I delayed putting up this casting post weeks ago, since they’d already given us a handful of solid casting announcements (Brienne, Stannis, Melisandre), and it felt like we were about to get a ton more.
Alas, that has not materialized (a possibly-renamed Asha and a nonexistent Lannister don’t really count), and so we are forced to speculate away! We will stop speculating when the full season two cast list is announced. (At which point we will then begin speculating on season three!)
Today is Ygritte! (Yes, okay, the picture is slightly spoiler-y, but … it’s by far the best I could find, and really, more of a teaser than a spoiler.) Ygritte is a “flame-kissed” wildling woman, scrappy and opinionated. She’s described by Tower of the Hand as “short and bandy-legged with a round face, small hands, a pug nose, with shaggy bright red hair. Her teeth are crooked.” Rumor has it she may be more than just a Jon Snow stab victim—she could even be a love interest! More than likely this role will be filled by a young unknown actress, but possibly one of our suggestions will inspire. Let’s take a look at some of House Gatewatch’s candidates:
Alice Henley, 30, who had long been my first choice for the role based on acting chops alone. The fact that she’s more than a few years older than Kit Harington might take her out of the running (and we’re reasonably certain she already auditioned for Melisandre), as well as the fact that she fixed her teeth… but in my view she’s got the skills to do something like this. Henley has tremendous range, and can play innocent, sleazy, sexy, drunken, addicted, arrogant, righteous… basically you name it. Her most impressive performances, for me, were in EastEnders and My Almost Famous Family. She’s still my pick.
Léa Seydoux, 28, who memorably stole scenes in which she spoke nary a word in the Russell Crowe Robin Hood reboot, as well as a tasty part in Inglourious Basterds. Looks-wise she’s nearly perfect, though we’re not certain she can do a Wildling accent that doesn’t sound in part French. Like Henley she’s getting a little up there in Kit Harington love interest years, but in my view would certainly be a viable candidate. Her range could come into question, as happens with most “model / actress” sorts, but I would certainly give her an audition, just to see.
Karen Gillan, 25, is a Scottish actress probably most famous for playing Amy Pond in the Doctor Who series. Also an “actress / model” (and let’s face it: you’re really not going to find too many quirkily attractive actresses who haven’t modeled once or twice in their lives), Karen
seems to have an open schedule (Edit: will soon be filming more Who!), having just wrapped We’ll Take Manhattan. She’s been acting professionally since she was a young teen. I personally haven’t seen her, but by all accounts she was excellent in Who, and can play naivete as well as foot-stomping irritability with panache.
Karoline Herfurth, 27, is a German actress with all the right looks, known mostly for her German film work and for playing a young vampire named Lina in We Are The Night, as well as some rather racy films (Girls On Top and Girls On Top 2) (also named Lina) (there’s a theme here). She did have a short but memorable turn in the acclaimed Kate Winslet film, The Reader. Her accent could be a problem, unless they decide to make some of the wildlings Germanic. Still, I have always seen Ygritte as having a thick accent of some sort—certainly not a traditional or posh English.
Bonnie Wright, 20, is of course best known for playing Ginny Weasley in all eight H.P. films. Her range immediately comes into question, but to be fair… she hasn’t been seen in many other roles. Her schedule is packed right now, however, as she is filming both The Philosophers and Geography of the Hapless Heart. Plus, we’ve already got Nat Tena and David Bradley, which could fulfill our Potter requirements. On the other hand… if Wright has the skills for someone like Ygritte, I can’t think of a better way for her to break out of her innocent mold. Talk about shattering preconceptions, eh?
Hannah Murray, 22, a popular English actress from the Skins television series (the British one, not the horrible American version). She garnered some acclaim for the 2010 film Chatroom. While she doesn’t strike me as especially athletic, Murray has a pretty good range of facial tricks, as well as (I would say) having Ygritte-esque teeth. Her schedule seems open, having just wrapped Wings and Little Glory, with nothing as yet on the horizon. Assuming she can be trained to move confidently with a spear or bow in hand, Murray might do well here.
Lily Cole, 23, an English actress and another Doctor Who vet, is another popular (and probably dead-on) choice for the role. Her rather distinct features (her face could be described as both “unique” and “pretty”) would make her a stand-out as Ygritte—an excellent choice. However, her plate is extremely full, is an actress “on the rise,” so to speak, and is moving into feature films; a small-ish role like Ygritte, while plum, could be seen as a slight step down (or at least sideways). Cole is about to begin shooting Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, and Ian McShane.
Someone suggested Emma Watson (speaking of Harry Potter alum wanting to shatter preconceptions), but unless HBO completely overhauls the role, I can’t see a gigantic name like Watson taking it. Surely she’s got bigger (and better-paying) scripts on her doorstep already. Someone also suggested Molly Quinn, who at 19, is certainly old enough… but she’s an American actress, so I seriously doubt she would be considered. Not only that but she is currently filming the movie The First Time, even as we speak.
In the end, like as not, we’ll probably get a fresh face straight out of drama school, ala Emilia Clarke. But you never know—House Gatewatch has guessed right before.
What do you think? Do you like any of these choices? Support their bottoms!