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Catching up

Let’s catch up on some Thrones-related news, shall we?

  • George R. R. Martin comments briefly on the weapons that will be appearing in the HBO series. Apparently they will be using their own designs and not Valyrian Steel’s designs, as previously speculated.  GRRM also touches on the merchandising rights to the series and notes that he retained the rights to high-quality replica swords and HBO is only able to create toy replicas.
  • Speaking of merchandising, Westeros’ GoT site reports that HBO has filed trademark rights for more merchandise. This one covers everything from key chains to picture frames to sleeping bags.
  • Tom McCarthy has moved on to his next project, but has taken some of the lessons he’s learned from Thrones with him. This article mentions that his work on the pilot has helped give him confidence to cast a non-actor in the lead role for his upcoming film Win Win. He mentions having “a positive experience casting ‘real people’” in the Game of Thrones pilot.
  • Lastly, Jason Momoa has been cast as Conan the Barbarian in the upcoming film remake. Variety mentions that production is scheduled to begin in March. Probably right around the time Thrones gets the green light. Momoa’s work on Conan shouldn’t interfere with the filming for season one as it should be wrapped by the time they are ready to film Dany’s scenes in Morocco. And as an added bonus, he should be more bulked up due to the rigorous training he is sure to endure to get ready to play the iconic character. That should please the few who thought that Momoa was a bit too lean to match their idea of Khal Drogo.


  • Hey guys long time reader first time poster. WIC, I really enjoy this website. I've been a ASOIAF fan for a long time. My mom and Grandma originally tried to get me to read the series. It wasn't until my buddy's older brother got out of prison that I actually did. At the time I was reading The Camulod Chronicles by Jack Whyte, a great series. He saw me reading that and recomended AGOT. I thought it was strange that these people who are so opposite love the same books. Needless to say I fell in love with them and have been hooking all my friends since. I just wanted to know if any of you have heard anything about Brian Thompson being in the series. I saw it on IMDB, but I know that it's not a reliable source. Anyone?

  • Testing the new commenting system! Don't know anything about Brian Thompson.

    But thanks for the updates, Winter!

    March will be here before we know it!

  • Don't know if it's worth mentioning, but apparently Peter Dinklage is allegedly in talks for "Knights of Badassdom", a film about LARPers who awake a real demon.

    Basically…I would totally go see that movie, doubly so if Mr. Dinklage were in it. I wonder if this would conflict with GoT filming at all. Again, this is just a rumor…but io9 wouldn't post it without good reason.

  • The Momoa casting is amazing and will give his name some additional weight to carry the first season.

  • Here's links to a couple of Norwegian sites that reports that Sean Bean is filming in Norway:

  • Crap, I totally messed up those links. :S Hope these work.

    I love Conan and everything ever written by Robert E. Howard, I really do. If it really is true that they cast Jason Momoa for the part, my interest in that project ends right here and now. The Cimmerians in Howard's Hyborean Age were supposed to be the ancestors of the ancient Gaelic people, so I just cannot comprehend why they would ever cast Momoa.

    • EXACTLY. Which is why Arnie was perfect for it the first time around. I know they're trying to appeal to the masses here, but come on…they're going to alienate quite a few fans here.

    • Yup, while I like Momoa and think he's a good actor, HE IS NOT CONAN!! For the love of god they need to pick someone else!

  • Well i'm not that much into conan even though i am Austrian ;) The positive thing about that is, that momoa is just about to get in shape for drogo this way .

    I'd really love the see what the swords will look like then … i thought valyrian steel did a really good job so far! especially on Longclaw!

  • Empire mentions GoT in 11 things to know about the new Conan the Barbarian. Look!:

    "Conan isn't the first mighty warrior he's played. He will appear as Khal Drogo in the HBO pilot for Game of Thrones, after impressing (read: scaring witless) the producers by performing the haka in his audition. The show, based on George R. R. Martin's wild, twisted medieval fantasy novels, is likely to be picked up, which might cause something of a scheduling problem for Momoa."

    By the way, I'm not worried at all for scheduling problems. These people are professionals and probably have sort this out already.

  • Empire do seem to be highly interested in GoT, despite it not being a film. They've covered the casting for quite a while, albeit of only the 'known' actors, and not the newer unknowns.

    But yeah, scheduling problems aren't something I'm concerned about. Especially for Mamoa who's filming as Drogo will be done relatively quickly in the grand scheme of things. I can't see this clashing, or if it does, that it cannot be resolved quickly.

  • Is it me, or is Momoa totally NOT Conan? The Cimerians are supposed to be fair skinned, blue-eyed, dark haired people… Momoa is obviously polinesian/samoan, a perfect fit for Drogo, but a bizarre one for Conan.

    • You right, sorta. Cimmerians can be fair complected and can have many different hair colorings. Blond, Red, Brown. Most people agree Howard based them off of the Cimbri a Germanic tribe. Think Ethnic German, which would probably make Momoa a bad choice for Conan. A very bad choice. I do think Momoa is a good choice for Drogo though.

      • I probably will piss someone off saying German or Germanic, Think Danish since the residents of Himmerland claim Cimbri heredity.

        • There is no relation between the Cimbri and the Cimmerians. That's an old, old mistake made centuries ago.

          The Cimmerians were probably located in eastern Anatolia, north of Urartu. They're first mentioned in the records of the Assyrian king, Sargon II as the Gamirr in the 8th century BCE and last mentioned some 300 years later. They may have originated in the Pontic steppes and been pushed out by the Scythians (if Herodotus can be believed on this point).

          The Cimbri were probably either a Germanic or Celtic-Germanic tribe from somewhere in Jutland, first mentioned around 100 BCE and they were entirely associated with migrations entirely within Europe, begining in Jutland, along with the Teutones and Ambrones tribes.

          The confusion was the result of myth-making in the 8th-9th century, when Frankish "historians" attempted to connect the Germanic Sicambri, who settled the Rhine delta around the time of Julius Caesar, with legends of Troy and a mythical descent from Priam, settling first on the Don river then in the Pontus on the Black Sea. They then made connections with both the Scythians from that same general area and the Cimmerians who were southeast of there.

          If we assume that Howard's Cimmerian is Cimbri instead, then Germanic is a possibility. But if we assume the more likely connection with the historical Cimmerians, then you have to go with a different Indo-European descent of more eastern type, from the steppes near the Black Sea down to the mountainous region near Urartu in what is njow the Armenian Highland.

          So perhaps Momoa isn't that much of a stretch. No more than equating Cimbri with Cimmerians or any of the other mythical hodge-podge of facts and fantasy which Howard used as a basis for his stories.

    • Who said that Conan is supposed to be fair-skinned? I've read numerous Conan stories, and I could swear they said his skin was tanned. I think Momoa will rock as Conan.

    • Haha, yes Spartacus is garbage. It's as if the producers watched 300 and said "we want to do that too", but never really grasped the art of it. Also there is enough nude in the pilot to qualify it as softcore!

      Rome was really good, and if Thrones is anything like it I will love it.

  • hmm…………completely offtopic, but is it true UK users can get HBO on demand? According to my sky package provider I can………….but the channel isn't there when I went for a gander. Might have to look into it, rather than hold out for the hope the BBC will air GoT at the same time.

  • I think the fact that the STARZ cable show Spartacus was so very very bad may not bode well for GoT. People tend to lump these fantasy/sword & sandal shows all together. It won't be enough for just existting fans of the books to like the TV series. It will have to appeal above and beyond the genre for HBO to do it. I read that STARZ had already ordered a second season of Spartacus before it debuted last night. Having watched it (and thought it was really bad), I am shocked. And I think of myself as one of the core audience fot this type of show.

    I hope that HBO will at least give us a season, but not nearly as much as I hope the next book will come out someday.

    • I don't know about that. Think about this current trend of really cheezy vampire flicks and TV shows. People may have written off True Blood at first because of its genre, but the buzz and reviews surrounding it led to the second season being more successful than the first. I see something similar happening with GoT. Hopefully because it's got such a huge built-in fanbase (something that Spartacus doesn't have), that will be enough to push the ratings momentum through to when the general public starts to get wind of all the (gods willing) positive reviews and buzz. Anyway, I think GoT has quite a few things working in its favor, which make me feel more comfortable…

  • From what I'm reading here, and especially from what I'm reading on aint-it-cool-news, it seems that the majority of people are quite adamntly unhappy with the casting of Jason Momoa for Conan. I agree that Momoa is of the wrong ethnic background… but honestly, how important is that? WIll that really make or break Conan, rather than the actor's acting abilities, and the character's personality? I'm not 100% sold on Momoa as Conan, but neither am I totally against him (just yet). I still wish they could have got Arnold as the aged King Conan, however, but… oh well.

    • I think it's very important that the lead actor bears physical resemblance to the character he's portraying on-screen. Especially when it's a relatively unknown actor like Momoa without much star power. Will his lack of physical resemblance to the character he's portraying make or break the movie? Probably not, but what does it say about the production overall if they can't even find a decent actor who also looks the part?

  • You're talking about literary fictional characters here, so as long as they make the actors fit the physical traits of the (sometimes meagre) character descriptions there are, I don't think it'll be much of an issue.

    Acting performance trumps all.

    • That may be true, but this is a remake. People have the visual of the old movie in their head still and when things are drastically different it normal doesn't help the remake. I use Planet of the Apes as an example….but there are many many more

    • Howard's character descriptions were anything but meagre though, and every one of his Conan short stories contain pretty detailed descriptions of the character.

      Seeing as acting performance trumps all, how would you like to see Morgan Freeman play Maester Aemon in A Game of Thrones? He's an Academy Award winning actor and he's old, and acting performance being most important, it doesn't matter that he doesn't look anything like the character in the book right? ;-)

  • I really don't get peoples' reaction to Momoa as Conan. He's not the guy I had in mind, either, but he's the right height, right build, and his face is exotic without looking like any particular ethnicity. I'm willing to give him a chance. I just wish I could find a photo of him with long hair that isn't in dreadlocks.

    • From Howard's [i]The Hour of the Dragon[/i]:

      "… a tall man, mightily shouldered and deep of chest, with a massive corded neck and heavily muscled limbs. He was clad in silk and velvet, with the royal lions of Aquilonia worked in gold upon his rich jupon, and the crown of Aquilonia shone on his [b]square-cut black mane[/b]; but the great sword at his side seemed more natural to him than the regal accoutrements. His brow was low and broad, his eyes a volcanic blue that smoldered as if with some inner fire. His [b]dark, scarred, almost sinister face[/b] was that of a fighting-man, and his velvet garments could not conceal the hard, dangerous lines of his limbs."

      Square-cut, black mane. Dark face. Other descriptions by Howard talk about his blue eyes. Give Momoa contacts and a Prince Valiant haircut and you have Conan.

  • What do you think about those minor fantasy aspects of ASOIAF? As we know, our dear ice and fire has very limited amount of fantasy aspects, which is good in this particular case. Those aspects that are major are great (the wall, direwolfs,others) And that's fine, but what bothers me are those minor aspects, which george added to his books, because i think, that they will look very cheesy for average viewers.
    I mean all those blue trees, blue hairs and beards, red trees, purple eyes and if series go as far as to the FFC, there will be one big cheesily looking thing

    ***** Spoiler warning *****
    and it is the Corpselyn herself in all her rotten "beauty" :-)
    ***** End of spoiler *****

    And i am pretty sure, that it all will cause some "WTF is this?!" moments for average viewers (which are important for the series, because support and viewing rates only from fans are not enough)
    What do you think about it?

    • Look to the LOTR movies to see a good example of how a fantasy series can be produced without looking "cheesy" to the average Joe. The important distinction between LOTR and ASOIAF is that the storyline isn't entirely defined by those fantasy elements – they blend right in to the plot so well that a viewer just accepts them for what they are without question.

      The strange "alien"-looking elements, like the blue beards and coloration of the weirwoods and all that, are symbolic of various things and aren't done to just "look" like a fantasy world. Those are details that I think add to the story, not detract from it – and I hope the average Joe see it that way as well.

      • I know that it's there for a reason, it's in the culture of various nations, it's in the nature etc and i take it that way, but you are far too optimistic about as you say "average joe". Because books describe many things, many cultural details and you know precisely what is what and for what reason is this or that, but in tv series, this is very limited, so "average joe" will just see people with beards and hairs with many crazy colours, he will see on of the main characters turning into zombie etc and many "average joes" will be disgusted with it.

  • I don't know how to feel about Momoa being Conan. I'm happy for the dude and I'm sure he'll be alright in the role. However it's kind of the same way I felt about Bean being Ned. I just don't want cross comparisons between projects and the character of Conan is similar to Drogo (to those who are unfamiliar with the source material).

  • A CONAN remake has been discussed for several years. I think JM would fit the CONAN role spot on. He is a terrific actor in Stargate Atlantis.

  • I’m hoping that they’ll design practical (read: historical :P) swords that still portray aspects of their wielders’ personality. For example, I envision Sandor Clegane to wield a broad, powerful blade like the Albion Tritonia, Vigil or Sword of St Maurice; whereas someone like Jaime, with his emphasis on comparative finesse, would use a more quick and agile weapon like the Knight.

    The confusion over terminology isn’t very helpful here. A longsword is primarily a two handed sword, but it’s commonly used to refer to the knightly or arming sword, which is a one handed weapon. Michael Komarck’s excellent illustration of Jaime has him holding a longsword, which would fit in perfectly in an age of plate armour. However, Dark Sword Miniatures’ Sandor Clegane is wielding a one handed blade, which is quite anachronistic and likely not very useful against the armour of knightly opposition.