Casting Speculation


Petyr Baelish by Mark EvansDue to the lack of news and the fact that a series pick up is becoming more and more of a possibility, I think it would be a good time to start discussing who they may be casting that will round out the main cast for the first season. We’ll kick things off with everyone’s favorite Master of Coin, Petyr Baelish. The things one would be looking for in a potential Baelish are the ability to play charming and intelligent but also devious. Ideally you would want someone that is quite short as well. Here are four actors the fans have discussed that seem like the best candidates for Littlefinger.
James Callis – Callis is a British actor best known for his role as Dr. Gaius Baltar on Battlestar Galactica. In that role, he showed he could play the intelligent schemer quite well. It looks like he hasn’t had much work since Battlestar Galactica ended, so he should be available and willing. Although height isn’t the most important factor, he is listed as 5’8″ which is pretty short. Looks wise, I think he has a bit too much of a heart throb look to him to make the perfect Littlefinger.
Tom Hollander – This character actor is no stranger to fans of British costume dramas. His credit list is filled with period work. Most of you will probably recognize him as Lord Beckett from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. He also has an HBO connection having appeared as King George III in an episode of John Adams. His look seems to evoke the creepier side of Littlefinger. Height-wise he is perfect however, coming in at a diminutive 5’5″. He wouldn’t be my first choice, but if they want to emphasize the “Napoleon complex” aspect of Littlefinger’s character, Hollander would be a good fit.
John Simm – Another character actor that should be familiar to British television viewers, Simm has appeared in a number of BBC shows. His most prominent role being that of The Master in Doctor Who. He hasn’t made an impact on this side of the pond of yet, so a prominent role in an HBO series could be attractive to him if he wants to make inroads in Hollywood. Simm has the right look for Littlefinger, in my opinion. Someone with a smug and devious attitude but likes to feign innocence. He has one other thing going for him as well, he’s been cast by Nina Gold before in the BBC miniseries The Devil’s Whore.
Aidan Gillen – Lastly, we come to Gillen. An Irish actor who is well-known to HBO fans as Councilman Tommy Carcetti in The Wire. Brits would probably more readily identify him as Stuart Jones from Queer As Folk. The thing that makes him the frontrunner at this point, is the fact that his agent has reportedly already spoke with the casting director about Gillen getting involved in the series. The only thing working against him is his height, at 5’10” he is as tall as Sean Bean. But they’ve already shown that they are willing to cast actors that don’t fit the exact physical description and perceived height is something that can easily be altered on camera.

I think there is a really good chance one of these actors gets cast in the series. If not as Littlefinger, possibly another character. There are quite a few good connections that seem to point toward the possibility. Littlefinger would be a good role for any of these four though as he is a major character that any of these actors would be thrilled to land and they all are good fits in terms of talent and looks.

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    • I never even considered Aidan until he was in this post (and admittedly I only watched the Wire fully in recent times) but I would definitely put him as the front runner at the moment in my preference.

  • I´d like James Callis to play this part, he´s really talented, and Gaius was such an awesome character, played to perfection. He has one of my favorite line delivieries ever in BSG.

  • While I loved James Callis as Baltar, John Simm stole my heart as the Master in Doctor Who. I could look at him all day, and he definitely has the ability to pull it off <3

  • Calis is a great actor but I think he looks to good. I always pictured Baelish as not-great looking to add to the fact that Catelyn was to good for him. But then there's always make-up

  • John Simm is the guy from Life on Mars (original UK version) and he's an excellent actor. It's difficult to choose between Simm and Callis, but I would discard Callis for his insane attitude (acting, of course).

  • I think James Callis would make a very good Littlefinger.

    But what about Garret Dillahunt as Littlefinger? I remember reading that he is a fan of the books and would love to play a part in the show. I think he's a superb actor, and he has already appeared in an HBO production, which might give him a leg up.

  • The formatting of the post is broken. On my browser, it looks like a vertical column of words down the left side of the screen.

    A couple of other choices, some of which have already been knocked about on the Westeros boards:

    – Billy Boyd (although he may be too old)
    – Ioan Gruffudd (although he may be too tall)
    – David Thewlis
    – Tim Roth (although he may be too unavailable, with him headlining his own show and all)
    – Michael Emerson (frequently mentioned, but probably a poor choice given his age and accent)
    – David Tennant (although he may be too high-profile)

    In the context of the story, Petyr Baelish needs to be approximately the same age as Catelyn, and not an obvious he-man.

    • Don't know how I missed your comment before, but now that I see it….I like all of your suggestions except for Emerson (and only because I've never heard of him).

      Boyd is a rather interesting choice. He's not someone that would have come to my mind as Littlefinger, but I'm kinda keen on it now that I see it. Gruffudd would be great too.

      Thewlis and Tennant look too tall, but I like both of them as well. I love Roth, but he looks too old (and he's busy with his own show).

  • I believe the "too good for him" was more related to social status rather than appearance. Petyr is actually described as handsome.

    From Wikipedia:

    "He is handsome and meticulously stylish, but also quite short, giving a double entendre to the mocking nickname Edmure Tully bestowed on him.

    During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Petyr's father became friends with Lord Hoster Tully, and later used this friendship to have his son, Petyr, as a ward of Lord Hoster at Riverrun, the great castle of the riverlands. Petyr was raised alongside his social betters, the Tully children – Catelyn, Lysa and Edmure."

  • Great post, all my favourite contenders are in here.
    I love Callis and Gillen, and they would kill in the part, but I'm still rooting for John Simm. He is a terrific actor, and before his Doctor Who stint, he frequently played symapthetic, nice-guy roles (like in State of Play or Life on Mars). He has that part-boyish-part-menacing charm Petyr requires, so he could keep the ambiguity about his intentions till the last moments, whereas James Callis has the burden of the similar role of Gaius Baltar on his back, so many viewers would be instantly suspicious of him. (Of course, it's quite possible that I overestimate the number of BSG-fans, and Callis can surely play the good side convincingly, too.)
    And, well, this picture of Simm sells it for me:

  • I'd love to see Dillahunt in the series, as he is one of my favourite character actors, but not as Littlefinger. I tried to come up with a part that would suit him best, but I couldn't really imagine any of the main characters with him in my mind. Maybe Jaquen or Roose Bolton, but I want a character with more screen time for him. :)

  • Basking in the glow of my very first first of any kind on any board. Pathetic, I know.

    Anyway to elaborate, while I think Callis does a master job of manipulation in BSG, he remains likable. Littlefinger is probably the character I loathe most in the series,SPOILER**** especially after Joffrey bites it. End SPOILER***

    That being said, I know that there are many who actually like Littlefinger, so perhaps this could actually play to Callis’ advantage. With the right facial hair he would definitely fit on the creepy factor.

    I’m not a big fan of Hollander for the part, although his height is right, and unfortunately I don’t know much about the other actors.

  • The thing I have to keep reminding myself is the fact that I've only seen James Callis in Battlestar, so I don't really know if he can do anything aside from Baltar's nervous arrogance.

    That said, he did nervous arrogance excellently.

    I know Gillen has the range; you could have knocked me over with a feather when I found out Carcetti was played by an Irishman.

    Simm I have no opinion on. Love the thought of Hollander playing Baelish though. I could also see David Thewlis.

    And to echo Regisfrost, Petyr is a good-looking man. Despite his "vertically challenged" physicality and relatively low birth, don't forget he was attractive enough to play "kissing games" with teenaged Lysa and Catelyn, and utterly swept young Lysa off her feet, enticing her into his bed (and getting her with child).

  • I’d like to see Aidan Gilen because I think he can pull off a more cruel/edgy persona. Even in The Wire, where he was playing the archtypal student activist/idealist turn politician, there was still an under-current of ruthless ambition. I like watching him and I think he would bring something a little unnerving to the Sansa affair. Having said that, the weaker, but more popular choice would have to be Callis. He would probably bring more of a sci-fi croud into it. He’d be the networks choice I’d say, from a market perspective. But I’d prefer to see Gilen, or Hollander. The casting so far has been says that Hollander is definitely in contention as he is the right age and isn’t too high-profile considering the rest of the cast. That would be a major coup. Can’t wait for this.

    Also, WHERE IS ADWD!!!!!!!!!

    • Oh let's not get the whole….

      "Also, WHERE IS ADWD!!!!!!!!! "

      …. conversation going again. That discussion will go on forever!!!

  • My vote is for James Callis! (Drum roll) My vote has been cast.

    P.S.- is James Callis to tall for the role?

  • I am going to try and watch some videos/episodes with the other actors since I'm not very familiar with their work.

  • hmmm… in my mind i always had the one and only black adder playing littlefinger: rowan atkinson… but i think this won’t happen :-(((

  • Tom Hollander was so disturbing in PotC, that I'd vote for him. Short as he is, with this very unfunny smile of his, he would great fit this character

  • James Callis for me too, loved in bsg but he might be too tall for the role. Might prefer something new and wicked on the role

  • I really like Tom Hollander. I never really saw him in that role before your post, but imagining the scenes in my head I absolutely love it. You can literally see him scheming! I'm throwing my lot behind Hollander for the part.

  • Yay! I got the post to work again!!! Not sure what was holding me back but evidently something was wrong for a few days.

    Anyway, I've been a big Callis supporter from the beginning. For those of you citing his work on BSG as too similar to what he would be asked to do for Petyr let me take a closer look at the two characters. Baltar was definately a genius in the brains department when it came to scientific knowledge ect. but the guy was pretty much a total buffoon when it came to common sense and getting people to work together. Also, he was basically manipulated by the Cylons and circumstance into the role of villain.

    Littlefinger by contrast isn't neccesarily the most booksmart of the characters in ASoIaF. I'd give the advantage of learned knowledge to Tyrion, The Reader any number of Maesters, maybe even Samwell. But Baelish is a master manipulator. He's the guy reknown for being able to pull money out of thin air. He also knows how people work and how to use their desires to his own benefit.

    Unlike Baltar, who was thrust into his role by outside forces, Petyr is a conscious, deliberate and powerful (though imo not likely the most powerful) player of the Game.

  • Another difference. Baltar was a notorious ladies man. LF is if anything looked down on a bit by the women at court for his low birth.

    Also, Baltar is tortured internally by his decisions. Petyr makes his choices without regret.
    The diminutive physical presence of both characters is a similarity, but as stated above there is enough of a difference bewteen the two roles to give Callis alot of room to breathe life into a new role. I'd really enjoy seeing him as the Mockingbird!

    heh A good way to sum it up is to think in D&D jargon.
    Baltar has an 18 INT and maybe a 12 WIS
    I'll give LF a 15 INT and and 18 WIS

    Wow! I AM a dork!

  • Rowan Atkinson is too old for Littlefinger, who is supposed to be younger than Catelyn. He is one of my top choices for Varys however!

  • could it the "Oh felix … what are you doing, Felix?"? – cause thats probably my favorite line read, ever. Except maybe Terry O'Quinn – "Maybe everything that happened here, happened for a reason."

  • I will have to admit.. I know Callis best, having been an avid BSG fan, and I absolutely know he could do the part all the justice in the world.

    Though the look of the others, and what little I've seen makes me confident any of these would be an excellent choice. And hard to decide. So, let's have them all. *nod sagely*

  • Great list WiC! For me, 5' 10" is too tall for Littlefinger, so I'm beaning towards Simms or Hollander. These 4 guys definitely cover how I see Littlefinger though

  • Speaking of Galactica I think Mark Sheppard would be an excellent Littlefinger (he played the "highly capable yet ethically questionable" lawyer Romo Lampkin). Sheppard 's got a kind of creepy and dangerous but charismatic and likeable quality to him that I quite like.

    • And he was /excellent/ in Firefly as Badger. He's a little too… rough around the edges for Littlefinger, but maybe that's just been his parts thus far. He might be better in the Brotherhood Without Banners though, or something like that. Oooh, maybe dark and playing Rorge or something!

  • I like Callis. There were times in BSG that he looked like a right ninny. Other times a pompous ass. And SNEEEAAAKKKKYYY….. Pretty good fit for Petyr.

  • John Simm looks closer to what I imagined littlefinger to look like- handsome, diminutive, and sly. He is a great actor and a fresh face to this side of the pond and has this quality to make you believe everything he says.

  • As I said above, out of the four Hollander would be my choice. Just watch Pirates of the Caribbean, or heck, catch him in Pride & Prejudice. He could so rock as Littlefinger.

    However, my choice is still Hans Matheson. He's the right age, the right build, the right face, the right height and plays both charming and sinister well. He IS Littlefinger.

  • Never thought of Hollander as LF, but I love it!. He can also do the dislikable and creepy, see "Pride & Prejudice" (the 2005 film, not the TV series) .

  • Much as I would love to see Callis or Simm in the role, both of whom would be superb, I think they may both be too tall (Gillen definitely is). Jennifer Ehle is 5'7" according to IMDB, surely Littlefinger should be shorter than Catelyn? Certainly no more than the same height. While you could get away with making him taller, the character works best if he's noticeably short. You could give Ehle high heels, but not too much or she'll be as tall as Sean Bean, which presumably wouldn't look quite right?

  • A nice blog entry!
    If I had to choose between the four, I would say Gillen. Hes got that mocking thing in him.
    The other three, at first look, are looking a little bit too young.
    As far as I remeber LF is just a year younger than Ned.

    • No, he is three years younger than Catelyn. Nobody they have listed is too young. Tom Hollander, at 42, is the oldest, and probably the best of the four.

  • Cool ideas. I like any of these guys as Petyr. I saw a suggestion some place else not mentioned here. Tobias Menzies (Brutus) from Rome. The guy that mentioned him thought that he might be too tall but otherwise would be suited for the role. I liked his performance in Rome and thought I would throw the name out for discussion.

    Btw, first time commenting on here. Thought I would say hi to everybody.

  • ooo yay, I like these speculation posts.
    No No No No No No NOOOOOOO to Callis. While I'm a huge fan of Battlestar, I'm just SICK of Callis. I couldn't handle him as another smug devious character, its over kill in my mind.

    I am VERY fond of the Simm suggestion though, he has the little boy quality about him which I feel is important for Littlefinger, as Catelyn still sees the young boy behind the pointy beard.

    • By the way, I hate to tell you, but few people would call Cillian Murphy "not handsome." Aside from a disturbingly haunting look, he's almost too pretty.

  • Ah, time for this lurker to spring from the shadows and root for John Simm as Littlefinger with Gillen a close second….I loved Callis as Baltar, but for me he's now fused with the character and almost too obvious/high profile a choice.

  • Another difference. Baltar was a notorious ladies man. LF is if anything looked down on a bit by the women at court for his low birth.

    Also, Baltar is tortured internally by his decisions. Petyr makes his choices without regret.
    The diminutive physical presence of both characters is a similarity, but as stated above there is enough of a difference bewteen the two roles to give Callis alot of room to breathe life into a new role. I'd really enjoy seeing him as the Mockingbird!

    heh A good way to sum it up is to think in D&D jargon.
    Baltar has an 18 INT and maybe a 12 WIS
    I'll give LF a 15 INT and and 18 WIS

    Wow! I AM a dork!

  • Callis, Simm and Gillen would all be great for the role. I could see Gillen being lest interested since it would be his second HBO character who is a scheming politician/government type in a row. Hollender seems to be a decent actor, but I don't think he's shown (to me at least) the kind of wicked gleam in his acting style that I associate with Littlefinger. His roles in both Pirates and John Adams were both pretty reserved types, no? Not saying he can't do it, just saying I haven't seen it yet as an innate quality in his acting style.

  • as much as like all of these blokes for littlefinger, espeically sims … i am still voting for Eddie Izzard as a bold and unusual choice for Peter Bayelish.

  • The suggestions put forth are quite impressive. I am more familiar with James Calis and Aidan Gillen,, having loved, absolutely loved, "The Wire" ( I have the entire freaking series on DVD) and "Battlestar Galactica". I think James Calis is a fine, fine actor, and I think that he has a chameleon-like ability to change physically before the camera, without make-up, special effects etc. His demeanour, voice pitch, body language always do the trick. Perhaps mainstream audiences might not have picked-up on him, but I think he is extremely talented and a role like this would more than allow him to show his craft. Even if he does not get the part, any association with "A Game Of Thrones", would only serve to elevate the potential series, if a full-series pick-up is greenlit. He would more than likely be an asset. James Calis was surely one of my favourite actor on that marvelous series, "Battlestar Galactica".

  • Just to add to the comment above…I like Aidan Gillen's turn as Councilman Carcetti, he was part of perhaps one of the best ensamble casts I have ever seen on TV as well as clearly if not the best, at the very least one of the best TV shows ever, "The Wire". His being Irish might end up playing in his favour. Nonetheless, he certainly does not lack in the talent or charisma department. Just as Doctror Balthat, Councilman Carcetti, is a character with a ambiguos sense of morality and a very, and I mean very flexible personna.

    Both these characters are extremely ambitious, prone to arrogance, with massive egos, control freaks, equiped with an amazing survival instinct, ready to do whatever it takes to succeed and achieve their goals (often at the expense of others), in short they are very complex and multi-faceted, exactly the ingredients that would also make them ideal for George RR Martin's expansive, intricate and very nuanced universe, especially in ASOIF.

    I am for both these actors (with a slight nod to James Calis) and I hope at least one, ideally both of them, will somehow be involved in "A Game Of Thrones"!

  • I picture Robert Carlyle (Eragon, Full Monty) as littlefinger….that thin lean face…just something about him.

    • I pictured him too, when I first read the book…..I think he's too much older than Jennifer Ehle to pull off Littlefinger, but I think he's great and should be involved in GOT somehow.

    • What about Robert Carlyle as Qhorin Half-hand? Or Manse Rader? I think his age and lean, confident looks would fit for either of those, and I am pretty sure he could pull off either role.

  • I thought that Aidan Gillen was awesome in the Wire, but to me I think James Callis looks the part of Littlefinger. There is something devious about him. Aidan Gillen is a terrific character actor, but I don't know if he can pull off the ruthlessness of Littlefinger.

  • Well…I thought I'd just posted this but it's not turned up so here I go again.

    I posted on Westeros and here earlier and suggested Simms and Tennant. Then I thought of Shepherd (@ninepenny – great minds ;) ). I handn't thought of Gillen but like the idea, remember him from Queer as Folk. Lots of sneaky men! Who to choose!

    I'm going to stick with Simm, loved him in Life on Mars and liked his darker side as the Master in Dr Whos Christmas special. Gillen would be a close second. I'm sure we can find something else for Mark Shepherd because I'd love to see him on Thrones. Callis is Baltar to me (or the blue soup eating friend in Bridget Jones), and Hollander just isn't right for me. Still think Tennant would be fun casting but probably unlikely.

    Anyhoo, fun to keep this one going! First post on the board (second attempt ;) )

  • I'd really like to see Jeffrey Combs (of Star Trek and Re-animator fame) in the part. He's played plenty of devious scheming characters and his physical stature (slim and not very tall) fits the description. At first I thought he was a bit too old for the part, but it's not like Sean Bean or Mark Addy are spring chickens either.

    I do really like the suggestion of Aidan Gillen too though, and I wouldn't hate any of the other suggestions. Jeffrey Combs is still the guy I really want to see though.

  • I know we are trying to keep this discussion in the realm of possibilities and my next suggestion would never happen in a million years, but does anyone else think Robert Downy Jr. would kick ass and chew bubble gum as Littlefinger?
    Again, it will never happen, but damn, I wish it could!

  • I think I always imagined Littlefinger as a cross between Crispin Glover and Eric Stotlz, I don't think that actor exists though. I actually haven't heard of any of those actors, but they look like they could pull it off. Maybe John Simm most of all; his eyes look devious and cunning.

  • Mark Sheppard is a good choice, although I'd be happier with Gillen or Simm. Simm is the same age as Ehle, although he looks younger, and is equally good at playing good and bad guys.

    Hollander I think is a little too obviously villainous from his previous roles. I could imagine him being a great Roose Bolton (if they went younger with the casting of that role), but as Littlefinger I think he'd scream 'bad guy!' straight away. As far as acting capability goes, he's certainly good enough for the role.

    Callis I think would be good in the role as well and wouldn't be unhappy with his casting, but I can see Gillen or Simm in the role more easily. However, pretty much all of those suggested for this role are fully capable of doing it justice.

  • There's also always Alan Tudyk, who I think REALLY fits the part. He's allegedly 6' tall, so IMDb says, but I don't believe it (actors lie about their height all the time) – he always seems to be playing smallish looking guys, to me. Also, it would reunite him with Mark Addy!

  • There's also always Alan Tudyk. He's allegedly 6' tall, so IMDb says, but I don't believe it – he always seems to be playing smallish guys. Also, it would reunite him with Mark Addy!

  • Callis, without a doubt. There are lots of "devious" people out there, but part of what I loved about Baltar (and what makes Littlefinger interesting) is that there's this little bit of humanity hiding in there too.

    Plus, the idea of casting or not casting someone like Littlefinger because of their height is silly to me. It's about acting chops and personality, not whether they're 5'7" or 5' 10". That sort of stuff only applies to midgets and superhuge swordfighters. The rest of the cast should be dictated by acting ability.

  • Another highly unlikely candidate I simply can't get out of my mind for the role woud be Edward Norton. But since Petyr doesn't need to be on screen that often (if I remember correctly), he could as well be portraid by a guest star in one or two episodes per season.

    Additionaly, Norton seems to be someone who would appear in a project just because he likes it, and guested on Modern Family recently, which is described as been a sitcom (never saw it myself). So how much of a budget would that have?

    • I think you underestimate the screentime Littlefinger has, and the longevity of the role. Assuming a series pick-up, the actor playing Littlefinger would need to commit to being involved for at least 4-5 seasons, if not the entire series run.

      • Oh, I know that perfectly well. That's why it will never happen. But if it would, I think Norton could deliver a very fitting and memorabel performance.

        From the four guys suggested by Winter, the only one I ever saw in anything is Callis. I guess he would be an OK choice, his work on BSG was fun to watch. Speaking of which, I'm really glad they didn't cast Tricia Helfer as Cersai; I totally didn't find her as attractive as they wanted her to appear, and those scenes inside Baltars imagination tend to go on for far too long.

  • I've mentioned this before, and I'll do it again… I think a risky, but somehow perfect choice for Littlefinger would be Julian Barratt (of Mighty Boosh fame). He's taller than Petyr, but his looks and his wit are spot on. He's by far the most genuinely dry and funny actor of all the ones suggested thus far.

    Here are some photos and a video…




  • You know what, at first i wasnt sure about hollander, i thought he looked a little chubby, but i remembered seeing him a little slimmer and that completely altered my perception. Now im all for him, and really couldnt care if he slims up, i just see it. I guess sometimes its hard not to be a little superficial at first glance

  • John Simm is a brilliant suggestion, I think he is a great actor and would certainly do the character of Littlefinger justice

  • I agree that all choices could pull the role off. I also think Callis would be signposting LF as bad whereas there should be some ambiguity until you know when.

    My personally favourite would have been John SIm but having seem the post I would switch to Hollander. Why? Because I find the SPOILER kissing between LF and Sansa very creepy and if Sim was in the part you could almost understand it (and a lot of girls would think wish that was me) whereas I think Hollander would make it far more erm squirmy.


    Saying that I would like to see all of them in various roles. Callis for Renly perhaps (now there's a non Baltar role) Simm for anyone at all that stays in the series.

    Where has the facebook login gone??

  • Having seen John Simm play a masterful Master in Doctor Who I will have to support him. He's exactly what I expect a devious megalomaniac to look like.

    It appears to me that most people vote for Callis because they loved the BSG series, but honestly he is way to nice looking to pull it over.

    However as Kenneth Øster posted earlier…. Someone like Jeffrey Combs would absolutely blow everyone away as Littlefinger. He is a bit older (1954 ahum!) but he looks a lot younger as good old weyoun (… or without makeup

  • Er, Joss im pretty sure that scene between Sansa and Petyr is supposed to be "squirmy", rather than inspiring a bunch of pubescent girls around the world to idolize themselves in a situation where a middle aged man, who loved their mother, and is now locking lips them.
    Dont you think?

    • Eaxactly my point if it was John Simms I think a lot of girls would wish it was them. Hollander would make it as 'squirmy' as it was intended

  • John Simm would be a BRILLIANT choice. He is kind of how I have always seen Lord Baelish in my head.

    I like the idea of Eddie Izzard, but I think he would be much more appropriate for Varys. He would be very good at making the disguises believeable, would bring a touch of comedy to the role (and who is Varys without his little tittering?), and he has the acting chops to keep the viewer on his or her toes…

  • I don't know Callis, but I can vouch for all the other actors. Simm was absolutely amazing in Life on Mars (that would be the British version), he definately has the looks. Although Carcetti wasn't my favourite character in the Wire (I just watched the whole show for the first time, devoured all the dvd's in 2 weeks), Gillen did show he has the acting skills to do whatever he wants with LF. And last maybe my favourite suggestion: Tom Hollander, last week I saw In the Loop (maybe the most hilarious film I saw in years, go see it!) and that man can act!

  • "Currently baring his buttocks nightly in The Little Dog Laughed in the West End, Harry Lloyd's next assignment will be Game of Thrones, an HBO medieval fantasy with Sean Bean and Iain Glen.

    An American accent will not required. “It’s an unspoken rule that if you’re American, you can’t hold a sword,” the amiable actor tells me. “It’ll be like Lord of the Rings. Everyone will do a non-accent. It will be great fun.”"


  • Simm matches my vision of littlefinger but I have never seen him act. Hollander has a thick jaw that makes him look too big i think. Callis could definitely work well but I think much too good looking for the part maybe better suited to another role, im a big fan of his. Gillen is also a really cool choice, playing the scheming politician in the wire he was fantastic!

  • Wow I didn't even recognize Gillen immediately in that picture. Still my choice wouldn't be on either him or Callis. If seen too much of them in BSG and The Wire. Hollander and Simm I don't know that well. I think Hollanders looks the part and I would go with him.

  • On a side note i know a few people have mentioned him. Tim Roth would be my dream casting for this role but pretty sure that would be impossible.

  • I'm not really blown over by those four suggestions for Littlefinger. If I had to choose out of these four I'd go with Hollander or Simm.

    Littlefinger has always been Guy Pearce in my mind, but I think that bit of casting is unlikely. Someone mentioned Tobias Menzies earlier – I think that's nice suggestion if they're not taking height into consideration (he's got to be close to 6' tall). Cillian Murphy looks too young, but is another suggestion that I kinda like. Would love Tim Roth – if he was 10 years younger. Eddie Izzard is an absolutely crazy suggestion, but I do like it a mad sort of way…lol (maybe because it's just so wrong).

  • Callis is too dynamic for LF. LF never shows any emotion at all, no remorse, compassion, doubt, good/bad. I think Callis' range would be wasted on LF.

    Hollander fits the role better, but would be in danger of being typcast at this point. The others I'm not familiar with.

    Callis should play someone who's macho/cowardly/arrogant/brave fool/plain old fool all at the same time.

    He could be:

    Renly (I'm surprised nobody's suggested that yet)
    Arys Oakheart (if made blond)
    Tom o Seven
    Osmund Kettleblack (maybe not gruff enough)
    Aurane Waters
    Daario Naharis (or whichever sellsword Dany's attracted to)


    • Just looked him up a bit and I think he might be too good looking for the part.
      Littlefinger is not a high born character and I see Petyr more as the underdog, also looks wise.

  • All of them look quite good for the role… but I think TIM ROTH should definitely play Littlefinger ;)

  • Suggested Renly about 10 posts up but I love your idea of Callis playing one of the bards. Is Marillion the one who was trying to find words to rhyme with imp but only came up with gimp?

  • My current obsession with Battlestar Galactica makes me love the idea of James Callis as Littlefinger.

    Now, someone go tell George to write a role that would be suitable for the utterly awesome, uber charismatic Mary McDonnell.

    • Stick a bit more make-up on her and dye her hair grey (or un-dye it if necessary ;) ) and Mary McDonnell could have a recurring cameo as the Queen of Thorns. Or give her a battleaxe and a suit of mail and turn her into Maege Mormont :-)

      Unfortunately, those roles are probably too small-fry to interest McDonnell.

  • A little too much heartthrob? Littlefinger uses that to bend people to his will, a la taking the Eyrie. That's gotta be a good thing, though I'd go for one of the last 2. Any of these 4 will be great though

  • I like James Callis or Tom Hollander for the role.

    John Simm I see as being more for Davos, should we ever get that far.

    Note: On my computer the text once the actor list starts is all a single word per line underneath the picture. I don't know what the technical problem is, but I thought it worth mentioning as you're still tweaking things.

  • It's funny – I experience the exact same problem via my computer at work. On my personal computer at home, the text reads fine. Not sure where the problem lies though.

  • Yeah, he's the bard that goes up with highroad with Tyrion/Catelyn to the Eyrie, then shows up again when Lysa marries LF towards the end of ASoS.

    I think Callis would be great, but perhaps the part is too small/sparse.

    • Don't particularly care for his look for Littlefinger, but does he speak English? His film credits don't appear to indicate anything in English.

      • I don't think he has spoken English in any movies, but I have seen him talk English in a youtube clip. It was posted on Westeros and most people seems to thinks his English was good enough.

    • Never seen him in any movie but I have seen the clip were he speaks English you referred to and I have to say that the little accent he got doesn't bother me at all, cant seem to find the clip at the moment though. And I think his looks are almost perfect for Petyr.

  • You're all looking at the wrong Wire cast member for Littlefinger. Dominic "Jimmy McNulty" West is my choice for everyone's favorite witty and seemingly harmless bureaucrat. It will give him a chance to turn off the Baltimore accent, and revisit his campy 300 role in an extended and more challenging outing.…. (<- here's a pic of him standing next to Ehle)

    Gillian would be great too.

    The ultimate would be McAvoy, but he's quickly becoming a star, and a bit young with the direction they've gone with casting so far.

  • David Bamber (Cicero form Rome) always struck me as a perfect Littlefinger. I can't avoid imaging him in my mind when I read the books.

    • It's a few years late for him to be doing it. I could see an early-40's guy, but not a man nearing sixty.

    • Yeah, I could agree with this one if he were closer to Ehle's age (about 15 years younger). Shame. I still like him for a possible Varys though.

  • Lord Ned's Head:
    Also, he was basically manipulated by the Cylons and circumstance into the role of villain.

    You could argue the same for Littlefinger – he definitely wasn't born with all the right connexions so has to make do however he can.

    I was about to say Callis would be a shoe-in but then I saw John Sim listed and he was fantastic as the Master. If he could tone it down a bit for Littlefinger he could work. One for the screen test to decide, perhaps.

  • Long time reader, first time poster, so hello everybody ;)

    Callis would be great. Hollander doesn't fit the image in my mind. Can't say anything about the other two, but they look ok.

    Although he may be a little too tall, I would recommend Hal Ozsan as Littlefinger. After his performances in Supernatural and Californication I'd totally like to see him in the role.
    And if not Littlefinger, then find him something else ^^

  • James Callis – i saw him on BSG.. he's not my pick. He was kinda pathetic in BSG anyway, or maybe thats just the character.
    Rest of these guys i don't know so i'll judge by appearance.

    Tom Hollander – Too much of a square jaw.

    John Simm – it could work but he looks kind of.. benign in this pic.

    Aidan Gillen – He looks okay. he's got sort of a friendly face but there's evil behind the mask ;)

  • and who says littlefinger cant have a square jaw. In my mind he does.
    I think WIC should change the pic of Hollander to this one from the imdb also. The one here is terrible
    Tom Hollander

  • Hey Winter!
    Didn't know where to post this so…
    I just wanted to let you know there is a link missing in the "Catching up" thread.
    We can only acces the first page of comments, and there is no link for the next page (which I know for sure existed 'cause I posted some comments for that thread…)
    No emergency. I just know you like to keep your blog top-notch :)
    Keep up the good work!

    Also, I meant to send this by email but for some reason it kept saying I had entered the wrong code even though I double checked it and tried again with a new code without success… Is there something wrong with the system or is it just me? Perhaps I'm on your black list already! :P

  • Got to say im a big Jon Simms fan, however I thought he was a little hammy in Dr Who as the master. He is a big name in the UK more for his lead in life on Mars in which he was excellent.

  • Hollander is the only one of these four I'm familiar with and would be fine with him in the role. Somebody else suggested Billy Boyd and I think that would be a great way to surprise viewers when Littlefinger turns out to be the smartest and most devious man in Westeros.

  • Well previously known as LadyNYC74 I have been outed …. LOL … anyway … for the sake of throwing my 2 cents in … I'm voting for Hollander ….. I believe that he will bring that special something that makes Littlefinger "Littlefinger" ….. and I agree that Littlefinger shouldn't be too handsome … just enough so that we can see why Lysa "fell head over heals for him" … but also to convey some sense of trust for Sansa

  • Littlefinger was always a young Gary Oldman in my mind's eye as I read the books…. no way we get him but that's the look I always envisioned

  • Another big interview with: Harry LLoyd

    An extract:

    "…He describes the process of getting the part as: “One of those auditions which you have every now and again for some big American TV series and you’re like ‘Great, thanks.’ You go in and put yourself on tape and send it off and you’ll never hear about it. So I went in and slightly took the p**s with this character, had a bit of fun with it. They loved it…."

  • @WiC
    I find rather akward to have to scroll down the page and press "last" everytime I refresh the page.
    Could it be done that the messages are displayed in reverse date order or something like that?
    Or at least have the "previous 1 2 3 Last" buttons also in the main body of the post.

    thanks a lot!

  • i don't know much of teh actors listed in here but so far the one i liked the most for littlefinger is simm
    hello to every body

    former known as hermionehphg

  • Caedes, I like your second suggestion (show the links for the pager both above and below the comments). On the other hand, reverse date order for comments is *totally evil*. While it makes keeping up with recent posts slightly easier (for those F5 addicts among you ;), it kills readability when trying to pick up on a story with lots of comments. We could have it as another sorting option, though.

    That said, I think WiC said comments are based on a WordPress plug-in, so I don't know if this kind of modifications are really feasible.

  • Some other suggestions for Petyr:

    Robert Carlyle: He has the talent and the looks, to old maybe.

    Mark Rylance: Same as with Carlyle. He got the looks and the acting ability but the his age is an issue.

    David Thewlis: Same as above

    Benoit Magimel: Great actor from France, one of those actor that's good even in a bad movie. I have never heard him talk English though and French people have a tendency to talk quite bad English.

    Steven Mackintosh: Not one of my favorite suggestions but I wouldn't have anything against him as Petyr either.

    • I see Robert Carlyle as more of a "tough guy": Bronn, or perhaps Stannis or Quorin Halfhand, or Mance Rayder, or even a villain like Amory Lorch. But isn't he a bit busy now headlining his own Stargate show?

      I just realized that David Thewlis is 6 foot 2, so maybe that'd be physically wrong for the role as well.

  • James Frain, i think would be great as little finger, he played a similar role in the Tudors and is similar to how i see little finger.
    I loved Callis in BSG but he is not how i see little finger, he is far too handsome, though i am sure he could pull it off as he is an amazing actor.

  • (off topic)

    We at Extras NI have received our annual re-registration letter. This letter usually summarizes the past year and looks forward to future projects. One line in the letter that I thought you would like is…

    ‘We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed any work offered in 2009. We intend to up the ante in 2010 as we hope HBO’s Game of Thrones series will keep us busy for the majority of it!’

    Of course they don’t know anything about the series being picked up but at least it looks like Extras NI is being lined up to look after the extras for the whole series.

    Roll on March…!

    • Great news! Hope you will get a chance to be back on the series!

      By the way: how is your reading of aSoIaF progressing?

      And off topic: the "Jump to ->" links on the sidebar don't work, at least for me (running Firefox 3.5.3 on Vista). Trying to jump to Rimshots post only showed me the blog entry itself, and nothing else.

  • James Callis is a fine actor, but a bit too handsome; I picture Littlefinger as average looking, with some devious smirk. Aidan Gillen would be perfect, but I have nothing against Simm and Hollander. I think Hans Matheson is too young and James Frain's schedule is busy (he'll be on True Blood), but Billy Boyd is a very interesting suggestion too.

  • Speaking of Amoka. I seem to remember reading a while ago how impressed GRRM was with his work. I recall him mentioning Littlefinger in particular as exactly how he pictured him in his mind's eye.
    To me Littlefinger should be good looking, but slight. He seems to have been "pretty" enough to charm the Tulley girls. His big problem is that he isn't strong enough to fit the common perception of a knight. That, plus his extremely humble noble bloodline takes him out of any discussion as a person of interest when it comes to matches and power on the surface. This, in my opinion is both his curse (He was basically laughed/shunned away from Riverrun) and his ultimate strength (prior events have driven him to succeed, and he knows full and well how people view him and uses it to his advantage).
    No one of consequence in Westeros takes him seriously (at least at the beginning), but they all should.

    • Amoka's pictures do get a lot better as he goes along, and the later images he did of the other Targaryens were really good. In comparison some of his earlier character pictures feel a little simplistic, and if he comes back to do more SoIaF work I expect he'd do better now. However, I feel most of the images do get a good sense of the character across, even if his actual artwork in some cases could be a little better (his picture of Arya, for example, looks more like a Victorian chimney-sweep than what I took from the description in the books).

  • I still like prefer my choice of Cillian Murphy for Littlefinger after looking at the other candidates. He has that gaunt angular look I always envisioned of LF. He is also Irish which is a plus, he is 34 and 5'9" he has great talent and has played villain and anti-hero roles. He doesn't have much on his slate for next 2 years. The first 2 years of GoT wouldn't require too much of his time. I don't believe any of the other candidates can stack up against him. He just has that look of a sly charming politician yet with enough innocence to keep others off balance and quessing concerning his true motives and loyalty, his piercing eyes really help too..
    Cillian Murphy

    • Those are pretty much all the reasons I chose Hans Matheson. He's also less of a big name, and fewer people will be saying "Hey, isn't that the guy from Batman?"

      • I have never thought of Hans Matheson as Petyr, but that's actually a rather good suggestion. I could definitely see that work.

    • Given his recent movie roles, I'm wondering if he might be a little too high-profile now for the project. According to IMDB he is also shooting at least one movie in mid-2010, which might rule him out of GoT. Plus I wonder if he is a little too young for the role. At 33 and looking a few years younger, I'm not sure if he'd convince as someone only a year or two younger than the 40-year-old Jennifer Ehle.

    • I'm certain that Cillian Murphy would be good as Petyr, but as has been said, this guy is meant to play Ramsay. He so perfect for that role I cant really can't see him as any other AsoIaF character.

  • @Rimshot
    Great news! It means we will still have you as an insider when/if the series gets picked up!

    And I too would like to know how is your reading so far. For my part, I intend to reread the whole series soon (including FFC for the first time) along with the three Dunk and Egg novellas (I read the first one a long time ago) in order to have it all fresh in my mind when the series hit the screen :)

  • James Callis is my vote. Except for the fact that you've mentioned that he's a little too handsome for Littlefinger, he'll be a good fit. I have always envisioned him as Littlefinger anyway. :D

  • i'd have to say tom hollander. littlefinger wasnt attractive in my mind, but he was a mastermind, someone who can obviously look smart and they look like their mind is more dangerous than their might. tom hollander or john sim would be my choice if i was in charge of making a cast :D.

  • Gonna have to go with Hollander too. Im thinking simms looks too scrawny for littlefinger, hollander has depth.

  • I've been researching Tom Hollander (read I looked him up on Youtube) a bit. The guy is a very good actor. I especially like his "God Bless America" scene. My problem with him is that he just simply doesn't look devious enough to match the Littlefinger I see in my own imagination. I'm not saying he wouldn't do a great job if given the role. I just can't make it work in my brain at this point. Callis seems much more shifty. Callis even comes across as possibly treacherous in his role as Merlin in the horrible Sci-Fi endeavor The Book of Beasts. There is something in his eyes that just screams "don't trust this one farther than you can throw him.
    Ok back to "researching" other LF candidates.

  • Hollander is an actor. You didnt see it becaiuse he wasnt playing littlefinger. Unlike other actors he doesnt bring trademark moves wherever he goes, but completely adapts for each character.

  • @Dunkeltroll – I’m only half-way through AGOT but it is great so far. Really enjoying it.

    @JacMac30 – I was filling the brazier. AceJones was a Baratheon (sp!) guard. I’m looking forward to lots of work on this, as long as I don’t turn up on the first day to be told ‘ok, you are killed in the first scene’. Nightmare!!

  • Not even thinking about his appearance, even though it seems spot on to me, im going to go with Tom Hollander. Hes just such a fantastic actor and would kill this role. I think hed rather enjoy it too.

  • This is a tricky role to cast. Littlefinger is a master manipulator – He can gain the trust of the people around him so he can use them to his own ends. Because of the need to show trustworthiness, I don't like Callis for Littlefinger. Gaius Baltar was so obviously self-serving that he went beyond devious to downright shifty. Littlefinger is so much more subtle. Maybe Callis could do Varys?

    I think Hollander can do feigned sincerity and subtlety much better than Callis.

  • Trying to add another (possible gettable) name to the LF discussion, has anyone mentioned Craig Parker yet?

    He played Darkhen Rahl in Legend of the Seeker and Haldir in the LOTR movies. I just saw him the other day as the legate in Spartacus, but I have no idea how long his character (or that series) will last.

    His height is listed between 5-9 and 5-10. while he's not as short as LF, he is close enough to not be a glaring problem. He has a certain acerbic wit the work I have seen of him that could work nicely for Petyr. I know LoTS gets beat up on these boards pretty regularly, but its the writing in that series that is the biggest problem. Parker actually did a pretty good job with the material he was given.

  • I would be really nervous about Tom Hollander as little finger. In Pirates, I found his character largely uninteresting, though his acting was better than in Pride and Prejudice. I think he was severely miscast as Mr. Collins. That being said, Pride and Prejudice (2005) was altogether awful in it's delivery, which makes it unlikely that the fault lay with the cast.
    James Callis would be fun.
    I am thrilled about the cast so far, so I will trust whoever is chosen.

  • ew callis would be awful. im guessing its the battlestar fans and the girls/guys who want a pretty face to look at who go for this guy, and seeming as this is a fantasy website im probably not in the best of company to say that. lol. no hard feelings.

  • I'm surprised that Hollander is in the lead in the Littlefinger poll. I think he would do a good job, but I figured Callis or Gillen would be the front runners with their respective sci-fi/fantasy and HBO fan bases.

  • Maybe people are just sick of these sci fan favs being re used and actually want this to be special, or possibly people outside of the nerd cast are starting to take notice of this site or something

  • Is Tom Hollander the guy who played the dictator on the movie, Land of the Blind? If so, he would make a terrific Littlefinger!

  • But, I still think Gordon Currie would be the perfect Littlefinger! ;-) After all, Gordon plays the Anti-Christ. :-)

  • I vote John Simm…mostly because the Master and Littlefinger are two of my all-time favorite characters…

  • Support Councilman Tommy Carcetti for King's Master of Coin!

    After watching The Wire Seasons 3 and 4, I also thought about that dude as Littlefinger in my mind's eye. Dude's a really good actor and could pull off the part with charm and the ocassional flash of machiavellian ruthlessness. Even if he is 5'10 (my height, incidentally) They really made him seem slight and boyish in that show. There's all kinds of visual tricks they can do in a show.

    Seriously guys… I know everybody is still crushing on Battlestar Galactica and its fine cast… but there *are other good actors who might be available for a Fantasy/Sci Fi series'.

    – Mike

    • James Purefoy….the buy from HBO's rome who played mark antony….this is the guy i pictured as i read, even before i knew there would be a series….his sarcastic nature fits the bill

    • Maybe, but James Purefoy is cast to play Kantos Kan, character of John Carter of Mars, books of Edgar Rice Burroughs, in the new SF Movie directed by
      Andrew Stanton. It could be a trilogy. Purefoy will be busy next times.

  • Description of Littlefinger (from Tower of the Hand): He is short and slight with sharp features, laughing gray-green eyes, a small pointed beard on his chin, and grey threads in his dark hair.

    On that basis the closest of the four is probably Simm. I think he has the right sort of look and the acting cridentials. Probably the right height too.
    Hollander would not fit the bill for me. He is too blunt an actor and totally the wrong look.
    Callis and Gillen I don't know, but their photos don't do much for me.

  • Has anybody else mentioned John Hawkes for Littlefinger? He was great in Deadwood and now Lost, and I think he's the right age, look and build. Now if he can just do that generic not quite really British accent that American actors have to do in pre-industrial period movies, he'll be perfect.

  • Does anyone else think Micheal Emerson would make a great Littlefinger? He has the body tpye, and can definitely pull off the sinster/cunning role.

  • They'll never get Cillian Murphy. He has a movie career. If the rumors are true then Peter O'Meara is a great choice. Charming, funny and deadly.

  • This may seem like a stretch but how bout Michael Emerson for Littlefinger? I think he plays the intelli-villan perfectly. I think his looks can work, the only thing that I am not too sure about would be his height. I'm sure there is no chance of this happening, but a guy can dream can't he.

    P/S – Since this is the last season of lost he should be available.

    • Emerson's a great actor, but he's way too old for Petyr. Littlefinger must be younger than Catelyn (or at least, the same age) and Jennifer Ehle is 39. Emerson is 56; and he's american :)

      • I agree, he's getting up there in age, (64?) but he plays a great villian and is a great actor. I'm sure he can play a maester or something right? I have no idea what role he could play but I think he would be awesome.

  • I actually prefer Johnathan Ryse Myers to all of the above mentioned. I've seen him in a variety of roles, and I have no doubt that this man could play the roll of Little Finger to perfection.

  • I think James Callis is too good-looking to be Littlefinger. I always pictured him as being more… I don't know… ratlike. Tall and gaunt, with pinched features and birdlike mannerisms. I loved John Simm as The Master, and I really think he'd be great as Littlefinger… but that artist impression looks so much like Peter Wingfield to me that it was actually jarring the first time I saw it:
    img1 –
    img2 –

  • Funny, as I always considered Littlefinger to be relatively handsome, in that innocuous slimy sort of way. Just handsome enough to be useful too him, but not so handsome it's a problem. Callis fit the bill for me on that one, but I'll be curious to see who they pick.