Casting News

Stannis and Melisandre cast!

While we await word from Martin on the solution to the casting clue, some much bigger casting news has broke. Via James Hibberd of Entertainment Weekly, the castings for Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre have been announced!

Melisandre will be played by Carice van Houten, a Dutch stage and film actress. She’s appeared in the movies Valkyrie and Repo Men. I think you’ll agree she looks just about perfect for Melisandre.

And Stannis will be played by British actor Stephen Dillane, best known to U.S. audiences by playing Thomas Jefferson in HBO’s John Adams.

Carice van Houten and Stephen Dillane

For those who haven’t yet read A Clash of Kings, Stannis Baratheon is the late King Robert’s younger brother who makes a claim for the Iron Throne based on the assertion that Joffrey is not Robert’s son. Melisandre is a mysterious priestess and sorceress from the distant lands of Asshai who aids Stannis in his push for the throne.

Winter Is Coming: Van Houten is a great choice. I remember her being in the discussion as a potential Cersei. She will make a great Melisandre. Not as familiar with Stephen Dillane, but he has the right look and has been cast by HBO before which means he must be a talented actor. Excited to see these two in costume! Now who will be their Davos?

389 Comments

  • I highly suggest watching John Adams, Dillane’s previous HBO project – it’s strong on the whole, but Dillane is particularly effective as Thomas Jefferson, and probably deserved the Emmy that went to Tom Wilkinson for a showier (but less substantial) role.

    I don’t think there’s a 1:1 from Jefferson to Stannis, but I do think there was more than enough skill on display to translate into the role. An exciting choice.

  • I’m sure they’re going to be great …

    But I think they were kinda shining us on with “Big names cast” …

    Well I have faith in these people.

  • I thought blue hair was a family trait of the Van Houten family… :(

    Well, great choices for both of them, but always pictured Stannis bald, don’t know why. Excited too to see who they cast as Davos.

  • Nice! I like the cast for Melisandre.

    I didn’t think they’d cast someone who is 8 years older than Mark Addy for Stannis though. There’s a chance that Stannis will be played by an actor in his 60s if the series gets deep into the books.

  • This is great news! I don’t know Stephen Dillane, but I LOVED Clarise in “Black Book.” So glad we finally have this information.

  • Stephen Dillane is cool i really like him. he was also on King Arthur (2004).

    i always saw Tricia Helfer as Melisandre so i’m a bit sad but if Van Houten does a good job i’m ok with it.

  • STEPHEN DILLANE YES. I saw him in The Master Builder in London and he was absolutely fabulous. Versatile, immensely talented, and I think he’ll do a wonderful job with the sharpness/coldness Stannis should have, imho.

    Also, the lady cast for Melisandre looks perfect.

  • OMG, Carice van Houten is amazing!
    I’m from the Netherlands myself and she is the best actress from Holland!

  • Stephen Dillane was wonderful in JOHN ADAMS. Jefferson is a much (much) softer character than Stannis, but I’m sure he’ll be excellent.

  • Markcb:
    I thought blue hair was a family trait of the Van Houten family… :(

    Well, great choices for both of them, but always pictured Stannis bald, don’t know why. Excited too to see who they cast as Davos.

    As we all know, it’s impossible to change hairstyles. They are permanent fixtures.

    Think they both sound great. Haven’t seen either act, but as far as looks are concerned, they are close enough to not mess up characterization. And really, that’s all that matters.

  • Aw… mildly disappointed not to get Mark Strong or Christopher Ecclesion but THAT’S FINE. I’d never heard of Michelle Fairly, Iain Glen or Mark Addy before but we all know how that turned out! In Nina Gold we trust!

  • Sooo..Dillane was in King Arthur correct?. So who would be the actor from the TV Camelot series be?

  • Stephen Dillane does fit the bill on Clive Standen’s comment last week regarding an Arthurian (King Arthur) actor being cast. I guess we still have an actor/actress from “Camelot” who hasn’t been announced yet.

  • So after months and months of discussions here, they choose a short, dark-haired Mel :-) Well, I am familiar with Carice’s acting, and have faith it is good enough to live up to the expectations!

    Less familiar with Stephen Dillane, but I like his looks for Stannis.

    Yoohooo, finally Season 2 starts to get some shape!

  • Don’t know anyone else has seen Black Book but Carice van Houten was great in that, really good movie and great actress. Can’t wait to see her as the red lady!

    Also since Stephen Dillane was Merlin in King Arthur I’m guessing that is the King Arthur alum that was mentioned.

  • Tar Kidho,

    Do you know how tall she is? I’m not one who thinks she MUST be super tall, just curious as most of the pics I’m pulling up on Google are just head shots and I haven’t seen her in anything to really judge.

  • Yes, Dillane was Merlin in King Arthur, so that takes care of the “in Camelot but not our Camelot” tweet.

  • Superdeluxe: Sooo..Dillane was in King Arthur correct?. So who would be the actor from the TV Camelot series be?

    I thought we might end up with Dillane as Stannis from those hints, hoping for Sean Pertwee as Davos for the Camelot actor.

  • LOL @ people complaining about hair color and lenght. Just amazing. THEY CAN BE ALTERED!

  • Carice van Houten looks very similar to how I imagined Mel! And I’m sure Stephen Dillane has the acting chops to play Stannis. They’re not the stars we were all rooting for, but I trust that they’ll be great.

  • Reinier:
    OMG, Carice van Houten is amazing!
    I’m from the Netherlands myself and she is the best actress from Holland!

    Well, I must say when it comes to Dutch actresses I’d rather pictured Famke Janssen as Melisandre, but acting-wise CVH is definitely her equal!

  • I’m sure they are great but I was expecting some bigger names…on the positive side, less money in sallaries means more money for battles

  • Even “tall” is relative on TV. Stand her on a box in a couple of medium shots next to tall guys and she’ll give the impression of height.

    I would also say to anyone who thinks a tiny woman (and I don’t know that van Houten is, btw) can’t play a strong, kickass character — check out Emmy nominee Mirielle Enos in The Killing. She is dwarfed by every man she stands next to, and it only makes her seem stronger.

  • I’m cool with this. In Nina we trust.

    I do like that both these castings came out of left field. I don’t think Dillane was mentioned ONCE in any sort of Stannis rumors, or threads about ideal Stannis casting. And if he was, kudos to whoever mentioned him!

    I don’t remember Van Houten in the Cersei conversation, but she looks good to me. And, again, I don’t think she was mentioned before in any type of Melisandre casting thread. And as much of a nerd fanboy that I am, I just never could see Christina Hendricks or Tricia Helfer in that role, EVER.

  • Carice Van Houten is a great actress. She was in BLACK DEATH with Sean Bean as the witch, and lets not deny she’s beautiful and fits the bill, just give her red hair. And even though Im not to sold on Stephen as Stannis. **Mostly in looks** I have only seen him act as Merlin in the King Arthur movie with Clive Owen and Keira Knightly.

    I’m a little concerned if he can portray the rigid cold man. Wonder if D&D changed his character a little to be more sympathetic.

  • Ahhh I remember looking up Dillane when we were all in a frenzy over the Camelot/King Arthur clues! But at the time I never saw him as Stannis. Looking at various photos of him though, I can definitely see it. Never watched Thomas Jefferson but I have utmost faith in HBO, so if they’ve cast him in multiple productions, I’m sure he’ll be great.

    I don’t recall seeing Van Houten in anything. But she has the right look. Can’t wait to see her with red hair and her ruby. I wonder if they’ll give Mel red eyes? Does she have an accent? It could actually bring a lot to the role.

  • Oh also, Carice Van Houten was just in a movie with Sean Bean and the guy who played Marillion. Not that she’ll ever share screen time with them, but cool tidbit.

    Welcome to both Stephen and Carice!! :)

  • Mirax: Do you know how tall she is?

    According to IMDB she’s 5′ 6½” (1.69 m). That’s not in any way small, but trust me, to Dutch standards it is ;-) Btw, Dillane apparently measures 6′ (1.83 m)…

  • Look wise, I think the actress fits Melisandre well enough and should be good in the role. I’m glad they got someone from another country as Melisandre should sound foreign (at least I assume her actress will be distinct since she’s Dutch). I’d love it if anyone who has seen her perform can comment on her accent.

    The actor they got for Stannis does not at all fit my mental image of him, but based on comments here, I’m sure he has the acting chops to pull it off as effectively just like Mark Addy did with Robert.

  • Dillane is fantastic. I’m so happy with his casting! He looks like an uncharismatic average-looking-could-be-handsome-if-he-didn’t-look-constipated, but a hardass, you know?
    NOW I remember where I saw Carice’s name before- in the casting threads! I think I did see her in Repo Men, now that I think of it. I don’t remember much of that movie though.

  • I hope they keep the Black Death connection going, and cast John Lynch as well (Davos?)

  • I’m not familiar with either of them so can’t really say anything for or against the casting. I’m sure they’ll be fine though. Guess I have another reason to watch John Adams now. :)

  • I really hope they don’t give her red eyes. Great for the book, terrible for TV, and it will interfere with the actress’s work. She’ll look like a zombie. Or hung over.

  • Can anyone who has seen Black Death, Repo Men, Valkyrie, Black Book, etc., speak to Van Houten’s accent? Of course, she can always just do a non-British accent but I’m curious to know if she already has one when speaking English.

  • Not familiar with either of them, but I’m pleased enough so far. From a few clips I found on youtube I do think that Dillane can pull off the “cold eyes” that I always envisioned Stannis with. I doubt I’ll have any concerns with his portrayal!

    I suspect that I”ll be impressed by Carice’s ability to act the part, though I did always picture someone whose face was a little more non-western. I suppose we’ll see how the makeup department does. :)

  • Tar Kidho,

    I’m glad Stannis is 6′. he’s supposed to be a large-framed, tall man like Robert, but sort of… skeletal and hollowed out. Interesting, didn’t realize he was also Merlin in the Clive Owen Arthur. Guess all the blue body paint and rags threw me off?

  • Thrilled with the casting news. Stephen Dillane is one of the stars of Sigma’s most recent film-David Mackenzie’s “Perfect Sense” w/Ewan McGregor and Eva Green. You can see an older and “colder” looking Stephen in the trailer here if you are interested. Regardless, while I was hoping for Rufus Sewell or Jeremy Northam, am hopeful Stephen will do a good job as Stannis. Roll on Season2! Link to Perfect Sense trailer w/Stephen Dillane

  • Dillane was the best Jefferson ever depicted. He stole the show for me in John Adams! Great Casting!

  • Stephen Dillane!!! Great! I absolutely love the actor. I saw him play many characters, all very different, and he was great in all of them. LOVE HIM!

    I don´t know about Van Houten, don´t know her at all. I hope for someone a bit strange, more exotic but if Nina chose her i´m sure it´ll be fine.

  • I like him as an actor. But he is almost 10 years OLDER than Mark Addy.

    She looks the part, save for being about 8 years older than I pictured the character.

  • Looking at various pics of Van Houten, she has an exotic look to her face. She actually is close to my mind’s eye Melisandre. The pic that WiC has chosen of her is not a flattering one. Google her, and you’ll see she does have unusual eyes and a darkness to her.

  • Markcb: Well, great choices for both of them, but always pictured Stannis bald, don’t know why.

    the picture of Dillane is old… he´s bald, not completely but bald enough…

  • Stephen Dillane…now THAT is a bold choice: absolutely loved him as Jefferson in John Adams; not only that, but I do actually see some parallels between his portrayal of Jefferson and GRRM’s depiction of Stannis.

    edit–Let me clarify: both are somewhat awkward characters, especially around others, albeit in very different ways.

  • Ro, here is an interview with Van Houten from this past April. At the end she seems to hint of her being cast as Mel when she says she has a project that starts filming in August, but can’t say what it is yet.

  • Ro,

    You’ve heard of them before. I don’t know anyone who’s heard of these losers. Epic fail by HBO

    Tar Kidho,

    do you want the show to not get a third season?

  • Oh shit!!
    I am am Dutch and in Holland Van Houten is seen as the best Dutch actrice out there. She is a fantastic actrice and we fans, we hit the jackpot with her as Mel.

  • Steve the Pirate: The pic that WiC has chosen of her is not a flattering one.

    Really? I think she looks smokin’ hot and like a perfect Mel in that pic. She even has the red pendant. ;)

  • Great news. Love both choices. I’ll echo the compliments re: Dillane’s performance in John Adams – he stole the show.

    Plus he gives us another “Soldier, Soldier” alumnus to go with Jerome Flynn. Time to add Robson Green!

  • i like the look of both of them, Van Houten seems to have the right coloring so if they give her a red wig it won’t look so out of place and in other pictures Dillane seems to be balding and i can see him as Stannis.

  • Wow!

    I never considered Dillane, but I REALLY liked his portrayal of Thomas Jefferson in John Adams! This is… very good news!

  • Ro,

    She does a pretty good generic British accent with just a hint of Dutch pronunciation.

  • Fitten,

    I’m fine with him being a bit older than Addy, as long as he can pull it off. It’s not like he’s a doddering old grandfather or anything. When people were pushing for Patrick Stewart, Sean Connery, and Ian McShane, now THAT was a bit ridiculous.

    To me Dillane, currently, looks of age with Addy’s Robert. And that’s fine. I always pictured Stannis as prematurely aged, slightly. Not like he was decrepit and elderly looking. But as someone in their late 30’s who looked like they might be in their late 40’s. Bald, weathered, bitter. He lived through a years-long siege and was then screwed over by Robert, who gave their ancestral home to Renly.

  • Winter Is Coming: Really? I think she looks smokin’ hot and like a perfect Mel in that pic.

    I agree! She’s got a bit of a peculiar face (compared to Hollywood ‘standards’), but in my opinion that’s what makes her really attractive, and it shows well in that picture.

  • Steve the Pirate: Very unflattering shot of her neck, and her skin makeup is weird. It might be a girl-picky thing. :)

    I have to admit I wasn’t focusing on her neck…

  • Tar Kidho,

    Eva Green would have brought press to the show. And she’s beautiful. Carice van Houten is only okay looking, and no one know who the hell she is. This was a big mistake by HBO.

  • They both look the part to me! I’ve seen Repo Men (terrible movie, though certainly not the fault of the actors) but I don’t remember her character at all.
    I can’t wait to see what these two will do with the roles. Both characters have an incredible amount of gravitas to them, I think overall there’s going to be a lot of heaviness to those scenes, which makes me hope even more that they include Stannis’s daughter and fool, etc. A lot of those side characters are what bring life (even varying shades of gloomy life, haha) to the Davos chapters.

  • Tar Kidho: I for one am very happy they they didn’t go with Eva Green…

    ME. TOO. I thought she would have been horrible but was a bit nervous to speak out about it because people have been so sensitive. No offense to her, just not the right role.

    This Van Houten pic is very Melisandre-y to me: http://i.thisislondon.co.uk/i/pix/2010/03/cover-caricevanhouten415.jpg
    The cheekbones, the arched eyebrows, the cupid’s bow on her lips. She has great cheekbones, hopefully they can give her some styling that doesn’t keep her hair in front of her face all the time.

    Also, while this white garb isn’t like our red priestess, the hood and the shaded brow is interesting: http://data.whicdn.com/images/8324303/Carice-van-Houten-carice-van-houten-3931260-419-811_large.jpg?1301372262

  • I don’t mean she looks fugly in that pic, or anything.I just like the others better. :P She is stunningly gorgeous and I’m happy with her casting. What a lovely lovely treat today!

  • Roy Mars III,

    people like you are probably trash on me but i don’t see what you see on Eva Green. I don’t find her attractive or in any way a wonderful actress.

  • Pau Soriano,

    …on the positive side, less money in salaries means more money for battles.

    And for direwolves, dragons, and massive, beautiful sets. Since the show is already getting tons of good press, I’m very pleased they chose to go for high-quality journeymen actors over big names.

  • They both look the part, and by all reports they can act. That’s all I ask for! Great job HBO!

  • Roy Mars III,

    You know what? I’d never heard of Eva Green before I started following casting discussions. She was a nobody in the US before Camelot, and frankly she still is, to a large segment of the population. Stephen Dillane is easily as recognizable as she is. I suspect you’re just trolling anyway, so have fun with that.

  • Lina: ME. TOO. I thought she would have been horrible but was a bit nervous to speak out about it because people have been so sensitive. No offense to her, just not the right role.

    ME THREE. Haha. I didn’t think she was great as Morgan, and since it’s a vaguely similar role I would have been a little wary. She has been good in other things, but I just didn’t think she would be at her best as Melisandre.

  • Roy Mars III,

    Eva Greene played a very similar role in Camelot and i don’t see why anyone on the GoT production team or on her team would want her to play it again also she didn’t save that show from being cancelled.

  • Roy Mars III: Ro, You’ve heard of them before. I don’t know anyone who’s heard of these losers. Epic fail by HBOTar Kidho, do you want the show to not get a third season?

    I guess you believe that a show can’t be great and successful without previously known actors. That’s pretty silly. Some of the best performances this past season were from people most had never heard of before. I suppose you were one of the J. Fiennes for Stannis people. I’m certainly going to enjoy Dillane more in the part – I’m sure of that.

  • Lina,

    Wow, that pic in the white hood is ripe for a photoshop job. Any WiC commenters good with Photoshop? I’m not on my own laptop with the software, so I can’t do it now. Would be nice to see that pic changed to a red hood, etc.

  • Roy Mars III:
    Tar Kidho,

    Eva Green would have brought press to the show. And she’s beautiful. Carice van Houten is only okay looking, and no one know who the hell she is. This was a big mistake by HBO.

    Do you really think they need big-name actors at this point in the game? The only big names HBO will attract for this project will be characters that aren’t long for Westeros, simply due to the fact that it is smarter to spend the budget on the production than to have a ton of big names eating up the money they could be using on VFX, sets, etc. Time will tell if these choices were a “mistake” on HBO’s part, but I doubt it.

    EDIT: And if you haven’t seen Black Death, I highly recommend you check it out to get an idea of Carice’s possible take on Melisandre. Oh, and it’s a surprisingly good movie that also features Sean Bean.

  • Roy Mars III,

    Don’t worry, if she’s really that good an actress as you believe, she’ll be appearing in Season 3. My prediction: she won’t… And 16 million Dutch people (plus 6 million Flemish) possibly means a whole new market to pick up GoT, so trust me, the casting of CVH does bring ‘press’ to the show. Also, many of the critical press will be aware of the quality of CVH…

    Edit: and I fully agree with Pastor_of_Muppets post above.

  • So I had no idea that Carice van Houten was that crazy woman from black death because she looks so lovely in all these pictures everyone is posting up. She looks like two different people.

  • Oi!:
    C’mon Liam Cunningham for Davos

    Still hoping together with you on that one! Which would mean that the one casted from Camelot has to be one of the other characters, but that’s definitely possible…

  • SO AWESOME
    As dutchie, I can say that Carice is gonna do awesome and she is a highly respected actress here, she’s really awesome.. Can’t believe she’s gonna be in my favourite tv show… SO AWESOME!!

  • Steve the Pirate: she has an exotic look to her face.

    Maybe for caucasians she´s a bit exotic but I don´t see that. Altough she´s certainly Mel from book.
    Now I remember saw her in Black Death and she was great but I still think on someone more exotic: I mean not caucasian.
    Agree with you: Stephen Dillane can play almost every character!!!

  • Not looking through the posts. Don’t want to see any negativity.

    It’s funny; when I first saw that Clive Standen tweet, I did wonder if Dillane wasn’t perhaps playing Stannis, but figured…naah. Shows what I get for second-guessing myself.

  • Van Houten’s role in Black Death has me on board with this casting. :)

    Not familiar whatsoever with Dillane, but he doesn’t look too bad.

  • I put out an SOS on Tumblr to see if anyone can help out, and photoshop that white hood photo of Carice to see how she looks in red.

  • Good gravy, I get busy at work and … damn. Good choices, I’m glad that they went with Van Houten I liked her suggestion as Cersei way back when.

  • Phalange,

    No. I still associate the name with Leslie Van Houten, of Charles Manson fame. And people don’t like to talk about her much.

  • Josh Parker,

    Excellent choice, and a gut feeling tells me this might be correct, although I still would prefer Henry Ian Cusick from Lost.

  • I never even dreamed HBO could get Carice van Houten. She’s my favourite actress and what I consider the best actress in the world, so I’m kind of speechless right now – even though Melisandre is not an interesting character to me. I mean, watch her tremendous performance in Verhoeven’s masterpiece Black Book for example, or even her acting in the much less ambitious/significant Black Death (where she totally outshines Sean Bean by the way) ? So awesome I won’t even comment on Stephen Dillane being Stannis. Plus she’s the big name (at least for me as a cinephile) the show was waiting for.

  • I’m so happy they didn’t pick a young 20 something actress to play Mel. I realize that quite a few people read her as 20’s, but I always read her as at least 30’s. Not old (obviously) but a bit more mature/experienced in the ways of the world. With the sort of poise and knowledge that she has, I think it is a lot more believable when not played by a younger female.

  • I’m relieved it wasn’t Alice Henley as Mel. That would free her up to play Ygritte, which I’m totally ok with.

  • Whenever I thought of a person to play Stannis, I always thought that stanley tucci would have made an excellent choice, so much so that when I envision Stannis in my mind, I always see tucci as him.

  • This is fantastic news…better than I could have hoped for?!?!?! Stephen Dillane is an outstanding actor of great talent and presence! I loved, loved him as Thomas Jefferson in HBO’s mighty miniseries “John Adams”, he and Paul Giamatti where simply amazing! Great catch for “Game Of Thrones”! Carice Van Houten is somewhat lesser known to me, but I have seen her recently in “Black Death”, alongside Sean Bean by the way(what are the odds!) ,and what I have seen I have liked! She should be another solid addition.

    Good job! Oh man I can’t wait to see Stephen Dillane in action!

    PS If you want to see more of this amazing actor, check out a little movie he did a few years ago called “Fugitive Pieces”…another tour-de-force performance!

  • Roy Mars III:
    Terrible casting! They’ve ruined the show with these no-bodies.

    Don’t know about ‘terrible’, but I’m not too happy about Mel, either. Wrong body type. Mel should be Christina Hendricks’ curvy.

  • I had kind of wanted an Asian Mel (was fixated on Dichen Lachman), but:

    Mild ADWD spoiler:

    It looks likely that her whiteness and red hair and eyes are all a glamor, which means we have no idea what she “really” looks like.

    I haven’t seen Black Book yet, but I was really excited about when it first came out before I kind of forgot about it, so I’m excited too.

  • Oh yeah now, come to think of it, yes I remember Carice Van Houten from “Repo Men” with Jude Law and Forest Whitaker…

  • Tucci is so very American and so lusty and spirited in so many of his roles that I never pictured him as Stannis even though he physically is similar.
    I think Pertwee and Cunningham are both good suggestions for Davos, so I’d be content with either one, if they’re cast.

  • I honestly don’t understand why people clamor for Henry Ian Cusick for Davos, except for the superficial point that he also played a sailing enthusiast in Lost. Davos has 4 adult sons in Clash, does he not? my understanding is that he’s about 1/2 generation older than ned/cat/robert/stannis/Jaime/cersei/tyrion — I would think the character –and actor– should be more of an age with Rodrik/Barristan

  • Wow
    Nina Gold strikes back. What a fantastic piece of casting!

    LOVED Dillane’s portrayal on John Adams, and the more I think of it, the more I see him as a perfectly lobstery Stannis. Stern, hard, unflinching… just great.

    Haven’t seen CVH in anything before, I knew her back when the Cersei speculation casting was boiling up (ah! the memories! :) ). So I’ll take your word that she’s a great actress. And some of those pictures just scream melisandre to me.

    Again, Nina Gold proves she was the best asset this series has. Fantastic actors, all looking the part to a extent, and no overpayed stars to skyrocket the budget.
    What great news.

    OT: I’m dying here on waiting. Book Depository told me my copy of ADWD was sent back on July 11th. Still not here! Arrrrghhhhhh!

    Some very small questions regarding S2:

    Will NCW leave his beard grow? And Stephen Dillane, in order to mimic Stannis appearance?
    When would some fan post a Photoshop of some of the new cast members “in role”?
    Will we have a Podrick Payne?
    Did Sophie, Maisie and Isaac grew so much over this year to be noticeable in the show? Could Maisie still pass as a boy, or Sophie as a “non-bled-yet” girl”?

  • Dillane’s Thomas Jefferson was one of the (admittedly many) highlights in John Adams. He struck the perfect balance between thoughtful romantic (he was one of Adams’ closest friends) and dour pessimist. He does regal and refined as well as anyone. He’ll do an absolutely fine job as Stannis–perhaps the most humorless and dour of Martin’s characters.

  • Pastor_of_Muppets:
    Josh Parker,

    Excellent choice, and a gut feeling tells me this might be correct, although I still would prefer Henry Ian Cusick from Lost.

    Ahhh I never thought of Henry as Davos! He was fantastic as Desmond, and I think he would be great as Davos!

  • @ Paul Gude

    Well, Davos is the real hero in Stannis’ story arc, so I agree that he should be played by someone more famous and more sympathetic.

  • jwsnasa: Don’t know about ‘terrible’, but I’m not too happy about Mel, either.Wrong body type.Mel should be Christina Hendricks’ curvy.

    Van Houten literally has the best breasts I have ever seen. (Seriously, see Black Book if you haven’t.) She’s gonna look great as Mel.

    She had been my first choice for Cersei for season 1, though I wasn’t sure she could do a proper accent. Accent won’t matter for Mel – she’s foreign as far as Westeros goes, anyway.

  • loco_73: PS If you want to see more of this amazing actor, check out a little movie he did a few years ago called “Fugitive Pieces”…another tour-de-force performance!

    I saw that movie. He´s a writer or musician (I can´t remember) who as a child was in concentration camp or escaped from Poland during Worl War II? Dillane was perfect in that role.

  • Her figure isn’t “completely wrong” for Melisandre. Some things are up for interpretation. She isn’t flat-chested and straight as a board, and she looks pretty good with not a lot of clothes on- never mind the pic, just google her.

  • ieiazel,

    That was my reasoning as well. We’ll see how it pans out.

    Personally, I’ll be just as happy with a solid actor who will *become* a household name. It was just that if they are going to cast someone a big famous, that’s where I’d put them.

  • Steve the Pirate,

    Damnit Steve, I just got flagged on my work computer for trying to view that pic. Comp flashed up that it was a porn site! LOL Hate when that happens!

  • Undoubtedly someone else will have already gotten to this, but every “name” actor cast is less money to spend on everything else, eg Direwolves, a certain episode late in S2, and so forth.

    Also: Watch BLACK BOOK, it is a pretty decent movie. Don’t expect that Van Houten will have any significant problems with Melisandre’s more, er, HBO-ish scenes.

  • Steve the Pirate,

    Isn’t that ‘that other’ Dutch actress? What’s her name? Ah, can’t think of it now, but for the Dutch people: they were on ‘De Wereld Draait Door’ together once… I’m quite sure that’s she-who-I-can’t-name-right-now, and not Carice, based on the nose…

  • Yeah, I removed the link already. It was labeled as Carice. Oh well, just google her, you’ll see her in plenty of sexy outfits. :)

  • Bring on Davos, Jojen, Meera, Balon, Asha, the Boltons, Halfhand, and all the rest!!

  • JRQ,

    Ned, Catelyn, Jaime, Cersei, Robert, Stannis etc are all in their mid 30s circa-GOT. My guess is that Davos is maybe 8 or so years older – a man in his early 40s with adult sons fighting in war isn’t at all unusual – his next oldest son is a squire, so likely only 12 or so – that means his sons who fight are probably between 16 and 22, and possibly not even that old. Barristan, on the other hand, is about 60. Rodrik Cassel is supposed to be 50ish, IIRC. I don’t think Davos is as old as they are at all, though if they cast him older I don’t see a problem with it. I think, with Davos, they have a pretty wide age range they could go with. However, since they’ve aged up the characters in the show, I don’t think there’s any reason Davos needs to look any older – he just married younger, is all.

  • WOOOOOOOOOT!, Carice was one of my top 5 for a looooong time.
    I think it was THIS PIC that GoT here the role, along with her impressive acting credentials. She is one of the biggest stars in Europe. I actually thought, she like Gong Li were long shops because of their prestige overseas. Obviously HBO is courting more viewers for Europe with this bit of casting.

  • tysnow,

    I’m glad to see that these actors will get some recognition over here in the US. Bravo HBO and Nina!

  • Tar Kidho: Finally, found it! Based on the nose, I think that’s Halina van Reijn in that picture, but I could be wrong of course…

    I’m pretty sure it’s anna and not halina simply because halina was not in that movie (komt een vrouw bij de dokter). So it could not have been her. But it doesn’t really matter that much anyway I guess ;).

  • sjwenings,

    Truly amazing :-) But I’m glad there seems to be a common believe that these two actors have the acting talents to pull of their roles despite them not being among the fan-favorites. Are we finally growing up as a fan-comunity? ;-)

  • sjwenings:
    Hey, look at us!

    Two major characters cast and no gates!

    Yes, it’s quite unnerving. Maybe I should start one. Stephen Dillane is not bald enough for Stannis.

  • Brude: Van Houten literally has the best breasts I have ever seen.(Seriously, see Black Book if you haven’t.)

    meh

  • Tar Kidho: Are we finally growing up as a fan-comunity? ;-)

    Maybe just a little bit… I’m sure we’ll be back with full force sometime in the not too distant future.

  • Sansa’s Lemoncakes,

    We’ve already heard that and that Carice is too short or her boobs aren’t big enough. Although she has her share of supporters who can’t wait to see her naked. So funny!

  • Clarice looks phenomenal in red!

    What happy casting news. She will be fantastic.

    I wonder what accent they will have her use for Melisandre…?

    edit: fixed typos

  • sjwenings,

    Ah well, maybe it was false hope anyway as it looks like a thorough discussion of CVH’s breasts could be about to start ;-)

  • Roy Mars III,

    Terrible casting! They’ve ruined the show with these no-bodies

    WoW! thats an ignorant statement. Carice is one of the biggest names in Europe and Hollands top actor, period. She is a high class, highly talented thespian on par with Blanchett, Mirren and the like. She is also gorgeous and has a cold yet sexual presence about her. Rent “Black Book”, get the Dutch with English subtitles (only a wanker would watch a dubbed foreign film). Broaden your mind, there’s more to film than Transformers or Megan Fox.

  • Now, if Carice Van Houten had been cast as Stannis, that would cause for a fan-rage fueled “gate”

    Or not.

    Maybe HotBabe!Stannis would be seen as an improvement over the original.

    I suppose it is not too late for the producers to re-negotiate contracts.

  • Tar Kidho:
    sjwenings,

    Ah well, maybe it was false hope anyway as it looks like a thorough discussion of CVH’s breasts could be about to start ;-)

    Breast-gate!!!!!

    I cast my lot in the ‘way too small’ camp

  • I haven’t said yet just how psyched I am that we finally have a Stannis. I didn’t think it would take this long; I figured it’d be the first S2 role announced. Now I’ve been imagining him wrong for nearly half of ADwD. No, I’m not gonna go back and re-read those parts. Not yet, anyway.

    Dillane will do quite well. For any nay-sayers in the crowd, remind yourselves all the scorn that was heaped upon Addy, and look how awesome a job he did.

    On another note; why do so many people seem to think Stannis is muscular, and/or huge? He’s all hard angles and sinew, and he’s of average height. When I first suggested that I thought Joseph Fiennes had been cast as Stannis, a few people said he wasn’t “big” enough, or muscular enough. Combine that with all the people who thought James Purefoy would be a good Stannis (great actor, not at all right for the role) and I wonder just how many pictured Stannis totally wrong?

    Other than his age (Stannis is supposed to look older anyway) Dillane is pretty much exactly the man GRRM described.

  • ugh. so close to Famke Janssen but still so far away. i like Van Houten as an actress in everything i’ve seen but she is too short to play Melisandre …. she is only 5’6″ … there is no way that somebody that short can carry off the imposing physical stature that Mel is supposed to have standing equal to Stannis and other knights.

    but i guess she will probably do a good job of playing a different type of Mel as she is a good actress … but there were plenty of good actresses who are 5’10” and above too that could have just as easily done Mel … many of whom we’ve discussed here (Janssen, Burrows, Helfer). but whatever … they want a midget Mel then so be it.

  • Not familiar with Carice but think she has the look.
    Stephen Dillane! Not a name I would have picked in a million years but he is one of these guys who acts his ass off but has never had a big “star” role. I think he’l be a great Stannis.

  • Well well well, as I am racing towards the end of ADWD I thought I’d check this site out before I startednwith the last few chapters. But now I’m so excited about the Van Houten news I can’t get myself to start reading again! This is such great news, I remember how excited I was when all the Cersei casting clues seemed to lead to her, but now she’s finally in the show!

    Finally the show and the books will get some broader recognition here in the Netherlands. Besides an awesome actress she’s also real fun in interviews and with the fans, she is THE actress here. Prepare for some goofy interviews with her.

  • sjwenings,

    I’m not at all certain. There was no hint of sarcasm. And it’s true that some of us (not just Americans) are quick to call actors “nobodies” because they’re not A-listers in America.

    That said, I’ve heard of Carice Van Houten, never seen anything she’s been in but I’m next to positive she’ll be awsome as Mel.

  • and will people please quit calling the woman “Clarice” … this isn’t Silence of The Lambs … her name is C-A-R-I-C-E people … i may not think she is the best possible choice but at least let’s get her name correct people.

  • Two great actors for the show, for sure.

    Haven’t really imagined Dillane as Stannis, but he has the skills for that role. He was great in John Adams.

    Van Houten is obviously a big name in Europe and can act really well. Personally she doesn’t match my mental image of Melisandre, but I’m not complaining. Better her than Eva Green or some of the other popular choices.

    Now if they could snatch Sean Pertwee for Davos / or some other role, that would be sweet.

    Will drop my hammer of judgement on the casting during/after Season 2, when I’ve actually seen them in their costumer, make-ups etc.

    In Nina Gold we trust.

  • So in terms of major casting additions for season #2, it appears to me that we have the following left to unveil:

    1- Edmure
    2- Ygritte
    3- Qorin Halfhand
    4- Jaqen
    5- Pyat Pree

    Yes, I left out the Blackfish, because there isn’t going to BE a Blackfish in this series.

    The balance of any minor roles consit of whomever else they cast for parts in Essos (just who or wht is not all clear at this stage).

    The rest of the new cast are likely to be minor roles without a speaking part. I still hope that they will cast a Podrick Payne, but it may well be that they won’t.

    Sound about right?

  • Loved Dillane in John Adams. I could see him easily as the cold hearted Stannis. Don’t know much about Van Houten but she does have the right look for the part! Very excited!

  • I wondered if people would start talking about Dillane’s folicular fortitude.

    Honestly, he’s more balding than some suggestions (Eccleston, Sewell, Purefoy, Isaacs) and it’s not a must that the actor be bald, anyway. It’s not like his baldness is the defining aspect of the character. He’s very stern and cold-looking (or can be when he wants to be) and that’s what matters.

  • Josh Parker: I wonder just how many pictured Stannis totally wrong?

    In fact, the power of reading in my opinion is that it is a very personal experience, and as such I don’t think it is even possible for any reader to ‘picture a character wrong’… Having said that, I can add that Dillane is close to how I saw Stannis, although I pictured him with a slightly more pronounced jawline. Not that that matters at all!

  • Steel_Wind,

    You forgot Davos. And Xaro Xhoan Daxos. And Jojen and Meera Reed. And Asha (although we think she is cast, but it’s still not official yet).

    EDIT: Oh, and Roose Bolton too. Assuming he is in the show…

  • Dissappointing they did not get a well known actor for either of these roles, very dissappointing.

    The actress for Melisandra however looks really great for the part, although the photo here doesn’t remind me as much of Mel as some of the other photos I have seen of this actress

    The actor chosen for Stannis leaves me more disappointed than I was hearing Mark Addy was chosen for Robert. The look of this gentlemen leaves me feeling completely BLAH, and all I can say is MEH… to this choice, as he looks nothing like how I pictured Stannis. Hopefully, this actor can turn me around the way Addy did as he was utterly brilliant as Robert, and got royaly screwed not being nominated for an Emmy.

    Please please give us a big name for Davos and or Mance!

  • Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    I’m sorry but height has little to do with how imposing and powerful someone is on TV. (See also, DeNiro, Pacino, Stewart, just about every “imposing” actor you can possibly name.) 5’6″ is plenty tall if she has the chops.

    I’m also utterly vexed that people have complained about Dillane’s hair and Carice’s haircoloring. I’m just glad those people aren’t casting agents.

    For the record, Dillane is mostly bald – not that it matters. He’s actually an actor I’ve seen several times onstage and he is utterly amazing. The first time I saw him was in Stoppard’s The Real Thing and he kind of blew my mind. I think we’re all in for a treat.

  • When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to NOT FEED THE TROLLS!

    I Loved Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson. I’m sure I’ll love him as Stannis.

    I have not had the pleasure of seeing Carice van Houten before. Based upon the picture Winter put up though, she lights my fire.

  • Who Is Jacopo Belbo?: there is no way that somebody that short can carry off the imposing physical stature that Mel is supposed to have

    I seem to remember we’ve discussed that at length before and most people didn’t agree with you…

    (OT: and now I go fix dinner – once again GoT has made me forget that I was very hungry a few hours ago ;-)

  • Winter Is Coming,

    You forgot Davos. And Xaro Xhoan Daxos. And Jojen and Meera Reed. And Asha (although we think she is cast, but it’s still not official yet).

    Balon
    Victarion
    Gilly
    Crastor
    Rattleshirt

    Don’t forget them

  • Who Is Jacopo Belbo?,

    Height? Again? It’s such a non-issue that my brain actually exploded. Just now.

    In other news, I’m not familiar with either of these actors. Might have to have a watch of Black Death and John Adams at some point.

  • Flouride,

    I hope the actor they pick for Crastor is a great character actor because I imagine Crastor as a thoroughly disgusting, dirty, slobbery, scumbag. Can’t wait!

  • Josh Parker: On another note; why do so many people seem to think Stannis is muscular, and/or huge? He’s all hard angles and sinew, and he’s of average height.

    He is described as having a large frame like Robert and being tall, but seeming hollowed out and skeletal despite that (all hard angles and sinew). It’s in a Storm of Swords, when Davos first sees him after getting out of the Dungeons. Don’t have the book on me for the exact quote but I just read it.

    Anyway Dillane has a slimmer build then he ought to but clearly brings acting chops so I’m happy enough.

    Fire And Blood,

    LOL!! If no one else beats me do it perhaps I will jump on that FaBio.

    ETA: ACK! Sorry about the spoiler guys. :/

  • userj: He is described as having a large frame like Robert and being tall, but seeming hollowed out and skeletal despite that (all hard angles and sinew). It’s in a Storm of Swords, when Davos first sees him after getting out of the Dungeons. Don’t have the book on me for the exact quote but I just read it.
    Anyway Dillane has a slimmer build then he ought to but clearly brings acting chops so I’m happy enough.

    And lets not forget who the cast as his brothers Robert and Renly. Bodywise, he very much could be their brother.

  • Carice van Houten sounds GREAT for the Red Priestess.

    My only potentital misgiving about Dillane is that he is 8 years older than Mark Addy, but we know that character hasn’t exactly aged gracefully, and perhaps more importantly, he starts aging fast once those shadow babies come about.

  • I think the gal playing Mel looks great. I like Dillane very much in John Adams, and I’m sure he’ll do fine as Stannis…but I do wish he had a stronger jaw! Looking forward to seeing the prologue with Cressen and Shireen and Patchface, what a spooky scene that was. If it is nearly as good as the prologue was filmed in GOT, we are in for a treat…

  • Tar Kidho,

    As an author myself, if someone told me that they imagine a character I had written totally differently than I had described him or her, my first question would be “So what about what I wrote made you think the character looked like that?”

    That said, transcribing the page to the screen isn’t an exact science and there will be roles that are cast differently than described, but I don’t think it’s up to the reader to say “this character looks this way” when the author has described the character’s look and it’s not at all what you picture.

    In fact, I think that’s the biggest reason people grumble over who gets cast. When an actor like Dillane who is physically perfect for Stannis gets cast and people complain, I’m sorry, but they’re wrong.

  • I had my favourites for Mel but Carice is going to be my Mel while I read ADWD tonight!!
    I saw Stephen in John Adams and IMHO he was perfect.
    From a marketing point of view we need someone well known in the States… DAvos?? I hope so.
    Good night!

  • What’s with the obsession that people seem to have with big name actors? some of the best actors in season one were practically unknown (Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, all the other kids and some of the older actors who were not famous) so it really doesn’t matter on a show like this.

  • Iker Gernika: Mine from casadellibro.com was in just 2 or 3 days. You are spanish, aren´t you?

    From Casadellibro in english? I´m waiting mine from Amazon in english because I assumed it was not yet translated. Am I wrong?

  • paulgude:
    Superdeluxe,

    That’s kind of amazing. Can anyone translate?

    well it’s a bit long to translate, but I’ll paraphrase what happens. It’s not an audition but an internet commercial for the Dutch ‘oscars’ for online movies:

    she thinks she has an audition for a movie and then the director tells her it’s an internetvideo at which she then totally freaks out because she’s not going to be in some stupid internetvideo, after which she starts acting out other famous youtube videos and finally walking away furiously screaming that she’s bloody Carice van Houten, she’s filming two movies, doesn’t drink cola and does stuff for monkeys (WNF good cause), but she won’t be in a fucking online video.

    (jup, she’s a bit crazy)

  • Mirri Maz:
    What’s with the obsession that people seem to have with big name actors? some of the best actors in season one were practically unknown (Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, all the other kids and some of the older actors who were not famous) so it really doesn’t matter on a show like this.

    Totally agree with you.

  • Mirri Maz,

    I think it’s a mixed bag. Some people see big names as a draw for viewers who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in the show.

    For my own part, it’s pure speculation. Will they cast a large name to fill the void left by Bean?

  • Geez there are some silly comments on this thread. Both Houten and Dillane are, first and foremost, proper, genuine great actors! That is what we want, right? Not novelty casting. Whoever called for Famke Janssen (a bland ex-model) should hang their head in shame! Had anyone heard of Conleth Hill (Varys) before the show? His scenes with Aiden Gillen as Littlefinger were a joy because of their acting ability, not their names!

    Also, Carice van Houten IS a big name! She is (reportedly) the best and most famous actress in Holland, and has played opposite Tom Cruise and Jude Law! She is a bigger name than any actor currently (alive) on the show IMO, I was really shocked they got her. Perhaps people don’t know her as well because she hasn’t been in a load of crappy blockbusters. Sigh.

  • I love Carice’s mouth! So sexy.

    None of her roles in the clips i’ve seen are very Melisandre-like, so i can’t really say if she’s right for the part based on that. Luckily with season one, i’ve seen what Nina Gold are capable of, so i’m not worried.

  • Love Carice. Very talented lady. Beautiful eyes, she will be great as Mel. I don`t know Stephen Dillane`s work,but his CV is impressive. And Miltos recommends him. Welcome to the crazy world of Game of Thrones guys……………Ray Winstone for Craster…Sean Pertwee for Davos.

  • Both seem like EXCELLENT choices to me. I’ve very excited. He was very good in Adams, very unique. The woman seems to have the right kind of chemistry in the age and her demeanor; she looks very beautiful but not necessarily a Hollywood aesthetic.

  • tysnow,

    Too bad the that HBO doesn’t care as much about the ratings in whereeverthehellshe’sfrom, as the U.S. ratings.

  • These are both fantastic actors. Brilliant, even, by many reports. That’s the single most important thing.

    Secondly, they both look more than close enough to satisfy anyone being rational about it. If they want Stephen Dillane bald (debateable), he can be that. If they want him to look younger, they can do that as well.

    And Carice van Houten is very attractive. She may not be the ridiculous level of Christina Hendricks- curvy, but honestly people, those who complain about this remind a bit too much of teenage boys reading comic books.

    Mark Addy didn’t just NAIL Robert, he added to him, ENHANCED him. And he could only do that through high quality writing and fantastic acting skills. Neither of these two characters are POV characters through the first four books , so there’s the potential for that kind of enhancement here.

  • Never heard of either of these actors, but Van Houten LOOKS like Melisandre, which is always a plus.

    Dillane looks nothing like the Stannis is my mind, but I’m hearing great things about his acting ability, so I’m cool with it.

  • I’m a fan of the casting for both Melisandre and Stannis, regardless of how much hair one of them has, or the height of the other. I mean, seriously? …I just don’t get these kind of complaints.

    Anyway, here’s hoping for James Purefoy as Mance Rayder (let’s face it; not a heavy duty role this season, and the dude would kill it).

    And with all this talk of casting, why hasn’t anyone mentioned Reek / Ramsay Bolton yet? I mean, the dude doesn’t have a whole ton to do in A Clash of Kings other than, you know, sacking Winterfell, but really turns out to be one of the biggest bastards (literally and figuratively) in the entire series as it goes on. Let’s seen Tony Curran play Ramsay.

    And I repeat, I won’t be disappointed if Sean Pertwee lands the role of Davos, but I’m still on the Henry Ian Cusick bandwagon for this guy. Being a fan of Lost, Cusick just has a certain way about him that makes you immediately involved and sympathetic with his character. And if not Davos, they’d damn well better find another role for him somewhere.

    Anyway, cheers for casting news!

  • Sean Pertwee is a terrible actor IMO, I’d hate to see him as Davos (a character I really like).

  • One last point: neither character is a big name, and no, a big name in Holland doesn’t mean that much to HBO. I’m not saying it’s not a wonderful country, but it is 16 million people. Once you cross-reference people who care enough about Ms. Van Houten to watch a show they wouldn’t otherwise watch… it’s not a huge number even if she’s big in neighboring countries.

    The bigger point is: who cares? HBO has succeeded quite well without big names (is Steve Buscemi the biggest name to headline an HBO show? Bill Paxton? Anna Paquin? Larry David? That’s not a murderer’s row, here). The biggest name on the Sopranos before the show started was probably Stevie Van Zandt for non-acting reasons.

    Game of Thrones is doing well and it’s getting a huge PR tailwind because it’s good. The writing’s good, the acting’s good, the production is good. A big(ger) name isn’t going to make or break it, and the type of name that could (a legit movie star) isn’t happening.

    As an example, I live in the Bay Area, and on the local sports radio station, one of the hosts, a former NBA player does unscripted ads for Comcast cable. What’s the current one he’s running? Get Comcast, go home this weekend, watch Game of Thrones on On Demand. Watch five on Saturday, five on Sunday. You won’t regret it.

    This is sports radio.

  • Roy Mars III: tysnow, Too bad the that HBO doesn’t care as much about the ratings in whereeverthehellshe’sfrom, as the U.S. ratings.

    Can’t believe your mom hasn’t kicked you off the internet yet, someone needs to set some limits in your house, young man.

  • Alan: The writing’s good

    Let’s not get crazy now. The show is not perfect. It’s high quality, but good? Big difference.

  • Epic the This,

    Care to share some examples of good writing, and extrapolate on why the writing in Game of Thrones is bad? Or are blanket statements all I can expect out of this request? Not trying to be antagonistic, but I watch quite a bit of good television, and the writing on this show (while not the best) is certainly very good.

  • Epic the This: Let’s not get crazy now. The show is not perfect. It’s high quality, but good? Big difference.

    Could you maybe rephrase that so that it makes some kind of sense? Is “good” a synonym for “incredibly amazingly brilliant and beyond reproach of any kind” where you come from?

  • Back from long time just lurking, hello again!

    I saw Carice van Houten in Black Book a few years ago, and she was fantastic. Looking forward to seeing her as Melisandre, definitely. Stephen Dillane I’m not as familiar with, having only seen him in King Arthur, but he looks like a good choice. How exciting! :)

  • Yup, Carice is phenomenal in Black Book (anyone who doubts this casting must see her performance in this immediately before criticizing any further). She’s also very down with the nudity so will fit right into the cast :p. Stephen Dillane is perfect for Stannis. Awesome casting…like there was any question it would be.

    HBO doesn’t need to cast massive names…it’s more important to me that they cast mid-level names that are respected for their acting abilities over simply picking up someone for their name recognition. They get way more bang for their buck that way and they boost their credibility with these actors. Seriously, Carice held her own as the definitive LEAD of Black Book which is the equal of any Hollywood blockbuster film imo for entertainment (directed by Paul Verhoeven who did Basic Instinct, Total Recall, and Robocop) and a great film – the first time I saw it, I actually ended up watching it a second time the next day with my brother and his girlfriend and a third time within the week with my parents. There’s a reason she was cast opposite Tom Cruise in Valkyrie. Like Marion Cotillard, I wouldn’t be surprised if she eventually makes a bigger breakthrough in Hollywood. This is a huge addition to the show.

  • I caught the John Adams marathon on HBO on the 4th of July – I gotta say I was impressed with Dillane. VERY good actor and I think he has the chops to carry the roll. He’s a lot handsomer then I pictured, so they are really gonna have to thin him down and harden the edges to really capture Stannis.

    Hopefully we’ll get a Davos casting soon.

  • Here is a headshot of Carice that fits Melisandre. Looking at her videos and still shots, she seems to be a combination of Helen Mirren and Kirsten Dunst with a bit of Marlene Dietrich.

    Both casts are very good choice that totally fit the image of Melisandre and Stannis. It is good news that D&D cast less famous actor/actress in those roles. That will reduce the pressure to have them in every episode in the next few seasons. After ACoK, both roles will be greatly reduced.

    After checking out some of Carice’s Black Book pics, she definitely has good enough figure to satisfy the role.

  • Reposting from what I said elsewhere:

    “Van Houten: meh. Didn’t like her in Black Death, but then she wasn’t given much to work with (not an awful film, but not exactly rich with nuance and subtlety). Fear she may be OTT as Melisandre, rather than toning her down into believability, but I’m willing to wait and see.

    Dillane: fascinating! His appearance and his role in JA are totally, utterly at odds with how I see Stannis. Yes, TJ was cold and driven, but he made you feel sorry for him – I’m not sure he can convey the shear THREAT that Stannis poses in ACOK. Jefferson is more like Stannis from later books – that sort of “I look beaten but I’ll never surrender” sort of stubborn determination to be a nuisance – but not much like the “I will CRUSH YOU ALL!” Stannis from ACOK. BUT: I thought Dillane was show-stealingly brilliant in John Adams, and it was a brilliant show to steal, against a very fine cast of actors. So I certainly wouldn’t write him off, and even if he doesn’t give us book-Stannis, I’m sure he’ll be fascinating to watch. At least I’m confident he can make a cold character sympathetic, which was one of my worries with the character (as I’m a Stannis fan myself).”

  • 250+ comments already???

    I did think at once of Milhouse…

    Unfortunately I’ve never seen either of them act, but I like the pics. I saw the news just before watching S1E6 & S1E7 with friends, and at first I thought “Oh no, Dillane has dark eyes”, but both Baratheon in the show have dark eyes. Dillane’s eyebrows actually remind me of Renly. He does have the family look.

    Henry Ian Cusick is 44. Even without aging make-up, he could very well have several grown-up sons. I like him very much, I don’t really see him as Davos, but age is not an issue at all for me.

    The Blackfish will be out of the series when GRRM says so. Only he can know what his future importance will be. The fact that the Tullys have been treated like sh!t like nobody else by all and sundry (“the Seven Kingdoms AND the Riverlands”, yeah, sure) does not bode well, but I don’t have the hubris to presume to get into GRRM’s mind, though I often try. Even though the Arthurian but non-Camelot actor seems already pegged, I still hold a candle for John Lynch (Merlin, Black Death).

  • Van Houten – I think she’ll be great. I was a little terrifed of her in Black Death and that’s precisely what I’d like from her with Melisandre!

    Dillane – an interesting choice. From all the things I’ve seen him in over the years he’s always been relatively likeable; his face is just too sympathetic and friendly. To my mind, Stannis isn’t the kind of guy that you can look at and like. He’s hard and stern. And no doubt Stephen will play that well, but he may be undone by his nice guy face! One of the films I remember him most from is Welcome To Sarajevo.

  • Tar Kidho,
    Speaking for the flemish, I can tell you we don’t know the actors across the border. We hardly watch any movies or series made in the netherlands and its the same the other way around. If we know Van Houten, its from international features.
    Anyhow I think I will like these actors.

  • I’ll also add: if anyone hasn’t seen John Adams, rest assured that Dillane is brilliant as Jefferson. He manages to be repellently cold, playfully bored by the world, frighteningly passionate (almost psychopathic at points), slightly paranoid, elegantly polite, sombrely tragic, deeply and charmingly shy, overwhelmingly arrogant, childishly enthusiastic, suavely oily, honestly sincere, and somehow wholly sympathetic. It’s an enthralling performance.

  • Stephen was great as Merlin, and he will be a fine Stannis. And, the choice for Mel was good, she’s very pretty. Let’s wish them both good luck!!!!!

  • Wastrel: “I will CRUSH YOU ALL!” Stannis from ACOK.

    Hmm, I never got that vibe from Stannis. I never felt he was weak, mind you, just too quick to take offense, and without humor. A hard man who wants his due, and will do what needs to be done, but not driven really, and not powerful even though he holds a position of power.

  • Knurk: jup, she’s a bit crazy)

    Are you sure this is really happening in the video?? I mean, if that was actually the casting maybe she´s not that crazy (but playing a character).

    took time to breathe these days or just read-read-read ?

  • Wastrel:
    I’ll also add: if anyone hasn’t seen John Adams, rest assured that Dillane is brilliant as Jefferson. He manages to be repellently cold, playfully bored by the world, frighteningly passionate (almost psychopathic at points), slightly paranoid, elegantly polite, sombrely tragic, deeply and charmingly shy, overwhelmingly arrogant, childishly enthusiastic, suavely oily, honestly sincere, and somehow wholly sympathetic. It’s an enthralling performance.

    Yes! perfectly described. He´s all that.

  • I just saw Stephen Dillane in NYC, playing in the Bridge Project’s production of As You Like It at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He was GREAT. The character he played, Jaques – who is quite stodgy, grumpy, bitter and cold – was very much like Stannis. But Dillane’s performance was also eloquent and funny. He’s a perfect fit for Stannis. Can’t wait!

  • Wastrel,

    If you want a good idea of Van Houtens acting chops I recommend watching The Black Book. Shes excellent in it. I do agree that with her poorly written role in Black Death she could end up being OTT but this is always the case when someone acts in a language that is not their own. Some actors can do it without a hitch, absolutely perfect. Others…well I look at Penelope Cruz. I think she is fabulous in any film of her native language (re: Almodovar0) but terrible outside of them. My opinion of course. But I think Van Houten is going to turn out okay. But Im an optimist who gets paranoid around negativity so…

    A question for you and I ask you because you seem to have a pretty level head. Why do you think casting directors cast against type and thus deliver us people screaming to the heavens about terrible casting…dont they see its bad publicity? I mean, they must choose these people for a reason…right? Surely they are not deliberately shooting the entire show in the foot?

  • Roy Mars III,

    If Carice van Houten is okay looking, then so too is Eva Green. Seriously you are either a troll or the most superficial, oblivious person on the planet. Sigh. To each their own I guess. Seriously though, Stephen Dillane is a nobody? Not a big name no, but neither was James Gandolfini, Ian McShane, Jeremy Piven, Kevin McKidd, James Purefoy, Ciaran Hinds etc etc. before HBO casted them. HBO uses ACTORS not celebrities.

  • Josh Atreides:
    Wastrel,
    Why do you think casting directors cast against type and thus deliver us people screaming to the heavens about terrible casting…dont they see its bad publicity? I mean, they must choose these people for a reason…right?
    Surely they are not deliberately shooting the entire show in the foot?

    That’s pretty strong just because a few vocal fanboys didn’t get their dream casting.

    It’s pretty simple, the creator/castingdirector are privy to screen tests and audition tapes that the general public aren’t. They’ve seen these actors at least try out and perform as these characters. Bad publicity is temporary if they know that the performer is actually fit for the role and delivers. It’s the same bullcrap people pulled for Heath Ledger. Casting against type yet all those fanboy raging were shut down when it became apparent that he was pulling off something amazing.

    Picking the obvious choices (in the case of Sean Bean for Ned) is great, but sometimes going against type yields the same results.

  • I saw Carice in “Black Book” and she was great. She is a very attractive redhead, which not every actress can pull off, and she has great chops and a hot body, just like our Mel. It doesn’t matter that she is short either, because Steven Dillane is a midget anyways. A very talented actor, but a small man. Actually, from head shots alone, Cunningham ( Davos) has a perfect look for Stannis, while Dillane looks like the Onion Knight in my head. Talented actors all, and thankfully Stevie doesn’t have any scenes with our intrepid Imp, because they are of a height. Let’s just hope they do well as they will have to carry a large part of season 2. Let’s hope the talented and beautiful Carice can pull of the power, mystery and exotic, erotic menace that is Mel.

  • Renjick,

    While I appreciate you educating the raging fanboys, I must assure you that i was being ironic. I am 100% behind these castings and Nina Gold.

    Guess its time for bed as i have trouble conveying sarcasm now! LOL

  • Spent the day thinking about it and I’m torn:

    Both great actors, but the age thing is bothering me.
    She’s about 8 years older than I imagined the character, and most of these pictures/videos that people are putting up are from 5 years ago. Note: Black Book was 5 years ago

    He’s at least 15 years older than the character. He looked in his 50s in John Adams miniseries and that filmed was between 5-7 years ago.

    For the record: I thought Addy would be good and he was great.

  • Also, Dillane definitely has the chops to play Stannis as a veteran of London stage. He was a perfect Jefferson in “John Adams” and has been good in everything he has been in. I take issue, however, with people who get mad about someone’s response to the “look” of an actor. The actors are chosen to portray beloved, well know characters who were described in exhaustive detail by GRRM. If someone doesn’t see Steven as Stannis, it is that person’s prerogative. Personally, I care more if they get the essence of the character, with the exact look being secondary. I do not, however, fault fans who want their Stannis to look as GRRM, in extensive detail, described him. Try not to blast each other for a difference of opinion. Thanks.

  • Van Houten is perfect as Melisandre, but I gotta admit Dillane doesn’t fit my mental image of Stannis at all (still Mark Strong), but I can’t deny he has the acting chops, it will be interesting to see how he measures up to the Stannis in my head once in character.

  • Tar Kidho: I can add that Dillane is close to how I saw Stannis, although I pictured him with a slightly more pronounced jawline. Not that that matters at all!

    LOL, with all his teethgrinding I always pictured him having a jaw like that alien bountyhunter from the X-Files or Adam Baldwin…

    Otherwise great casting choices so far. I prefer having actors that don’t remind me of other roles they played and am glad they can spend the money on the battles/effects that would otherwise have gone into some A-list stars pockets…

  • Carice van Houten might work, considering Melissandre is a foreigner in ASoIaF, but people proclaiming that she is our finest actor in the Netherlands doesn’t really mean anything. She was horribly wooden in the Black Death and well… average overall.

  • Dillane and Cunningham are decent names in the UK. Even so, I don’t really care. HBO shouldn’t spend money on “big names” when it’s the quality of the programme that will determine its success. Besides, throwing millions at a star performer is millions less that can’t be spent on making those battle scenes epic and rendering those direwolves that will add more to the story than a star name could.

    In any case, GoT is making stars of people like Emilia Clarke and Maisie Williams.

  • Great cast, Loved Dillane in John Addams. And I’m very intressted what Carice will bring. Loved her in Black Book, black death wasn’t a very good though the movie it self wasn’t very good.

    If you want to see her acting see (black again) Black Butterflies, she won an international price for that and it’s an English spoken movie which also stars Rutger Hauwer.

  • pietel,

    I’m Flemish myself and I know her… But yes, as you say, most Flemish might not. However, it opens the door to interviews on Flemish tv, so as soon as Canvas pick up this series, I’m sure we can expect to see her appear on De Laatste Show or something like that, which would attract more people to give the series a go…

  • Josh Parker: As an author myself, if someone told me that they imagine a character I had written totally differently than I had described him or her, my first question would be “So what about what I wrote made you think the character looked like that?”

    (sorry, didn’t see your reply before)

    I can understand you in that, however, different people’s brains work in different ways. If I read a book, it’s always hard for me to ‘see’ the surroundings and characters as they are described physically. (I have a very visual memory, but somehow the written word does not translate to images in my imagination very well, so while reading the ‘images’ in my head remain mostly quite vague) Hence, for me the personality of a character is allways what makes up my image of them, and it has happened that at some point in a book I realize that I imagine some character’s looks quite different from how they were first described. It has also happened that from the first time I read about a certain character, he or she is so close to someone I know that I am stuck with that friend’s image in my head through the entire book or series. One other point is that in long series the character description is often given in detail only once, and that two books further I have largely forgotten about that and have some other image in my head. So even though I can understand that you, as a writer, would wonder why a reader would ‘see’ a character differently than how you described them, I don’t think it’s that important. If you set a character as detailed as GRRM manages, than I think the most important part is their personality, and not the looks. (except if it is for someone like Brienne or Tyrion, where the physical appearance have very strongly influenced the personalities)

    Josh Parker: When an actor like Dillane who is physically perfect for Stannis gets cast and people complain, I’m sorry, but they’re wrong.

    On that I fully agree!

  • Really excited to see Carice cast in this.
    She IS the best actress in Holland nowadays everyone agrees on that…

    If this would only lead to a pick-up from one of our channels i would be really happy. We still have to download to watch here IF series are shown its usually at least a year later. Carice being cast doesnt guarantee that it will be bought Lotte Verbeek was in the borgias and that hasnt been bought yet to my knowledge. cheap Camelot has ofcourse been picked up, makes perfect sense Dutch Tv has no taste…

    Anyhow really happy with them casting Carice. (They better give her a wig though and not leave her hair black which i could see them doing…)

  • When carice van houten speaks English her accent sounds very much like that of shea. Maybe this means that in the series shea is from asshai. It was already mentioned in one episode that she was from abroad.

  • Mirax,

    She is fairly tall it seems. Saw her in “Black Death”, good movie btw, and she stood up next to Bean and the other male lead pretty well. She played a pretty (maybe) menacing part in the movie so I’m very excited to see her play Mel. She is exceedingly nice to look at too which I always though was an obvious weapon for Mel as a character.

    Liking Stannis actor as he was GREAT in John Adams.

  • lol@what Steven Swanson said @Roy Mars III.

    Roy, are you one of those Americans who’s never had a passport before? How laughably childish you sound.

  • Nearly Headless Ned,

    All about that. Great choice for Ramsay to really flesh him out as a character. Loved Rafe in Shaun and Hot Fuzz too; total fan boy credit there. I’ve never seen “Shadow Line” but that was a great scene.

  • Tar Kidho,

    I agree whole heartedly. I only get a vague sense of what a character looks like even when I read the descriptions. Like I know Stannis is bald in the books, but do I care if he is bald on screen? No. If the actor can convince me he IS Stannis, then that is all I am looking for!

  • Jeez, I disappear off the internet for one night and there’s a shit load of stuff to see when I return. Typical. :L
    I’m not familiar with either actor but if I’ve learnt anything from the crew of GoT, it’s to put all my trust in Nina Gold. I’m not worried about looks, that’s what the makeup department is there for!

  • Tar Kidho,

    I can understand that, and I also understand how that can sometimes influence you to picture a character wrong.

    Another person (on IMDB, I think) said he’d like to see John Noble cast as Stannis because Stannis came off to him as a Denethor-esque character. He was completely wrong on both counts, as Denethor and Stannis have nothing in common, and also because he had been picturing Stannis as an old man!

    What I do, and I understand not everyone can do this easily, is when a character is physically described in a book I stop and take in that description and try to realize a person in my head who fits that description. It’s usually not an actor, but it sometimes is if the description just screams “This is (insert actor here)!”

    Dillane’s angular, stony visage, balding hair and height make him a great choice, even if he is older than Addy (Stannis is supposed to look older than Robert, and in fact many of those I suggested are older than Addy).

  • Ben van Heijningen:
    Belwas’s stool,

    Carice is one of the finest actors in Holland, certainly the most popular, and very talented, smartand beautifull. I’ve allways been a fan but now …exited and proud.

    Ugh, How many more times do we have to hear, “finest actors in Holland”?? Holland is twice the size of New Jersey. Look, Carise is a VERY beautiful and very talented by most votes, including mine. But red hair and an accent does not make her match Mel’s description.

    Quote from GRRM:”Melisandre is a beautiful woman, always dressed in red, with a heart-shaped face and red eyes. Great heat emanates from her body. She is full-figured with copper hair”

    FULL FIGURED!!!

  • jwsnasa,

    Oh, Seven Hells. Another purist who thinks each actor should match the book description 100% with no variance at all.

    Oh, no, she’s thin! This means the character is ruined! How are we supposed to believe a thin woman can make pronouncements over nightfires, birth shadow creatures or passive-aggressively make good men do her bidding? She simply must be full-figured or none of this makes sense!

  • Van Houton looks perfect.

    I’m less impressed by Dillane. The photo here makes him look weak and uncertain. Good for brittleness, I suppose, but Stannis is certain of everything, and the picture doesn’t depict the sense of harshness that is Stannis’s trademark. (Also, he has far too much hair, though I suppose that’s easily fixed by shaving him balder). Maybe the actor’s performance will be good, but I’m not enthused by this little bit. And having spent some time reading unspoiled speculation to see what newbies have thought of the show, they’re all anticipating Stannis’s entrance next season. This guy will need to be perfect.

  • jwsnasa: Ugh, How many more times do we have to hear, “finest actors in Holland”?? Holland is twice the size of New Jersey. Look, Carise is a VERY beautiful and very talented by most votes, including mine. But red hair and an accent does not make her match Mel’s description.

    well aren’t you the partypooper. Being regarded as the best actress out of 16 million people makes you a quite good actress in my eyes. We dutch fans are just excited as hell that our country now has a little part in this awesome show.

  • jwsnasa,

    And Mark Addy was too short for Robert, Tyrion and Dany’s eyes aren’t the right colour, Jaime and Cersei don’t look very much alike, and Renly has short hair and a beard. It’s obvious at this point that the producers aren’t looking to follow the books’ physical descriptions down to the smallest detail. Exactly how full-figured Mel is is immaterial to how well her character will translate to screen.

  • world_dancer,

    I think you’re reading way too much into ONE picture of Dillane. Have you googled any others? I’ve seen pictures of him that make him look much more Stannis-like, and I think some people have linked them in this thread.

  • Josh Parker: I can understand that, and I also understand how that can sometimes influence you to picture a character wrong.

    It is calling this ‘wrong’ that we do not fully agree on I think ;-) For you it is obviously important to picture the physical specifics of a character in detail, whereas for me it just isn’t.

    Maybe you’ve read this allready (I have repeated it a lot…), but for me Stannis was best impersonated by Trevor Eve. Not because he physically looks exactly like I (vaguely) pictured Stannis, but because his entire aura reminds me of the personality that for me defines Stannis. (I deliberately linked to an interview because I think it even shows when he’s not acting)

    Josh Parker: Dillane’s angular, stony visage, balding hair and height make him a great choice

    Just to be clear, I liked him as a choice the second he was announced, since I could easily see much of Stannis’s character in him.

  • Today at 17.30 hours i was listening to the news on the radio in Holland, and there it was,

    the announcement on the news (!!!!!!!!) that Carice van Houten landed the role of

    Melisandre on HBO’s Clash of Kings.

    Is that cool, or what!

  • Balerion: the announcement on the news (!!!!!!!!) that Carice van Houten landed the role of

    Melisandre on HBO’s Clash of Kings.

    Did they actually call it Clash of Kings?

  • Knurk,

    what a relief! had not understood that it was an act until I saw it. And while some madness is necessary for an actor, she seemed too crazy. Congratulations! a dutch in GoT. Nice!
    I see you took the time to enjoy the book as it should be. It´s I who envy you now.

  • Lynn Walker,

    Well, Stannis is older than Renly, but he’s still younger than Robert, so while he’s the elder of his two brothers, he’s still his younger brother. So I think the post is correct as written. :)

  • Lynn Walker,

    When the wiki entry says, “The elder of Robert’s brothers”, they mean that he is the elder of Robert’s two brothers, not that he’s older than Robert. He isn’t. If you’ve read the books, then you would see many times, their ages/order are discussed in terms of succession.

  • jwsnasa: Ugh, How many more times do we have to hear, “finest actors in Holland”??Holland is twice the size of New Jersey. Look, Carise is a VERY beautiful and very talented by most votes, including mine.But red hair and an accent does not make her match Mel’s description.

    Quote from GRRM:”Melisandre is a beautiful woman, always dressed in red, with a heart-shaped face and red eyes. Great heat emanates from her body. She is full-figured with copper hair”

    FULL FIGURED!!!

    So, let me get this straight, even though you agree she’s talented, you feel the need to complain that she’s not the best actress of a bigger country, and your primary complaint is that her boobs aren’t big enough?

  • darrylzero,

    LOL, that about sums it up. He’s not the first to say so either.

    Anyhoo, if the guys are going to want big boobs everywhere, then I want more guys hung like Hodor!

    It all sounds so silly!

  • you couldnt be more wrong. Read the books.

    robert-oldest
    stannis-middle
    renly-youngest

    if stannis was older than how in the world could he sit by and watch his “younger” brother take the throne.

    please read the books so you dont come off sounding like a fool
    Lynn Walker,

  • Jo: Maybe HotBabe!Stannis would be seen as an improvement over the original.

    I suppose it is not too late for the producers to re-negotiate contracts.

    It worked for Battlestar Galactica :p

    What happened to Starbuck? Hot chick.
    What happened to Boomer? Hot chick.
    What happened to the cylons? Hot chicks.

  • HandmaidenofDany,

    Don’t get me wrong, I have my shallow moments. I spent a lot of time just obsessing over the accent and skin color I thought Mel should have, and that photo from Black Death (which I haven’t seen yet) has me worried she might be getting a little old (though I think that’s better than too young, which be stranger I think).

    But, still… wow.

  • Alan: One last point: neither character is a big name, and no, a big name in Holland doesn’t mean that much to HBO. I’m not saying it’s not a wonderful country, but it is 16 million people. Once you cross-reference people who care enough about Ms. Van Houten to watch a show they wouldn’t otherwise watch… it’s not a huge number even if she’s big in neighboring countries.

    Methinks you need a passport.

  • Sansa’s Lemoncakes,

    Exactly. As long as they don’t make her over 60, blonde and explicitly evil, it doesn’t matter to me that she doesn’t match the exact look as described in the books. It’s one thing to say “GRRM intended her to look this way” and it’s another to say “That’s the way she MUST look in the series.”

    It’s already been shown that GRRM isn’t hung up on the actor in costume matching the character 100%. If it were he would have expressed his disgust a long time ago at how many of the characters are physically different than he wrote them (in some cases almost unrecognizable; see Illyrio).

    I’m much more concerned when the characters seem to be different people than GRRM wrote; Renly being pansified just because he’s gay, the Hound being much nicer (so far, at least), etc. Even those don’t have me ready to write the producers with a c0mplaint because let’s face it; print media and visual media are two different things, and as such we shouldn’t expect a perfectly literal translation. Maybe they’re taking Renly and the Hound in a new direction for a good reason. Maybe they want the contrast between Season One Renly and Season Two Renly to be striking. Maybe they don’t want us to hate the Hound, which we would if he was portrayed exactly as written.

  • Haven’t read all the comments since I’m late to this party so I don’t know if somebody else said this, but I hope that our Dutch television will consider broadcasting GoT now Carice has been cast :)

  • Wastrel: Yes, TJ was cold and driven, but he made you feel sorry for him – I’m not sure he can convey the shear THREAT that Stannis poses in ACOK. Jefferson is more like Stannis from later books – that sort of “I look beaten but I’ll never surrender” sort of stubborn determination to be a nuisance – but not much like the “I will CRUSH YOU ALL!” Stannis from ACOK

    I don’t know if we each read a different ACOK or something, but I always felt sorry for Stannis and never saw him to be some kind of giant threat/all-caps vengeance maurader. :) I mean just read the prologue – Cressen definitely pities Stannis. And I think we’re meant to also. He’s stubborn, determined, cold, calculating but not really RAGEFUL, IMO

  • Liesie:
    Haven’t read all the comments since I’m late to this party so I don’t know if somebody else said this, but I hope that our Dutch television will consider broadcasting GoT now Carice has been cast :)

    You don’t have an HBO provider in the Netherlands? Bummer.

  • Hollyoak: You don’t have an HBO provider in the Netherlands? Bummer.

    Also no HBO provider in Belgium, nothing announced yet in France, and neither in Germany, Italy, etc if I’m correct? Basically, if you’re from (mainland) W-Europe, you’re f*cked! I am waiting for the DVD’s to finally pay my debts to HBO, if you know what I mean…

  • For those of you who are more familiar with Carice van Houten’s work, are there any films of hers that you would recommend? A performance you thought was her best, for example? I’ve only seen her in Black Book and she was excellent in that, but I’m curious now to see more of her work. In any language, I’ve never been one to turn down a good subtitled movie. Thanks in advance! :)

  • TheoSqua,

    i noticed that, but on the other-hand, Stannis ages about 10 years by the time clash is only halfway done due to the… happenings and melisandre.

  • Am glad Nina Gold is casting and not whiners like jwsnasa.

    Also, seeing how a lot of European countries have not picked it up yet, this is a smart move.

    Selling a series to other countries brings in massive cash, why do you think the Friends stars got 1 million an ep in the end?

  • Wastrel: Didn’t like her in Black Death, but then she wasn’t given much to work with

    I thought she was wonderful in it before the movie gives up on having an interesting plot; in other words the drugged dinner is the end of the movie 30 minutes early, where all the characters show their hands. Before then, she had the allure, the air of mystery and defiance, and power. I think she is so ridiculously perfect for Melisandre she won’t even have to try, so long as the script isn’t garbled.

  • Dillane is going to be a great Stannis. He’s just a fantastic character actor. Compare Camelot, John Adams, and Spy Game, all different roles and all of them extremely well played, almost to a scene-stealing level. The interplay between Dillane and some guy named Redford in Spy Game is a joy to watch. I think that he will truly flesh out Stannis on screen for us, a guy who, love or hate him, is extraordinarily complex and critical to the storyline. He’s tall and spare, which is how I imagine Stannis, and undoubtedly will be working with a trainer and arms master to get that sinewy look as well as the requisite martial skills. I think of a guy in the class of Chris Cooper or Tom Morse, give them a role, and they will nail it. Who says he can’t carry being a star? I believe he will blow it away and give Dinklage a run for his money for Supporting Actor nominations. Too bad his lines as written by GRMM aren’t as rich as the Imps, but once again I have faith that Nina Gold has done well.

  • Haunted me since yesterday… and I just realized!
    Carice Van Houten is a lot like Greta Garbo (and Greta would bee perfect por Mel). See for yourself:
    Greta

    Carice

  • jwsnasa: Ugh, How many more times do we have to hear, “finest actors in Holland”??Holland is twice the size of New Jersey. Look, Carise is a VERY beautiful and very talented by most votes, including mine.But red hair and an accent does not make her match Mel’s description.

    Quote from GRRM:”Melisandre is a beautiful woman, always dressed in red, with a heart-shaped face and red eyes. Great heat emanates from her body. She is full-figured with copper hair”

    FULL FIGURED!!!

    Yes, and Tyrion isn’t butt ugly in the show either. So what?

  • Kanga: For those of you who are more familiar with Carice van Houten’s work, are there any films of hers that you would recommend? A performance you thought was her best, for example? I’ve only seen her in Black Book and she was excellent in that, but I’m curious now to see more of her work. In any language, I’ve never been one to turn down a good subtitled movie. Thanks in advance! :)

    Try Black Butterfies, she won the best actress award at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York for it. It’s an English spoken movie as well.

    It’s based on a true story about an female white poet in South Afrika during the Apartheid.

    Rutger Hauer stars in it as well.

    And as you can see in the trailer she has an affaire with Davos :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr-Op9-HZhA

  • Roy Mars III,

    I’d rather see lesser known actors than put up with trying to put a big name actor in a role that just doesn’t fit. Remember the casting disaster of Interview with a Vampire, anyone? Look how well HBO is doing with the True Blood cast which was relatively unknown group.

  • I’m seeing a fair few comments about Stannis being bald while Dillane … has hair! Other than the obvious possibility of shaving Dillane’s head, does it really matter too much if they change a character’s appearance a bit? They didn’t shave Syrio for the TV series and I don’t think many people would complain about how he turned out on screen.

  • Mel looks PERFECT. I already want to drown her in my margarita!

    Stannis looks old. But hell, they’ll make it work I’m sure. He’ll fit in with the aging-ups. Also makes him look more ‘stern’ than his big bro.

    Davos is almost entirely what I imagined (lol I imagined my dad tbh. He has the kindly eyes and careful manner I always attributed to Davos). When he walks on-screen I may just stand up and cheer.

  • Wow, odd coincidence that I just rented “Black Death” on Monday and Carice Van Houten is one of the lead actors in the movie. I just rented it because Sean Bean was on the cover and it was about the Middle Ages. No idea who she was at the time.

    I did not detect any sort of Dutch accent, but I honestly was not focused on that, and the movie was not that memorable.

    The movie was okay, but she did a good job in her role – I saw a link of her above and her hair looked a bit reddish in that pic, but it’s really a pale blonde in that movie – almost worthy of Dany. And, she plays a mysterious necromancer in the movie as well, which would mean an easy transition to Melisandre.

  • I thought Stannis was Robert’s older brother???? The original post has him listed as a younger brother

  • mk:
    I thought Stannis was Robert’s older brother???? The original post has him listed as a younger brother

    mk – Stannis is Renly’s older brother. Robert was a year to a year & a half older. I’m re-reading A Storm of Swords right now and just passed a chapter where Stannis mentioned how one time when “I was 4 or 5, which would have made Robert 6,” or something to that effect. I think Renly was quite a bit younger than both, however.

  • Saw an interview with Carice yesterday where she said she only watched the first 2 episodes that were sent to her (after which she concluded she wanted to be in the show), and that she’ll only be in a couple of episodes (I thought she said in the beginning of the season, not sure though )but that here role in season 3 will be bigger. It was also obvious she hadn’t read the books.

  • For a lark I picked up the King Arthur Director’s Cut on BRD. Man, I disliked that movie the first time I watched it, but now its up there with the 13th Warrior. It’s just a dumb fun, action adventure that is a little too hamfisted but I just love the camaraderie between the knights. And it has Mads Mikkelsen and Ray Stevenson. The director’s cut features:

    A) More blood, more battles

    B) An Arthur childhood flashback featuring none other than Ser Alliser Thorne….as a nice guy!

    and…..

    C) More Stephen Dillane as Merlin. And after seeing him in this role, nearly unrecognizable I can see how he will become Stannis before our eyes.

    So go Stephen Dillane! Wow us. We know you can.

    Oh and Ioan Gruffud would have been an amazing Renly. No offense Gethin Anthony.

  • Knurk, I’m assuming the interview was in Dutch?

    Anyway, yes, Melisandre wouldn’t be in more than a few episodes this season, all in the first half of the season. Still, she makes a pretty big impact in her limited screen time. Looking forward to Carice’s take on her!

  • The last couple of years there has been a lot of hype about Carice van Houten in the Netherlands. Many dutch comments on this board basically attest to that. I never really understood it though

    Sure she’s a good actress and sure she has a particular kind of beauty to her but Dutch people seem to drool everytime she lands any (minor) part. She’s like the fantastic Dutch acting pride who’s is infallible… The Davos in me is like: “I don”t trust her, can’t you see she has put a mesmerizing spell on you guys? She is manipulating you!” She’s got a very particular sort of charm which just doesn’t seem right.

    And that’s why she’s perfect for the part…

  • andrea,

    Yeah, in “Fugitive Pieces”, Stephen Dillane plays a writer who tries to comes to grips with the fact that as a child he escaped with his life (litrally by running away), while the Nazis took his family away to a concentration camp ( I think it was in Poland). The movie jumps back and forth in time and tells his story and how he copes with survivor guilt, as well as how the children of Holocaust survivors deal with their parents burdens and memories…etc It is a beautiful and moving film, which I think perfectly showcases Stephen Dillane’s excellent acting pedigree and gives people a better idea of how lucky we are to have him on the show!

    I am also glad that we got Carice Van Houten on the cast, inspite of what some comments here say to the contrary.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    jup, it was in Dutch and they only talked about it for 30 seconds and showed a crappy trailer ripped from youtube where you could count the pixels. The other 5 minutes were about her new deal with MEXX, sweaty feet, bad breath, lovemakingscenes and blablabla. Oh the horror of gossip tv we must endure to get a glimpse of GoT!

  • loco73: I think perfectly showcases Stephen Dillane’s excellent acting pedigree and gives people a better idea of how lucky we are to have him on the show!

    Just my thoughts.

  • Mike: Try Black Butterfies, she won the best actress award at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York for it. It’s an English spoken movie as well.

    It’s based on a true story about an female white poet in South Afrika during the Apartheid.

    Rutger Hauer stars in it as well.

    And as you can see in the trailer she has an affaire with Davos :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr-Op9-HZhA

    Thanks so much! I’ll definitely check this out :)

  • This time there was a much better interview with Carice, here on Revu. Sadly again in dutch.

    Interesting parts: she was asked to audition for season 1 for another part (didn’t say what role though), but she didn’t have time back then. Now she auditioned for 5 people in a little room (which was pretty scary). She says that she’s signed for multiple seasons (she believed it could go on for 6 years, but my guess is she just blurts out a number).
    She seems to have a good grasp of the characters which she describes as manipulative, and can easily twist the men around her finger (that’s a dutch saying, don’t know if translates to english). Funny when she said this, she added: “via, ehhh, all kind of ways.” Favourite comedies: office, extras, curb.
    She knows it’s HUGE, says there’s a little pressure but she’s really down to earth.

  • Knurk, thanks for the report Knurk! The Dutch press seems to do a much better job of snagging interviews with recently cast actors than the US or UK press.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    well, I guess it’s the same with NCW. When there’s an actor from your small country playing a role in the US/UK, it’s news, no matter what show or film, people are interested because some ‘made it.’ American and English actors landing a job in their own country won’t sell any newspapers I guess.

  • Stephen Dillane is a great choice. He was good as Thomas Jefferson, but you need to check his turn as Harry Varden( Greatest Game Ever Played), it reminds me of what I would look for in a Stannis(bassed on the charactorization in the books).

  • Knurk,

    Hi im from the dutch.

    (can easily twist a men around her finger)
    Means: she can fast get a men on her side en do what she says.

  • Markcb: I thought blue hair was a family trait of the Van Houten family… :(Well, great choices for both of them, but always pictured Stannis bald, don’t know why. Excited too to see who they cast as Davos.

    I always pictured him as having a kind of tonsure hair style :S I don’t know why.

  • I just watched Black Book with Carice Van Houten specifically because David & Dan cast her for Mel based on her talent in Black Book.

    She is gorgeous and very talented. I can’t wait to see her in Game of Thrones!