Casting Speculation

Casting Season Two: Stannis

Stannis Baratheon

Art by M.Luisa Giliberti

Disclaimer: Season two has not been officially greenlit. We are creating these posts for discussion and speculation.

With that out of the way, let’s move onto business shall we? Namely the business of casting Stannis Baratheon. Stannis, younger brother of King Robert, is described as a hard man. But fair when it comes to the matter of the law. And it’s precisely this fairness that gets him involved in the politics of Westeros. This will be a major role so I think we can expect an actor that we are familiar with. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates.

Mark StrongMark Strong – A London-born actor, Strong has been a popular Stannis candidate for awhile. He certainly has the strong jaw and steely gaze you would associate with Stannis. And he looks intimidating bald, which is important. He’s actually a year older than Addy, but can certainly pass as younger. The problem? After toiling in relative obscurity for the majority of his career, he has recently hit it big with prominent roles in Hollywood blockbusters such as Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood and the upcoming Green Lantern. At this point, returning to TV might be a step back for his career.
Richard ArmitageRichard Armitage – A British-born actor with a litany of TV credits to his name, Armitage has been a popular fan suggestion for a number of roles in Thrones, including the Hound and Bronn. Now the fans are looking at him as a potential Stannis, despite some thinking he is too young and good-looking. A year ago, taking a role in an HBO drama would have been a good career move for him. But since then, he has been cast in the new Captain America film and the upcoming duology of The Hobbit. The latter of which will keep him busy for much of this year and next. Which probably rules him out as a possible Stannis.
Christopher EcclestonChristopher Eccleston – Eccleston is a British character actor who is most well known for his stint as the Doctor in the long-running BBC series Doctor Who. American audiences may be more familiar with him from his roles in films such as Elizabeth, G.I. Joe, or Heroes. I think Eccleston is a good fit for the role both physically and talent-wise. And he has the right level of name recognition. The problem is, would he do it? He is notorious for not wanting to lock himself into any long-term commitments. He famously quit Doctor Who after only one season. Would he buck that trend to take a major role in Thrones?
Rufus SewellRufus Sewell – Another longtime British character actor, Sewell has a long list of credits that includes film and television work. He’s appeared in films such as A Knight’s Tale and Tristan+Isolde and TV shows such as John Adams and The Pillars of the Earth. Period pieces are kind of his thing. He’s well-known enough that I can see him landing the role, but not so huge a name as to rule him out. Looks-wise he seems like a good fit and age-wise he is three years younger than Addy, which is perfect. All these factors seem to add up to a very good candidate for Stannis Baratheon.

291 Comments

  • Mark Strong defenitely is what i imagined Stannis to look like, but then he already has a shaved head and the other three don’t. Rufus is the farthest, he doesn’t have the sharp features of Stannis.

  • Hmmm…IMO, Rufus Sewell is too weasely for Stannis. I haven’t seen Mark Strong bald (he was fantastic in Stardust, btw), so I’m having a hard time picturing him in the role. Same with Christopher Eccleston. In fact, I’m having a hard time figuring out whom I would picture in the role…

  • mark strong is definitely my favourite of the three, like you said i doubt he would make the jump back to tv. that being said i’ll settle for rufus sewell

  • Returning to TV didn’t stop Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage or Natalia Tenna, so I don’t think it would be Mark Strong a problem for Mark Strong.
    Now, if I’m allowed to dream I’d choose John Malkovich.

  • I always imagined Mark Strong as Stannis while reading the books, he would be my Dream Stannis, though I fear that his name is now “too big”, he probably doesn’t want to return to TV.

    Eccleston also seems like a solid choice for me, right look, good acting abilities. I’m not so sure about Sewell, he is in fact a good actor but probably not the right type to pull of the bitterness that would be necessary for Stannis.

  • I’ve always been a big Mark Strong supporter, being my mental image of Stannis long before the HBO series were even conceived. Alas, I think he wouldn’t take that “step back” in his career.

    Could see Rufus Sewell on that role, certainly. I think the baldness isn’t that important.

    There’s no way to it, but Luis Tosar would’ve been sooo great on this role!!

  • Mark Strong would be my favourite of those three – although I don’t think he would take it.

    Armitage would be the weakest, not enough ‘gravitas’ to bring out the dour somewhat ‘leadeness’ of Stannis. I also don’t think he is that good an actor

    I don’t think Sewell would be quite right either, a bit lightweight – although I thought he was very good in ‘Zen’ on the BBC recently.

    Ecclestone – hmmm – I can see him in the part, but I don’t think he would take it either.

    I think it will be going to someone else – not sure who at present though.

  • Never thought of Sewell – I’ll throw my wieght behind him – I don’t recall ever being displeased with any performance of his – and he certainly brings the gravity (and jerkiness) the role needs. Stannis is too ‘right’ to be a nice guy, and Sewell fits that description great.

  • Strong would be great indeed but unlikely to be cast. My problem with Sewell is that I see his strength as his weakness: his persona is so saturated with his period roles. I don’t want to look at Stannis and be thinking “oh it’s THAT guy.” To some degree, I doubt Sewell’s ability to overcome his previous character baggage and be fresh in this all important role.

  • I think R. Armitage would be the best. He’s an amazing actor, has the grit for “Stannis” and also has the right look for a “would be king.” Actually, any of the above actors would be an interesting choice, but I still like Armitage the best.

  • I would love to see Eccleston take the role, but I fear he is unlikely to do so. As mentioned, he doesn’t do long-term TV commitments. On the other hand, Stannis isn’t seen a whole lot, at least in the books we have thus far. His presence for filming would be significantly more minimal than it would be for, say, Doctor Who, enough that I believe he could do other projects during the years of GoT filming. And, to be sure, Eccleston is the face I imagine Stannis having while I read, so I’m very partial to him as a choice.

    Sewell would be an acceptable choice for me, too. I like him as an actor well enough. As someone mentioned above, he’d be a decent Roose Bolton, though that’s a small role. Strong would also be a solid choice, but I think the chances of him taking it are slim to none with his burgeoning film career.

    I dig Armitage, too, but he just isn’t right for this part at all.

  • Vekun,

    John Malkovich?? Why? He’s a great actor, but I can’t think of a single reason why he would work as Stannis, not to mention that he is much too old.

  • Tom Hilton,

    Mark Strong was bald in Robin Hood (the one with Russell Crowe). I didn’t realize till just now that he was the prince in Stardust. Good actor, I think he can pull of Stannis.

  • Mark Strong if they could get him, Christopher Eccleston as a more realistic and still good choice.

    That said, though, my write-in candidate is Benedict Cumberbatch.

    He’s the BBC’s Sherlock but may need a project while his Watson is off being Bilbo.

    Also, compare his looks to those of Joe Dempsie:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_mYa5nPxi9iQ/TGJjPkmAS8I/AAAAAAAABNY/kk_oRaYhB14/s1600/joe2.jpg

    http://nothingtohide.us/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/last-enemy.gif

    They look like they could be related to me.

  • If Mark Strong wants the role, he’ll have it, and I certainly won’t complain. Maybe he’s tired of printing money as the heavy in big Hollywood blockbusters.

    That said, one darkhorse I’d support for the role would be Jonny Lee Miller – yes, the first Mr. Angelina Jolie. He has good range (was terrific as the upstanding/uptight Knightly in the recent BBC production of Emma, but has also played his fair share of psychos and Sick Boys), looks the part, and is around the right age.

    Speaking of Emma, I’d also support Romola Garai for Melisandre.

  • Mark Strong if he’ll take it, but I’d be happy with Eccleston or Sewell as well.

    Cumberbatch I’ve only seen one episode of so far – he looks to me a bit young, but certainly a good actor.

  • Yeah, Strong or Armitage would work. However, despite being younger than Robert, I always read Stannis as seeming older, acting more aged, pragmatic, weighed down, and then with all the time spent on DragonStone, even weathered… In my head, Stannis has always been James Cromwell…

  • From these headshots, my pic would be Richard..

    I have no idea of who to put in there, but here’s what I think when I think of Stannis – he should look more like our HBO Renly than our HBO Robert. The most important things I think of when I think of Stannis is the emotions – I feel like Stannis needs to exude moodiness, Stannis is unhappy, bitter, easily annoyed. Stannis is filled with a sense of injustice at how the world has not been treating him properly. Life for him has been unfair. He’s in a constant state of low-level anger. He doesn’t ever really relax or ‘let his hair down’. I think this sense of unfairness, and ‘the world owes him’ is what allows the red lady to get her hooks into him, so to speak. She feeds off that unhappiness, and that sense of unfairness, and that there are wrongs that need to be righted. And she reassures him that with her help, he will get to where he wants to be. The right Stannis has to be able to get that mood going!

  • Strong is not a realistic get. The guy is budding superstar and he’s also a horrible choice. If that is how you pictured Stannis you might want to work on your reading comprehension. The only thing they have in common is a bald head. But that is how most people here do this. You lock on to one physical characteristic and look only for it. Thank god Nina gold is so much better at this than any of you.

    Eccleston is by far the closest to how Stannis was described physically.

  • Maxwell James,

    Funny enough, the first role I knew of Mark Strong was also that of Mr. Knightley, in 1994 Emma with Kate Beckinsale as the leading role.
    And yes, Jonny Lee Miller was really great. A little lacking of physicality for the role, though, but a suitable candidate whatsoever.

    And is it me or Romola Garay is the long lost little sister of Katee Sackhoff?

  • Sewell sure has the eyes for Roose Bolton, but — nitpick — I feel that he might be too craggy or physically tough-looking.

    This Mark Strong fellow looks the very part of Stannis, though.

  • Sewell is solid but I just don’t see him as Stannis….Mark Strong is unrealistic…no way he’s doing this role…though I would be happy if he took the part…Shave his head and Kevin McKidd would be perfect…

  • I think we need to remember this actor should fit in roughly between Mark Addy and Gethin Anthony. I think Marc Strong is going to be too busy for S3 coming up, so even though he might be great, I’m not sure he’s a good fit.
    I humbly submit Ian Kelsey. He hails from York, same as Addy so accent should be very similar. Here is a photo:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/images/bbc/programmes_tv_idents_and_screenshots/drama/225down_to_earth_matt.jpg
    Reminds me a lot of Gethin’s face. Imagine a shaved head effect and a little ‘roughening’ he could be a good fit.

  • JRQ: Do we have a Roose Bolton yet, or not? That’s who I see when I look at Sewell.

    Agree 100%. He has that raspy voice and those cold, pale eyes. What a perfect choice! One of my favorite actors since I saw him in Dark City, and he never occurred to me for Bolton until now.

  • How about David Morrissey? He’s got the Nina Gold connection (Red Riding Trilogy). He’s a big, imposing guy. He’s well-respected as an actor, but he’s not too huge that you wouldn’t be able to get him.

    He’s the type of guy that could be made up to be an ideal Stannis.

    If not, he’s could be a pretty decent Roose Bolton.

  • JRQ: Do we have a Roose Bolton yet, or not? That’s who I see when I look at Sewell.    

    That hadn’t occurred to me, but it’s a quite good idea. I’ve been a fan of his for over a decade, ever since the brilliant Dark City. He’s got the perfect eyes for Bolton, and he exudes creepiness really well. I wouldn’t go with him for Stannis, though.

  • Steven Scott,

    Wow, Steven. I’ve expressed the same sentiment in the past but it’s surprising how much more harsh it sounds with the veneer of civility stripped away.

    Personally, I think people have gravitated towards Strong not just because of his bald head but because of his past roles. People seem to choose the familiar, and Strong has played quite a few leaders/power-seekers in recent years.

    As far as a physical description goes, Tower of the Hand pulled this from ACoK:

    He is broad-shouldered and sinewy with leathery skin and a pinched, narrow face. He has only a fringe of black hair remaining around his head and a close-copped beard covering a square jaw.

    http://www.towerofthehand.com/reference/k/00019/index.html

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I agree that Strong is going to be too big a name to get at this point, he doesn’t really resemble those cast as Stannis’ brothers, and Eccleston is my favorite of the four listed. I just feel Strong is in no way the most off-base suggestion I’ve seen for one of these roles, and certainly not one to to trash so many other posters over.

  • The inner-Whovian in me would LOVE to see Eccleston in the role. I think he could pull it off quite brilliantly. The only issue I might have (and it’s probably just me) is for some reason his voice/accent doesn’t really reflect what I’d expect Stannis to sound like. Plus, you’re probably right about him not wanting to lock himself in for the duration. For some reason he seems to have a great fear of being “typecast” even though, with the exception of Doctor Who, he’s a fairly obscure actor (at least here in the States).

  • Ian Kelsey isn’t a great actor though. Okay, but fairly MOR and he’s made a career out of soaps and unambitious TV dramas. Stannis is a much more demanding role than that. A humourless martinet but I think there’s also an air of tragedy about him.

    Strong would do a good job, but his schedule and current profile makes it unlikely to happen. Armitage as well. He’s not just a generic Hobbit but Thorin, arguably the second or third-biggest character in the story (after Bilbo and Gandalf, though Gandalf vanishes for a third of the book and Thorin is in charge after that). Combined with the recent delay that puts filming back to around the time shooting for GoT S2 would start, that puts him firmly out of the running.

    Ecclestone doesn’t do long stints as you say. Not only did he only do one season of DOCTOR WHO but he only did one of HEROES, despite only being in a few episodes (with the kind of screen-time you’d expect Stannis to have in a GoT season). He’d be good, but I wouldn’t want to rely on him hanging around for potentially 5+ seasons.

    I like Sewell, but he does feel like a bit more of a Roose Bolton than a Stannis. If we’re talking PILLARS OF THE EARTH actors, Matthew Macfadyn could be an interesting choice and could do the role justice (as long as he doesn’t get lumbered with a dodgy accent choice again).

    Dominic West? I know he gets brought up for every other role, but with him channelling the same kind of fanatical vibe he had in 300 (maybe with less of a prickish attitude), he could nail the role.

  • Honestly, I don’t think Sewell is such a great actor; I’ve always seen him playing the same character: the annoying jerk. He’s not the range to play Stannis, at least to me.
    Unfortunately, Strong is too big now for tv; he would have been a good pick, btw.
    I love Armitage (yeah, I’m a fangirl), but I have to admit he doesn’t fit the description of Stannis. I mean, come on, he’s too hot. WAY too hot. I won’t complain, though…
    Eccleston: LOVED him as the Eight Doctor. Would be fantastic to have him in GOT.
    Another suggestion: Kevin McKidd. He was impressing as Lucius Vorenus and he’s totally wasted in that crappy medical show he’s doing now.

    Sorry for my bad english ;)

  • My instinct is to go for Eccleston – but you’re right, WiC, I’m not sure he’d stick around for potentially six seasons. And as much as I love him and think he’s a wonderful actor who would do a great job, there’s a part of me that will always see him as the Doctor.

    I would never be able to take any scene between him and Dav(r)os seriously. XD

  • My candidate for Stannis is Scottish actor Alec Newman, Paul Atriedes from Dune mini-series, he is 37, put Stannis’s beard on and would look early 40ish. He has that cold hard appearance about the character and has the talent to pull it off, not well know with the exception of Dune on this side of pond, and would be Easier on the Budget than Strong or Eccleston. Another good aspect is that Newman isn’t busy atm (unless IMDB is wrong and his recent UK series is still filming), so I believe HBO would have no difficulty in having Alec at least audition.
    In the books Stannis is 33-34 and since HBO has aged up, a 40 Stannis is about right.

  • Zack: That hadn’t occurred to me, but it’s a quite good idea. I’ve been a fan of his for over a decade, ever since the brilliant Dark City. He’s got the perfect eyes for Bolton, and he exudes creepiness really well. I wouldn’t go with him for Stannis, though.  Quote  Reply

    You know who else would make a creepy, light eyed Bolton? Cillian Murphy! wooo!

  • Chris Eccleston is definitely my favourite. Everything I’ve seen him has been amazing. I’m really worried that he’ll be unwilling to do a long term role, but though Stannis is an important character, he doesn’t have all that much screentime. Maybe they can work something out so Eccleston can work on other projects too?

  • I definitely would like Christopher Eccleston in the role, he seems the ideal choice in terms of the level of star power for the role. If there’s one role thats fit for a more famous name it would be Stannis. If he would commit to doing the role all the way through it would great, maybe GOT being an hbo series might change his habit of dropping roles quickly? Regardless of who hbo picks I’m ready to be surprised.

  • Steven Scott,

    And in case any of that came off as me dismissing your core point, not a day goes by where I don’t thank my lucky stars the major decisions for “Game of Thrones” aren’t being made by some sort of fan committee.

  • I would be happy with any of these choices, as they’re all talented actors (from what I’ve seen).
    I don’t think Mark Strong is necessarily too far-fetched. As WiC pointed out, Sean Bean has been in a number of major films and that hasn’t stopped him. Besides which, television is gaining more respect in terms of its quality, especially HBO. I mean, if you think of some of the actors on other HBO shows, there are some pretty big names (Anna Paquin, Steve Buscemi, etc). There’s also a fair amount of hype surrounding this particular show, which should work in its favour when casting begins for season 2. Then there’s the fact that with how HBO shows are filmed (in one lump, versus week to week), the actors would have the opportunity to join other projects.
    I like all of them for the part, as I said, although from what people are saying I do get the impression that Eccleston may not want the role due to becoming tied to the project, and that Armitage just might not have the time. That said, there’s nothing to say that Eccleston may not join the cast in another role (presumably someone who dies).
    I part of me kind of wishes I could see all of them as Stannis, because they’re all awesome. ;p

  • Caedes,

    Yeah, I think one truism of life nowadays is that there’s always another Austen adaptation around the bend.

    Regarding Romola and Katee, I see the resemblance in some photos, but in others not at all. Katee especially strikes me as something of a chameleon.

  • Adam Whitehead,

    Matthew Macfadyen is an interesting choice. He’s definitely a good enough actor and he has the right look, but I’d say he’s too young looking and lacks a certain steelyness (or should I say iron hardness?) that Stannis needs. I’ve always seen him as the decent-young-man-having-to-make-difficult-choices-before-getting-the-girl. But I’ve really only seen him on Spooks, Pride and Prejudice and Little Dorrit… Has he been getting other kinds of roles too?

  • Mark Stong
    To be honest his career has pretty much passed me by, I noted him in Sherlock when I watched that recently only because his name was mentioned so much on here. Could he be Stannis? Sure, but as said may be to busy with films.

    Richard Armitage
    Probably a little too young looking and with the Hobbit is certainly too busy.

    Chris Eccleston
    I could easily see him as Stannis though poor Shireen would get sticky out ears from both parents ;).
    As others have said though would CE sign on for a possible 6+ seasons? Probably not.

    Rufus Sewell
    Always liked this guy, not sure if I ever thought of him as Stannis but if he got the role great.

    Others Mentioned
    Kevin McKidd, can’t really picture him in the role.
    Benedict Cucumberpatch, too young.
    Paul McGann, another possibility.

  • Rufus Sewell is a good actor, but quite wrong for Stannis imo. Stannis is straightforward, stubborn, bull-headed; Sewell’s range tends more toward the slick, smarmy, and quietly dangerous. He’s got a glint in his eye that always suggests bemusement. I could see him more as an Oberyn Martell (though he’s not nearly so good a fit for that role as James Purefoy), definitely not Stannis.

  • Mark Strong is so perfect I don’t have the words to describe it.

    I think it’s important that the viewers/readers not necessarily know at first what kind of person Stannis is. Is he ruthless? or is he almost fair? Clearly somewhere in between the two.

    Mark Strong has this ability to make me HATE HIM and love him all at the same time. I’m particularly citing his role in Robin Hood here. What a dastardly villain. If he brings the solemnity of that role to play Stannis, I would be in HBO heaven all over again…not that I won’t be already.

  • I think Mark Strong would be a great choice for Stannis. He has that stern sort of character down, I mean look at him in Kick Ass, he played the mob boss, and that guy was an ass hole. He played it really well. I think he would play Stannis with a certain sort of passion.

  • I’ve always been a supporter for Sewell as Stannis, but I could support Mark Strong. I think Sewell would be easier to get than Strong though. I like Armitage too – but for Mance Rayder, not Stannis.

  • Come of of my lurking to add my two cents and a vote for Sewell.

    He doesn’t look exactly as I saw Stannis, but I do think he would fit the role very well.

    Eccelston, for me, is the perfect Damphair and should be left for that.

  • JRQ: Do we have a Roose Bolton yet, or not? That’s who I see when I look at Sewell.  Quote  Reply

    for me, that is about as perfect a match as Dinklage for Tyrion.

  • I agree with purplejilly and chris: whoever is picked for Stannis needs to exude some strange mix of irritation and tragedy. He’s one of those people who you logically feel like you should sympathize with (morally upright, constantly overshadowed by Robert) but you just can’t quite get there — he’s too stiff. Ideally, I’d like an actor who physically represents Stannis’ harshness and rigidity. But, when push comes to shove I’d take a brilliant actor who maybe isn’t exactly how I pictured Stannis over one who’s the spitting image of him but has no clout.
    That said, I wouldn’t be upset if Sewell was signed on as Stannis, but I think he could be far more effective in other roles. I like Eccleston and Strong but I’m uneasy about Eccleston’s track record for bowing out as well as Strong and generally other actors making Stannis less complex than he is. It’d be easy to pigeon hole him into some sort of two-dimensional archetype.

  • What about Tom Hardy? He played a young Captain Picard in Star Trek: Nemesis. That particular movie was not very good. Hardy’s presence did salvage it, somewhat. He would bring the stern aura that is required for the role of King Stannis.

    He is younger than the fellow playing King Robert.

  • Azi,

    I think you make a good point about the danger of oversimplifying Stannis. He’s an extremely multi-layered character (very interesting that we get that even without having a Stannis POV). Whoever takes up the mantle will have to be able to act with a certain degree of subtlety. I’d have a good degree of faith in any of these actors to pull that off.

  • While we’re on the subject on wishin’ and hopin’ for Season 2; I have a suggestion for the role of Ser Davos Seaworth: Colm Meany. He is famous for the role of Chief O’Brien on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

    I guess you can all tell that I am a sort of Star trek fan.

  • I think it’s nice to think about Strong, and wish for it, but it’s not going to happen. He just isnt, with the way his career is on fire, going to, or have the time for, committing to a TV show.

    Side note, my ideal Roose Bolton is Željko Ivanek (from Heroes and True Blood)

  • Hmm . . . Mark Strong would be great, and I would be OK with Christopher Eccleston, but my first choice for King Robert was Angus Macfadyen. I’d love to see him have a part in this series. Maybe, he could be a possible candidate.

  • Legion,

    I think Željko Ivanek has the perfect look for Bolton, but I doubt he’d play the villain on two HBO shows simultaneously (assuming he’s still on True Blood?), especially such similar villains.

    But I hope they go with someone who’s got the same vibe- balding, small, pale, clean-shaven…

  • I think they are different enough, especially considering Bolton is neither a vampire nor a villain throughout. Granted, he could be worried about type casting, but really, a jobbing actor would likely just be happy for the exposure and the cash.

    That’s what I’d think anyway. Unless he’s too busy of course.

  • I don’t know any of these actors, but of the ones shown, Mark Strong looks the closest to how I picture the awesome Stannis. He’s got the strong features, but is also handsome, which I like. :) Plus the bald head makes it easier to picture him as Stannis.

  • Tom Hardy would be great, but he’s a big name now.

    I like the Alec Newman suggestion, actually. His credits include Dune, Angel, Enterprise… he always struck me as an actor that deserved a big shot to shine. I think he can pull off Stannis always looking like he’s chewing rocks.

  • Alice Louise Moore: While we’re on the subject on wishin’ and hopin’ for Season 2; I have a suggestion for the role of Ser Davos Seaworth:Colm Meany.

    Yes, he would be great as Davos. Both on an acting/characterisation level and on a sort of meta level, because Davos is a “working class” character so to speak and Meaney’s greatest role was the working class’ embodiment Jimmy Rabbitte Sr in the Irish Barrytown Trilogy films.

  • I don’t understand why Armitage is even on the list. There’s no way he’s available.

    I guess Mark Strong would be okay, but none of these names screams Stannis to me. I think I’d prefer an unknown, to be honest.

  • Legion,

    The “too busy” factor reminds me of the main issue with many of our suggestions, which is that if they follow the trend the set in Season 1, precious few of the actors cast will be people that spring to mind when we think of the roles, and many will be people we’ve never heard of.

    Stannis is one of the few I think may have a recognizable name. Then again, if it’s someone they’re going to hold on for multiple seasons, it may be a slightly lesser name than any of the ones listed above.

  • I think a big thing to remember may also be that big names to Americans and big names to UK’ers will be different. Aiden Gillen for example, while not a big name, was in at least two different UK series’ this past year, so would be recognised at least. But likely is a nobody in America.

    Still, casting is always fun, and should se02 get commissioned, I shall look forward to the clues for the casting almost as much as the show itself.

  • Legion:
    Eccelston, for me, is the perfect Damphair and should be left for that.    

    He’d be good, but worried he might be too tall.

    If only Michael Wincott were younger; he’s always who I imagined for Aeron. His character from the Count of Monte Cristo is who I always heard in my head when reading Damphair’s lines.

  • izakmo,

    Ivanek isn’t on True Blood anymore but he’s on “The Event”

    What about Liam Cunningham? He’s acouple years older than Mark Addy but with the beard, make-up, and aging, it wouldn’t be that much of a problem. He’s Irish and has been cast by Nina Gold before.

    Casting Stannis could go so many different ways because of the age difference between Addy and Gethin. I would be happy with almost all of the names thrown around here.

  • Legion: I think a big thing to remember may also be that big names to Americans and big names to UK’ers will be different. Aiden Gillen for example, while not a big name, was in at least two different UK series’ this past year, so would be recognised at least. But likely is a nobody in America. Still, casting is always fun, and should se02 get commissioned, I shall look forward to the clues for the casting almost as much as the show itself.  Quote  Reply

    One or Two Americans may know him from The Wire.

    Lookswise I can’t see TV Stannis being bald for some reason (never really did with book Stannis either). I think he’ll have short hair like Renly but a slightly thicker beard

  • Out of the actors above, I’d choose Chris Eccleston. By a mile.

    However, I also agree with Adam Whitehead, Laura Luchetti and Mormegil’s suggestion of Paul McGann .

    He’s always been the ideal Roose Bolton to me, but he’s definitely got the acting chops to easily bring a number of roles in GoT2 to life, Stannis being one of them. He’s 5 years older than Mark Addy but still has a good look for Stannis.

    Well, he certainly fits “…sinewy with leathery skin and a pinched, narrow face. He has only a fringe of black hair remaining around his head and a close-copped beard covering a square jaw.” –ACoK

  • night’s watch: Out of the actors above, I’d choose Chris Eccleston. By a mile.
    However, I also agree with Adam Whitehead, Laura Luchetti and Mormegil’s suggestion of Paul McGann .
    He’s always been the ideal Roose Bolton to me, but he’s definitely got the acting chops to easily bring a number of roles in GoT2 to life, Stannis being one of them. He’s 5 years older than Mark Addy but still has a good look for Stannis. Well, he certainly fits “…sinewy with leathery skin and a pinched, narrow face. He has only a fringe of black hair remaining around his head and a close-copped beard covering a square jaw.” –ACoK    

    hope this photo link works, apologies if it doesn’t!

  • Chris makes me melt. I’ve been an advocate for him as Stannis for years, so I know where I stand. I’ve also made the Eccleston fan club I belong to aware of the situation, so hopefully there’s a huge push for him. :D

    Yay!

  • Katja,

    He was in Braveheart. In medieval clothes and all, looked pretty cool. Not too Robery or Stannis-like performance, though.

  • zombottt,

    If you’re worried about Eccleston’s “northern” accent (Every planet has a north!) you need not fear. He does just about every regional British accent there is, and some European ones as well. I’m sure he could do a cooler, more RP sort of Stannis.

  • Oh god! I love all of these options! I think Mark Strong is the best, though I would be most happy with Rufus Sewell, because I adore him as an actor in general. Actually, I would be glad if had any part in GoT. Armitage and Eccleston are great too :)

  • Some other names to strongly consider:

    Jason Isaacs (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005042/) Lucius Malfoy from HP. Would add fantastic gravity to the role, and according to IMDB he is currently filming Cars 2, but nothing beyond that. Has done TV in the past.

    Brían F. O’Byrne (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0639928/) Very familiar face. Was in OZ

    and finally:

    Peter Serafinowicz (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0784818/) He’s done a lot of humorous roles, but has recently started breaking into dramatic roles.

  • digdoug, as i was scanning through the replies jason isaacs kept popping into my mind as well. he’s not really how i would imagine stannis looking but he’s a fantastic actor who i think could pull off the roll brilliantly. not to mention the miracles of hollywood makeup artists.

  • Could consider everyone that ha been mentioned here actually, especially Mark Strong (even though if don’t it’s going to happen. Some write in:

    Jason Statham 

    Luis Tosar

    Peter Stormare

    Ray Stevenson

  • actually come to think of it, i would love to see adewale akinnuoye-agbaje as strong belwas or maybe even one of the wildlings.

  • My two cents, I like Mark Strong for the role but there are some other good options. Kevin McKidd would be a good choice but looks like he isn’t available. Tom Hardy is another who would be brilliant but I don’t know if he would take it. Liam Cunningham is a bit too old for the role but still a good actor. Michael Fassbender would be another good choice but again I don’t know if he would take the role considering the amount of films he’s doing, same problem with Tom Hardy. The key requirements for this role for me though has to be an actor who is believable as a hard, uncompromising but fair leader. Hardy and Fassbender might look too young but add a beard, shave the head and they won’t look too bad.
    Michael Hogan -about 30 years is how I picture Stannis, he would have been brilliant but he is far too old. Another name to throw into the ring despite being a bit old is Callum Keith Rennie, some people might remember him from BSG. Matthew Settle would also be good in the role as I think Damian Lewis would be but Lewis looks wrong for the role.

  • David T: Could consider everyone that ha been mentioned here actually, especially Mark Strong(even though if don’t it’s going to happen. Some write in:Jason Statham Luis Tosar Peter Stormare
    Ray Stevenson    

    Jason Statham would be perfect as Stannis.

  • Mark Strong is perfect. He looks like he could be brothers with Mark Addy and Gethin Anthony. Eccleston is another great choice.

    Richard Armitage I could see playing Mance Rayder, actually.

    Rufus Sewell on the other hand is who I always see as Howland Reed. Now granted we havent seen Howland yet but, he would be around the age Ned was and look at Sewell’s big green eyes! You cant tell me he wouldnt be an awesome fit for Howland Reed.

  • My Stannis isn’t here. I think Jason Isaacs should play him. Out of these choices I gotta go with Christopher Eccleston, whose face and voice I pictured when I first read the books. For some reason, after seeing him as the Doctor, it changed my opinion of how good a Stannis he’d make.

    Mark Strong would also be awesome as Stannis, but since he’s starting to get his pick of film projects I sincerely doubt he’d take a supporting role in a TV series, even one as excellent as this one. Unless, that is, he’s like Eric Bana and cares far more about the quality of the writing and character and not at all about the size of the role.

  • I think any of these actors would be good in the role. Whether or not you can get any of them is another story. They all seem to have pretty strong on-going careers. However I wouldn’t necessarily assume doing an HBO series is a step back in any actors career. Look at Steve Buscemi, Bill Paxton, and Zach Galifianakis for example. Even Kate Winslet is doing a miniseries for HBO.

  • Dennis Brennan,

    Bruce Payne is a very interesting suggestion. He certainly looks the part, but he wasn’t very good in Dungeons & Dragons. Although, I must say that the acting was horrible by just about everybody in that movie, so I attribute that more to the director than anything else.

    He’s older than Addy, but the way Addy looks in the previews of GOT, he could certainly pass as the younger brother.

    I think this pic represents what he might look like as Stannis:
    http://images.allmoviephoto.com/2000_Highlander:_Endgame/lisa_barbuscia_bruce_payne_highlander_endgame_001.jpg

    Mark Strong is my personal favorite, although I think he’s rather unlikely to take the role. Rufus Sewell is someone I never really thought of, but the idea of him as Stannis is growing on me.

    Bruce Payne is a legitimate candidate, IMO.

  • Oooh, Mark Strong would be perfect! Love his bad guys in Stardust, Kick-Ass and Sherlock Holmes, and I could absolutely see him as Stannis.
    In fact, now I’m having trouble imagining Stannis as anyone else!

  • digdoug,

    I think these are all interesting choices, but one stands out for me.

    I mentioned Serafinowicz as a Stannis suggestion in October of 2009, and then forgot about it for a while until I read your post:

    http://winter-is-coming.net/2009/10/benioff-weiss-thank-the-fans/

    I still feel now as I felt then. He’s got a great comedic presence, but has a serious side as well. He’s also 6′ 5″, and can be very intimidating when he wants. He’s got a powerful voice as well.

    I don’t see as much of a family resemblance, but I like the stare:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0784818/maindetails

    As far as age goes, as long as Stannis is somewhere between his mid-30s and 45, I think he’ll work.

  • I veto all those, and vote for …. IAN MCSHANE! Id really like him this series, and perhaps he is a bit old for Stannis, but he has the dark hair and blue eyes, and of coarse is intensely talented! Ian McShane for president! er… KING!

  • Many interesting names already. However, when I think of a British actor that “is filled with a sense of injustice at how the world has not been treating him properly. Life for him has been unfair. He’s in a constant state of low-level anger. He doesn’t ever really relax or ‘let his hair down’.” (quoting purplejilly), there is one actor that dominates all further thoughts:

    Trevor Eve: http://blogs.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/images/trevor-eve.jpg
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0263368/

    Although a completely different style, anyone that has ever seen him in Waking the Dead (the best series the BBC has ever produced IMHO!) must agree that his incredibly intimidating presence would be great for the rola as Stannis. I don’t know about his age and if he fits the role physically for those who don’t know him, but for me he IS Stannis. Just like Sewell IS Roose Bolton ;-)

  • Some more Trevor Eve, and even almost in-genre this time, from 1992 film ‘In the name of the father’ : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj2ApN8Ld_A

    So he played the lead role in that historical movie, and a small one in Troy. (look here for a small clip). Possibly he’s a tad old by now to play Stannis, but with some make-up and a dyed beard, I’m convinced Trevor Eve could shine in this role.

  • Strong was splendid in both Stardustand Sherlock Holmes but yes, he’s unlikely, and the same can be said for Armitage and for the first actor I imagined for Stannis, Eccleston. Kevin McKidd is not available, either.

    Jason Isaacs, no doubt, could perform the role wonderfully, but think about it — how credible would it be that people didn’t want to follow him, wouldn’t flock to his banner? He is so much more charismatic that any of the other candidates discussed here that it just seems unreasonable to me. He might work for Garlan Tyrell, but he’s probably too old for that part.

    Rufus Sewell is probably obtainable, but it sounds as if others here consider him more suitable for other parts. I don’t know enough about Purefoy’s range, but I didn’t see any of Stannis in his Mark Anthony.

  • ian mcshane is too old for stannis. i could see him maybe as someone in the vale or maybe even the father kettleblack that’s with littlefinger in the fingers

  • Caedes: There’s no way to it, but Luis Tosar would’ve been sooo great on this role!!

    I’d love to see him as Stannis. Besides having the right look, he’s an excellent actor.

  • Stannis is a difficult role to pick. There’s been some great suggestions here Jonny Lee Miller had never crossed my mind, but I could see him as a brother to our Robert and Renly. Dominic West is a great idea. Less sure about Benedict Cumberbatch- while I think he’s an amazing actor, he looks far skinnier than my vision of Stannis (who is wiry and strong, but not skinny)- though I certainly wouldn’t complain if he got the role.

    I’ve championed getting Christoper Eccleston into this show for as long as I’ve known about it. I could certainly see him as Stannis and have no doubt he’d do an excellent job, but to me he’s the Damphair. (Which, though I didn’t consider this at first, might be less of a commitment than Stannis so he could be more likely to do it.) However I’d happily accept him in any role.

  • Katja,

    Uhm, it seems I oh.. I got confused. Somebody mentioned other Macfadyen, Angus, and I though those are the same actors. My bad.

  • Paddy Considine for Stannis in my opinion. When I picture Stannis Baratheon and his sullen sense of injustice and steely determination I am reminded of Paddy Considine’s character in Dead Man’s Shoes. Also for Roose and Ramsay Bolton how about Robson Green, who is currently playing a werewolf in the BBC’s Being Human, and Robert Sheehan from Misfits as his twisted offspring, respectively.

  • Of course I might be thinking Renly instead of Robert, it’s been to many years. I guess I will have to re-read the series before A Dance with Dragon’s.

  • Off topic for a moment;
    I was browsing this morning and came across an article on Bean’s recent Black Death film, which by the way you can view starting today On-Demand.
    I cannot believe I forgot all about this actress, she was a fav of mine for Cersei and after seeing a pic in the article, I believe Carice Van Houton should be considered a viable candidate for Melisandre. She has the thespian talent required and the cold, desirable out of reach beauty similar to Gong Li, anyway for your consideration here’s The Red Priestess, so enjoy.

  • Stannis has to be intense and have a hard look, hard lines, gaunt and sinewy. Alot of these people are too full of flesh (Armitage). Stannis is all about deprivation.

    The names that come to mind are Mark Strong, Guy Pearce and Joseph Fiennes, they are intense, gaunt and sinewy and have hard, unkind faces.

    http://www.joblo.com/newsimages1/Joseph-Fiennes,London,1998.jpg

    http://hairstyles.thehairstyler.com/hairstyle_views/front_view_images/486/original/3188_Guy-Pearce.jpg

    Of course, JF is in Camelot so he’s probably out.

  • Jose: Stannis has to be intense and have a hard look, hard lines, gaunt and sinewy. Alot of these people are too full of flesh (Armitage).    

    For me the acting ability is much more important than the physical appearance. If it is possible to combine both, all the better, but I wouldn’t rule out actors who could convey the harshness of Stannis just because they have ‘more flesh’ than the way he is described in the books…

  • Stannis is a douchebag with no friends. (It took me several re-reads to realize this – he may be ‘hard-done-by’ but instead of sticking up for himself, he sits back and keeps score and hates, thinking this is a proactive strategy) He has poor people skills, is inflexible, thinks everyone owes him, feels sorry for himself, lives only in the past, and has his own ideals so far up his butt that he can’t see anything straight. He asks for your opinion and then tells you you could lose your head over it, he won’t lift you up if you falter… that foreshadows his OWN end. It’ll be worth it, when he finally executes himself for being ‘unjust’ or ‘immoral’ or altogether wrong.

    The other characters called it early on – no one cares for Stannis. He has the personality of a mud-pit, and doesn’t generally inspire loyalty. One by one, he shoves away even his friends.

    Scrooge McDuck should play Stannis. And yes, I know he’s too old, but Patrick Stewart … there HAS to be a way to get Picard in on GoT. There HAS to be!!

  • David Kelly: I thought Stannis was the older brother, not younger than Robert?    

    No, he is the elder of Roberts younger brothers, so to say the middle child.

  • Jose,

    There’s his brother, Ralph Fiennes, although he might be too much of a star (at the same time though, I would have said the same for Joseph, and he’s off doing Camelot, which seems a tad trashy).
    If I thought we had a chance of getting him, I would seriously suggest Ralph.

  • I don’t think Mark Strong is too much of a reach (he’s only really had small roles in films – this would be a bigger role and HBO is nothing to sneeze at)… and he looks the part and is a good actor.

    I think that the last 3… none really have the right look.

  • dizzy_34: e :) .

    Are you so sure she’s false? The followers of the Red God are so far the only ones in the series whose chosen diety is able to actually perform miracles. In addition to Mel’s deeds, consider what Thoros does for a couple of, ahem, “badly wounded” outlaws.

  • I think Strong would make a terrific Stannis. He has that required ‘steely’ quality in abundance.

    Incidentally, I’d love to see the following actors involved in some capacity. All terrific:

    Tom Hardy – possibly as a Mance. He can play the lovable rogue no problem at all. Or possibly Jaquen – he’s a charismatic man!
    Peter Capaldi – my choice for Roose Bolton. In my opinion, you need someone who positively radiates danger in this role. This is the man. Superb actor.
    Robert Carlyle - not sure on a role for him, but the guy is hugely talented. He is also incredible at playing psychos. Surely there’s a spot for him! Rattleshirt maybe.
    Peter Mullan as Davos. Got to be!

  • This is something that I think WiC should have addressed in his initial post; the actor playing Stannis should be no older than 50. I’m only going that high because Stannis starts off looking older than he actually is and gets older-looking, but not to near-70, like Ian McShane.

    Have you seen The Pillars of the Earth? McShane would make a kick-ass Balon Greyjoy but is starting to look his age and should not at all play Stannis or Aeron (the YOUNGEST Greyjoy brother). I’d even like to see him as Roose Bolton, but there’s a problem with that. Bolton is a continuing character that will be seen semi-frequently in Seasons 2 and 3, but he isn’t anywhere near as prominently featured as, say, Tywin Lannister or even the Greatjon. So, something tells me that a guy who’s used to being the primary villain in both movies and TV wouldn’t want to take a background role like that. But he might be persuaded to take a prominent guest role that would only have him doing a day or two’s work and would have him owning every scene he was in.

    As for Stannis, I still think he should be played by Jason Isaacs, seeing as Mark Strong will likely not be willing to do it (though he would unquestionably own the role), and failing that, Christopher Eccleston (my choice for Aeron).

  • reedgirl,
    It took you several re-reads to realize that? No offense intended, but that’s hard for me to imagine. It’s pretty much his defining quality from the very start and it’s how all the other characters describe him. But I think that makes it stand out all the more when he occasionally says or does something non-douchebaggy. That’s why I think he’s a great character instead of just insufferable.

  • You people need to watch Rufus Sewell in The Illusionist (2006). That’s Stannis right there.

  • My ideal Stannis would be Kevin McKidd. His portrayal of Vorenus in Rome showed that he excels at playing a good guy who’s still a major pain in the arse and takes duty way too seriously.

    Also he emotes frustration extremely well, and that’s a major Stannisian trait.

  • Strong as Stannis would be great, but how about Anthony Edwards or Paul McCrane?
    (have just zapped into a rerun from ER;)) Or you put Addy in a Gym and shave his Head;)
    Ian McShane as a Greyjoy would be perfect
    How about Molly C. Quinn from Castle for Yggrid (or Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood if they need to age her up…)

    I can’t wait for Harrenhall casting;)

  • mummer,

    Hey, pity me that I gave him such a lengthy benefit of the doubt! He is, after all, Robert’s legitimate heir, and has the ‘right’ on his side during the battle of the five kings. I even overlooked the Renly incident believing Stannis was ‘enchanted/tricked’ by Mel, but he KNEW what he was doing. He feels some regret, but not nearly enough. But really paying attention to all the good options Stannis ignores changed my mind. He wasn’t in a corner, trying to fight for the ‘right’ – he’s just arrogant and entitled.

    userj,

    It is Davos that makes me want to find something redeeming and inspiring within Stannis – if Davos can love him, why can’t I? Davos is awesome, I can really relate to him, but his love for Stannis is his blindside. (And poor Cressen. Those who love Stannis happen to die for it methinks.) Wouldn’t it be interesting if Davos were to realize that the only way to stop Mel is to stop Stannis. Hmm…

    I can’t wait for Melissandre to get chucked into a burning oil drum by unnamed, unwashed Night’s Watch recruits.

  • Hi, my name is Nicole and I am ASOIAF addict. It has been 6 days since my last GOT fix. Phew, this is getting harder and harder :-)

  • reedgirl: GaR,
    Kevin McKidd would be an awesome Stannis. Brilliant in Rome     

    I concur. McKidd would be wonderful. So would Sewell, I’ve come to think.

    And it would be a real shame if they couldn’t bring in McShane for something. He’d be wonderful as a Greyjoy.

  • reedgirl: GaR,
    Kevin McKidd would be an awesome Stannis. Brilliant in Rome     
    http://famousmonstersoffilmland.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/kevin-mckidd.jpg

    The problem with McKidd is that he doesn’t look stern enough. For Stannis you want someone that looks sour when his face is ‘in neutral’, and unnatural when he is forced to smile. McKidd on the other hand looks like he can break into a laugh even when he is acting stern: http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3279461632/nm0571727

    One more thing to consider is how old Stannis is supposed to be in GoT-the-series? He’s the younger brother of Robert, let’s say by somewhere between 2 and maximum 5 years. Looking at Mark Addy’s apparent age as Robert, that would make Stannis what, approximately 55 years old? As such, I think most of the actors proposed are actually a bit too young… Also, Stannis shouldn’t be too charismatic, which is another trait that the proposed actors seem to share. We really should be looking for an actor that in general is disliked by most people who meet him, or can convey that for 100% of the time. (A facial characteristic that seems favorable to do so are downward pointing mouth corners)

    I just finished watching the rather brilliant ITV mini-series ‘Kidnap and Ransom’, and again was thinking ‘my god, Trevor Eve would be such a great fit as Stannis!’. Unfortunately, he’s not well enough in shape at the moment, and a bit on the old side as well (although dyed hair and beard could fix this). I have proposed him before and didn’t get any response so I guess I stand alone in this. Any Brits (or others) out there that know Trevor Eve and could see him as Stannis?

  • Tar Kidho: Looking at Mark Addy’s apparent age as Robert, that would make Stannis what, approximately 55 years old? As such, I think most of the actors proposed are actually a bit too young…

    Not sure where you are getting the idea that Robert is 60 years old from, yes they’ve aged the characters up from the book somewhat but the pilot script states he is in his 40’s.

    If he was 60 he would have been 43 when he gained the throne and would as head of House Baratheon have had to marry years earlier to gain an heir.

    No, the actor for Stannis should be between 35 and 45 (give or take a couple of years).

  • Tysnow: Off topic for a moment;
    I was browsing this morning and came across an article on Bean’s recent Black Death film, which by the way you can view starting today On-Demand.
    I cannot believe I forgot all about this actress, she was a fav of mine for Cersei and after seeing a pic in the article, I believe Carice Van Houton should be considered a viable candidate for Melisandre. She has the thespian talent required and the cold, desirable out of reach beauty similar to Gong Li, anyway for your consideration here’s The Red Priestess, so enjoy.    

    Having just seen the movie, I agree. She is the perfect Mel. I also noticed Johnny Harris, although a bit short would be a nice Stannis.

  • Mormegil:
    Not sure where you are getting the idea that Robert is 60 years old from, yes they’ve aged the characters up from the book somewhat but the pilot script states he is in his 40′s.If he was 60 he would have been 43 when he gained the throne and would as head of House Baratheon have had to marry years earlier to gain an heir.No, the actor for Stannis should be between 35 and 45 (give or take a couple of years).    

    Well, I simply estimated an age from Mark Addy’s appearance as King Robert, and that brought me closer to 60 than to 40. You are right of course with your dates-based-on-the-books, but in my opinion this means that they aged up Robert waaaay too much. And to be consistent, they should follow that with the other Baratheons as well. In real life, Mark Addy is 47 now (but is made to look older in the series, or is that just me?) and Sean Bean is 51, which probably would place the ideal age of Stannis also in the 45 to 50 years range. So maybe they can go as low as 40 for the actor playing him, but once they go even further down, the age gap with Mark Addy’s Robert simply becomes too big in my opninon.

    Btw, I agree now that Trevor Eve won’t fit Stannis, but only because of the age issue. Otherwise I find the gravity with which he acts perfect for the role, and I know of no other actor that could pull it of so well. As for McKidd, I stand by my opinion that he doesn’t have the stern face that is required for Stannis. For Davos…maybe…

  • Mormegil,

    In the books, Renly is 22 according to Tower of the Hand:

    http://www.towerofthehand.com/reference/k/00016/index.html

    Gethin Anthony doesn’t look too much older than that.

    In ACoK, Stannis is *almost* 35:

    http://www.towerofthehand.com/reference/k/00019/index.html

    So, the boundaries to me would be “just about book age” like Renly, or a few years younger than Addy, who’s 47.

    Smack dab in the age range you suggest. As far as I’m concerned, well done.

  • paulgude: Mormegil,
    In the books, Renly is 22 according to Tower of the Hand:http://www.towerofthehand.com/reference/k/00016/index.htmlGethin Anthony doesn’t look too much older than that.In ACoK, Stannis is *almost* 35:http://www.towerofthehand.com/reference/k/00019/index.htmlSo, the boundaries to me would be “just about book age” like Renly, or a few years younger than Addy, who’s 47.
    Smack dab in the age range you suggest. As far as I’m concerned, well done.    

    King Robert and Ned Stark are supposed to be of similar age, right? Now then, how old would you estimate Addy and Bean from the trailers if you hadn’t known the books? I would say 50+ And from the books I never got the impression that Stannis was all that much younger, so in my opinion he HAS to be 40+ Of course it is possible that they age up Stannis (and Renly) less than they did with Robert/Ned, but that kinda leaves me with the problem that it will be hard to sell Mark Addy and Stanniss’ impersonator as brothers. But well, probably I worry too much ;-)

    One other age-related concern I have: the children (forgive me if this has come up before). In the books, their physical age doesn’t change from book to book, but with a year between the filming of every season, this will not be the case for the series. Hence, we will see big ‘jumps’ in their ages from one season to the next (below the age of 18, one changes A LOT in a year), even if there should be continuity in the story. I wonder how this will be dealt with…

  • paulgude,

    Ditto on this. I think that is exactly the age we/they should be looking at. To me, it doesn’t really matter where he falls within that age bracket, but outside of it would be too young/too old.
    Or is it just that people are assuming that all crotchety individuals are older? As a crotchety young man I take offense…bitterly…and with Stannis-like glowering. ;p

  • I’m gonna throw this name out there: Bill Nighy.

    He might be a little too old for the role, but I feel like he could play Stannis perfectly. All of his characters (that I’ve seen him play), whether it is a drama or comedy, are pretty aloof, which Stannis definitely is. And Nighy can be really icy when he wants to be (just look at the most recent Harry Potter). I think that Bill Nighy’s natural tone and disposition fit the character extremely well.

  • Tar Kidho,

    The way I’m looking at it is that if Renly was in his 30’s I’d expect Stannis to be in his 40s for sure, just aging everyone up. However, with casting such a young Renly they’ve set up a kind of book-end type situation, as the age differences between each of the brothers adds to the dynamic.

    The main thing that I seem to remember is that Stannis was mad because Renly was given Storm’s End instead of him. If you make Stannis almost of an age with an aged-up Robert it means something entirely different than Stannis being a little over ten years older than Renly.

    It’ll be interesting to me to see which way they decide to go.

    As far as the kids getting older, that’s just something they’ll have to deal with with TV verses the books. Personally, I hope they go straight into shooting S2 and then have time pass in the story in the break between S2 and S3.

  • Jimmy: I’m gonna throw this name out there: Bill Nighy.He might be a little too old for the role, but I feel like he could play Stannis perfectly. All of his characters (that I’ve seen him play), whether it is a drama or comedy, are pretty aloof, which Stannis definitely is. And Nighy can be really icy when he wants to be (just look at the most recent Harry Potter). I think that Bill Nighy’s natural tone and disposition fit the character extremely well.    

    Yes, probably a bit too old, but I can see why you thought of him. As opposed to many actors suggested, he DOES have a natural stern face, and is not too charismatic(-in-a-positive-way). If he’d play Stannis close to how he played Viktor in Underworld and was 10 years younger, I think it could have been really really good…

  • paulgude,

    I’m reading the third book right now, and it literally picks up where the second left off, but some time did pass between the first book and the second. And each book chronicles a couple of months (as far as I can tell), so the aging of the actors won’t be so bad, I don’t think.

  • Steve Hugh Westenra,

    I seemed to have gotten the impression that the sternness Stannis exhibits had made people assume that Stannis was older than Robert in a few earlier casting threads, and at least once in this one.

    The impression that I get with Stannis is that he lacks the charisma that Robert and Renly have. He’s like the CEO of a company that just doesn’t inspire confidence. He still commands, but no one really likes him. The ability to play that weakness in strength is the key to Stannis for me.

  • Jimmy,

    I think that the season breaks and the book breaks may get a bit muddy as the series goes on. The multiple POV threads aren’t always synced chronologically. I seem to remember, for instance, that we’ll get some events of ACoK in the end of S1.

    The issue would be if there’s a break in filming and some of the young actors have noticeably aged in what would be just a few days time. Again, though, I need to stress that I feel this has all been pondered a lot by the production team and I’m not too worried about it.

  • paulgude: Tar Kidho,
    The way I’m looking at it is that if Renly was in his 30′s I’d expect Stannis to be in his 40s for sure, just aging everyone up. However, with casting such a young Renly they’ve set up a kind of book-end type situation, as the age differences between each of the brothers adds to the dynamic.The main thing that I seem to remember is that Stannis was mad because Renly was given Storm’s End instead of him. If you make Stannis almost of an age with an aged-up Robert it means something entirely different than Stannis being a little over ten years older than Renly.It’ll be interesting to me to see which way they decide to go..    

    Interesting indeed which way they will go. In the end, even if the actor for Stannis was 20 years older than Gethin Anthony, the story line you refered to will still be possible. If anything, it would make it even more difficult for Stannis to accept that Renly got Storm’s End. However small as they might be to non-fans, it makes you wonder what the reason was they aged up Robert and Ned in the first place. One scenario I find plausible is that the role of Eddard Stark seemed so fitting for Sean Bean that they offered him the part, and when he accepted they also had to age up Robert and some other characters. For a show like this, from an economic perspective, it is definitely worth doing so to get an actor of the format of Sean Bean aboard…

  • Tar Kidho:
    However small as they might be to non-fans, it makes you wonder what the reason was they aged up Robert and Ned in the first place. One scenario I find plausible is that the role of Eddard Stark seemed so fitting for Sean Bean that they offered him the part, and when he accepted they also had to age up Robert and some other characters. For a show like this, from an economic perspective, it is definitely worth doing so to get an actor of the format of Sean Bean aboard…    

    It also seems like they made Cersei and Jamie older as well (both actors are close to 40). One advantage of make Jamie (and consequently, his twin) older would be they can use the same actor for Jamie in any potential flashbacks. Jamie was only 15 when he killed Aerys in the books, which would mean they would have had to use a different actor to portray him in flashbacks.

  • Jimmy,

    I seem to remember GRRM saying that the “aging up” was partially to show how much harsher life in Westeros was, that the actors were actually playing characters younger than them who didn’t have the benefits we enjoy today. However, I can’t find the quote.

    Anyone else remember this?

  • paulgude: The issue would be if there’s a break in filming and some of the young actors have noticeably aged in what would be just a few days time. Again, though, I need to stress that I feel this has all been pondered a lot by the production team and I’m not too worried about it.

    I think it’s a non-issue, really. Long stretches of time pass between POV chapters, sometimes, though it wasn’t always obvious. When the issue came up with Walt on LOST, on the other hand, it would have been drawn attention to itself, because according to the story they were only on the island for a few months, I believe. Whereas, for ASoIaF…at least in the books, a few years have passed by the time AFFC (& ADWD, as they’re simultaneous) has concluded.

  • Zack,

    Exactly what I meant by, “The multiple POV threads aren’t always synced chronologically.” You actually have some things in a later book that happen before some events in an earlier book.

    Someone (Rabbit?) posted a link to a really nice chart of what POV chapters happen when in a huge timeline. They could plan time breaks and not completely mess with the continuity.

  • paulgude,

    Mm. Forgot about that. I found the timeline you’re probably referring to. I see what you mean…there may not be any way to get around some of these issues, not knowing if future seasons will be greenlit. But I seem to remember that there were whispers here that the writers may have decided to film the series by timeline events, rather than strict adherence to a particular one book-one season structure.

    I’d be fine with that if it helps them avoid these sorts of snags.

  • Zack,

    While it’s still a minor problem with the first few books, it becomes a big issue when you’ve got AFfC and ADwD running simultaneously. I figure by that time the show will have its own established rhythms and it will become a question of which stories from within the framework of both books fit where.

  • Ciaran Hinds is 58.
    Tom Hardy post-Inception and Mark Strong post-Sherlock are so hot they wouldn’t take the role of Ned Stark or George RR Martin himself; Hardy is playing Mad Max, Reese Witherspoon’s boyfriend, and Bane, opposite Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale, in the new Batman. Mark Strong will be in Guy Ritchy’s next RocknRolla and six other named films in the next 12 months. Those trains have left the station.
    Rufus Sewell has done cloddish well (Cold Comfort Farm), romantic well (Carrington) and tortured well (Ridley Scott’s Tristan and Isolde).
    It would have been nice to have snared Henry Cavill before he was cast as Superman a few days ago: now he’s another guy who’s too big for the show.

  • Every so often, HBO shows will have a season that’s twice the length of a normal HBO season (Oz and The Sopranos are some examples). So, perhaps season 4 (if the show ever gets that far) can be double the length of a normal season, and combine AFfC and ADwD. I am currently on ASoS, so I know nothing about AFfC. Plus, ADwD isn’t even out yet, so I don’t know how feasible this is, narratively, but making the season longer seems to me like a plausible solution.

  • Tar Kidho,

    I disagree. Look at McKidd in Rome S2 when he’s being the cartel leader dude and all blaming himself for his wife’s death. He’s consistently somewhere between merely stern and outright psychotic. Stannis inhabits a similar emotional spectrum (though with a bias to the former).

  • DH87,
    Re: Henry Cavill

    Oh wow! He was the best part of The Tudors post-S1 for me. Didn’t realize he’s going to be Superman?! CRay-zay.

    He’s too hot for Stannis though, IMO. :)

  • GaR: Tar Kidho,
    I disagree.Look at McKidd in Rome S2 when he’s being the cartel leader dude and all blaming himself for his wife’s death.He’s consistently somewhere between merely stern and outright psychotic.Stannis inhabits a similar emotional spectrum (though with a bias to the former).    

    I am not saying he couldn’t act the part, but if you could pick your ideal candidate, you would want the actor for Stannis to have ‘sour pessimist’ written all over his face, and McKidd doesn’t have that. Translated to famous Hollywood actors think of it like this: would you prefer Harrison Ford or Michael Douglas for the part? No doubt Harrison Ford could act stern, but Michael Douglas simply has the natural face for it. (not that I’m suggesting any of them obviously, just the first pair that came to mind of similar age and features)

  • Btw, in case they would contract McKidd for the part or any of the four actors listed by Winter, I’d definitely not be unhappy or worried. It’s just, so far I’ve not seen anyone that is a ‘natural’ Stannis in the sense that Stannis would evoke dislike in most people that meet him, even though it stems from his strong sense of ‘doing what is necessary and right’. This is in my opinion his most important charactor trait. A good bad example is Sewell. Even in the cases he’s played the ‘bady’, he still comes of as a charismatic and rather likable character. I fear that Strong, Armitage and the others mentioned in varying degrees share this ‘problem’. Maybe Eccleston could pull of the best Stannis in that regard…

    In the end, I still think that there must be actors out there that fit the role better than anyone we’ve mentioned, and I would not at all be surprized if HBO come up with someone we didn’t think of.

  • Trevor Eve is a nice suggestion, but too old for Stannis. Good actor though, suitable for a number of roles.

    He’ll be too busy with MERLIN Season 4, but Anthony Stewart Head could make a great Stannis. He’s pretty much playing him as Uther anyway. He’s older than Addy but you never see them together and he’s charismatic enough to sell it. Of course, you’ll have an issue with some people not being able to look past Giles or the coffee ad guy, but he’s more than capable of doing the role very well.

    Katja,

    Macfadyn has a good range. He played a neurotic OCD nutter in ASHES TO ASHES and was brilliant at it. He was also good in PILLARS OF THE EARTH despite an atrocious accent and some clumsy writing. I think he good do a good Stannis if he was given the role (and grew a beard).

    Dennis Brennan,

    No. He is too awful, though. There are many actors who could do Stannis, and Damodar from the D&D movie is not one of them.

    Steve Hugh Westenra,

    If CAMELOT returns and Purefoy is still a recurring, he may be too busy. Also, I much prefer Purefoy for Oberyn Martell than Stannis.

    David Kelly,

    Stannis is older than Renly but younger than Robert. Robert is King because he’s the eldest brother ;)

  • Adam Whitehead: Trevor Eve is a nice suggestion, but too old for Stannis. Good actor though, suitable for a number of roles.He’ll be too busy with MERLIN Season 4, but Anthony Stewart Head could make a great Stannis. He’s pretty much playing him as Uther anyway. He’s older than Addy but you never see them together and he’s charismatic enough to sell it. Of course, you’ll have an issue with some people not being able to look past Giles or the coffee ad guy, but he’s more than capable of doing the role very well.>     

    Glad someone else likes Trevor Eve as well. Unfortunately he’s too old for Stannis, but yes, there must be another role we can find for him!

    I’ve thought of Anthony Stewart Head as well, and indeed, from a physical perspective he would make a very good Stannis. Even though his presence is more likable than Trevor Eve’s (which I find not good for Stannis), he does portray Uther quite well as the charismatic-but-easy-to-hate arrogant King. My problem with him in Merlin, and the reason I didn’t propose him, is that at times he stops being believable. But whether this is due to flimsy acting skills or is a reflection of the all too often poor plotting actually is unclear to me. I don’t think his age would be a problem because he definitely looks younger than Mark Addy as Robert. So all in all, maybe he is my favourite so far. That is, IF his acting is improved with the help of a good story.

  • paulgude,

    Oh definitely! I understand that that is why people make that mistake/visualize him that way. I was just making a bit o a joke. ;p

    Tar Kidho,

    I think it would be wrong to imagine that Stannis has to look and seem like the most horrific person on earth though. Although he’s definitely not described as stunningly handsome, he’s also never described as ugly. I get the impression that it’s moreso his personality that puts people off. That said, there are people in the books who do care for him, and I think that’s because they are able to see his positive qualities. His harsh reactions to things and his bitterness are what stand out to me, and what I think put a lot of people off. An otherwise charismatic looking person could easily be the complete opposite if their personality is strong and uncharismatic. I think Stannis is one example where what people on here have been saying about other characters is true: it’s not necessarily about what they look like, so much as how they see themselves, and consequently, how they sell themselves (or don’t) to others.

    Adam Whitehead,

    Ooooo! Purfoy for Oberyn would actually be fantastic. XD
    I still don’t think he would be ridiculous as Stannis though. He’s talented enough to act past his natural charm, I think, and during some of Marc Antony’s darker moments on Rome I think he demonstrated that he can play serious.

  • I like Sewell for it, not the best physical look for the part, but he’s got a certain gravitas that would work for Stannis

  • DH87: Hardy is playing Mad Max, Reese Witherspoon’s boyfriend, and Bane, opposite Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale, in the new Batman

    Wow, that’s going to be one complicated Batman movie. I had heard they might do a Mad Max crossover, but having Max and Bane be the same person and also be Reese Witherspoon’s boyfriend (with Reese playing herself in a docudrama subplot) is really a bold choice…

  • Travis: Adam Whitehead,
    No, Robert is king by right of conquest.    

    Not exactly. How Robert ended up being king is discussed at length by various characters in the series, and it’s pretty clear that although having led the successful rebellion was a major factor, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion and they did come up with a justification for crowning him based on his distant Targaryen heritage. Once they tried to frame it in terms of the laws of succession, it could only be the eldest of the brothers.

  • Tar Kidho: King Robert and Ned Stark are supposed to be of similar age, right? Now then, how old would you estimate Addy and Bean from the trailers if you hadn’t known the books? I would say 50+ And from the books I never got the impression that Stannis was all that much younger, so in my opinion he HAS to be 40+ Of course it is possible that they age up Stannis (and Renly) less than they did with Robert/Ned, but that kinda leaves me with the problem that it will be hard to sell Mark Addy and Stanniss’ impersonator as brothers. But well, probably I worry too much One other age-related concern I have: the children (forgive me if this has come up before). In the books, their physical age doesn’t change from book to book, but with a year between the filming of every season, this will not be the case for the series. Hence, we will see big ‘jumps’ in their ages from one season to the next (below the age of 18, one changes A LOT in a year), even if there should be continuity in the story. I wonder how this will be dealt with…  Quote  Reply

    Book Ned is about 35, TV Ned (in the pilot script) is 40. This Age may have changed when they cast Sean Bean or they may well want us to believe Ned is a very old looking 40 and Robert (age given as 40’s) an even older looking one (which is true to the book where Robert looked a lot older than his actual age).

    I think the most Ned can be in the show is about 45 which would make him 28 at the time of the Rebellion, any older and we’d have to start making up extra history for the characters such as Brandon Stark being a widower when he became engaged to Catelyn to explain why as a dutiful first born son he was still single in his mid thirties.

    As to the Kids aging in real life. Three years pass in the first four books (for some characters inc Arya) and the rest of them will reach three years in ADWD. The Actors aging 5 years when the characters age 3 years isn’t that big a problem. Season ends may have to be rejigged a bit so time passes off screen but it can be done.

  • Tar Kidho,I think it would be wrong to imagine that Stannis has to look and seem like the most horrific person on earth though. Although he’s definitely not described as stunningly handsome, he’s also never described as ugly. I get the impression that it’s moreso his personality that puts people off. That said, there are people in the books who do care for him, and I think that’s because they are able to see his positive qualities. His harsh reactions to things and his bitterness are what stand out to me, and what I think put a lot of people off. An otherwise charismatic looking person could easily be the complete opposite if their personality is strong and uncharismatic.I think Stannis is one example where what people on here have been saying about other characters is true: it’s not necessarily about what they look like, so much as how they see themselves, and consequently, how they sell themselves (or don’t) to others.    

    No problem, I can easily agree with this. I still think thought that acting stern is easier for people with certain facial features (like the downward-pointing mouth corners I suggested before), and that it would likely take too much effort for people with classic-style beautiful faces (highly symmetrically shaped, upward-pointing mouth corners and ‘smily’ eyes). Regardless of being goodlooking (and/or charismatic) or not, it all comes down to the fact that the actor playing Stannis has to be able to radiate a constant negative aura. For example, Hollywood actors that come to mind are Michael Douglas and Clint Eastwood: you can make them laugh, but they still will have a negative look about them. THAT is what I would expect from our Stannis, and have yet to see.

  • Mormegil:
    As to the Kids aging in real life. Three years pass in the first four books (for some characters inc Arya) and the rest of them will reach three years in ADWD. The Actors aging 5 years when the characters age 3 years isn’t that big a problem.Season ends may have to be rejigged a bit so time passes off screen but it can be done.    

    All those things to consider when bringing the books to tv… I’m glad I don’t have to worry about all of that, so I will try actively to worry less from now on :-)

  • I’m having a lapse of memory and can’t find the answer in the archives. Were we ever told explicitely that, like the Tullys, Stannis and Co. have been postponed to S2?

    For example, I’m astonished that we haven’t seen one single pic of Charles Dance in character, yet we know he is in, so he must have just a small part in this season. What if Stannis is similarly present but just glimpsed, and thus has already been cast? But why wouldn’t GRRM have told us, since he’s such a fan favourite? Was it maybe one of those announcements he was forced to postpone? I’m in conspiracy-theory mode tonight.

    Damn, I like all the four WiC choices for Stannis. My reason would say Strong, my instinct Sewell. Eccleston looks somehow Lannisterish to me, though it seems they haven’t adhered strictly to the “the seed is strong” resemblance. Armitage seems to me a completely different type, maybe a Mance Rayder.

    Grujah: Jackie Earle Harley. AKA Rorschach.

    Whoa, I love him. He’d be a smash in any role (a decent Blackfish too, if a bit young). Pity he’s American and thus much less likely to be considered.

    spacechampion: The Tudors brings to mine Henry Czerny, who played Norfolk. Blackfish, maybe?

    Good find! Very nice eyes and overall Blackfishness. Looks like the more affordable brother of Jeff Fahey. :)

  • the reason I think Stannis’s part is interesting is that there seems to be a contest for his soul basically. On one side the red woman, like a spider weaving her web around this embittered king wanting the justice he deserves. On the other the onion knight who sees his king, who he would die for, going down this dark path that the red lady is leading him to. the onion knights quest to save his king is very engaging. this part of the show really needs to work I think because some of the red lady’s scenes are the most fantastical of the series. so people are going to need to believe this part of the story.

  • Blackfish Blues: I’m having a lapse of memory and can’t find the answer in the archives. Were we ever told explicitely that, like the Tullys, Stannis and Co. have been postponed to S2?

    Stannis appearing in Season 2 is not a postponement though as he (unlike the Tullys) does not appear in Book 1.

    They could of course bring the character in earlier like they are doing with Hot Pie and Lommy but if they do want a biggish name for the part it makes more sense financially to only hire him when two big names are no longer in the show.

  • Mormegil,

    I had an argument with a friend who was reading A Game of Thrones for the first time a little while ago. I said something like
    “Oh, you get to meet Stannis in the next book”

    and he goes “I’ve already met Stannis.”

    “No you haven’t. He’s introduced at the beginning of the next one. They’ve talked about him but you haven’t actually seen him yet.”

    “Yes I have.”
    “Do dude, you haven’t”
    “He was there when they came to Kings Landing.”
    “No he wasn’t”
    “He was with Renly.”
    “Barristan Selmy?”
    Pause…”Oh, yeah. How many times have you read this?”
    “I don’t even want to tell you…”

  • Tar Kidho,

    Vorenus was the ultimate sour pessimist, yo.

    And for the record, I wouldn’t favour either Ford or Douglas over the other looks-wise. Douglas would get the nod purely because he’s the better actor.

    What I liked about McKidd’s eprformance was how he managed to to play an utterly uncharismatic good guy. Watching it, I wanted Vorenus to come out okay, not because he was likeable; but because he was righteous. And that’s how I feel about Stannis.

  • Phoenix_torn,

    I just told my friend the same thing, about meeting Stannis in the next book. Luckily, he believed me. :)

    Speaking of friends who are reading the books, I’ve had 3 friends read the first book recently. It’s such a strange experience being able to talk about the books in real life, rather than only online. My friend finished AGOT last night, and is so hooked it’s not even funny!

  • If only we had a time machine to recruit Patrick Stewart from 20 years ago. He’s always been my mental image of Stannis.

  • James Purefoy would be an excellent Oberyn , but if he were to be part of GoT..I’d hope for a bigger, maybe more challenging part for him. ( Of course we can’t be sure how big the part will be for TV ) But the way Oberyn is written isn’t far from the way Antony was written for Rome , and I do like to see the actors be given a chance to stretch a bit.
    Colm Feore would make an excellent Stannis , and I’m betting he could do a creditable accent. I’m not sure what age he’s getting to be , though.

    Rufus Sewell …well , I’ve thought he’s done a good job in just about anything I’ve seen him in ; I wouldn’t mind seeing him take a stab at the brooding King Nose-out of -Joint. :)

  • My thoughts:

    Mark Strong, for me, looks the most like Stannis from the books. I could completely see him in the role. Is he busy? Hell yes, but of late his film roles have been rather one-note. There’s really only so much you can show in a film (as Dinklage implied). Were I Strong’s adviser (I am not) I would encourage the opportunity to take on a role where he can fully inhabit the character over a number of years, growing with him and leaving his indelible mark.

    That said, Rufus Sewell has more of a likeness in common with Addy and Anthony. Like Strong he has an intense gaze (probably one of the most intense on screen), and I think this role would suit him immeasurably well.

    If they can get either actor, color me happy. The only problem could be the fact that Stannis is still kicking all the way through A Dance with Dragons, so it’s a long-term commitment. Granted, as mentioned, it’s only for five months every year, which still gives them time to do movies if they time them right… but it’s something to consider.

  • Don`t really have a strong suggestion for Stannis.If I had to pick one of the above it would probably be Mark Sewell.I think he has the range to pull it off,and he does ” intense” very well. Having said that a talented unknown could work , as long as Mel. is played by a well known actress.She needs to be wickedly beautiful and,captivating to watch. A “hot” (no pun intended) babe basically. Stannis is under the thumb of the Red priestess whether he would admit it or not ( at least until the end of AFFC) and I think a lot of viewers will be more interested in watching her than the baldy old goat. I am sure things will get a lot more interesting for Stannis in ADWD, but I have been avoiding all spoilers and material relating to ADWD so I have no idea what to expect.

  • Tar Kidho: I’ve thought of Anthony Stewart Head as well, and indeed, from a physical perspective he would make a very good Stannis. Even though his presence is more likable than Trevor Eve’s (which I find not good for Stannis), he does portray Uther quite well as the charismatic-but-easy-to-hate arrogant King. My problem with him in Merlin, and the reason I didn’t propose him, is that at times he stops being believable. But whether this is due to flimsy acting skills or is a reflection of the all too often poor plotting actually is unclear to me. I don’t think his age would be a problem because he definitely looks younger than Mark Addy as Robert. So all in all, maybe he is my favourite so far. That is, IF his acting is improved with the help of a good story.  Quote  Reply

    I have not seen Merlin, but Anthony Stewart Head was on Buffy the Vampire Slayer for about 7 years, which is a show I adore. I think he did a phenominal job acting on it, even though his character (Giles) is not very similar to Stannis. But, I am more inclined to blame bad plotting than Head for the problems you have with his Merlin character.

    Also, Jane Espenson, who is on the Game of Thrones writing staff, was a prominent writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer for about five or six years. So, if Head wants an opportunity for the role, it seems to me like he will get it, with a connection like that.

  • Tar Kidho: I’ve thought of Anthony Stewart Head as well, and indeed, from a physical perspective he would make a very good Stannis. Even though his presence is more likable than Trevor Eve’s (which I find not good for Stannis), he does portray Uther quite well as the charismatic-but-easy-to-hate arrogant King. My problem with him in Merlin, and the reason I didn’t propose him, is that at times he stops being believable. But whether this is due to flimsy acting skills or is a reflection of the all too often poor plotting actually is unclear to me. I don’t think his age would be a problem because he definitely looks younger than Mark Addy as Robert. So all in all, maybe he is my favourite so far. That is, IF his acting is improved with the help of a good story. Tar Kidho

    I have never seen Merlin, but I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, which Anthony Stewart Head was for about 7 years. I think he did a phenominal job portraying Buffy’s watcher and surrogate father on the show. His character, Giles, was a very complicated character with a dark side, despite appearing very dapper. Now, Giles is nothing like Stannis, but I think Head is a great actor. So, if it’s between bad plotting or Head’s acting at fault in Merlin, I’m inclined to believe it’s bad plotting.

    Also, something to note, Jane Espenson, who is on the Game of Thrones writing staff, was a prominent write for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So, with that connection, it would seem as though Head certainly has an opportunity for the role, if he wants it.

  • Jimmy,

    Antony Head ? I just can`t see him as Stannis. Apart from the physical differences, judging by his previous roles,I don`t think he has enough “dark side” to pull it off . He always strikes me as a big softy at heart no matter what character he plays.

  • Two Feathers: Jimmy,
    Antony Head ? I just can`t see him as Stannis. Apart from the physical differences,judging by his previous roles,I don`t think he has enough “dark side”to pull it off . He always strikes me as a big softy at heart no matter what character he plays.    

    Anthony Head was proposed I think mainly for his role in the ongoing BBC series Merlin, where he plays a bitter King Uther. Look for an ‘introduction’ here. (an example of a part that is somewhat reminescent of Stannis comes along at the 7min mark) Having seen those little fragments again, I am back to doubting his acting capabilities…

    OT: the true star of that show is the previously unknown young actor that plays Merlin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtmM2_KcA_A Getting him on GoT would mean a great input of quality – he basically saves the BBC series all by himself! And he does everything from playfull to drama very well, so he could probably take on a very complex character. (WiC: is it possible to make your next Casting thread one for a role that could suite Colin Morgan? ;-) )

  • Tar Kidho,

    is it possible to make your next Casting thread one for a role that could suite Colin Morgan?

    Dont’ know about Morgan, but I can definitely see Asa Butterfield (Mordred) as Jojen Reed. I think he’s perfect for that role.

  • reedgirl,

    And besides no friend but the Onion Knight, Stannis knows the ‘people’ don’t like him – he complains about it constantly, how they love Renly and hate him, etc etc.

  • I think that the actor will depend on the success of the first season. We´ll need a big name for either Stannis, Melisandre or Davos. If Game Of Thrones is a mega hit, we´ll see some big names in those characters, if not, who cares… :-(
    I like Rufus Sewell and I can see him as Stannis but I´m not an activist towards any actor in particular, at least not with Stannis, in Melisandre´s case, I´m quite a psychopath… ;-)
    We´ll see when Winter presents his options for Melisandre.

  • Since Bran has been aged up , shouldn’t Jojen be (at least a bit ) as well ?

    Bran may be his prince , but he is Bran’s mentor. I think there needs to be an obvious difference in maturity.

  • obsidian: Since Bran has been aged up , shouldn’t Jojen be (at least a bit ) as well ?Bran may be his prince , but he is Bran’s mentor.I think there needs to be an obvious difference in maturity.    

    In the books, Bran is around 8 years old and Jojen around 13 years old, so a 5 years difference. Asa Butterfield is now about 14 years old, but I couldn’t find (and don’t remember) how old Isaac Hempstead-Wright is… As long as he looks at least two years older, I think it’s ok. As I remember it, the distinghuishing feature of Jojen is that he is a strange boy, and Asa definitely can protray that I think. Also, I think we* shouldn’t age Jojen up by too much since his siter is supposed to be even three years older and also still a youngster
    (* by ‘we’ of course I mean ‘HBO’…difficult to accept but we do not make the calls)

    Rabid Bogling: Tar Kidho,
    I’d have said Theon, based on looks alone. Bit late for that, though. Ramsay, perhaps?    

    I don’t know, for me it is too long ago since I read the books to remember some of the smaller characters. In Merlin, the tone of the story is often more playful than will be the case in GoT, and although Colin Morgan especially excells in that regard, here’s a clip that shows him when he’s serious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_–9g3o8eNk I hope it’s possible to get him on board in the role of a good-natured young man that undergoes some awfull things (shouldn’t be too hard in the realm of Westeros ;-)). It would be nice to see Morgan develop himself as an actor.
    Btw, the guy appearing at the end of the clip is John Lynch who seems very fitting for the role of the Blackfish… (I think someone else maybe mentioned that already)

    Anyway, time that they give us a new character to dwell upon, because new suggestions for Stannis seem unlikely and our minds begin to wander in other directions :-)

  • Tar Kidho,

    Re; Jojen…I agree they can’t age him up too much, but I think they could extend it up to 15 0r even 16..Meera is supposed to be almost 16 ( a woman grown ) when we meet her, but could be taken for 13 , so it wouldn’t matter if she and Jojen looked close in age.

    I just think that in a series where all the other kids have been aged up, it would be strange if they weren’t. Not only does there have to be a certain distance maintained between them and Bran, but it will have to be believeable that their father would have sent them off on their own ,in dangerous times.

    Sorry to sidetrack…

  • Tar Kidho,

    Oh ,I don’t know why I try to do this late at night ..now I’ve bungled my own sidetrack.. I thought you were talking about Asa Butterfield..Not having seen the show, who knew ?

    Goodnight ,all.

  • Tar Kidho:
    Btw, the guy appearing at the end of the clip is John Lynch who seems very fitting for the role of the Blackfish… (I think someone else maybe mentioned that already)

    Another nice find! I’d never heard of him. It’s interesting that so many actors suggested for the Blackfish are rather young (that is, fiftyish, but looking youthful). All have in common very captivating blue eyes. I like this trend. :D

    PS scratch Jackie Earle Haley for Brynden… he’s too short. His impact in “Watchmen” for me was in part created by the fact that there is this thin small guy who becomes a deadly vigilante with an unforgettable trademark appearance, but I don’t think it works for GoT. ;)

  • Good list of actors, I think only Strong could do Stannis justice which is probably a bad thing as its debatable whether or not he’ll do it. But the other three could play a wide range of the characters. Ecclestone could make a good Beric or even Aeron Damhair, might be the right level of commitment for him, and Sewell would make a great Bolton.

    I also woke up this morning with the image of Mark Heap (Spaced, Green Wing etc) as Ser Dontos, who has a fairly important role as things progress.

  • Joss: I also woke up this morning with the image of Mark Heap (Spaced, Green Wing etc) as Ser Dontos    

    Now that’s true dedication to the series! :-)

  • mummer,

    Yes, apologies for the garbled syntax there, stringing three of Hardy’s current roles together. However, now that I think of it, I’m beginning to like the whole concept of that movie! Let’s get a meeting with the right people and make it happen! I’m thinking Harvey Weinstein!

  • DH87,
    Actually I must apologize for misreading your comment so badly. Clearly, the phrase “opposite Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale” didn’t mean that Hardy is co-starring in the Batman movie with those other two actors– but rather as two more roles in that list: he’s playing Christian Bale, and he’s also playing “opposite Anne Hathaway”, an alternate-universe version of Anne Hathaway who does everything wrong (known as “Bizarro Anne Hathaway” in the original comics, but Nolan thought “Bizarro” sounded too goofy for the more serious approach he’s taken to these movies).

  • mummer,

    Bizarro Anne Hathaway would be no stretch for the brilliant Mr. Hardy, who has already given us a sexually violent Bill Sykes, a violently sexual Bronson, and a sweetly goofy Handsome Bob.

  • All right! glad to see I’m not entirely alone in thinking Jason Isaacs would make a fine Stannis. His portrayal of Mike Caffey in Brotherhood (violent guy with his own weird sense of duty…when not kicking the shit out of somebody, scaring them with a steely blue gaze and probably clenching his teeth to splinters) and even lesser known part in Friends With Money (cold, pissy, non-charismatic, type A guy who can’t relate to his wife) are worth checking out if you’ve only seen him as Lucius Malfoy. Barring that, I guess the others mentioned initially would be ok, although I’m starting to see Eccleston as the Damphair and just don’t cotton to Sewell as Stannis….perhaps as the Red Viper?

  • Wathced Outcasts last night, and it struck me that Liam Cunningham would actually make a good Stannis, although possibly a bit on the tall side.

    Liam Cunningham

    Liam Cunningham

    Has the right sense of ‘dourness’ about him, a great actor, and a leader

  • I don’t know why, but I always imagined Stannis as Patrick Bergin without the hair, but with the beard… he’s too old though now.
    The way he was in “Sleeping with the Enemy” this iron hard stuff.

  • After rewatching Deadwood I could picture Timothy Olyphant as Stannis as well, considering he was cleanshaven in Hitman and sporting a nice beard in Deadwood. He has a stern look and some history with HBO and would fit agewise as the middle brother.

  • Never would have thought of him before but after seeing him in the current series of Being Human I think Robson Green would make a decent Stannis.

    Same age as Mark Addy but book Stannis is only a year younger than book Robert.

    Of course the story on the show would have to be rewritten so Bronn and Stannis meet up and share a song together ;)

  • Colm Feore would be perfect as Stannis—-if he were 10 years younger. Plus, Borgias has snapped him up.

    Rufus Sewell would be perfect. I think he would be great as Stannis! Jason Statham has the look, as does Mark Strong, but, come on—both these guys have too big a names to play in a TV role!

  • Maybe he is too handsome, but i would like to see Jim Caviezel for Stannis’ role. He fits very well the description of the book (sharpened blue eyes, jaw, hollow cheeks, grand ears, dark hair color, tall, muscular). He’s well known too. He is 42 years old. Good no ? The problem that he is american. But he has no big project for the next year so why not ? (sorry but Sewell is already engaged for a new project. Armitage plays in Hobbit films.)

  • new name for a character sligthly off with a face not often to be seen on tv: christoph waltz!

  • Dunno if this is mentioned, couldn’t find it in the mass of notes above, but how about Anthony Stewart Head for Stannis? He’s fairly broad and tall, dark haired, very patrician-looking when he wants to be, and has been able to do the role of the over-looked ‘sidekick’ before. He’s also the right nationality that they seem to look for in their castings, and he is a really good actor to boot! He’s a handsome chap, although not so handsome as to make him too inappropriate for the role, plus he does have a cult following so to give another ‘name’ to the series, without him being overhired by other movies and tv shows.

    Now he does have some things against him of course. I would personally say he could be too old for the role, as while he is definitely older than the guys playing Robert and Renly, he could be viewed as a little too much older, although I suppose that could be mitigated with make-up. He is also perhaps a little too much like the kind of guy who could play a king, he did play a fairly convincing Uther after all! Aside from this though, I think he could do very well both in the role, and for the role.

    EDIT: My bad, eyes must be failing me, as just noticed a couple of people have brought up his name already, usually mentioning the same likes and misgivings as myself. Ah well…still throwing my ASH hat in the Stannis ring!

  • Jason Isaacs would be an awesome cast, however I’m still open to any of those 4 actors. I certainly love them to go more strong with a big name like Viggo Mortensen, when I first heard the name Stannis, I immediately pictured Viggo Mortensen. Though I have to admit this seem like a highly unlikely thing to happen.

  • No other broods as well as Brit Richard Armitage. Physically he’d make a fine match to grrm’s description of Stannis..the actor is 6’2″..dark hair/beard/blue eyes/broad shouldered. he has recently said he’s into his elephant man period and would gladly shave his head if partially bald is necessary for the role. Armitage’s favorite characters are morally conflicted and complex – Which to my mind perfectly characterizes Stannis Baratheon. After a recent press conference for The Hobbit, the reporter wrote that Armitage has a notably deep voice and carries himself with great gravitas.

  • RAblogger,

    I agree that Richard Armitage would be a marvelous choice for Stannis. He’s proven he can play multilayered characters and would have the perfect screen presence for this key character. He fits the physical description of Stannis in the books as well.

  • I think Ray Winstone would be great as Stannis or Davos. I also like JB Blanc (he played Luigi Vampa in the Count of Monte Cristo) for Davos. I know it’s a little typecasty but that’s how I saw Davos while reading the books. But Winstone would just be fantastic he’s got that street smart thing that Davos needs

  • Frankly, the best person they could cast as Stannis would be Patrick Stewart.

    Search your feelings. You know this to be true.

  • I would prefer to see in that role Rufus Sewell.
    For those of you who think of Rufus Sewell only as Aurelio Zen I strongly suggest to take a look at the TV show “Charles II- The Power and the Passion” for BBC, “The Pillars of The Earth”, “Vinyan”, “Tristan and Isolde” (was mentioned before me) and some other not much popular but nevertheless very good films. He has an immense power to represent a scope of different characters.

  • Shaurya:
    gerrard butler will be the best stannis possible
    he does’nt have to be bald

    wait… so lena headey would have a line like, “lord stannis, come back on your shield… no seriously” or maybe “this will not be over quickly, you will not enjoy this, you are not my dead husband’s brother”

    I just can’t picture GB as any role in GoT due to the 300 crossover. Maybe a role as Hotah or some other role far from Cersei’s universe (and after she becomes even crazier post-joff)… maybe Cleon or Aeron or even Euron.

    As far as Stannis, I vote for Jeremy Irons… before you say he’s too old, I’m pretty sure I remember many times in the books where it is mentioned that he looks older than Robert even though he’s his younger brother, and Davos PoV seems to mention him looking older due to his leeching sessions and whatever crazy sessions Mel has with him to create the shadows. As far as him playing stoic and stern, I think he could handle it in his sleep.

  • Vekun,

    Malcovich is too old … and tends to take over roles and make’em his own. He would be perfect for the Mad King though :)

    Pip Torrens is a great suggestion, and Jason Statham is a good actor that sadly has been stuck in bad roles for the last decade. I see him as good choice as Stannis is a warrior, a stubborn ruler that isn’t as popular as his brothers because of his rough edges. He could definetly pass off as Mark Addy’s younger brother.

    Viggo Mortensen is surely a great actor, and could easily pull the part of, but I’m afraid i would just see Aragorn while watching him.

    And for those of you that are naming names like Patrick Stewart… remember… Stannis is 35 years old. Stop talking nonsense.

    btw. Eddie Marsan is the one and only Ser Davos… as “common” as they get.

  • Vekun,

    Peter Dinklage said he did it because this is one of the richest characters he’s ever encountered, and certainly the best ever created for a little person. I think that’s why he did it.

  • willis83,

    Kevin McKidd- I like- they’d have to dye his hair- but he’s also a series regular on Grey’s Anatomy- which may pose scheduling issues.

  • Strong spent ages in the UK TV on the Bill and also was in sharp alongside bean he could but depends on his commitments they must have paid bean a lot so perhaps they could tempt him

    Petter Kristian Vikestad,

  • BRUCE PAYNE….BRUCE PAYNE….NO OTHER ACTOR HOLDS A CANDLE TO THIS ACTOR WHEN IT COMES TO ACTING REGAL OR LIKE A KING…HE HAS DONE THIS PART MANY TIMES BEFORE…..

    BRUCE PAYNE, BRUCE PAYNE, BRUCE PAYNE, BRUCE PAYNE, BRUCE PAYNE

  • I think Christopher Eccleston would be better as Ser Davos, Ray Stevenson from Rome and Punsher:Warzone would be a much better and hard looking Stannis. I would also like to add that though I don’t mind Rufus Sewell, I do not see him as Stannis, he is a sneaky looking guy, perhaps more suited to Dhorne or one of the Boltons.

  • CliveStanden

    …Actually 2 Camelot alumni…but only one from our show

    3 hours ago

    Just heard some massive casting news for season 2 of GOT’s…3 amazing actors (one Camelot alumnus) great choices

    3 hours ago

    hmmmmm James Purefoy :)

  • i’m really looking forward to season 2!!
    would like to suggest Rufus Sewell as Edmure Tully. Take a look at his pictures at http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/fullmonty/482/rufus.htm and don’t tell me he can’t pass off as Richard Madden’s uncle!! the curly hair, those large expressive eyes. plus, he’s a few years younger than Michelle Fairley, so he can definitely be her younger brother and heir of Riverrun! i just keep imagining Rufus with those curly locks when i read about Edmure, esp when he is standing forlornly in front of some besieged castle with something around his neck.