I 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!