Casting News

Pycelle recast

George R. R. Martin has some sad news over at his Not A Blog. Roy Dotrice has had to drop out of Game of Thrones due to health reasons.

It saddens me to announce that we’ve had a casting change on the HBO series.

My old friend Roy Dotrice, who had been scheduled to play the part of Grand Maester Pycelle, has had to withdraw from the show for medical reasons.

In his place HBO has cast British actor Julian Glover. Here is what GRRM has to say about him.

Glover has a list of credits in stage, screen, and television that’s just as long as that of Dotrice. The two of them have worked together, in fact — when I mentioned him to Roy, he responded that Glover was “my old mate from the Royal Shakespeare Company.”

Our new Pycelle will be no stranger to fans of SF and fantasy. He was an Imperial officer in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and he’s appeared in DOCTOR WHO, TROY, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, and even SPACE: 1999, among countless other films and television shows. More recently, he’s been seen in THE YOUNG VICTORIA and in the forthcoming PRINCESS KAUILANI (with the lovely Tamzin Merchant).

Roy Dotrice will be missed, but Julian Glover will make Pycelle his own, we have no doubt. Last I heard, he was already in Belfast, being fitted for a long white beard.

Winter Is Coming: A real shame about Roy Dotrice. He was a fan favorite and I know many people were looking forward to his involvement in the series. As GRRM says, hopefully they will be able to find a role for him later on. Of course, all of us at WiC wish him a speedy recovery.

As to Glover, he seems like a solid choice for a replacement. I’m certain he will be able to pull off the role. Plus, now Thrones has its Star Wars connection!

44 Comments

  • It’s a shame, but Dotrice is very elderly. One cannot expect that a man of his years would be able to perform regularly for the extended run of the show.

    Glover is a solid choice and a phenomenal actor.

  • At 12 years younger than Dotrice, sounds like there should be no concerns about Glover making it through 7 seasons (should we get them).

    Regarding the casting clue, I’m assuming that:
    Fat man’s (Illyrio) gift = Doreah
    Sellsword’s (Bronn) gift = Shae

  • So sad about Dotrice. I’m currently listening again to his glorious narration of GoT. His Varys is fantastic.
    Hopefully he’ll be up for another role later. Cressen seems like a good call.

  • Well, this sucks. I hope Dotrice gets well, soon.

    On the bright side, Julian Glover is a very good actor. (An old, small role of his that some might remember was as General Veers in Empire Strikes Back, the Imperial commander of the Battle of Hoth.)

    One of my friends from college studied with him at the British American Drama Academy when he went there on a study abroad program for a year.

  • Sweet, it’s General Veers!

    Pity about Dotrice, but a big +1 for him to play Cressen; that’s a role that’ll need a talented actor.

  • Awwwwww, no! :(

    This is really sad news. I had really begun to picture Pycelle as Dotrice, it will be hard to make the shift. I hope Dotrice is okay, and maybe they can bring him back for another role somewhere (Maester Cressen, to kick off Season 2?). Thankfully, there are lots of old men in Westeros.

    New guy sounds alright, but I need to mope for a bit first.

  • Wow, I made my Cressen suggestion without reading any of the comments! Surprised to see that others made the same suggestion!

  • Okay, I definitely like Julian Glover… and it’s AWESOME that he was in Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

    The only minor problem I have is that I see Pycelle as something of an ineffectual, simpering coward. IMO, Dotrice, but I think he had the right weasely look (no offense to Roy!). Julian Glover, on the other hand, looks a little too good looking and noble. Still, I’m sure he’ll be amazing.

  • Sad news about Roy Dotrice, but Julian Glover is an excellent actor. Ten years ago I’d have had him as a top-tier choice for Tywin, but oddly I hadn’t considered him for Pycelle or Aemon. A great choice anyway.

    If possible, check out the DOCTOR WHO story he’s in, CITY OF DEATH. Absolutely barking mad and brilliant.

  • And once again, George shows his love for Tamzin Merchant. I wouldn’t be surprised if he creates in the future some despicable character directly inspired in whoever let Tamzin go.

  • My precise reaction was ‘Holy crap, General Veers is Grand Maester Pycelle!”

    Now, all we need is a Firefly and a Jim Butcher tie in, and I will go insane with the geekdom overload.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    Well he’s currently perfectly suited to the role, I suppose. I think he’d be wasted on it though.

    I can’t help but think he’d play an excellent Pyromancer. What was his name, Hallyne?

  • Man, I don’t envy Glover. He has huge shoes to fill.

    Here’s to hoping Dotrice shows up in GoT in some other role.

  • Really sorry about Roy Dotrice, he’s a remarkable actor. I really do hope he gets well soon and to see him later on in GOT.

    Julian Glover is a very good replacement, though.

  • The only person who has been a Bond villain, an Indy villain, and a Star Wars villain. I’m disappointed about losing Dotrice, but still – cool!

  • I’m surprised that we haven’t had one “he chose . . . poorly” jokes yet.

    And if he can pull of a time-splintered jaggeroth, a Grand Maester should be a breeze.

  • Blackfish Blues,

    I agree with you that Hoster would be a great role if his health improves enough for him to do a couple of scenes in season 2.

    It’s sad to have to replace him, but at least this occurred before filming began. Replacing people in the middle of the series would be confusing just because of the vast cast.

  • So sad to hear about Dotrice, hopefully he’s feeling up to returning in season 2.

    But, it’s now time for the HP fangirl in me to squeal. Aragog’s voice is gonna be Pycelle! OMG! *goes to re-watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets*… oh, and he’s amazing in his other roles too…

  • So sad to hear about Dotrice, hopefully he’s feeling up to returning in season 2 for any of the roles that others have mentioned… I can totally see him as Hoster.

    But, it’s now time for the HP fangirl in me to squeal. Aragog’s voice is gonna be Pycelle! OMG! *goes to re-watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets*… oh, and he’s amazing in his other roles too…

  • Sad about Roy Dotrice.
    I wish him to recover and back to GoT in any stage (he coulde be Maester Cressen as well as Hoster Tully).

    A stupid question, though, but someone will know the answer I am sure:
    Was Glover choked by Darth Vader,? I do not recall :D

  • The Rabbit,

    No, General Veers (Glover) was never Force choked; you might be thinking of Admiral Ozzel or perhaps Captain Needa maybe even Admiral Motti (although he didn’t die, well not from the choking.)

    General Veers is best known for leading the surface attack on the ice planet of Hoth with his AT-AT squadron “The Thundering Herd”

  • Hoster Tully? Nah, he only has a couple lines at most! I still think Walder Frey is the best role for Dotrice now.

  • Maximum Taco: The Rabbit, No, General Veers (Glover) was never Force choked; you might be thinking of Admiral Ozzel or perhaps Captain Needa maybe even Admiral Motti (although he didn’t die, well not from the choking.)General Veers is best known for leading the surface attack on the ice planet of Hoth with his AT-AT squadron “The Thundering Herd”  Quote  Reply

    Thanks! AT-ATs that is the answer!
    I mixed him up with Captain Needa.

  • I just watched a few youtube videos of both Roy Dotrice and Julian Glover. They are both excellent, and could both pass for Pycelle… but Dotrice has more of that useless/ineffectual look (which suits Pycelle as we get to know more about him). Glover seems like more of an actual threat. Still, he’ll be great… but I really hope Dotrice comes back as Walder Frey (or some other juicy role).