Casting George R. R. Martin News

George updates: No news on Tuesday

GRRM posts an update on casting. While no contracts have been finalized that he is aware of, there is a number of roles that are in negotiation phase already:

Offers are out on quite a few parts, both major and minor, but I’m not aware of any deals closing besides the ones already announced. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. Who knows? These things can take time.

He has been viewing more tapes, this time for children characters: Mycah, Rickon, Tommen, and Myrcella, who are all hard to get right in terms of casting. Ilyn Payne is also being cast, and George mentions how singular his no-line audition videos are.

Hear Me Roar: No news, but still a little bit of new information. GRRM is as eager as we are. Maybe tomorrow then, I choose this to be my mantra of the day.


  • I wonder if they select Ilyn Payne on his wicked strange laugh.
    I'm really glad that Rickon is confirmed. I wonder if they kept him in because George told them that he's important later on?

    • I'm glad about Rickon as well. I was a bit worried they'd cut him out since so far his role hasn't been that important and Michelle Fairley might look a bit too old to be a mother of a toddler. On the other hand, I wasn't very worried because it would've been be quite a cut, the fans would've got furious, and what would HBO have gained by it, anyway?

  • Jamie-will you spar with me Ilyn
    Ilyn- (mean stare)…
    Jamie-I take you silence to be you agreeing.
    Ilyn-(angry glare)…
    Jamie-Ser Ilyn you seem distracted
    Ilyn-(in a obvious break from character, blushes and runs away giggling like a school girl.) Clack Clack Clack

    What I want some comic relief from him. It would be fun, new, and unexpected, although some fans might just blow their own brains out. just the thought of The King's Justice giggling like a school girl makes me laugh.

  • At least it's cool to know they aren't holding back on us. Not that i would really expect them to anyway. I bet we'll get the news quite immediatly after the contracts are finalized.

    To think we're less than a month away from shooting… Time goes by so fast. No, really!

  • As there are no news we have to follow our confirmed actors. Finn Jones (Loras) has been confirmed as a character called Santiago Jones in the very important two parter episodes 5-6 of The Sarah Janes Adventures, where not only we will see the return of the old companion Jo Grant (Katy Manning) but also Matt Smith´s Doctor written by Russel T. Davies for the first time. Quite a good job for Jones, who has appeared in three different shows in this 2010.

  • I'm surprised that GRRM hinted at a possible Littlefinger casting announcement before a deal was done. Also the contract negotiations really seem to be taking a long time for some of these roles. Just going by when GRRM last mentioned watching audition tapes for Littlefinger, Varys, Renly, etc. (May 9) I would have expected the roles to have been cast and the contracts signed by now. I wonder if they've gone through a number of different candidates and are having a hard time getting a deal in place?

    • I guess GRRM "not being aware" of any castings might not mean that noone has been cast yet. Maybe they're just waiting for that final big name to sign and then give us (and HR and George) the news? I just hope we aren't looking at another postponement. I'm not sure i can take another one, lol.

      • I am not surprised about it at all.
        !!! SPOILER!!!
        They are all very important roles, and if the producers want to have a real "kick-ass" actors for these role – they could have some problems.
        They do not need young newcomers for these roles, it has to be someone, at least with some exeperinace – not necessary "big" name.
        The other problem (especeally on LF and varys) they need the actors for the 3-4 seasons at least.
        Remeber the casting for the pilot: First roles (except Dinklage) filled were those for the only 1 saeson appearance (Addy, Lloyd, Bean).

        But.. I am still surprised with not having by now Septa Mordanne, Jory Cassel, Doreah…and some bloodriders.
        These roles are not so complex, IMO.

  • Ooo, Ilyn Payne. That's going to be even harder than Hoder to cast, since at least you can do different emotional inflection to the voice there.

    Going to have to be a lot of situational reactions and following his eyes. Need an actor with very expressive eyes since Payne seems so contained aside from his lack of a voice.

  • Wow, this blog post is almost a response to the conversation we were having on children actors yesterday. Maybe GRRM was reading WIC and wanted to chime in…

  • Have you guys seen this?
    On Twitter:
    SUPERHEROPAUL Turned down #gameofthrones job. I guess you have to be sure there's more than one reason to do a job

    So I guess PAUL MCANEARNEY is out?

    • It's too bad, he seemed to be willing to talk to the fans…

      In response to Rabbit finding digging out relation with GOT, 6 weeks ago:
      Hi there – Im paul McAnearney – It seems there was an error on linkedin – I was production Secretary on the pilot, not coordiantor –

    • Looks like it. Sounded like he didn't have that great of a time during the shoot of the pilot and also got a better offer somewhere else.

      • Probably a matter of getting a promotion on another gig. Better for the resume, quite likely better money, too. Got to do things like that for a reason, even if one is maybe excited about a project.

  • Good points Rabbit.

    And with Dinklage, if you recall, the negotiations seemed to take a while since we first heard a rumor that he was meeting with HBO in Feb and the casting wasn't announced until May. Who knows how long they were negotiating with Headey and NCW, the other major, long-term roles filled by "name" actors. Probably just as long.

    So I suppose it is conceivable for these negotiations to be two months or so as well. And if they are getting some rejections (remember the Eddie Marsan rumor?) that could set things back even more. I really hope there isn't any more production delays. :/

        • oh yes, I recall now.
          I am completely aware of the long-term committement problem.
          If I am going to guess, it could be the biggest problem in cast process now (most of the roles in the present process are the long-term roles).

          The readings and the auditions before the pilot started at the end of May, and we got Maisie, Sophie and NCW for exemple 3 months later, Kit Harington and Jack Gleeson were probably pure luck to have them so early in the process.

  • I started thinking that Bruce Spence (mouth of Sauron and the pilot in Mad Max) would make a great King's Justice. He's very long, looks a bit creepy and has very expressive eyes.

    • He was just in Legend of the Seeker, so no, I think this is a bad idea (as much as I like him).

    • Spence terrible, Is that even possible? I haven't seen the Seeker series nor read the books, but indeed, starring recent other fantasy series might make him less fitting choice.

    • I think if you're going to lock someone into a show for possibly seven years where they'll never get a single line, you're probably going to go after someone who would consider Payne their "break," rather than someone with a forty-year career.

      As an example, I went to Casting Call Pro, the place where they've found Game of Thrones folks in the past, and did an advanced search for men who play between 41-46, are over 6ft tall, have slim builds, and have some stage combat training:

      I did such a narrow search because if you expand the age range you get hundreds of submissions, and you can't search past the first page unless you join.

      Now, not all of the seventeen who were returned would work, but a few could, I think.

      I'm pretty sure they may go with an unknown with this one.

  • I agree. Ilyn Payne is a specter in Sansa's eyes, a real-life bogeyman, but in the great scheme of things it's a pretty small role. They'll cast mostly to appearance.

    With so many different characters in this story, it is important to find as many different-looking people as they possibly can.

  • He may be a tad old if they stay true to his age in the books, byt I have always pictured David Bradley who plays Argus Filch in the Harry Potter mivies as my Ser Illyn.….

    I just see that face and picture the clackling laghter that comes out of his mouth and it gives me chills.

    • I picked the 41-46 range for that reason.

      You know, casting a 7' 1" actor for Payne would probably be a bit of overkill, but one of the things that people mentioned when I floated Ian Whyte for Hodor (he had tweeted that he had auditioned for something and was following wicnet and westeros at the time) was that he was too gaunt.

      He kind of was, too.

      Now I sincerely doubt he was auditioning for Payne, but his "hit all my lines," which may have been a joke were he auditioning for Hodor, would also have worked for Payne.

      Still, Payne taller than the Hound? I'm not sure I can see it. It'd be something added for the show, it's not exactly supported by the books.

      Of course, if they're going for folks in suits for the Others, there's yet another non-speaking role. Whyte has been a Predator, so he's used to costume work.

  • Yeah I know. But Illyn's age isn't really all that important and Bradley is creepy as all get out. I doubt he'll be auditioned but in my book he'd make a great Payne.

    Just a thought, but an older Payne played by Bradley (or someone similar) would only serve to accent the futility of Jaime switching sword arms for their practice sessions in Feast. Yeah thats a bit far out for present consideration, but it definately would emphasize the gap that Jaime needs to overcome. In the books this is easily done with thoughts, but it might be more difficult to portray in a show. What better way to do this than have him go up against an older opponent whom he obviously would have beaten easily before his mishap with a goat.

    • No, that was in reply to dobermanntt's suggestion of Bruce Spence.

      I figure someone like Camden Toy would view this as a steady gig doing the sort of work he's used to doing, so more within the realm of possibility.

  • Did anyone see the post about that russian boxer on GRRM's Not a Blog? Man that guy is a literal cave man.
    his name is Nikolai Valuev. It says he has done some acting aswell. He might be a little to heavy set for Payne but he is scary as all hell. At 7ft tall he could play any of the beastly men in thrones or later. Maybe strong Belwas?

  • Well there you have it. I should frequent the page more than I do if I don't want to bring up old news.

  • I'm not saying to find someone who can't act, but Payne would be a great opportunity to find a really unique and creepy looking person – hopefully some expressive enough to convey the mute character.

    It'd be good to have some really unique people looking people to give the show some more character and sinister charm.

    • The closest equivalent we have to an oft-appearing character who says nothing is the oft-appearing character who says one thing, and they went with an unknown for Hodor. Chances are good that you'll see this come to pass.

  • another few names to be axed for casting this time. Too bad for the guys who would like to see Ygritte, Stannis and melisandre casted

    grrm wrote:

    Jul. 1st, 2010 06:18 am (UTC)
    Uh… Brienne does not appear until A CLASH OF KINGS, so there is no search ongoing. We’ll be looking for her second season. Assuming we get a second season. Come back in a year.

    The same goes for Stannis, Melisandre, Maester Cressen, Shireen, Patchface, Pyat Pree, Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Quaithe, Qhorin Halfhand, Ygritte, Rattleshirt, and many more.

    • I guess I could crow about how amazingly right I was when I've said as much in the past, but it really should have been self-evident. If the show has a problem, especially for the first season, it's too many characters to introduce to the audience (and to cast and hire). There's no way they would compound their difficulties by adding even MORE characters from book 2.

      • Yes their are a lot of characters, but they are all introduced in an "organic" flow of the narrative. If handled right it could be better than the books because you have an immediate image or face to associate the character with. HBO shows in general are really good at doing this in my opinion. I do agree that characters introduced in ACOK being in season 1 would be unnecessary.

  • Okay, not exactly "news", but something presumably GoT-training related:


    first day horse riding. Nay. about 1 hour ago via Twitter for iPhone"

  • Bantam Spectra have given some more info on their new edition of GAME OF THRONES to tie in with the HBO series. The new edition will feature a "Cover with art from the HBO show," and will be promoted on the HBO website as well as the traditional outlets.

    Both the tradeback and mass-market paperback tie-in editions will be released on 22 February 2011, with the series itself planned to follow in the Spring.

    • Yeah, thanks to Raijap for alerting me to this. I know Feb is far off and by then there will be lots of great shots that Bantam could use as the cover, but the currently released shot of Ned with Ice would make a pretty kick-ass cover.

    • They will have to wait to get the artwork from HBO. I'm sure this edition will use whatever the final typeset chosen for the show's logo will be (according to Ran, what we saw in the trailer probably isn't final – what he heard from someone at HBO).

      It's funny, when I worked for Scholastic, part of what I did was make sure foreign publishers got our cover art for their publications – sometimes these were covers based on film versions of books, like from the "Inkheart" movie. We had to first get the art from the studio, then our art department made our covers based on that, which usually had to then be approved by the studio. Then when foreign publishers did their versions of our books, I'd send our art to them…they had to then take the same fonts and sometimes re-do the logos in their own language. Full Font sets were usually transmitted embedded in the artwork, so that wasn't such a problem, but other times they had to mock it up themselves. Modern technology made a lot of this much easier than it had been in the past as I could just dump our artwork into an FTP site and foreign publishers could very easily just grab them. In olden days, they had to physically send some sort of art designs out to foreign publishers for them to use, which is why back then most foreign publishers just did their own covers. That happens less and less, now (though there was one Czech publisher I remember who did their own covers that were often even better than ours, and ours were good).

      Also, Scholastic made money off of the artwork when others used it – only a few hundred or up to maybe $1500 each for really fancy stuff, but over the course of the whole year it added up to fairly significant revenue for the company. I think the most expensive art we sold to foreign publishers when I was there was the gorgeous cover art for Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games":

      • I don't think Bantam would have any knowledge of HBO's planned premiere date. My guess is they scheduled it for the end of Feb as they only know what we've heard about the premiere date, which was March/April 2011. Basically getting it as close to the premiere as possible, without running the risk of being after it.

        • They will eventually know what the premier date is, no doubt earlier than any of us do so they can start gearing up their promotions, know when to print their new editions, etc.

          • Yeah, I'm sure Bantam will be given a heads up on the premiere date prior to any official announcement. But I don't think they've been given one as of yet. In fact, I'm willing to bet HBO doesn't even have a firm date picked out yet.

      • Late February seems extremely unlikely. In fact, with the delay to 26 July, if they're sticking with the 30-week schedule reported last year, they'll have only finished shooting a couple of weeks earlier.

        We know that the head of HBO programming was talking about running THRONES at the same time as TREME Season 2, which at the moment I believe is due to start in April or May 2011. With the one-month delay, my guess is that THRONES will start airing in May 2011.

        • Yeah.

          If Bantam is shooting for Feb. as the time to get this book out, it's because they will be a part of the big pre-premier promotion for the show. There should be a lot of posters, trailers and maybe even some merchandise coming out before then. The re-branded books with artwork from the show will all be a part of this media blitz. They will start it before the show airs to help promote the show…with the hopeful rebounding effect that if the show is popular they will then later sell more books. Also, the posters for the show will help sell the books, too, when people see the same logos and whatever on them.

        • May 2011? Ouch… :(

          Oh well… last year went by in the blink of an eye, and I'm sure the next 10 months will too.

  • Well another week and no casting, now three weeks to go and I am getting nervous. I just hope HBO isn't losing out on the best actors available that auditioned cause they can't make a decision. I know they have dozens of speaking parts left to fill, I just don't want to lose actors they really wanted, who decided to take other roles because they didn't want to wait around anymore for HBO to make their selections.

    • Well, at least they still have to redo parts of the pilot, so they do have a little more time than three weeks. But i see your point.

    • I must say I'm starting to doubt whether they can keep up the schedule. It's only three weeks left and still no word about LF, Tywin, Varys, Renly, Lysa…

      Or maybe I'm just too used to postponements in everything ASOIAF-related ;)

      • I am not so worried about Tywin and Lysa – their schedule for filming is much later.
        But what worries me is that we heard no word of minor roles like Jory and Septa, Dany s maids and bloodriders – they would need them perhaps for the pilot reshoot.

        Edit: Not to mention Tommen, Myrcella, Rickon and Jeyne.

        • You're right about the minor roles that are needed already in the first episode. Duh, now I'm more worried :P

          • True words. If there's one thing ASOIAF fans can brag of, it's the art of waiting. Every time, say, some Rothfuss or Lynch fan is complaining about how long it takes to get the next instalment, we can look down our noses at them and say "you know nothing".

        • I don't think we'll hear about every single minor role. Some just won't be announced at all.

          • Yeah, I know that, they won t be announced by media, but that does not mean that GRRM won t announced and presented them. I think, he would, at least the roles with lines.

          • I agree. Besides, GRRM said quite clearly in his blog post that he's not aware of ANY deals closing.

  • I figure Bronn will be cast between now and mid August, so Dave and Dan, please consider Ray Stevenson or Til Schweiger (Hugo Stiglitz), both can say so much without talking and both look like SOF's, infact many of their roles are military oriented. If you have seen Basterds, just take a note of Til's role, he just about stills the scenes he is in.

  • wow i see that camelot on starz which comeout in early 2011 also has got some very very beautiful actors and actresses including our own waymar royce,,, and then eva green, joeseph fiiense they look to have a great cast…