Character Cuts: Who’s in and who’s out of season two?
By Winter Is Coming on in Casting, Speculation.

AxeI started to write a comment about character cuts in response to another poster, but then decided, you know what? This should have its own post. So let’s talk character cuts, who’s in and who’s out of season two of Game of Thrones.

(I know this is normally FaBio’s area of expertise, but he’s off gallivanting to Belfast, so it falls to me to swing the proverbial axe.)

So who are the major players from A Clash of Kings that have yet to be cast? And what is their status for season two? Spoiler warning: This post will contain spoilers from ALL FIVE BOOKS. Read at your own risk.

Aeron “Damphair” Greyjoy – The Damphair’s primary role in book two is to welcome Theon back to Pyke and, through dialogue with his nephew, introduce the major players amongst the Ironborn. It seems he has been shuffled off to a later season, as we recently got a glimpse of a Drowned Priest-looking character fulfilling the Damphair’s role on set, but we have it on good authority that this character was NOT Aeron Greyjoy. I can live with that, especially if it means we can avoid a recast down the line. Save Aeron for when he’s really needed (ie the kingsmoot).

Victarion Greyjoy – No word of any Victarion’s on set. This is a character that could easily be introduced in a later season. He, like Aeron and Euron, will probably get mentioned a few times, but we won’t actually get to meet the Greyjoy brothers until season three or four.

Ygritte – This wildling woman has been confirmed multiple times as being in: George R. R. Martin has mentioned watching auditions for Ygritte, we’ve seen actresses tweet about auditioning for Ygritte, and Martin confirmed she was in this season in a recent interview. So we are definitely getting a Ygritte, but it may not be for another month or so, as they only need her for the last part of filming.

Qhorin “Halfhand” – I can’t imagine they would cut the Halfhand, as his character arc is not one that complicates the story in any way. He’s also awesome and a total badass. It wouldn’t be a difficult contract to draw up. (“We need you in Iceland for a few weeks at the end of the year and that’s all.”) I feel pretty confident that we will get a Qhorin and I’m still crossing my fingers we can get a semi-big-name actor for this guest starring role.

Rattleshirt – Well if we have a Ygritte and we have a Qhorin, we will need a Rattleshirt. Not a hard role to fill, any ol’ character actor will do.

Brynden “Blackfish” Tully – Looks like the Blackfish is on the chopping block once again. He missed the cut in season one and will likely not appear in season two either. According to GRRM, he has watched all of the season two audition videos, and none of them were for the part of Brynden Tully. All the Blackfish fans out there will have to cling to the hope that we get to see him in this series eventually.

Edmure Tully – It seems Edmure, like his uncle the Blackfish, has also managed to be cut from both season one and season two. In the book, Edmure stays behind at Riverrun while Robb battles in the West. We already know that the producers plan to show much of Robb’s campaign (something that wasn’t shown in the books). So it makes sense that they would keep Edmure and the Tullys and all of Riverrun off-screen until Robb’s return*. They are already introducing Qarth and Dragonstone and Harrenhal, no need to add another city/castle to the mix. Riverrun and the Tullys will hopefully make their first appearance in the series at the start of season three, when Robb arrives at the castle with his new bride.

*The only kink in this plan: Catelyn has to release Jaime by the end of the season, if not earlier. Where will she release him from if not Riverrun? So far, Jaime has been held prisoner in Robb’s camp, not the Riverrun dungeons. I suspect that he will remain prisoner in the camp until his release.

Vargo Hoat – Vargo plays a pretty important role in the story and losing him would require some heavy reworking of the story. Based on this, I am going to assume he is in but has yet to be cast.

Ramsay Bolton aka “Reek” – Like Vargo, Ramsay plays a huge role in the story, not just in this book but in the books to come. So I don’t know how they could cut him without huge rewrites. The difficult part about casting this character is he will need to be in a few episodes this season, but then will be largely absent for a season or two, only to return in a big way in the future. If they do cast this role for season two, it might end up getting recast down the line.

Jojen & Meera Reed – I’m officially worried about the Reed siblings. The fifth book made it seem like their role in the story was largely finished. They existed to escort Bran north of the Wall and that is it. Might Osha end up filling that role for the series? Eventually she will need to split up with Bran but now that we know her ultimate destination, it isn’t much of a stretch to think that she will travel with Bran until he meets Coldhands, then split up with him there. But that is the worst case scenario. Best case? The Reeds are in, they just haven’t been cast yet. (It seems that only a handful of Winterfell scenes have been filmed so far). The third, and I think most likely, option:  they are late arriving to Winterfell and get there after it has been sacked, meaning we won’t meet them until the start of season three or the very last episode of this season (a la Lommy and Hot Pie).

What does everyone else think? Which of these characters are most likely to be cut or pushed back to later seasons? Do you agree or disagree with any of my speculation? Discuss!


122 Comments

  1. Thiago Slash
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I can live without the Greyjoy brothers in this season, aye. But, even though it makes a liiiittle bit of sense, I’d be pretty disappointed if they cut the Blackfish.
    Also, the Reeds issue: I really hope that what is happening is the second option, because Jojen is important for Bran’s character.

  2. dizzy_34
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I’m thinking that the Reeds, Reek, and Edmure may be included down the line at the end of the season therefore just haven’t been cast yet. The North of the Wall characters probably won’t be anounced untill the production moves to Iceland like everyone thinks.
    edit:
    So I just saw the tweet that they are filming episode 9 right now (Neil Marshall, Blackwater). So they are definitely filming the episodes out of place. That gives me hope for Edmure and the Reeds being included.

  3. Rodario
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    I am in a great need of Meera and Jojen!!

  4. Spork
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Are there pics of this drowned priest? I’m really interested to see their costumes.

  5. coolerdanu
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    You forget that the Reeds are also important in that they provide the story of the tournament at Harrenhal (and thus much of the backstory of Robert’s rebellion), and also are important in introducing their father, Howland, who will presumably be very important in the last two books/seasons related to R+L=J. They also help Bran interpret his warg dreams and learn about greensight, which provides a necessary slow progression towards what happens in ADWD. It would be very poor if Bran just showed up to the Children of the Forest in ADWD and everyone’s like “so there is this thing called a warg and this other thing called greensight.” I guess all of these issues could be worked around, but I still think its more probable that they will introduce the Reeds, or at least one of them (either Jojen or Meera, giving her the greensight) late in season two or early in season three.

  6. EvilPicnic
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    tbh, I’m fine with many of these characters being cut (sacrilege!). The Reed twins are really only important as plot facilitators and for exposition of the whole ‘skinchanging’ thing, and that role can be filled by Osha up to a point, or through Bran figuring things out himself. It’s their father who I’m more interested in…

    As long as we get a strong Ygritte, Quorin and Ramsay, I’ll be happy. The rest is extra.

  7. Winter Is Coming
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    coolerdanu, as EvilPicnic pointed out, Osha could handle the green dreams and warging exposition just as easily. It’s already been established she is more mystical than the usual Westeros characters.

    To lose the beautiful tourney story would suck, but seeing as the writers are not bound by the POV structure, it’s something they could work into the series via another character. Same with Howland Reed’s backstory.

    It’s definitely doable to cut the Reeds, but is it worth it?

  8. Ahorwitt
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    If you cut Edmure, Catelyn has absolutely nothing to do for the second half of the season.

  9. dizzy_34
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming: but is it worth it?

    Not in my opinion. I think it causes more problems then it solves. The Blackfish? (Sorry Blackfish Blues) I can see their reasoning for that one (unless of coarse he’s a bigger player down the line in the books).

  10. metalgoddessamb
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I really, really hope they do not cut the Reeds.

  11. Ax0r
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    This whole topic is major spoiler territory, so I’m not going to bother tagging anything

    Damphair – Agree, no loss him being missing this season.
    Victarion – ditto

    Halfhand – Like you say, he’s a 2 or 3 episode part, no reason why he couldn’t be in and cast late. Jon has to kill *someone*, and it may as well be him. Other options would be finding and then having to kill Benjen, or having to kill one of the other night’s watch recruits that he graduated with. This last might be a possibility – those guys have a bit of a role in electing Jon to LC, but one of them could easily be knocked off here. The plus with that approach is that those characters are already.. well.. characters. No need to muddy the waters by introducing a new guy and then having Jon kill him. The minus is that all of those guys are pretty ordinary fighters, and clearly don’t have rank, so Rattleshirt may not buy it.

    Rattleshirt – Someone has to capture Jon. Might as well be him.

    Blackfish – Cut. Totally cut. TBH, I don’t know what the big deal is with him. He appears in a few chapters at most out of 5 books. Totally cuttable.

    Edmure – The Red Wedding will be in, which means Edmure is in. Question is, will he be in this season? He could potentially be talked about but not seen (a la Stannis the Lobster). For the Red Wedding to work as a hook, you have to buy the story of the Groom dreading meeting his bride and being pleased. You have to care about the Groom, and he has to be important enough to Robb that he’d bother taking his whole army there. Only family really fits, so it has to be Edmure. For us to care about the whole deal, we need to meet Edmure more than a couple episodes before the big day. I’d say he’s in late in this season.

    Vargo Hoat – probably in. Bloody Mummers need to exist. Cutting them entirely is alot of work. You’d probably have to have The Mountain and his crew do the job. possible, I suppose, though it’d be hard to accept Gregor maiming his Lord’s son. He’s a brute, but he’s not crazy.

    Reek – Expect him to be very “Reeky” this season, filthy and unkempt, when he’s playing lickspittle to Theon. Once he leaves and comes back with the Boltons, expect him to be seen in armour, at a distance. Then in a few seasons, Ramsay gets cast entirely separately – new actor just has to have the same build and face shape as the Reek actor – All the difference in appearance can be attributed to the dirt.

    The Reeds – This one is tough. Somebody needs to provide character development for Bran. While he’s at Winterfell, Osha can do the job, I guess. (are the Walders in?) If he opens up to her about the wolf dreams and the 3 eyed crow, and she starts telling him about wargs etc, maybe that could work for this season. Without the Reeds, you have Bran, Rickon, Hodor and Osha all journeying to the wall together – that’s a long time with only Osha and Bran doing much talking or character development. Once Bran’s on the other side of the wall, things are even more tricky – Then you’ve got journeying with Bran, Hodor, and Coldhands. Hodor says “Hodor”, Coldhands talks when absolutely necessary. Not much character development there either.
    Without the Reeds, Bran spends multiple seasons talking to nobody except Osha. That would get old fast.

  12. persephone88
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I really hope they don’t cut Vargo Hoat. He’s such a memorably despicable character, and makes some of the Jamie / Brienne scenes very entertaining. Reek I cannot imagine them cutting, but maybe a very late intro? I wonder about the Reeds…I can’t help but think that their dad is going to be important late in the story, and to not introduce them at all…hmmm, not sure. I’m okay with the Tullys coming in later, but since Tywin is ravaging the riverlands, it would be nice for someone other than Robb, who was raised in Winterfell, to show some outrage at the Tully family home being torched.

  13. Moe
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t finished ADWD yet so I won’t read any of the comments. I also didn’t read the article in case of spoilers, thus I’ll just comment on the characters listed:

    Damphair – will be included
    Victarion - will not be included, if I recall correctly he didn’t appear in the second book?
    Ygritte - definitely. The question is who will play her
    Rattleshirt - I’m comparing him to one Tyrion’s Mountain men ‘commanders’ e.g. Shagga son of Dolf/Chella, so if they were included then perhaps he will be too.
    Blackfish - if Robb’s storyline is to be expanded then perhaps he could be properly introduced as ze Blackfish.
    Edmure - yes, he unknowingly and indirectly played a big role in the war
    Vargo - I would thay yeth
    Reek - will be included
    The Reeds – Has to be included. If the show manages to get to season 3 then Bran can’t travel alone with Hodor. If they change the storyline so that Bran and Hodor will travel with Rickon, Shaggydog and Osha then that will most likely understandably upset most of the books’ fans considering they stayed quite faithful to the first book. The question is, will both Reeds be cast? I surely hope so.

    No word of Jacelyn Bywater? Is the role already filled?

  14. dizzy_34
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Patchface and Shireen should be on that list too. Looks like they may be gonners who could play an important role down the line too.

  15. David Thomas
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    As much as I have enjoyed Meera and Jojen in the books, they aren’t at all important for the series. I really want to see streamlining of the characters. Let Osha go with Bran and Hodor (that dynamic has already been set up well, thanks to a certain dangling prosthetic). Someone else can take Rickon (who cares who does it). The Harrenhal tourney story (or an analog) can be told anywhere…even by someone like Renly at his own tourney at Bitterbridge (he could have heard that story from someone else, just like Meera heard it from someone). That would give Renly something else to do (I bet he’s a great storyteller) while not introducing two more characters into the mix. I’m all for streamlining the characters.

  16. Winter Is Coming
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34:
    Patchface and Shireen should be on that list too. Looks like they may be gonners who could play an important role down the line too.

    Will do another one of these in the near future that will look at the secondary characters such as Strong Belwas, Lollys, Selyse, Shireen, Patchface, Jacelyn Bywater, Mandon Moore, etc.

  17. BenesHacha
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I would not be surprised at all to see Bronn filling in for Jacelyn Bywater.

  18. userj
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Ahorwitt: If you cut Edmure, Catelyn has absolutely nothing to do for the second half of the season.

    Cat really doesn’t do much when she returns to Riverrun, though. All that really happens is that she hears a bit about Robb, finds out her sons are dead, and then releases Jaime.

    I suspect they will have Cat returning to Robb’s camp instead, hearing from Robb himself the news about Bran and Rickon, and moving up the scene where Jeyne is introduced/Robb admits he’s gotten married (or they may show the wedding itself).

    Then, Cat will release Jaime, after trying unsuccessfully to convince Robb to trade Jaime for the girls.

    The one thing I will say is that it doens’t make much sense that there is no Tully representative of Riverrun – it was established in the first season that RR is Catelyn’s girlhood home, that Robb broke Jaime’s siege there and freed up the armies of RR to join his forces. But then who leads those armies?? Maybe they’ll cast a redheaded extra and put a fish on his surcoat. :p

  19. davidbc
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I posted a thread on Westeros.org about Ramsay being cut.

    I mentioned that Roose could easily absorb most of Ramsay’s plot and the Reek=Ramsay story could be abandoned.

    I’m very interested in how they will handle the Harrenhal stories though.

  20. maxlongstreet
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Given that the Reeds are my absolute favorite characters in all the books, it would be impossible for me to follow the series with much interest if they are cut.

  21. Jambo
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Just saw this article, Jennifer Ehle (the original actress to play Catelyn) talks briefly about why she ended up leaving GoT. Not sure if she’d ever mentioned it before anywhere or not.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/22/jennifer-ehle-on-a-gifted-man-game-of-thrones-pride-prejudice-colin-firth.html

  22. Epic The Balls
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Jambo,

    Wow. what an amazingly political answer she gives. She did have a year to whip something up.

  23. Brett
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    The Reeds: I’m not sure having Osha head up north with Bran, Hodor, and (presumably) Rickon makes sense. Sure, Bran can go off with Coldhands and Hodor north of the Wall, but then you have to come up with a reason for why Osha and Rickon ended up on Skagos instead of simply heading to Castle Black and the Night’s Watch.

    But if they can resolve that well, by all means they should do it. It would really save time on casting, and they could actually work it into the Osha character (perhaps the Green Dreams are the reason why she went south in the first place).

    That said, I would be sad to lose the Reeds, since they’re such interesting characters in the book.

    Edmure: The main issue I see with not including Edmure is that you then have to

    1. Come up with a reason for why Robb chooses to head west into Lannister territory, leaving the Riverlands exposed to Tywin’s army. In the book, it was part of a plan to draw Tywin westward across the Trident, where Edmure could catch him from behind. Of course, Robb didn’t bother telling Edmure this, so Edmure instead met him at the Trident with his army and turned him back, ruining the plan.

    2. Reveal Edmure in Season 3 in a way that doesn’t make him seem like nothing more than a plot device for getting Robb and friends back to the Twins and Lord Frey for the Red Wedding.

    3. Ygritte: Ygritte pretty much has to be cast in this season at some point. She’s the reason why Jon gets taken in by Mance instead of being killed with Qhorin.

  24. Charles
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    EvilPicnic,

    the reeds are just as inportant as any of the characters you mentioned, unless you think Bran’s storyline is less important than Jon’s or Theon’s.

  25. HonestJerk
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    BIG BOOK 2 SPOILERS

    I’ve been trying to figure out how they could have Ramsey (who is in this season) be the sacker of Winterfell.
    MY BEST GUESS

    Reports say the actor playing Ramsey was in a post-battle scene with Robb.

    S2Ep3 – Aftermath of battle of Oxcross, Ramsey is introduced as the killer of Stafford Lannister. Robb is upset that Ramsey killed him; Robb wants prisoners taken alive. Robb sends Ramsey to east to draw Tywin Lannister’s forces west (away from King’s Landing). AKA The argument would set-up that Ramsey isn’t fond of Robb, would/could betray him.

    S2Ep7 – “Captured” Ramsey & troops arrive at Harrenhall. Episode ends with Arya freeing them.

    S2Ep8 – Ramsey & company hold Harrenhall; prove to be evil S.O.B.s. Arya realizes that things aren’t better.

    S2 Ep9 – Since the Blackwater takes up most of the episode, at the beginning of the hour, Ramsey leaves with a small host to march North and meet with Rodrick Cassel to defeat the Iron born at Winterfell.

    S2Ep10 – Theon is meeting with Rodrick, thinking of taking the Black… Ramsey’s forces arrive and kill everyone.

    Changes many details from book, but the end results are the same.

  26. Ahorwitt
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    userj, your scenario would mean major rewrites to the military plotline. Robb’s main objective for the whole book is to lure Tywin to the Westerlands so one of the Baratheon brothers can take King’s Landing. So it doesn’t make sense for him to return before the Blackwater is decided, or at the very earliest when he gets the Greyjoy news.

    I think Catelyn will leave Renly’s camp at the end of episode 5 / early episode 6, and she’ll have a good three episodes of material after that. Episode 7 will focus on her arrival at Riverrun and Edmure’s crucial military blunder, blocking Tywin from going west. Episode 8 will be the Bran/Rickon news and the release of Jaime. Episode 10 will just be a brief scene with her locked up by her brother after Jaime’s release, getting the news of the Blackwater outcome.

  27. Winterdark
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m fine with Damphair, Blackfish and Edmure being cut (and having Victarion for one scene that doesn’t really contribute to the story is just a waste of a good actor.) but we really need the Reeds, or at least Jojen and right from ep 1 as well. Jojen needs to tell Bran about his abillities and help him develop them as well as telling him to go to the wall. And all this has to happen before the siege if Winterfell. I predicted they’d be in like 5 episodes. Looking back I think they should be in 8 episode. Perhaps even the whole season. Introducing them at the end of the season is a big mistake imo.

    As for Reek. I think you put the finger on a very important issue. In my mind the producers and cast will have to come to terms that not everyone who is still alive in the story will be in the next season and if they are it might just be for a fw scenes. It’s just not that kind of series. I still think they should’ve cut Jaime from season 2. As much as I like Jaime and admire NCW’s amazing work he shouldn’t be in there. With ASoS it will get even more complicated because if they really will break it up into two seasons, which I think is a good idea, than KL and its inhabitants won’t be featured in season 3 for more than 3 episodes. And Arya for one won’t likely be featured at all in season 4. It’s the only way it works chronoligically.

  28. Ed
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    God it would be funny to see the reactions around here if “The Blackfish” was just an extra in the background with a sigil on his shirt… LOL!!!!

    userj:

    Maybe they’ll cast a redheaded extra and put a fish on his surcoat.:p

  29. HonestJerk
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    AS FOR THE REEDS,

    I would HATE to cut the Reeds. I like them as characters (even as I fear what GRRM did/is doing to them in Dance).

    But if I’m a cheap TV producer, here’s how I do it:

    Osha fills the main roll of the Reeds this season and the next 2 seasons.

    Once Osha, Rickon, Hodor and Bran reach the wall… Osha and Rickon leave for the island.

    Then Coldhands, Hodor and Bran continue on.

    I don’t want it to happen, but I suppose they could do it.

  30. Assunta
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think Rattleshirt has to be Rattleshirt, so to speak, but they definitely need a character to take his place based on what happens with Mace in ADWD.

    Can live without the Greyjoys (except for Theon, of course). I am totally disinterested in that story thread.

  31. Arrogant Bastard
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I hope Vargo Hoat isn’t cut, he’s a good despicable character along with the rest of the mummers (and since they cast Rorge and Biter, I imagine they’ll be used in season 3). But they don’t really need to cast Vargo for this season unless they move up Jaime’s storyline a whole lot. Just going from ACOK, Vargo doesn’t really do anything this season and I can see them pushing him back. Or I could see them replacing him with Rorge, which would kinda suck, but the series has so many characters that ultimately I wouldn’t mind it.

    That’s why I wouldn’t be too upset if they just replace the Reeds with Osha or leave out the Tullys this season. With all the new additions of characters, GoT has to be close to the largest cast on tv. And a lot of the “minor” characters, like The Hound, are still incredibly important and also have important backstories. There’s just so many characters to cover in only ten episodes, and new viewers, who the show depends upon, may lose interest if they can’t keep track of everyone. Plus, I’d rather have them spend more time on characters from season one or major new characters like Stannis and Davos in these ten episodes than introduce a ton of new characters who only end up having limited screentime.

    That said, I think Ramsay is pretty necessary. I suppose they could manage to write him out this season (his story was pretty confusing with what exactly happens), but doing that would seriously affect future seasons and also lose a good villain.

  32. Blueberry2
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Ron Perlman for Quorin Hlafhand!

  33. Mormegil
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    HonestJerk: Reports say the actor playing Ramsey was in a post-battle scene with Robb.

    Are you sure you’re not thinking of Roose?

    Roose being the one to sack Winterfell could be the way they take the story though.

    BenesHacha: I would not be surprised at all to see Bronn filling in for Jacelyn Bywater.

    I was thinking the same thing. Tyrion gives him the post of Gold Cloak comander and he could later retire when he “inherits” Castle Stokeworth.

  34. Oi!
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    The Black Lorren still not official ?

  35. Lex
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I guess I could live with no Reeds… but I’d be pretty disappointed. I’ve always really liked them, and they add something special to Bran’s otherwise slow storyline. No green dreams? Or will Osha have Jojen’s green dreams? (That would be lame).

  36. Lex
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Jambo:
    Just saw this article, Jennifer Ehle (the original actress to play Catelyn) talks briefly about why she ended up leaving GoT. Not sure if she’d ever mentioned it before anywhere or not.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/09/22/jennifer-ehle-on-a-gifted-man-game-of-thrones-pride-prejudice-colin-firth.html

    You know… I can’t even imagine Ehle as Catelyn anymore. I can’t picture her grieving over Bran, or arresting Tyrion, or counselling Rob… That would be so weird! I think Fairley was a way better choice.

  37. Astalnar
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    If Osha would take Bran to Coldhands, who will take Rickon to Skagos?? And who would tell the story of Harrenhall, considering Bran is not fammiliar with the story?

  38. morbiczer
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I’ll be extremly pissed if the Reeds are not in.

    I also think that leaving Edmure out is a mistake, but then again they probably want to save the costs of having an extra Riverrun set.

  39. Dev F
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    The main issue with having Roose play Reek’s role is that it sort of gives away the twist at the end of the Red Wedding. If viewers have already seen Roose betray Theon and murder Ser Rodrik, they’ll be looking for him to betray Robb violently at the earliest opportunity.

  40. Langkard
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Excellent thread, WiC! I think you’re right on all of the listed characters.

    I was worried about the Reeds as well; but your point about maybe them arriving late and thus showing up at the beginning of season 3 makes a great deal of sense.

    I am still solidly in the Blackfish agitators camp; but I think you’re right. All we can do is hope that he makes an strong appearance in the next two books so he’ll have to be included in the series. If he isn’t in Season 2, it becomes increasingly unlikely we’ll see the Blackfish otherwise.

    They can’t cut Vargo Hoat because then the role can’t be filled by Mackenzie Crook!

    I look forward to the thread discussing secondary characters now. Strong Belwas! He has the best lines of all the characters in the East.

  41. rosycoeur
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Not reading most of the comments as I have yet to read book 5 (i know! I know!)

    I believe NCW is on record as saying his first shoot was going to be in a dungeon with a beard. They could limit the book 2 Riverrun scenes to just Catelyn & Jaime negotiating the exchange. (I really want to see those!)

  42. MagMarTunDohWeg
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    davidbc,

    If they abandon the Ramsey-Reek narrative, they’d be giving up quite a bit. Who would break Theon? The Greek tragedy that is Theon’s life wouldn’t be quite so tragic without Ramsay. Plus, the fact that Ramsay burns Winterfell, rather than Theon, becomes a big part of the story for Davos’s character in ADwD (assuming they make it to season 4/5). There’s no way they could change it so Roose burns Winterfell, because he’s at Harrenhal conspiring with the Lannisters. It also wouldn’t make much sense for the fake Arya (Jeyne Poole) to marry Roose. If not for Ramsay, Roose would have no (seemingly) legitimate claim to Winterfell.

    I also get the feeling GRRM’s setting Ramsay up as a fall guy. His actions will likely turn the Northern Lords against Roose and drive them into Stannis’s camp, eventually. Plus, he’s such a major villain, there’s no way the producers would give up a goldmine like that. Villains are fun to play, and whoever is cast as Ramsay will have the role of a lifetime. I suppose they could piece out all those parts to different characters, but that would entail massive rewrites to the overall story.

    But the tricky part about casting him will be scheduling. He’ll have a fairly large role as Reek/Ramsay this season when he’s taken captive by Theon, and subsequently sacks Winterfell upon his release, almost nothing at all in season 3, and then a major role for season 4/5 (so long as they film AFfC and ADwD together simultaneously, which I assume they will). So whoever gets the role will have to juggle their schedule, which means they may have to recast Ramsay/Reek at some point if there’s too much of a conflict, as WiC mentioned.

  43. Epic The Balls
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    Fairley is doing a fine job. But I can’t help from wondering how the show might have been different with Ehle on board. I do the same thing with Tamzin Merchant when her beautiful face pops onto a celluloid frame.

    I doubt I will do that with CS, though who knows maybe he’ll be back next year.

  44. David Ornelas
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the Reeds won’t appear until after the sacking of Winterfell by Theon. Maybe Osha will take Bran and Rickon and they’ll encounter them on the run or something. That could be a good way to introduce Jojen’s green powers… he could say that he dreamt they had to go help Bran escape north.

  45. John
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    If they cut Reek it will be the most retarded thing this show has done and it will show how much faithful is gonna be from now one .

  46. knowsomething
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    MagMarTunDohWeg,

    Maybe they’ll add some Ramsay scenes to season 3 like they did with Jamie for season 2. I also can’t imagine that Theon won’t appear at all in Season 3, though I guess it would spoil the surprise that he is still alive in book 5.

    I’ve gone about the need for at least one of the Reeds ad nauseam, so I won’t rehash it other than to say they could cut a fourth of the characters already cast for season 2 and that wouldn’t measure up to the impact I think the Reeds have.

  47. einarai
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The Greyjoys: Cut. No need to have two good actors just there for a few scenes. Asha vs Theon vs Balon dynamic is fine by me.

    The Tullys: Blackfish out until maybe S4 or forever. Don’t really care. Edmure is in this season.

    Reeds: pretty sure they’re in (just as the north-of-the-wall characters). Why waste two good characters for Bran’s pretty hollow story – he won’t have much to do without them. Plus two kid actors ain’t hard.

    Ramsay: I think he’s in, but they will have to make him a lot bigger than in the book. I like this scenario.

    - Ramsay in the camp with Robb, sets up tension between Boltons/Starks, also convenient way to bring Roose into the story.

    - Also HBO could play at Tullys/Boltons tension to introduce both Ramsay/Roose and Edmure as major players in the series.

    - Ramsay kills Lannister prisoners (instead of Karstark – no one would really care about him in S3/4), Robb would want to kill him but he escapes as “Reek” – masquerading. Which would also explain Roose getting angry with Robb.

    - “Reek” gets captured by ironmen at Moat Cailin (hence the scenes filmed there). Theon takes him from there and then the story progresses as per the book.

    I know that’s a lot of deviation from the story but that kind of thing would really build a great character in Ramsay. In the book he’s just a crazy butcher, but we know HBO likes to make em all complicated so they could build up Ramsay/Boltons as proponents of Robb’s “northern strategy” rather than pro-Tullly southern. Gives Boltons an anti-bastardly edge.

  48. JM
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I pictured Karl Urban as Halfhand as I was reading CoK. It would be amazing to get an actor like him for that short but important role.

  49. andrea
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    There are people here who said that minor characters can be cut without any problems.
    It is reasonable, of course because… well, too much money, too many characters, blah,blah blah. We all know that.
    And yes, i´m a fan of the Blackfish, in fact I love secondary characters… but this is not the question: I can´t understand that some people wonder why it matters if the Blackfish (or any other minor role) is just in 3 or 4 chapters. Quantity makes the quality?
    This series or these books … would be the same without these characters?
    Hell no.
    Catelyn’s story would be far more tragic without Brynden.
    And what would happen to Bran without the Reed´s?
    To Victarion without Euron? In ASOIAF there are many characters who live their lives just as a reaction to their older or more talented siblings.
    How dramatic would be Quorin´s death if he´s not who he is?
    And what would make us laugh without Tormund, or Edd or Strong Belwas?
    Usually in great films or novels, secondary characters are those that give real depth to the story… Main characters would be nothing without those “minor” roles… they would be little more than shadows.
    Right, amen.
    Now I have to apologize for my grammar, my english and my poor vocabulary. Sorry, it is what it is.

  50. Ryan E
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Another reason I could see them cutting the Reeds (besides the obvious ones like too many characters, too little time, etc) – the Reed siblings have the potential to come off as “hokey” on TV. The little warrior woman with the frog spear and net, and the solemn “greenseer” would need to be handled well, especially because they literally appear out of nowhere in the plot of the book, but doubly so for the viewer of the TV show.

    Now, before you jump on me, I liked their characters and Hodor as well… their travels were almost like reading a different fantasy book with ASOIAF. But, on TV, and in a series with so many heavy events going on, I think it it could be a challenge to portray the Reed characters effectively on TV.

  51. Assunta
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    The possibility of changing the Theon/Reek/Ramsay/Roose story as presented by GRRM freaks me out! That stuff is cinema gold!

  52. HonestJerk
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    EDIT: Ha ha, yeah, let me re-edit. I always confuse the names Roose & Ramsey in my head, so it should actually read:

    I’ve been trying to figure out how they could have Roose (who is in this season) be the sacker of Winterfell.
    MY BEST GUESS

    Reports say the actor playing Roose was in a post-battle scene with Robb.

    S2Ep3 – Aftermath of battle of Oxcross, Roose is introduced as the killer of Stafford Lannister. Robb is upset that Roose killed him; Robb wants prisoners taken alive. Robb sends Roose to east to draw Tywin Lannister’s forces west (away from King’s Landing). AKA The argument would set-up that Roose isn’t fond of Robb, would/could betray him.

    S2Ep7 – “Captured” Roose & troops arrive at Harrenhall. Episode ends with Arya freeing them.

    S2Ep8 – Roose & company hold Harrenhall; prove to be evil S.O.B.s. Arya realizes that things aren’t better.

    S2 Ep9 – Since the Blackwater takes up most of the episode, at the beginning of the hour, Roose leaves with a small host to march North and meet with Rodrick Cassel to defeat the Iron born at Winterfell.

    S2Ep10 – Theon is meeting with Rodrick, thinking of taking the Black… Roose’s forces arrive and kill everyone.

  53. RedComet
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    ok people seriously need to start censoring their spoilers

  54. Winter Is Coming
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    RedComet, I put a spoiler warning within the post, so no one should be reading this post or this thread unless they’ve read all five books.

  55. RedComet
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Cool, I must have missed that

  56. Julian Walker
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Where the FUCK are my REED SIBILINGS?!?!

    I need BOTH of them!!!

    Not one but two!!!

    Jojen and Meera!!

    Also, on a much calmer note, I don’t think they will need Ramsay till the end of the season 2. After all isn’t that when “Reek” reveals himself??

  57. Julian Walker
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    And also….

    DAVOS SEAWORTH UP IN THIS BITCH!!!!!

  58. My Watch Begins
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    hmmmmm…heres a list of characters that I think are important and should be cast this season and I’ve got my fingers crossed for them.
    Ygritte
    Qhorin Halfhand
    Chett
    Rattleshirt
    Meera Reed
    Jojen Reed
    Ramsay Snow
    Ser Robar Royce
    Cleos Fry (if alton is not cleos)
    Chiswyck
    Raff the sweetling
    Dunsen
    Pollivier
    Weiss
    Ser Mandon Moore
    Ser Boros Blount
    Selsye Baratheon
    Shireen Baratheon
    Axel Florent
    Alaster Florent
    Ser Cortnay Penrose
    Jeyne Poole
    Jeyne Westerlings mother and father
    Jacelyn Bywater (honestly he’ll probably be cut but he’s a cool character and would like to see him cast. It’s only for one season since he dies at the battle of the blackwater)
    Last but not least would be Karstarks two sons. I believe since Karstark has been cast they should give him more screen time this season. His two sons that Jamie kills at the whispering woods should in the tv show be the two guards that Jamie kills during his escape attempt. This could then of course lead to the subplot of karstark’s attempts at revenge and eventual beheading by Rob which is an excellent character moment.

    Honorable mentions (characters that can wait for later seasons, but I think would be better if cast now)
    Vargo Hoat (I’d like to see him cat this season but they can do without him if they don’t show jamie loosing his hand until season 3, where they can introduce him.)
    Edmure Tully
    The Blackfish
    Hosteer Tully
    Patchface (I think their is more to him than meets the eye)
    Raymun, Edwyn, Black Walder, lame Lothar and bastard walder frey. (I think it would be a good I idea to introduce these 5 freys early on and let the audience get to know them because along with Walder himself these five seem to kind of be the leaders and the brains behind the red wedding there for they are the ones I want to see bite the dust the most)

    Flashback Characters
    King Aerys
    Rhagar Targareyn
    Raeghars daughter (I forget her name)
    Ellia of dorne
    Lyanna Stark
    Brandon Stark
    Rickard Stark
    Balon greyjoy’s two dead sons.
    I think eventually they should show some flashbacks as all these characters are important to the story, probably wont happen for another few season.

    Characters in book two that can diffintly wait for season 3 or 4 (again wouldn’t mind seeing them cast though)
    The Kettleblacks
    Balon Swan
    Adam Marbrand

    So in reality, I believe about 40 to 50% of these characters will be cast this season, or make the cut for that matter. In my honest opinion I think each season needs to be 12 to 13 episodes long and quit frankly, HBO has the money to do it, I think there just being stingy about it. Anyhow what do you guys think? What characters that I listed do you think should and will make the cut? And let me know if your confused about some of the characters I mentioned. I have bad spelling and grammar sorry lol : )

  59. Lisa McDowell
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Holding out hope for the Reeds! Personally I feel they are very important to Bran’s part of the story. Seems to me they did a lot of cutting of his storyline last season…hopefully that won’t continue through season 2. Would be VERY disappointed.

    I guess it’s possible that Edmure Tully could be pushed to season 3, but I would prefer they didn’t do that. Personally I would like to see Riverrun and it’s storyline as opposed to Robb’s campaign. Call me a purist. However, I guess there would be little of Robb if they did that. Not too many fans would be pleased by that.

    Vargo Hoat, well he has a hand in some important stuff coming up, would hate to lose him. I agree major re-working would be needed if his character is cut.

    Would love to see Qhorin. Again feeling like his character is needed.

    As for all the others, I guess they could either be pushed to later episodes or cut. But being a fan of the books I hate to see the loss of any of the characters. Still, looking forward to Season 2…just have to remember it’s a slightly different beast than that of the book.

  60. Epic The Balls
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m not really for ‘cutting’ but I see the silverlining that comes with the chopping block.

    Less is more.

    I knew a girl named Cramsey once. Yeah, that was her porn name. She made an appearance on a Jane Lynch era ep of Party Down. Q: What does Cramsey have in common with GoT? A: Cramming lots of stuff into a small place.

    GoT’s small place is the 10 episodes. Normally you can fit a lot in 10 eps. But book 2 and part of 3 is more than you can fit. A lot more.

    If you try to fit it all, it’s going to be a bloody mess. Be careful what you wish for! I for one do not wish to see a bloody mess in season 2 unless it’s made of fake blood.

    It’s already mind boggling to me how many characters are already cast. I don’t have anything to add about who can and cannot be cut. IMO anyone can be cut and it will be fine if the writing is fine. The story becomes slightly different, it happens. It already has happened in s1.

  61. Winter Is Coming
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Julian Walker: Also, on a much calmer note, I don’t think they will need Ramsay till the end of the season 2. After all isn’t that when “Reek” reveals himself??

    Well yeah…. but he needs to be with Theon the whole time, masquerading as Reek. Unless you are saying they should cast two separate actors: one for Ramsay as Reek and one for Ramsay as Ramsay?

    Julian Walker: And also….

    DAVOS SEAWORTH UP IN THIS BITCH!!!!!

    Davos has already been cast, bro.

  62. Julian Walker
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I know Davos has already been cast. I just like saying that!!

    DAVOS SEAWORTH UP IN THIS BITCH!!!!!

  63. Julian Walker
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Well yeah…. but he needs to be with Theon the whole time, masquerading as Reek. Unless you are saying they should cast two separate actors: one for Ramsay as Reek and one for Ramsay as Ramsay?

    I dunno…maybe they should do something like that! Have Reek be some hooded guy who won’t reveal himself till the season’s end?? I dunno, that sounds kinda stupid just typing it. I guess Roose will have to fill the spot for Ramsay then.

  64. Julian Walker
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I still wanna see the Reeds. Combining them would kinda kill their individual personalities. I like Meera as the frog hunting girl crush that Bran has. Bran needs a romantic storyline too. I could see them persuing this though Meera. And Jojen could introduce the whole green sight thing to the audiences.

    Both sibilings could give the audiences their first introduction to Howland Reed, and maybe some exposition on the Tower of Joy, the Tournament at Harrenhal, ect.

    Where the FUCK are my REED SIBILINGS?!?!

  65. Two Feathers
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    andrea: Right, amen.

    This made me smile…………..Don`t apologise Andrea, your english is better than some people I have heard here in UK.

  66. andrea
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Epic The Balls: and it will be fine if the writing is fine.

    well, that’s just what I fear.
    Sure, cuts will be wise but I don´t think it guaranteed a good script. On the contrary, I think it makes it much more difficult. Less is more but what kind of “less”?
    I fear for writing, very much.

  67. andrea
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Two Feathers,

    glad I made you smile and thanks… it´s no true, but thanks anyway.

  68. Zack
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I must have missed something big in my ADWD read, lol.

    “Eventually she will need to split up with Bran but now that we know her ultimate destination, it isn’t much of a stretch to think that she will travel with Bran until he meets Coldhands, then split up with him there.”

    I don’t recall seeing Osha or Rickon at all in the book.

  69. Epic-itty
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    I assume the guys doing the cutting have a high regard about their writing skill. They cut because they are forced to. What they need is an angle, theme, for the season. Romance is it? High speculation.

  70. Thiago Slash
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    andrea,

    you can stop apologizing for your english, milady. I don’t read all the comments on all threads, but it’s like the 5th time I see you saying you’re sorry for your english.
    plus, you’re nailing it pretty good.

  71. andrea
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Thiago Slash,

    yes, I know, it´s exhausting. I apologize for apologizing. What a mess.

  72. Thiago Slash
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    Zack:
    Okay, I must have missed something big in my ADWD read, lol.

    I don’t recall seeing Osha or Rickon at all in the book.

    It’s said that Rickon is alive. Davos is sent to smuggle him to White Harbor by Lord Manderly. It’s implicit that Rickon and Osha are in Skagos.

    And Andrea, relax ^^

  73. Adam Whitehead
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone thought about what’s going on with Janos Slynt still being in King’s Landing in Season 2? He’s apparently involved in a chase scene, which I don’t recall from the book. In the book he’s in one scene and then sent packing. So are they just giving him stuff to do before his meeting or Tyrion, or is he going to be sticking around for longer?

    “Victarion – will not be included, if I recall correctly he didn’t appear in the second book?”

    Victarion is in one scene in ACoK, IIRC. He’s present, along with Asha and Theon, when Balon is outlining his military plans. Easily cut from that scene.

    The third, and I think most likely, option: they are late arriving to Winterfell and get there after it has been sacked, meaning we won’t meet them until the start of season three or the very last episode of this season

    I was thinking about this. If ASoS is indeed going to be two seasons, that means we won’t get many new characters in Season 3 (the first half of ASoS). As it stands right now we’d get Mance Rayder, a few of the other wildlings and that’s about it. So pushing back Edmure and Hoster Tully and the Reeds to Season 3 makes sense from a cost perspective.

  74. Mormegil
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead: Has anyone thought about what’s going on with Janos Slynt still being in King’s Landing in Season 2? He’s apparently involved in a chase scene, which I don’t recall from the book. In the book he’s in one scene and then sent packing. So are they just giving him stuff to do before his meeting or Tyrion, or is he going to be sticking around for longer?

    Seems to be the Hunt for Gendry (inc torturing Mott) and others of Roberts Bastards . We will probably get Janos or his lacky killing Baby Barra as well.

  75. Zach
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I agree, I’m all for streamlining the characters where possible.

    Ramsay strikes me as the biggest challenge. The Lady Hornwood stuff really needs to be cut, but without it we have no idea who Ramsay is or why we got to fear him. And if Roose takes over Ramsay’s role, does that affect the shock that is the Red Wedding?

    I’ve always felt the second book would have been stronger with more dramatic attention to Bran having to deal with Theon’s enormous betrayal than on the two-prong wonkapalooza that is Theon/Ramsay. It’s going to be interesting to see what they do with this. Hopefully they make it work!

  76. Janeh227
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Zach,

    Must must MUST have Ramsay. Too great a villian!

  77. Obsidian
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I think Ramsay is a must. Someone upthread touched on this , and I agree .. Ramsay need not be absent in S3. When you think about it, just as it makes more sense to develop Robb / Jeyne on screen rather than just have Jeyne be introduced out of the blue, it would also be better, for TV, to show some of Theon’s transformation into Reek and establish Ramsay’s style of rule leading up to S4..

    I think he’s very necessary.

  78. John
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    I have come to terms with any cuts made for the sake of the show. Its a different beast from the books and much more limited. The bottom line is that there is too much book material to shove into a ten episode series. At some point, they WILL need to cut out whole swaths of the book. There is no way around it unless they get twenty episodes. I fully expect the Reeds to be at least merged into one, if not removed. Blackfish seems out to me. As for the rest, I have no idea.

  79. stile
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Ramsay doesn’t HAVE to be left out of seasons three and four…like they did with Theon and Renly, they can always come up with extra scenes with him during times when he wasn’t doing anything in the book, so that you get to know his character better.

    Not that I really WANT to get to know him better, but still…

  80. Pablo Jainaga
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Hi guys, how about Michael Wincott to play Ramsay? Thought about Barry Pepper too but Wincott probably fits better Ramsay’s description. They can both make pretty sadistic faces and act like bastards lol

    Sorry if they have been mentioned like a thousand times, I swear it’s an original idea of mine, I just had it like five minutes ago.

  81. LMMacN
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    GRRM & B & W will make sure the Boltons, (turncloak Papa & sadistic Baby bastard both), are there when they need to be, doing what they need to do, ’cause they’re twisted like that.

    I WANT MY VARGO. (The MacKenzie Crook suggestions get me all tingly).

    I WANT MY REEDS, BOTH OF THEM. ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY ON THREE OR FOUR DIFFERENT LEVELS.

  82. Blackfish Blues
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    To The Powers that Be, re: the Blackfish: NOT TODAY.

    I’d feel better about the Blackfish being cut (still holding a candle for Peter Mullan, since we got yet another Harry Potter alumnus as the High Septon) if people didn’t troll about it, but what can you do. These threads always degenerate in a “My minor character is bigger than yours” pissing contest.

    I’d feel better also if we had had a direct answer to the direct questions we’ve posed repeatedly to GRRM and D&D. I don’t want to enter the pissing contest, but I think more people asked them about the Blackfish than about any other character. Like GRRM did when he declared rather early that Brynden was cut from S1 (which made sense), a similar statement now would be nice. I fear this means that, in the effort to cut down the saga to size for TV, they still have no idea about what happens next. Bear, with me! Sorry, I meant “bear with me”, because this is the part that should most worry the general ASOIAF fandom. In fact…

    WiC correctly quoted one of the most ambiguous GRRM statements, but the most considerate and articulate answer about the Blackfish was given by GRRM to Paul Gude in Seattle on Aug. 6 (see link below):

    “That’s a good question, but it’s one you’d have to address to David & Dan, I haven’t really discussed it with them. We know he wasn’t in S1 [I missed a word] but I don’t know whether they’re pushing him back to S2 or whether he’s been pushed back further next.”

    A hopeful answer for S3, but worrisome for the lack of feedback between GRRM and D&D it reveals.

    For the record: HISTORY OF THE BLOODYGATE:

    - About Spring 2010: HBO posts the Viewer’s Guide to Game of Thrones which has no Blackfish. It has however, for example, the long-dead Minisa Whent, who will never appear in the series. Right now it looks like a sad and unnecessary damnatio memoriae for the Blackfish and a slight to his fans. I hope I’m wrong.

    - July 22, 2010: GRRM confirms Blackfish moved to Season 2. As I said, it did make sense. Commenting the above news on WiC.

    - June 15, 2011: Answering a fan’s questions about S2, GRRM says: “I haven’t seen any of the Blackfish audition tapes yet.” By this time it could mean anything.

    - June 30: Interviewed on the radio show “What’s Worth Watching”, David Benioff provides an unrequested and garbled commentary on the Blackfish being cut; impossible to say whether he means S1, S2 or the entire series. Luckily they are better scriptwriters than interviewees.

    - Aug. 6: Post by GRRM about the above-mentioned conference in Seattle.

    - Aug 12: According to a tweet by Ran of Westeros.org GRRM says he looked at all the auditions for all the roles but had yet to see Blackfish auditions. Winter-is-coming.net reports the info. I don’t have the direct GRRM source yet (when did he say it? gotta ask Ran), but as it is, his words make no sense (why not just say “and the Blackfish is not among them”? or even “No Blackfish in S2 or S3″?) unless he doesn’t have that much feedback from D&D as I first believed, and they are the ones who make the ultimate decisions, not him.

    I repeat, no other character (of those who haven’t been cast yet) has been asked about so much, or ignored so much. Except maybe the Reeds. By now I don’t give a damn, they have their imagination and I have mine, even too much, no problem. But this doesn’t bode well for the future of the rest of the saga. I don’t oppose changes a priori, but I wish someone would calm our worries, explain who’s in charge and admit whether what we’re going to see is GRRM’s ASOIAF or D&D’s ASOIAF.

    I admit I know nothing about True Blood. Was it like this for fans of the original book saga?

    coolerdanu,
    Littlefinger will provide the story of the Tourney at Harrenhal, of course, with the help of Roz, a donkey and a honeycomb. He already did so well with the Cleganes. Osha will take Bran on his journey and have sexposition with Hodor. Rickon will be silently “disappeared”, in the best tradition of soap operas (or, if it sounds less degrading, Marvel comics’ retconning).

    Moe:

    Blackfish - if Robb’s storyline is to be expanded then perhaps he could be properly introduced as ze Blackfish.

    Now this is an interesting idea: Brynden as Jeyne’s uncle, not Catelyn’s? Since they are playing with Jeyne Westerling’s heritage, he could very well be an actually black fish. In that case I accept no less than Morgan Freeman.

    Truly, I’d have no problem with such a solution if they kept the rebellious but at the same time loyal spirit of the character. But I would miss his interaction with Cat, which endeared him so much to me (not to mention with Edmure and Hoster, but if they are cut too…)

    DON’T WAKE THE TROUT.

  83. Nylon Greyjoy
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    A little off topic, I hereby nominate Andy Serkis as Reek/Ramsay.

  84. bastet
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    We need Edmure (for the RW and the plot line leading to it), the Reeds (for Bran), Quhorin, Rattleshirt, Ygritti (who else will tell Jon Snow he knows nothing?), Vargo Hoat (who else is going to do what he did that makes Jamie more sympathetic?) and Reek (all I need to say is ADWD). I’d like to see Blackfish in there for Cat. As for the Iron Islands, we’ve already got the two most important characters for now; Theon’s uncles can wait until the kingsmoot.

    Does anyone know anything else about the possible Gregor recast? I haven’t heard anything about it since one post on here.

  85. Mormegil
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    bastet: We need Edmure (for the RW and the plot line leading to it),

    I can see the RW still happening without Edmure being around. What if it’s Old Walder himself that’s getting married (again). The current Mrs Frey drops dead and Walder says he will marry again. He tells Robb that the only way he can make up for the insult is if Robb and all his bannermen attend the Wedding.

  86. Mormegil
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    bastet: Does anyone know anything else about the possible Gregor recast? I haven’t heard anything about it since one post on here.

    From reports Ian Whyte is on set dressed as the Mountain and has dialogue so it’s pretty clear he’s playing the role and not just a stand in.

  87. cabins
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    Mace Tyrell?

  88. Hodor Hodor
    Posted September 24, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    Rodario,

    Yeah, I’ll be extremely disappointed if the Reeds get dumped. Consequently, I haven’t read book 5 yet (still workin through yet another reread…currently midway through 3rd book), and I’m bummed to hear that their parts appear to have been spent by the end of book 5…

  89. KG
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    Ed,

    I’d laugh myself sick if that happened.

  90. Hodor Hodor
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Julian Walker:
    I still wanna see the Reeds. Combining them would kinda kill their individual personalities. I like Meera as the frog hunting girl crush that Bran has. Bran needs a romantic storyline too. I could see them persuing this though Meera. And Jojen could introduce the whole green sight thing to the audiences.

    Both sibilings could give the audiences their first introduction to Howland Reed, and maybe some exposition on the Tower of Joy, the Tournament at Harrenhal, ect.

    Where the FUCK are my REED SIBILINGS?!?!

    Indeed!!!

  91. Peltast
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Mormegil:What if it’s Old Walder himself that’s getting married (again). The current Mrs Frey drops dead and Walder says he will marry again. He tells Robbthat the only way he can make up for the insult is if Robb and all his bannermen attend the Wedding.

    That’s an interesting thought. If they’re cutting Edmure altogether this approach makes a lot of sense.

  92. Thomas
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    I will be severely disappointed if we do not get a Reek/Ramsay for GoT!

  93. Shinyteapot
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil: I can see the RW still happening without Edmure being around. What if it’s Old Walder himself that’s getting married (again). The current Mrs Frey drops dead and Walder says he will marry again. He tells Robbthat the only way he can make up for the insult is if Robb and all his bannermen attend the Wedding.

    While this could happen, it would be out of character for Walder not to demand a Stark bride for himself. Which would present all manner of problems. I think someone related to Robb needs to marry and it might as well be Edmure- my main worry is that if he’s introdeced too late it won’t have as much impact. Besides, Edmure is needed for defeating Tywin when he shouldn’t have.

    My predictions for the Blackfish:
    Option 1- appears as Riverrun’s castellan played by featured extra in appropriate attire. Few good lines but that’s all. Readers know who he is and non-readers don’t care.
    Option 2- cut entirely, replaced by Greatjon at Riverrun.
    Option 3- becomes very important in later book and is put off until then so good actor can be cast.

    Hoping for 3, expecting 1 or maybe 2.

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Osha replace the Reeds if the actress is happy to stick around for a while- she’s clearly popular so the showrunners might want to keep her on screen. If she becomes busy with other things, expect the Reeds to appear out of nowhere. I don’t think the stories from the past matter- there seems to have been a decision to focus on the now, with minimal backstory and hints. Plus, there’s no POV limitation so it can be told in actual flashback if the audience needs to know.

    The Reeds are good characters in the book, but I can certainly see D&D picking keeping Osha over introducing one or two probably unknown young actors. Maybe they’ll turn up but swap journeys with her.

  94. Mormegil
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Shinyteapot: While this could happen, it would be out of character for Walder not to demand a Stark bride for himself. Which would present all manner of problems. I think someone related to Robb needs to marry and it might as well be Edmure

    If Old Walder wants a Stark Bride then Catelyn is the obvious choice. If we are not getting Edmure then we are probably not getting Riverun either (at least not on screen). Riverun and Edmures actions can be mentioned if need be.

  95. Shinyteapot
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Mormegil,

    The only choice, since Sansa and Arya are thankfully not within reach. But Walder likes young women who can have lots of kids, Catelyn is older. And it would mean her death being different- the Freys delibertely waited until the marriage was consummated, which in this case would mean Catelyn not being in the hall with the others. And probably a sex scene I absolutely do not want to see.

  96. FilliamHMuffman
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure Ramsay Snow won’t be cut, but his first appearance could be pushed back to season 3. Squeezing A Game of Thrones into 10 hours of television was tight. Fitting A Clash of Kings into 10 hours while giving Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, and Richard Madden significantly more screen time will be an order of magnitude more difficult. And if a third season is greenlit, it’s reasonable to assume that Alfie Allen will not disappear for a year either. I wouldn’t be surprised if Theon doesn’t capture Winterfell until the season 2 finale and half of his story arc is pushed back to the third season.

  97. Jimmy
    Posted September 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Am I crazy or did you say Ramsay Bolton aka Reek. Reek is the name for Theon Greyjoy later in book 5. Ramsay Bolton IS NOT Reek. Right?

  98. Blackfish Blues
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    Shinyteapot:

    My predictions for the Blackfish:
    Option 1- appears as Riverrun’s castellan played by featured extra in appropriate attire.Few good lines but that’s all.Readers know who he is and non-readers don’t care.
    Option 2- cut entirely, replaced by Greatjon at Riverrun.
    Option 3- becomes very important in later book and is put off until then so good actor can be cast.

    Hoping for 3, expecting 1 or maybe 2.

    Yeah! By now I’m expecting 2 because I don’t believe in good things (but I’m still holding that damn candle). Wonder if someone asked D&D directly during Titancon (can’t remember if they were there, I couldn’t go) and it will surface during the debriefing, revealing some snippet of obscure statement from D&D which will give us – no answer whatsoever as usual, save to keep fuelling our desperation.

    But 1 would be great – it would have been great in S1, and so simple, I cheered for weeks when I saw Maege, imagine if I had seen a helmet with a cardboard fish pasted on top of it. It would be so simple.

    If 3 happens, it means I’m finally dead and gone to Blackfish heaven.

    Blackfish Blues,
    pimping my own tome above because it got stuck in moderation, probably for length and the use of the word p*ss*ng.

  99. Lex
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Jimmy:
    Am I crazy or did you say Ramsay Bolton aka Reek. Reek is the name for Theon Greyjoy later in book 5. Ramsay Bolton IS NOT Reek. Right?

    There have been 3 Reeks. Ramsay was the 2nd one.

  100. Chris
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    Jimmy,

    You may need to brush up a little. ;-)
    Yes, Ramsay is Reek, for a while anyway. At least that’s cover when he shows up at Winterfell and becomes Theon’s evil counsel. He only reveals who he is once he double-crosses Theon. Theon becomes “Reek” as Ramsey’s prisoner in ADWD.
    The REAL Reek… apparently there once was one… seems to have died before any of this happens, but occupies a special place in Ramsay’s twisted heart.
    And in a fun non-sequitur: I just saw Alien3 the other day and there was Charles Dance… with his head shaved! He certainly pulled it off well. I think Tywin Lannister could indeed have been bald like in the books and been magnificently powerful and menacing. Of course he’s now a lot older than he was then.
    …and I suddenly recall wat Sigourney Weaver said about going bald for that movie: “Sure, but it’ll cost you a lot more.” Okay fine. Give me Blackwater and let Tywin have hair!

  101. Superdeluxe
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    They added a bunch of bit characters, but not the Reeds? I don’t believe it.

  102. Superdeluxe
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    What about the potential love/romance between Bran and Meera? That was hinted at in the 5th Book, Sounds like at least Meera would have a end game role.

  103. matthew totaro
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    ser jorah just dropped in on downton abbey

  104. Wall Crawler
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    Something I see missing from the dialog is any consideration of what GRRM plans to do with various characters after ADWD. The Blackfish got away from Jaime; the Reeds are still around, including Howland; Edmure’s future is clouded but important. Just because Ramsay got his time in the sun recently doesn’t mean these others won’t. So, does anybody have any intel on how George views all this? It’d be dumb to dump a character who is critical to an upcoming book.

  105. BelwasFTW
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Am I the only one who wants Strong Belwas in Season 2? I think they could fit him in season 3, but it wouldn’t hurt to have him appear in this season.

  106. Jason Kenney
    Posted September 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    If the reeds are cut due to space issues… then I would say do this…

    Don’t film the winterfell scenes at all. Or do a little bit of Theon taking winterfell and then a scene of someone viewing the sack here is why.

    For the most part the Reed/Bran thing is building up to something at book 5. It has almost no real need to be shown to us until we’re closer to that point. Same with Reek. It’s much better to instead let the viewers assume Theon took winterfell, killed the Starks and then got sacked by the Boltons.

    Without Reek or the Reeds all those scenes will fall flat. They can focus on Robb and his tragedy. And then reveal in later seasons that yes Bran is very much alive and reveal what happened in flashbacks. (So film a few bran scenes in winter fell for this purpose to be edited in later). Or if they still wanna short change bran… just drop him completely… since by the time he becomes an actual factor my guess is he can be recast as the “green seer”.

  107. Blackfish Blues
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Wall Crawler:

    Something I see missing from the dialog is any consideration of what GRRM plans to do with various characters after ADWD. The Blackfish got away from Jaime; the Reeds are still around, including Howland; Edmure’s future is clouded but important. Just because Ramsay got his time in the sun recently doesn’t mean these others won’t. So, does anybody have any intel on how George views all this? It’d be dumb to dump a character who is critical to an upcoming book.

    (my bolding)
    It’s missing because this time I kept my post short :P It’s one of the things that makes me mad when it gets down to “my character is more important than yours”, because WE DON’T KNOW. And with the twisted more-or-less contemporary timeline of AFFC and ADWD, we only got more cliffhangers, some deaths and no resolution to the above-mentioned situations, and we won’t know for a few years more.

    What is GRRM doing? Again, we don’t know. From what I’ve learned perusing his blog for a couple of years, he’s not the kind of writer who shares his technique; a pity for all aspiring writers (hi!), but clearly a personality trait. I’ve noticed he’s quite reticent during interviews too. It’s just the way he is. (I’m a narcissist, I’d speak for hours, I’d be banned from all panels forever.)

    When I learned they were making the TV series and GRRM was involved in it, I was thrilled. I was interested in the synergy between writer and scriptwriters and producers. After a while I was disappointed, because we learned precious little of these mechanics. The Case of the Disappearing Blackfish is only the tip of the iceberg. I believe we really don’t know how much GRRM is involved in S2 anymore, since he doesn’t know himself whether one of his own characters is in it!

    Some of us suspect it will become D&D’s GoT. This may very well be, and they might do an awesome job. But will D&D influence GRRM’s writing? Something GRRM said (sorry, can’t find the quote), probably meant in jest, was “I have to write smaller battles” or the like. This worried some of us. But it seems he might be influenced only in very minor ways, such as giving a bit more space to Osha.

    ADWD was an interesting litmus test for this last doubt. It was a golden occasion for GRRM to get rid of several narrative threads relating to characters on the brink of death (Brienne, Davos, Mance) in view of simplifying the story for a TV adaptation, and instead GRRM stuck with them.

    Will he do the same for Brynden, Edmure and the Reeds? Unfortunately the next 2 or 3 seasons of GoT will be (hopefully) made long before the next book is ready. What will D&D do? Have they been told by GRRM they are important and are saving them for the future… or are they aware those characters won’t matter anymore, and so are not bothering with them at all? We don’t know.

    Wow, 6 paragraphs to say absolutely nothing. See what I mean? :P

    BelwasFTW:

    Am I the only one who wants Strong Belwas in Season 2? I think they could fit him in season 3, but it wouldn’t hurt to have him appear in this season.

    I want him too, because we HAVE to have Arstan Whitebeard in S2. ^___^

  108. Pod4King
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, sadly, the Osha stand in for Meera and Jojen works well. If they do anything significant after that, they can be replaced by two children of the forest who live in BloodRaven’s cave. I know one was a girl. Maybe her role can be melded w/ Meera’s

    And unfortunately, Rorge can stand in for Vargo Hoat. Exactly who Rorge’s men are I would have no idea. I love the Goat and would HATE for him to be cut, but regretably, it can be done.

    Ramsay goes north to help Rodrik? I assume they’re both getting back home via ships from Maidenpool to White Harbor. They won’t be able to go up the causeway since Victarion will have taken Moat Cailin

  109. emma
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I need Ramsay to be cast, I’m really looking forward to see who will play him & if they’ll play him well enough! Grey cold eyes & slobbery lips…

  110. andrea
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    BelwasFTW,

    no, you´re not alone in this! S. Belwas makes me laugh.

  111. andrea
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    matthew totaro: ser jorah just dropped in on downton abbey

    Yes, I know…but I have to warn you that Westerosi men seem to act like jerks when they are abroad.

  112. Roger
    Posted September 27, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Ray Stevenson could play the Halfhand it I’ll be just for a couple of episodes and was great in Rome playing Titus Pullo.

  113. jens
    Posted September 28, 2011 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    I really think the directors will make or break with this season. If too many of these questions are not handled correctly they might alienate the die hard fan base. Do it well and they.won’t have any questions about season three.

  114. Carol
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, the Reeds bored me – especially Jojen. What a depressing little kid. Bran’s story line bores me to pieces… sorry. I’d really miss the Blackfish and would really, really miss the Greyjoy brothers though. I don’t understand why they keep characters such as the fat high septon and then cut others.

  115. LMMacN
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Roger:
    Ray Stevenson could play the Halfhand it I’ll be just for a couple of episodes and was great in Rome playing Titus Pullo.

    Oh my god, just put him in there, anywhere, he belongs in the universe and was the best thing about Rome. Halfhand would be pretty damned great.

  116. LMMacN
    Posted September 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    LMMacN: Oh my god, just put him in there, anywhere, he belongs in the universe and was the best thing about Rome. Halfhand would be pretty damned great.

    Actually now that I think about it, give Ray Stevenson some room to stretch acting-wise, and more hair than we’re used to him having, and there a fierce Greyjoy right there.

  117. Latrice Harrison
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    I’m so exited about season 2 and nervous about the re writes at the same time! I also really liked the Reeds and I’m hoping that neither one of them gets cut. Plus I think Osha will be central to Rickon’s story n the future, so the little Lordlings have to go their seperate ways…I had the idea while reading ADWD that Coldhands was once Benjen Stark…did anyone else think that too? Hoping they do that for AGWT. Also hoping Osha takes the boys together only util they can meet the Reeds, perhaps in season 3… Yes, there are alot of new characters but alot get killed off as well so it evens out. STOKED to see Tyrion, Arya and Brienne kick ass this season! Exited about Mellisandre, Jaquen H’gar and whatever snippet we can get of Ygritte. Can’t wait to see how they depict Quarth and the bigger baby dragons. Winter is coming…then Winter Is coming! :D

  118. Latrice Harrison
    Posted October 7, 2011 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    And also, jumping waaaaay ahead of myself, I can’t wait to see who they cast for the Red Viper and how the designers will hook up Dorne… <3 The Sand Sankes!!!

  119. Stan C
    Posted October 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Jojen Reed is my LEAST favorite character in the entire series–so preachy and mystical and annoying. I wouldn’t mind if they rewrote the story to have Osha escorting Bran to beyond the wall and have Hodor go off with Rickon. Hope this is not sacrieligious to suggest.

  120. Latrice Harrison
    Posted October 12, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    Stan C,

    Bran can’t walk, he needs Hodor to be his legs and after reading ADWD it looks like Osha is essential to Rickon’s storyline later on…

  121. hailey
    Posted October 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    No, please please please please cast Edmure and Blackfish. I love them, and there is a part where Cat asked her uncle for advice and informs her of Lysa’s madness that sets the tone for the The Eerie visit in my opinion, but he wasn’t there and I was hoping they were just going to introduce him when Robb went to war. But now that’s happened and no Riverrun and no Edmure or Blackfish. And all the Edmure scenes, he is truly important and such a good guy it’s a nice refreshment. They both rally to Robb’s and the Blackfish was so important to the battle where they catch Jamie in the books.
    I don’t know how they are going to get on without them, but there are so many characters I guess they can’t confuse the viewers. But truly this series has so many fans from the books watching they shouldn’t try to dumb it down. That said I love the series, and think they are truly doing a great job.
    And I’m not to upset about the Greyjoys, there not to important just yet.

  122. Johnny E
    Posted October 30, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I think they can skimp out on most of Riverrun as long as Hoster Tolley is there. They can briefly reunite Catlyn with him and then have her release Jaime in the last episode without even needing much of a set. Edmure and Blackfish aren’t around when she releases Jaime so they can hold off on casting them until season 3. The Reeds, however, are an absolute must. They’re great characters and essential to the plot. And if Osha doesn’t take Riccon, who will? Also, they should recast Hodor. The guy they have cast now just doesn’t seem right. Too old & too fat. Hodor is extremely important (and quite entertaining) to the story and will pretty much be on screen every time Bran is on screen for the rest of the story, not just this coming season.


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