Casting Season Two: Brienne
By Winter Is Coming on in Casting, Speculation.
Brienne of Tarth

Art by Deviant Art user quickreaver

The long awaited casting speculation posts have returned! No, we haven’t gotten an official season two greenlight, but we are doing this now in anticipation of a quick greenlight after the series premiere draws a huge audience. We’re going to get things started with perhaps the toughest role to cast in this second season… Brienne of Tarth. The debate is, will they go with an unknown who matches Brienne’s description exactly? Or will they go with a more well-known actor who maybe isn’t quite as ugly as Brienne is described in the books? Let’s take a look at some popular fan suggestions.

Katee SackhoffKatee Sackhoff – A popular fan choice due to her role as Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica. She has the right athleticism for the role, although at 5’6″ she isn’t quite as tall as an ideal Brienne. Some might say she is too pretty, but that can be fixed with makeup. If the production even wants to fix it, there are many who believe we might get “Hollywood ugly” for this role. The other big strike against her? She is American. However, I suspect she will audition. Her best friend, and fan of the books, Tricia Helfer will probably encourage her to. But I don’t know if she will ultimately be cast.
Miranda HartMiranda Hart – A popular British comedienne, Hart is best known for her BBC sitcom Miranda. At 6’1″ she’s definitely got the size to play Brienne. But maybe not the athleticism. She’s also not blonde, although that isn’t essential to the character and could easily be fixed in any case. The thing is she’s already got a successful sitcom on the BBC, would she really want to leave that? And she’s more of a comedic actress, how would she handle the really dramatic stuff? She does have one prominent backer though — Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell) has tweeted his feeling that she would make a good Brienne.
Eva DamenEva Damen – This Dutch actress is a newcomer to the Brienne casting discussion. Her name first popped up when she began an active online campaign for the role a la Conan Stevens. She looks to have the right physical attributes: tall, athletic, and with stage combat training too. Despite never appearing in anything but Dutch productions, her resume says she can speak English and do a British accent. But she is very inexperienced, is her acting talent sufficient for a major role? This sort of online fan campaign has worked before, in a similarly unique role, so maybe she has a shot?
Gwendoline ChristieGwendoline Christie – A British actress and model, Christie has numerous stage credits to her name, as well as a handful of film and TV appearances. Her most notable feature is her height, at 6’3″ she would tower over all but a few of the other cast members. She also matches Brienne’s description in the books almost exactly: blue eyes, freckled and blonde. She has the size, the looks, the acting experience, and judging by who she is following on her Twitter account, is aware of the show. She just might be our Brienne.

423 Comments

  1. Mike
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    No love for Zoe Bell?

  2. Ana Carolina S.
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    I’m Gwendoline Christie team!

    I think she has the perfect look (yes, she’s a beautiful woman, but they can put her ugly with the proper makeup) and fits another thing: the age.

    Brienne is a young woman and even with the characters aging up for the series, she must have be in the very beginning of her twenties. Gwendoline seems younger than the other contenders.

  3. ManBearSquid
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Saying Gwendoline Christie “has the looks” for Brienne isn’t fair! I’m sure they could ugly her up pretty well, but she won’t have come by it naturally.

    From those listed she’s my top choice for the role, but I can’t say I know the acting ability of any of these women. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some tweets from her suggesting she wants to job.

  4. ethelred
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I was a huge fan of Sackhoff’s acting in Battlestar Galactica, but I just don’t see her getting cast because she’s an American. I think Gold and the production team felt forced into going that route with Dinklage, since there just aren’t that many talented actors of his height, but they’re pretty clearly not going that way with any other character.

    I still wish Helfer had nabbed the role of Cersei.

  5. Gytha Ogg
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Gwendoline for Brienne. It is known.

  6. Caedes
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Who is this Eva Damen girl? OMG!
    I was a big Gwendoline Christie supporter, but I wouldn’t mind her to get the role at all…

    Looks wise, any of the two will fit. And I’m not concerned about the acting: Nina Gold and her casting team had shown a great radar for talent.

  7. VirulentShadow
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    That quickreaver pic has always been (in my opinion) the best rendition of Brienne I’ve ever seen. Any other pics always tend to seem unreal in some instance… perhaps too horse-ish, or toooo much like a man. This pic I think portrays pretty close to what Martin was going for.

    As for actresses… that’s a hard choice. ‘Course, I’ve got a thing for Starbuck, but I’m not sure I could see Katie as Brienne without much makeup and whizbangery. Also, I’d hope whatever actress they find looks natural with a weapon…

  8. Howland Reed
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    This is tough. I hope when they bring in potential Briennes for their auditions they have them read against out Jaime and Catelyn. The chemistry of the new actress with those two should be paramount. Gwendoline looks fine from these four choices but I think Starbuck would be undesirable, her inclusion in the list almost feels arbitrarily based on BSG fandom.

  9. Grinbomb
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I personally don’t think that the looks of the actress they choose to play Brienne are really that important so much as her size. I think having an actress under 6′ or so would be a mistake, but this is going to be a really tough one to cast.

  10. Caedes
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    And speaking about casting for S2: I’ve just rewatched Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” and got to say:

    – There can not be anybody who fits more Ygritte’s description tha Lea Seydoux. She’s just spot on.
    – What a shame Mark Strong’s career is so in the rising (very well earned too), for he would have been such a terrific Stannis… we all know it from long ago
    – I don’t like Scott Grimes for Edmure. I couldn’t see him as anyone but Dr. Morris in leather tights…

    BTW, Winter, great Brienne picture! Best I’ve seen so far!

  11. Lex
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Hasn’t there already been a ton of discussion on Brienne casting? Anyways, I think that it’s pretty likely now that they won’t be going with an ugly Brienne, based on our Tyrion. I’ve always said that I think they’ll just go with someone “tough” (like Sackhoff, whether or not they cast her).

  12. Steven Scott
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m still hoping they just cut her out of the series considering she is the worst character in the books.

  13. AbstractPlain
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Personally out of the actresses listed Gwendoline Christie seems the best suited for the role so she my preferred choice for the role. I have a hard time imagining Katee Sackhoff as Brienne, and of course she would have to use an accent and I can’t really see her doing one. I know thats a weak excuse but I just don’t see her as Brienne, sorry.

    Miranda Hart is a definite no for me, not only because she almost exclusively does comedy, but also because she doesn’t come off as a fighter to me. Also I hate to say it but can anyone seriously imagine her doing that particular jaime- brienne scene from ASOS, you know the one in the bath. No offence to her of course.

    Eva Damen- can’t really comment, although I would say the role really needs a strong actress to do the role justice, more so than most in ACOK. So an inexperienced actress I’m not too sure.

    Ok back to Gwendoline Christie, not just the looks which as WiC says is perfect, and I agree, but I think her acting would be strong enough. I saw several months ago an interview she did on youtube for a theatre production she was in. I think it may have been posted here or in westeros.org, not sure (massive thanks for whoever linked it), but it definitely convinced me she is right for the role, she’s got a great voice btw. Also she would definitely not be a problem when it comes to that jaime- brienne scene judging from ahem.. some of the pictures I’ve seen of her.

  14. Caedes
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Lex: Hasn’t there already been a ton of discussion on Brienne casting? .    

    Sure, But it is fun nontheless!! Casting Post!!Yayyy!!

    Steven Scott: I’m still hoping they just cut her out of the series considering she is the worst character in the books.    

    You are not be serious, are you?

  15. The Rabbit
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Caedes,

    Found Eva Damen following me a couple of days ago on Twitter.
    My first reaction was similliar to yours. OMG!
    She is very interesting in that part and she tried the same thing as Conan Stevens did.
    I can see her as Brienne, but as Winter pointed out the expirence could be the problem, Brienne is more complex character than Gregor is.
    But, I think Eva deserves a call for an audition.

  16. OneTooFree
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    based on the options given (and without knowing anything about their acting abilities), i’d be happy with either Eva Damen or Gwendoline Christie

    fwiw, season 2 has gotten the green light, just not “officially”

  17. Hear Me Roar
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I know about a fifth candidate: Janica Kostelić! :D sorry Rabbit ;) I had to.

  18. KG
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    If all else fails, give WNBA players a chance at stardom.

  19. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Quick recap of my thoughts from all other threads that veered into Brienne casting-land.

    1) GRRM stated that he initially thought Natalia Tena was too young to play the Osha he wrote, but her audition changed her mind. We have no idea what qualities of Brienne D&D will compromise on in the face of a great performance. So, any statements about they will do or “must” do should be taken with a grain of salt.

    2) Dany and Jon Snow were both cast with actors with very few film or TV credits. If Brienne remains a relatively young character, there’s a real possibility they’ll go this route.

    3) People have pointed out that Brienne’s height can be “fixed” with camera angles. They’ve said that her looks can be altered with makeup. They’ve suggested that all of her fighting can be done with a stunt double in armor. All of these things are true. However, the less they have to “work around” the actress, the better. That said, we have no idea what they’ll have to work around and what they’ll decide just to leave out of the character. (See point #1)

    With all that said, picking any of those listed above is tricky. I see merits in all of them, as well as issues that at least one fan would see as a sticking point.

    Katee Sackhoff is the furthest of how Brienne is described, but has the potential to bring in viewers and has TV experience. She’d be the most commercially logical choice, perfect if BSG fans and suits were in charge of the project. She wouldn’t poison the production for me, but it’d definitely be seen as the market controlling to project rather than the story.

    Miranda Hart straddles the line between a commercial choice and something that fits the spirit of Brienne. She’s well-known, but is much closer to hitting all the points GRRM seems to have been trying to get across with Brienne. There are issues with the fact that she’s older than the character is written, and as many have pointed out she’d most likely need to ramp up her fighting ability. The fact that our Loras likes her is a point in her favor. Again, a bit too far off the character for me to get behind, but I wouldn’t stop watching.

    Eva Damen to me is a great example of a compromise on all points still making a potentially good Brienne. She’s not from the UK, but may be able to do the correct accent. She’s tall, just not Brienne-of-the-books tall. She’s built, just not Brienne-of-the-books built. There are so many things that don’t seem to work on paper, but when I look at her I can see Brienne. Is it simply because she’s in armor? I think there’s more to it. I hope she gets an audition. If she were cast, I’d accept her. The fact that she’s a self-described geek doesn’t hurt either.

    Gwendoline Christie has acting experience, and I have no doubt she could do the job. The only drawback that some have pointed out is that she’s tall, but not large. For some fans, that’s a huge deal. I don’t mind it much. GRRM has described Brienne in this way:

    “I would go crazy if I measured all of my characters to the inch. Brienne is well over six feet tall, but not close to seven, no. Certainly not above it…Just off the top of my head, I would say Brienne is taller than Renly and Jaime and significantly heavier than either, but nowhere near the size of Gregor Clegane, who is the true giant in the series. Shorter than Hodor and the Greatjon, maybe a bit shorter than the Hound, maybe roughly the same height as Robert.”

    http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/Brienne_of_Tarth/

    Still we’re back to point #1. We have no idea what they’ll decide is important.

  20. Caedes
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit,

    Ok, Thanks!

    And about the experience thing… Emilia Clarke ot Kit Harrington aren’t battle-worn veterans either and they play two of the main characters of the story. So it’s not so important to HBO, I think.

  21. Sir Mookie
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    How ’bout casting a babyfaced tall muscular MALE actor for the role (ala Linda Hunt in the “The Year of Living Dangerously.”) Brienne, afterall, has to go toe to toe with the best knights of the land, so her build shoud be impressive…

  22. Dennai
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    A similar thread in Westeros.org pointed out some time ago the option of Becky Whinghan ( http://www.uk.castingcallpro.com/view.php?uid=259277&position=0&page=1 ). 6 ft tall, large building, 22yo, equity member. She have stage combat training and even diving experience. Not a big CV yet, but then again, that didn’t hurt Emilia Clarke. I think at least they should call her for audition.

  23. Liesie
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    hmmm I am 6’1 with blond hair and blue eyes ;-)

    I’m for Eva Damen, the reason…. uhhh well it would love to see a connection between my very own Netherlands and GoT, since that might enlarge the chance of Thrones being broadcast here as well :) (maybe a selfish reason?)

  24. The Rabbit
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Hear Me Roar,

    Mean, but true. :)

  25. OneTooFree
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Sir Mookie,

    this is a joke, right?

  26. Crotalidian (Paul)
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    With the ‘ugly’ thing. I never pictured Tyrion as a particularly ugly person. other than standard Dwarf features so Dinklage was perfect, it also only makes the comments that everyone makes much harsher and shows that it is still a primitive time.

    With Brienne I think that she will have to be made to look somewhere near Ugly or Masculine, much is made of how she looks and standard for beauty probably are probably less stringent in the medieval times.

    Steven Scott,

    I can understand how you wouldn’t liek her but she is a great foil for Character development with Jaime and Catelyn. How else do we Get to see Jaime change other than opposite the Maid of Tarth?

  27. Liesie
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Liesie: it

    edit button please!!!

  28. DigDoug
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Well I always pictured in my head a young Bridgette Neilson from Red Sonja.

  29. Greatjon
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Eva certainly looks like how I imagined Brienne. Even in that picture, I can see by her expression that she’s listening to Jaime say something annoying.

    Also, while Brienne was among my least favorite characters when we were first introduced to her, by the end of A Feast for Crows she’d definitely won me over. I think she’s one of the most interesting characters in the series.

  30. Karolina Bartnik
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Gwendoline Christie -I said that before and I will say it again: She is my perfect Brienne :)

  31. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree,

    Happens in every Brienne thread. I can never tell if the people who suggest it are trying to be funny or are unfamiliar with the numerous types of women that exist on the planet.

  32. Sir Mookie
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree,
    Nope, I think it could work…

  33. DigDoug
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    But I could always settle for
    http://www.krismurrell.com/photos/details/31

  34. darksofa
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I’d be content with anyone except Katee Sackhoff. I’d be unable to see anyone but Starbuck, and that’d just totally kill it for me.

  35. OneTooFree
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Sir Mookie,

    the idea of having a man play the role of Brienne completely undermines the entire role of Brienne. not only would it NOT work, it would be slap in the face then a stomp on the nuts of GRRM to do so

  36. Morgane
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I want brienne and jaime to end up together so much!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. darrylzero
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I trust that they’ll make the right choice her.

    I loved Katee as Starbuck, and I trust they could make her look right, even if she is too pretty for the role. However, I’m not feeling her as Brienne, because what I loved about her performance in BSG was how sexually charged it was. Not sexy, exactly (though sometimes it was), but always very sexually confident, even powerful. She had so much swagger in that regard… I thought it was incredible. I’d rather see her as a character like Asha, if she’s going to be cast (though I have no idea how good her accent might be).

    As for the rest, all I can really do is repeat myself that I trust the casting directors to do a good job here, considering their track record. Our Brienne will probably be a little too pretty, but I also think they’ll find ways to get the character right visually in other ways.

  38. Fate's Bitch
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Any idea of Damen or Christie’s respective ages? Brienne’s youth is almost as important an aspect of her character as her looks and fighting prowess.

  39. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit,

    Seconded. Acting ability isn’t just a list of credits. That’s why there are auditions in the first place. I hope she gets her chance.

  40. Winter Is Coming
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Fate’s Bitch,

    Looked into this a bit and saw that Christie graduated from drama school in 2005, so I guess that would make her around 27? (That picture is circa ’06/’07, I believe. So imagine her a little bit older.)

    Not sure about Damen, as there is much less info about her on the web. I suppose someone could ask her on Twitter?

  41. OneTooFree
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    oh and if we’re going to cast outside of actual actors, Kim Clijsters would be a good Brienne of Tarth

  42. Snakebitey
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Steven Scott,

    No no no!! Brienne is a must! I’ll agree she’s not my favorite character but if she is left out we would all miss out on one of my favorite dialogue moments of the series being brought to the screen. The thaphires of Tarth!!!!

  43. marzman
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I am just wondering. But whenever I read the Brienne POV chapters, I have the feeling that she is not really part of the plot. She seems to be more like a device for GRRM to show the devastation of war and to connect the various strands and settings. I mean, most of the time she is just travelling around. If GRRM hasn’t planned a more central role for her in the books to come, she may just as well be left out of the show. Of course, she is a cool and very unique character but, in the end, she does not really contribute to the development of the plot.

  44. Crotalidian (Paul)
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree,

    Kim Clijsters isn’t quite tall enough. if you go outside of acting it would have to be for a perfect physical match. Amelie Mauresmo would be closer but still not tall enough and too old

  45. Sir Mookie
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree,

    Not my 1st choice either, just a thought, no need to stomp any nuts…I am guessing that casting Lina Hunt as a male photog was frowned upon too but it worked

  46. Shinyteapot
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Katee Sackhoff- great as Starbuck, but too short and don’t know if she can do a convincing English accent. You could claim that Tarth has a different accent to the rest of Westeros, but even so I think an American accent wouldn’t fit. Besides, I doubt she’s short of work and would she want to be typecast in the tough woman who fights alongside the blokes role?

    Miranda Hart- older than I imagine Brienne and less athletic, though it’s amazing what actors can do in terms of gaining/losing muscle for a role. Never seen her in a non-comedic role but that’s no reason to assume she can’t do one, many comic actors are equally good at serious roles. Busy with her show at the moment though.

    Eva Damen- never heard of her before but I like her look, her features aren’t quite perfect for the description of Brienne but not a long way off. Great that she has combat training. Not sure how old she is, she looks a little older than the Brienne I imagined, but of course most of the characters have been aged up. If she can do a convincing English accent she’s got a shot, but I still think she’s too short- IMDB says 5’9″.

    Gwendoline Christie- definitely tall enough, right age and from what little I’ve seen on youtube no complaints about her acting. She’s not too skinny to fit the part, but would need to gain muscle for the role. Great facial features- she’s prettier than Brienne is described to be but she’s got the big eyes and the rest is makeup.

    Becky Wingham- could certainly see her in the role. Got the age, height, build and combat skills. Facially she doesn’t look like I imagined but that’s not too big a deal, she could certainly be made up to look a reasonable Brienne. No idea about her acting skills but I hope she gets an audition. Whoever is cast will be a good enough actress, the casting director will make sure of that.

  47. clemintine
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Eva Damen, Yes! (though I’ve never seen her act in anything). That photo just screams Brienne at me.

    Hair colour isn’t so important for her (unlike Cersei and Jamie and Robert where half the book’s plot hinges on their hair colour genetics; and also for the Targs their hair makes them stand out). What Brienne needs to be is taller than usual for a woman, tough, built and not conventionally attractive.

    Katee Sackhoff, aside from being USian which disqualifies her anyways, can do tough, but she’s really pretty. Starbuck was outgoing and charismic, whereas Brienne is more of a loaner.

    Miranda Hart, I’ve never seen her in anything, but if she’s more of a comedian than her acting wouldn’t suit the part. She’s large, but could she build the muscle to be a believable warrior?

    Gwendoline Christie is again too pretty. And slender. Though I like her height. But again, can she pump the iron for this role?

    I would be really disappointed if they were have a Hollywood ugly woman play her role, just as I would if there were to cast a non-dwarf actor for Tyrion and then use camera tricks to make him into a dwarf. For dwarf actors there are no doubt fewer opportunities in the business for them and it would be unfair for the part to go to a non-dwarf who has plenty of other opportunities. Same for Brienne. It is a chance for an actor who isn’t considered pretty since in television and film women are supposed to be gorgeous, so I would like this opportunity to go to an actor who usually would get passed over for not being “pretty enough” or too tall, as oppose to uglyfying an attractive woman who has lots of chances elsewhere.

    They’ve cast unknowns for Dany and Jon, so why not Brienne? If Eva Damen can bring the acting chops to the table, then she’s my Brienne. I wouldn’t worry about the language issue. The Dutch are very good with English (I’ve heard that it’s almost impossible to go to the Netherlands and lean Dutch because everyone in the whole room will just switch to English for you). And I’ve kidnof mistaken Dutch people for British people before, so there you go.

  48. Phoenix_torn
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Fate’s Bitch,

    Winter Is Coming,

    A dutch wikipedia page that matches Eva’s imdb credits says she was born July1979

  49. Tom
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    What does it matter if Katee is American? The book is set in a fictional world, and if it does matter actors have been known to fake accents. Jamie Bamber managed to do it as Apollo.

    I wouldn’t worry too much about beauty either. Just look at Charlize Theron in Monster.

  50. The Rabbit
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    marzman,

    Brienne maybe does not contribue to the developement of the plot, but she contribues a lot to the developement of one very importnat character. (Jaime).
    I would even dare to say she is crucial.

  51. Greatjon
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    marzman,

    That’s why I wasn’t a fan of her in the earlier books, but I think that changed by the end of a Feast for Crows. Whatever word she cries out as she and Pod are being hanged, it almost certainly has to be an agreement to hunt down Jaime. And once she makes that oath, I can’t see her taking it back.

  52. Shannon
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Based on this list, I’d definitely like to see Christie play Brienne. People keep talking about “uglying her up,” but honestly I don’t think that they need to do that nearly as much as people think. As far as Jaime’s opinion is concerned, she only really needs to be uglier than Cersei. Other upper class characters are similar–even Jon says as much about Ygritte, how when he really paid attention, she wasn’t ugly but relatively normal looking, he was just used to the way nobles look and judged her against a different standard. As for soldiers, a lot of their comments were rooted in mean-spiritedness more than anything else. As a relatively successful female warrior, she threatened their masculinity and dominance, and the fact that she was tall and strong enough to compete with them on an equal level threatened to upset their patriarchal worldview. It’s only natural that they would react by insulting her in such a way that would reinforce their view of what she, as a woman, should ideally be.

    As far as bulking up, I don’t see why it’s not possible for her to just gain more muscle. As long as she is noticeably bulkier and more muscular than the other women, it should be fine. The rest of the weight could easily be visual, given that she’ll spend all her time wearing mail and armor anyway.

  53. ablaaa
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    We don’t necessarily have to pick an ugly, masculine actress to begin with. They can just ugly her up for the role, nothing easier than that.

  54. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Tom,

    It’s better for the production to cast folks from the UK. As an example, even though my friend Basil is a terrific actor and lives close to Vancouver, it’s hard for him to get work in that city because of the extra hassle they have to go through to cast him over Canadian actors.

  55. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Basil, he’s my one degree of separation from Peter Dinklage:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1545660/fullcredits#cast

  56. Fate's Bitch
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Phoenix_torn,
    Winter Is Coming,

    Thanks, guys. I like the idea of both of those actresses, but I’d hope they go a little younger. Early 2os at the most, but ideally able to pass for late teens. In an older looking actress, Brienne’s idealism would come across as less youthful naivete and more foolishness. However I suspect age might be one of the things they’ll end up compromising when casting her.

  57. AbstractPlain
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Ok I managed to the find the interview video that has Gwendoline Christie in one of her theatre roles.

    Link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=US&v=YFfACZhp8o0

  58. Nicole
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Damn, we need an HBO update. . . hm mm m I have an addiction, sir.

  59. loco73
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I think for the time being we best hold-off on going ahead of ourselves with all this talk about a second season…we have to see how the first season will perform! Just because us fans are excited does not necesarrily mean that the bulk of TV viewers who also count for a large chunk in this series being a success, will be attracted. I obviously hope they will, and I hope the series breaks everykind of record and statistic there is, but wishing for something and it coming true is another thing!

    We all know what happened to “Carnivale”, that was also suppossed to be a genre defying series, and well…it went over most people’s heads and HBO axed it! I want “Game Of Thrones” to have a fully-successful and complete run, but we also have to be realistic and consider all possibilities…

  60. shadallion
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Sir Mookie: How ’bout casting a babyfaced tall muscular MALE actor for the role (ala Linda Hunt in the “The Year of Living Dangerously.”) Brienne, afterall, has to go toe to toe with the best knights of the land, so her build shoud be impressive…  Quote  Reply

    I’d be okay with this.

  61. Kanga
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Hrm…with regards to Katee Sackhoff, I think that’s one that it’s just impossible to know whether she’d be good in the role or not until (if) she auditions. On the one hand, I loved her acting in BSG. For the people who say they wouldn’t be able to see her as anything other than Starbuck, personally I think she has the potential to do an impressive enough job as Brienne that most people would forget about Starbuck. It is her job, after all, to embody and portray more than one type of person convincingly. She strikes me as someone who can deliver a great performance or a not so great performance depending on the material she’s given. And since we’re all well aware that the source material is amazing, I think there’s an opportunity here for her to break away from the Starbuck classification and really shine in a different sort of role. In short, you never know, and whatever opinions people may have formed from seeing her on BSG, this is not BSG, so I wouldn’t pidgeonhole her based on one performance. I trust that she’s got range, so for that reason I’m not ruling her out quite yet. I’m not saying I think she should play Brienne, but I’m willing to entertain the possibility that she may surprise us.

    And it might be worth noting that she is surprisingly short for work. I’ve been paying attention to what she’s been up to post-BSG out of curiosity, and while I wouldn’t say she’s been struggling exactly, she has been less successful than one might expect. She’s also expressed a preference to be involved in longer projects because of the job security they offer, and that given any choice of job at the moment she’d love to do a period piece. So who knows? (I can’t cite this with an exact link, but it’s all from a video Q&A she did a few months back, it’s on her website somewhere.)

  62. Phoenix_torn
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    loco73,

    Oh lighten up Loco. Fan casting will happen even if we don’t get a second season. Hell, fan casting happens even if there isn’t a production planned at all. We’re not debating politics, so i’m happy.

  63. Maxwell James
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I love Eva Damen’s look – she has both the soulful eyes and strong shoulders that suggest a Brienne. Based purely on appearance (which is certainly not enough), she would be my top pick of the above.

    Sackhoff is great & I’d be interested to see her take on Brienne, but it doesn’t seem like a natural fit.

    Shannon,

    I think it’s essential that Brienne be ugly. That is the main thing she is mocked for in the books, and forms an essential part of her history. There are other warrior women in the books, but none of them are tormented as she is. It also adds a great deal of intrigue to her relationship with Jaime – if he really finds her so repulsive, then why the chemistry?

    Finally, I think it is simply a breath of fresh air to have an (conventionally) unattractive woman in a heroic role. That’s still incredibly rare.

  64. Winter Is Coming
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    loco73,

    No doubt. But no harm in engaging in some casting speculation now, during this lull while we wait for season one to begin. If the swirling rumors and HBO’s recent track record is anything to go by, they will give season two an immediate green light which means casting will be on-going as the series airs. With so many fun roles to speculate and discuss, I’d rather do that now than try to fit it all in as the series airs.

  65. Titus Crow
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    I like Eva Damen on this one.

    How about Sackhoff for Melisandre ?

  66. rorschach-
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I have seen only Starbuck acting seriously from these actreses, and Starbuck isn’t even close to Brienne. Have seen also Hart throw a few sketch and that is even further away from Brienne, so at the moment the only thing that could define Brienne for me from these actreses is the look. And then it goes to Gwendoline. Though I really like that somebody truly wants to do this and even does online campaign and things like that to get it, but unfortunately it isn’t enough for this role. Brienne is 10 times harder role than Gregor.

    But like it is, it’s really hard to say anything at the moment except looks. For me first thing for Brienne is acting, second is agility or the body control that makes us believe that she really could beat my ass with her left hand. Things like ugliness or strongness or shoulder width are only bonus, bit taller capable actress and I’m sold. At the moment, everything points to Gwendoline.

  67. Nicole
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I like Eva and Gwendoline, with the latter being my preference since she is already following the series! Miranda Hart is a DEFINITE no. Based both on her experience as a comedian and her look. Brienne has to be solid first and foremost, and I am talking stature here (did I spell that right?). Anyways, plus we all know a sense of humor is the last requirement for a Brienne casting.

  68. Maxwell James
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Mike,

    Oh, BTW I would definitely endorse Zoe Bell as well. Like Sackhoff she’s got the physicality for the role, but is a bit taller I think, and while she’s certainly not ugly her looks are a bit more idiosyncratic. Plus she’s from New Zealand, which might make for a somewhat more convincing accent.

  69. Maxwell James
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Like here for instance. She’s not tall, but still looks like she could rip QT’s head off.

  70. Samantha Hirst
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot,

    I am very much in the Becky Wingham camp. Yeah, obviously I odn’t know what her acting is like, and the make-up department would have to uglify her, but she certainly fits the bill physically. I hope she gets an audition (if indeed she is interested in the role and is actively chasing it).

  71. Steve the Pirate
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Zoe Bell is a great stunt woman, but a terrible actress. She would be a lousy Brienne. The look of Brienne is important, but they’ll need a real actress, not just some bodybuilder. Brienne & Jaime’s journey is a major arc for the third book, so they can’t just toss any muscular female in the role.

  72. How Now Brown Cow
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Billie Piper would be my choice.

  73. ducky
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Of these choices I only know Katie Sackhoff and while she certainly can play tough she isn’t nearly tall enough. Whoever they pick needs to have good chemistry with the Jaime actor. How tall is N. Coster-Waldau anyways? He looks pretty tall himself.

    As for cutting out the Brienne part altogether – no way! Brienne is crucial for Jaime’s character development and I love their scenes in the books together.

  74. Vaari
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    All of them suck tbh. We need 6″3 Cameron Diaz on crack and steroids. Anyone can pump weights though.

  75. aaron
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    it’s not so much that the actress has to be ‘uglied up’ to play the part of brienne. the actress has to be convincing as someone who could be confused for a male. every time she’s anywhere they think she’s a guy until they look at her.

    as for starbuck as brienne, as much as i loved her on bsg, she’d be an awful choice. would she draw fans? sure. heck i watched last season of 24 based solely on her being on the show (big mistake by the way). but could she honestly play a convincing brienne? every time she’s referred to as a wench i’d just be expecting her to lunge off her horse and smash the person in the face. but it’s not in the character to do that. yeah yeah,that’s why they call it acting, but still.

    i could see her cast as one of the sand snakes for what i hope happens as the 4th season

  76. Vaari
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh I forgot. Why not make a man play Brienne?

  77. Zack
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Christie is fairly attractive IMO. I don’t know how much work they’re going to want to go through making her ugly–for everyone harping on that possibility, just remember Tyrion. Sigh.

    Regardless, acting ability and an imposing stature need to be the priorities, though–as with Tyrion, if the actress can make us believe she’s insecure and worthless anytime she’s not in a suit of mail wielding a sword, and the other actors do their part properly, it won’t matter. Dramatic heft, size and athleticism. If they screen test looking for those qualities, complaining that she hasn’t got a horseface would be nitpicking.

  78. BryanP
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think anyone knows her, but she’s a playwrite and a great actress.

    Marianna Palka.

    She’s 5’10”, very athletic though she’ll need make up like all of the other suggestions. You can see her build (no nudity) in the movie “Good Dick” in which she wrote, directed and starred in. She’s Scottish, so she’s got the accent if she needs it.

  79. WinterWillCome
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    What do you think about Gillian Anderson as Lady Melisandre? She’s red hair, she’s British and she choose very well all her works, and second season of Game of Thrones is a very good work!!

  80. Jake
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Samantha Hirst,

    Agreed, although I don’t think they’d have to “uglify” her at all. Allowing her to maintain a plain look would be enough IMO.

    If she can act, I think she’s a strong candidate both in terms of height and weight.

  81. Zack
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    WinterWillCome: What do you think about Gillian Anderson as Lady Melisandre? She’s red hair, she’s British and she choose very well all her works, and second season of Game of Thrones is a very good work!!    

    Casting a British actress as someone from an entirely different continent as the primarily-British cast in Westeros wouldn’t be my first choice…

  82. anna
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    This one is close to my heart as I love the character of Brienne. I just dont know of any actresses around just now who could play her. I was hoping they would scour the globe and find someone perfect. She is supposed to be massive as well as ugly but with striking eyes and yet underneath her manly exterior she is very much a woman and I always thought that Jaime kind of like her

  83. Inkasrain
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    No Joe Campo on the list? Tsk! Musn’t be afraid to think outside the box here, guys ;-)

  84. Steve the Pirate
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    WinterWillCome,

    Gillian Anderson is not English, she’s American, and she’s not a redhead either- her hair was dyed red. I love her as an actress but Melisandre is not a big enough part, and they can easily cast that role with most any beautiful woman from the UK.

    I don’t know why people get so hung up on the hair for Melisandre. Wigs. We don’t need a redhead.

  85. Steve
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    It should be Eva Damen.

    And who cares about an English accent. Westeros is not England and was never intended to be England.

  86. Jan Oda
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    YAY. Casting :)

    Katee Sackhoff isn’t tall enough in my opinion. Miranda Hart is too old for the role, especially since the actor they cast for Renly is so young.

    Eva Damen seems a decent fit, but in my experience people from the Netherlands (and Belgium, I’m including myself here), speak American English. And to you people it probably sounds like we speak with a German accent. She’s from my generation, and we all grew up Friends, the Simpsons and so on. We get more American TV than British TV, which massively influenced our language.

    Gwendoline Christie doesn’t look exactly like how I pictured Brienne, but she has the length, so a decent enough fit.

    I don’t care that much for acting credentials, because I have fate in Nina Golds abilities to find unknown gems.

    Paulgude said in the general casting thread that everyone has an aspect that for them is what makes Brienne. (I’m pretty sure I’ve mangled that sentence). For me the most defining aspect of Brienne is her lenght, because I’m pretty sure that’s what makes all the men so vicious towards her.

    Length is a huge factor in gender roles. In my own experience, men are often intimidated by females taller than them. I’m only 6 ft, so not that freakishly tall (esp. not in Belgium), and I have this frequently. It also works the other way around that sometimes you feel less female because you’re not smaller. It’s silly really.

    I’m pretty sure that in the fantasy setting of Westeros, where gender roles are seperated even more, and a lot is based on looks, Brienne’s lenght is what makes her so ridiculed and unattractive and unwanted. She’s taller and a better fighter, and even if she was attractive, the men still would be hurt in their pride. An actress under 6ft would never be able to have the same effect.

    Casting a male would be offensive. That would be like casting a female for an effeminate gay character.

  87. Samantha Hirst
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Jake,

    I maintain that she needs to be ‘uglified’ – and by that I don’t mean Bride of Frankenstein ugly, lets just be clear on that – because I think that Brienne has to contrast with the other female fights out there. Brienne is ostracised by people not because she is a fighter (though that certainly plays a part) but because of her looks. Dacey Mormont is a fighter and is, from what we see (I will admit, we see very little of her) is very much accepted. The Sand Sisters are all fighters and are respected by the people of Dorne. So I personally feel we need a contrast between Brienne, Dacey and the Sisters. People mock Brienne because she is ugly. Sure, they may have mocked her if she was beautiful and still chose the lifestyle she has chosen, but what we see in the books is her being mocked because of her looks; that I feel has to come across on screen, and the only way to do that is to make sure that there is a distinct difference in the looks of Brienne, Dacey (and if we get there, the Sand Sisters). Otherwise there is just going to be a whole lot of hating on Brienne, and it won’t make sense.

    Just my opinion anyhoo.

  88. asamarathi
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Except for Sackhoff (who ist too gorgeous, way too short and too BSG for Brienne and probably wouldn’t be cast anyway because she’s american) I knew none of these actresses, but after browsing some of Gwendoline Christie’s pictures, I’m all for her!
    She would have to pack on some muscle (not too much! ~20 pounds?), but otherwise she’s almost perfect.

    Give her a really bad haircut, like she cuts it herself with a knife. Short in the front, so it can’t fall into her eyes, maybe a bit longer in the back (something mullet-like?) and take the shine out of it.
    Depending on her skin, don’t cover anything up or put on some blemishes with makeup.
    Don’t know if they really have to do something about her teeth, but if they do it should be easy enough. That’s probably all they need to do!

    Anyway, I hope they find someone who blows their mind at the audition, then I’ll probably be pleased, too.

  89. Mark
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think that uglification is necessary. I agree that Gwendoline is too attractive, but I think that, being so huge, if you just put her in some bulky armor, chop her hair, and keep the makeup off her, the effect will be quite adequate, while still making her a sympathetic character for the audiences. maybe a tooth prosthesis, and some freckle enhancement. I think the important thing is to make her look HUGE. Here i think height is more important than bulk, just look at what they are doing in terms of bulky armor for gregor.

  90. Mark
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    ha – good minds think alike

  91. Ash
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I knew Gwen was campaigning, but I’d never really seen pictures of her until now. She’d be great! Pretty, but could be uglied up, and the right size.

  92. Crotalidian (Paul)
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Samantha Hirst,

    Also as we have confirmed flashbacks, there will be moments of her back on Tarth with suitors. Here she should still look ugly despite having (I assume) plenty of attention to beautify her as much as possible.

    On the flip side withthe Sand sisters they fight very differently and even Dacey Mormont fights because she is the only one left in her house who can. Brienne WANTED to be a Knight. Which also brings her in for much ridicule.

  93. clemintine
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Samantha Hirst: People mock Brienne because she is ugly. Sure, they may have mocked her if she was beautiful and still chose the lifestyle she has chosen, but what we see in the books is her being mocked because of her looks; that I feel has to come across on screen, and the only way to do that is to make sure that there is a distinct difference in the looks of Brienne, Dacey (and if we get there, the Sand Sisters). Otherwise there is just going to be a whole lot of hating on Brienne, and it won’t make sense.

    Yeah, if she is good looking it won’t be believable. Like in the Tudors they so miscast Ann of Cleaves. King Henry saying how ugly she is and calling her a Flemish Mare, when the actor playing her was gorgeous! Not believable.

    And no casting a man! That is so insulting.

  94. Samantha Hirst
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    clemintine,

    Exactly! I always found that weird, and laughable – the Tudors situation that is – because as you say, the actress was so gorgeous it was rather hilarious watching Henry insulting her looks.

    And I meant the Bride of Wildenstein, not Frankenstein; I’ve got horror movies on the mind for some reason and my mind thought one thing whilst my hands typed another. lol

  95. Samantha Hirst
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Crotalidian (Paul),

    Sorry, missed you. *blushes*

    And whilst I agree with you re Dacey and the Sand Sisters, you don’t see them being ridiculed for their looks do you? Or at least I can’t recall that being the case. I know with Dacey we see so little of her, but I would suspect that a Catelyn chapter would pick it up if the men were doing some Dacey hating because she picked up the Brienne mockery. So yes, they have either very different styles of fighting or are fighting because they have to, but men are still (or come across as being) so much more accepting of them simply because they’re not suffering in the looks department.

  96. izakmo
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Of the names mentioned so far, I’d vote Gwendoline Cristie or Becky Whinghan, but the actress will almost surely be an unknown. The ideal criteria for the role (other than acting ability) is pretty basic:

    1. British Equity member
    2. believable as a girl in her twenties
    3. probably at least 5’10, but preferably over 6′
    4. athletic, or potentially athletic
    5. not model-hot

    Sackhoff, Hart, Damen, and Bell each lack at least two of these requirements. Doesn’t mean it’s impossible one will will get an audition, just implausible.

  97. Strong Belwas
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    To those scattered few who want to cut Brienne: NO.

    Now, I’m a Brienne-hater myself. Her POV scenes feel like a waste of space, and I always end up just reading them in a depserate attempt to get to the next chapter, which might be interesting. The reason I didn’t like Feast for Crows is because the book is SO DAMN BRIENNE HEAVY.

    However.

    Brienne seems poised to become a very interesting character in later later books. She is asked to choose between the noose and the sword at the end of Feast for Crows. She hesitates. The noose draws tight around her neck, and “she screams a word.” Unless GRRM poured a huge amount of time into a character he was just going to kill (not unprecedented, mind!), that word was “SWORD!” Which means she’s now oath-bound to kill Jaime Lannister, one of the only two people who ever saw any worth in her. That’s speculative, but if that is the direction the plot is headed – and I both think and hope that it is – then the Brienne of Book 6 should have an interesting, IMPORTANT role in the overall story. As insufferable as she is, she can’t be cut.

  98. GaR
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Mark,

    Conan doesn’t need bulky armour to look huge; the dude is massive regardless of what he’s wearing.

  99. Nicole
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Vaari: All of them suck tbh. We need 6″3 Cameron Diaz on crack and steroids. Anyone can pump weights though.  Quote  Reply

    Haha, is she already on crack?

  100. OneTooFree
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Samantha Hirst,

    in regards to the Ladies Mormont, you don’t see them ridiculed mostly because of where they live. in the lives of the Mormont people & the Northern lords, it’s accepted that the woman have to defend their people. coming from the land of Tarth, it’s unheard of for a woman to want to don armor & fight in battles. so while, yes it’s important for the actor who is cast as Brienne to not be a striking beauty, it’s not all that important for me. it’s more important that she be able to play a role of someone completely uncomfortable in their own skin, except when they wear their mail & plate and when they have weapon & shield in hand.

  101. persephone88
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Gwendolyn Christie is way too cute to play Brienne. She just does not look like the bucktoothed, awkward, big boned girl as described AT ALL to me. Brienne really has to play awkward and homely and stubborn well, and Gwendolyn looks almost coy and sweet in her photo. Her features are so delicate – not at all how I imagined Brienne.

    Miranda Hart looks too old to me. She does not look anywhere near teenaged, but more middle aged. I can’t see her playing well off Jaime. She looks almost too big. I always saw Brienne as mannish rather than heavy set, all shoulders and big bones, but not portly.

    I think Eva Damen looks the closest. She has strong atypical features, she can look very plain, and she looks young enough. Given the number of young actors cast in the series, I don’t know that her lack of experience would be too concerning if her screen test went well.

    Initially I like the idea of Katee Sackhoff for Brienne, as she’s got the stubborn and tough down, and she’s can be made very plain, as she not a conventional Hollywood beauty. I also think she’s a good enough actress to stretch and show Brienne’s quiet, hurting side.

    But right now, I’m leaning strongly towards Eva Damen – that pic of her in armor just shouts “Brienne”!

  102. Damphair
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Brienne – Gwendoline Christie with 20 pounds of muscle
    Asha – Katee Sackhoff with dark hair
    Ygritte – Lea Seydoux (someone else recommended this months ago, very choice)
    Melisandre – I’ve always pictured her oozing sex appeal and entrancingly exotic. Someone with a darker complexion and deep red/auburn hair to contrast pale skinned Westerosi and Westeros ginger-style redheads (“kissed by fire”). A younger, darker Melinda Clarke or someone like her.

    I honestly think it’s harder to cast the guys at this point (Blackfish, Edmure, Aeron, Jaqen H’ghar, STANNIS, Davos, etc).

  103. Samantha Hirst
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree,

    I think it’s just going to be something we’ll have to agree to disagree on in that regards. But that’s what I love about discussions like this – everybody has their own opinions and they vary so much. Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly wouldn’t mind if they took Becky Wingham on as Brienne, shoved her in armour and off she goes sans uglification, but what I would love to see is that when the calls of ‘Brienne the Beauty’ come, it is crystal clear just how mocking that is.

  104. Petter Kristian Vikestad
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Gwendoline Christie. Cut her hair. Make her pale. Add freckles, and perhaps a scar on her cheek. All done.

  105. Johan Sporre
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Eva Damen has the exact right Brienne-look I imagined in that photo of her. She looks like she can out-fight most knights. She doesn’t have to be really tall, so 5’9″ plus some heels should do fine. Remains to see how her acting and English is though. If she gets cast I’m sure they’re sufficienly good :)

    Gwendoline Christie might have the height and acting skills (from what you say) but right now her build is very far from the Brienne I imagined, and she also have an almost delicate appearance.

  106. Titus Crow
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Remember as well that a lot can be done with make up, lighting, etc. Also the acting quality can make up for a lot in the looks department. While Dinklage may not be as ugly as in the books I don’t think he comes off as handsome in the clips we have seen and from what we hear pulls of the character perfectly. The acting and realization of the character are more important than the actual looks. For those doubting what a little make up and hard work can do, remember Charlize Theron in Monster?

  107. Zack
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Looking at the photos again, the one that jumps out as the most Brienne-ish is Eva Damen by far. Screen test her, please, for key scenes against Jaime and Cat.

  108. Icegoddess
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree,

    I ABSOLUTELY 100% agree with you! I don’t understand why the option of a guy playing Brienne keeps coming up. There are plenty of kickass women out there that could fit the role. I love the look of Eva Damen, she’s how I picture Brienne and I hope they give her a chance to audition!

  109. OneTooFree
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Samantha Hirst,

    oh i agree, but a lot of a person’s beauty or lack thereof is – in my experience – almost as much in how they carry themselves as it is in physical looks. all i’m saying is that trying to find a gorgoyle-like actress to play Brienne of Tarth is going to be fairly difficult to do. but an actress who is plain with quality acting skills could portray “Brienne the Beauty” in the manner the character is due (with the helping of some make-up, of course)

  110. OneTooFree
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    *gargoyle

  111. Shinyteapot
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    ducky,

    According to IMDB, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is 6’2 1/2

    Brienne really needs to be 6′ or taller I think, if she’s taller than him so much the better, but she should appear to be at least almost the same height. Lifts in shoes can add an inch or two but not more. I think it’s important for the character, and their interaction, that she’s physically his equal (or better).

    I’m not too worried about the actress being pretty or not. Someone naturally ugly would be ideal but most people can be made to look pretty bad (almost all the pictures you find online of an actress will be of her made up to look her best). Brienne isn’t deformed, just ugly. Everyone else on screen will be made up to look as good as possible for a start. Give her makeup that does the opposite- bad haircut, messy unplucked eyebrows (makes a huge difference!), bruises and scars. Emphasise anything bad and hide her good features. Just the opposite of a normal makeup job.

  112. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I hope they really do a thorough physical audition for Brienne since one of the things I dislike the most in characters like her is when the woman is nowhere near strong enough to wield a sword quick and with power. I might be on the pickier side given many years of martial arts training and competition but I still think it shows very clearly when someone is just not physically able to fight. Technique is easier to fix by having them fight in many short sequences instead of longer ones.

    As for the choices above I’d say that Eva Damen has a perfect look on that picture.

  113. Shandy
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    My dream casting for Brienne is Robin Weigert who played Calamity Jane in HBO’s Deadwood.

    Love Katee but she’s too pretty and slender for Brienne.

  114. Fire And Blood
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Barring some miracle Nina Gold pulls out of some other strawberry field (and she’s done that before), I am still in support of Gwendoline Christie for Brienne of Tarth. She just literally seems made for this part. (She would also probably say “thank you” for those who think she is too thin to play Brienne. I would say she is bulky enough, and just needs more in the shoulders.)

    Eva Damen would have to put on even more weight than Christie. And we still don’t know how good any of her British accents are (whichever one producers would ask her to do for thomeone from the Thapphire Isleth).

  115. Samantha Hirst
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree,

    Well yeah, that’s why I’m saying Becky Wingham with the help of the make-up department would be awesome……well providing the girl can act.

    Tywin’s Bastard,

    Agreed. Her physicality is so integral to the character that I would like to think that this was taken into consideration and incorporated into the audition process.

  116. Shinyteapot
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Hm, I am being moderated. Wonder what set the filter off? I’m sure I didn’t swear?

  117. Oddmott
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Please, anyone but K.S. Her inability to act pretty much destroyed any enjoyment i could have derived from watching BSG. Honestly, if she’s cast, there’s no way I’ll be able to watch the AGoT past season 1.

    Forget for a second that she doesn’t fit in any way who Brienne is, K.S. simply cannot act and spent 4 years proving it.

  118. Sam
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Just from reading this post, my vote is for Gwendoline (Eva second.)

  119. Eric
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Shandy,

    I agree completely! I can’t believe that you were the first to mention her as a strong choice. From the first moment Brienne was introduced in the books, Robin Weigert was the only person I could imagine in the role. I don’t know how tall she is, whether she’s from Britian or not, or what color her eyes are, but frankly I think people are getting too hung up on details like these. Actors are hired to act, and makeup and costumes can go a vey long way towards transforming an actor into a character.

  120. FlayedandDisplayed
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    I’d like Eva Damen to put up a utube demo of her british accent. If it’s good then she’d be a good choice.

  121. Elli
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    How about Lauren Socha from the British TV series Misfits? She’s 20 years old and 5’8″ per her Wikipedia page. http://images.screenrush.co.uk/r_760_x/medias/nmedia/18/73/10/33/19190321.jpg

  122. Thomas Aagaard
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,
    A historical longsword only weight about 4-4½lbs and is very well balanced… there is absolutely no reason to think a woman can’t use one…
    Swordfighting is much more about Technique than “power” Against an unarmored opponent a good Technique lets you kill with ease and against amour you have to go for the weak spots anyway… You simply cant cut you way thought plate armour with a sword no matter how strong you are.

    Sure she needs to be big… but because thats how she is in the books… not because some idea that a “weak” woman can’t use a longsword and wear armour…

  123. Thomas Aagaard
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    ups, my comment was to Tywin’s Bastard… not “Fire And Blood,”

  124. Mormegil
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Eva Damen certainly has the look and isn’t too old (the most important attribute apart from being able to act I think).

  125. KG
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Eva looks a good fit – I definitely like her best of the current suggestions.

    Her height does matter, but you have to compare and contrast her to the rest of the cast. If Nikolaj is 5’10”, she’ll be fine, for example.

    Even if that’s not the case, they could easily swap the “tall” comments for “strong” comments and it will all work out.

  126. Kanga
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Out of these choices, bearing in mind that aside from Katee Sackhoff I know nothing about their acting abilities, my vote goes for Eva Damen. I’ve never seen her before, but as soon as I saw that picture she was the one that jumped out at me as the most Brienne-ish. I hope she gets an audition.

  127. FlayedandDisplayed
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    Robin Weigert’s been brought up before in previous threads. The thing is that there is a LOT of work in the USA, so actors from Britain, Australia and everywhere else train to be able to put on a convincing American accent, or several different American accents. The same isn’t true of American actors putting on British accents. Some can do it sure, but it’s not bread and butter, and if it doesn’t work it’s jarring. As the vids have mentioned, Peter Dinklage read for this with a New York accent, and the show runners agreed it didn’t fit.

    Even if RW has the accent down, she has to deal with the British version of the screen actors guild, and there needs to be good reason to choose her over equally qualified actresses. Since RW doesn’t have the height, fighting prowess or youth described of Brienne, she’d have a tough time gaining the role over other actresses who don’t quite fit the mould either.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s brilliant and I used to laugh so much watching her Jane. I just don’t think she stands a chance at this. I have less love for Katee Sackhoff attempting this role, but I don’t think it matters because she is up against the same issues as Robin Weigert.

    I really think that Zoe Bell would be great too, but I don’t think she can ditch her NZ accent to do the British one – and that comes back to the same thing; she trained as a stunt woman and didn’t have speaking roles until recently – and even then her biggest role was playing herself, so she doesn’t have the training and experience to hold the accent down. As a good example of a bad accent from an American point of view, the reboot of the Bionic Woman had a beautiful young British actress in the lead role – Michelle Ryan. I’m not American but even I could hear her accent shifting all over the place. In a show like Game of Thrones where suspension of disbelief is a key thing for the viewer, an american accent in that place (or a poorly attempted british one) will be an extra hurdle that the show doesn’t need.

  128. Samantha Hirst
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    Don’t quote me, but I believe Nikolaj is around 6ft 2″.

  129. MArk
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Personally, Eva Damen stood out for me initially as the ‘right’ look — in ‘look’ only, perhaps. I think she has the leg up here in that arena. The nose is perfect.

  130. MArk
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    The question is ….

    She needs to have some sort of chemistry with Jaime onscreen. It was a tricky sell in the books … and will undoubtedly he a harder sell for the series.

  131. FlayedandDisplayed
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Oddmott,

    Harsh and untrue. Don’t like her all you please, but it’s a ridiculous statement to say she can’t act. Using that kind of hyperbole defeats any valid argument you might have.

  132. Eric
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    FlayedandDisplayed,

    Your points are all good ones, I hadn’t thought about the logistics relating to acting guilds. I don’t discount the importance of an appropriately convincing accent either, and I am very surprised to learn that Dinklage auditioned in his natural speaking voice. Also, I agree that Katie Sackoff would be a poor choice. As much as I liked her in BSG, I just don’t understand why her name is being floated around for a part in GoT, especially Brienne. It just isn’t a good fit.

    At any rate, the casting for the show so far seems fairly perfect, so I have faith that whoever ends up getting the part of Brienne will fit the part.

  133. FlayedandDisplayed
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree: Sir Mookie,
    the idea of having a man play the role of Brienne completely undermines the entire role of Brienne. not only would it NOT work, it would be slap in the face then a stomp on the nuts of GRRM to do so    

    There is a good debate on this within the open casting thread put up before Christmas. It’s unfortunate that the structure of these discussion threads means the same stuff come up again. Whilst it’s possible that a man could play the role, it’s not wise. It would add a note to the interplay between Jaime and Brienne that shouldn’t be there. It would create controversy the show doesn’t need. It implies that Nina Gold can’t find a female actress to play the role. It adds to the stereotype that if you’re not good looking, don’t try to be an actress. It completely undermines Brienne as a role-model or symbol for girls who don’t think they fit in.

  134. userj
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I like the new girl (Eva Demen), but I think she is probably too old and too short. I’d say my vote would be closer to a Hart / Christie mix.

    Please for the love of GOD remove Katie Sackoff from this list NOW.

    I’m of the opinion that the Brienne role should be played by an unknown, VERY young (<30), unattractive British stage actress. Unattractive actresses are usually relegated to character roles – a major role like Brienne would be a huge break.

  135. Tywin's Bastard
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Thomas Aagaard,

    The problem isn’t the weight of the sword as it’s the exact same thing with unfit people throwing punches (and it’s not unique for women, its just that they tend to be weaker overall). It’s just visible that they don’t have the proper explosive strength to amass the speed of the techniques that an experienced fighter would have. You don’t have to tell me about technique, as I said I have many years of competitive martial arts experience and the basic principle is the same regardless if you use weapons or not. A lot is technique and learning to be relaxed instead of tense but you’ll only get so far without having the proper physique.

    Therefor it’s very important to be able to wield the blade with the proper speed not to look like a clumsy amateur. I recently saw some medieval movie where a woman was besting men in a tourney melee. It looked horrible because she wasn’t able to put enough force behind her strikes so there was no way to believe that the male actors/stunt men (who looked fine) would be beaten by her.

    As for cutting through armor, it’s not about that. If you strike slowly you’ll never hit anyone at all, nor do any relevant damage even if you hit the right spots. Fighting in heavy armor is a lot about wearing the other fighter down and a hard blow will hurt even when the blade isn’t even close to penetrating the armor.

    I just think the actress for Brienne must be decently able physically, then the rest will hopefully come together with training.

  136. purplejilly
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Agree with the comment about Charlize Therion in “Monster” – it was an amazing transformation- but it was acting too, because not only did her facial looks change, but it was her attitude, the way she held herself, the way she walked, talked, gestured. It was a pretty shocking transformation for me, and I remember thinking “Wow, if that serial killer had a makeover and some my fair lady style training, she could have been Charlize Therion!”

    I think that Brienne has to have the physical size, height, and ability to wield a sword. A big part of her character is her ability to be as good as the male knights, and even stronger and better than them. She’s constantly mocked, ridiculed and bullied by the men, yet she finds the inner strength to follow her calling. She’s chosen a profession that seems to be 100% filled by men. We do have Dacey who fights with the men, but to be a knight, Brienne is the only female one, correct? It’s a bold and scary thing, IMHO, but she does it anyway. It’s actually a very brave move for someone in Westeros, because there are almost no other females who engage in non-traditional roles.

    Brienne is beautiful on the inside, with her very strong morals, sense of right and wrong, loyalty, honesty, and determination. Her best quality though, is the change she brings about in Jaime. To be honest I hated Jaime’s character before Brienne. I thought he was a vain smart-ass. A total jerk. Then he starts hanging with Brienne, and he mocks her like everyone else. Teases her about her ugly physical appearance. Thinks her being a knight is a real joke. But over time that all changes, and then we get to hear the actual Kingslayer background story, and through that and other events that I will leave out for spoiler effects, my whole picture of Jaime changed. We have to have a good Brienne, I think, to allow Jaime to grow!

    I think the Brienne/Renly love story is a good (short) tragic story of unrequited love. They could play that up to add to Brienne’s character in the show. Also interesting in a soap opera way because Brienne is clueless to Renly’s sexual preference, and especially for someone around him so much, it’s interesting that she never catches on. Love is blind, eh? Or maybe just naive.

    I’m hoping that Jaime and Brienne get some love and a ‘ship in the later books, but it seems no one in Westeros ends up happy in their relationships so I am sure it would have a tragic ending.

    I would be happy with an unknown, she just has to be tall and strong, and able to act. If Eva Damen can act, she could do it! Good luck Eva!

  137. GaR
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Brienne isn’t a knight, yo.

    The differences between Brienne and Dacey are quite important:

    Dacey is hot, Brienne is not.
    Brienne is one of the best fighters in Westeros, regardles of gender. We never get any idea of Dacey’s martial abilities. It seems logical though that Brienne would cut Dacey to bloody ribbons in short order.
    Brienne desperately wants to be a knight, I’d say Dacey couldn’t care less (and probably follows the Old Gods in any case).

    Don’t forget Dacey’s mother Maege Mormont either, she’s a fighter as well, though obviously not an elite killer of dudes like Brienne.

  138. purplejilly
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Inkasrain,

    LOLOLOL!! Poor Joe Campo, always a Bridesmaid, never a Brienne!

  139. purplejilly
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Damphair,

    Isn’t Jaqen H’ghar already cast?

    Isn’t he Syrio Forel in disguise? So they just have to change the look of the actor they already hired as Syrio?

  140. purplejilly
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    D’oh! I thought she was a knight. she was just part of the Rainbow Guard then? Weren’t they all knights in the rainbow guard, since Renly was calling himself King? Maybe I need to re-read (lol)

  141. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    I shall preface this comment by saying that Brienne is one of my absolute favourite characters from the books and that it may seem nitpicky to people who don’t care all that much one way or the other. Generally, I don’t really care all that much about changes to the appearances of certain characters, but for Brienne, it would make me very angry if they cast another pretty-pretty actress in the role. I’m not saying she has to be hideous, but she does have to look different, and not just because of her size or because of her armour.

    The idea that less attractive people can’t act is hilarious. We might not see women who aren’t stereotypically pretty up on the big screen very often, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, aren’t talented and can’t be found in drama schools (or outside of them).

    Brienne’s appearance is very important to her character. It is integral to how she views herself, and how the world sees her. It also adds a sense of realism to the cast of characters, as unattractive women can also play a large role in world events, etc.

    I might -might- be okay with someone “uglying” up an actress for Brienne, but it would annoy me that someone who might have fit the role better wouldn’t have been given the chance, when I’m sure it’s not easy being unconventional in the acting business.

    If I suggested that Cersei or Melisandre be played by rather unremarkable, though not unattractive women, then that would seem silly to a lot of people.

    I’m not expressing this very well, possibly because I care about it so much, but yeah….

    I don’t know anything much about the acting skills of any of the actresses listed (apart from what little I’ve seen of Sackhoff). I think the only one out of them that really jumps out at me is Eva Damen. She has a strong quality to face, while at the same time looking sweet and like she could pull off young and naive. She’s also obviously capable of swinging a sword around.

    My two top choices so far: A talented unknown who fits the character or Eva Damen.

  142. Ninepenny
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    My vote would be Gwendoline Christie. However, if Eva Damen or Zoe Bell can act and do the accent right then I think they’d work well too . I like Miranda Hart and Katee Sackhoff but I don’t think either of them would be right for the role.

  143. izakmo
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is 6’2. I doubt they’ll cast a Brienne who is under 6′.

  144. GaR
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    The Rainbow Guard is a brand new thing that Renly thought up. It doesn’t have the centuries of tradition that the Kingsguard has, so inducting a non-knight obviously wasn’t too much of an issue. Even the Kingsguard ended up with Sandor, and he’s no knight.

    Renly calling himself king doesn’t really factor into it, I shouldn’t think, except as regards parallels people might draw with the actual Kingsguard.
    Can you imagine Ser Barristan in the Rainbow Guard? :D

  145. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Steve Hugh Westenra,

    If we take a look with who they’ve cast so far, they seem to trend towards getting unknowns who can do their parts justice. Compare a list of top picks for Bronn with who they cast. None of the above. Varys, the same. The Hound, ditto. I could go on, but aside from a few stand-outs, we’re getting new faces.

    The only reason for them to take someone and put them in make-up to “transform” her into Brienne rather than casting someone who already looks like her description is if that’s the way they’re planning on marketing the character. It’s a distraction, and unnecessary when there are real people who can act and actually fit Brienne’s description.

    At the moment Game of Thrones is poised to make stars more than showcase them. I don’t see that changing in season two.

    Of course, they could decide to go the ugly-up way, or make Brienne attractive. There’s no way knowing, in my opinion. The unknown or little-known is a very good bet, I think, regardless of what Brienne ends up looking like.

  146. Steve Hugh Westenra
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    This makes complete sense and is what the logical side of my brain is telling me, but that I nevertheless keep ignoring and getting worked up about, so thanks for the shake back to reality.
    I think you’ve also succeeded in saying what I was attempting to, but much more succinctly, haha.

    I don’t know…for me this is just very important. Possibly because I’m not particularly attractive, and for me Brienne exemplifies a lot of my own feelings, and so the idea that someone would change that part of the character upsets me.

  147. Fire And Blood
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    All I know is Renly never had an Indigo Knight.

    As far as we’ve been told.

  148. KG
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    izakmo: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is 6’2. I doubt they’ll cast a Brienne who is under 6′.  Quote  Reply

    Why not? It’s all about perception. In a land like Westeros, any woman who isn’t being raped twice a week is unusual. A woman who can and will defend herself is “freakish” and “mannish” even if she’s 5’2″.

  149. userj
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    Read a couple of posts up contrasting Brienne Dacey Mormont. Dacy “can and will defend herself” and is neither freakish nor mannish. Catelyn makes this comparison explicitly in aSoS.

    Brienne must look like she could actually win a wrestling match against Jaime. 5’10” at the shortest, and she can’t be slim (Gwendolyn Christie would have to be willing to put on some weight… for a part like this she might go for it).

    I also agree strongly with everything Steve Hugh Westenra just said. :)

  150. izakmo
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    Um, no. Brienne is considered freakish and mannish in the books because she’s freakishly large, with a masculine build and a plain face. Not because she defends herself.

    HBO could go a different route, but so far they’ve stressed their intent to stay true to the books. In the books, Brienne is bigger than most men, and definitely bigger and stronger than Jaime. HBO didn’t have cast giant actors to play Drogo, the Hound, or Hodor, but they did. They’ll do the same with Brienne.

  151. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps I am in the minority on this, but I’ve always read Brienne as more uncomfortable in her own skin than downright ugly. I’ve either read or imagined hints of beauty in Brienne throughout her storyline and I see hey as being inwardly awkward both because of her largeness and her “unlady like” calling. Its a bit of a self-fufilling prophecy in my opinion and under the right circumstances, with the right help, I think Brienne could bloom into a much more attractive lady. GRRM hints at it and Jaime can almost see it, but ultimately it will be up to her to see the butterfly inside of the cocoon so to speak.
    That said, I’m not really sure who should play her, but I would tend to stay away from someone with more of an oafish look. I don’t know if she would be the best choice, but someone with the sexy-yet badass look of Katie Sackhoff would work well.

  152. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    The chosen picture btw is a bit too bruteish for Brienne imo. The upper half of her face and her hair work, but the lips and jawline are far too masculine at least in the way that I see her.

  153. mummer
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly: Isn’t Jaqen H’ghar already cast?

    Assuming you’re serious, that’s a fan theory based on… not much, in my opinion. But if it’s true that that other character is him, then it’s not just a disguise, it’s an almost supernaturally good disguise that totally fools another character who knows his face and voice pretty well– so I can’t imagine why you’d want to cast the same actor.

  154. userj
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    here’s a bio of Eva Deman in Dutch I guess? It looks like she was born in 1979 so I take back my comment that she is too old (32 is on the high range for Brienne, but with everyone being aged up I’ll deal).

  155. Ikertzeke
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    For the ugliness I think that these days they can use make up…
    She has to be convincing with an armour, sword and fight like a beast.

  156. Amarantha
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    There are plenty of ugly-by-modern-standards women with excellent acting skills. We just don’t know any of them because no-one will give them a job. Some of them must be young, tall and strong; here’s hoping the casting call will turn up some awesome unknowns.

  157. Prankster
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    She’s in many ways not a natural for the part–she’s American, I don’t believe she’s particularly tall or bulky–but once I’d seen “Deadwood” I couldn’t get Robin Weigart, who played Calamity Jane, out of my head for Brienne’s physical appearance. It’s her attitude, mostly–not the same character, but an unglamourous woman trying to make it in a man’s world. She actually looks quite a bit like the painting above. And of course she’s an HBO vet.

    Kind of a longshot, and even I don’t neccessarily think she’s the best choice, but there you have it.

  158. Wing
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    Steve Hugh Westenra: I think the only one out of them that really jumps out at me is Eva Damen. She has a strong quality to face, while at the same time looking sweet and like she could pull off young and naive. She’s also obviously capable of swinging a sword around. My two top choices so far: A talented unknown who fits the character or Eva Damen.  Quote  Reply

    I’m with you in principle but not in the details (as least as far as Eva Damen goes). Brienne is two MAJOR defining qualities: 1. By all accounts, she’s extremely big (solid) and ugly. 2. She’s extremely insecure.

    The first one is easy. Big can be faked but better still, it can be FOUND. Ugly doesn’t have to be hideous, but it CAN’T be beautiful. Or cute or any other kind synonym for attractive. Plain will do in a pinch. Damen seems to qualify in both size (I think) and appearance. (I don’t think any of the others suggested could be said to be unattractive.)

    As far as insecurity goes though, I have to say no. Based on the (google) pictures I’ve looked at, she seems to have a very confident screen presence. Much too confident for Brienne.

    And yes, Brienne does fight bravely, and it’s incredibly courageous of her to follow her own life’s path, against all social norms, and she DOES hold her own against Jaime’s oft cruel wit, but I read this as coming from a strength deep inside her, NOT any outward confidence. She’s such an interesting character because she is so uncompromising in her actions and beliefs DESPITE having so many, many doubts.

    As far as faces go, I don’t see it in any of the actresses here. Of course acting ability goes a long, long way.

  159. Prankster
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    On another note…I gotta say, I think it’s kind of crucial that Brienne be plain-looking. Not ugly, just plain. I get kind of sick of casts filled with Hollywood Pretty People, and the character is specifically written that way; plus we’ve got a huge array of beautiful women in this show already. It’s the (pseudo-) middle ages here, people, surely it’s not asking too much for a single female character who doesn’t look like a Maxim model? (OK, Fairley looks like a normal human being, but everyone else…)

  160. Becks
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Have you seen Katee Sackhoff? True, when she had the butch haircut in the miniseries and series 1, it wasn’t her best look, but Starbuck is hot. Also, I think she’s too badass for Brienne.

  161. FlayedandDisplayed
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    HBO should save their pennies for more important things than hiring a Name. If an actress with very little credits to her name needs to butch up for the role and it’s going to make her a star, she’d probably jump at it. They could shoot Brienne’s fight in Renly’s tent toward the end of the shooting schedule for Season 2 to give her time to train and bulk up, iirc that’s about all the action she sees in CoK apart from the joust that precedes it, and she does that in full face helm, so it could be anyone.

    Not that Eva Damen or Gwendoline Christie are exactly Names, but the others are.

  162. Wing
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Steve Hugh Westenra,

    I’m with you in principle but not in the details (as least as far as Eva Damen goes). Brienne is two MAJOR defining qualities: 1. By all accounts, she’s extremely big (solid) and ugly. 2. She’s extremely insecure.

    The first one is easy. Big can be faked but better still, it can be FOUND. Ugly doesn’t have to be hideous, but it CAN’T be beautiful. Or cute or any other kind synonym for attractive. Plain will do in a pinch. Damen seems to qualify in both size (I think) and appearance. (I don’t think any of the others suggested could be said to be unattractive.)

    As far as insecurity goes though, I have to say no. Based on the (google) pictures I’ve looked at, she seems to have a very confident screen presence. Much too confident for Brienne.

    And yes, Brienne does fight bravely, and it’s incredibly courageous of her to follow her own life’s path, against all social norms, and she DOES hold her own against Jaime’s oft cruel wit, but I read this as coming from a strength deep inside her, NOT any outward confidence. She’s such an interesting character because she is so uncompromising in her actions and beliefs DESPITE having so many, many doubts.

    As far as faces go, I don’t see it in any of the actresses here. Of course acting ability goes a long, long way.

  163. Wing
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Wing,

    *That is, she “has two MAJOR defining qualities”*

    (My fist post here and I mess it up.)
    (And I TEACH English!)

  164. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Amarantha,

    Exactly.

    There are great female actors who no one ever sees in films or on television because they are too tall, or too plain, or too heavy, or too short, etc.

    It may be hard to think about this, but think of the worst sitcom you’ve seen recently. Think of one you watched for a few seconds then had to turn off in disgust.

    There are gorgeous, funny people who are amazing actors, and they are fighting against each other to get a bit part on that show. The “non-type” actors don’t even get an audition.

    People often extrapolate from this that “non-type” actors aren’t right for a part because they’ll have have no major film or TV experience.

    Two points on that:

    1) There are some great stage actors who came to film and TV late in life. While stage and screen require different techniques, a competent stage actor can survive in on screen: even if you’ve never heard of them.

    2) D&D have already shown their willingness to cast people straight out of drama school. A lack of film or TV credits doesn’t seem to scare them off.

  165. userj
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Thought people might find it useful to have Brienne’s physical description on hand.
    To be honest it’s even more extreme than what I remember. O_o

    ACOK 23 (Cateyln)
    Beauty, they called her … mocking. The hair beneath the visor was a squirrel’s nest of dirty straw, and her face … Brienne’s eyes were large and very blue, a young girl’s eyes, trusting and guileless, but the rest… her features were broad and coarse, her teeth prominent and crooked, her mouth too wide, her lips so plump they seemed swollen. A thousand freckles speckled her cheeks and brow, and her nose had been broken more than once. Pity filled Catelyn’s heart. Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman?

    ASOS 38 (Jaime)
    It was obvious at once that the gown had been cut for someone with slimmer arms, shorter legs, and much fuller breasts. The fine Myrish lace did little to conceal the bruising that mottled Brienne’s skin. All in all, the garb made the wench look ludicrous. She has thicker shoulders than I do, and a bigger neck, Jaime thought. Small wonder she prefers to dress in mail. Pink was not a kind color for her either.

  166. Langkard
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Don’t get too wrapped up in looks that you forget the other important aspect of any person chosen for the role of Brienne – acting ability. The amount of acting experience isn’t the point, it’s the ability to act. Emilia Clarke is a perfect example. She blew them away in readings and that got her the part, despite very little in the way of acting credits to her name and not being a blond.

    Brienne is a POV character. While not as important early on as other POV characters, she is certainly just as important at later points in the story and is clearly going to become even more important in the future books. Whomever is chosen for this part has to carry a huge role. Within reason physical differences from the books’ description are possible, but casting someone who can’t carry the role itself is not possible. We can suspend our disbelief over minor physical difference much more easily than trying to do so with someone who can’t act but looks perfect for the part.

    I expect we can trust D&D to make the right choice. I look forward to seeing the future casting gems they find for all of the roles.

  167. KG
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    userj: KG, Read a couple of posts up contrasting Brienne Dacey Mormont. Dacy “can and will defend herself” and is neither freakish nor mannish. Catelyn makes this comparison explicitly in aSoS. Brienne must look like she could actually win a wrestling match against Jaime. 5’10″ at the shortest, and she can’t be slim (Gwendolyn Christie would have to be willing to put on some weight… for a part like this she might go for it). I also agree strongly with everything Steve Hugh Westenra just said.   Quote  Reply

    She doesn’t HAVE to look like an ape to be imposing. All but two of the male leads are fit, but not swollen with muscle. Why should a female have to look like Stone Cold Steve Austin?

  168. digdoug
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Winner, winner?
    Katherine Kingsley. Not sure of height, but build is pretty close, height would appear to be robust.

    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2008/07/24/article-1038441-0210389600000578-582_468x312.jpg

  169. Tim
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Caedes,

    I cant say who I think would be a good Brienne, but personally my dream actor to play Stannis would be Patrick Stewart.

  170. digdoug
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Sorry (damn mis-placed edit button). Katherine is the one on the right.
    Also, she is a past Olivier Award nominee, so she can act.

  171. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    This goes to the debate of whether or not you want D&D to bring GRRM’s vision of Brienne to life or not.

    He’s been very clear in interviews about what Brienne looks like, just in case people miss it in the book. She’s taller and broader than Jaime, almost on par with Robert.

    Personally, if they decide to go another way with her I’m not going to get bent out of shape over it.

  172. Alba
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Katee Sackhoff is all wrong but I really like the look of Gwendoline Christie!

    I always pictured someone like Alison Pill (Milk, Pillars of the Earth) as Brienne. Of course, they’d have to ugly her up but let’s face it, Brienne will definitely be “Hollywood Ugly”.

  173. KG
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    So long as the actress is talented and she isn’t cover-girl beautiful, I’ll be happy.

    But worrying about verbatim passages out of the book is ridiculous. What the book says stops mattering once it gets typed onto a script. Totally different animals, and everyone will be a lot happier when they just accept that and get with the program.

  174. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    The one thing to remember (and perhaps as an addendum to my other “it’s hard out there for actors” post) is that casting agencies have rosters of clients for film and TV who hardly get any roles but are go-to people for specific needs.

    For example, I normally have a huge beard and kind of a shaggy afro. I’m 5’9″ and weigh 210 pounds. I don’t get many calls for doctors, lawyers, or cops but every once and a while a client needs an ice fisherman or a bad repairman. Even then, for every audition there are dozens of folks that show up, even in a relatively dry city like Seattle.

    Brienne? For an HBO project? Any agent with a client over six feet all with even a bit of combat experience who isn’t traditionally attractive is submitting her for this role. There will be no shortage of actresses to consider. Some of them, contrary to any conventional wisdom to the contrary, will be amazing actresses.

    D&D will not have to see a callback for someone under six feet tall, untrained in stage combat, and attractive enough to require prosthetics unless they want to.

  175. Jordan Healey
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Gwendoline Christie seems the best choice so far, she’d need to tank up her arms quite a bit though

  176. paulgude
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    To me, there’s a difference between accepting changes that have been made between the books and the TV show *once they happen* and using “this is TV and so they’ll have to do something different” as a way to try and predict what D&D are going to do.

    My stance on this remains the same. I hope D&D are going to stick as close to the book until they don’t and then I get over it.

    Hasn’t let me down yet, and I haven’t had to get over much.

    Once Brienne is cast, that’s Brienne. Until then, I’m not going to assume they won’t find a great female actor that’s well over six feet tall, solidly built, and not conventionally attractive just because no one here can name that person.

  177. purplejilly
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Hey, for fun, who would you cast yourself as?
    Here’s an old picture of me, as a 15 yr old, with an Indian and a friend. My dark hair is pulled back but it’s long with curls, and I have blue/green eyes – I would cast myself as Margery Tyrell if I was 15 again :) Next to me is a handsome local Indian who could be a nice Dothraki warroior of some sort, and on the other side is my bff, who could easily be 14 year old Dany if she hadn’t just cut her hair trendily short. She has blue eyes, not purple, but nice looking blue – and had genetically that white-blond hair – ‘popcorn colored hair’ I used to call it. She was very shy and very nervous as a young girl, whereas I was the outgoing queen of the party scene. Haha. So just for fun, yes, if I was 15 again I would say make me Margery!

  178. purplejilly
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    oops forgot the link..

  179. purplejilly
    Posted January 26, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Permalink
  180. Steve Reynolds
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    paulgude,

    This.

  181. Ridney
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    I think the only reasons people ever suggested Katee Sackhoff are because she’s blonde, she’s already worked in a cult series, and because she’s had an aggressive, physical role. Nothing against Katee, but this doesn’t tell me she’d be right for the role — it only underlines the lack of good roles for truly physical female characters!

    It’s also interesting how many posters say Gwendoline Christie is too pretty for Brienne, then praise Deadwood’s Robin Weigert for her performance as Jane! Robin is NOT hideous.

    She looks the way she does in Deadwood because she’s got HBO’s great hair and costuming to help create the character, and because she’s a great actress. I like Eva, but Gwendoline is my top pick for the role because she’s the right age, the right nationality, the right height, experienced, and her natural coloring won’t clash with a blonde character’s makeup. Physical bulk shouldn’t be much of a problem either, since most of the time we see Brienne in thick clothing that can easily be altered to add size. The parts where she does bare her body wouldn’t show up until season 4 (if book 3 is split in half as planned), and that’s plenty of time to add muscle. If anyone can find a better match, I’d love to see her (seriously — no sarcasm here!) because so far Gwendoline has hit the most major points.

    Brienne is an utterly fascinating character, and she’s become one of my favorites. In the end I have to trust whomever HBO picks for the role. Here’s hoping the series keeps going, because I can’t wait to see her back-to-back with Jamie in the bear pit!

  182. Greatjon
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    They really need to release that new trailer soon or I’m going to lose my mind!

  183. KG
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Because those people grow on trees.

  184. Podrick Payne
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Brienne is a great opportunity for that all-too-rarely employed creature of myth, the ugly actress. The challenge will be finding someone who makes the role “engaging” despite her physical ugliness. I’m excited to see who they choose!

  185. Luke likely
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    marzman: I am just wondering. But whenever I read the Brienne POV chapters, I have the feeling that she is not really part of the plot. She seems to be more like a device for GRRM to show the devastation of war and to connect the various strands and settings. I mean, most of the time she is just travelling around. If GRRM hasn’t planned a more central role for her in the books to come, she may just as well be left out of the show. Of course, she is a cool and very unique character but, in the end, she does not really contribute to the development of the plot.    

    I think maybe your remembering it wrong. her time with Jaime is very important. her search for Sansa gives us hope for her and is also a strange twist on the knight in shining armor rescuing the damsel in distress. I came to love brienne’s character maybe not right away but the more you learn about her, the struggle to overcome people’s perceptions and to prove herself as a warrior, made the scenes she was in danger so intense and heart pounding for me.

  186. Luke likely
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    ablaaa: We don’t necessarily have to pick an ugly, masculine actress to begin with. They can just ugly her up for the role, nothing easier than that.    

    I think if they chose a known actress and somehow changed her features, like a fake nose or fake teeth, it might end up looking ridiculous. maybe if they took a lesser known actress you wouldn’t think about it much

  187. Berndlmeister
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    Brienne should not be cut.

    Her being ‘unattractive’ could be identified as much by having a masculine build. Her face need not be hideous.

    I have, however, always envisioned her as having a powerful build (particularly broad shoulders). This can be achieved by anyone who has a female body builder type physique.

    She is shy, socially awkward and ‘honorable’ to the extreme (nearly tongue in cheek). I don’t think it takes alot of acting prowess to achieve those characteristics.

    I’d put ‘body type’ above all other traits if I was seeking someone to play her character.

  188. Luke likely
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    I think they should give brienne a bigger role in S2. I mean not if it would over stuff the plot but I think she should feel like a main character not just someone who pops up a few times

  189. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    KG,

    Apart from assuring you they exist, there’s not a lot we can discuss regarding this.

    Finding someone that matches the physical description of the books who is actually a decent actor isn’t the impossible task some people are making it out to be.

    Finding that person doing Internet searches of casting sites or power searches on IMDB? That’s a completely different story.

    Again, there’s a fine chance they’ll be specifically looking for a Brienne who looks different from how the books describes her, or be auditioning all types of Briennes and choosing one that doesn’t match the description because she has a spark that the other candidates were missing.

    I’m just saying that this be a stylistic choice, not one borne from desperation.

  190. Adam Roberts
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:30 am | Permalink

    someone like this

  191. Adam Roberts
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:31 am | Permalink

  192. Adam Roberts
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqXDnVVz4fA

    ok that link thing didnt work

  193. KG
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Jaime has short ash blond hair and Gendry is 8 years too old. I don’t think they’re worrying about it.

  194. OneTooFree
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    looks like Gwendoline has stumbled upon our discussion here: http://twitter.com/lovegwendoline/status/30403643278626817

  195. sjwenings
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:26 am | Permalink

    Kinda like Gwendoline in this pic:

    http://www.daylife.com/photo/05eKaIH7RU3e8

  196. Elaine
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    For me, acting ability and chemistry with Jaime are more important than looks…except that she HAS to be uncommonly tall. Visually, she needs to tower over most other people, especially over women.

  197. Elaine
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    Woops, I didn’t realize that html tags did that! ^_^

    After watching that youtube video, I’m totally in love with Gwendoline Christie for Brienne. She’s got the right look (too pretty, of course, but whatev), the right aura for Brienne.

  198. Cutter Allen Kilgore
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Greatjon: Greatj

    About Brienne possibly making such an agreement to hunt down Jaime …The big question is would she choose to dishonorably kill an innocent man, who has finally earned her trust, rather than honorably face an unjust execution? I’m not so sure. She is quite picky about honor, much like Ned. Although I like the idea of her vs. Jaime quite a lot.

    Man, I want to know what that word she said was…

  199. Cutter Allen Kilgore
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    Cutter Allen Kilgore,

    Oops, that quote didn’t work out so well :P Edit button.

  200. Cutter Allen Kilgore
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    Elaine,

    You used the command for spoiler tags rather than the bold I think you were going for, hehe.

  201. KG
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:12 am | Permalink

    Cutter Allen Kilgore,

    My money is on “Arya,” thus saving her bacon.

  202. Blackfish Blues
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    Great job, Winter! One tiny suggestion: in the future, can you add, if possible, age and equity status (maybe heigth) of the actors, so we can scan it at a glance? In this case, I think age is relevant. None of the actresses give me a Brienne vibe (I can’t see Catelyn looking wistfully at her and at Renly’s guard and think “These are the knights of summer”), and I did like Brienne in the books, so I think in this case I’d like to be surprised. Whoever they choose, it is likely to be a good choice, judging from the rest of the current cast.

    Inkasrain: No Joe Campo on the list? Tsk! Musn’t be afraid to think outside the box here, guys

    Best. Comment. Ever.

    Seriously, casting a man as Brienne would not be like casting Linda Hunt in “The Year…” It’s already hard for actresses to find jobs, especially if they are not particularly hot and if they are over a certain age.

    Crotalidian (Paul): Samantha Hirst,
    [snip]
    Dacey Mormont fights because she is the only one left in her house who can. Brienne WANTED to be a Knight.Which also brings her in for much ridicule.

    Not exactly. It seems to be a Bear Island tradition. Maege says so somewhere; men go out fishing, women defend the house. I think that even if Jeor Mormont had not taken the black and Jorah had not gone astray, and thus one of them had become Head of House Mormont, Maege and her daughters would still be warriors in their own right. When Maege goes on her mission with the message from Robb, she goes “with her other daughters”. I suppose they were warriors too, not ladies-in-waiting!

    So, the Mormont ladies are comfortable in their traditional role. Brienne is not, she’s utterly isolated.

  203. Langkard
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    paulgude,

    I agree. I just wanted to remind people not to focus entriely on looks and forget the absolute necessity that the actress playing Brienne will need to be able to handle a major role in future seasons, not just look the part and have a couple of acting credits.

    As I said, I trust D&D to find the perfect person for the role. They haven’t let us down yet, and have surprised us on more than one choice. I suspect we’re going to see someone unknown to most of us, perhaps an actress in regional theater somewhere. There are unknowns in many of the major roles, people who will soon be not in the least bit unknown. Assuming, hopefully, that the series goes the distance, I think it’s wonderful that so many relative unknown actors are getting this huge break.

  204. the goat
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    KG: Cutter Allen Kilgore,
    My money is on “Arya,” thus saving her bacon.    

    Agree.

    Back on topic,

    userj: Thought people might find it useful to have Brienne’s physical description on hand.
    To be honest it’s even more extreme than what I remember.O_oACOK 23 (Cateyln)
    Beauty, they called her … mocking. The hair beneath the visor was a squirrel’s nest of dirty straw, and her face … Brienne’s eyes were large and very blue, a young girl’s eyes, trusting and guileless, but the rest… her features were broad and coarse, her teeth prominent and crooked, her mouth too wide, her lips so plump they seemed swollen. A thousand freckles speckled her cheeks and brow, and her nose had been broken more than once. Pity filled Catelyn’s heart. Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman?ASOS 38 (Jaime)
    It was obvious at once that the gown had been cut for someone with slimmer arms, shorter legs, and much fuller breasts. The fine Myrish lace did little to conceal the bruising that mottled Brienne’s skin. All in all, the garb made the wench look ludicrous. She has thicker shoulders than I do, and a bigger neck, Jaime thought. Small wonder she prefers to dress in mail. Pink was not a kind color for her either.    

    So yeah, she gotta be big and ugly. We gotta believe she could win a melee against Loras and several score other knights; and be at least a match for Jaime in a swordfight, shackled and dungeon-worn as he is in that scene. Also, she is “…a good hand higher, though Renly was near as tall as his brother had been.”

    I know a lot of people are saying, “well, they didn’t make Tyrion ugly.” True enough, but the big difference is, TYRION IS A DWARF. No offense, but his handicap has nothing to do with the attractiveness of his facial features. I don’t remember Tyrion ever bemoaning his mismatched eyes.

    “My giant of Lannister.”
    “Brienne the Beauty.”
    Not hard to connect the dots.

    As far as Brienne being cut out, and her importance to the story? Hmm, let’s see… She was a witness to, and accused of, King Renly’s murder; became Lady Caetlyn’s only sworn liegewoman, and consoled and confided with her during her darkest times; was present during the Kingslayer’s release and entrusted with his safe return to King’s Landing; also entrusted with the safe return of Sansa & Arya Stark to Riverrun; lived through a swordfight with Jaime, witnessed his maiming, and was later rescued from Vargo Hoat’s bearpit by him; inadvertently confirmed that the Hound was not dead; killed Pyg, Shagwell, Timeon, and Rorge; was reunited with her “former” liege Lady in the most cliffhanger-tastic way possible…but other than that nothing really ever happens to her.

    In contrast, Jaime only appears in one scene in CoK, while Robb appears in 2. I’m sure they will add some screentime for these characters, but to argue that Brienne is disposable? May the very first copy of Dance be dangled above a fire while you strain, hands bound and neck wrapped in an ever-tightening cord, to reach it.

    Given the size of her role, acting is clearly the first priority. Still, I’m not sure Marlon Brando can pull it off. He could play a big, ugly woman no problem, but he’s been dead for six years.

    So we wait a few weeks, see if shows any interest.

  205. the goat
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Blackfish Blues,

    “knights of summer” didn’t really have that much to do with their age. In the books at least, Caetlyn, Ned, King Robert, etc were as young or younger when Robert’s rebellion took place. The point is that this generation of knights is playing at war, and Caetlyn is dreadful of their inexperience. Brienne should be mid-20s (since Loras seems to be the only character the same age as the books, and Renly the only one that was “aged-down”), so I’d say Gwedoline and Eva would be OK as far as age, with Katie being a stretch and Miranda way too old.

  206. clemintine
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    KG: Cutter Allen Kilgore,
    My money is on “Arya,” thus saving her bacon.    

    I think it would be funny and ironic Brienne’s word was just “bugger”. Then she dies. Usually if there is a cliffhanger about a character living/dying at the end of a book they always live in the next books. For instance, all that majors deaths, like Ned, Robb, Tywin, Robert, Drogo etc. were not left as end-of-book cliffhangers. I think it would be really breaking story-telling convention if GRRM has Brienne die after all that. But I don’t want Brienne to die because she’s so kick-ass.

  207. marzman
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I agree with all of you Brienne supporters (and I became one of your after the 2nd or 3rd read… don’t remember exactly when). She is a great character and flips a lot of cliches upside down. I guess we will have to wait, if GRRM has “grander” plans for her. I do hope so. If she indeed decides to kill Jaimie, that would be an awesome story!! Thanks for pointing that out, I kinda forgot about that.

  208. marzman
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    the goat,

    sorry, but I missed your comment before I wrote my last one.
    Now, I am not saying that nothing is happening to Brienne, after all she becomes a POV character. But for a time, it seems to me that GRRM is sending her all across the continent so she can witness all sorts of key events. I think that is due to GRRM’s POV storytelling style, because there has to be a POV character seeing all those things so that the reader sees them as well. The tv-show does not rely on this kind of storytelling. So, for instance, you don’t need Brienne to witness the murder of Renly (let’s leave Catelyn aside for the moment), neither do you need Brienne to witness how Jamie’s hand gets chopped off. The tv-show would just show it. It does not need a witness to tell the reader about that. That’s what I meant when I said that Brienne does not really drive the story forward. Anyway, that may change with DwD.
    To be clear, I am not wishing for her to be cut. I am rather afraid that because she is not key to the plot, she could be cut. The cast for the following seasons will be immense anyway, so some cuts will come up.

  209. Caedes
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    clemintine,

    After the last re-read, I think the word could be “song”, as Brienne promised to sing to Catelyn someday early in ACoK. And the she may begun to sing.

  210. Kai Alexis Price
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    I think Katee Sackhoff would add some interest to a somewhat boring character, but I suppose she might be a little too physically attractive for the role.

  211. gintim
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Steven Scott,

    that’s just so so wrong – one of the finer characters in the whole damn shaboogle!!!

  212. Steve Reynolds
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Kai Alexis Price,

    I don’t think Brienne is boring at all, and I find it difficult to fathom how anyone with the good grace to read the thread could still entertain her as the right candidate.

    The little things Brienne sees I think are poignant and beautiful – like the hawkers selling the looted armour and weapons of the fallen armies of the North. Yes she does seem to be a vehicle to let you know how the smallfolk are getting on, but that’s only part of her journey. She is Jaime’s redemption, and a point of view that shows that horrible impact of the War of Five Kings.

  213. John
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I’ve always thought they would cast a complete unknown. I have no idea who Eva Damen is, so she is unknown to me (and most of the world I would gather). She definitely looks the part. Unbelievably so IMO. If she is as brawny as she is ugly she has my vote.

    Katee Sackhoff is so wrong for the part.

    That Gwendoline Christie looks way too pretty.

  214. the goat
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    marzman,

    But most of those key events she “witnesses,” or is directly involved in, occur before she ever becomes a POV character.

    I understand that everyone hates Brienne because we all waited 5 years for a book with no Jon, no Dany, and no Tyrion. A book that was full of Brienne wandering around the Riverlands, wherein her most important discovery was still a mystery to her (though obvious to readers), and her fate a bit of afterthought.

    Regardless of whether she’s alive or dead in the next book, she won’t be ignored!

  215. persephone88
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    John: die after all that. But I don’t want Brienne to die because she’s so kick-ass. clemintine

    I don’t think Eva Damen is ugly – she just has a strong nose and unconventional features. She has a very striking face – and you know she went for “plain” in that picture. I’m sure she pretties up just fine – but she’s never going to have those petite and delicate features like a Maergery Tyrell type.

    The fact that she is not really ugly makes it easier for Jaime to realize that he is oddly attracted to her in their later scenes.

  216. vajlégy
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    OT: Article about Maisie in a local newspaper:

    http://www.thisissomerset.co.uk/news/Maisie-starring-role-Sean-Bean/article-3147158-detail/article.html

    “Everyone I worked with was really nice. Sean Bean seemed quite shy when he wasn’t acting, he was usually sat reading a book but was so friendly and helpful whenever I spoke to him. I think he is a great role model for young actors. Everything he did was just right and worked perfectly for his character.”

    I so want to see their scenes together, it sounds like there might be great chemistry between them!

  217. Elaine
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Cutter Allen Kilgore,

    No, I used actual html tags…I just didn’t know that puts spoiler tags instead of boldface on this site :D

    I’m with you about really wanting to know Brienne’s “last words.” I think she would sacrifice her honor for Pod’s life, just like Ned would sacrifice his for Jon’s life. So I won’t be surprised if “sword” is the word, but I’m also hoping for “Arya.” Which would make sense in terms of bringing Arya back to the main plot AND in terms of making Brienne integral.

  218. Elaine
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    marzman: I agree with all of you Brienne supporters (and I became one of your after the 2nd or 3rd read… don’t remember exactly when). She is a great character and flips a lot of cliches upside down. I guess we will have to wait, if GRRM has “grander” plans for her. I do hope so. If she indeed decides to kill Jaimie, that would be an awesome story!! Thanks for pointing that out, I kinda forgot about that.    

    I strongly suspect that Jaime is going to kill Cersei, and I just don’t see Brienne actually killing Jaime, even if she tells Catelyn she will.

  219. Opally
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Eva Damen. Brienne’s size signifies her imposing fighting ability; this is what the actress must convey. She has to be able to convey “intimidating, brave, blunt, awkward, charmless, dedicated, loyal, focused, ruthless, socially clueless.” She’s a warrior. Eva is the most physically accomplished actress on that list, and she isn’t absurdly beautiful or willowy. I liked that photo of her in armor, which you can dig up on Google images. Look at how she holds the sword, and look at her eyes. I think she knows how to do it. Her accent may be fine, for all we know. Remember that Brienne comes from a distant land.

  220. DigDoug
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink
  221. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    For the most part, speculating about actors playing specific roles isn’t really my thing. I’m more concerned that they get the tone right. That said, Brienne is so important to the overall tone of seasons 2-5 that I did a little thinking about who I’d like to see. I don’t know if she’s been suggested before, but how about Zoe Bell?

    She definately has the look, is a complete shoe-in for being able to handle a sword, and while only 5’8′ in stature, she looks buff enough to me to pull off Brienne’s unusual size.
    So far she’s my top pick. Dunno if anyone else likes her.

  222. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Bah! Sorry I tried to link a pic of her and failed misreably. Google her up though and tell me what you think.

  223. purplejilly
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    mummer,

    I think if the fan theories are true, and J’aquen is Syrio in disguise, the best thing to do would be take Miltos and have hair and makeup and wardrobe work some ‘hollywood magic’ on him, to get him to look completely different. I think Arya doesn’t ever recognize him from his physical appearance, so it’s even better to have Miltos doing it, because it’s something ultimately in the sum of how he acts or moves or some twinkle in his eye that convinces her (or us) that he is indeed Syrio transformed. And if they wanted to keep the mystery up for those not readers of the book that far yet, they could list Miltos under a stage name when they post about the casting, if they post about it at all! I’m convinced Syrio is J’aquen - maybe when I read through again next tie I’ll post up why..

  224. Noodles
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Katee Sackhoff surely has that “though chick” vibe going, but other than that she’s soooo not Brienne (too short, way too beautiful)…maybe she could be Asha.

  225. DocBean
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Greatjon,

    “Wolves!”

  226. TheSGoose
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Thank of the worst sitcom I’ve seen? That made me turn off in disgust? I did immediately upon seeing the picture of Miranda Hart at the top of this page. I simply can’t believe she will even be considered – she’s a bad comedic actress, not someone I would trust with a complicated, in depth and serious character role. Also, besides being tall and not ‘traditionally’ beautiful, she isn’t built like Brienne – not muscly or athletic in any way. I seriously hope that she isn’t being seriously considered.

    I too hope for an unknown for this, although the Dutch Eva Damen certainly looks the part in that shot above.

  227. OneTooFree
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    if only Janet Reno were 40 years younger…

  228. J.Arr
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Molly Price anyone?
    I always thought Third Watch´s Faith Yokas was a ringer for Brienne.

  229. Howland Reed
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    OneTooFree,

    What a fantastic thought!!! Perhaps they could get Will Ferrel doing his impression of Janet Reno to play Brienne.

  230. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    I never was a fan of the theory in the book.

    That said, there’s one thing that makes me think it may be something they’re doing for the series.

    From “Tower of the Hand” –

    “He is young with full cheeks, a shadow of a beard, a hooked nose, and a mat of dense black curls. He has a faint scar on his right cheek.”

    That’s the Alchemist, and it sounds a lot like Miltos.

    Jaqen H’ghar might very well be played by another actor, but I think the Alchemist will be played by Miltos. I’m not saying that this means The Alchemist and Syrio will be the same person, but that’s one way for those things to fit together.

    General Disclaimer: I’ve been wrong a lot of times, none of what I say matters regarding what the show actually does, we’re just talkin’ here, blah blah blah.

  231. MirriMaz
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Elli: How about Lauren Socha from the British TV series Misfits? She’s 20 years old and 5’8″ per her Wikipedia page. http://images.screenrush.co.uk/r_760_x/medias/nmedia/18/73/10/33/19190321.jpg  Quote  Reply

    i love her, she defenitely can pull off the acting and she’s got the look but i don’t think she has the muscle and body for Brienne, also she’s still in Misfits which won’t end soon enough for her to appear in both.

  232. OneTooFree
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Howland Reed: OneTooFree, What a fantastic thought!!! Perhaps they could get Will Ferrel doing his impression of Janet Reno to play Brienne.  

    Will Ferrel’s too old & not muscular enough

  233. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Langkard,

    Oh, absolutely.

    Like KG pointed out earlier and like I mentioned with regard to Natalia Tena in my first post, D&D are willing to break from the book if an actor has a quality that doesn’t mesh with the book but that they think will work for the show.

    It’s what makes these kind of predictions tricky.

  234. Harry Hogg
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Got to say although she might not be quite right for the role, height and too good looking, Katee Sackhoff would do a fantastic role as she is a great actress.

  235. Harry Hogg
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Noodles: Katee Sackhoff surely has that “though chick” vibe going, but other than that she’s soooo not Brienne (too short, way too beautiful)…maybe she could be Asha.    

    That is a great idea, she would be near perfect.

  236. reedgirl
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    I sometimes wonder if they’ll cut her out of the series… or merge her character with another one? I personally found Brienne kinda painful to read about. I felt SO sorry for her, that any respect for her skill and strength are all but eclipsed.

    Howland Reed,

    Hi Dad!

  237. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    reedgirl,

    They’re not going to cut a POV character, even if they break out of the POV structure.

    GRRM knew what he was doing when he wrote Brienne. It seems like some people don’t like her for the same reason some people don’t like Sam. They’re ostracized, conflicted, insecure, and all the other parts of ourselves that we dislike. They aren’t traditional heroes, and GRRM makes us spend a LOT of time with them.

    They’re important to the story GRRM wants to tell, not necessarily the one people want to read. HBO has done a good job in past shows sticking with uncomfortable characters, and I don’t see them stopping here.

  238. digtastik
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    reedgirl,
    They won’t cut her. She’ll be the show’s Calamity Jane.

  239. Michał Witkowski
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    My 1st comment here, so hello everyone ;-)

    I don’t think “uglying” an actress would work for Brienne – please do not forget, that there are scenes in the books with Brienne, where a serious attempt was made to make her look more feminine and as pretty, as possible (nice dress, hair etc.). In the text the comments to those scenes were unfavoring for Brienne, she still looked ugly and even more awkward than usual. With an easy on the eyes actress we could have unintended “ugly duckling turning swan” effect in such scenes.

  240. The DarkStar
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Katee Sackhoff for Asha

    +1

  241. Jéssica de F. Maciel
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood: Barring some miracle Nina Gold pulls out of some other strawberry field (and she’s done that before), I am still in support of Gwendoline Christie for Brienne of Tarth. She just literally seems made for this part. (She would also probably say “thank you” for those who think she is too thin to play Brienne. I would say she is bulky enough, and just needs more in the shoulders.)Eva Damen would have to put on even more weight than Christie. And we still don’t know how good any of her British accents are (whichever one producers would ask her to do for thomeone from the Thapphire Isleth).    

    I too think this, she has a small “chest” enough that she can convince in that scene with jaime, the only thing she needs is a bit of muscle (little bit, IMHO she doesn’t need that much, even conan got more bulky with costume) and good make up, wich would probably be the case for any actress

  242. persephone88
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    If they were going for that connection / fan theory, I would have thought that they’d make Miltos shave his head or use a bald cap for Syrio…then when playing the Alchemist, his natural curls could show, giving him a very different look. I suppose it’s possible that they could still doctor him up in a different wig, etc. to be the Alchemist then Pate, but his natural look fits so well with the Alchemist. I’d love to see him continue in the series, but not sure if that’s the route they are taking…

  243. Ninepenny
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    Nice quotes. In terms of what characters “should” look like I usually defer to Amok, so Brienne should ideally look like http://en.amokanet.ru/gallery/martin/martin_1189.html?popup=1&template=82

  244. KG
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    P. S. Can’t see where anyone would dislike Brienne enough to cut her out. She’s the only true ‘good guy’ in the series.

  245. Alan
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Re: Cutting a POV, I wouldn’t be so sure of that. I think it’s unlikely the characters get cut completely, but I can see major de-emphasis for Brienne, Davos, Asha, Arianne, etc. Even Theon (though he seems the easiest way to do some things).

    They are interesting characters. I love Brienne’s story in AFFC. But for much of the book, the characters are there to illustrate a different point of view of someone else’s story — Cat, Jaime, Stannis, etc. As the books get longer, things will need to get cut.

    Is the Davos/Stannis storyline even necessary? No, it’s not. Interaction with Catelyn and Tyrion can tell that story.

    Are the Iron Islands necessary at all? No. Yes, yes, things would be missing but the story is intact.

    Heck, is AFFC necessary? If the series makes it five season but doesn’t have amazing ratings, they may decide to cut whole parts out of AFFC and ADWD to make one season — take out the Ironborn and Brienne and send Sam straight to Oldtown and combine the seasons.

    I guess what I’m saying — and Martin has alluded to this — I’d expect much more divergence in the future. Games of Thrones translates well, but as the books get bigger, they may have to make choices.

    (I’d be really disappointed with losing Brienne’s story post-Jaime. Asha and Theon, eh.)

  246. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    persephone88,

    It all depends on the motivation behind it.

    This is, of course, why I have so many disclaimers, as I can’t speak directly to the motivation.

    In the book, the Alchemist is someone Arya has never seen before. He just pops up out of nowhere. Then he’s gone until the beginning of AFfC. I think that they have Miltos with his curls as Syrio so that when Arya sees Jaquen H’ghar’s transformation the audience recognizes Miltos rather than wondering who this new guy is. It’s perhaps a simplification of the story, and perhaps a consolidation of characters that’s different than GRRM’s intentions, but it would explain why they have the show’s Syrio fitting the description of the Alchemist rather than the book’s description of Syrio.

  247. Persephone88
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Interesting take, thoughthey’d need to somehow make him look very different, save the curls, going from Jaqen to the Alchemist, so that viewers did not think Jaqen turned into Syrio…

  248. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    I think the issue I have with this way of thinking is that people tend to see the POV characters they don’t like as GRRMs way of telling the story of the character they do like.

    So, they think, Sam’s story isn’t really Sam’s story. It’s Jon’s story told through Sam’s eyes.

    They see Brienne’s story not as Brienne’s story, but as a device to tell Jaime’s story.

    “Nothing happens” in the Brienne chapters of AFfC if you don’t want to read about Brienne and want the story to move along with the characters you care about.

    Still, that’s the book. A lot of what happens with Brienne at that point in the series depends on how people react to her.

    I once made a list of everything Brienne accomplishes in AFfC. I’m not going to do it again here, but there are good scenes. We may see them, we may hear about them second-hand, but D&D seem to be careful not to cut things out entirely.

    Will there be reductions of emphasis on certain characters that get more play in the book? Absolutely.

    Is it possible that we’ll get new scenes from characters who don’t have a lot to do? Quite possible as well.

    As an example, the producers said Omar Little was only supposed to last seven episodes on The Wire, but his role ended up lasting all five seasons.

    I’m not saying that any character marked for death will get a stay of execution, but a character who shines may end up getting followed much more closely than they are in the books.

  249. asamarathi
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    userj: Thought people might find it useful to have Brienne’s physical description on hand.
    To be honest it’s even more extreme than what I remember.O_o
    ACOK 23 (Cateyln) Beauty, they called her … mocking. The hair beneath the visor was a squirrel’s nest of dirty straw, and her face … Brienne’s eyes were large and very blue, a young girl’s eyes, trusting and guileless, but the rest… her features were broad and coarse, her teeth prominent and crooked, her mouth too wide, her lips so plump they seemed swollen. A thousand freckles speckled her cheeks and brow, and her nose had been broken more than once. Pity filled Catelyn’s heart. Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman?

    ASOS 38 (Jaime) It was obvious at once that the gown had been cut for someone with slimmer arms, shorter legs, and much fuller breasts. The fine Myrish lace did little to conceal the bruising that mottled Brienne’s skin. All in all, the garb made the wench look ludicrous. She has thicker shoulders than I do, and a bigger neck, Jaime thought. Small wonder she prefers to dress in mail. Pink was not a kind color for her either.    

    Michał Witkowski: My 1st comment here, so hello everyone
    I don’t think “uglying” an actress would work for Brienne – please do not forget, that there are scenes in the books with Brienne, where a serious attempt was made to make her look more feminine and as pretty, as possible (nice dress, hair etc.). In the text the comments to those scenes were unfavoring for Brienne, she still looked ugly and even more awkward than usual.With an easy on the eyes actress we could have unintended “ugly duckling turning swan” effect in such scenes.    

    You probably meant the scene quoted above.
    Wearing a dress that is way too small and too tight, with a big but empty decolleté and on top of that towering over everybody else in the room (don’t forget the bruises), ANY woman would look ridiculous! Not to mention that her posture would have been really bad because of her insecurity.

    Broken nose and crooked teeth are things they could easily ditch or do with makeup if they think it’s necessary. Same goes for the freckles. Plump lips and wide mouth aren’t relevant at all. Trying to find an actress who brings all of it, including height, acting skills, age, muscles, hair/eye colour, stage combat experience, riding skills and so on will be close to impossible. They’ll have to compromise on some points.

    Now the difference to Jaime/NCW in height, weight, shoulders and neck is important, but even there it would be hard to follow Martin’s decsription (“Just off the top of my head, I would say Brienne is taller than Renly and Jaime and significantly heavier than either, but nowhere near the size of Gregor Clegane, who is the true giant in the series. Shorter than Hodor and the Greatjon, maybe a bit shorter than the Hound, maybe roughly the same height as Robert.”) since Robert/MA is 5’10” and Jaime/NCW is 6’2,5″. Shouldn’t be a problem to be significantly taller and heavier than Renly/GA (5’10,5″ ) and smaller than the Hound/RMC (6’6″) though. At least if they choose Gwendoline Christie ;)

  250. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Persephone88,

    Well, there’s a thing about that.

    This is what all of the problems people are having with the idea.

    At this point, I’m suspecting that they’re going to be making Syrio and Alchemist the same person. That’s what I mean when I say I think it’s possible they’re going to consolidate the two characters. A lot of people hate the idea for the book because it’s too much of a weird conspiracy theory for them. I get that, and like I said I never really gave it much credence when I was reading. I’m just pointing out that if that’s what they were doing, it’d explain a whole lot for me. If that’s not what they’re doing, they just made a really odd choice for Syrio’s look. It wouldn’t make me sad if that’s really the only explanation, but it’d still seem like a strange departure.

  251. Blue Bird
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Ok, I have a question about Clash of Kings–
    So I had completely missed the whole romance between Renly and Loras, but am I crazy or was Brienne still in love with Renly? I completely thought she was in love with Renly…

  252. GaR
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Blue Bird,

    Yeah, she was. Hard out. She obviously didn’t know he was bofty.

  253. Alan
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    To be clear, I agree with you on Brienne and Sam together. They are fantastic characters both, and it’s one of the reasons I really loved AFFC. I think the series needed that kind of book, and I thought both side stories were fantastic and interesting and I’d love to see them.

    That doesn’t really change the fact that they may need to cut content at some point. Ideally, the character isn’t cut even if the plotline is cut. Brienne’s character can be made evident when travelling with Catelyn of Jaime or later or merely compressed.

    Sam, as well — his progression could be moved to more plot driving elements. But if you can’t do that, sometimes you need to cut. And they aren’t going to cut too many of the original characters for someone like Sam.

    In any writing, every scene/chapter/whatever should drive plot or character development. I just think that AFFC is a lot more *just* driving character. And I’m not sure HBO will have as much time for that unless it’s a Sopranos-like success.

    I could be wrong.

  254. GaR
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    To clarify:

    I don’t think Renly’s gaiety is common knowledge. Stannis knows, which stands to reason, being his brother. Jaime turns out to know as well, much later on. I don’t recall anyone else mentioning it or alluding to it.

    I think Loras was much farther out of the closet than Renly. Just about everyone knows about his preferences. Even Gregor’s men at arms call him “the Knight o’ Pansies” and refer to his “bugger’s trick” and they’re sworn to a lesser lord of a house from a totally different part of Westeros. In any case, it’s not really treated as much of a secret; in comparison, Renly’s sexuality is very rarely brought up, and as the King’s brother (and especially when he crowns himself and weds Margaery), you’d think that would be a cause for concern. He does brag to Stannis that he’s going to get Margaery knocked up in short order though, so I wonder what he had planned there.

  255. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Alan,

    We’ve already seen the Blackfish moved about a bit. I totally see what you’re saying, I think. Brienne rides off and we come back to her journey already-in-progress. It’s definitely a possibility. Not accepting that would be a good way to get disappointed easily.

  256. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    asamarathi,

    While I’ve often made statements about how finding an actress that fits the description of Brienne isn’t impossible, it’s worth noting that GRRM was worried that Natalia Tena was “too young” and “too hot” when he heard she auditioning for Osha.

    On the one hand it shows that he isn’t a stickler for book descriptions if an actor has a certain spark, but it also implies that not everyone reading was young and hot.

    With that in mind, I could see Eva Damen getting a chance to read alongside much larger, taller women. Again, it’s not that there aren’t women who match Brienne’s description exactly, but that HBO will probably cast a wider net than my narrow parameters implied.

  257. userj
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    He does brag to Stannis that he’s going to get Margaery knocked up in short order though, so I wonder what he had planned there.

    Brother-sister threeway – Awwwwwwwwyeah!!

  258. GaR
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    That’s what I was afraid of :B

    Actually, Cersei sure did have a thing for the idea of Margaery-Loras incest. Freud would have a field day with that woman.

  259. the goat
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Actual transcprition of D&D pre-production sitdown (from a slightly alternate universe)

    Dan: Next we got this guy, Tyrion.

    Dave: Cool, what’s his deal?

    Dan: He’s the younger son of the richest house in the realm, kind of whores around, no loyalty to anyone, except his family, which he hates, especially his sister, but he’s very intelligent and cunning…

    Dave: Stop! That’s absolutely perfect for Taylor Lautner!

    Dan: Again with this

    Dave: Do you wanna sell this show or not?!!? Did we not try to navigate the Meereenese knot, for what…the twenty-seventh time, yesterday!?!

    Dan: Regardless, Tyrion’s different.

    Dave: How so?

    Dan: He has no legs.

    Dave: Fine. We chop Lautner off at the knees. The Gods will thank us.

    Dan: As appealing as that sounds, there’s yet another problem.

    Dave (under his breath): I’m so gonna strangle George for getting me into this.

    Dan: He’s also ugly.

    Dave: You can’t be serious.

    Dan: Its right here on page three-thousand-four-hundred-and-seventy-eight.

    Dave (staring daggers at Dave): I’ll kill every last one of you.

    Dan: Oooh, that’s good! Let me write that down!

    MEDIUM SHOT: DAVE – FACEPALM

    Dave (resigned to his fate): Whatever. Does his ugliness actually advance the plot at any point? I mean, as opposed to the fact that he’s already legless?

    Dan (thumbing through text): Hrmmmm………..not really. His father and sister already hate him, because of his legs, and no honorable woman would ever want to be married to him, because of his legs, and his older brother lovingly pities him, because of his legs. Seems like the whole world disdains and underestimates him because of his legs. Or lack thereof. Pretty compelling how he overcomes that obstacle and manages to triumph.

    Dave: He triumphs?

    Dan (shrugs): Well, for like a minute or two. This is George were talkin about.

    Dave: Right. So what about the ugliness?

    Dan: Well, it says he’s ugly on page thirty-five. Then its not really much of an issue, until he gets an axe to the face at the end of book two. After that, its still not that much of an issue.

    Dave: Did you just spoilerize me?

    Dan: I swear to Azor Ahai, if you break the fourth wall again, I’m sending you home to Amanda! People care about these books!

    Dave: Okay, okay, I promise! Just don’t make me go home to that nightmare! (composes himself) So….the ugliness.

    Dan: I dunno, he’s got mismatched eyes, bad haircut, just generally ugly.

    Dave: Wait, bad haircut? I thought you said this guy was rich? Look what Pauolo’s done for me this week.

    Dan: That’s great. I’m not really sure why he has a bad haircut. Shitty Westeros barbers, maybe? Like I said, the ugliness isn’t really an issue compared to his leglessness.

    Dave: Sounds good. We’ll just lose the whole pointless ugliness thing. (gets up, grabs axe)

    Dan: Where you going?

    Dave: Duh, to chop off Lautner’s legs.

    Dan: But we haven’t discussed the other important character that also defies stereotypes. Brienne? Remember??

    Dave: If you tell me she’s ugly, I’m gonna bury this axe right in your forehead.

    Dan (shakes head): Nevermind, I’ll just call Helfer’s agent.

  260. coltaine777
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Mr.Gude…once again you’re making a lot of sense to me…well said Ser…I hope Brienne isn’t cut…

  261. purplejilly
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    GaR: He does brag to Stannis that he’s going to get Margaery knocked up in short order though, so I wonder what he had planned there.  Quote  Reply

    I figured that was always going to be a case of ‘close your eyes and think of Westeros’ : )

  262. purplejilly
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    the goat,

    Mr or Mrs Goat, you are very funny :)

  263. coltaine777
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Brienne is of one my favourite characters….number one being Arya…along with Dany…Jamie…and Tyrion….I don’t care who they cast…I trust D/D/N to get her right…hoping they don’t diminish the role for the show…

  264. GaR
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    lol, good call.

    I can’t help but imagine Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as (say) Varys, Mace Tyrell and Barristan Selmy discussing the situation in a hilarious way.

  265. Eric
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    This notion of Brienne being an unnecessary character, and therefore possibly not in the TV series, is ridiculous. Most of the arguments in favor of cutting her seem to focus on a need to trim the increasingly complicated story of FfC to make it work on television. It seem obvious that by the time the TV series reaches that point in the story, it will need to be merged with DoD, since the two books take place at the same time. It wouldn’t work to have season 5 and season 6 both cover the same time period from different perspectives, and viewers would never tolerate an entire season never addressing several major characters, in the way that FfC all but abandons the Tyrion, Dany and Jon stories. That sort of thing just doesn’t work on film or on television, so the two books will have to be joined (note the difference between the book and movie versions of The Two Towers, for a working example). Combining the two books should allow for a more efficient way to tell the story, and won’t need to involve cutting out major characters (and yes, Brienne is a major character, at least by FfC and probably by SoS).

  266. matt
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Robin Weigert, who played Calamity Jane on HBO’s Deadwood would be my pick for the role. Thats how I’ve always pictured the character at least.

  267. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    I’ve often stressed the idea of historical fiction methodology being applied to the series, especially when you get to AFfC/ADwD territory.

    If you think of ASoIaF as the written account of a period of time, then the idea of having specific television episodes told within that time period without following the exact path of the individual books becomes a much more reasonable proposition.

  268. Eric
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Indeed. Frankly, I don’t think that splitting the narrative covered in the time period of FfC and DwD works for the books either. Clearly, I haven’t read DwD, but I found FfC to be completely unsatisfying and it felt like a fragment of a story. Maybe that will all be remedied with DwD, but at this point I think that splitting the timeline only served to complicate the story and distract from a significant portion of the narrative. Reading DwD may change the way I see things.

  269. emphatic
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Zoë Bell would be a great fit for the role. But I say – ditch the actors and just choose a real athlete, then give her lots of acting lessons. This is how Christopher Reed got the Superman part after all…

  270. Two Feathers
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    I would still like to see Miranda Hart as Brienne. Sure it will be a challange for her but I am sure Maisie Williams and Emilia Clarke find their roles challanging, and they are doing a great job. I don`t think Brienne needs to be as ugly as she is described by George,and the age thing need not be a big problem, I think Miranda looks younger than her age and Brienne could be aged up a little for the show,as other characters have been….What about the Red Priestess??? Maybe Irish actress Dervla Kirwin! She definitly has the look I had envisioned, and a wicked twinkle in her eye.

  271. David Thomas
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    I would call Renly’s “gaiety” a well-kept non-secret. I remember in aSoS when Tyrion is describing his new household with Sansa, he hired Renly’s chief domestic (Brella?) because (and I paraphrase) “she had obviously proved working for Renly that she knew how to keep her mouth shut about what went on in her master’s house.”

    Little hints like that are constantly dropped about Renly, and they make me think that everyone seems to think they’re the only one who knew what was going on with him and Loras. In other words, they really NEVER talk about it among themselves, because they all think they’re the only ones who have picked up on it.

    There are quite a few cultures in the world–Japan probably foremost among them–where no one really judges active homosexuality AS LONG AS you marry, procreate, and NEVER EVER talk about it openly.

    That’s how it seems in Westeros to me. No one really ever cared that Renly and Loras were an item, but they would have cared deeply if Loras and Renly had ever declared it openly. That would have been a non-starter!

  272. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    matt,

    I think Robin Weigert is awesome, and I loved her in Deadwood.

    She’s also over 40 and Brienne is in her twenties.

    Robin stands out as a pick for Brienne for some people for similar reasons that Katee Sackhoff stands out for others. They’ve both played female characters that have very overtly non-feminine qualities.

    You can see shades of Jane in Robin’s performance of the Mormon Mother here, but would she jump out as being perfect for the role if we hadn’t already seen her in it?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAmIIaXgHhc

    The same way, you can see bits of Starbuck in Katee’s portrayal of Nell Bickford, but she wouldn’t be someone who I’d have suggested as the female version of Dirk Benedict when I heard they were rebooting BSG:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5x2qIEWVxo&feature=related

    The reason that actresses love parts like Jane or Starbuck is because it gives them a chance to play someone that is different from what they normally get to play. It’s evidenced by the fact that these two actresses get mentioned often for a role for which (if cast according to the book) one is a foot too short and one is twenty years too old.

    It’s also the reason why, as much as I hate to admit it, the idea that a more well known actress getting “uglied-up” for the role isn’t an impossibility. In my opinion it’s both unnecessary and unfair to actresses who would be perfect for the role without tricks. However, if someone expresses interest, is willing to take a pay cut, and is willing to sit in a make-up chair, there’s always the chance that it’ll happen.

    I’m not holding my breath, but am braced for the possibility.

  273. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    While I enjoyed AFfC, I suspect that once I read ADwD my brain will stitch things together in a way that’s a bit more satisfying.

  274. David Thomas
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    So many events that happen simultaneously in the book happen hundreds of pages apart. In some cases, they even appear in different books. So I have a feeling (and I am PERFECTLY fine with this) that the “chronology” of the books is going to diverge dramatically from the episode order in GoT. Like, episode 1 of season 2 could be (I’m making this up) chapters 1, 2, 8, 18, and 30 of aCoK.

    Also, regarding Tyrion’s appearance, I hope to God that they just give him a scar or something after the Battle of the Blackwater. I seriously don’t want to look at a CGI hole in Peter Dinklage’s face.

    As for Brienne, she needs to be big, stupid, awkward, and naive. I don’t care how pretty she is. I know a lot of “pretty” girls who think they’re plain, and vice versa. The plot point is that everyone treats her like sheite, and that could be true just because she’s big, awkward, and defies gender expectations. It doesn’t’ matter whether she has teeth sprouting in each compass direction.

    Catelyn at one point compares the Mormont ladies to Brienne, and I was struck by her mental note that the Mormonts were both more comfortable as ladies and as warriors than Brienne was as either. The constant teasing that Brienne deals with comes as a reaction to her insecurity, not from her having a warrior’s mentality. We all can attest that insecurity can stem from a billion reasons, not just physical attractiveness. I mean, I’m extremely good-looking but suffer from more angst than anyone I know. HA!

  275. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    David Thomas,

    This is exactly my take on it as well.

  276. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    paulgude: David Thomas,
    This is exactly my take on it as well.    

    I should point out I’m talking about Renly there.

    It’s also possible that it’s known and tolerated as an alternative to Robert’s considerable number of illegitimate children. My wife had mentioned that in certain aristocratic circles homosexual activity was accepted in a young man’s life as long as he ceased his dalliances after marriage.

  277. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    David Thomas,

    The “pretty” aspect of people can get pretty fluid, as well.

    For one thing, someone can be perfectly attractive and still be thought of as ugly. Just look at the Dany casting arguments.

    On the other hand, someone who one considers aesthetically displeasing can become attractive under the right circumstances.

    I’m very interested to see how this all turns out.

  278. Sareeta
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE Brienne; she’s definitely a favorite character and I’m so excited to see who gets cast. Also, the Deviant Art illustration is awesome!

    I agree that acting ability is the most important factor to consider. However, I think it is important to also get an actress with the right look.

    If Katee Sackhoff is too naturally pretty and would have to buff up for this role. No one would believe all the taunting and name-calling, particularly from Jaime, if they cast Katee…

    Anyway, wouldn’t it be easier to find a British actress? I like the idea of using unknowns for this series.

    I really like the suggestion of Zoe Bell. So far, she is the only woman I can “picture” as Brienne of those suggested. I’ve only seen bits of her acting (she was briefly in an episode or so of Lost and wasn’t she in Whip It?), so I can’t vouch for her acting ability, but physically, she looks like she can swing a sword like a pro and cause much pain. Her work as a stunt woman would certainly help considering how physically unique Brienne is. I don’t think height is as important as muscle.

    As for the accent, I don’t think all the characters need to have British accents. Why can’t there be a variety of accents? New Zealand/Australian/Irish/Scottish/British would sound fine in this series. Plus, isn’t Brienne super shy and she answers with yes/no most of the time, anyway?

    I know Brienne is described as being ugly (except for her beautiful eyes), and Zoe is actually stunning in several pictures I’ve seen , but as I read the story, I imagined Brienne as being plain rather that ugly anyway. I definitely don’t think they should cast a drop-dead gorgeous or petite/dainty actress for this role; but it doesn’t have to being an ugly woman either. Tyrion was described as ugly, but they cast a nice looking actor for him. They can do the same for Brienne.

  279. Nights King
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    The most important aspect of Brienne’s character as it relates to the books is that she is awkward, uncomfortable, naive to a fault and shy as hell.

    While I love Sackhoff and BSG, she has a self confidence about her that I’m not sure she’ll ever shake which is why I like the above suggestions for her as Asha Greyjoy. I can very easily see her pulling out a knife and saying “Here is my suckling babe.” Even when she was knowingly going crazy in BSG she had a self-assured quality to her (angry crazy not afraid crazy).

    Here’s my list in no order and with omissions (and yes, i know most of these are not viable due to salary restrictions):
    Asha Greyjoy: Sackhoff
    Blackfish: Jeremy Irons
    Melisande: Helfer
    Davos Seaworth: Sam Elliot
    Mance Rayder: (Probably Season 3 but could be pushed to late Season 2) Dominic West
    Craster: Nick Nolte

    The hard ones that are really important are Stannis and the Halfhand, Edmure could really be anyone etc. etc. the book’s cast is so huge but also pretty easily consolidated too so its hard to say who stays and who goes.

  280. the goat
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Nights King: The most important aspect of Brienne’s character as it relates to the books is that she is awkward, uncomfortable, naive to a fault and shy as hell.

    Umm, no. You are thinking of Pod. Maybe because they traveled together for much of Feast. Brienne can also win melees and kill Shagwell and Rorge.

  281. Mr. Wu
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Robin Weigert is a truly terrible idea for the role. She twice Brienne’s age, of completely normal height and build, and American. Would not be remotely convincing as one of the best swordspeople in the realm. Other than not looking like a model she literally doesn’t have one single trait that’s appropriate for the part.

  282. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    the goat,

    “Please wait here while I put on my helmet and visor!” – Definitely not the ideal Brienne battle cry.

    Acting is paramount, but fighting is important. They have Buster Reeves and great stunt folks, but it’s going to be so much better if whoever plays Brienne isn’t starting from zero.

  283. Nights King
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    the goat,

    Yes she is self confident in battle, but in social and/or day to day conversations (as in the vast majority of the time that she is interacting with people read: ON SCREEN) she is very awkward. She grows in self confidence as the story progresses which is why Pod is an interesting companion for her.

    In ACoK she is described in Cat’s POVs as riding with her party (from Bbridge to Rrun) and never really being one of them. Cat also acknowledges that she is ugly “is there anything more pitiful than an ugly woman” – paraphrasing but its in one of the POVs right around meeting Brienne for the first time in ACoK.

    Brienne never fits in in any situation, be it wearing mail or a dress. She is ridiculed and mocked early on (the bet to bed her) and as such is quick to take offense moving forward and oftentimes expresses this by being withdrawn and quiet. Though at times she doesn’t know when to shut up (when naive points of honor/idealism vs. reality come into play with Jaime for example)

  284. mummer
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,
    Why is it so hard to imagine that they simply cast Syrio as they did because they liked the actor, and that they’ll come up with a different look for the alchemist (whose face is, after all, just a temporary disguise anyway) when we get there?

  285. Eric
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Nights King,

    I don’t think that Katie Sackhoff or Tricia Helfer are good choices for this series. They are, for me anyway, far too associated with their BSG characters, and would distract from the GoT world. Putting Sackhoff in a role like Ahsa Greyjoy is essentially just casting her as Starbuck but in a different universe, which would make it doubly distracting.

  286. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    mummer,

    It’s not hard to imagine at all. It’s the most realistic option.

    The theory I floated is the crazy one. It’s kind of what I do.

  287. Eric
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Wu,

    The more arguments I hear against Robin Weigert the more I tend to agree. However, I do think that her Calamity Jane is good example of why people shouldn’t get so hung up on whether any given actress is “ugly” enough to play Brienne. Weigert is certainly not ugly, though she sells Jane as unattractive and masculine through her acting abilities. That said, I can’t argue that she is far too old to be Brienne.

  288. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    mummer,

    And they undoubtedly liked Miltos. What’s not to like?

  289. Shinyteapot
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    David Thomas,

    My take on Loras and Renly is that they think they’re keeping the secret rather better than they are. In fact I’d like to see some subtle contrast between the way they act in public and Jaime and Cersei, who are rather more sucessful in their secrecy. Brienne could probably have worked out the truth about Loras and Renly quite easily- but she’s fairly naive, and people often are better at missing things they really don’t want to be true- and she certainly doesn’t want Renly to be gay.

    Cersei must have known about Renly being gay, she wouldn’t have accepted Margaery’s claim to still be a virgin so easily otherwise. Of course this gives Margaery a way out of her situation at the end of AFFC- she can claim she’s not a virgin because she was married before, and was forced to lie about it. Could even be true- she’s not his partner of choice, but Renly may well have wanted an heir.

    Back on topic, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we get a complete unknown for Brienne- but I really hope whoever gets the role she’s tall and athletic. I doubt they’ll go outside the British Isles in terms of accent, but that gives a fair bit of scope- RP would be fine, but I’d guess anything from South England (on the basis that northern Westeros has Yorkshire accents and Tarth needs to be a fair bit further south than that) or Wales could work ok as a Tarth accent.

  290. GaR
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    This talk of Asha reminds me; she’s another fighter.

    Who do we reckon would win in a fight between Asha and Dacey?

  291. Mr. Wu
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Eric,

    It’s not even so much the age for me, it’s just that for Brienne to truly work as a screen character it needs to be legitimately believable that she’s massively strong and deadly with a blade. No dispute that Weigert was great as Calamity Jane; she was perfect for that role. But other than being able to play masculine she’s wildly wrong for a young, tall, bulky, expert swordswoman (let alone while affecting a fake accent).

    Gwen Christie may need to bulk up some and train with a sword, not to mention that we don’t know much about her acting, but she’s way, way, way closer to appropriate than Weigert.

  292. the goat
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Nights King,

    Hahaha, and herein lies the peril of the internetz. I get accused of disregarding Brienne’s brawn AND her essential character in consecutive posts! Does this mean I win the internetz?

    paul, I’m guessing you’re responding to my first post, but you must’ve missed the first line: So yeah, she gotta be big and ugly. We gotta believe she could win a melee against Loras and several score other knights.

    Nights, I never said she was not those things you listed, I said she was ALSO big and ugly. She is taller than King Robert (for a woman I’d call that big), and stronger than Jaime, “she is stronger than I am” (Jaime III, pg 239 Bantam hardcover). Can’t get much more specific.

    These things are a given. Maisie and Emilia would not even be considered for the role. She doesn’t necessarily need to know how to fight. That’s what stunt coordinators are for. She doesn’t even need to be that tall (though I’d say 5’9″ is a minimum). But she does need to be reasonably big and reasonably ugly. What exactly those words mean are anyone’s guess. Or, more exactly, D&D&Nina Gold’s guess. (So I’m pretty sure acting will remain a high priority).

  293. PointyEnd
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Gwendoline Christie as Brienne!

    Go for it, Gwendoline! Campaign for the role! Earn that audition!

    And then, kick ass!

    I am for an attractive Brienne. After all, Jaime has to become attracted to her.

  294. GaR
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    PointyEnd,

    Way to miss the point. It ain’t her looks that Jaime’s into. And if it is, it sure ain’t cos she’s conventionally attractive.

    That’s assuming Jaime’s attracted to her at all. I’m unconvinced.

  295. Mosh
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, but did anybody else notice the countdown just dropped an hour?

  296. the goat
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    which alchemist are you talking about? Hallyne?

  297. Zack
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Probably casting (and at the very least, certainly portraying) an attractive Brienne is doing a huge disservice to an untold number of talented, ugly actresses who may be able to get their big break with such a high profile role, at the same time requiring the motivations of the character and those who come into contact with her to be unnecessarily altered.

    It’s a larger step from plain to attractive than it is from ugly to plain. If they can’t find any that stand out in the ugly category (which I’d really doubt), I’d really hope they don’t go too far, and just accentuate plainness with bruising and ratty hair.

  298. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    the goat,

    Oh, no! I was agreeing with you.

    I keep talking about how acting is important, but kicking ass is a big deal also.

  299. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    the goat,

    The joke I was making is that they’d have to keep switching Brienne out for her stunt double in scenes where she’s attacked while emoting.

    Dumb joke, for sure, but I really love how in movies like Hard Boiled you can go from a dramatic scene to an action sequence with no cuts. I’d love to see the same thing in Game of Thrones.

  300. loco73
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Winter

    Sorry Winter, I don’t mean to be a douche! I really, really want a second season and beyond! Of course I know that there is no harm in discussing the possible casting for a second season, especially fan casting. Is just that I have been following this project for 4 years alongside you and the rest of the amazing fans here, and you know there is still bound to be some anxiety when thinking about the future, even though up to now things have been unfolding as good as one can hope for.

    I want this series to succeed not only because of the wonderful story and characters and all the other superlatives one associates with “A Song Of Ice And Fire”, but also because I am thirsty for an intelligent show, that hopefully will shake the TV landscape and raise the bar for creativity has high as possible, just like “The Wire”, “Deadwood”, “Rome”, “The Shield”, “OZ”, “Battlestar Galactica” and “The Walking Dead” have done. I am sick and tired of all the mediocrity and stupidity on TV. “Game Of Thrones”, LOL, cannot solve all that, but it will sure make a hell of a beginning!

  301. KG
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Regarding Renly, there’s a passage where Cersei ponders (paraphrased) that “A man may prefer the taste of hippocras [Loras], but if you put ale [Margery]in front of him, he’ll drink that too.” So yeah, she knows, too.

  302. GaR
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    So it seems like all three Lannisters of that generation know. Is it mentioned by anyone else?

  303. purplejilly
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Curses, my road is now plowed (in my neighborhood, lest ye think I was speaking in metaphors!) That means back to real life work tomorrow, and no spending endless hours refreshing WIC to gossip! Farewell my deep thinking friends! Until the weekend at least… : )

  304. Howland Reed
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    reedgirl,

    Graywater Watch is not the same without you. How’s the North?

  305. rtm1981
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,
    Isn’t it a certainty that Jaqen H’ghar and The alchemist is the same person? Arya sees him transform after all. I seem to remember a scar and some curly hair that we later encounter at the Citadel. The alchemist buys a skeleton key for the Citadel. Seems like an interesting storyline.

    I suppose he could play all three characters. Not possible without a few holes in the books, but doable on screen I guess. I would not approve however.

  306. paulgude
    Posted January 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    rtm1981,

    That isn’t the issue.

    What’s known from the books:

    Jaqen H’ghar turns into a guy who looks just like The Alchemist. It’s a pretty good bet that it is The Alchemist, almost certainly it is, although it’s never stated.

    The crazy fan theory that some suggested after reading the books:

    Syrio is actually a faceless man, and he is both Jaqen H’ghar and The Alchemist.

    Something I observed:

    Miltos looks almost exactly like the description of The Alchemist.

    What I extrapolated:

    Miltos may be playing both Syrio and the Alchemist. They made Syrio look like the Alchemist so that Arya and the audience would recognize him. Arya doesn’t really have anyone to discuss what she witnesses, and we’re not in her head like we are in the books. This character consolidation would allow the audience to make some sense out of what they’ve observed.

    What I think it would mean:

    Option one is that Miltos plays Syrio and The Alchemist and some other actor plays Jaqen H’ghar. This would be the case if the transformation is magical like it is in the books.

    What others have suggested:

    Some have suggested it may work for Miltos to play all three roles, with him just in a disguise as Jaqen. If they did that, there’d be an odd parallel between him and Varys, and the magical transformation may be downplayed.

    The problems:

    As I’ve pointed out, this was just a crazy theory in my mind until they kept Miltos’ curly black hair for Syrio. It’s kind of a weak piece of evidence to hang an entire conspiracy theory on, I’ll admit. As mummer and others have pointed out, it may just be that they really liked Miltos’ audition and decided not to have him shave his head, easy as that. Also, some people HATE this theory from the time it was just a crazy book theory, and may carry that hate over if the show decides to pursue it.

    To sum up:

    Yes, it’s crazy, but I feel they may actually do it. Anyone familiar with my theories know that almost none of them ever happen. Have any of them?

  307. Fat Sword of Doom
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    The art displayed at the top of this post that is attributed to a deviant art user “quickreaver”… isn’t it actually by illustrator Cris Griffin and property of FFG Games? I believe so.

  308. Zack
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    It’s all but a certainty that Jaqen H’gar is The Alchemist.

    It’s a teeeeeensy stretch, to say the least, that he’s also Syrio. Or that Syrio is even alive, for that matter. I kind of hope he’s not, just because his final scene was basically the best exit a character could hope for, IMO. A return would feel like tarnishing that scene, for me.

    Though…I’d probably still squee a bit if we see him again, to be honest. I’m of mixed feelings, you could say.

  309. Zack
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    That said, I’m not opposed to Miltos playing all three roles regardless. Such a decision isn’t unheard of with HBO. I recall Garret Dillahunt playing two distinct roles on Deadwood, and doing a great job of it. And for viewers who discern what’s going on, they’ll be able to have fun pondering the same question we are. I’d prefer if GRRM and the crew never even directly answer about Syrio’s fate.

  310. the goat
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    GaR,

    Of course he’s not sexually attracted to her, did the hundred or so pages of him describing her as a cow and referring to her as a wench not render? Her morality (or sense of honor, if you want), on the other hand, is attractive to him. He’s currently in the midst of trying to embrace it, through his cynical eyes.

  311. paulgude
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 1:12 am | Permalink

    the goat,

    I think that may be a reference to events in Jaime V in ASoS.

  312. KG
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    the goat,

    Uh he has a very … strong reaction to seeing her in the bathhouse, don’t forget.

  313. LG
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Fat Sword of Doom,

    Quickreaver is a handle of Cris Griffin’s…uses it for Twitter too.

    http://twitter.com/quickreaver

  314. gurgi
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    I skipped half of the post to put in my opinion. Hope no one has mentioned this lady.

    We need this generations Charlize Theron. Her look in Monster is much like I have thought of Brienne. We need a naturally large woman who can act and is around 18-25 years of age.

    If she is too attractive that doesnt really matter. We know what a little dirt and no makeup and a boy haircut can do for sex appeal.

  315. gurgi
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 2:10 am | Permalink

    Titus Crow: Remember as well that a lot can be done with make up, lighting, etc. Also the acting quality can make up for a lot in the looks department. While Dinklage may not be as ugly as in the books I don’t think he comes off as handsome in the clips we have seen and from what we hear pulls of the character perfectly. The acting and realization of the character are more important than the actual looks. For those doubting what a little make up and hard work can do, remember Charlize Theron in Monster?    

    I knew I should of read down further. Yep Charlize Theron is exactly how I think of Brienne. They really made that woman look horrible for that role. Amazing really since she is so attactive in real life. Charlize is ten years or more to old for the role. We need a similar woman.

  316. Johan Sporre
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Mosh,

    I guess someone took the transition into summer time into account.

  317. the goat
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    KG,

    For sure. But will they show her cleaning the vomit from his beard after Rorge gives him horsepiss to drink?

  318. Steve Reynolds
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    paulgude,

    If Syrio is really Jaqen, how the hell was he teaching Arya and down in the cells at the same time?

  319. rtm1981
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Hmm… given it some thought and I guess it’s not impossible that they’ve decided to this. Would save them the trouble of even finding a Jaqen :)

    The problem from the book standpoint (even though they might still want to do it on screen), is that Syrio was a well known swordfighter, and carried one of the highest titles (we can assume) “Sealord” in Braavos (for 6 years or so I believe). Also, Ned Stark knew of his reputation and vouched for him before hiring him as Arya’s dancing teacher. So if Syrio is a faceless man, he’d have to spend an inordinate amount of time as his Syrio-persona.

    Would be shocking if GrrM somehow made it plausible in AdwD though :)

  320. paulgude
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    Steve Reynolds,

    First of all, I don’t know if a spoiler tag is needed for something that is a crazy theory, but still…you kind of put it all out there.

    Secondly, your question doesn’t have any bearing on the theory at the moment.

    As I’ve stated numerous times, it’s a crazy theory when applied to the book. This has bearing on the show only. The thing I’m positing is that Miltos looks like the description of the Alchemist in the book, and that as a result this may telegraph the intention of consolidating Syrio and The Alchemist for the show. If that happens, the mechanics of where we see Syrio, Jaqen, and The Alchemist would be adjusted accordingly. The fact that it doesn’t work in the book doesn’t mean they won’t do it for the show. Standard disclaimer applies that our discussion of this in no way will influence what D&D are actually doing and that I am generally crazy and none of my theories ever seem to be correct.

  321. paulgude
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    rtm1981,

    Like I mentioned above, at the moment I’m regarding it as plausible for the series but a departure from the book’s narrative.

  322. KG
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    the goat,

    Not sure where that relates to what I said but yeah, I bet they will. It underlines how dependent he is on her good heart at that point in time.

  323. rorschach-
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    My mouse ears aren’t working properly, taking double clicks if taking at all, so I can’t add spoiler tags. Can’t remember what tags were either. So you have been warned.

    rtm1981,

    I don’t know if it’s just me but it feels for me kind of obvious. The faceless can chance their face -> Something happens to real Syrio -> Some faceless runs hands over his face and does magic dance -> Next day Syrio walks the streets once again. So they just use Syrios reputation and Syrio isn’t actually Syrio but a some faceless man.

    paulgude,

    That has always been interesting point, but if they make Syrio a lot look like Alchemist, shouldn’t Arya recognize him then, even in the show not just in book. I have to admit that my memory doesn’t now serve me well but I think that Arya had no clue who the man was to whom Jaqen turned in the book.

  324. Shinyteapot
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    I recall when series 1 was being cast some amazing photoshops sprang up. Any of those talented artists feel like attempting to show us some of the actresses suggested above as Brienne?

    Would try it myself but I truly have no artistic skills at all (well, unless baking cakes that look like daleks counts. I’m good at that :p ) All I can offer is my sincere appreciation to anyone with photoshop skills!

  325. The Winter Rose
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I really don’t understand all the votes for Gwendoline for Brienne… she’s WAY too pretty and WAY to slender to play Brienne. I really hope they don’t make Brienne “hollywood Ugly”. Brienne is not supposed to be Hollywood Ugly… she’s really supposed to be unattractive. Not everyone is the world is beautiful. There are ugly people in the world. Brienne is one of them. I hope they have the balls to keep her such. Brienne is a knight darn-it, she needs to be big, strong and tough. Not slender and lithe.

  326. blackear
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    LG,

    It’s partly an expression of my teenage angst. But mostly it’s a moo cow!

  327. Mormegil
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Shinyteapot: As I’ve stated numerous times, it’s a crazy theory when applied to the book. This has bearing on the show only. The thing I’m positing is that Miltos looks like the description of the Alchemist in the book, and that as a result this may telegraph the intention of consolidating Syrio and The Alchemist for the show. If that happens, the mechanics of where we see Syrio, Jaqen, and The Alchemist would be adjusted accordingly. The fact that it doesn’t work in the book doesn’t mean they won’t do it for the show. Standard disclaimer applies that our discussion of this in no way will influence what D&D are actually doing and that I am generally crazy and none of my theories ever seem to be correct. paulgude
    Quote
    Reply

    Well you already have Eva Damen in armour holding a sword.

    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2602468352/nm1987416

  328. Mormegil
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    That was odd, I quoted the post below and got a Paul Gude post instead.

    Shinyteapot: I recall when series 1 was being cast some amazing photoshops sprang up. Any of those talented artists feel like attempting to show us some of the actresses suggested above as Brienne? Would try it myself but I truly have no artistic skills at all (well, unless baking cakes that look like daleks counts. I’m good at that :p ) All I can offer is my sincere appreciation to anyone with photoshop skills!  Quote  Reply

  329. userj
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    The Winter Rose,

    Agreed. There ARE ugly actresses, and they deserve to have their day in the limelight. I was actually pretty pissed off about Charlize Theron in Monster (as great a job as she did putting herself in that skin, why not use a really unattractive person?)

    I’m about to post a picture as an example, and want to make it perfectly clear: I’M NOT SUGGESTING HER FOR BRIENNE. NOT suggesting. Just an example of a truly unattractive actress.
    This woman plays the female coach in Glee. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0427963/
    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm861962496/nm0427963

    Someone 20 years younger with similar looks and body would be great (check out her shoulders!)

  330. Shinyteapot
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Mormegil,

    How strange. Let’s see if this replies to you correctly!

    Thanks, it’s a good pic and I really wish she were taller- I do think almost half a foot less than our Jaime is too short for Brienne. Which is a great shame.

    Would love to see the others (particularly Christie and Wingham) photoshopped though- let’s see if it could work!

  331. dizzy_34
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I’m a bit late to this thread. I like the last to suggestions however I believe out of all the new roles that will come around for season two I think Brienne will be a complete unknown.

  332. OhDanyBoy
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Pretty sure we’ve had confirmation from either the show runners or Miltos himself that he was allowed to keep his hair so he could work on other projects, and they would have gone the bald look if the bald cap had fit over his hair, but it didn’t. So they decided it wasn’t important he be bald and just let him keep the hair.

    I may be wrong, but that is how I recall the discussion being resolved around when that picture of Syrio and Arya fencing came out to the public.

  333. Kirk Neal
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    dizzy_34,

    How about Lauren Jackson, Austrailian, six ft., five in. tall, very athletic. In the latter half of a womans pro basketball career. She would totally kick a—-.

  334. Blyzzard
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Caedes,

    I agree on everything! Really :)

  335. paulgude
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    OhDanyBoy,

    That wouldn’t surprise me at all. As with any crazy theory, most often a much more reasonable explanation comes around.

  336. emphatic
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Please, just not Katee Sackhoff. I liked her lots as Starbuck, but almost everything else I’ve seen her in makes me cringe. She’s kinda one-dimensional.

  337. paulgude
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    rorschach-,

    I think I can do this without spoiler tags.

    In the book, absolutely.

    If they went the other way in the show, the recognition would be part of it. Again, like I said, it’d be a consolidation that would break from canon.

  338. Titus Crow
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    userj,

    The reason why they did not just use an unattractive actress is because of acting. Charlize Theron ACTED the whole part, not just looked. You can pick up any lot lizard from a truck stop and they’ll LOOK like Aileen Wournos but they would not ACT like her.

    Same point goes for this thread. Obviously the character has to be ugly but there are many things that can be done to alter appearance. Too many of these suggestions are going on looks alone with no thought on how they will act. Same goes with Tyrion. Sure they could have found some mishapen dwarf somewhere but could he pull of Tyrion’s wit and charm? Probably not. So I would rather have a Brienne that was not as ugly as in the book but acted the part than the other way around.

  339. paulgude
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Titus Crow,

    There are two basic ideas at play here:

    1) Charlize Theron can act. Charlize Theron is able to embody someone who looks different than her and pull it off. Monster was a good film in large part because of Charlize Theron’s portrayal. TRUE.

    2) The producers’ choice was between someone who looks like Aileen Wournos but can’t act and someone like Charlize Theron who needs makeup to look like Aileen Wournos but can play the part. FALSE.

    What Charlize Theron brought to Monster, besides great talent, was a meta-story. “Look at how they transformed this beautiful actress into a (as you say) ‘lot lizard from a truck stop’.”

    It’s like Christian Bale losing a lot of weight from The Machinist. It helps sell the movie. It generates interest. It makes people use it as an example any time the idea of Brienne’s casting comes up because it’s cemented in our heads as the prime example that a “gorgeous” woman can play an “ugly” woman.

    D&D can certainly *do* that. They might do that.

    However, the spirit of Brienne is such that in my mind “uglying up” someone to play her sends the wrong message that GRRM was trying to present in the series. She’s a woman in a world that doesn’t accept her for who she is.

    HBO has a great chance to make a statement here. The story can be either, “They changed GRRM’s ugly duckling into a warrior woman that was much easier on the eyes,” or “They used the same techniques the producers of Monster did to turn a beautiful actress into GRRM’s Brienne,” or “They cast a woman that never thought she’d get a role in a major TV HBO series despite her talent because no one could get past her looks.”

    The first option is Hollywood as usual, the second could describe Jane in Deadwood. I think it’s time for the third.

  340. userj
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Titus Crow,

    Nice false dichotomy.

    Just because Charlize Theron is attractive and CAN act does not mean that an unknown, unattractive person CANNOT act.

    In fact that entire idea is pretty offensive to people who are unattractive.

    Besides if attractiveness and acting ability were somehow magically linked, it apparently only applies to females because there are more than enough ugly male actors.

  341. Zack
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Brilliantly put. I think that says everything that needs to be said.

  342. Shinyteapot
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Of course someone who looks like Brienne and can act is ideal.
    And the casting team may find her. I hope they do.

    But it’s possible that they won’t. Not least because we all seem to have in our minds that Brienne isn’t just unattractive, she’s really, horrendously, repulsively ugly. I’m not sure that’s true- she’s ugly, but she doesn’t need to be the most hideous woman who ever lived. She’s probably the tallest, strongest, most masculine woman in Westeros. She may be the ugliest, though in the whole continent I’d expect there to be a few who have equally or more unpleasant faces without the advantages of youth and fitness (in the athletic sense).

    I do want Brienne to look ugly. But we don’t need to go over the top- some of us probably have mental images so hideous no real woman would match them.

    I say this because whoever is cast, someone will find a photo of her made up to look her best, and even if she is naturally ugly, there will be complaints it’s not enough. Trust the makeup team- even if she’s not naturally ugly they’ll make it work, if she is so much the better.

  343. paulgude
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot,

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m just talking about someone who doesn’t fit the classical standards of beauty.

  344. clemintine
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    paulgude: “They cast a woman that never thought she’d get a role in a major TV HBO series despite her talent because no one could get past her looks.”

    The first option is Hollywood as usual, the second could describe Jane in Deadwood. I think it’s time for the third.

    Yes. THIS!

  345. purplejilly
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot,

    Agreed. Plus I think the romantic in me wants a fairytale story here – tall, ugly, unattractive, mocked and ridiculed woman ends up with a really cool front-running story and the respect and perhaps love of the prettiest guy (except for maybe the Knight of Flowers) in the long run.

  346. Kanga
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Height, nationality, and everything else aside –

    To the people who are ruling out Katee Sackhoff because of her abundant self confidence in her role as Starbuck, I would suggest taking a closer look at Season 4 Starbuck. Specifically post- finding her own corpse on original Earth and the hybrid’s revelation to her that she is the “harbinger of death” Starbuck. Maybe it’s just fresher in my memory because I just finished BSG for the first time not very long ago, but in my opinion you don’t get much more unconfident, frightened, and vulnerable than she was in the second half of that season. She was struggling, unsure of herself, and incredibly fragile. In other words, very Brienne-like.

    I’m not saying she’d be perfect for the part, but I disagree with the implication that she couldn’t do it right because she exudes too much confidence. S4 Starbuck was heartbreaking in a very similar way to Brienne, imo.

  347. paulgude
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot,

    The one other thing is that I don’t think anyone doubts the ability of the make-up department. I haven’t seen the criticisms of the idea that they could “ugly-up” someone who’s attractive being based on the idea that it *couldn’t* be accomplished.

    If D&D do cast someone who’s classically attractive, and announce that they’re planning on using make-up to make her less attractive, I’d be right with you on the “trust the make-up department” sentiment.

    This issue isn’t about the ability of the make-up department, though. The make-up department doesn’t decide who sits in their chair.

    Again, none of this has anything to do with what I believe they’ll end up doing. It’s certainly not a blueprint for what I think they *must* do in order to have a great Brienne for the show.

    It’s what I’d like to see happen as an actor who has a lot of friends who are extremely talented but never get the lead because they’re too short, too big, or not attractive enough.

    They can have a great Brienne by casting someone attractive and making her unattractive, I’m not disputing that. I’m just saying that it’s not the only option, and it’d be great to see HBO show everyone it’s true.

  348. Charis Bennie
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    That Eva girl looks perfect, if she can act too that would be amazing! Good on her for actively trying for the role. The Gwendoline girl is also a possibility with the height and acting experience, and they could “ugly her up” I guess. I think Brienne’s homeliness is an important factor as she is judged for it throughout the whole series. Whoever mentioned the girl that was Calamity Jane in Deadwood I had that same thought! I think that woman herself would be too old but someone like her for sure.

  349. Marilyn Bones
    Posted January 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Please understand that I am not recommeding them for the role but I always imagend a combination of Joan “Chyna” Laurer of WWE fame and a young Nicole Bass from the Howard Stern show when it came to Brienne …. scary I know.

  350. Pacman
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    Eva Damen for me. I too was thinking Gwendoline (who would suffice likely beyond my expectations) but Eva fits the picture I had in mind from the books. As for acting experience – From my own perspective you either can or you can’t. You can make a career of it by all means, and hard work will get you anywhere – the most important things, however, is innate ability and confidence, and as much as that, the right direction and advice.

    Apart from that though, and regardless of the many descriptions George has given us – Is she really that unattractive? Consider that the standard expectation of a highborn maiden in the world of Westeros is that of Sansa, Cersei or Margaery Tyrell. Petite, pretty, long haired and demure. Brienne certainly is not a classic tal,l shy beauty, but by todays standards, what might be considered not-so-pretty can still have it’s own sex appeal. Maybe it’s just me, but a six footer+ who can kill you, take your weathered head of with a longsword, as like as kiss you has a certain….something

    As for the Dutch accent – Tarth is an island after all, and we’ve heard nothing of it bar Brienne, her father and her fathers master-at-arms, so who’s not to say they speak a little differently down there.

  351. paulgude
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Pacman,

    I really like Eva Damen, too. As we mentioned before there’s no way of tell which compromises D&D are going to make on the numerous differences between a potential TV Brienne and the book Brienne.

    I’d like her to get an audition for sure.

  352. Darkstar
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget Amber Benson. She’d be my absolute favorite for Brienne.

  353. Dennai
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Darkstar,

    Don’t forget Amber Benson. She’d be my absolute favorite for Brienne.

    OK, let’s see.

    Some of the most popular choices and the reasoning behind them:

    – the actress being good playing a kicking-ass chick (Katee Sackhoff).
    – the actress being very tall (Gwendoline Christie, Becky Whinghan, Miranda Hart, Eva Damen)
    – the actress being somewhat plain or masculine, which would make easier to uglify her up (Miranda Hart, Eva Damen, Becky Whinghan)
    – the actress has staged combat training (Zoe Bell, Eva Damen, Becky Whinghan)
    – The actress have shown before skill to pass up as an ugly and no-feminine girl (Robin Weigert)

    So, the qualities we are looking for seem to be: tall, plain or at least not pretty, looking believable while fighting. I’d add to the mix young (18-28, maybe pushing it till mid-thirties if the actress can pull the naive and fresh-eyed look) and preferably, British.

    And your best option is an actress who’s 34, cute, American and 5′ 4″, who never has acted as a tough girl before. The only reason I can think you saw some Brienne in her is that she’s good acting awkward.

    Really, it is amazing how the interpretations of the same character varies from person to person. I mean, you champion for Amber Benson and some people dreams with a huge, baby-faced man to play the role.

  354. Brienne
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Yay a whole thread for casting of my namesake!
    I have to say, I am still of the mind, as several others are on here that Brienne’s “ugliness” is more subjective than one might think, and comes from a contrast in the prevailing attitudes in the 7 kingdoms of what defines a man and a woman. That being said, I also don’t want to see a gorgeous actress cast in such a nontraditional role. While I love Sackhoff, I too feel she is too pretty. The others mentioned here are just too unknown to me to give my opinion. I agree with Gude that what we’ll probably see is an unknown come out of British stage and blow us away with her perfection for the part and her acting skills. If Americans were more likely to be cast, I’d want to see someone like Molly Price, maybe a bit younger- but I doubt the Jersey accent would go very well.

  355. J
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Brienne is not supposed to be freakishly ugly, just freakishly huge. She has kind of bad teeth and a man’s size and physique which causes others to treat her as if she is freakishly ugly.
    And they should have made Tyrion’s hair a mix of blond and brown hair to ugly him up a bit more. (Again, the character is not supposed to be as ugly as others treat him in the books, but he should be a bit more odd looking.)

  356. Dash
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Sareeta,
    i must admit that i feel close to katee.I love her way of act, i think she is not so pretty (sorry, but mainly i hear the pretty question to women most of all, me and a lot of guys i ask, we think she is too much masculine to look pretty) and i think that talk with english accent is easy (peter has done a nice work in this way, and you learn quick to impost accent)

    Plus, she will look amazing with a sword in hand (and yes, this is my bsg fan base, but i will never suggest her to a role that I, imho, think she will not fit (i dont like the Asha sugestion because i picture a Asha younger an prettier, like (god, forgive me) keira knightley or natalie portman (understand me, not them, but someone like them)

    How ever, even when i was one of the first voices to bring katee to discussion, i like a lot Gwendoline and Eva . they look right and i´m sure they deserve an audition. And i will trust D&D because they has make always the right choices until now ;)

    Zoe bell is a great stunt, but im afraid of how she can act a challange role like this. anyway, lets she make an audition, and see how it goes.

    But please…

    Not a man XD

  357. Maira
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Of all those four, Gwendoline all the way.

    Brienne is ugly because she has big lips (not a beautiful feature in medieval times) and crooked teeth, and freckles (something that made you very ugly in medieval times, something Cersei Lannister doesn’t have). Other than that, she’s flat-chested, very tall, and muscular. And has (and I personally find it important) impressive, beautiful, big blue eyes.

    Eva Damen is how I would picture Obara Sand, or another type of warrior woman. But for Brienne, I want someone like Gwendoline. She has the height to be taller than almost anyone in the cast, which would look great on screen. British and experienced. She would need some training to gain muscle, but remember we will not see her without clothing most of the time. She’ll spend 95% of the time in full armor: if she needs more shoulder breadth, that’s what fillings are for. You can make her armor wider, but it’s harder to make an actress taller. Imagine, 187,6 centimetres of towering actress in full armor, with the huge blue eyes under the helmet. That screams “Brienne” for me.

    If she has the acting ability (the most important thing) and wants the role, for me it would be Gwendoline, all the way. She only needs to be uglyfied, and that can be done very easily with make up: freckles, the broken nose, and bad hair. If she cannot bulk up enough, the Harrenhal bath scene can use a body double. Her build isn’t that important since she’s going to be fully clothed in almost every scene. Her height and eyes are going to show all the time, so if we’re choosing physical traits, height and big eyes should come first, because those two physical traits cannot be changed. Teeth can be made to look worse, latex can make a straight nose look broken, make-up can add freckles, a flattening bra will hide her breasts… but you can’t add more than 2 or 3 inches of height. You can change eye color, but not their size and shape. So, physically, Gwendoline is perfect because she has the traits that cannot be changed.

    Supposing all of them could act, my first choice would be Gwendoline. Eva would be a far distant second, I really would like Brienne to have the big beautiful blue eyes. The other two don’t even compete. Miranda Hart looks just plump with a pretty face and would have to do intense routine to get the body. Katee is way too lovely and too short. If she can act, it’s Gwendoline, because she matches the descriptions in the books.

  358. Mathijs
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    About Eva Damen, she studied English literature before she to stage school. So she at least has some affinity with the English language. In her recent roll in the Co-assistent she played a character that’s 23 years old which is not that much older than Brienne.

    Let see if we can get some videos from her, i’ll stalk her on twitter ;)

  359. paulgude
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Maira,

    It’s a little long, but this is recent video of Gwendoline backstage at a production of Faustus.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0nQO-r48j4

  360. paulgude
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I need to amend my “Tall, but not large,” statement in my very first post on this page regarding Gwendoline Christie. Since she’s not rail-thin (and thank goodness) when I actually saw her in motion I realized that a healthy 6’3″ woman is, by necessity, imposing.

    After seeing the footage of her in the flying harness I don’t think she’d have that far to go to appear capable of the athleticism necessary for Brienne.

    Personally, I hope both Gwendoline Christie and Eva Damen audition along with the even-more-unknowns who may answer the call and then the hard decision gets made by D&D depending on the way they decide to go with the character.

    Still, I have to say that both Gwendoline Christie and Eva Damen would (to my mind) fit the pattern of “talented people who aren’t well known” casting we’ve seen so far, so I’d definitely not rule them out just because we know about them. After all, this sort of digging is what we do.

  361. paulgude
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Also, trying to figure out who first suggested Gwendoline Christie on here, it looks like it was Mauberly, last March.

    http://winter-is-coming.net/2010/03/ehle-out-fairley-in/#comment-40280

  362. Tysnow
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Gwendoline has another important item attached to her resume, she is an Alum of Drama Centre London, the same school that brought us Ms. Clarke. What I like most about her, besides the obvious physical traits is the impressive stage credentials she has acquired over such a short time period. This to me is an indication of a very talented actor.

  363. Tysnow
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to add Ms. Christie’s resume from the talent agency she is a member of.

    Gwendoline Christie resume

  364. Tysnow
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    For you English gurus out there, should I have composed the line as …..a short time period, this to me is an indication….. or …..a short time period, to me this is an indication….. and finally …..a short time period. To me this is an indication…..,
    which is the proper composition, just trying to improve my composition skill.

  365. martin
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    i have always pictured brienne to be Missi Pyle l as when she works in dodge ball!!!

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0701512/

    huge, powerfull, very big eyes, somehow you can actually believe she is ugly as hell

    maybe she is now older than whats brienne supposed to be.. maybe im outdated, what do you think?

  366. martin
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    um thats the link to her portfolio, this would be a more useful link…

    crooked teeth, huge clear eyes, very womanly and very big, big mouth, blonde…

    are you sure that grrm wasnt specifically thinking about this girl?

    a dodgeball movie pic:

    http://unbecominglevity.blogharbor.com/pix/missi_pyle_stalinovskovichdaviddivichski.jpg

  367. DH87
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Tysnow: .a short time period, this to me is an indication….. or …..a short time period, to me this is an indication….. and finally …..a short time period. To me this is an indication…..,
    which is the proper composition, just trying to improve my composition skill.  

    I’ll hazard a comment. I’ll suggest option 3 (short time period. To me this is an indication…..) as your best choice. Short sentences are always best. However, “this” has an unclear antecedent, whether it begins the sentence (“This, to me, is an…) or it is placed as you place it (“To me this is an indication). The first option (“This, to me” ) is preferable, since “this” is closest to its implied antecedent—the acquisition of stage credentials.
    Clearer would have been : “This accomplishment, to me, is an…”
    JMHO.

  368. FlayedandDisplayed
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    Tysnow: For you English gurus out there, should I have composed the line as …..a short time period, this to me is an indication….. or …..a short time period, to me this is an indication….. and finally …..a short time period. To me this is an indication…..,
    which is the proper composition, just trying to improve my composition skill.    

    Try a semi-colon. It gives the clear antecedent, and a slightly longer pause. Note that you don’t capitalise the subsequent clause either.

    …..a short time period; this to me is an indication

  369. Zack
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Tysnow: What I like most about her, besides the obvious physical traits is the impressive stage credentials she has acquired over such a short time period. This to me is an indication of a very talented actor.

    I would have kept it all one sentence, and said, “…which, to me, is an indication…”

    Coming in the same sentence, you thus avoid confusion with a vague demonstrative.

  370. DH87
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    FlayedandDisplayed,

    Flayed and Zack, you are both braver souls than I to recommend a 36-word sentence. :)

  371. Goomba
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    The more I watch Gwendoline Christie’s videos, the more I like her as Brienne. She’s not ugly at all, but I can see glimpses of what is needed to play that character. Just my two cents.

  372. userj
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    martin,

    Some how your link didn’t work but I found it anyway:
    http://unbecominglevity.blogharbor.com/pix/missi_pyle_stalinovskovichdaviddivichski.jpg

    Wow… that is the worst uglyfying makeup I’ve ever seen. OK actually, the worst was from “Hottie and Nottie” (aka the movie that exemplifies everything wrong with America): http://www.inoutstar.com/images/Hottie-and-Nottie-Go-Out-Dressed-Like-Ugly-And-Uglier-11281.jpg

    I hope to god the makeup dept can make Brienne look like an actual person and not a really bad charictature… but based on examples like these I’m worried.

  373. haverwench
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Katie Sackhoff: great actress, plenty buff, but way too short. No dice.
    Eva Damen: never seen her in anything, and she’s too short as well.
    Miranda Hart: never seen her in anything, but I don’t think she’s buff enough.
    Gwendoline Christie: tall enough, but way too thin. They’d have to bulk her up in a serious way. Brienne is definitely not willowy.

    My dream casting for this role is 6’1″, 205-pound Robin Coleman, who played “Hellga” on American Gladiators in 2008. She’s American, but she has a very striking deep voice that I think would work well for the role. Of course, she’s way too pretty, but makeup can fix that.

  374. Tysnow
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Thanks guys for the English Comp lesson, it has been years since I took the course and my skills have become somewhat rusty. I just need to slow down a tad and think more while reviewing and editing my posts (I tend to take off like a carrier jet), hopefully those credit hours will not have been wasted and everything shall click back into place.

  375. DH87
    Posted January 30, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Tysnow,

    Tizzy, Our pleasure, although as usual, we’ve apparently driven everyone else away with our spritely discussion of vague demonstratives and unclear antecedents. Don’t get us started on the hortatory subjunctive, gerunds, and conditions contrary to fact!

  376. paulgude
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Clip from Vimeo with Gwendoline Christie.

    http://vimeo.com/17370639

    Offered without comment.

  377. Tar Kidho
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    paulgude,

    Nice, I like her intensity in that clip. Btw, I just noticed this on her IMDB profile:

    STARmeter: Up 1328% in popularity this week.

    :-)

  378. Tar Kidho
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    paulgude: Also, trying to figure out who first suggested Gwendoline Christie on here, it looks like it was Mauberly, last March.http://winter-is-coming.net/2010/03/ehle-out-fairley-in/#comment-40280    

    maybe this has been re-post before recently, in which case I’m sorry, but here is that interview that Mauberly linked to:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFfACZhp8o0
    (original link didn’t work anymore, at least for me)

    A great find indeed from the bits I’ve seen, I vote for Gwendoline as our Brienne!

  379. paulgude
    Posted January 31, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Permalink
  380. Demujin
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Steven Scott,

    Wow, quite the opinionated one aren’t we? You have the audacity to suggest striking a major character? Perhaps I’m defensive because I like Brienne. There aren’t many characters in fiction similar to Brienne. And oftentimes in the movies a tough, strong fighting woman is portrayed as thin and effeminate and could quite clearly be overpowered by her male opponents. Brienne on the other hand makes for a much more convincing warrior woman because she fits the bill physically.

  381. Brada
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    For Game of Thrones it would be sheer gold to have Eva Damen playing Brienne. She’s a very talented and experienced actress. I’ve seen her switch from tough to awkward to vulnerable in a matter of seconds. And she’s got amazing soulful eyes!
    Good luck, Eva!

  382. paulgude
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Brada,

    It seems like she’s been acting in theatres for almost a decade:

    http://www.deweekkrant.nl/artikel/2008/oktober/15/eva_damen_maakt_het_in_tvland

  383. SeanK
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    she was my first choice too, but after seeing Eva Damen I’ve had to switch my preference, she is almost exactly like i pictured Brienne.
    Mike,

  384. Damian
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2894169856/nm1987416

    After seeing that photo, I’m firmly in the Eva Damen camp. She definitely has the eyes.
    It doesn’t quite show as much in the pics of her in medieval garb.

  385. Mormegil
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    New Eva photo put up yesterday
    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm839222528/nm1987416

  386. Tar Kidho
    Posted February 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil: New Eva photo put up yesterday
    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm839222528/nm1987416    

    Very good look-wise! I still prefer Gwendoline Christie from what I’ve seen though.

  387. purplejilly
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    OMG someone tweeted a link of the videos of her speaking english – she is perfect! She has a sweet young girls voice, the british accent sounds fine to me, and if you look at the glamour photos of her on IMDB, you can see the exact Brienne quality that GRRM speaks of when brienne is put into a dress, how she looks worse, and more awkward, and completely uncomfortable – satins and silks and makeup look artificial on her – so there is no ‘magical transformation’ like you get with some girls from ugly duckling to swan, which is what they want!

    I’m firmly Team Eva at this point, but whoever they get for Brienne, I hope they give more time and play to the Renly/ Brienne interaction, and have enough time to make it clear that Brienne is truly besotted by Renly, and totally in love with him, so that when he is murdered, it is not only the loss of her prestigious job, but perhaps also her first true hard crush that is murdered.
    I know you figure that out eventually through the next books, but I think it would add to the drama if it were clearer up front.

  388. Zack
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Damian: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm2894169856/nm1987416After seeing that photo, I’m firmly in the Eva Damen camp.She definitely has the eyes.
    It doesn’t quite show as much in the pics of her in medieval garb.    

    That could not be any more Brienne-ish. She looks wonderfully suited to the part. I hope she is able to wow the producers if/when she auditions, because I’ll take someone who can handle the drama and emotion but is too pretty over someone who can’t, no matter how close looks-wise.

  389. The Rabbit
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, agreed.
    The acting chops woud be crucial and better they would.
    But after have seen the Eva Damen videos in english, I am totally rooting for her.

  390. Phoenix_torn
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m on the Eva train. Great clip. I hope she gets an audition.

    It also reminded me of how much I love Closer…

  391. Abyss
    Posted February 13, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    purplejilly,

    Could you (or anybody) please post a link? I am not able to find the clip…

  392. Sherry
    Posted February 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Tabrett Bethel(Cara on Legend of the Seeker)could be a fitting Brienne. Sure, Tabrett is pretty but she also is very tall, athletic, and has those beautiful blue eyes mentioned in the book. Just leave off the make-up and she will do very well.

  393. Jaina
    Posted February 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I dislike Gwendoline, if only because she looks like the “Beautiful All Along” type. I’d hate for Brienne to be beautiful in any way but inside, to be frank, and that girl is far too gorgeous for the role, and it would show. Even with the best make-up in the world. Not even Monster completely erased Charlize Theron’s beauty from the character she played, and we aren’t even talking that kind of make-up.
    She’s also curvy, and looks delicate and soft. It doesn’t matter if you’re over 190cm in height, if you have a girly figure and look very feminine, you don’t qualify for this role; for example, it’s explicitly stated that Brienne has no breasts to speak of!

    The BSG actress is also too pretty, but looks more buff. But it’s the other two the ones that really bring Brienne to mind…if it’s properly backed by a good audition, I don’t really mind the lack of experience. I say the Dutch woman looks best!

  394. Integra
    Posted March 16, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    To Old…. Brienne its a young woman….
    Mike,

  395. Gravedigger
    Posted March 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    This video should dismiss all suggestions that Gwendoline Christie is too beautiful to play Brienne. Her looks are pretty and unusual rather than hollywood perfect. She needs to have her hair hacked at, funky teeth and some extra muscle…
    Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0nQO-r48j4

    Oh and I saw this production, it kicked ass. You’ve got to love a bit of Doctor Faustus. I think this girl is brilliant and a brilliant actor. I’m team Gwendoline!

  396. Rose
    Posted April 17, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Abyss,

    Here’s her and a fellow doing a couple of scenes from Closer.

    I’m sold on her.

  397. Sytske van der ster
    Posted May 4, 2011 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Hello everybody!

    I’m a Dutch actress who worked with Eva Damen on the Dutch version of Grey’s Anatomy
    We were both lead characters for a couple of seasons.
    I just wanted to say to all of you who doubt Eva’s experience : don’t!
    She graduated from one of our best Theater schools and has been working ever since.
    She is a very very talented actress with lots of experience in Theatre film and television.
    She has very strong dramatic powers and I think she would be an Amazing Brienne.
    She studied English and has no accent, she is tall and also an experienced stage fighter.
    Just get her an audition and she will blow the competition away!

    Greeting from Amsterdam!
    Sytske van der Ster

  398. Jericho
    Posted May 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    look like Toni Collette :o

  399. RFabs
    Posted May 14, 2011 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    I dont think anyone should be discriminated against because they are AMERICAN. There are plenty of “little people” actors around that couldve been cast for Tyrion- maybe they went with Dinklage cause hes a good actor- “The Station Agent” was a great film. We Americans put up with plenty of the reverse casting- Hugh Laurie, Lena Headey herself, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman- I dont mind, as long as they are good for the role. I dont care when I hear an accent poking through every once in a whole. I think saying they SHOULDNT be is unfortunate. I think Sackhoff would be excellent, but some of the other choices are great. I havent watched the show yet because I want to finish the books that are out first (Im in the middle of “Storm of Swords”)- and I honestly dont have a mental picture of anyone in particular for her. Kind of cool when they find “unknowns” for some of these parts. Tricia Helfer wouldve made a great Cersei. I think James Callis would make a great Renly- good looks and cockiness abound. Also whomever it is should also have good chemistry with Jaime- not sure whats going on there yet, but they have a funny repor.

  400. purplejilly
    Posted May 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Abyss,
    Oh gosh, the link was tweeted a while ago – let me dig and see if I can find it..

  401. Knurk
    Posted May 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    RFabs,

    well part of the deal with Northern Ireland is that the showrunners have to hire all actors from the British actor’s guild (or something like that) with only few exceptions made. So not being part of that guild makes the chance a lot smaller to be cast in the show, henceforth we don’t give americans a lot of chance for parts in the show.

  402. RFabs
    Posted May 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Knurk,

    Okay fair enough. I think thats kind of a stink of a rule though, kind of lets a union over artistic expression. Still, I think theyve only made one exception thus far.

  403. RFabs
    Posted May 15, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Oooh yeah- I dig someone’s suggestion for Patrick Stewart as Stanis…honestly what came into my head seemed to be a Richard O’brien, but thats probably because of “ever after”- hes probably too skinny and mintzy to play Stannis. Im still for James Callis as Renly. Also Jason Flemyng would ROCK as Jaqyn- hes honestly what I picture when I think of him. Maybe Ben Barnes as Gendry or Loras, or maybe Willas. Basically my “casting” is not strict and is usually based on images popping into my head as I read. Maybe Kyle Schmidt as Lancel =)

  404. RFabs
    Posted May 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Also, Im thinking Anna Popplewell as Margaery or maybe Jane.

  405. Dorothy
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I think that lauren jackson, the 6’5″ center for the women’s australian national basketball team would be spot on.

  406. Jeda
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    She doesn’t have to be as tall as in the book, because a great many of them are not. GRRM described her as between Renly and Robert and with men’s shoulder. Obviously, it would be a mistake to do the same in the series because the Baratheon height is not as important, and for Brienne it’s essential. 6’5 would be too tall, around 6′ is perfect. Conan was an obvious choice but for Eva Damen I guess it depends on how well she can act in English. She’s got a lot of emotional scenes do to in love with Renly, so many duo with Jamie, becoming a major char in Book 4 etc… If she can act, my money is on her as Gwendoline, from the back, wouldn’t be confused with a man. In the end I have faith in this casting team, no matter who they pick, pretty much every actor/actress so far has been able to make you forget what physical detail was missing…

  407. Jeda
    Posted June 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    By the way Winter, that picture, FFG Game of Thrones LCG isn’t it? ;-)

  408. Michael
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Acting ability is trumps, but an example purely of the kind of imposing physical presence that would be ideal is current Olympic gold medalist in shot put, Valerie Adams (also found under her former married name Vili).
    6, 4″ , 120 kg/265 pounds.
    Her Tongan heritage/appearance might not be a fit for Brienne, and as she is still in her mid 20s she is busy being a successful athlete, and would have no time to do any acting.
    http://tinyurl.com/5rkan3m
    http://tinyurl.com/6bynmkr
    http://tinyurl.com/6js4qha
    Note the other woman in the party picture are in heels, they are also all athletes so probably do some gym time. The one next to Valerie is an Olympic gold medal winning cyclist and her legs are about as thick as Valerie’s arms.

  409. Fraser Brown
    Posted June 13, 2011 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Miranda Hart? Seriously? God, I’m glad the fans aren’t casting directors. And Katiee Sackoff isn’t right at all. I liked Starbuck too but for god sake, Brienne the Beauty is supposed to be an ironic title. By what bizarre standard does Sackoff qualify as ugly? I support acting chops over ‘looking right’ for a part, but there have to be some attributes maintained. Brienne is a big lady. I think Eva is the best of that bunch by far and I’d be thrilled to hear she landed the role.

  410. Dani Paris
    Posted June 18, 2011 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Need to weigh in on the beauty factor. I remember the first time I saw Uma Thurman and wondered what all the fuss was about. She’s not traditionally beautiful with plain features, scrawny hair and lanky build. But she becomes beautiful the more you watch her; she’s gracefully athletic and has a wonderfully expressive face and manner. Put a younger Uma in chainmail with no makeup and a bad haircut, and she’d be the Beauty of Tarth incarnate.

    Funny how beauty grows (or diminishes) as we get to know someone. I love how Jaime’s perception of Brienne’s beauty changes the more he gets to know her. Just another way George RR captures dead-on the real-life complexity of human emotion.

    As for Katee S. as Brienne, would love to see it because I’m a huge fan, but I think she’d make a better Asha.

  411. sjwenings
    Posted June 18, 2011 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Muscles can be faked with a little padding under the clothes. Armour is even better. The guy that plays Barristan is not athletic at all really, but it works..

    As far as being ugly goes, i think that if you add some fake crooked teeth like Brienne is supposed to have, to someone who is rather normal looking, it’ll work just fine.

    Height is more important, though. NCW is pretty tall, so she needs to be taller than most women.

    Ideally she’ll be really tall, burly and ugly, but acting chops come first.

  412. Sansa's Lemoncakes
    Posted June 21, 2011 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Looks like the armour pictures have been removed from Eva Damen’s IMDB profile. I wonder if she had them taken down because the Brienne role’s been officially cast and she no longer needs them. Martin did say a few days ago they had a great candidate about to sign along the dotted line.

    A part of me is hoping HBO itself had them taken down because she’s our new Brienne.

  413. Zuri
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Gwendoline Christie is not too pretty. She’s plain and a bit weird looking. Not a dog, but she’s not Victoria Secret’s model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. With little makeup and wearing an armour, she’d be fine for the role.

    Plus some of the ugly features of Brienne don’t seem so bad at all. Her lips are so plump they look swollen… well, so are Angelina Jolie’s. Not saying she looks like Angelina, but it’s not exactly Quasimodo stuff. Her ugliest feature is probably the bad teeth.

    Based on that, Gwendoline Christie with bad teeth would seem a fine choice.

    And that woman that was fighting with the mountain men looked pretty damn scary and ugly to me. So I’m sure they can find another intimidating, non-sexy female.

    Eva Damen could also look the part, but seems a tad too old.

  414. Zuri
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Oh, here is a picture of Chella in Season 1: http://awoiaf.westeros.org/images/a/a7/Chella.png

    If they cast her, I’m sure they’ll cast a suitable Brienne.

  415. NBones
    Posted July 6, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    NO NO NO NO NO! Why in the name of the 7 gods do people want to cast a model and then “ugly” her up?! I suppose they should have cast Beyonce in “Precious” and put her in a fat suit. Or maybe they should have cast Elijah Wood as Tyrion–I mean, they turned him into a hobbit, why not a dwarf? Brienne is beautifully characterized in the book as a remarkable person who’s looks have caused her to be continually isolated her whole life–only an ugly girl with talent will be able to understand the character.

    There are un-beautiful, athletic women out there who can act, and this is the role of a lifetime for someone like that–just like Tyrion was for Peter Dinklage. Why hasn’t Dot Jones from “Glee” been brought up in the conversation? She’s too old for the role, but she is the perfect type.

    Please, Benioff and Weiss! Do it right and find the real Brienne!

  416. Zuri
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    NBones, she’s not really a model. She did some artsy nude photographs a while back which offer some kind of ironic commentary on current beauty ideals. At any rate, the photos prove she’s rather flat chested and not exactly looking like a Playboy model, which fits the character. Don’t tell me in this picture she is too pretty in this picture: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/showbiz/article-23791236-friel-small-co-star-dwarfs-anna.do

  1. […] “who should play so-and-so” casting speculation, but I’ll make an exception for A Song of Ice and Fire’s Brienne of Tarth. That’s a real […]

  2. […] Originally Posted by Lyanna Stark I'm just hoping they "go there" with the actual 'her hair has all burned off' bit. I wonder how Emilia Clarke will look bald. Agree with you here, Lyanna. I am curious to see who will be cast as Brienne. Found an interesting post about this on winter-is-coming! http://winter-is-coming.net/2011/01/…n-two-brienne/ […]

  3. […] Casting Season Two: Brienne – Winter Is Coming My favs are Miranda Hart or Eva Damen. Hart fits more to the mental image I had of Brienne when reading the books, but Eva Damen seems to have more of the warrior-training already to go. I'm not sure they will stick too closely to the homeliness of Brienne as described in the books; they certainly didn't with Tyrion. […]

  4. […] mentioned (as you can see in the comments at the time). And I had her as my top choice when we did our Brienne casting speculation post. She definitely has the size, the talent, and, with the right makeup (or lack thereof), the looks, […]

  5. […] mentioned (as you can see in the comments at the time). And I had her as my top choice when we did our Brienne casting speculation post. She definitely has the size, the talent, and, with the right makeup (or lack thereof), the looks, […]

  6. […] Art by Sir HeartsalotSeason three is now official. And you know what that means… time to talk casting! For those who may not have been around the past two years, what we like to do is offer up some top fan suggestions for some of the prominent roles in the upcoming season. We are wrong more often than not, but we have been known to get a few right (see: Littlefinger, Brienne). […]


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