Casting General Speculation

Jory Cassel fans rejoice!

It’s the closest thing to casting news we’ve had in a while. In George R. R. Martin’s latest Not A Blog entry, after a quick ADwD mention (always good news), George mentions he is working on the episode 8 script and intimates he is also “spending spare time with” a few notable characters from A Game of Thrones … which really can only mean one thing: he is poring over audition tapes for these roles.

On other fronts, I am writing on DANCE WITH DRAGONS, writing on episode eight of the HBO series, waiting for three more rewrites to come in on FORT FREAK, looking at some spectacular art by John Picacio, and spending my spare time with Varys, Littlefinger, the Old Bear, Jory Cassel, Septa Mordane, Bronn, and some other old friends. Need more hours in the day, please.

Fire And Blood: What this means, my friends, is we now have a better idea of some of the characters not getting cut from the show. Opinions below, and [SPOILERS] abound. You’ve been warned.

Varys: Next to Littlefinger, likely the biggest no-brainer of the series. The Spider is needed.

Littlefinger: The biggest no-brainer of the series. Littlefinger had almost zero chance of getting cut.

The Old Bear: Also assured of a place in the series, pretty much, and now all we need are Maester Aemon and Donal Noye. Really, you could amalgamate nearly any of the other Castle Black leaders (though I too would love to see who might be cast as the Old Pomegranate).

Jory Cassel: I was hoping we would see him; Jory even had a few lines in the leaked pilot script, and I was surprised he wasn’t cast for the pilot. In my never-humble opinion … unless you have a Jory slated to die at the Kingslayer’s command, the confrontation between Ned and Jaime on the streets of King’s Landing means so much less. Ned losing Jory is a vital and sobering moment.

Septa Mordane: Looks like we have ourselves an actual Septa Mordane — and now Sophie Turner gets another fine severed head to look upon. A joy for her, I’m sure.

Bronn: More important than any other mercenary, I’m glad they’ve got the Snide One scheduled for casting. He needs to be quick of wit and word.

Rest assured, this announcement does not guarantee we will see these characters in the series. Anyone can fall victim to the dreaded Cutting Room Floor. It does, however, give us more of an insight as to what Dave, D.B., and co. see as important to the series.

Once these characters have been cast, we will then look forward to any of George’s infamous casting clues. We stand ready, as ever.


  • I'm SO excited that they're getting close to casting Varys and Littlefinger! Can't wait to hear who they choose.

  • Well something is better than nothing I guess…

    Still, I have to say I'm surprised and concerned that it appears they haven't made many (if any casting decisions) yet. Almost two months after the green light, I thought they would have had many of the roles filled by now. It makes me nervous they won't be ready in time for the planned filming date.

    Still there are a few notable exceptions to this list (Tywin, Gregor, Sam, Pycelle), so maybe these roles have already been cast. We know that they, at one point, had cast a Pycelle. And it seems likely that Conan Stevens would be an easy choice for Gregor (how many 7 ft tall bodybuilder actors are there?).

    Also, if GRRM is viewing the audition tapes I'm guessing it means they are nearing the end of the audition process. I doubt he watches the tapes of everyone that auditions, likely just the handful that get called back two or three times.

    So like you say, FaB, we stand ready, awaiting some clues.

    • I had the same exact thought. The fact that she said late last week or early this week and she still hasn't posted it really makes me think (despite the fact that she's said otherwise) that there's something in there that can't be released just yet.

    • Someone asked her this on the Watcher blog and she replied that some things have come up with it and it won't be published until next week (i.e. the first week of May).

  • (My good friends call me FaBio.)

    I too noted he did not mention Grand Maester Pycelle, which makes me think he has already been cast. (Roy Dotrice is still my best guess.)

    Conan Stevens is also my personal pick for THE GREGOR, not just because of his close physical resemblance to Rory McCann, but because of his passion for the role. And I like to see good ol'-fashioned effort and perseverance pay off.

  • great minds think alike i agree completely

    Dotrice is perfect and i know this because of his audio books work

    Conan is perfect because he has the skills size and talent (and he is a really nice down to earth guy)

  • Yeah, I think Conan Stevens is perfect too, but how strange would it be to have a nice guy playing Gregor? :)

  • I got the impression that it contained some details that Mo Ryan was not at liberty to divulge at that point, and therefore she said that the full interview would not be available until later this week or next week. But given we are already into "next week", it shouldn't be far away. If my theory is correct, it could definately contain some juicy news…

  • I kind of figured that Jory would be cast mostly be cause the watcher needs that feeling that someone who was, at the very least close to the starks has died and the impact it has on them. it just makes the ally butchering scene much more powerful because of the fact that this is not just the leader of the Stark gaurd but a close family friend who has been killed needlessly. sorry for the redundency.

  • Agreed. This i why I was very surprised to hear that Jory was cut from the pilot. If anything, I would expect them to give him a bigger role than in the books.

  • Heh. I took it to mean that he was busy playing with some of his little, green men like the ones in his previous post.

    I prefer this interpretation a lot better though. :)

    First post here btw, even though I’ve followed the site since the early days. Keep it up guys.

    • Well, I didn't get what he meant either until someone suggested the audition tapes on this blog and now I'm all excited about it.
      But playing with miniatures is an hilarious interpretation, I give you this :)

  • @WIC, why would you assume that they will leak all the casting decisions? Of course, they have some people casted, some not and I wouldn't be surprised if they don't share any information, because they announced pivotal roles. Maybe we will find out by GRRM. And no, I don't think he sees all the auditions tapes, mostly these send by D&D and they got them from casting director.

  • Excited and in agreement with what the rest say :) I do hope they find a smart way to include Renly. The intrigues at court have more texture if he's around in person.

  • lol and of coure like – not lyke, that's not even a mistake, that's because of my overworked fingers :))

  • Sorry for spaming, but i think that this intensedebate hates me, i am sure, that i've written COURSE not COURE :)) It would be nice to have some kind of editing or deleting function.

  • Re: Mediazoo GoT camera tests
    Another nice find by raijap!
    Could be the crypts, or just a random test for a stone wall and a wooden wall
    I love the effect with the torch.
    But I doubt we are seeing actors on this shot. This is a camera test, so in my opinion they put random people in to test the light.

  • I wonder if HBO gave a sort of greenlit to the amount of info we are getting these couple of days.
    Maybe they allowed the publishing of the credits on internet.

    I mean, we were digging for the months, there was almost nothing!
    In last couple of days, it seems that all sorts of infos just pop-up all over the internet.

    he he
    I like it!

  • Like Nymeria says, the Mediazoo pics are just camera test photos, not set photos. Meaning the torch and wall pic is just set up to represent the conditions of a set so they can adjust the camera settings to get the look they want. Saves time from having to do it while on set where you are paying lots of money for cast and crew to stand around and wait.

    Still it is a good find. (Just curious, how do you Google stuff that is contained in a PDF doc like that?) I will try to report on this and some of the other news tidbits in a post later today.

  • Yay, I'm such a Jory Cassel fangirl. I think, having read every book multiple times, that's still the death I'm saddest about.

  • According to IMDB, Dotrice is about 87 years old. That's even older than Pycelle! I think he'd be perfect for the part, but do you think he'd be up to playing Pycelle into his mid nineties?

  • No word on Shae either? She's what makes Tyrion a great character, i really hope they don't cut her.

  • There was also the possible actor Rob Thorne about which Thoros of Myr posted in the last thread. I like how he looks. probably just an extra though.
    And Rimshot posted some input about the costumed extra photos…

    Out of the character GRRM names, only Jory could be cut imo. Varys and LF are no brainers. Mormont and Bronn are too crucial to the plot to cut and keep the story true. For that matter so is Aemon. Jory could have been cut, but I’ve always felt lilke it would have been a mistake. It’s great to see him getting casting consideration.
    The most important quality for a Jory candidate is someone with a very kind, likeable appearance and demeanor. Viewrs should want to root for him so hiis seen with Eddard and Jaime hits home harder whe it happens.

  • Of more concern to me is lack of mention of Hodor, and even more importantly (and glaringly absent) Syrio. Optimistically I would guess that this might be because neither would have to appear in episode 2 so hopefully George is only looking that far into the process.
    GRRM has made mention of Hodor in the series previously, so barring anything major I would say that expecting him to pop up is a safe bet. Slashing Syrio is a scary possibility, but its one that I could see happening. It would be a HUGE mistake imo( way to many great scenes and chances for fleshing out Arya), but he is less crucial to the overall story than some of the other characters ( unless you buy into the Jaquen Hagar FM theory (I don’t btw)which gives him much more importance down the road).

    • I think both Hodor and Syrio will appear. Hodor is indeed vital to Bran´s storyarc. And Syrio could be just a glorified extra but must have some sort of presence.

    • They could do somehting lame where Jon taught her secretly a bit before she leaves Winterfell and then maybe she watches and practices by herself when she can. She really doesn't need the whole waterdancer portion of her character to advance her story arc anyway. Just her inherent fierceness. Again, I want Syrio in more than any non-main character, but I could definatly see him being cut.
      If they di in fact cast the role though, I think it would be a perfect place to get some big name for a cameo (read Patrick Stewart). Small commitment, attatchment to a major HBO series and ability to tackle a fantastic (albeit short)role.

  • As your name reminds us, HBO shows have a history of killing off their characters (even major ones). I think audiences are pretty used to it by now, and won't be nearly as shocked as we were when reading the books. They won't be "shocked" about Jory, and may not even be shocked about the bigger deaths.

    I think it's more shocking in a book because you've spent so much time getting to know the character inside your head (rather than watching an actor). Also, it's just less common to see major characters die in books than on TV, so it's more of a surprise.

  • people who are shocked about Jory's demise will be in for THE SHOCK OF THEIR LIFETIME a few episodes later!

  • Great news. But the 1000000 dollr question is:

    Gary Oldman?Ralph Fiennes?Daniel Day Lewis?Liam Neeson?
    I will only accept actors of this calliber to deliver complex lines like «Hodor!» and «Hodor?»

  • Agree. Syrio would only have a few lines and maybe three scenes (intro, one training scene, possible voice-over in 'chasing cats' scene, final scene). In all probability, they will hire somebody with more swordsmanship experience than acting experience–the former comes more cheaply–so I'm not looking for anyone famous.

    Hodor is, in terms of the series, likely to be much more important.

  • I think the main point with Syrio, apart from teaching Arya how to fence is that he appears right where we all fall in love with Arya's character. I mean who else will have her chasing cats?

    Hodor is, as Conquest put it vital to Brans storyline. Who else will he ride and later possess?

    The point of cutting a character is saving time and money and that rules cutting Jory out. If need be another man-in-arms but with a line or two.

    Btw, Tyrion the lucky bastard ;)

  • Guys, I think that your concerns for whom might be in risk of getting cut out are getting a bit extreme. All the characters listed in the post are no-brainers, not just Varys and LF.

  • Its possible (though not wanted or likely) that the Old Bear or Jory could be cut. Bronn is too essential in my mind to leave out unless they are planning to veer off of the plot much more than has been suggested.

  • Always pictured Damian Lewis as Jory Cassel. Probably wishful thinking, but the impact on the HBO viewers who loved him in Band of Brothers would be big.

  • That line always has me breaking down in laughter whenever I read it or think of it. I sure hope we get to see Dolorous Edd.

  • Very cool. I think we've seen a lot of love for Tamzin lately, and most people will be happy if she's still in it. Was the podcast recorded around the time it was posted?

  • Might mean she's still in, but as mentioned in the new post, it might be that GRRM wouldn't exclude her as that would be confirmation that she has been recast.

  • Think he's a tad bit too old. I think Jory's supposed to be mid-twenties, Lewis is 39. Great actor though, he would be a great Roose Bolton.

  • …I think George is referring to "spending" time with those characters in A Dance with Dragons, not characters in the HBO series…