McCann casting official
By Winter Is Coming on in Casting, News.

Confirming what many of us already suspected, Rory McCann has been cast as the Hound in the Game of Thrones pilot. This comes from Jay Tomio of BSCReview who confirmed to me that he received this directly from HBO.

I realize that this has been talked about as for weeks now and is as close to a fact something can be without (to my knowledge, I’m not everywhere and if people with official status are using net-monikers it’s problematic!) being outright stated officially (though the Martin clues, IMDB listing, and knowledge of characters in the pilot and looking at the size of McCann seem to be and is a slam dunk), but if for nothing else but for the purpose of spreading the Martin and A Song of Ice and Fire love and blogging completionism, Rory McCann has been cast to play the Hound (Sandor Clegane) in the pilot to HBO’s potential A Game of Thrones adaptation–that’s official from HBO.

I can’t admit to being familiar with McCann but he’s also listed as being in the James Purefoy starring Solomon Kane film that we’ve talked about at BSC. The cat is clearly big, but not so huge that finding an actor to play his bother if the series gets picked up, as the Mountain is supposed to make even the Hound look rather average in comparison. McCann was also in Hot Fuzz and Alexander.

Winter Is Coming: Not much to say about this casting that hasn’t already been said. I think it is a good fit. Right look, right size, right price. Hopefully he has the acting talent as well. I think he will do fine.

Also I like that HBO is now giving out casting confirmations to TV critics and bloggers. Shows to me that they are recognizing the buzz and demand for news on this project. Maybe I should inquire about getting a little exclusive myself?

UPDATE: GRRM and Parris have checked in with their thoughts on Rory McCann. Both of them raved about his readings, saying his range was very impressive. Read GRRM’s thoughts here and Parris’ here.


118 Comments

  1. Silverstar
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Do it, Winter!

    You've had more to do with creating the buzz than anyone, so you deserve at least one exclusive.

  2. Jenny
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Hehehehehe…

  3. Jay Tomio
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Let me clarify something. This is not something I'd call an 'exclusive'. I merely asked for confirmation and got it. I don't assume at all that anybody with proper credentials (whatever that may be) who asked would not have got a similar reply earlier.

    I would suggest that larger trades/publication (Variety, THR etc) didn't report about or inquire about it simply due to disinterest in more casting news regarding a show that has not been greenlit yet (note, that is pure speculation)

  4. -1-
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    WiC is so much faster at this than the rest of the universe …

    And, agreed, ask for an exclusive. Let's say you get the scoop on who is cast as Bran/Stannis/Renly first. Sweet, huh?

  5. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Good luck, Winter. Though maybe try and time it right. October 26th is still a ways off, and we don't know how much HBO has to give us between now and then.

    Of course, then there's the part of me that wants as much news as possible, as soon as possible. I'm sure you'll make the right call, just hope HBO's helpful.

  6. Marko
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Winter should definitely give it a go! But instead of casting news, I would suggest asking for a report on other aspects of production that have already been settled or are at a stage HBO can talk about. This would inform us nicely on how far they are with concept art, sets, costumes, rehearsals, sword design deals, exterior location scouting, CGI and what not. Lots to chew on, and any single bit from this department would give us an idea of what to expect.

    It really seems that HBO got a bit more relaxed with giving out info to different channels, as Winter commented. That's encouraging, and makes me think they had been foremost concerned with potential leaks on deals that weren't closed yet, which could ruin those in turn.

  7. WinterIsComing
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Jay: Fair enough. Although you are the only one to report said confirmation, so that makes it exclusive in a way. :)

    Just glad that HBO is willing to confirm these sorts of things, as opposed to remaining silent until they issue the official press release to THR/Variety which, as we've seen, can take a while.

  8. Hjonarn
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    No! Don't do it WiC!. They will make you sign contracts to keep quiet. Then you will be a bigger torturer than GRRM, posting news like "I know who is cast as The mountain, The Spider, The Viper and others. But I can't reveal it yet to commoners like you".

  9. sue
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I really want to know who got Bran my son and I are still hoping soooo much that he might get it, but I guess it's probably been cast and being kept under wrap's so we do and don't want to hear,at least at the moment there is still hope, I love the casting for The Hound.

  10. WinterIsComing
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    sue: I wouldn't be so sure that it has been cast yet. Usually Martin will let us know when a new part has been cast and the last update we got from him was that two major roles remain unfilled. It is very likely one of those is Bran.

  11. Mozart
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Do you think GRRM is unhappy with the way some people reacted to his last clues. I mean they were hard an all, but a few people got very bitter on his not a blog and here also. That might have broke the camels back as he is busy anyway, and clues are just a distraction for him. He probably won't give out any hints, I'd say, until he has a lot of news. So Bran and others may be cast (or short-listed or in contract talks) since he last mentioned casting. Sorry to be a wet blanket Sue. I'm sure your son was excellent. Maybe he'll get a call back for one of the Freys or a wildling or Edric Dayne:D.

  12. Marko
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Nah, George is excited about the series, and whenever he's excited, he can't keep it for himself. Perhaps it takes a day, if he's really busy and the news isn't much, but I'm confident he tells us what he knows.

  13. sue
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I really think we would have heard by now but you know we keep hoping, weve been kind of living GOT for about 5 months now since the first casting, he just look's so like Arya,I feel like jumping up and down and screaming his name out, not that Im'm a pushy mum or anything!!!So frustrating he would be so good,.

  14. jarathen
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    haha. i knew i recognized him from something.

    YARP.

  15. Spoon
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Wow, that entire first paragraph is one sentence. I think my brain hurts.

  16. furrever
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    This is great news, especially with the recent speculation by some that the deal may have fallen through.

  17. ebv
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I noticed the paragraph-long sentence, too. My brain didn't have time to breathe.

  18. dizzy
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Go for an exclusive Winter. It's worth a try. I think HBO should throw you a bone for helping spread the word.

  19. brhodes
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Love Ya Winter.

    Go get us an exclusive!

  20. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I'm very happy about this! As we've seen, there are some actors who are big enough to stand taller than McCann. I'm still in favor of Conan Stevens. He looks similar, has fight experience, and can deliver the few lines Gregor has in English. Having heard his accent, I think a small amount of work could get him sounding like McCann. Of course, we don't yet know if McCann will use his own accent or put one on himself. (Not saying he'd have to, or I'd even want him to, just that he could be asked to.)

  21. WinterIsComing
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Another pic of Maisie Williams. This is the best one yet, very Arya-like. Think I might update the cast list with this one.

  22. coltaine777
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    @Winter…what's your plan?…are you going to try for an exclusive pertaining to some other aspect of the show (costuming ,swords ,,,armor as Marko suggest?)….or an actor exclusive interview ? Or an exclusive on part yet to be cast?….what are you thinking ?

  23. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    My suggestion would be to volunteer your services to be their official development blogger.

    Whenever they fancy releasing stuff to do with the development of the actualy filming, be that set design, costumes, cast interviews or whatever, suggest that they use this here site.

  24. Anachronite
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    great choice for the hound!

  25. WinterIsComing
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    Well considering most of the casting is now complete I've become much more curious about what we might expect in terms of sets, costuming, etc. So I would love to get a look at some concept art or costume photos. Not sure HBO is going to be releasing that sort of stuff when it is still just a pilot though.

  26. kekeke
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    YARP
    Oh man it's gonna be weird to see him play the Hound after discovering him in Hot Fuzz.

    But yeah, awesome choice, I'm so excited!

  27. Lauren
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    yay! more pics of Maisie!

    now if we could just find some more pics of that sansa girl….

  28. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    @sue
    Just wondering: how familiar were you with the books before your son's audition? I'd say your excitement indicates you're a long time fan, but I think just the possibility of your son being in the project probably maxes out excitement by itself. You've probably mentioned this before somewhere, but I missed it. At any rate, I hope your son gets the part!

    Anyway, on what Winter should try and get news on… I'm personally still most interested in casting, but then again there aren't too many people left to cast, and we already know they're announcing casting, so we're probably best off waiting. Concept art or photos would be pretty cool. Whether photos exist depends on when you get the info, obviously. I think the holy grail of that category would be a picture of an actor/actress in costume. Maybe Tamzin Merchant in particular, since I imagine a lot of people who aren't quite sure about her would be reassured, or are at least damned curious to see. Anyone else who got a mixed reception or who is hard to imagine with different hair color etc. would be great, too.

    I'd say some word on the writing would be good, but we know GRRM hasn't chosen an episode yet, and past that I'm sure we'd just get generalisms.

    Past that, production stuff like how they'll do direwolves, dragons, etc. sounds great. I'm not too interested in the sets, since I'm sure they'll be gorgeous, and past that I can wait to see them in the series.

    Of course this is all assuming you can get anything out of them. Hope so.

  29. Brude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Sets, costumes, props, etc. who the hell is the Director of Photography on this thing (super important). These are things I want to know as these are about how the show will look. I'm a super visual person, so this stuff excites me a lot.

  30. The rabbit
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    As beeing she-rabbit, I am very interseting too in costumes and dresses for the ladies.

    In, fact, I was thinking a little bit would it be a medieval or reneissance style?

  31. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    @Rabbit

    The way the book describes the few dresses and such, I'm guessing the poor are medieval, lots of brown and rough spun and leather.

    The rich will likely be more reneissance, lots of silk and velvet and colour, plunging neck lines and the like.

  32. invertebrae
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    @Brude

    I wouldn't be surprise if McCarthy brings German cinematographer Oliver Bokelbeg in to shoot the pilot with him. He knows him well, having worked with him on his first two features, and Bokelbeg also shoots a lot of TV episodic. He shot My Own Worst Enemy, and the pilot for Dirty Sexy Money, and all of his projects are in post-production now, or completed.

    Just a feeling.

    …ryan

  33. Marko
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    It's cool this is fantasy, so then don't need to observe facts of history concerning props and costumes. This saves time and gives more leeway in design, except for when you (have to) follow the available book descriptions.

  34. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    @Brude
    Yeah, I'm definitely interested in the sets, just not as much as most of the other things. A bit moreso for a few specific rooms, like the Iron Throne, Stark crypts and The Wall, but I guess I partly just feel like things relating to the cast's costumes will give us a lot more to talk about. It seems like the sets will just prompt awe and excitement for the first dozen or so times we see them, and maybe spur a couple discussions about historical accuracy if some of us know enough to have one (I don't). They might also spur some conversations about how close they are to the books/our imagination, but I still think the costumes (Esp. with actors in them) will give us a lot more conversation material. Then again, if we get good shots of the sets, there's a good chance the actors might be in them. Both is definitely better than either one alone. I'm excited to see the whole world, I'm just not sure how long still pictures of it will tide us over. I'd be more interested in the director of photography if I actually knew the names of any. I suppose I can always look them and their work up, though.

    @The rabbit
    I think Legion's about right. The Wars of the Roses are generally considered the biggest historical influence on the books, and they happened in the later 1400s, which for England is late in the medieval period if I'm not mistaken. Because it's fantasy (And TV), though, the wealthier families will probably have very elaborate costumes, which are likely to incorporate a lot of renaissance styles. It seems to me like they might also take modern tastes into account, for example shying away from tights and ostentatious neck-ruffs for men… If anyone wear blue jeans, of course, the costume director will have a date with Ilyn Payne.

  35. gofalcons
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    @legion

    That was my thought as well with the knights tending more towards the medieval full armor.

  36. nets97531
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    "Michael did you take care of angel"
    "…YARP"
    "Will he trouble us any longer?"
    "…NARP?"

  37. Adam Whitehead
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    @ invertebrae:

    I believe Bokelbeg has already ruled himself out from having the time to do THRONES as he's on other projects.

  38. Marko
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and speaking about costume preference, I hope they don't go too much into the exhuberant renaissance style, but rather keep it as terse and high medieval as possible. Somehow goes with the gritty realism of the show … Well, I'm losing words over it, while Gemma Jackson will surely do a terrific job.

  39. invertebrae
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    @Adam

    Oh, gotcha. Which projects though? I don't see anything else on his plate right now. He just did the Trauma pilot. Is he staying with that?

    …ryan

  40. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    We were discussing the idea of Colm Freore getting a role in GoT.

    While it doesn't rule him, it was announced today he's been cast in 'likely an antagonistic role' in Marvel's Kenneth Brannagh helmed Mighty Thor.

  41. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    @Marko
    For me, it depends a lot on the family in question. The North, Dragonstone (Or Stannis, at least) and Iron Islands tend more towards simpler styles, while I imagine the Lannisters and Highgarden having a more renaissance look. I suppose "elaborate" wasn't really what I meant, though. Just a more sophisticated look, with more advanced sewing techniques involved and more curves than straight lines. Nothing like this, though.

  42. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    @Demokritos

    Take the ruff away and change the colour to green and I think Cersei shows up in a similar grandiose dress at one point.

    However, I think you're bang on with geographical differences. High Garden will blatently be all out renaissance stuff (Renly and Loras being the champions for that look), which the North and Stannis will be dull, lots of leather, although with the odd people who dress different (Theon is shunned for being north dressed for example).

  43. Daniel
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    On the whole costume/production design thing, I hope they take the LotR "yes, this is fantasy but it also has to look real and believable" approach.

    And for the knights, the armors of John Boorman's Excalibur as inspiration

  44. TGrando357
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I had a weird feeling yesterday that this would be confirmed soon, glad to see it. McCann should make a great Sandor.

  45. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    @Legion
    Yeah, I mostly meant the ruff, and the way it completely hides anything resembling the shape of a human body. Can't say I remember the specific scene with Cersei, but barring contradictions in the text I'd imagine it was a little more form fitting and/or boob-revealing. Does seem like she might have specifically tried to not look like a trollop once or twice, though.

    Good point on Theon being shunned in the Iron Islands. I suppose there'll probably be a heirarchy of fanciness of sorts.

    @Daniel
    I agree. Definitely don't want them doing anything too outlandish, but at the same time I think it could be a mistake to try and get everything from one historical period. They just need to look accurate. On Excalibur, I pictured the armor a little more form fitting for most of the knights. Something like the guy in gold armor around 1:35. Not sure what historical period, if any, that would correspond to. I think accuracy and relative temporal uniformity is probably more important with armor, since it would actually have something to do with technological advancement and the effectiveness of the armor, instead of just fairly random trends. Obviously this doesn't mean all one style, though, and trends would play some role.

    In general, I'd like to bring up the Dark Sword Miniatures as a possible point of discussion for costumes. Overall I think they're all pretty good, and they seem to have George's approval. Obviously the scale and medium limits what they can do, though, and it's pretty much one outfit per character so far, aside from color changes.

  46. Brude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn't be surprise if McCarthy brings German cinematographer Oliver Bokelbeg in to shoot the pilot with him.

    Ran over at Westeros.org confirmed with Bokelbeg himself that he will not be the DP for the show. There were some erroneous reports that he was on the show, which I took issue with because they seemed to just assume his participation based on past work with McCarthy, then it got picked up in other places, but there hadn't been any sort of official announcement. Anyway, Ran eventually confirmed the negative here, he's not the DP.

    I think he would have been wrong for it, anyway. He's good, but his style is extremely sparse and I have a feeling HBO will want someone who shoots things to look much richer than that. Maybe his style would work for scenes at The Wall, but I think that's about it (I imagine the different regions will have different color palettes and maybe even styles), but his work always has a very specific, kind of empty quality.

  47. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    With the cinematogrpaher and such, will HBO ship people in from America or use the BBC connection to go for an English/Irish team there as well?

    What did they do with Rome? Ship people to Italy or use Italians?

  48. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Interesting thought just occured to me.

    Alfie Allen is Theon. We know this.

    Some people don't like him, but frankly, his dad Keith pretty much matches what you'd expect from Balon.

    And now, as of today, his sister Lily has quit music and intends to launch a proper acting career. Could she be a future Asha?

    So, should we get that far, anyone else suddenly joining me in the realisation that the Allen's could just become the Greyjoys?
    I don't actually expect it to happen, but it popped in my head after seeing her on the news.

  49. Jillian
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I had a dream last night that we got new casting annoucements. In the dream it wasn't McCann, but still, I'm a little freaked out lol

  50. The rabbit
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    @Legion
    Has Keith Allen any brothers? lol

    I was searching for some costumes on the net, and I agree with some of you here, that a mixture of some differnet styles would be the best issue…

  51. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Legion,

    It looks like for Cinematography Rome used an Italian for a little over a third. (9 out of 22 episodes)

    Another 9 were done by someone who had worked with HBO before, and the other seven were split between two other cinematographers.

    Marco Pontecorvo – Italian – 9 Episodes
    Alik Sakharov – Born in USSR (back when it was USSR) Worked with HBO Before (Sex and the City, Sopranos) – 9 Episodes
    Martin Kenzie – UK, no previous HBO work – (Keen Eddie and Dinotopia) – 4 Episodes
    Jonathan Freeman – Seems to be from US, couldn't find previous HBO work. Did a lot of movies/TV and "Rescue Me" before Rome. – 3 Episodes

    Here in the US, I'm not really familiar with the Allens. I could see HBO casting them, but only if they're capable of pulling off the roles. Do you think they would be?

  52. TataniaRosa
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Hello. I've been lurking here since this blog was started and have now decided to join in the conversation.

    I'm so glad that Rory is the Hound. I'm sure he can do him justice.

    legion_quest666 I think it's quite possible that this could actually happen. Why would they need to search for someone for Asha when they have his sister already there.

    Keep up the good work Winter.

  53. invertebrae
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    @Brude

    That makes more sense. As far as being "right" for this project or not. I can see your point.

    Also worth noting. Scorsese chose a different DP for his Boardwalk Empire pilot than he has worked with before. He usually uses two guys: Michael Ballhaus and former roommate Robbie Robertson.

    For Boardwalk he used journeymen Stuart Dryburgh (Nim's Island, Aeon Flux, No Reservations, Bridget Jones) and TV veteran Jonathan Freeman (Rome, Rescue Me, Stephen King's Them).

    Not even worth speculating on DP's for GoT I would say, seems like it's going to be a mix between someone McCarthy is happy with, and someone the producers feel is right for the show, HBO, BBC, etc.

    …ryan

  54. entomologist
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    @Legion:

    Just did a Google image search on Lily and Keith Allen, and I think you're right — they could play Asha and Balon. Of course, it might be a bit awkward for Lily and Alfie to do the scene where Theon hasn't yet recognized Asha and is trying, not all that subtly, to seduce her….

  55. Chris
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    At this stage in the pilot production, can we probably assume that they do have DP / cinematographers / etc chosen and already working? ( I am much less informed than many here on the inner-workings of the film world ) Seems like now would be when they are establishing concepts and visuals and overall look and feel. I would be really interested in seeing some more of this side of the production and getting a feel for what we can expect in terms of art direction and visuals.

    Since the BSC blogger was able to get information by simply asking for it, maybe HBO would be willing to give more information to the public, just don't feel its that important to go out of their way for right now?

  56. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    @Paul

    Intersting that they seem to use whoever they fancy, doesn't help us make any suggestions though.

    Keith pretty much is Balon, although a massive over actor, here, watch this.

    Lily…….dunno, she has the look and attitude, and with a few years to do stuff before Asha shows up, could likely be ready.

  57. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    (Oh, and for those who care about these sorts of things, Sakharov was born in Tashkent.

    Not that he's necessarily going to be picked, but it may do to look at other people who have done HBO shows.

    For example, Joseph Gallagher was cinematographer for episodes of Deadwood, John from Cincinnati, and True Blood.

  58. Mozart
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    WiC, are you stalking Maisie Williams?

    Good job!

  59. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Legion. As in all these things, my take is that HBO knows what they're doing. I was interested to know if you thought they would be.

    I appreciate the link. I found a more subdued Keith to seem workable. They might go for it. It would definitely be interesting.

  60. Manda
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    I think he'll make a great Sandor but it saddens me that we'll never get to see Rory smile! He has a heartstopping smile…

  61. Jenny
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    He's not hot enought for the Hound.

    *runs away shrieking with laughter*

  62. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    It really would. Plus, I can't think of any show that has ever really done it; cast a family as a family.

    Plus, those Theon/Asha scenes would be hilarious in the knowledge they are real brother and sister as well.

    It's years off though, so who knows what might happen, not to mention the possibility of cast changes between seasons or even after the pilot.

    This brings me to another aside question, are HBO big on doing that? Does anyone know of any recent HBO pilots where they have changed characters between pilot and show?

  63. Manda
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    The True Blood pilot had a different actress for Tara. She was replaced by the current actress and her scenes re-shot for the pilot. Is that what you meant, legion_quest666?

  64. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    @Legion
    Keith does look right for Balon, though I hope the overacting was intentional there, or else he may not work. Not sold on Lily, though. Her features are much too soft for Asha, to me. In my imagination Asha has kind of a big-ish, angular nose, and rather angular features in general. Not to the point of it being ugly, but a bit outside the realm of traditional beauty. I guess I'm just getting this from the books mention of a "sharp" nose and thin face, though, and obviously I won't throw a fit if she's not exactly how I imagine her. Lily IS a reasonable likeness of the artwork by Amok.

    How much acting has she done, though? Not much, as far as I can tell. Granted, Asha's not the most complex or demanding part so far, though.

    A more practical problem, to me, is that I'm not sure it would be good for Theon and Asha's initial meeting if they are played by people who everyone knows are real brother and sister. I guess it might make it more funny, but it would also make it pretty creepy. The creepiness is really supposed to set in AFTER you learn who Asha really is. Granted, everyone probably will know already anyway, but no need to give it away more than it already has been. And even with people who aren't familiar with the Allens, I imagine a family being cast as a family would get blurbs in a lot of TV blogs/magazines/etc. Good for publicity, I suppose, but by then I think they won't need it much and should be maintaining as much surprise as they can.

  65. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    @ Manda

    That was exactly what I meant, thanks!

    @ Demokritos

    Yeah, his character there was meant to be a melodramtic baddie, he isnt always like that and can over things.
    And, yeah, while you make a good point about the Allen sigblings, and the creepiness meant to be there before, I think it could work just as well before though as I always see Theon as reduced to almost the comic relief in those sequences, with the shift going over to Asha for more seriousness. So, that would work well that she knew, we knew, but he didnt.

  66. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    As far as other potential cinematographers go, there's Lawrence Sher who worked on Benioff's When the Nines Roll Over.

    He's done mostly films but the same thing could have been said for McCarthy until he was announced. Plus, Sher doesn't have anything lined up, as Paul is in post-production.

    Not a definite by any means, but still an idea. Still, I like Legion's idea of a local team being brought in, as it seems to fit better with the deal that they made.

  67. Raynette
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    @Legion
    Has Keith Allen any brothers? lol

    Actually he does. Keith Allen has an actor/writer/director brother named Kevin Allen so there's one Greyjoy brother that can be kept in the Allen family.

  68. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Alfie is also dating Jamie Winstone, daughter of actor Ray Winstone, so if they can get on board as well it can be like a family outting for them!

  69. Mr. Mister
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    You know I don't know if I ever realized this until right now when I started thinking about it, but I think I always pictured the Hound and Snape as basically the same character in my mind. Two people in power who were assholes but deep down weren't actually the bad guy

  70. Brude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    With the cinematogrpaher and such, will HBO ship people in from America or use the BBC connection to go for an English/Irish team there as well?

    They will get whomever they think is best for the job, who is available and willing to do the job. It's a little different (okay, a LOT different) than hiring some local set painter or grip. The entire look of the production hinges on what the DP can do. It's not something you skimp or make compromises on.

    As for Lilly Allen maybe playing Asha. Who knows? She hasn't done any acting yet, as she? I'd like a good actress first. As for their scene first meeting, well I'm reminded of Justine and Jason Batemen nearly hooking up on "Arrested Development," and yes, they are brother and sister. Of course there it was played primarily for meta-laughs (if that makes sense). You were supposed to be kind of freaked out by it.

  71. sue
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Demokritos, I actually hadn't heard of the book's before Fred's audition, have now read all of them and am waiting for the elusive next one, have a look at Fred's latest headshot , I think he and Arya could be twin's,let me know what you think.

  72. sue
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    sorry, couldn't download it go to http://www.starnow.co.uk
    Freddy Downham

  73. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    @ Brude

    Obviously they will hire the best person for the job, I simply wanted to know if they had a tradition, which, thanks to Paul Gude looking at Rome, we were able to see that they tended to use majority locals. However, while typing this, I remember that there was some deal with Rome and an Italian company, so likely they had to use the guy they wanted.

    I know they have a deal with the BBC for this, and equally have the special Paint Hall deal to consider, so they may be forced to look at people associated locally than just who they'd like.

    @ Sue

    Don't give up hope; here's hoping for you nd your son :)

  74. Brude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Sue, he's got a good look for Bran, that's for sure (pretty close to how I imagined him).

    Coming from the talent management business as I once did, all I can say is don't invest too much emotionally into this one role (or any role, for that matter). If you don't get it, move on to the next – and if you and he are serious about trying to get him work as an actor, you should be out there trying for as many auditions as possible. The more he auditions, the better he will get at the process – same is true for adult actors. Whenever we had some new, talented, but inexperienced actor at our company, we didn't expect them to get hired their first time out (or even their sixth or seventh). But the audition process is a learning process in itself. The more you do the better you get at it.

    Think of it as a numbers game and a business. Be professional about it and even kind of mercenary. Yes, it would be amazing to be on this show, but it's not the only show. If acting is what he wants to do with his life he should be getting out there as much as he can (without it taking over his life – he's still got to have a childhood). Any role he does at such an early age will be a great learning experience. Nobody will remember or care if a project he does now is good, or not. But it will be good experience just to do it, to do anything.

  75. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    @ Sue

    He gets my vote simply for knowing who Boris Karloff is

  76. Mr. Mister
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    @ Sue

    I see your son is 9, did he just turn 9 or is he closer to 10?

    The one thing I worry about the most with Bran is age. In the span of the first 5 books Bran ages what, maybe a year or two, but it may be 6 years from now by the time they film season 5. Boys around that age can grow/age drastically in short periods of time. Its especially a problem because he'll be sitting on Hodor's shoulders so much…

    I would imagine they would look for the younger side of 8, maybe even 6 or 7 if possible.

  77. Adam Whitehead
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    "Keith pretty much is Balon, although a massive over actor, here."

    Keith Allen is a very good actor but he seems to be one of the type that requires good, strong direction, otherwise he tends to do his own thing (he's a very strong-willed, individual guy). I've seen him in some things where he was very good (MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT and 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE), and then there's stuff like ROBIN HOOD where he goes OTT and tedious.

    But he does the cold, controlled fury thing very well. He'd be great as Balon.

    As for Lily as Asha, I would think not. I think the casting would bring a lot of baggage to the show which wouldn't be good for the series.

  78. legion_quest666
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Asha is several years in the future. Lily could have easily sorted herself out by then, and, even then, has hardly been in the news for bad things recently

  79. invertebrae
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    hmm….

    they could also go with hugh johnson, an irish cinematographer who worked on eragon (yuk), chronicles of riddick, and white squall (underrated ridley scott film).

    he was 2nd unit director on kingdom of heaven as well. i could definitely see him doing both cinematography and 2nd unit directing with mccarthy.

    …ryan

  80. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Ryan, I was thinking about Hugh Johnson, too. I wasn't sure if he'd count because he's represented by Ann Murtha, who's based out of California. It was dumb of me, in retrospect, because if he wants to work in Hollywood, of course he'd have an agent in California.

  81. sue
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Brude, thank's for the advice, we do go to lot's of audition's, he had one yeasterday, he has done some film and tv work, we know if we don't get this something else will come up, that's the exciting thing about this business, that said I love fantasy and so does he and this would be terrific fun, here's hoping.

  82. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    @sue
    Definitely looks like he could be the son of Catelyn Tully. Again, good luck!

  83. Mozart
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I hope it doesn't end up like that black kid on Lost, with his voice breaking after about 6 or 8 weeks on the island.
    Maybe they could cast a girl, or neuter the child:D

  84. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Good luck to Freddy, Sue. My favorite bit on that site is still when Freddy's talking to the person after reading the poem. Shows him to be a nice kid, in my opinion.

  85. Mozart
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    I didn't mean your son actually Sue. That may have sounded a little… wierd.

  86. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    @Mozart
    If they were going to neuter anyone, it would be Varys or Belwas. And they're a bit late on both of those, eh?

  87. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    New post by GRRM confirming Rory as The Hound:

    As Sandor Clegane, the Hound…

    Sep. 23rd, 2009 at 4:36 PM

    … yes, it's Rory McCann, a wonderful Scots actor.

    Most of you figured that out weeks ago, of course. Mea culpa. My clues were much too obvious this time around, especially the spelling of "porage," which yielded up the secret to anyone who googled the word. If I had gone with "porridge," that might have created a few more hours of mystery at least.

    Here's the Scotts Porage Oats commercial from which the clue was taken:

    As for my second clue, "the dog is green," well, that one was pretty easy to find as well, once you found McCann's name from the "porage" reference:

    It wasn't either of those that won Rory the role, however. Nor was it his performance in HOT FUZZ, a movie that I've heard good things about but never seen. His look had a lot to do with it, though. A lot of good actors auditioned for the role, and several gave really first class readings… but simply did not have the physicality the part demands. Sandor needs to be a big guy, powerful and threatening, someone who looks like he could break you in half. Rory is all of that and more.

    Mostly, though, it was his readings. We had other good ones, yes, but none to touch his. One of the scenes in the side was Sandor's scene with Sansa, where he tells her how his face came to be scarred. In the space of a few lines, Rory had me terrified (where he roars, "Look at me," and makes her look at his face), made me chuckle (when he says no, the burns weren't dragonflame), and brought a tear to my eye (when he tells his story). After I saw that, I knew he was Sandor… and David, Dan, and Tom all agreed.

    I think you'll going to love him as the Hound.

    Of course, if we go to series, now we're going to have to find someone a foot and a half taller to play his brother. Now THAT will be difficult!

  88. Demokritos
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Hm. I wonder if perhaps George was waiting for this before giving any further clues? With Lena Headey he may have expected Rory to be announced alongside her, and when he found himself mistaken, decided it best not to put out anything else until the older clues were confirmed. If so, new clues could be coming soon.

    This is probably just optimism, though… Dolorous Edd would not approve.

  89. Manda
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I guess they did choose the right guy; GRRM sounds happy with him too. The Hound is one of my all time favorite characters in the series and I'm thrilled that they found someone who should be able to do him justice.

  90. invertebrae
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    honestly I don't think GRRM is giving a ton of thought or strategy to when he drops clues. His NaB is his soapbox, where he dishes up whatever is on his mind. When they cast someone new, we usually find out about it shortly thereafter.

    And if D&D have time to kill, they'll drop an update on Westeros Forum.

    And if GRRM is in Ireland too busy to post, he won't let us know about drogo or whomever until later.

    The only science here is waiting for HBO to give some sort of okay before a press release goes out. I think they are okay with speculation or rumor, and that GRRM gets a pass as far as clue dropping, whereas hallway chatter between interns is not okay.

    …ryan

  91. vancore
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    "Of course, if we go to series, now we're going to have to find someone a foot and a half taller to play his brother. Now THAT will be difficult!"

    I'd say, Conan Stevens the guy rumored to play his bro is only half the foot and a half needed to play the hounds bro.

  92. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Has Conan ever gotten to the "rumor" stage even? I still have him in the "nice idea" category.

  93. WinterIsComing
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Well he is in that Tom Payne category of, we know he's auditioned, just don't know what for and whether he has any shot at being cast. So I would say he is one step above "nice idea" and one below "rumor."

  94. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Round up all actors that are 7'6"+ and you'll end up with a short list. Factor in folks that can move well with a sword, ride a horse, and speak with a UK accent of any kind and the list seems to almost disappear. Check out Neil Fingleton, for example. He's tall enough, but lanky. Still, it does show there's a jump between 7' and 7'6" that gets into an unreal realm.

  95. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention, being able to pull off being McCann's brother when his helmet's off. If a 7'6" actor is this hard, 8' is going to be quite difficult indeed.

  96. Brude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Well he is in that Tom Payne category of, we know he's auditioned, just don't know what for and whether he has any shot at being cast. So I would say he is one step above "nice idea" and one below "rumor."

    Actually, we only know he auditioned for "an American TV show" was I think how he put it. We all started speculating that it was probably GoT. After that he showed up here and made a nice post about it. He was pretty coy about saying what he auditioned for, never said if it was or wasn't GoT or what role it might have been for if it was.

    I think he knows he has to be careful what he says, for fear of getting the Powers that Be at HBO angry about him possibly letting on too much. Reading between the lines of his comment, I think he most likely read for Drogo but is thinking to himself (and maybe it even came up at his audition) that they might like him better for Gregor instead. It's just Gregor is not casting yet (not officially, anyway).

  97. Paul Gude
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Brude, I think the exact same thing.

  98. invertebrae
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    @Paul Gude

    The world's tallest man is a Chinese father who is 7' 9" tall.

    Nikolai Valuev, my personal choice, is 7'2" and looks like a monster, which is always how I envisioned Gregor, something subhuman. Conan Stevens is 7' and looks like a pretty nice dude.

    Just overdub Valuev and you have the perfect Ser Gregor!

    :)

    …ryan

  99. Paul Gude
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 12:29 am | Permalink

    Ryan,

    Alexander Sizonenko is supposed to top 8'. (Of course, that doesn't mean I want him for Gregor. Age and mobility are both issues.)

    I think you and I are both in agreement that the actual height doesn't need to be reached.

    As far as Valuev vs. Stevens goes, it's all a matter of what you're looking for in Gregor. I'd rather have a Gregor that doesn't look so brutish, but that's my own personal aesthetic for the character at the moment. If HBO goes with someone like Valuev, it's not going to ruin it for me. I think I even mentioned in another thread that Valuev could be a brother to McCann too. I do think that his appearance might actually work to make him seem taller than Stevens, more monstrous, when he's got his helmet off.

    I do think, as you said, it'll necessitate overdubbing and that probably means having him wear his helmet for most scenes when he's speaking. Regardless of who plays him, I think it's important to show him as a man every once and a while, not just a suit of armor.

  100. sue
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I don't think I would go as far as to castrate my son, hmm but there again!!!if it got him the part,lol.

  101. Paul Gude
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    Sue, you have to make sure he never ever sees this board. ;)

  102. sue
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    yes, I will,I only let him see the suitable bit's, but he has a great sense of humour, he would say how rude mother!he sound's like that weird creature in Starwar's with the long ear's, he really crack's me up

  103. SA_Avenger
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Great to have confirmation. Also the new Arya picture is great.

    For Bran I sometime wonder if they shouldn't look people who are already "disabled" and use trick to make him look walk in the pilot. They do deserve some light and for the young age won't have to pretend being hurt which sure will prove difficult.

  104. sue
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    that is such a great idea, I have a son with Down's as well as Fred and he is with an agent specializing in people with disabilities, your'e right they don't get the same chances as other's.

  105. Paul Gude
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Parris responded to something I wrote on "Not a Blog" today. Here's what I wrote:

    sgnpcomix wrote:
    Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
    A Great Sandor
    Getting someone who can scary the bejesus out of you is excellent, but getting someone who can do that and then show vulnerability is priceless. I love this cast.

    Would you go as far down as six inches taller for Gregor? I've heard interest from the 7ft tall actor contingent.

    Here's what she said:

    parrismcb wrote:
    Sep. 24th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC)
    Re: A Great Sandor
    since George brought it up… Rory's reading truly affected us – I startled when he demanded that Sansa look at him – a scene I know deeply – a few moments later, for the first time in all the years of reading and re-reading the books, I actually felt compassion for Sandor. Now that's acting! I've never understood those who have some sort of attachment to Sandor being a 'wounded bad boy' who could find the good side of the force by the love a good woman (Sansa). But I think Rory could have that sort of attraction for viewers if D&D give him a chance.

    I figured that some would find her insight interesting.

  106. WinterIsComing
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Paul: I'm sure our resident SanSan fans will be especially interested to hear that.

  107. RoninKengo
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Good news to be sure. That article is horribly written though… jesus it's hard to read.

  108. Paul Gude
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    If Conan-as-Gregor had ever been elevated to rumor status, GRRM just debunked it:

    loras75 wrote:
    Sep. 24th, 2009 07:07 am (UTC)
    I've heard an australian bodybuiler has been cast to play his foot and a half taller brother. (if the serie goes) Is it the truth ?

    grrm wrote:
    Sep. 24th, 2009 05:31 pm (UTC)
    No, it is not.

  109. Chris
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Good to know, Paul. Of course, this doesn't mean that he's not "in the process" and he may very well end up being Gregor. Obviously, I'm not a casting director, but I can't imagine any reason why they wouldn't seriously consider him for the role. In fact, he is SO Gregor that I couldn't believe that he was supposedly auditioning for Drogo at some point. That, IMO, would be all wrong.

  110. Paul Gude
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, that's the thing. It's never been expressly said what he was auditioning for, exactly. The "audition for Drogo but hope to get cast as Gregor" thing makes the most amount of sense to me, simply because we've had no indication that they're casting for season one yet.

    (We do know that there's one cast member for season one that's being held in reserve, but that seemed to be because they were written out of the pilot.)

    As Winter indicated, none of us thought this was past the rumor stage anyway. Somewhere between "nice idea" and "rumor" at best.

  111. Chris
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Plus, they may be taking notes… but I doubt they are putting much of effort (if any) into roles not specifically in the pilot.

    A bigger question for me is why they are apparently having such a hard time with Drogo. IMO, he was one of the most one-dimensional characters in the entire series. He hardly had any dialogue and was hardly given any characterization from GRRM. Maybe they are feeling like they need to flesh out their love story a little bit, and make Drogo more of a strong character than just a plot device for Dany.

  112. The rabbit
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I wonder too about Drogo.
    In fact, it suprises me a lot, in fact, the trouble with Bran suprises me to.

    I am not an expert, but I was almost certain that the most complicated casting would be for Arya and Sansa, especially Arya.

  113. Crystal
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    I really can't wait to hear about costuming! Hope we get news on that soon.

    Yay that Rory is bringing the other dimensions of Sandor into his interpretation of the character! He is one of my favorite characters, and this was one of the castings I was most concerned with.

  114. Anne-Katrine
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    @ Paul: "I've never understood those who have some sort of attachment to Sandor being a 'wounded bad boy' who could find the good side of the force by the love a good woman (Sansa). But I think Rory could have that sort of attraction for viewers if D&D give him a chance."

    Yeah! *punches the air* Another one converted to the Dark Side… ;)

    As one initially unhappy with McCann, I've completely changed my mind. (I'm not afraid to admit that – every bloody time it happens *laughs*) He'll do fine as the Hound.

    - Flower Adams

  115. Jillian
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I also love that Parris is using one of the Fan-made posters as her icon

  116. Livvey
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    @ WiC ref ->dona

    AAAAAAAAAAARGH not again!!!!!! TROOOOOOLLLS!!!! Or WORSE actually!
    @dona Get OUT! Crappy commercial/whateveryoucallit…. :P
    Really.
    This is crap. SPam, it's called spam!
    And SPAMMING!???!! HERE!?!?!

    Sorry people for all the bold letters – having a small meltdown as this is the LAST place I would imagine this happening in.

    :P jeez.
    -Livvey

  117. Marko
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Looks like a spam bot to me… what can you do.

  118. Livvey
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    No idea. But I sure hope something :P


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