Casting Rumors Speculation

Eccleston to join Thrones? Doubtful.

Christopher EcclestonThere are rumors and then there are rumors. Last week Den of Geek mentioned in an article about the Natalie Dormer casting that there were “unconfirmed rumours” that Christopher Eccleston was going to be joining the cast of Game of Thrones. We didn’t report on it then because the rumor was (and still is) very unsubstantiated. Since then though the rumor has taken on a life of its own and been picked up by major sites such as Blastr, AOL TV and Zap2It. So we felt we should address it.

As far as I can tell, this rumor seems to be based on nothing more than Internet speculation. I have searched for reports of Eccleston actually being linked to the show and haven’t found any. All I can find are instances of fan casting; people saying he would be good for the role of Stannis Baratheon. I believe Den of Geek misinterpreted all this chatter as rumors that he was actually going to be cast. If they had had an actual source for the rumor, surely that would have merited more than just a throwaway line at the end of an article mostly about the Dormer casting? Another strike against the Eccleston rumor being true: It was recently announced that he has been cast in a BBC adaptation of The Borrowers which begins filming this week. This might not be as bad a conflict as I originally thought. Westeros.org notes that filming for this will only last 5 weeks, which means it will end right around when Thrones filming begins. That doesn’t change the veracity of this rumor but does provide a glimmer of hope for the Eccleston for Stannis crowd.

As for the Tony Curran rumor, which is also mentioned in the Den of Geek article, that one does have a source, but it is an old rumor. We first reported on it almost two months ago. Curran reportedly mentioned at a con in Belfast that he was in talks to join the cast of Thrones. I imagine that even if the report was true at the time, that those talks must have broken down and we shouldn’t expect a Curran casting announcement.

Winter Is Coming: I could be wrong about all of this of course. We could get a casting announcement today for Eccleston as Stannis and Curran as Davos. I would be thrilled were that to happen. But after a couple years of closely monitoring these casting games, I think that I have developed a pretty good feel for which rumors ring true and which are nothing more than fan chatter. And unfortunately, the Eccleston rumor seems like the latter.

206 Comments

  • I still haven’t lost hope of seeing Richard Armitage or Mark Strong as Stannis… A girl can dream, right?
    The Hobbit is in hiatus until late August…

    P.S: OMG! First! :D

  • Yeah that Den of the Geek article through me for a loop. I would be o.k. with either one of those guys joining the cast but as you said if Eccleston has just signed up for a new series then it’s probably unlikely that he’s our Stannis.

  • I like Eccleston but I can’t see him as Stannis personally. Besides, he’s notoriously fickle and doesn’t like to stay committed for more than one season for anything.

  • Too bad, I like Eccleston, but I trust Nina Gold and I suspect I’ll be more than satisfied with the actor that is going to play Stannis :)

  • “I think that I have developed a pretty good feel for which rumors ring true and which are nothing more than fan chatter.”
    Plus you can tell from the pixels.

    j/k man, but seriously, keep up the good work.

  • It’s a shame. I actually pictured him the first time I read the book. The second time I pictured Jason Isaacs, who also won’t be Stannis for the same reason (other commitments).

    I really hope we hear soon who it is.

  • I see him as Jaqen H’ghar. We need a famous actor for the Arya scenes, and this role would be only one season, because he changes skin..

    He has to much of an funny face for Stannis.

  • Lossoth, haha! I realized that sounded kinda “I don’t know how much the rest of you know about casting (I’m an expert)” after I wrote it, but I went with it anyway.

  • Eccleston would make a great Stannis – he does exactly the right kind of ‘hard’ (inflexiblity more than muscularity of outlook) better than any actor I can think of, including Mark Strong, who looks right for Stannis, but I fear might bring too much pathos to the role. Most of us shouldn’t be able to empathise much with Stannis, because his moral rigidity is something that is alien to most people.

    WiC, would you consider posting a speculative piece about who might play whom in season 2? There is a lot of opinion and rumour out there that would make entertaining reading to have assembled into one place, and I’m sure it would stimulate a lot of comment and suggestions. You could incorporate or follow this with a straw poll for each role. Hell, it might even help Nina and her team, I’d be surprised if they don’t use SoFaI dedicated sites like this one to generate ideas.

  • And that, folks, is why Winter-is-Coming.net is the place for all news of the Seven Kingdoms.

  • Starkgirl:
    I like Eccleston but I can’t see him as Stannis personally. Besides, he’s notoriously fickle and doesn’t like to stay committed for more than one season for anything.

    Agreed!! Loved him in Dr Who, but then he left after one season?!?! Replacing Stannis for season 3 would suck!!

  • Mark Wilson: WiC, would you consider posting a speculative piece about who might play whom in season 2? There is a lot of opinion and rumour out there that would make entertaining reading to have assembled into one place, and I’m sure it would stimulate a lot of comment and suggestions. You could incorporate or follow this with a straw poll for each role. Hell, it might even help Nina and her team, I’d be surprised if they don’t use SoFaI dedicated sites like this one to generate ideas.

    We already have:

    Season 2 open casting thread
    Casting Season Two: Brienne
    Casting Season Two: Stannis
    Casting Season Two: Melisandre
    Casting Season Two: Davos
    Casting Season Two: Asha

  • This is a good time to mention that Robert Carlyle, one of the fan speculation favorites for Davos, is set to appear in ABC’s Once Upon a Time:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1843230/

    It’s listed as “rumored” on IMDB, but he’s in the trailer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rga4rp4j5TY

    I guess that answers the question of whether or not he would do the series, as this seems a bit small potatoes compared to Game of Thrones. Like Eccleston, it’s possible that he never left the fan speculation arena.

  • The Hand’s Jerk: What about the all important… Moonboy?

    Ha! Seriously though, how about a Ygritte? I know she’s a small part of season 2 but important enough of a character. Or should we just say Léa Seydoux and be done with it?

  • Nick Larter:
    MTV just came up with a good suggestion in a dream casting article– Bonnie Wright (aka Ginny Weasley) for Ygritte

    I would go for Emma Stone for Ygritte!

  • That’s great news. Eccleston would’ve brought a “B movie” feel to show that would’ve just dragged it down. We need a bonafide star for Stannis.

  • Nick Larter,

    german,

    IMO both of those are too young for Ygritte (and Emma Stone has the whole American thing to overcome). She’s needs to look at least of age with Jon Snow not to mention all the sex scenes that will no doubt be included being on HBO and all. Plus Ygritte is a spear wife warrior type.

  • dizzy_34:
    Nick Larter,

    german,

    IMO both of those are too young for Ygritte (and Emma Stone has the whole American thing to overcome).

    And I would really prefer we not have a very well known young Hollywood ingenue in the role. There are plenty of talented actors who have far less profile, and thus can sink themselves into the role (just like Emilia did).

  • Winter Is Coming:
    Lossoth, haha! I realized that sounded kinda “I don’t know how much the rest of you know about casting (I’m an expert)” after I wrote it, but I went with it anyway.

    Nah, it doesn’t sound arrogant. You develop a feel for these things after reading enough of them.

    As someone said above, given Eccleston’s nature of smaller commitments, someone like Jaqen would be cool for him. Fun role, small time commitment, and we likely never see the character like that again.

  • Ran has noted that filming for the BBC project is only scheduled to last for 5 weeks, which means it will end right around when Thrones filming begins. That doesn’t change the veracity of this rumor but does provide a glimmer of hope for the Eccleston for Stannis crowd.

  • MrGiggles,

    If you think Eccleston is a “b-movie” actor you are seriously mistaken. Eccleston has a massive resume that includes a lot of very impressive projects.

    Check him out in Elizabeth, and tell me he wouldn’t have made a kick-ass Stannis.

  • Josh Parker,

    I agree he’s done some fine acting in his career. But I’m more concerned with the overall appeal and perception the general viewing audience holds of him. With Sean Bean, Mark Addy and Jason Momoa gone we need another star to center the show and pull in a new audience to continue the ratings growth next year. Eccleston just doesn’t fit that bill.

    He’d make a fine Greyjoy—Victarion? Balon?

  • MrGiggles,

    LOL; you include Jason Momoa as a “star” and Eccleston isn’t? Momoa has one major credit to his name prior to this show: Stargate Atlantis. I know, he’s the new Conan, but that movie hasn’t come out yet and we don’t know how it will be received, so you can’t call him a “star” yet.

    Whether you agree or not, Eccleston is very much on the same level, audience perception-wise, as Sean Bean and Mark Addy. Yes, there are those who have only seen him on Doctor Who and can’t get past that, but Doctor Who was a footnote in his career.

    It’s also funny that you mention him as a potential Greyjoy, but list two characters he is totally wrong for, physically, and ignore the one Greyjoy character he would totally rock as: Damphair.

  • I think Ygritte needs more fire in her than the girl from Harry Potter has. Maybe they haven’t given Bonnie Wright a chance to shine yet, but I picture a wilder, almost rock and roll-in-the-wilderness type. She’s not too young, though. Remember, they won’t be shooting the sex stuff for another year at least anyway.

    I do suspect they’ll make her prettier than she’s supposed to be in the books, though. I just hope they make her hair really red.

    I’m going nuts waiting for casting news. This is torture.

  • MrGiggles:
    Josh Parker,

    I agree he’s done some fine acting in his career. But I’m more concerned with the overall appeal and perception the general viewing audience holds of him.With Sean Bean, Mark Addy and Jason Momoa gone we need another star to center the show and pull in a new audience to continue the ratings growth next year.Eccleston just doesn’t fit that bill.

    He’d make a fine Greyjoy—Victarion? Balon?

    Bean was the really the only actor in the series with any sort of star power, and it’s pretty limited in the US. He’s never really even been a lead in anything big here. (I realize he may be a UK star, but the relative numbers mean that less important).

    What most of the actors DO have is a lot of geek credit (for example, Lena Headley in Terminator) or simply fantastic acting credit or both.

    Eccleston fits both — he’s considered a very good actor and has done both period pieces and has some pretty massive geek cred considering he was a short-lived but really well-liked Dr. Who.

    I don’t expect a huge name. I expect maybe a slight uptick in the name recognition (Natalie Dormer being a good example). So instead of never having heard of Gethin Anthony, I expect a more Aiden Gillen-style casting for Stannis or Davos.

    That’s not a bad thing. Gillen doesn’t pull in a ton of people, but he has massive credibility in the HBO Drama fanbase. He may not cause someone to subscribe, but he probably pulled in people who loved The Wire if they were on the fence.

  • Josh Parker,

    Damphair works for me. But Eccleston is still not the guy to carry season two.

    I agree that Momoa was no star at the beginning of the season but he became a fan favorite and his loss has left a big hole in the cast. I’m just suggesting that whomever joins the cast at this point must enter at a much higher level to fill the void.

    I would argue that Sean Bean is far more widely recognized than Eccleston.

  • Josh Parker:
    MrGiggles,

    LOL; you include Jason Momoa as a “star” and Eccleston isn’t? Momoa has one major credit to his name prior to this show: Stargate Atlantis. I know, he’s the new Conan, but that movie hasn’t come out yet and we don’t know how it will be received, so you can’t call him a “star” yet.

    Um, Baywatch? AKA The Biggest Show on the Planet at the time it was airing? Momoa has a strong American fanbase, especially with women. Eccleston has a much smaller one.

  • Alan is right. Bean was the biggest actor in the series, and “lesser” actors like Dinklage and Headly are likely to mop up GOT awards before he will. We don’t need superstars, who also would be more expensive. I’d rather see the money spent on other things, like CGI, bigger battle scenes, better wolves, and proper purple contact lenses for members of the Targaryen family.

  • Steve the Pirate,

    Biggest JOKE on the planet, more likely. People watched Baywatch for one thing only; bouncing breasts.

    Plus he was only on the show for two seasons. I maintain that he is NOT a star. Few people outside of SG fans have heard of him, and nearly everybody has heard of Eccleston, thanks to the number of films he’s in, plus Doctor Who and Heroes.

    MrGiggles,

    Uuum…CARRY season 2? Peter Dinklage is already doing that.

    Whoever plays Stannis won’t CARRY season 2. Stannis is a supporting role.

  • I really don’t get this attitude that we “need” a huge star to guarantee success on the series. Who was the “huge star” for Rome? Ciaran Hinds? Killed after the first season and not replaced by another big star.

    What about The Wire? Who on that show was a big star? Anybody?

  • Josh Parker,

    Yeah, I agree, Stannis is a key addition but the people who will “carry” this show going forward are Clarke, Harington, Dinklage, and Williams plus Hempstead-Wright and Madden to a lesser extent.

  • “Josh Parker
    Steve the Pirate,

    People watched Baywatch for one thing only; bouncing breasts.”

    Don’t forget great asses. Never forget those. Also, Germans particularly worship The Hoff.

  • I would love Eccelston to play Damphair. Tony would be my choice for the Blackfish if they had cast Catelyn younger, he’s not enough of a dandy to play Edmure. I would like Damian Lewis for that. I guess Tony would be good for Davos I just always pictured him with dark hair. My choice for Stannis is still Ray Winstone. He’s actually a little older than Mark Addy but I think he looks younger and he got a leaner hard edged look to him but still resembles Addy. He’s done the medieval fantasy thing before (Arthur & Robin of Sherwood) and he’s fantastic at it. The one I am waiting for is Brienne. I would love Katie Sackhoff to get it if she grew about a foot. :) That Gwendoline girl every one is talking about sounds pretty good though. I just want some news!!!!!

  • Danielle,

    That has to be the second worst pick for Stannis I’ve seen. The first is Ian McShane.

    Stannis is supposed to be lean to the point of looking gaunt, and he only gets gaunter as the series goes on. I don’t think it’s necessary to get a skeletal actor, but why would you want a plump actor? His looking like Addy is NOT an assett; Stannis and Robert aren’t supposed to resemble each other.

  • Eagle1: Also, Germans particularly worship The Hoff.

    LOL. I am German and I can tell you that this is not true at all. I really wonder where that rumor is caming from…

  • Danielle,

    I can get behind Ray Winstone. He’s an amazing actor with the perfect amount of gravitas and flawed self-confidence. I don’t mind that he doesn’t match the physical description in the book. He’d be kick-ass in the role.

    Stannis is not a POV character in the book but I believe he’s going to be presented very differently in the show. He’ll become a fleshed-out, central character that the anti-Lannister crowd can rally behind.

  • MrGiggles,

    I disagree. I think he’s sort of an anti-villain. His actions in the book are NOT heroic, and unless they change the story significantly, he won’t be considered the new “hero”.

    I don’t get why this show needs a “hero” to “root for”. The books didn’t have a replacement for Ned (other than Robb, who disappeared early in the book and didn’t reappear until the next book) and HBO’s shows are almost wholly shows with anti-heroes or flawed protagonists. There is no reason Tyrion can’t become the new “lead”.

  • Josh Parker:
    I really don’t get this attitude that we “need” a huge star to guarantee success on the series. Who was the “huge star” for Rome? Ciaran Hinds? Killed after the first season and not replaced by another big star.

    What about The Wire? Who on that show was a big star? Anybody?

    I agree — I’d much prefer an actor who becomes known for their role in GoT rather than getting a famous actor known for other work. I want people who will disappear into the roles instead of be “hey, it’s that famous person X playing that role”.

  • Mark Wilson:
    Eccleston would make a great Stannis – he does exactly the right kind of ‘hard’ (inflexiblity more than muscularity of outlook) better than any actor I can think of, including Mark Strong, who looks right for Stannis, but I fear might bring too much pathos to the role. Most of us shouldn’t be able to empathise much with Stannis, because his moral rigidity is something that is alien to most people.

    I respectfully disagree with you…sort of…about the character analysis. I think your argument makes total sense and is well laid out, and maybe I’m just approaching the character from a completely different direction, but I do find myself able to empathize with Stannis in a way. He’s not a likeable guy by any means, but if you go by Westeros’ laws (whether they are just is another discussion in itself), and assuming you consider the Targaryen dynasty done*, then Stannis DOES have the right to claim the Iron Throne. He is Robert’s true heir. So no matter how much of a douche he can be, I can’t completely hate him, because I know he’s right.

    Also, there’s something to be said for someone who is married to justice in a place like Westeros. That said, Stannis doesn’t have the charisma to make the smallfolk, or even other lords, love him. And if people don’t love their king, what loyalty will they show him? But he KNOWS they don’t love him, and I think he’s not as hard-edged INSIDE as we initially think. He’s been overshadowed his entire life by Robert and Renly, who both have the charisma that just naturally attracts people. And now that he has a claim to fame, I do think Stannis wants to have it all – a crown and justice and the admiration of the people.

    Based on my above thoughts, I would very much welcome an actor who plays Stannis with more pathos. For the most part, any characters that HBO changed significantly have been adapted beautifully (Cat/Robb/Sam/Viserys i.e.), so I think it would be interesting and rewarding to see a slightly different version of Stannis. Giving him a bit more of an emotional core won’t drastically change his storyline. He’ll still do exactly what he does in the book, but we will just potentially care a little bit more.

    *I threw this in because if you’re like me, then you consider Dany to be the rightful heiress to the Iron Throne :D

  • Tulse,

    I don’t mind well-known, or at least well-regarded, actors being on this show but I mind the insistence that they must be a-listers that the average TV viewer will definitely have heard of.

    Eccleston’s not an a-lister (I maintain that Bean and Addy, and especially Momoa, weren’t either) but he is a known face. In fact, it’s this board (and westeros.org) that I first saw the suggestion that he’s not a well-known actor.

  • I guess another way of putting it is that I would not at all mind if Stannis was played by a “hey, it’s that guy!” level actor. I don’t think he needs an a-lister, but I do believe he shouldn’t be played by a complete unknown. He should be at least as well-known as Peter Dinklage, if not even Mark Addy.

  • Josh Parker:
    I really don’t get this attitude that we “need” a huge star to guarantee success on the series. Who was the “huge star” for Rome? Ciaran Hinds? Killed after the first season and not replaced by another big star.

    What about The Wire? Who on that show was a big star? Anybody?

    Julius Caesar dies!?!?! What?!?! Man, you’ve got to use spoiler tags! ;)

    Nobody on The Wire was a big star, but it was hardly a ratings success. But comparably, True Blood only had Anna Paquin at the start, and the Sopranos’ biggest star at episode 1 was who, Little Stevie?

    If you have good characters, you build that rapport. Tyrion, Dany, Jon Snow, Arya, etc., will hopefully grow into the Tony Sopranos, Omar Littles, Stringer Bells, Tommy Carcetti’s, Bunk Morelands, Al Swearengen’s of Game of Thrones.

  • Eagle1,
    Josh Parker,

    All true. But we don’t worship him in any way. Yes he had his time in Germany but now he is far from beeing a star here.
    To quote the article Eagle1 has linked:

    In the 20 years since then, Germany has had plenty of pop stars; bands like the trance-dancing trio Scooter and heavy- metal rockers Rammstein are well known in the country. But, outside of Germany, everyone still thinks Hasselhoff is Germany’s biggest star.

    – Oh my god, I have to stop here a certain book just arrived!

  • I was never into Stargate or Baywatch but I knew who Momoa was. He’s also married to Lisa Bonet and was visible in that sense. He was quite popular with women. Eccleston is only popular in certain circles here. No offense but I think that being an American woman gives me a better sense of what’s popular with American women than foreign males.

  • For some reason I’ve gotten my

    A DANCE WITH DRAGONS

    delivered today!!!

    Strange thing: I’m in Germany, and it’s two weeks early!

    Thought I’d mention that…

    YAY!!!

  • Offtopic, but still; How about Rachel Hurd-Wood for Ygritte? She’s a bit younger than Kit, but she looks the part. And she’s definately a vow-breaker. :D
    And as for the Eccleston… Yeah, I think he would be a great Stannis… In contrast to Mark Strong, the other popular option, who imo looks far too… I dunno, mafia? Ye, i think that’s the word… He’s mafia-looking.
    Actually, a while ago there were some auditions posted here. The one auditioning for Balon Greyjoy would also make a good Stannis. I agree, though… Stannis has to be played by a bigger name. They must be really careful how they cast Stannis and Davos… Davos, even though he’s POV, shouldn’t steal any of the Stannis scenes.
    Ow… And the gal auditioning for Melisandre… She wasn’t very good, but one thing I did like was her accent. Maybe they should get Salma Hayek for Mel. :D

  • Haha, some German publisher is going to get their asses handed to them for this foul up I bet. aDwD I’m pretty sure had a “strict on sale” date not just for the US, but worldwide also.

    Anyway, I’m really hoping we get some big cast announcement this week, today would be nice!

    come on now producers, throw us a bone!

  • Lina,

    I agree that there are instances (as a reader) in which you can find sympathy for Stannis. His life has been hard — he married a woman who he does not love (or respect), his daughter is disfigured by disease, and he watched his parents die when their ship sank (which certainly influenced his path to the way he is as an adult). Some characters have sympathy for him — Davos honors and respects (even loves) him, and Master Cressen considered him a son and agonized about how damaged he was. True — his vision of right and wrong is rigid and his judgments are harsh, but he will try to do the right thing (e.g., bring his men to the Wall to fight the larger battle there). His real downfall is that he has no capacity for flexibility (he is iron rather than steel), and sees only black and white, without greys.

    There is plenty of subtext for a good actor to play with in portraying Stannis — I suspect that at some point he will reach a breaking point in the books (when another man will bend), and that break will be spectacular.

  • I made a funny little exercise today, after reading this news. I asked 10 co-workers if they knew any of the following actors. (None of them have seen GoT and all are above 30)…

    Sean Bean – All 10, saying thats the guy from Lord of The Rings.
    Mark Addy – 8, most of them knowing him from The Full Monty or A Knights Tale.
    Jason Momoa – 2, both of them saying “Thats the new Conan guy, right?”
    Christopher Eccleston – 0, no one knew who this was…

    I know this is a veeeeerrrryyyy small sample size, but it’s quite a good example of those peoples starpower in Northeren Europe. Sean Bean is a HUGE star, Mark Addy is a star, Momoa is a future star (if Conan is any good) and Christopher Eccleston is a complete nobody, for anyone else then Dr Who fans.. of which I have only met 1 in all the 30 years of my life. Outside England and US, Dr Who is very niche.

    I quite liked him in Heroes though (had to imdb him first to figure out who he is and what role he plays in it..) and think he could be quite nice as Davos or Damphair. But Stannis, no way…

    Totally OT: My aunt is German and she looooves The Hoff. No kidding..

  • Just kidding…..I am bored. I feel that HBO’s gonna pull some not too well known but a relatively recognizable face for the role of Stannis….and I don’t give a damn about who they pick!!

  • Steve the Pirate,

    I think we’re gonna have to agree to disagree, but I’m not foreign. I’m an American, currently living in Canada, but when it comes to famous people there’s very little difference between our countries.

    Despite that we’re mostly arguing opinions and personal perception now, which is unproductive.

    I do encourage you, however, to sometime take a few pics of Eccleston and Momoa and show them to random strangers on the street, and see who gets more people recognizing him. I would suggest that you use a shot of Momoa from his Baywatch days (they’re on google) since you are suggesting his stint on Baywatch makes him a star.

  • Maui,

    Question; what pic did you use of Momoa vs. Eccleston? If you used a shot from Conan, no wonder. Did you use a shot of Eccleston as the Doctor? Because I can’t imagine more people would know about a movie that hasn’t come out yet than Doctor Who.

  • Josh Parker: You do realize she doesn’t have to be red-headed, right? And probably won’t be.

    Josh Parker,

    Not sure I get your meaning. I think the character SHOULD be red-headed. I’m not a stickler for staying with physical traits from the book but this one I think they should keep. Of course it’s a wish, not a demand.

    Obviously the actress doesn’t need to be a redhead naturally. I meant I hope whoever they cast, they give her really red hair.

  • Lea Seydoux as Ygritte, it is known
    Claire Foy as Gilly, it is known
    Alexander Skarsgard as Stannis, it is hopefully known, but I would settle for Butler
    Stellan Skarsgard as Davos, that would be way cool, Tony Curan (better as Edmure)
    Melisandre = Gong Li, Beyonce or Deborah Woll (any of those three and we have a Grand Slam)

    *Cool, I just checked and Beyonce’s last tour date is July 10, in Ireland for that matter, how approriate if she just hoped a train to Belfast.

  • metalgoddessamb:
    Haha, some German publisher is going to get their asses handed to them for this foul up I bet. aDwD I’m pretty sure had a “strict on sale” date not just for the US, but worldwide also.

    Anyway, I’m really hoping we get some big cast announcement this week, today would be nice!

    come on now producers, throw us a bone!

    I wasn’t able to edit my post, but I was right! GRRM posted (angrily) on his blog about the screw up, and mentioned “heads on spikes” hehe

    http://grrm.livejournal.com/224067.html

  • Kalasin,

    I meant the actress, not the character. In a series where practically none of the actors had the hair color naturally, I don’t understand why we fans (I’ve done this too) immediately look for a natural redhead for roles like Ygritte, or Mel, or whoever.

    tysnow,

    I’ve literally only heard Seydoux described as a fan favorite. The others I haven’t heard ANYBODY suggest, so I don’t think “It is known” is appropriate. “They’re my choices” would be better.

    Alexander Skarsgaard has a show already. Unlikely he’ll do both.

  • My take: The Stannis actor doesn’t need to be famous at all, he just needs to be a good actor. The difference between many of the great actors already in GoT roles that are barely memorable and the Stannis character is that Stannis will have lines and will allow the actor to shine through, fill him in.

    I loved him in Dr Who and I am still not completely recovered from him leaving that show. I may be crazy but I think Eccleston might be perfect for Stannis.

    By the way, since they made Renly gay and sensitive, I don’t see why they can’t hire a female actor for Stannis Baratheon. Tea Loni for Stannis!!!

    OT: I listened to the GoT OST last night and I thought the composition was quite good and imitated the costumes and sets’ multi-cultural styles (asian here, medieval european there, etc or whatever). The main themes were a bit simplistic and repetitious. Some songs were actually background furniture for scary moments and chase scenes. But my main caveat was the production is cheap. A lot of synthesizer sounds beneath the few lead instruments. For instance the last repetitions in the main theme has synths voices instead of real choir voices (which I love, still get chills down my back when I listen to the LOTR soundtrack). Overall I’d say the music is perfect for the price that HBO paid. I didn’t notice it during the show, it didn’t bother me. But I hope HBO will consider the music production budget as well as their furry CGI fund this year if they expect educated people to buy the soundtrack for its own value. I mean, I’m not saying give it a LOTR soundtrack price but at least try to use more organic music sources.

  • Josh Parker,

    I thought “it is known” is just a strong way to wishful think on a fans part, not intentionally (Nina) trying to (Nina) persuade anyone (Nina).

  • I haven’t looked (afraid to) but I’ve heard that Facebook is already getting spoilers. *sigh* I love going there for info too. :(

  • Don’t think anyone has mentioned this; but in regards to Bonnie Wright, I think she would be best cast as Meera Reed. So far we have heard nothing about the Reed kids, and they play a significant part in Bran’s storyline for season 2. Long term speculation, in the books…I’d wager on GRRM doing some sort of romantic Bran-Meera subplot.

  • Epic the wonderful: since they made Renly gay and sensitive

    Not to start up this whole argument again, but it wasn’t HBO or the writers that made Renly gay. GRRM wrote him as gay. What HBO did was decide to give a non-POV character a behind closed doors scene. I agree that Renly and Loras both seemed a bit more… badass? in the books, but I think that’s due to lack of scale for the tournament and screen time rather than a true change in character.

    Back on topic, I would love to see Eccleston in the show somehow. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that he’ll get wind of the fans wanting him in it and maybe try to get a part.

  • tysnow,

    Every time I’ve seen that saying used, it seemed to be as “This person is an acknowledged fan favorite”, kinda like “Charles Dance is Tywin. It is known.”

    If I suggested “Liam Cunningham is Davos. It is known.” I would be wrong. It is not “known”, he’s just my choice.

  • I REFUSE to give up hope! Chris is Stannis! No one else can do it the way he could. The only concession I would give is if he were cast as Balon or Damphair Greyjoy. Otherwise, I won’t rest in my “Eccleston as Stannis” campaign!!

  • I, for one, hope that both of these turn out to be rumors. I don’t want to see either actor portray either character (which is not to say they aren’t talented actors). I think Nina Gold can do better, is basically what I’m trying to say. Besides, I think we’ve all heard of what kind of flake Eccleston can be.

  • I would be very, very happy indeed if Eccleston were to play Stannis. But I don’t think it’s likely. He doesn’t seem to take roles that require a long committment, and Stannis will be around for at least a few years if the show keeps going (cross fingers).

    I’d love to see Eccleston as the Damphair though, he’s been my favourite for that role throughout. It doesn’t require too much commitment (unless of course the character becomes more prominent in future books) and has the potential to be interesting. The role also requires a particularly good actor to make it work- to avoid it looking like a cliched mad prophet.

  • tysnow,

    Every time I’ve seen that saying used, it seemed to be as “This person is an acknowledged fan favorite”, kinda like “Charles Dance is Tywin. It is known.”

    If I suggested “Liam Cunningham is Davos. It is known.” I would be wrong. It is not “known”, he’s just my choice.

    He is kidding, it is known LOL!
    Are you auditioning for Stannis or what? Relax man

  • Mirax: Not to start up this whole argument again, but it wasn’t HBO or the writers that made Renly gay.GRRM wrote him as gay.

    Yes I know, it’s an ugly argument on both sides like proving the bible has hidden messages. Because the book might allow a person to come to an interpretation about Renly’s sexuality. It is funny to think the flags that made people more closely are as unsubtle as a rainbow flag. Can you imagine GRRM straight faced writing about a rainbow army led by a gay king? It’s stuff of comedy. I think that would be really embarrassingly funny.

    But that said, you can fan-fiction anything you want between in the lines. If there was a tv show that had him doing it with a woman then you could say the show made him straight. The show exhibits Renly in a romantic, sexually active homosexual relationship. So for me at least, the show made him gay.

    Am I angry Renly is gay? Definitely not. Am I bothered that Renly doesn’t look like he can raise a sword and that he doesn’t have the same ‘character’? Well…. maybe a little. Do I think Stannis can be played by a female actor? Sure, why the fuck not? What’s wrong with that?

  • The casting in Season 1 of Mark Addy and Sean Bean gave credibility to the show. They aren’t necessarily actors that bring in people to watch because of who they are, but instead because people who know who they are know the project is going to be good because they’re in it and that the casting is good.

    Eccleston is one of those same type of actors. He’s not a household name, but he’s respected. But I’m not sure if he’s going to take a series and a long-term commitment.

    I have a feeling that HBO wants to have a well-known and respected actor as Stannis to include in the marketing of the show – The Five Kings all seated on the Iron Throne.

    But they’ll have to balance that with cost of hiring someone who’s a big name, scheduling issues and the fact that a bigger name actor is going to want a bigger role. Stannis isn’t a POV character. He’s not exactly likable. It’s probably not going to be an Emmy nominated type of role without serious additions/re-writes.

    The actor I’d like to see as Stannis would be Angus Macfadyen, since he could make him a bit more likable. He seems perfect for some role in GoT.

  • I think Eccleston would make a great Stannis (and FWIW, I’d say that whatever some posters on this thread might think, as an actor he’s probably about the same nowadays in terms of fame/recognition as Sean Bean, maybe even more respected than Bean in terms of acting chops, although possibly without Bean’s sex-appeal or whatever you want to call it… ;D). However, I don’t see it as anything more than fan rumour because if Eccleston’s time on Doctor Who is any kind of indication, he doesn’t like tying himself to one role for more than a year or so at a time and moreover doesn’t seem to particularly enjoy the whole genre fandom thing. Certainly, since he left the Doctor Who role he hasn’t touched Who fandom with a bargepole, which is a bit unprecedented in the 47+ year history of the show. So, really, GOT, considering Stannis would be in it for at least the next 3-4 seasons assuming it doesn’t get cancelled…doesn’t seem like the project for him, really.

  • Superdeluxe,

    Very nice list, except for Acker. Nope, can’t see that at all.

    I do wonder why people are so hung up on Christina Hendricks playing Mel. I think Mel should look more exotic. It’s gotta be the hair, as if only a natural redhead can or should play this role.

  • Josh Parker: Superdeluxe, Very nice list, except for Acker. Nope, can’t see that at all.I do wonder why people are so hung up on Christina Hendricks playing Mel. I think Mel should look more exotic. It’s gotta be the hair, as if only a natural redhead can or should play this role.

    Christina Hendricks is by no means a natural redhead, so…

  • Josh Parker:
    tysnow,

    If I suggested “Liam Cunningham is Davos. It is known.” I would be wrong. It is not “known”, he’s just my choice.

    I see more Stannis in him.

    Chris as Damphair? I don’t know. Maybe if he’d actual grew some (dampen) hair…

  • Josh Parker: Superdeluxe, Very nice list, except for Acker. Nope, can’t see that at all.I do wonder why people are so hung up on Christina Hendricks playing Mel. I think Mel should look more exotic. It’s gotta be the hair, as if only a natural redhead can or should play this role.

    Well wasnt there some descriptions that Melisandre was ‘full figured and Volptous? (sp)_)

    Christina Hendricks fits both of those. as well as the Red hair.

  • Oi!,

    Nothing against GRRM but I don’t think it matters if he ‘thinks’ his character is gay after he killed him, because the character’s sexuality is not discussed and has no cause or effect in the original story.

    GRRM can think Renly can’t stand getting nicked by a razor without almost fainting all he wants, it doesn’t change the book.

  • Epic the Wonderful: Can you imagine GRRM straight faced writing about a rainbow army led by a gay king?

    Yes, I can actually. Especially since GRRM has confirmed that Renly and Loras were an item, and also that the Rainbow Guard wasn’t meant to be a hint about Renly, just a detail whose connotation he didn’t consider. Of course, I don’t have links to these GRRM confirmations, so at this point I will bow out of this particular conversation. Possibly someone else will post a link to GRRM’s confirmations since I can’t get to his Not-A-Blog on my lunch break.

  • Jimmy,

    And you’ll be the last. Because he isn’t. What matters is can he pass for an old-looking younger brother of Mark Addy and he 100% can.

    You don’t need to be such a purist.

  • This just doesn’t seem like the kind of project that would attract Eccleston. He tends to go for things he sees as cutting edge and he is not a genre fan. Doing Who was something of an anomoly but justified in it being a risky venture in reality – bringing back a long-dead show – and done by a writer he’d worked with before.

    I’ve just started A Clash of Kings and from the first descriptions of Stannis, I’m picturing someone more like Mackenzie Crook. The actor is seven years younger than Mark Addy and has that thin and sharp-featured physique. I’m not sure his acting chops are sufficiently well proven though. That said, I would never have imagined Jerome Flynn in the role of Bronn and he’s been spectacular so I’m pretty much happy to trust this casting team.

  • Hey, I was just trying to balance the “too old” comments for the males and females. So far the females are way ahead of the males. OTOH, we are still at the beginning of the castings, so the males still have a chance to catch up. *fingers crossed*

  • LanLanLurker:
    Don’t think anyone has mentioned this; but in regards to Bonnie Wright, I think she would be best cast as Meera Reed. So far we have heard nothing about the Reed kids, and they play a significant part in Bran’s storyline for season 2. Long term speculation, in the books…I’d wager on GRRM doing some sort of romantic Bran-Meera subplot.

    Bran’s a little young for romance.

    Meera Reed needs to be an athletic type, thin as a stick with muscles. Bonnie Wright doesn’t seem to fit. But who knows, they might not go with the book description. Natalia Tena would have been the perfect Meera Reed if they decided to age up the character, and if she hadn’t already been cast as Osha. I wonder if they will switch the fates of Osha and Meera in the show? ie. Meera goes with Rickon, Osha with Bran, Jojen and Hodor.

  • Mirax: the Rainbow Guard wasn’t meant to be a hint about Renly, just a detail whose connotation he didn’t consider.

    I appreciate what you are trying to do, but it’s just not right for an author to change his characters in a Blog long after publishing the Book. He either writes it in the book for all to see or not at all.

    Even if he writes a short story next year that shows us the gayness of Renly and Loras, their sexuality would not seem properly planned out. It would rather seem like a spin-off.

    How can you seriously not consider a rainbow flag for the company of his supposedly only gay king character? Was GRRM not alive in the USA during the 1970’s? When he blogged about Renly, did it sound like this: “Sure, yea, he’s gay, I just didn’t write that part in. And the rainbow flag, well, I didn’t think about it, actually it’s a total coincidence.” I mean come on… What a farce. I have no idea how they are going to portray that in season 2 without making it look like an SNL skit. They’re going to have to remove the rainbow flag of course.

  • spacechampion,

    I’ve always thought that Natalia Tena would have made a perfect Asha, never really considered her for Meera, though.

    LanLanLurker,

    I could see Bonnie as one of Margaery’s younger cousins. Not saying she couldn’t pull off Meera, that role just isn’t what springs to my mind. :)

  • Epic The Wonderful,

    Have you never heard of subtext? It was there in the novel and it was HEAVY. I got the “Loras and Renly are lovers” without anyone explaining it to me. He didn’t just get to it after the fact, it was planned from the beginning. Just because he didn’t Terry-Goodkind you over the head with it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

    Renly dies and Loras is not just saddened, he’s homicidal. Later he says, when asked about a love: “When the sun has set, what candle can replace it?” Who’s he talking about? He was never attached to a woman romantically, and no woman he knew is dead.

    Someone (can’t recall who) calls him “Renly’s little rose.” Jaime threatens to shove a sword some place “even Renly never found.”

    Renly asks Loras to “pray” with him. Alone. Later, when asked about the night he died, Loras hesitates and says “We…we prayed together that night.” Uh huh.

    And that’s just a few examples. Renly and Loras are gay lovers. It was always so.

  • Epic The Wonderful: Nothing against GRRM but I don’t think it matters if he ‘thinks’ his character is gay

    Epic The Wonderful: it’s just not right for an author to change his characters in a Blog long after publishing the Book. He either writes it in the book for all to see or not at all.

    So what I gather from these statements is that even though plenty of readers caught the subtext, and GRRM confirmed that there was subtext to be caught, you will not be swayed from your belief that Renly and Loras were not a couple in the books. Is this correct? Not trying to be patronizing, just trying to decide if I should bother looking up GRRM quotes and book quotes for you later. :)

  • Josh Parker,

    You have some strong points. I read it differently.

    Loras is a very young passionate man as is Robb Stark, who also hasn’t been in a romantic relationship. until later.. There are in fact many characters whose sexual history is not discussed in the books if they are not married, fathers, or visit whores. So omitting the sexual history of Renly does not mean he has none. It just means it’s not important to the story. Unlike the show.

    The reason Loras hesitates is because everyone is suspicious of everyone else about who kills Renly. And Renly has fierce, passionate supporters. If your closest childhood friend was killed mysteriously, and that friend was also going to be the king of a new idyllic, reformed kingdom, you might feel very passionately about your loss. When I read “praying” I read praying. So other people read “fucking” instead, that’s quite a leap. Especially when religion, and the seven gods, are such an important part of the story. People are praying all the time in these damn books. The idea of praying in contrast to the ‘unholy’ thing that was sent to kill Renly, makes a nice contrast. Much more important, it would seem, then the meaningless suggestion that they were doing it instead of praying.

    Mirax,

    What other people believe and repeat without proving it without a doubt, is not enough for me to get on board, of course.

  • Okay, then what of all the comments regarding the likelihood of his producing an heir? That in his bed his new wife would likely remain a maid? Why it would be so difficult for the Tyrells to arrange a marriage for Loras, moreso than if he had just been a third son, so the Kingsguard was a better place for him? Why does his own brother Garlan state he would make a poor husband? Why would Renly’s servants have to be paid a great deal of money to keep their mouths shut for some reason?

    edit – ugh, if any of this is spoilerific someone let me know. Also, let me know how to spoiler tag ;)

  • It should also be pointed out that GRRM was *confirming* what many had already picked up from the clues in the book. It wasn’t a retcon by any means.

  • Epic The Wonderful,

    I’d suggest you read through this nice summary of all the clues we get regarding Loras and Renly. Spoilers from the entire series abound there, so fair warning to anyone else who goes to that site.

    I’ll be honest, I never caught on to it myself when I first read the books, and I’m gay! But just because I’m that dense, doesn’t mean it wasn’t intentional on GRRM’s part.

  • Chrysee,

    it’s indeed a spoiler, if you doubt it’s a spoiler it almost always is a spoiler. Put your text between these two tags {b} {/b}. Replace the { and } with the sideways pyramid thingies (you knwo what I mean right?).

  • Wow are we off-topic. But it stands;

    1) GRRM wrote heavy subtext that Renly and Loras are gay and in love with each other

    2) Many readers picked up on this, several others did not

    3) A dispute between those two groups arose

    4) To calm the dispute, GRRM confirmed that he had indeed intended the gay subtext between the two

    5) Sorry to burst your bubble

  • Well I’d love to edit, but I can’t. It would just be _fantastic_ if that previous comment could just be deleted. I no longer care to participate in this.

    And now I totally understand why the mobile version of this site just bolds spoilers rather than hiding them.

  • And why has this thread turned into a Renly is gay discussion, it seems to me Epic The Wonderful really doesn’t want Renly to be gay despite all the evidence presented to him. Sucks to have him on your jury I guess.

  • Chrysee,

    if you think it through it’s actually a pretty big spoiler, but a moderator will fix it don’t worry about it. But for the next time: if you don’t know how to hide your spoilers, then don’t post it.

  • HEY HBO. Get Eccleston as STANNIS! Come one he was Dr.WHO. He has a big following.
    If not Eccleston…Mark Strong wouldn’t be bad either.

    I think Tony Curran would make a good Davos.

    We need CASTING clues George!

  • Epic the Wonderful,

    Well, considering the fact that in the book, Renly is literally a gay king leading a rainbow army (if the Rainbow Guard counts, anyway)…

    His gaiety is pretty significant in the story too. His lover tries to kill a main character, and ends up murdering a couple of prominent knights in the process. It takes the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard threatening to sodomise him with a sword to get him to start to listen to reason.

    As for Stannis being played by a woman; that’s just absurd. A daughter couldn’t inherit before a younger son (outside of Dorne), so that would make Renly the rightful heir and Stannissa the rebel betraying her brother.

  • …I do wonder why people are so hung up on Christina Hendricks playing Mel. I think Mel should look more exotic. It’s gotta be the hair, as if only a natural redhead can or should play this role.

    I won’t push for Christina as Mel. ——— I was in the process of writing a bunch of stuff but erased it… I’ll just say that I don’t think she’s the right fit for the part.

  • All, I promise this is my last OT response. And really thanks for taking the time to explain it to me. You almost had me going there. But..

    It’s like having to explain a joke. It means the joke sucks, it renders it void.. It doesn’t matter if GRRM or any author explains the joke or this and that character’s true motives. When the book is finished, the author and his opinion are hardly significant. The book stands alone. The words are still the words, and the subtext is interpreted either way. The book gayness is completely insignificant and I refuse to believe that GRRM brilliantly snuck in a not-very-clearly-gay king character with a rainbow flags and a rainbow armies behind him. It’s just too funny.

  • I like how he basically says “I didn’t get it, therefore there’s nothing to get.”

    It’s like he’s never been asked to read between the lines before, or read an author who didn’t beat you over the head with every point he has or every secret.

    Perhaps he thinks that no one killed Asmodean because Robert Jordan didn’t openly state who it was that did it.

  • Epic The Wonderful,

    It is a thing that is in the book. You can refuse to believe it all you like, but that is the very definition of denial.

    ::edit::

    I hereby demand that you change your name to Epic the Fabulouth

  • Epic The Wonderful: All, I promise this is my last OT response. And really thanks for taking the time to explain it to me. You almost had me going there. But..It’s like having to explain a joke. It means the joke sucks, it renders it void.. It doesn’t matter if GRRM or any author explains the joke or this and that character’s true motives. When the book is finished, the author and his opinion are hardly significant. The book stands alone. The words are still the words, and the subtext is interpreted either way. The book gayness is completely insignificant and I refuse to believe that GRRM brilliantly snuck in a not-very-clearly-gay king character with a rainbow flags and a rainbow armies behind him. It’s just too funny.

    I didn’t pick it up at all until the 3rd book, when Jamie clearly says “I’ll stick this sword up inside you to a place even Renly never found.” That line cleared it all up for me. If they weren’t gay lovers, that line makes no sense. That confirmed their relationship. End of story.

  • Back to casting news, I would be shocked if Eccleston was Stannis, just because the only source really is people want it to be so -so bad-. However, it was almost comical for the first season how people kept getting hooked on certain actors for certain parts and then it just kept actually happening. I feel like we got incredibly spoiled last time. We may be in for some disappointments this time around. Cmon, we’re not gonna be allowed to have ice cream for dinner all the time ;P

  • I friend of mine mentioned seeing a story about Matthew Macfadyen somewhere as a possible Stannis, but I haven’t seen him mentioned anywhere outside of fans speculation. Was there ever an actual rumor about him that anyone can remember?

  • paulgude,

    no, only through the casting clue that wasn’t actually a casting clue (the fake bookcover George posted on his blog). The clues worked perfectly for him, but alas it wasn’t a clue after all. Read that thread again, it’s hilarious how we come to all sorts of conclusions by a Froggy-post that shouldn’t have had a frog next to it.

    (But I’d really like it if he did turn out to be Stannis. Just saw him in Little Dorrit, amazing mini-series!)

  • Ryan E: I didn’t pick it up at all until the 3rd book, when Jamie clearly says “I’ll stick this sword up inside you to a place even Renly never found.” That line cleared it all up for me. If they weren’t gay lovers, that line makes no sense. That confirmed their relationship. End of story.

    Nah, that line clearly means that Loras used to practice Sword swallowing and Renly used to help him with his act.

    What else could it mean? ;-)

  • Ryan E,

    To be fair, that line only directly confirms that people in that universe believe there to be a sexual relationship between the two, not necessarily the truth of one.

    What confuses me is how, even when confronted with all that, some people act like what we are seeing just ISN’T THERE at all. Martin clearly intended for readers to be aware that something could be going on. . And the show’s revelations cement the rumors from the books as facts. There’s no other way around it

  • Mormegil: Nah, that line clearly means that Loras used to practice Sword swallowing and Renly used to help him with his act.

    What else could it mean? ;-)

    Perhaps one of Loras’ other amazing feats is as a flagpole sitter?

  • Mirax: Possibly someone else will post a link to GRRM’s confirmations since I can’t get to his Not-A-Blog on my lunch break.

    Here you go! “So Spake Martin” entry from 2005:
    http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/To_Be_Continued_Chicago_IL_May_6_8/

    The Rainbow Guard isn’t meant to symbolize Renly’s sexuality. It was more of a culmination of several unrelated things, such as the fact that he’d already used white for the Kingsguard and black for the Night’s Watch. A rainbow is seven colors combined together in one object – he compared it to a shamrock being a Irish Catholic symbol of the Holy Trinity, three parts which make up one thing. Plus it has seven colors and is tied to the Seven, plus worshipers of the Seven use prism rainbows in their temples.

    And speaking of Renly and Loras…

    George specifically stated “Yes, I did intend those characters to be gay.” Not that we didn’t already know that of course, but I don’t believe it’s ever been actually confirmed before.

  • Josh Parker,

    I didn’t. Show them pictures that it. Only names.

    Showing pictures wouldn’t have made a diffrence. Dr. Who is virtually unknown here, only 3 episodes with Tom Baker as the Doctor was show back in 1980. Except from those 3 episodes, the Eccelston series of Dr. Who is the only Dr. Who to ever be broadcast on danish televisiion… And they opted to not renew the rights for the David Tennet series, as they had close to no viewers. Dr. Who is VERY niche, outside of England and US. A picture of him from Heroes would recieve far more recognition here, as that was a series shown in Prime-Time, conterary to Dr. Who which was aired around midnight. It’s even quite possible tbat showing them a picture from of him from the Norwegian movie “Jeg er Dina” (from 2002) would garner even more recognition. That flick was a blockbuster here, compared to Heroes’ lackluster ratings and Dr. Who’s no-ratings-at-all.

    And which Male under the age of 40 haven’t heard about the new Conan movie? None that I know, thats for sure. Heck, we all grew up to the old Arnold movies..

  • Josh Parker:
    tysnow,
    If I suggested “Liam Cunningham is Davos. It is known.” I would be wrong. It is not “known”, he’s just my choice.

    Um, that’s not a bad suggestion Josh. Just seen him in The Wind That Shakes The Barley. Not bad at all.

  • Someone just Tweeted (via Ran) that Eccleston has several projects filming this autumn. Unless they front-load all of Stannis’ material into the first few weeks, this probably reduces the likelihood of it being him.

    Though given how jumpy some of us were about apparently Dinklage and Bean (who were contracted and signed up) having overlapping projects with GoT’s filming period and it wasn’t even a hint of an issue, it may not affect it at all.

  • Epic The Wonderful:
    All, I promise this is my last OT response. And really thanks for taking the time to explain it to me. You almost had me going there. But..

    It’s like having to explain a joke. It means the joke sucks, it renders it void.. It doesn’t matter if GRRM or any author explains the joke or this and that character’s true motives. When the book is finished, the author and his opinion are hardly significant. The book stands alone. The words are still the words, and the subtext is interpreted either way. The book gayness is completely insignificant and I refuse to believe that GRRM brilliantly snuck in a not-very-clearly-gay king character with a rainbow flags and a rainbow armies behind him. It’s just too funny.

    Look man, you didn’t catch it on your first read through. There are plenty of things I missed on mine, and I’m sure there are things I still don’t know (but could know, or at least suspect) about the characters based on the first four books. That doesn’t mean it’s a retcon if, later on, something barely hinted at earlier is made more apparent.

    You do realize that there’s a REASON that Renly and Loras don’t go around discussing their homosexual relationship, right? While Westeros is less religious (and therefore less homophobic) than Medieval Europe was, it’s still not something that would be socially acceptable.

    Josh Parker summed up the absurdity of your attitude perfectly — “I didn’t get it, therefore there was nothing to get.” It’s all the more baffling and frustrating because aside from your stubbornness on this particular point, you seem articulate and intelligent.

    Ciao.

  • Just wanted to chip in re Loras and Renly. Confession time: Their sexual relationship went completely over my head when I read the books. When they were praying together, I thought it was just that, seeing, as someone else pointed out, that religion is taken seriously by most people in Westeros. Loras’s line about “When the sun has set….”, I translated that as a quick reply and something he might have heard from a song or poem. But when Jaime gave us his line about buggering Loras where Renly never found, I thought “hold on a minute, what exactly are you saying Jaime?” As was said before, Jaime could have said this just because of the rumours but rumours usually don’t start out of nothing. There had to be some substance behind it. So I caught on after that.
    Even without George’s confirmation, it was as if a lightbulb had switched on over my head.

  • I also failed to notice until Jaime was bitching Loras out the second time he tried to kill Brienne. On my next read-through I was surprised how much there is pointing to it.

  • Let’s just put the Stannis, Mel and Davos casting suggestions to bed.

    Dave for Stannis
    Amanda for Mel
    Dan for Davos

    See that wasn’t hard, and therefore can save big time on money and divert it to CGI direwolves and battles.

  • GaR: I also failed to notice until Jaime was bitching Loras out the second time he tried to kill Brienne. On my next read-through I was surprised how much there is pointing to it.

    Me too. On my second read through, I highlighted this on my Kindle:

    “This is no concern of yours.” Ser Loras shoved him aside.

    Jaime grabbed the boy with his good hand and yanked him around. “I am the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, you arrogant pup. Your commander, so long as you wear that white cloak. Now sheathe your bloody sword, or I’ll take it from you and shove it up some place even Renly never found.”

    ASOS: JAIME VII.

    Yeah. I think that pretty much seals it.

  • Eccleston is great, but didn’t he not want to sign on to Doctor Who for more than a season? Doubt he’d do GoT then.

  • There will be times when writing epic novels when your characters sort of develop themselves, as you write them over a period of years. They come into focus and change, and their characters bring new plots and twists to the mix. Think of soap operas that have to rehash the same old characters and still make them interesting. In the case of Loras who gets to live to see more pages, his character is better defined than Renly.

    We have said all there is to be said about Renly. But when you bring up quotes from ASOS, the third novel to prove your point about a character who is already dead long before, that doesn’t prove anything. It just fits in line with how GRRM changed some things later one and it almost worked, except for the rainbows and well… the not taking a single line of text to describe Loras and Renly. There’s plenty of boring stuff about Brienne there, so I don’t know why she wouldn’t have noticed something.

    In season two the producers have to deal with that discrepancy. Can someone besides me at least acknowledge that Tea Leoni would make an excellent Stannis Baratheon?

  • “I’m gonna kill every stinkin’, last one of you Daleks!… er, I mean Lannisters!”

    No seriously, Christopher Eccleston = perfect Stannis Baratheon!

  • Eccleston would make an absolutely fantastic Stannis – and this is speaking as someone who has never seen him in Dr Who. I have, however, seen him in Heroes, and several movie roles, and he was a standout in all. Did any of you catch his chilling performances in Shallow Grave or 28 Days Later? He would be perfect – the question is whether he’d have the time to commit to the project.

    Aoart from that, the MTV list has left me cold. I’m not at all keen on Hendricks as Melisandra. For some reason it just seems too…obvious. And I like Acker – she seems sweet – but she’s a completely left of field choice for Asha.

  • Mike Chair,

    Give it up. The guy is obviously so hung-up on the fact that Renly and Loras are gay, and so clearly disturbed by it, that he will say anything to make the facts go away. And these are fictional characters. Imagine how he must feel about Tom Cruise. Better start editing some wikis to change facts to fit your world view, Epic the Failtastic.

    Oh, and just my 2 cents: Tyler Perry for Mel, in drag of course, and Jaleel White for the Davos/Stannis mashup character. Makes demon baby with Mel, says “Did I do that?” — Instant fucking hit with the kids. Oh, and why not Shia La beouf for Craster and Justin Beiber for Patchface. Robin Williams for the Tickler. The Olsen Twins can be cast as an androgynous take on the Reed siblings. Lastly, Tyra Banks for Brienne because she’s tall. Thanks, Nina, you can wire that money directly to my account.

  • Sorry if I am off-topic but wer can i find the true spoilers for ADWD?People have been screaming that the internet is full of these but I cant seem to find any

  • Although he may not be a perfect physical match, I can’t get Ray Winstone out of my head for Davos, since someone else mentioned him.

    Antje Traue (Nadia in Pandorum) was born to play Asha, IMO (FF to 1:06).

  • And it’s a damn shame that STARZ snagged Eva Green for that awful mess that is Camelot. She could have rocked Melisandre like nobody’s business.

  • Uh .. I can play this game, too!

    F. Murray Abraham for Davos, Sir Anthony Hopkins for Hoster Tully, and Dame Diana Rigg for the Queen of Thorns!

    (Talk about classing the show up!)

  • OT, just saw Jon Stewart make a Game of Thrones reference on the Daily Show! Called it “ahead of its time”.

  • Chris is the perfect choice for Stannis, physically. Something tells me it won’t be him, however.

    I can’t shake “Excalibur”- era Patrick Stewart out of my head for Stannis, personally… and this will be until I see the (likely) fine actor they get to play him. (Something about Michael Ironside’s unflinching screen persona leapt out at me for ol’ S.B. as well (keep in mind, this was in the nineties!)

    Also in my younger days, I had everyone from Angelina Jolie to Kate Winslet as Mel, but interestingly I now envision a far more “exotic” type (to stand in sharp contrast to the pale suckers she will be surrounded by- not that the red wardrobe won’t do that anyway, but…)

    Brienne will be tough- but let it be said that Nina Gold has earned our trust and if she & her team can’t find the right performers for this trio, nobody can.

    Also? Renly & Loras are CLEARLY gay lovers in the books. Not even remotely questionable. There are numerous “in-jokes” about it, especially Jamie’s “crack” about shoving his sword… C’mon. Homosexuality was CRAZY popular in the period in english history these books were inspired by. Read yo’ history, peeps.

  • Mike Chair: The Kardashians from left to right, for Asha, Mel and Brienne. BOOM!

    Oh yes I can see that working out allright for the ratings! Laughed my balls out for the Brienne suggestion.

  • What I don’t understand is why nobody is up at arms about Hodor’s blatant bisexuality being toned down for the TV series.

    For those who missed it in the book, check this out:

    They went quicker with Hodor’s help. Once he had been taught to do something, he did it deftly. His hands were always gentle, though his strength was astonishing. “You could have been a knight too, I bet,” Bran told him. “If the gods had not taken your wits, you would have been a great knight.

    “Hodor.” Hodor agreed, while thinking about having sex with either a man or a woman.
    -CoK Bran V

  • The Harpo Marxist,

    Well, he didn’t get sexpositioned yet. In season 2 I am banking on an outdoor moonlit scene with questionably consenting wildings and much hodor-braying.

  • Thank you for this article! I’m a big fan of Christopher Eccleston and I too believe it is doubtful that he will be cast in this season of Game of Thrones. This is why:

    – from June to mid-July 2011 he is shooting The Borrowers, in South Africa.
    – on July 20 he is in London giving a talk (Masterclass).
    – from mid-July to early/mid-August 2011 he is shooting a movie called The Darkness, in Louisiana.
    – from what I read, filming of Game of Thrones starts late July/early August 2011 in Ireland. I have no idea when they finish, though.
    – from September 2011 he is shooting The Fuse, a 5-part BBC series in which he plays the main role. He’ll be filming in Manchester (he mentioned the filming date himself in the Jo Whiley radio show in June), the length of the shoot isn’t specified but I think a couple months is standard for a TV show of that length.

    Unless one or both of the last two projects fell through, or unless he pulled out from them so that he could play in Game of Thrones, I don’t see how he could do it, unless his role in Game of Thrones was so limited that he would only need to shoot for one month, or appear later in the season. I’ve heard of shows doing that before, filming all one character’s scenes in a short timespan, but I imagine it’s only possible if most of the scripts for the season have already been written – I have no idea if this is the case in Game of Thrones. And, well, they would have to want Christopher pretty badly to organise their schedule around his prior engagements.

    I don’t want to discourage fans from dreaming about an Eccleston role, and I would personally love to see him in this show (though I don’t watch it yet, it’s on my to-watch list), but I just wanted to give all the facts I know. Everyone seems so excited although nothing official has transpired at all and Chris’ schedule is booked pretty solid already.

  • Love the fact that some people are still questioning the orientation of Loras and Renly. The fact that Loras was called ‘The Knight of Flowers’ was a bit of a giveaway to me.

  • Stannis doesn’t have a huge amount of screentime in Book 2. He has a lot more in Book 3, so it’s possible they could do all of his filming in a small block. So I wouldn’t rule Eccleston out, but the producers would REALLY have to want him, like Sean Bean levels of wanting him on the show.

  • I was thinking (Braveheart-Era) Angus McFadden for Renly as he has the right build to look like a thinner version of Mark Addey. Now I think of Jason Statham as Renly and the dude from the short-lived NBC series “Kings” as Stannis. Both Renly and Loras needed to look more like heartbreaker Alphas than stereotypic metrosexuals.

    Given what happens later with The Bull and our Brienne, they should have paid some attention to how much Gendry resembles both young Robert and current Renly.

    Also, as amazing well as Alliser Throne has been portrayed, I would have loved for that actor to have played Lord Tarley in Maidenpool. Now holding out for Jason S. to play Elder Brother from the Quiet Isle.

  • /iv,

    Wow you know a lot about this guy’s schedule. You remind me of me :) (though with other actors).

    Shooting is supposed to go from late July through December. From my understanding they do have most of the scripts rough drafted (since didn’t GRRM recently blog that he was finishing up on his, and we know that’s one of the last episodes?), but probably a lot will change along the way. But because this is a multi-country, on-location shoot, I would think they would NEED to have as much done in advance as possible, so that they could shoot everything at a specific location at once, no matter where each scene falls in the season.

    Stannis needs to be in, what, two different places? Dragonstone and in the field to confront Renly. I don’t remember anything else, unless they actually show him at Blackwater, which they might do. If they do, that will likely take up a lot more time of whoever is cast. But otherwise it could be a relatively small committment this season.

    Anyhoo. I don’t know. I don’t have strong feelings either way – I think there are a bunch of people who could play Stannis. I just want to KNOW about him and others soon!

  • Winter Is Coming,

    We already have:

    Season 2 open casting thread
    Casting Season Two: Brienne
    Casting Season Two: Stannis
    Casting Season Two: Melisandre
    Casting Season Two: Davos
    Casting Season Two: Asha

    Sheesh. If I used smilies then that blushing one with the rolling eyes would suit my intended tone pretty well – I thought I was a relatively regular visitor to this site but have obviously missed a lot. In my admittedly weak defense, those pieces were written before I found the site a few months ago. But I should have known you’d have anticipated my interest in season 2 casting by such a long time. Many thanks for these articles and all the rest, I’m gonna enjoy reading them!

  • Joshua Taylor:
    Camelot is done. Eva Green for Mel! Go to it Nina!

    Eva would be a passable choice I guess, even if her acting on Camelot was a little weird (ok, whose wasn’t?). I wonder if the actors were left in the dark about the future of the show too? If so then the call for Green would already be to late.

  • Lina,

    I don’t disagree with you, Lina. In particlar, with reference to this:

    So no matter how much of a douche he can be, I can’t completely hate him, because I know he’s right.

    I actually quite like Stannis! But liking isn’t the same as empathising, especially not when it comes to a character in a story. One of the things I find most entertaining about Stannis in the books is how uniquely inflexible he is. In the moral greyness of Westeros, his constant striving to make sense of the world through a filter that admits only black and white is at once admirable and impressively daft. Other morally upright characters like Davos and Jon seem to feel emotionally torn by moral dilemmas, in a way that I can very much relate to. Stannis, on the other hand, reacts to such difficult decisions with what appears to me to be anger and frustration at yet more proof that his moral absolutes don’t hold any answers in the real world. It’s almost as if he expects moral problems to have a logical solution. The character of Stannis in the books is shaped as much by the continual frustration of this expectation as by anything else. I agree with you that where the TV series versions of characters have deparated significantly from the book versions they have done so enjoyably, in ways that fit well with the story and with the other characters. However, I think the rigidity in Stannis in the books is there for a reason, and I hope they don’t opt to make him bendier in season 2.

  • Steve the Pirate,

    Eccleston was in Elizabeth and 28 Days Later among other things. Elizabeth and 28 Days Later were both successful films released in the US. His face is recognized by many Americans because of that fact. I remember when I saw him in Heroes (I didn’t know his name but I was like, oh, oh who is that guy?). He has a strong screen presence that is difficult to ignore.

  • Epic the marvvvelous:
    Steve the Pirate,
    Eccleston was in Elizabeth and 28 Days Later among other things. Elizabeth and 28 Days Later were both successful films released in the US. His face isrecognizable to many Americans because of that.I remember when I saw him in Heroes (I didn’t know who he was but I was like, oh, oh who is that guy?). He has a strong screen presence that is difficult to ignore.

    He was also the baddie in Gone in 60 Seconds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhUOkxtpA34 which was a pretty damn high-grossing in the US film at the time, whereas Conan hasn’t even been released yet.

    Although obviously not as well known in the US as he is in the UK, Christopher Ecclestone has been seen on screen by far more American viewers (so far) than Momoa. That may change if Conan is successful, but it would have to play to lots of bums on seats.

  • Mark Wilson:
    Lina,

    I don’t disagree with you, Lina. In particlar, with reference to this:

    I actually quite like Stannis! But liking isn’t the same as empathising, especially not when it comes to a character in a story. One of the things I find most entertaining about Stannis in the books is how uniquely inflexible he is. In the moral greyness of Westeros, his constant striving to make sense of the world through a filter that admits only black and white is at once admirable and impressively daft. Other morally upright characters like Davos and Jon seem to feel emotionally torn by moral dilemmas, in a way that I can very much relate to. Stannis, on the other hand, reacts to such difficult decisions with what appears to me to be anger and frustration at yet more proof that his moral absolutes don’t hold any answers in the real world. It’s almost as if he expects moral problems to have a logical solution. The character of Stannis in the books is shaped as much by the continual frustration of this expectation as by anything else. I agree with you that where the TV series versions of characters have deparated significantly from the book versions they have done so enjoyably, in ways that fit well with the story and with the other characters. However, I think the rigidity in Stannis in the books is there for a reason, and I hope they don’t opt to make him bendier in season 2.

    Your points make sense. Comparing Stannis to someone like Jon or Davos is sort of like comparing a computer to a human. One processes information based on parameters set up within itself, and the result can only be from a set group of possible outcomes. A computer accounts for data only. A human accounts for emotional responses and more importantly, motivations.

    For instance, with Davos. Davos was a smuggler, but he saved Storm’s End. Input smuggling -> output lose fingers. Input valor -> output knighthood. Whereas someone like Davos himself or Jon, as you said, would consider the emotional and motivational components of someone’s actions. Maybe I’m on a runaway metaphor train, but I do see Stannis sort of like a robot.

    I don’t want HBO to make him more flexible. But I do want them to show who this guy is beneath all the justice. I think Stannis ignores emotion as much as he can (can anyone ignore it completely?) when making decisions, but by no means do I think he is emotionless. We see his emotions peek through at times in the book, and that is what I want HBO to show a bit more. The guy is totally bitter at the fact that his brothers constantly outdo him. He lost his parents in a shock accident. He lives for rigid justice and has to suffer the injustice of an incest-born boyking holding the throne that should lawfully be his.

    Stannis is like Robb: both are kings seen through the filter of another character. But with the show, Robb was actually able to develop his own personality and expand his presence a bit. With that expanded role came the need to give him more of an emotional core than we can get in the books when we know him once removed. It’s a much bigger jump when dealing with the character of Stannis, but I do hope we see someone whose feelings are more fleshed out.

    Or, if they don’t choose to do that right away, which is totally understandable, I could see more Stannis development coming in for ASOS. Maybe they’ll play him up as an antagonist in S2 for his rigidity/freaky shadow babies/etc. and then show us that he’s not as terrible as we thought.

  • Nope! I don’t think he screams Stannis at all.
    I hope they don’t cast him. I’d like to see Mark Strong or Richard Armitage.
    But, one person I think would be perfect for Stannis is James Purefoy..
    He’s be a great Stannis Braetheon…

  • Well Josh shot down my idea of Ray Winstone for Stannis so how about him for Davos, Joseph Fiennes for Stannis (he’s free now that Camelot got canceled) and …wait for it… Alan Tudyk for Edmure Tully. I know he’s American but he’s fantastic and he would be great at conveying Edmures uncertainty AND arrogance. ( and he can do a British accent)

  • Danielle: Alan Tudyk for Edmure Tully

    Nice! If not for Edmure then maybe for one of the BwB members. :) I’m not sure which one, but surely they could find a place for him.

  • I’m still hoping Rufus Sewell will be Stannis. Tony Curran as Davos, or Edmure would be great!

  • Just say no to Joseph Fiennes! Ralph Fiennes: Yes. Joseph Fiennes: No. He was almost unwatchable on Camelot. Talk about overacting. I’m all for Eva Green to play Melisandre, but Joseph Fiennes shouldn’t be allowed within 50 ft. of the set.

    I personally like Ray Stevenson as Stannis (i.e. Titus Pullo from Rome). And speaking of Rome, how about Ciaran Hinds as Roose Bolton, or Balon Greyjoy? I’ve always found Roose’s character rather intriguing and can’t wait to see who they will cast; Jaime Lannister sends his regards.

    Tony Curran would be a good choice for Edmure Tully, in my opinion, but I’ve always pictured Davos as being older.

  • Anybody who has seen my facebook page will already know my feelings on this subject. I will consider it positively criminal if they don’t cast this fine actor in some role even if we only get him for a short time. He is not fickle! The reason why he quit Dr Who after only one season is because he was fed up with the way the ‘behind the scenes’ people were being bullied and he wasn’t standing for it. A difficult man to work with? Certainly. Still a fine actor though.