suggestion on his standup, rather on Funny Bones and Freeze Frame, coupled with his appearance. I'm guessing that you haven't seen any of his dramatic stuff if you dislike his comedy.

    Between him and Gervais, I can see we don't see entirely eye-to-eye as far as comedians are concerned. Comedy's not a point you can argue, however. Either you find them funny or you don't.

    As far as the discussion of the US and race goes, I think Game of Thones is a special case, because it deals so much with bloodlines and heredity. If it's conceded that most of the ruling families are Caucasian, (and as we've seen by casting the Starks, Lannisters, Tullys, and Baratheons are) then no one is going to freak out when they're all played by white people.

    Again, I think Drogo is a different story. They HBO may get some flack if he's cast as a white dude in makeup, constraints on location making them change the ethnicity of the Dothraki to look more Caucasian or not.

    Still, that's not to say we're a bastion of full-fledged open diversity by any means.

    Some folks in the US would freak out if non-Family characters (Varys, Melisandre, etc.) were played by non-white people. I wouldn't be one, but there are folks who wouldn't want to see an actor of color cast unless it's explicit in the script. It's a common theme that comes up in conversations in general.

    Take this sentence:

    "A man is sitting on bench. A black man comes and sits next to him."

    Then read this one:

    "A man is sitting on a bench. A white man comes and sits next to him."

    I know this may be a failing of my character or my Midwest upbringing, but if I read sentence #1, I would automatically cast a "white guy" in my head as the first man, and a "black guy" as the second. In the second sentence, I would read the first man as a white man, but then when I hit "A white man comes and sits next to him," I'd have to go back and re-cast the first man in my head. Then, I wouldn't be able to do it because I wouldn't be sure of the ethnicity.

    Again, maybe you're different and you hold characters in a neutral state until you find out more about them, or you automatically plug Vietnamese people in where ethnicity isn't stated. I just know that's the way my mind works. I think it'd be an interesting study, regardless.

    I bring it up because it used to be that way in casting plays, for sure. Unless the ethnicity was called out, the character was simply assumed to be white. Not so, today, but even ten years ago it wasn't unheard of.

    All that being said, of course, this "historical" vibe is probably going to be accepted by HBO, and they aren't going to do any major ethnicity changes that would completely jar people. Carnivàle didn't have any main cast members of color and no one seemed to complain. Deadwood had a few secondary cast members that weren't white people, but no one major.

    Again, not to say that they won't just that I don't think they'd do it because they were under pressure by anyone.

  • When it comes to ethnicity, or anything really, I make it up in my head and happily ignore what's written if it doesn't match up with my head.

    Examples from GoT:

    Drogo and the Dothraki are Mongols. I don't care if GRRM thought Native American, or if anyone else saw them as Middle Eastern, to me, in my head, with the title 'Khal' and 'Horse Lords' and the idea of the Blood Riders they immedietly became Mongols to me.

    Melisandre is black. This one tends to cause contention because it is directly against the book description. I don't know where it came from, but I have always seen Melisandre as black and dressed like Grace Jones in 'A View to a Kill' in the red wrap dress thing.

    The Dornish are Moors.

    Illyrio is Turkish/Middle Eastern.

    I could go one, but yeah, I guess I am a little bit different to you, but I think with the example that you used, I would do the exact same thing.

  • Oh, and there's little way to control tone with this so:

    I'm guessing that you haven't seen any of his dramatic stuff if you dislike his comedy.

    That was a real guess and not me trying to be a dick, implying somehow you should have seen it or are any less of an authority having not seen it.

    Again, I have other choices, Marc Warren most of all, that I like much better.

    I think I'm just throwing out multiple names at this point because there's been so little news that I'm going into realms of wild speculation.

    As always, I trust HBO to cast the right people and fully expect them not to be any of the people I've stated here.

  • Oh, I didnt even remotely read it like you were being a dick, so no worries there. You were right, for what it's worth, I haven't seen those films.

    Marc Warren is a good actor and I'd like to see him in this.

    Dye his hair and I think he could be a good Bronn, otherwise I liked my counter suggestion yesterday that he be Ramsey Bolton.

    For Petyr……..I really like the idea of John Simm at present.

  • Did I chime in on John Simm already? If not, I think that he fits in with a lot of the actors I've heard who I like for the role.

    Smaller guys who can still command a lot of presence.

    I'm kind of with gofalcons in that once we get into casting season one HBO may have a larger pool to choose from. By the time we get to season two, they may be pulling in talent from all over.

  • I'm going back and adding to my previous list
    This was going to be a joke but looking at some of the pictures of him without a beard, it might actually work.

    Tim Curry as Varys

  • Tim Curry's voice would make some of the dress up scenes funny.

    And even more so the drag scene.

    Anyone for the TimeWarp?

  • @Gofalcons
    Paul Giamatti would definitely make a good Varys.
    Gary Oldman: personally, I've always thought of Davos as a rather classy guy, in spite of his history. His behavior seems to always be honorable, and he seems very determined to be worthy of his achieved station. I could see Tim Roth working well, too, though.
    Absolutely agree on Littlefinger's height.

    @Legion on Ethnicity
    Finally found the original place where George talks about the Dothraki.
    "The Dothraki, for example, are based in part on the Mongols, the Alans, and the Huns, but their skin coloring is Amerindian."
    So picturing them as looking like Mongols isn't necessarily wrong. You just have to change the skin color. Definitely pictured everyone like you did, except for Melisandre. I could see her as black, though.

    I really like Tim Curry, but I'm not sure if he can disappear well enough to be Varys. He's pretty disctinctive in look and voice, and he'd probably kill his vocal cords if he had to do a falsetto the whole time or something.

  • @Demokritos
    I think he could disapear well enough, but the falsetto would be extremely funny

    What are everyone's thoughts on Illyrio? How do people see him?

  • @Demokritos

    Considering that the Native Americans were originally Mongols anyway, it isn't too much of a stretch to change their skin colour a bit. Still, seems that they may be becoming Morrocan…..

  • @Jillian
    Y'know, we really have been neglecting Illyrio badly, seeing as he's in the pilot and all. I see Illyrio as a fairly tall (6'-6'3"?), very fat lighter skinned Arab/Berber/Persian/etc. I could swear I've seen someone somewhere who fits the way I see him, but I have no idea who.

  • @Paul Gude

    Yep, people complained about the "racism" of District 9. Here's a quote that took from a blog:

    The Nigerian gangsters are bloodthirsty, dishonest thugs, which is not a big deal — they're gangsters, I get it. They see the aliens as mere cockroaches with money, so they don't treat them well, and that makes perfect sense. They're just cruel, self-interested mercenaries, and in this, they're no worse than the film's (mostly white) government officials, who cold-bloodedly torture and murder the aliens. So far no racism, just characters with motivations.


    The Nigerians have a wailing "witch doctor". Who instructs them to eat the aliens. And they do it. Bloody, wriggling, and raw, of course. We're told that the black prostitutes "service" the aliens sexually. ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME??! And when Wikus' arm grows a claw, the Nigerian gang boss starts licking his chops, eager to commit cannibalism.

    Yup, that's Hollywood's Africa the Africa we get from the media, isn't it. Black Africans shown as degenerate savages who'll have sex with non-humans and are pretty damn eager to eat people.


    LOL at a 400 lb Samoan playing Ben Franklin!

    I worry about some of the casting ideas for Varys. Tim Curry, Nathan Lane? They both strike me as too campy for the character and always seem pretty one-dimensional to me. I'm not even sure Nathan Lane qualifies as an actor since he always seems to be playing himself (even as a meerkat).

  • District 9 is set in Africa isn't it?

    I bet the same person would be writing a post complaining that there wasn't enough black people in the film if they had cast white people to be the evil gangsters.

    People like to bitch.

  • @Legion
    lol I've seen that bit so many times. They just constantly play the same episodes of Just for Laughs over and over agin

    @Demokritos There's someone in the back of my mind too but i can't figure it out. I was hoping if people threw out ideas I would get there

    I actually think Tim Curry has more talent than people give him credit for. and I love Nathan Lane but you're right he does play himself. With Varys, I do see him as a little over the top at times. over the top with a hint of "i can do this because i know more than you" in his eyes.

  • @legion

    That was kinda my point. It was set in Africa and people still bitched. There aren't a lot of black characters in this story. Jalabhar Xho is hanger-on at court who never does anything and that's about it, in Westeros at least. So to make the priestess black would just wind up the wahoos even more. Not that there's anything wrong with winding up wahoos but HBO needs to be prepared to either ignore them or deal with them.

  • @Legion
    Omid Djalili is about perfect for how I picture Illyrio, too. Not who I was thinking of, but since I have no idea who that is or where I saw them…

    Varys is getting a lot of campy suggestions. Most of the time, Varys is kind of a campy character. It's true that it would probably be best to get an all-around great actor who can do campy, though, as opposed to someone whose already kind of campy and hoping they can hide it. Personally I think Nathan Lane is a very talented guy who would be able to hide his campiness, though I admittedly can't think of any roles that show him doing so completely.

  • gofalcons,

    Okay, you make a good point. I could see that poster making a big deal about the fact that all of the ruling families in a fictional place based on the War of the Roses are being played by white folks.

    Like that quote, it will make me go, "Really? That's your takeaway?"

  • @Gofalcons

    You forgot Chattaya and the other whore in Kingslanding. They are both, or at least Chattaya is said to be a Sommer Islander, and I think her daughter Alayaya is described as lighter (white dad maybe).

    So we already have the potential for the racist card – the only prominant black people are a begger who could easily be written out and 2 prostitutes.

    And posibly Strong Belwas, though I always saw him looking more like this

    Oh, and also I see your main point about making the making a black priestess whose main power is making dark shadow-babies who kill people could also rub people the wrong way.

  • The seven years on Tim Curry does make him a little old in my opinion.

    Vayrs is really an odd one because so much of it depends on what's going to happen with him later, in my opinion.

    If it turns out he isn't a eunuch, or that he's a Faceless Man, or a combination of the two, then having someone who isn't exactly physically right for the part and appears a little made-up would actually be a good choice. In fact, if there's a choice that no one feels is right, but then appears perfect in make-up, I'd call it a real possibility. I think D&D may be let in on stuff that we readers have yet to discover.

  • @ legion- There is a movie called "Sweetland" in which Adam Cumming plays a farmer in post WW1 USA. Not exactly butch, but I loved him in that role. Actually, I loved that whole movie. I would recommend it to anyone- it's a little sentimental, which I don't usually go for but very good overall.
    That being said, I don't think it makes you sound horrible. If you don't want your predatorial Littlefinger to appear effeminate I certainly understand. Since I love Alam Cumming I will switch his suggestion over to Varys, who no one seems to mind being slightly fey.
    I would love to see Robson Green in this as well, but haven't really thought through as whom. Maybe Stannis, maybe Littlefinger- He's not overly tall, and he has a scar!

  • Alan Cumming could make an interesting Varys; he has the ability to play lots of characters disregarding my criticisms.

    Robson Green……interesting. Never really considered him for anyone in Thrones, but he's a good actor.

  • I could go with Cumming as Varys.

    I don't know much about Robson Green. I remember watching Touching Evil and liking it, though.

  • Oops I put Adam Cumming then Alam- but you ignored that, so thanks! ALAN's role in SweetLand was understated and quietly funny, very different from what I've seen him do. Thinking of his Mystery! hosting is what made me think of Robson Green- I think the "Touching Evil" series is one of the best.

  • Alan Cumming as the Red Viper? Even with a spear in his hands the Mountain would still outreach him and who would believe he fathered all those sand snakes?

    How about Yoren? I'm thinking Pete Postlethwaite.

  • Does anyone see a role for Simon Pegg or Nick Frost? Nina Gold cast Hot Fuzz and if they're not fans of the books it means (to me) that they simply haven't read them yet.

  • Pegg would work for Ed, yes! I'd always imagined Paul Merton, but you just made me realize I've been thinking of Merton from the early 90s.

  • Hmm… Nick Frost is (I think) too young for Illyrio and too old for Sam. I guess that leaves Varys. I've not seen Hot Fuzz or anything else he's been in so I don't have an opinion on how that would work. Just going on size. (He is probably too young for that role as well.)

    You've inspired me on someone I hadn't had a handle on at all: Simon Pegg would be fantastic as Dolorous Edd.

  • And obviously, my comment was in response to the one you deleted.

    Oh, and I never responded to Ryan's comment about Brian Cox as Jeor Mormont. I think he'd be great.

  • Just looking at the roster for Hot Fuzz there are so many other actors that I think would be great:

    Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton, Edward Woodward.

    I actually think Edward Woodward would be a possible Maester Aemon.

  • I LOVE Hot Fuzz. Easily one of my favorite movies but I hadn't realized that Nina Gold cast it! I agree that there are a lot of actors from Hot Fuzz who could easily fit into GoT. That movie was the first time I'd ever seen Rory McCann and looking back at it, I do wish that they'd given him a broader role.

  • @ gofalcon
    He can speak English (not that it would matter). Underworld was on TV last night and I caught the end of it. When his character was being questioned by Viktor all I could think was that he was exactly as I'd pictured Ilyn Payne.

  • Another vote for Omid Djalili as Ilyrio, he's perfect.

    Other suggestions I particularly like are Pete Postlethwaite for Yoren and Simon Pegg for Dolorous Edd. Both of those I can see very easily.

    As for the issue of Melisandre's ethnicity, in terms of the story I don't think it matters. Her most striking characteristic is her hair, which I imagine as postbox red rather than natural red, so would involve either a wig or hair dye regardless of the actress' ethnicity. She doesn't have any family that we know of so she doesn't need to look like any currently cast actor. Personally I think making her a different ethnicity (any other than the same as the Dothraki could work) to the majority of Westerosi could work quite well, it would make her stand out as something exotic. Ultimately though I hope they cast the best actress for the role regardless- I won't be upset if she's white.

    In terms of appearance, Varys is Matt Lucas. But I'm not sure he'd be good for the role, I've never seen him do anything other than comedy. His costume changes on Little Britain (which was somewhat amusing at first but got old very quickly- particularly when the jokes became less about social commentary and more about making the audience cringe) were impressive- and were in themselves a reason to watch the show- but that says more about the skill of the costume department than it does about Lucas himself. It's possible that Lucas has hidden talents, but I fear unless he is very good, I'd keep seeing the only gay in kings' landing!

    On a different note, I'd love to see Ioan Gruffudd in the show somewhere (any role!) but I don't think it's likely to happen.

  • Is there an age range in the script for Illyrio? What do you think about going a different direction with that casting? I could see Bob Hoskins do a very interesting take on the role.

  • Pegg would make a fine Edd, but I think I would prefer Rob Brydon

    He's the one defending the Welsh for anyone who doesn't know.

    I can also see Bill Bailey playing a brilliant Black Brother

  • Jimmy Nail definitely looks like how I assumed Yoren might look. Makes me wonder if there's a role for Nick Cave.

    If they go the route of Omid Djalili he'd be fine, but the recent description gofalcons posted sounded more like an overweight white guy to me. It's odd, because when I was reading I was picturing Alexi Sayle, not Ian McNeice. It's one character that I think they could deviate from the book description, since most of us seem to be going that way.

    Funny, Legion, I was watching the clip looking at Rob Brydon, and when Bill Bailey came in I was like, "Hang on, that fellah talking about the whale would be good too."

    Then I read the rest of your post.

    I think I could stand to get some suggestions for who in British comedy to check out, because I think it's obvious that while I may like more people than you, the people you like are pretty great.

  • @Shinyteapot
    "I'd keep seeing the only gay in kings' landing!" Don't forget Renly and Loras! Just sayin

    @Paul Gude
    Alexei Sayle popped into my head for Illyrio, too. I wonder if Illyrio is one of the characters who's a splicing of multiple ethnicities? This could allow him to be both Middle Eastern/what have you AND have blonde hair. I imagine GRRM is telling HBO everything they need to know about his intent, though.

    Finally, a bit of time machine casting… Dr. Who-aged Tom Baker for Dolorous Edd. Much too old now, sadly, but to me he'd be the epitome of Edd. I could see the suggestions here working, but I personally hope they get someone with the same sort of voice Tom Baker's got.

  • Rob Brydon is great, I'd love to see him get a role. Likewise Bill Bailey. Of course if you want comedians, you definitely have to look up Billy Connolly :)

  • Thinking about the opening scene..

    When I was reading the book for the first time, I remember being of the opinion that Waymar Royce was going to be a much bigger character than he turned out to be. The fact that he was killed so quickly was a bit of a shock. I'm wondering if HBO might do some meta-casting and put someone a bit more famous in the role as a cameo. Obviously, not *too* famous or people might guess too quickly.

    I think the whole scene plays out in true horror movie fashion, where the condescending asshole who doesn't pay attention to warnings gets killed.

    Looking into Nina Gold's other films, several folks come to mind:

    Cillian Murphy
    Steve Coogan
    Ben Chaplin

    I'm sure there are others.

    For Gared, I kind of like Brendan Gleeson, but again I'm sure there are others.

    Will is really a blank slate for me. He didn't make much of an impression. I'm going to go with Matthew Beard because he seems the right age.

    As far as the main Other goes, it's pretty much up in the air. I like Derek Mears at the moment. His alopecia gives him an otherworldly look, and being from the US won't be an issue with this role. Plus he's got experience playing an unfeeling killer.

  • Shinyteapot, Billy Connolly is another one of those actors where I say, "Just get him in there!" He's a great comedian, a fine actor, and a force of nature.

    Demokritos, you're so right! Puddleglum really was Edd, in a way.

    Someone mentioned Steven Wright as a possibility, which I think could work, from watching One Soldier, but he's a little older than I imagined the character now.

  • @Demokritos- Obviously they're not proper gays like Daffyd. Proper gays wouldn't wear all that heavy armour, it wouldn't match their lycra :p

    Anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, look (warning, tight costumes!)here.

  • After taking a look at some of Matt Lucas's stuff I can see the argument against him. He is overweight and completely bald, which does fit the physical description, but he doesn't seem to have the hidden menace that I think exists in Varys. I think GRRM hints at the fact that Varys' perceived weaknesses are in some ways affectations.

  • @Paul Gude….Have you ever watched Little Britain ?…Matt Lucas can play creepy alright…I'm still hoping he gets cast as Varys(that weasel ,that scumbag ,that slimeball)…

  • I've only got clips to go on, but I think we may have a fundamental difference as far as our concept of the character goes. He always came off as a stronger personality to me, someone with deepness of character, more of the devil than some simpering Saturday morning cartoon character. He plays the slimeball, rather than it being the sum total of his person. No offense intended to Matt Lucas or his fans, but I think it would be casting to only one partof the character.

  • What this production needs is more pop stars. Remember the suggestions for Miley Cyrus as Sansa? Remember how that made you want to puke? Well, for more cringe-worthy casting, I suggest:

    Nick Cave as Yoren (I love Mr. Cave. A half serious choice)
    Tori Amos as Melisandre
    David Bowie as Jaquen
    Kanye West as Daario
    Trent Reznor as Darkstar

  • David Bowie would have been an bloody awesome Jaquen about twenty five years ago.

    I agree with Paul about Varys. He plays the simpering sychophant, in reality, he is much more complex

  • Also, it should be noted that in this context, days without clues or news, the choices are going to start getting more and more removed from actual reality.

    Not that it isn't fun to speculate, but just that (as in my earlier example) Lee Evans should not be seen as a serious contender for Littlefinger. That's not to say that I'm discounting anyone else's suggestions, just that I realize that my own are being colored by the stir-crazy atmosphere of having no new information getting pumped in.

  • A quick note about my earlier thoughts on the opening scene:

    GRRM does something that I missed in my first reading. Waymar Royce comes off not just as an asshole, but someone who actually seems to have a grasp on (for want of a better term) crime-scene investigation techniques. He's presented as someone who the seasoned folks think of as young and brash but who is making choices that we the readers may find actually insightful. So, not as one-dimensionally horror-film as I originally thought.

    Also, he's 18 in the book, so my suggestions are a bit too old, even if they aged him up a bit.

  • I like Tom Payne as a brash young actor, but I don't know that HBO trusts him after he let those (false) casting rumors leak on Twitter.

    I still support a nice juicy cameo role by a "name" heartthrob for Waymar Royce. If the buzz keeps building, I think they could get one.

    Robert Pattison is probably too busy. Too bad.

  • @ Paul:

    Yeah, Waymar comes across as a bit of an arrogant SOB but he knows his stuff and he actually tries to fight the Others rather than just giving up to die or trying to run away. He's an asshole, but an asshole who at least stands his ground.

    Reminds me a bit of Randyll Tarly: a thoroughly unpleasent man whom you wouldn't want to invite to a dinner party but if you need someone to plan your battle or war for you, he's the first person you call.

  • What about Cillian Murphy? as discussed earlier he's in quite a few Nina Gold projects, might be a little old, but could pull of the arrogance.

  • I'd expect Gared and Will to be unknowns or minor uk stars.

    @ About Yea High
    If ratboy was allowed near this project i'd vomit. Lol.

  • @ Jillian

    Love Cillian…..rather he have a full role if they wanted him for the show though. Be annoying to someone that great for only 5 minutes

  • Jillian,

    I think Cillian Murphy works, even if he's a little older. He's one of the original people I thought of for this.

    I do wonder about the question of whether or not smaller roles would be "worth someone's time" or not.

    I could see a trend of popular actors playing characters who get killed right away, or smaller roles that could be banged out quickly. I've seen that done on network shows before, but on HBO I haven't really noticed it that much.

    For example, I've heard people throw out Jason Statham for Bronn on occasion, and I think he could do it, but would he?

    I like Conan Stevens' essay about the life of an actor in this context.

    There's an old saying in the theatre world that there are two reasons to take a role, love and money. Some actors would love a steady gig like a series because (as pointed out in the essay) there's a big flux between your life when you're working and when you're not. Therefore, the money of a series might be enough to get someone skilled onboard. For minor roles where someone's only on the series for a little while, I'd guess that you'd attract either lower-tier actors who need any job they can get, or more well-known actors who love the project and don't want/need a regular role.

    Of course, this is just a round-about way of saying, "I don't know," but it's still something I like thinking about.

  • I'm one of the estimated 40% of the U.S. that doesn't consider football their favorite sport. Kind of staggering, in my opinion, the insane popularity it enjoys here. Between that and baseball it seems like we really like games with huge breaks in the action.

  • Oh, to tie it in with the discussion, it's the worst for me when I hope for more information but run into another football post. It's not that he can't have his own opinions or hobbies, but I'm hoping you're taking me to get ice cream and instead I help you clean out your storage container, I may get disappointed.

  • I`d always wondered about Cillian Murphy as Loras. He is quite a pretty boy, but probably not smiley and camp enough for Loras. That said, he did play a trans-gender youth in Breakfast on Pluto, so he could probably do a good job as Loras. Is 33 a bit old though?

  • I personally don't think that Loras need be smiley or camp. In my opinion he and Renly were most likely "passing" to the majority of those around them and the knowledge of their relationship was juicy/damaging information to have.

    Again, based on the pool Nina Gold might be drawing from, I'd cast Aaron Johnson as Loras with Matthew Beard as Renly.

    Good night, all! Hopefully there will be at least some crumb of news tomorrow.

  • Hello All

    I'm still working on 'Your Highness' and I'm still bound by contract not to reveal any details about that production.

    However, from a GOT point of view, it seems that they are going to film in Scotland for 2 weeks while sets are built in the paint hall. This is just from talking to transport crew on the set. Also, several costume crew I spoke to are planning to send their CVs to the GOT production offices so I imagine we'll see some of the YH crew on GOT.

    Actually, my brother in law's girlfriend designed the warrior outfit that Natalie Portman is wearing in YH and she has sent her CV/portfolio to the GOT office so hopefully she might get a job. The feeling on the YH set is that we would all like to get work on GOT and it seems natural to go from one to the other.

    Having had a good look at all the YH sets in the paint hall, there is at least 2 that I think could be used on GOT but again I can't tell you what they are I'm afraid.

    Anyway, its not long now!

  • Thanks, Rimshot! The part about two weeks of Scotland in an interesting piece of news, it's good to get such insider info :) keep up the good work, and best of luck with what you do!

  • @legion: About American 'rugby for girls' football :P
    Thank God, it'll mean our boys will live longer. ;)

    @rimshot: Thanks for the info once again; please keep the updates coming! This only makes me more excited for the pilot.

  • Rimshot, that's awesome! Thanks so much for the new information. This is the kind of thing I was hoping for.

    My knowledge of Scotland is very limited. Is it possible that there'll be some places with snow there at this time of year? There were questions about how the first scene would be shot because the weather didn't seem like it'd be right.

    Also, the knowledge that new sets are going to be built is great. It kind of rewrites what I was holding in my head, that the pilot wasn't going to care to much about the sets being exactly correct since it was just for execs.

    This leads me back to my speculation/pipe dream thing:

    Game of Thrones has its own ASIN:


    Two HBO Pilots that have already been picked up by HBO, Treme and Boardwalk Empire, do not.

    Again, this may be some editor at Amazon who's excited for the show and entered it in early, but it could also mean that HBO actually plans on packaging the pilot for sale.

    If this is their intention, even if they're simply thinking about it at this stage, I really think it would be a good move on their part.

  • I think releasing the pilot would be a great idea ( even if the show isn't picked up, we'll go crazy if there isn't some way to see it .) This last season, Weeds made the first episode free and available. You could download it from the Showtime website, or watch it on streaming Netflix, and probably a few other venues as well.

    I'd say go ahead and make it free, it will get a lot more potential viewers to check it out, and there's a lot in that first episode to hook them in and convince them they need to watch it. I guess on the other hand, you are giving away 1 / 12th of your product for free, and some people may watch the free episode and decide its not for them, instead of signing up for HBO to figure that much out.

    @Paul –
    You may or may not be grasping at straws. But in my opinion, there's been enough straws to where I feel pretty confident that the show has every chance in the world to be picked up, as long as the pilot doesn't suck… which we all know it shouldn't.

  • I know that NBC gave away the pilot of Heroes here in the UK……until it got popular and then they started charging £1.99 for it (im'm guessing that's about $2.60?).

    I would happily pay full price for the pilot (if it's feature length) because I am that eager to see it.

    If it's all produced and whatever, and done right rather than as a workprint or whatever, and then shelved for nearly a year, or longer, I shall go mad….


  • Add the "World-Class Thespian" staying on deck for the series as another great sign.

    If any marketing folks happen to be reading this, a release of the pilot online for free would *not* keep me from buying it on DVD as well.

    On that same note, releasing the first episode around the holidays in 2010 would allow people to give the gift of GoT/HBO, which wouldn't be such a bad deal.

  • Have any other shows released the pilot episode in a well-packaged DVD format? It seems like a lot of work, and I can't see many but big fans wanting to just buy a pilot episode. I would buy it and I know just about everyone here, but would the layman really want to spend 10-15 bucks on the DVD version of the pilot or would they just want to spend the minimum amount just to see it?

  • Oh, I doubt anyone would but a pilot at $10-15/£15-20 unless they are fans like us here.

    Free, or minimal price like the Heroes one I mention, or, if HBO want to boost sales of something else – package the pilot of GoT with a box set of some other show.

  • Personally I think it would make the most sense to give the pilot out free, at least to start. If it's online and free, they'd be getting the full benefit of their rabid fanbase, who would have something concrete and convenient to show their friends and family, as opposed to the arcane ramblings of an ASoIaF fan's mind. Conversely, I think the only people who'd watch the pilot and then NOT want to get HBO or at least the later DVD release of season 1 are people who wouldn't be interested in the pilot unless it were free, anyway, so no sales lost.

  • Caprica did it. Filmed and sold Pilot as a straight to dvd movie.

    This is a different situation though. I think their best marketing ploy would be to offer it for free for a limited time only on like Amazon or Itunes, but maybe only a month or two before the series starts. Also maybe include it in S2 of True Blood dvd set

  • Chris, Twin Peaks released its pilot on DVD. I'm sure there were others, but that's the only one I own.

    Again, I'm definitely not precluding the idea of it being released online for free, just trying to figure out why they have an ASIN and two other shows that have definitely been picked up don't.

  • Yea, I don't feel like we have to worry. HBO is well-versed in this and probably knows exactly what it needs to do to get maximum exposure. Times are 'a changin' though, and I think that making the pilot available is both a good idea and something that will become common place. It's like the music industry realizing that they can't fight the internet when it comes to music distribution and instead, need to find some way to embrace it and use it to their advantage.

  • (Oh, and that was a historical example. The pilot for Twin Peaks was released on home video in Europe in 1989, before it was aired in the U.S. It wasn't released in the U.S. in the early 90s. At least, that's when I got it.)

  • @Paul Gude –
    Oh yea, I definitely wasn't disagreeing on that. And its not like Amazon is Wikipedia or IMDB, I'm guessing someone at Amazon has to enter the information for that and why would they do that?

    But then on the other hand, why wouldn't Boardwalk Empire and Treme have anything?? Maybe they know that its going to be something that has mass potential in terms of things besides HBO subscriptions and realize that they can target a different audience and different markets than they can with Treme.

    AHHH too much speculation, it is going to be a loooong year or two….

  • With any luck we'll get a book to pass the time with soon… Right now I wish they'd at least make McCann official, though.

  • Yeah, the only thing I can think is that they're trying to save up for a bigger announcement with more roles and don't have all the pieces in place yet.

  • Or, they are waitnig that wonderful actor from Georges post to accept the offer.

    I think (a guess, of course) it is Maester Luwin or Illyrio.

  • The question then is what's up with the Lena Headey announcement. The fact that it wasn't reported first on THR does seem to indicate that it could have been a leak, I guess. Or perhaps there's some specific reason they want to announce McCann with certain other unannounced cast members, such as them having worked together before?

  • When I speculated it was a leak, Winter posted a response to me that the Tribune reporter who got the scoop on Lena Headey got it directly from HBO. Kind of odd then. Maybe it wasn't a package deal? Maybe they were still working things out with Rory's people? A little odd, for real.

  • Hm. Only other thing I can think of is that maybe they're having trouble finding a decent Drogo, think Rory could play him, and have a second choice for Sandor that's almost as good. In which case maybe they're waiting to make absolutely sure he'll be the Hound. Seems really unlikely, though, for half a dozen reasons at least.

  • It was a strange think with Lena Headey.
    And it was pretty quick annoucement.
    One day we knew Cersei was cast, another day it was Lean Headey.

  • All we know for sure is that at one point there were definite clues to Rory being cast as the Hound, even to the point of GRRM making an off-hand comment when giving the Cersei clues that the last one was guessed too easily. I guess something could have fallen apart, but it seems certain he was confirmed as the Hound before the Cersei announcement was made.

    A weird idea is that there was some sort of a deal that Lena Headey wouldn't have the focus of her as Cersei pulled by another cast announcement on the same bill?

    Seems odd, but possible.

  • I would imagine the that McCann simply isn't a big enough star to warrent a press release.

    GRRM has confirmed it, that is likely all we'll get until they release the ensamble cast details.

  • Yes, I agree with you Paul, I got the same weird idea.
    Maybe it was the same case with Jennifer Ehle, they coul easily wait a couple of weeks to announce her with secret seven.

  • My take on the Headey announcement:

    -Mo Ryan hears that Cersei has been cast.
    -She contacts HBO asking if she could make the exclusive announcement on her blog.
    -HBO, seeing a chance to capitalize on the hype and continue to build it up, figure, Why not?
    -Ryan makes the announcement.
    -THR sees the announcement and reports on it, but doesn't source back to Ryan's post.

    Ryan made a comment after THR posted their article that she finds it sad how fan sites and blogs source back to her article but not real publications. Aparently this isn't the first time something like that has happened.

    So I don't think it was a leak or Headey demanding to be the only name announced. I just think it was Ryan pressuring HBO to let her release the news quickly. I'm willing to bet that if that did not happen we would still be waiting for HBO to announce who was cast as Cersei.

    My guess is they plan on making one more casting announcement and will wait until all the remaining major roles are filled. Headey would have been a part of that group if not for Ryan getting them to let her release it earlier.

  • happened like that, I do not know, I am not an expert in bussiness :)

    Yes, they could go with the annoucement when all majore roles are filled or some bigger name appears in a minor role..

    We must be patient…

  • And there are some new, great photoshopper's miracles over westeros forum…I must admit that the king Bob is just fantastic!

  • @rabbit

    Could you link those for us? I don't if it's just me or not, but I find navigating the westeros forum to be frustrating at best and migraine inducing at worst.

  • Sauron28's stuff just makes me happy. I'm someone who wasn't bothered by Mark Addy for Robert, but this is the first time I actually really saw what he could be as Robert.

  • Not saying he can't do it, just that he doesn't jump out as Petyr any more than the other suggestions so far.

    Just out of curiosity, do you know of any any clips of him doing a British accent? I mostly found things like this.