Aidan Gillen General

Top 5 Thrones moments of the past year

Since everyone else is making year-end lists I would feel left out if I didn’t make one myself. 2010 was a busy year of Game Of Thrones news and developments, let’s look back at some of the highlights. Here are my picks for top 5 Thrones moments from 2010:

5. Aidan Gillen cast as Littlefinger – This was one of those casting decisions that made so much sense you had a feeling it would happen. Gillen, an HBO veteran and Ireland native, fit the description of Littlefinger to a T. And he was an extremely talented actor to boot. When the announcement came, it was, for me, on the level of Dinklage as Tyrion.

4. HBO launches a production diary – Something that the fans were asking for, but I never thought would actually come to fruition. HBO had never done anything like it before. So when they debuted Making Game of Thrones it was a big “they are really listening to us!” moment. Since its launch it has been a great source of info with Cogman’s blog posts from the set, the detailed photos and the Artisan video series.

3. HBO green lights Game Of Thrones – Wait, I hear you asking, how can the greenlight NOT be number 1? While it certainly was a huge moment, and without it none of these other moments would have ever happened, but it was almost a foregone conclusion. So while it was exciting when the news finally broke, it was very expected.

2. HBO airs first Thrones teaser – Watching the first teaser now you realize they showed us next to nothing. But at the time, it was our first glimpse at the show. So it was a big deal. And that first photo they released of Ned? Still one of my favorites.

1. 11-minute behind-the-scenes feature “Inside Game of Thrones” airs – Watching this was like watching your dreams come to life. After months of imagining what these characters would look and sound like, finally seeing them act out GRRM’s scenes and utter some of his dialogue was pure joy. I couldn’t stop smiling the first time I watched it. Or the 25th.

So that’s our top 5 list. I’m sure you all have your own favorite moments from the past year as well. Share your top 5 in the comments below. Happy new year to all our readers! Here’s to 2011 being the most exciting Thrones year yet!


  • I like the fact that our Mormonts and Cassels are all played by Scottish actors. Hopefully they keep their accents (I think Jory does from the clip) because as a historian I’d picked up so many elements of the northern families which remind me of those from Scotland’s past. I know Martin has many influences from European history and I think he’d be pleased that some of the cast playing northern characters are being portrayed by British northerners.

    I also absolutely love the casting of Aiden as Littlefinger – this is an actor blatantly on the up and one who I’m sure will be a huge success.

  • on a personal level, i think being picked for a focus group was a big high point for me…now they just have to let us know when it has been rescheduled for! LOL

    Knowing the month it will air is huge as well! C’mon April!

  • So glad I’m not the only one enamored by Aiden Gillen as LF (the most complex and badass character imho. Brains are more powerful than steel. Well, so too is gold…). Why are all men named Aiden so hot?

  • Aiden Gillen as Littlefinger? Nice choice, especially given how awesome he was in the footage we’ve seen.

  • My TOP 5 moments of 2010:

    1. Greenlight by HBO – 2 days before my birthday – an awesome gift!

    2. Old Nan s voice and the whole third teaser – early morning delight!

    3. “…17 years ago you rode off with Robert Baratheon…” – Cat s words to Ned – first bit of dialogue we got.

    4. The morning I discovered all fantastic stuff on the internet: second teaser, behind the scenes featurette and

    5. Words of David and Dan to fans on MGOT – provoked a couple of tears in my eyes.

    This year was great…and I know the next would be even better.

    Happy New Year to all of you my GOT friends!

  • The ones that made the most impression on me:

    5. The first teaser. Both somewhat dissappointing (short!), and very exiting at the same time.

    4. Bean cast. Awesome cast in many ways. The right actor. An actor that would pull in a larger audience. The right level of commitment to the show from HBO.

    3. The 11 minute behind the scenes thingy. After actually ending up becoming a little worried about the look of the show, and some of the actors, this was very reassuring. Ofcourse it was also just an awesome experience seeing so much goodness.

    2. The greenlight. Some idiot who does not deserve to be named made me and others feel a little bit (more) concerned the show might actually not get the greenlight. As hopeful as i still was, it was nevertheless awesome to get to lower my shoulders by this news.

    1. Dinklage cast. Yes, the greenlight was more important, but this was the one that left me feeling that “it is really happening, and it’s gonna be awesome!” I remember reading every single comment to this news here and on westeros.

    Happy new GOT year, everybody! This is the year!

  • For me it started with being able to photograph the beginning of the Castle Black set – followed by the excitement of visiting lots of other locations and getting to see some actual filming. AS for casting – Aidan Gillen as LF was a dream come true – I know he’ll be absolutely brilliant! But the best thing was the MOOT in Belfast (after the anxiety of trying to find a suitable venue), and being surrounded by loads of cast and crew as well as all the BWB I’d been talking to online!! Magic!!
    Here’s to 2011 and Happy New Year to all the great WICers – can’t wait for the series to begin!!

  • My #1 moment of 2010 for GoT was when I saw a very short promo, the raven promo, for this show I knew nothing about. It looked interesting and I told my wife we should check this out. I discovered that it was based on these books. We bought them. My wife has read all of them and I’m currently almost done with Storm. I’m so glad for that promo! Winter-Is-Coming is now a daily visit for me. Thanks for everything!

  • I definitely agree with all of the above. Aidan Gillen was definitely one of those, “They really get it!” moments for me.

    Five other casting moments I don’t think have been mentioned yet:

    1) Charles Dance as Tywin: Amazing actor, important role, fan favorite!

    2) Conan Stevens as The Mountain. We kind of had a slow burn on this one, much like the greenlight, but it was great to have it actually confirmed.

    3) Kristian Nairn as Hodor. How cool was it that what appeared on the site as a fan-made audition tape was actually our first glimpse?

    4) The casting explosion of July 16: HBO sending out a sheet with so many names on it was epic for the time.

    5) John Bradley-West as Sam: While Emilia Clarke made me happy, the board had quite a bit of churn and in-fighting about it. How amazing, then, to see a near-unanimous outpouring of support for our Slayer. Brought a tear to my eye, it did.

  • 1 – Stumbling across the snowy Tollymore set for the first time whilst out walking on a Saturday afternoon – which brought home just how real the whole project was, and which also triggered the set-junkie in me.

    2 – Finding this site – which was then able to feed my ever developing habit.

    3 – The Belfast Moot – just to be amongst cast, crew, extras and of course fellow nutters – errr. I mean fans.

    4 – Really part of the Moot – but deserves a special mention, meeting GRRM himself and able to thank him for the books.

    5 – The Artisan Features – I’m a designer by trade, and the behind the scenes look into the production process was particularly inspiring.

  • In no particular order, or maybe it’s rotating order :

    Finding out about the project ( casting of Ned ?)
    Finding this site ( and eventually de-lurking )
    Peter Dinklage ( followed by the casting in general)
    The 11 minute wallow ( over and over )
    The artsan clips ( a maker’s delight)

    Happy New Year everyone !

  • I agree with most of the top moments, especially the one day that we got a second teaser, a behind-the-scenes vid, a photo of Dany, and the MGoT website… all in one day!

    Happy New Year, folks. This is it: in 2011, WE WILL GET TO WATCH GAME OF THRONES!

  • We know 2011 will be a very Happy New Year for GOT fans!

    1. Finding out HBO was really going to do GOT after all these years
    2. Dinklage cast for Tyrion
    3. finding WIC and learning there were others just as interested as I am
    4. running all over town looking for a magazine like a crazy woman to see a few pictures
    5 re-reading my dog-eared books again
    6. hanging on all the casting news,interviews, making of videos
    7. hearing from extras,folks on site in NI
    8. teaser where we hear lines spoken for the first time. Almost as good as hearing DWD is done. Almost.

  • Gmoney84,

    That’s great man! Nice to hear that and tell your friends about it.

    Happy new year to everyone!
    I think it’s going to be a good one for me. I get a new baby girl in the next couple of weeks and Game of Thrones this year (and fingers crossed on that book about Dragons dancing or something).

  • Long time lurker finally posting…

    Finding this site after I heard rumors of an HBO pilot was probably the top moment of 2010 for me, as well as one that then doomed me to hours and hours of lost productivity one day when I read every single post in chronological order to catch myself up.

    Too many awesome moments to list, but one casting choice that I think is absolutely inspired, and that has received relatively little attention here is that of Peter Vaughn as Aemon Targaryen. He’s an absolutely brilliant actor, and has been a favorite of mine ever since Brazil. He is perfect for the role.

  • dizzy_34: Gmoney84, That’s great man! Nice to hear that and tell your friends about it.<  Quote  Reply

    I am Gmoney’s wife and I tell EVERYONE about it to the point that it’s a running joke now. We had a party not long ago and I told everyone once they got there the real reason we had the party was to make them watch all the promo material for GoT. I was joking but everyone gave me a hard time saying they wouldn’t have been suprised :p

  • -Getting caught up on the books (I finished AFFC early this year. I started reading the books in 2009 after hearing about the series and seeing Sean Bean cast as the lead)

    -Emilia Clarke cast as Dany. I never thought Tamzin was right for the part even though she’s closer to the way I pictured Dany from the book descriptions. As long as they work out the hair and costume, I think Emilia can pull it off and really make this character work on screen.

    -The incredible interaction between HBO and the fans through Making Game of Thrones, Twitter, etc.

    -All the pretty Entertainment Weekly pictures

    -The trailers/teasers, especially Raven and Inside GoT feature

    -Winter is Coming website :)


  • 5. Charles Dance cast as Tywin Lannister

    4. Entertainment Weekly pictures

    3. Aidan Gillen cast as Littlefinger

    2. Mr Martin’s editor leaking that there are only four to five chapters left to write for A Dance with Dragons and that Bantam will have the novel published three months after the manuscript is complete (well, one may hope!… ;) )

    1. 11-minute behind-the-scenes feature – totally awesome!

    Welcome 2011, The Year of the Wolf, Lion and Dragon, and we owe it all to HBO, Dan, Dave and Crew and GRRM.

    My picks for 2010:

    5.) Winter-is-Coming dot net, thanks WiC and all those responsible for the daily offering that is everything ASoIaF concerning the series.
    4.) Tie: Michelle Fairley and Nikolaj-Coster Waldau cast as Catelyn and Jaime
    3.) Tie: Maisie and Dinklage cast as Arya and Tyrion
    2.) Twits, blogs and interviews from cast members, the Artisan videos and the Daily Diary, with a special thanks to HBO.
    1.) The 11 minute Making of Special, with a thanks to D&D for producing it.

  • Sareeta: -As long as they work out the hair and costume, I think Emilia can pull it off and really make this character work on screen.    

    Well, based on what we’ve seen so far, the wigs (plural since also for other characters) really are the weakest part of the production, so if that’s what it takes for you to make Emilia shine, I wouldn’t get my hopes up… Physically, Tamzin Merchant was much closer to Dany also in my mind, and I still have problems with Emilia Clarke as such. Lots depends on her acting, but I’d rather have had a great actress (as Emilia can turn out to be) that also fit my mental image. Then again, HBO managed to pull off a series of spot-on castings that is remarkable at least. To get back on-topic a bit, this is my top-5 casting-wise:

    5) Charles Dance cast as Tywin Lannister: it’s in those I-will-kill-you eyes…

    4) Alfie Owen-Allen as Theon Greyjoy: I was hooked after the first set images (now let’s hope he can also act the part)

    3) Wilko Johnson as Ilyin Payne: I’m getting nightmares of the guy already!

    2) Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger: I didn’t think too much of it, until we got to see his first lines in the preview – his exchange with Ned got me excited like nothing else!

    1) Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage: not just because they are quite perfect for their respective rolls, but for the fact that these early castings showed how serious HBO was in making this THE BEST TV SERIES EVER! :-)

    0) Maisie Williams as Arya: ok, I’m cheating here with a sixth pick, but together with everyone else the pictures we’ve seen so far of Maisie made me fall in love with her character all over again! Same comment as with Alfie though – hopefully she can act the part as well. If she does, there’s no doubt on my mind that she will effortlessly become THE fan favourite.

    A happy 2011 to all of you!

  • I’m not sure that Gillen fit’s Littlefinger’s description to a T, since he is a lot taller than LF is described. The only reason it’s even slightly an issue is that I thought it was a nice little piece to the LF puzzle and added to his Napoleonic complex.

    That said, I like Gillen a lot as LF and think he will totally own the role.

  • Maester May: I’m not sure that Gillen fit’s Littlefinger’s description to a T, since he is a lot taller than LF is described.The only reason it’s even slightly an issue is that I thought it was a nice little piece to the LF puzzle and added to his Napoleonic complex.That said, I like Gillen a lot as LF and think he will totally own the role.    

    I hadn’t realized that before, but you’re very much right. In the scene with Ned, LF is actually slightly taller than him… And I can know because I just watched the 11min preview again, twice ;-)

    Makes me wonder if they’re gonna abandon Petyr’s nickname all together, because it doesn’t make any sense anymore then. As you say, that’s a pity, because LF definitely was as good an example of the Napeleonic complex as Berlusconi and Sarkozy put together! (to name but two…) The fact that Aiden gets away with it in in my opinion shows how well he fits the roll in all other aspects.

  • Tar Kidho,

    Littlefinger’s nickname isn’t just a short joke, it also makes fun of his less-than-impressive ancestral home which is the smallest of the Fingers. Basically reminding everyone that he’s a hick.

  • Re: Aiden Gillen as Petyr Baelish,

    Don’t get me wrong, I *like* this casting choice and I am not unhappy about it. He was my second choice. I just think James Callis (Baltar from BSG) would have made a *better* Littlefinger. For his ability to tie back into viewers of The Wire, I expect that casting Gillen in the role probably sends a better “signal” and was aimed at appealing to existing HBO subscribers in a way that casting James Callis would not have done; indeed, Callis’ prior role as Baltar on BSG might have sent the wrong signal and compounded a potential problem by emphasizing the “genre” nature of AGoT. Still, all that said, I think JAmes Callis would have been far better able to play the mocking and affable side to LF than does Gillen, imo. Gillen has a certian menace to him that LF just shouldn’t have. LF appears to be utterly harmless. That’s why he is so dangerous. Nobody ever considers him a real threat.

    Doesn’t matter though; the role is cast.

    Re: Dinklage as Tyrion,

    There never really was a better choice than this. Moreover, it’s the dream role for a dwarf actor in Hollywood. When has a dwarf — playing a human dwarf — not some bearded Balin form the Lonely Mountain, ever been a “lead” role in a series like AGoT? Never. It’s a dream role for Peter Dinklage.

    Re Harry Lloyd as Viserys,

    The more I see of this guy, the more I think he was the best casting choice on the show to date. He’s perfect. I’m rather upset at the arc of the Viserys character now.

    Re: Top AGoT Moment of 2010,

    The obvious choice is the 11 minute Inside a AGoT. But I have one that is related closely to it but goes a little closer to the mark and it’s this: While watching Inside a Game of Thrones for the second time, I had a moment of piercing clarity that I would (soon) have the first season recorded and watchable — multiple times — at any time that I wanted to do so. And I would have a Blu-Ray following that by Xmas 2011!!

    That was my holy crap, this is REALLY going to happen realization and internaltization, all in one. And, on refleciton, that was a better feeling overall than the 11 minute reel itself.

    So THAT was *my* shit-eating-grin AGoT moment of 2010!

  • mummer: Tar Kidho,
    Littlefinger’s nickname isn’t just a short joke, it also makes fun of his less-than-impressive ancestral home which is the smallest of the Fingers. Basically reminding everyone that he’s a hick.    

    Indeed, so they still would be able to keep the nickname I guess, albeit for less obvious reasons.