Casting News Speculation

GRRM gets cryptic: Mark Stanley is Grenn

George R. R. Martin has posted new casting clues on his Not A Blog and they aren’t getting any easier.

You’re too dumb to make this soup the way they’re making it in Belfast. Start with Becky, Tom, and Boss. Take away two fathoms. Now you want the second course. In the dark the breaker of rocks seeks the living stone. But take away the fat guy with six wives, and the babe with the bumbershoot as well, that salty wench. Out, out. What’s left tastes good, but just remember, there is no gamecock in aurochs stew. IMDB? What’s that? I’m Dumb Boy? Won’t help you here, no way, no how.

Winter Is Coming: George is really upping his game now, hope everyone is up for a challenge!

Mark StanleyUPDATE: GRRM has confirmed that Mark Stanley has been cast as Grenn. Congrats to Ran for being the first to get this one! This Mark Stanley from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama is believed to be our Grenn.

111 Comments

  • Yeah! That’s a challenge :) a nice weekend passtime. I’ll be back in a couple of hours to taste the soup :D

  • I’m guessing this clue is for a possible Grenn. Hence the reference to aurochs and being “dumb.”

  • Well the first clue looks like it’s Tom Sawyer related. Tom, Becky & Boss, take away Mark Twain (two fathoms). Does that mean just Boss is left since Tom and Becky are characters in Tom Saywer?

  • Have some ideas for possible clue solutions.

    Becky and Tom = First thought was Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher.
    Boss = Bruce Springsteen?
    Now you want the second course = clues after this refer to the last name, prior to this to the first?
    fat guy with six wives = Henry VIII

    No idea how it all ties together.

  • Hello everyone,

    first time post!
    Apparently there is a commercial figure called the morton salt umbrella girl. Can anyone make something of that?

  • Well, perhaps. For the second part we play the same game: subtract a Henry (the VIII).

    The boss? If a character, then … Gendry’s master blacksmith Tobho Mott. Pretty much the only “boss” character we have left.

  • RandomStarkGuy: Well the first clue looks like it’s Tom Sawyer related.Tom, Becky & Boss, take away Mark Twain (two fathoms).Does that mean just Boss is left since Tom and Becky are characters in Tom Saywer?    

    If that is the case, can we assume that the actors first name is Bruce?

  • “The babe with the bumbershoot, that salty wench” refers to the Morton salt logo. Henry Morton? I can’t find an actor with that name, but he’s basically telling us to avoid IMDB on this one.

  • ‘breaker of rocks seeks living stone’ refers to Stanley seeking Dr. Livingstone.

    ‘fat guy with six wives’ is Henry the 8th.

    ‘bumbershoot’ is a music festival.

    That’s all I got so far.

  • Also, no IMDb clues. George is directing us straight to names of actors and characters. Livingstone …? Breaker of rocks = ?

  • In the dark the breaker of rocks seeks the living stone

    Henry Morton Stanley searched for Dr. Livingstone and on his gravestone is the name Bula Matari, which translates as “Breaker of Rocks” or “Breakstones” in Kikongo, was Stanley’s name among locals in Congo.

    Still looking for the actor connection

  • twain:
    an old word for the number two, derived from the Anglo-Saxon twegen. The American author Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), who had been a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi in his youth, took his literary name from a traditional riverboat phrase “mark twain”, meaning “exactly two” fathoms of water. This was the minimum depth needed for the boats to operate safely without running aground.

  • He said take away “Henry” and “Morton” so Stanley is what we’re left with. That’s definitely in the actor’s name.

  • It is a bit early to cast Jaqen, right? I don’t know is all this talk of soup a clue for ”Weasel Soup”. Does Hoat appear in first book somewhere?

  • Ran suggests Mark Stanley as the solution, which sounds right since if you Google that name one of the top results is a player on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

  • Out, out could easily be a reference to Macbeth. Possibly an actress who has played Lady MacBeth on stage.

  • Start with Becky, Tom, and Boss=Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, and Bruce Springsteen.

    Take away two fathoms=Now we just have Bruce.

    Now you want the second course. In the dark the breaker of rocks seeks the living stone=Obviously Henry Morton Stanley.

    But take away the fat guy with six wives and the babe with the bumbershoot as well, that salty wench. Out, out=No Henry, no Morton. Just Stanley.

    What’s left tastes good, but just remember, there is no gamecock in aurochs stew. IMDB? What’s that? I’m Dumb Boy?

    An unknown named Bruce Stanley is playing Grenn. This will be his first role, so he won’t be on IMDb.

  • Mark Stanley sounds about right. For the first course (first name) take away Twain from Mark Twain. Second course start with Henry Morton Stanley, take away Henry and Morton, you’re left with Stanley. Mark Stanley is Grenn!

  • Just to make the process clear, how did we take away Morton? Mary Poppins with the umbrella … and then? Who’s Boss? :)

  • Hear Me Roar: Just to make the process clear, how did we take away Morton? Mary Poppins with the umbrella … and then? Who’s Boss?     

    The Morton Salt logo is a girl holding an umbrella

  • but…we’re supposed to start with Boss, Tom and Becky, take away two fathoms. “Mark Twain” is means two fathoms. that would leave “boss”, not “mark”.

  • JRQ: but…we’re supposed to start with Boss, Tom and Becky, take away two fathoms.“Mark Twain” is means two fathoms.that would leave “boss”, not “mark”.    

    Boss, Tom, and Becky = Mark Twain. Take away “Twain” (two fathoms) and you’re left with Mark.

  • So if all three characters are from Twain books (though tricky to use two of them) then we’re really just removing the twain for the two fathoms, I guess.

  • My understanding is “Twain” simply refers to “Two”, wheras “Mark Twain” is the full term for “Two Fathoms”. No?

  • Geez, you guys are good. I’m just getting around to remembering the kid with the umbrella on the Morton salt box and you’ve already solved it. Need to refresh more often. And you did it without using IMDB. GRRM has met his match in you people!

  • I love you guys. I’d rather watch the unfolding of the logic behind clues than most TV these days.

    JRQ — That was my exact question too, but everything else is far too perfect. I’ll go with it.

  • I took it more as “soup” being a traditional first course (first name) which is why we’re supposed to take Mark from Mark Twain. Then “for the second course” he wanted us to decipher the second (last) name from Henry Morton Stanley, minus Henry and Morton. Pretty good clue, but he gave us too much info this time :)

  • okay long shot. I’m going with Tom Stanley

    If we take away 2 of the Mark Twain characters ( Becky,and Boss-hank morgan from A conneticut yankee in king arthurs court) we get Tom
    if we take away a henry and a Morton from Henry Morton Stanley, who isfamous for the Dr Livingstone, i presume” line We get Stanley

  • Phoenix_torn: okay long shot.I’m going with Tom Stanley If we take away 2 of the Mark Twain characters ( Becky,and Boss-hank morgan from A conneticut yankee in king arthurs court) we get Tom
    if we take awaya henry and a Morton from Henry Morton Stanley, who isfamous for the Dr Livingstone, i presume” line We get Stanley    

    Someone like this guy? Who looks a bit more like my idea of Grenn http://www.uk.castingcallpro.com/view.php?uid=95279

  • The gamecock clue is the giveaway for Mark Stanley. He’s telling us it’s Mark Stanley, but not the athlete who plays for the Gamecocks. Also, the Mark Stanley on the acting school page has some combat training, which seems to fit the role.

  • So we have
    Becky Thatcher
    Tom Swayer
    Boss (Hank Morgan)

    And we’re supposed to take away two fathoms meaning Mark Twain. So without Mark Twain what do these names/characters have in common?

  • George confirms:

    grrm wrote:
    Aug. 1st, 2010 06:35 pm (UTC)
    That link keeps timing out on me, Elio, so I can’t see whatever you’re referencing. A picture or resume, presumably.

    But yes, you’ve solved it. Mark Stanley will be playing Grenn.

    I’ll post a picture of him, but it may need to wait until tomorrow. Ty is off today, and my computer is running fast as a glacier. You won’t find our guy on IMDB (yet), however. And while a Google search turns up lots of Mark Stanleys, none of them are our guy. (One, however, plays for the South Carolina Gamecocks).

    As ever, you guys are scary. Especially Ran.

  • I’m fairly certain it is Mark Stanley since if you Google “Mark Stanley actor” the second result is a baseball player for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Unless we can find a Tom Stanley that connects with that clue, I’m gonna stick with Mark.

  • AAARRRRRGG!

    My stupid work computer didn’t show my first post, so I posted it again, and it still didn’t show. Moderators, please remove my other posts.

  • Updated the post with the pic of Mark Stanley from the Guildhall site and a link to the Google cached version of the page for those who missed it earlier.

  • Josh K,

    Mark Twain means “exactly two (fathoms)”. There just was no need to say fathoms as everyone knew what was measured anyway.

  • Just a guess for the first part (if there is a first part). Becky and Tom take away the Boss. There is an actress named rebecca Thomas who might have a sufficient resume to play Jiqui.

  • Now we need clues for the following:

    Rickon Stark
    Princess Myrcella Baratheon
    Prince Tommen Baratheon
    Jeyne Poole
    Ser Illyn Payne
    Jhogo
    Tohbo Mott
    Gendry Waters
    Chett
    Shagga
    Lord Walder Frey
    Podrick Payne
    Lord Jon “Greatjon” Umber
    Lord Kevan Lannister
    Mirri Maz Du’ur

    I’ll be somewhat surprised if Kevan is shunted to next season. It’s he that does most of the speaking in the Inn scenes, and even if they give most of his dialogue to Tywin, they still need someone for him to be discussing strategies with. It can’t just be him and Tyrion. There will be a room full of knights, Lords and generals, and Kevan will need to be there.

  • Josh Parker,

    I would throw my prediction according to your list, Josh.
    Agree with everybody except Kevan Lannister.
    Somehow I have a feeling that we are not gonna see him in S1.

    I would be enough brave to predict that we will see Roose Bolton and some other Robb s bannermen, most likely Maege Mormont and Richard Karstark.
    Great John is in, there is no question there.

    To add also Will and perhaps Illyrio as a candidates for recasting, though I still hope that Ian McNiece would stay.

  • I hope they don’t cut Kevan from season one. He’s become one of my favourite characters, especially since showing he has a pair in AFfC. Also, of course, he’s an important counterpart to Tywin, and becomes more important after Tywin’s death. When he tells Cersei to shove the handship where it fits, it’s a bit of a turnaround for a character who’s pretty much always been depicted as a bit of a yes man. For that to happen out of the blue with a newly introduced character won’t be as effective.

  • GaR,

    Exactly. I’d sacrifice Maege Mormont in a second, and Roose Bolton nearly as fast (as long as they include him in later seasons), but Kevan must be introduced earlier to give his later scenes added punch.

  • Hmm… I see Kevan’s importance as being almost exactly proportional to that of the Blackfish. Much as I would like to see them both in S1, I think the S1 story can be told without either of them, and I don’t think introducing either of them later weakens their later scenes much at all. I wouldn’t have a problem if they decided to postpone Kevan’s appearance to after S1.

  • I agree with The Rabbit and JRQ. Kevan seems like a character who can wait to be introduced. Honestly, he isn’t in ACOK all that much either so I wouldn’t be surprised if they wait until season 3 to have him on-screen.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    I really thing that Tywin’s appearances will be expanded in the TV series. After all, they hired Charles freakin’ Dance; I doubt they’re gonna let him have two small appearances and that’s it. We already know they’re gonna expand on non-POV characters, and Tywin will doubless get more scenes. He’ll need a general to “bounce orders off of”, and Kevan is our man.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    I totally agree. The Blackfish and Ser Kevan will most likely make the cut for Season 2. I think my poor Podrick Payne will also be in S2, he really isn’t that needed for S1. Lady Mormont, the Great Jon and Lord Bolton are too close to call. I would think the Great Jon and Bolton would be a sure thing for S2 but I have a feeling Lady Mormont might not show up until S3 (if we get that far)

  • I think it would be much easier to introduce Ser Kevan in a later season than Roose Bolton. You could get any one of Tywin’s lot to play Kevan’s lines (like Ser Vardis is substituting for the Blackfish). Roose is more of a presence. He will be more obviously missed than Ser Kevan just by his very appearance. Also, it would be easy to explain Ser Kevan’s absence (governing at the Rock for Tywin). If Roose weren’t there it would be akin to mutiny as far as the Starks were concerned. Also, Roose make a great foil for Greatjohn Umber. The Greatjon’s Bluster against Bolton’s cool stoicism make for a whole greater than the sum of the parts.

  • Furthermore, I find it hard to believe that Robb’s main bannermen Bolton, Umber and Karstark at least will be cut from the first season. When Eddard is taken hostage we need to see them gathering for action. Without them there the scene is likely very flat. Even moreso for the King in the North scene. Showing Robb struggling with the different personalities that are his to command is a great chance for fans to get to know and like him better. Lastly, it would look a bit wierd in season two if all of a sudden there are these great personalities around Robb that viewrs are supossed to assume were there with him all along.

  • GRRM just posted on his blog that he changed gears from Fred’s last chapter to finally completing Barney’s last chapter for Dances.
    Obviously he is using the Flintstones reference, so who do Fred and Barney represent in Dances, we might be able to break it down and figure it out guys and gals.

  • tysnow,

    He needs to stop dancing with all these different men and start writing…

    Oh, that’s what he’s been doing. Hmmm he needs to stop being so tricky and mysterious. :)

  • Lord Ned’s Head,

    I was thinking the same thing, but does Fred represent a mysterious new POV, apparently there are only 3 Fred chapters, so it can’t be Jon Snow, could it be Sam, he is a big man (Fred) or could it be Varys (a big man too), if the latter I can see Barney as Tyrion (small) to his new buddy Varys (big), but could Barney represent a familiar person was has been reduced in size such as Theon and Fred represent his new master Ramsey who may grown in importance.

  • The Aurochs! Looks quite likeable.

    I love the fact that we now have faces for Pyp, Grenn, Sam, and Jon Snow! They’re gonna light up the screen together.

  • Lex,

    Yes, I agree, I am really looking forward to the brotherhood between those four, especially Pyp verbally manipulating Grenn into insulting himself.

    And thinking about the boys in black, I sincerely hope Dolorous Edd makes the cut. Really, really do. Something about his deadpan misery completely cracks me up.

  • IMO, Barney sounds like a reference to a Lannister (blond hair), so either Tyrion or Jaime. No idea who Fred might be… too many dark-haired minor characters. Gendry, perhaps?

  • The clues are awesome and all, and maybe I’m alone in this… but go work on ADWD, George! PLEASE!

  • oh-bb: The clues are awesome and all, and maybe I’m alone in this… but go work on ADWD, George! PLEASE!  Quote  Reply

    He is! Seems he’s been working on that book quite a lot lately. The clues thing can’t take many minutes anyway. And i’ve said this many times: GRRM doesn’t actually owe us anything.

  • Jaqen H’Ghar: IMO, Barney sounds like a reference to a Lannister (blond hair), so either Tyrion or Jaime.No idea who Fred might be… too many dark-haired minor characters.Gendry, perhaps?    

    Fred cannot be Gendry, as Fred is a POV character with multiple chapters of his own. It’s most likely Jon Snow, based on recent posts that indicated he was working on Jon Snow chapters.

  • oh-bb: The clues are awesome and all, and maybe I’m alone in this… but go work on ADWD, George! PLEASE!    

    July has been a very productive month for ADWD.

  • He never really dissguised that he is working on Jon (of to shovel Snow, is clear enough) so I’d guess Fred is not Jon. And as it was only supposed to be one chapter, but turned to three, why could it not be Gendry? He could get one, three or even more POV chapters for all we know. Wonder if he’s chapters would be titeled “The Bull” …

  • The Dude: He never really dissguised that he is working on Jon (of to shovel Snow, is clear enough) so I’d guess Fred is not Jon. And as it was only supposed to be one chapter, but turned to three, why could it not be Gendry? He could get one, three or even more POV chapters for all we know. Wonder if he’s chapters would be titeled “The Bull” …    

    First of all, we know that Gendry does not have a POV (the POVs for ADWD are already known). Secondly, this “one” chapter that turned into three was not the only one for the character, but the final ones for the character in this book. 99.9% Jon Snow.

  • Sara,

    And thinking about the boys in black, I sincerely hope Dolorous Edd makes the cut. Really, really do.

    Me too. And there’s something kind of wonderful about having Dolorous Edd as the subject of such hopeful anticipation. :-)

    Some of these characters that add so much spice the GRRM’s writing (Dolorous Edd, Hot Pie) may end up “reduced” to recognizable extras in the HBO adaptation, as opposed to named, recurring characters. While I would prefer a word-for-word adaptation, I’m ok with this reality that characters will be reduced / condensed. I’m confident the “notes” that these characters bring to the tone of novels will be preserved in the adaptation.

    In fact, I think it will be kind of fun playing “spot the character” amongst the non-speaking extras and bystanders in scenes.

  • Brad,

    Me too. And there’s something kind of wonderful about having Dolorous Edd as the subject of such hopeful anticipation.

    “We will defend the wall to the last man!” said
    Cotter Pyke.

    “Probably me,” said Dolorous Edd, in a resigned voice.

    Who could not possibly adore him? =]

  • Lex:
    Fred cannot be Gendry, as Fred is a POV character with multiple chapters of his own. It’s most likely Jon Snow, based on recent posts that indicated he was working on Jon Snow chapters.    

    John Snow was my first guess too, but I thought someone said that Fred only had 3 chapters and was a new POV character.

  • Jaqen H’Ghar: John Snow was my first guess too, but I thought someone said that Fred only had 3 chapters and was a new POV character.  Quote  Reply

    Fred has more than 3 chapters. It was just that the last chapter GRRM meant to write for him turned into 3 chapters.

    GRRM said (30th July)

    Finally, might mention that I finished a chapter of the DANCE today. I had one last chapter about this particular character — I will call him Fred — to finish, and then I am done with him for the book. Of course, in the writing, it turned into three chapters. So I finished a Fred chapter a week ago, and a Fred chapter an hour ago, and yet I STILL have one Fred chapter to finish. Sigh.

    Given that he said he finished a Fred chapter a week ago and on the 25th he was shovelling Snow that would not stop (ie one chapter that keeps getting bigger) I think it’s pretty clear Fred is Jon Snow.

    Why is Jon Snow called Jon Snow anyway? As he was born in Dorne shouldn’t he have been called Jon Sand? ;-)

  • Mormegil: Why is Jon Snow called Jon Snow anyway? As he was born in Dorne shouldn’t he have been called Jon Sand? ;-)

    Sorry if this is a double quote, I hit something and everything went murky.

    Anyways- We can only guess where Jon Snow was REALLY born. He is a Snow, not a Sand because Ned claimed him as his son, took him north and raised him as a ‘almost’ Stark at Winterfell. The same thing happened to Edric Storm. Why isn’t he Edric Flowers? He must have been born in the Reach. King Robert claimed him as his baseborn son and sent him to Renley at Storm’s End. Edric is from the Stormlands

  • For the Bastard names, there doesn’t seem to be any logical reasoning behind it. With Edric Storm and Jon Snow it seems to be either where they live (Stormlands and North) or where their fathers are from.

    But Bittersteel and Bloodraven are both named Rivers, which is where their mothers are from, despite both living in King’s Landing and their father being the King… Their name should be Waters.

    I’d venture that they simply get the name the mother wants to give to them, and as long as it is a bastard name, nobody will mind.