There 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.