The North Remembers: July 2009
By Hear Me Roar on in Editorial.

WiCnet Alternate LogoTime to look three years into the past again. That particular July was a big month for Game of Thrones.

  • The first and foremost reason was Sean Bean joining the cast. To be precise, and here we have to be, Winter was the first one to report it, first as a (reliable) rumour from an inside contact. The wait began, and less than a week later, the casting of Sean Bean was officially confirmed. Everyone rejoiced at the news, and the big scoop WiC.net pulled off. Those summer days full of refreshing the page until the confirmation finally came are one of my fondest memories as part of the GoT fandom.
  • Alongside Bean, Mark Addy (Robert), Kit Harington (Jon), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey), and Harry Lloyd (Viserys) were all announced at the same time (well, Addy needed to finalize the contract still). Names and roles we grew to love. Kit talked about the upcoming pilot soon after for a theatre webiste.
  • Three TV critics whose names we now know well joined the crowds of fans early on in fervent expectation of the show. They helped build the early hype and remained on the bandwagon ever since: James Poniewozik, Matt Roush, and Maureen Ryan.
  • We also discussed the production itself. Here is one of our many speculation posts from the early days, on how to depict direwolves. Another post discussed the addition of a scene (which eventually made it into episode 2) involving Catelyn and Cersei we learned about from casting sides.

51 Comments

  1. dubq
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    I have to laugh at some of the comments saying that Sean cast as Ned could never happen. Especially the one that said we all needed jobs and an education f we were believing that rumor. I wonder what foot in the mouth tastes like?

  2. glenn
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    haha those guys must feel like fools handing out abuse to people who were getting excited about sean bean

  3. The Rabbit
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Ah good old times.
    I remember someone brought the news about Sean at Westeros forums and nobody believed.
    Only reply on that thread was mine: with 3 question marks, and by someone who was convincing me that it was troll bussiness.

  4. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    A month later and I was still angry that they cast Fred Flintstone as the ferocious Robert Baratheon. I was sure it would ruin the show! I’ve never been more happy to be wrong. Peter was awesome, but still think the best actor from season one was Mark Addy, thee definitive version of Robert Baratheon!

  5. Draig
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    Agree completely, that scene with him and Cersei…blew me away, probably my favorite scene from both seasons thus far.

  6. Eleanor
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I remember the Harry Lloyd excitement! Oh, I miss him.

  7. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Draig,

    oh yes! But what swung it for me is the fact that he made Robert so damn likeable despite him being un obnoxious man whore drunk.
    I sure as hell didnt like Robert the first time I read a GoT, but after watching season 1 was he was one of my favourites!
    “You ever make the eight Selmy?” So want one of those shirts!

  8. John W
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    In 2009 I didn’t know what Game of Thrones was or who GRRM was, although I had a couple of his short stories in my collection of books unbeknownst to me at the time, in fact if it were not for Lena Headey whose name I saw attached to the show in an online post somewhere I might never had watched the show, but since she was part of the cast and I’m a fan of hers I got interested in the show.

    Next thing I know I hear about Winter is Coming.net and Westeros.org and Tower of the Hand and then I’m hooked like a meth addict.

  9. dizzy_34
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Ah, the free and easy spoiler days… Still don’t like that Cersei scene.

  10. WildSeed
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    For me it was definitely the casting of Sean Bean and Mark Addy, both actors
    well suited for for this genre of films ( Lord of the Rings, Robin Hood )and later
    HBO prequels of Ned holding Ice to exact punishment for a desertion penalty.
    And most of all for Bean’s tone of voice with his quote ” and Winter is Coming”.
    I learned of the existence of the books from Serena ( now @ kissed by fire) and
    soon after devoured all 5 books. This is the 2nd Blog I’ve ever joined, enjoyed
    the camaraderie and insightful analysis by the moderators. You guys are a
    classy act and deliver quite an balanced approach to all subjects. I appreciate
    the blunt truth by WiC and kind spirit as well. I thought I knew most of you
    well enough until ” Ours is the Fury ” shocked me by disclosing she’s female, I
    could have sworn she was one of king Robert’s bastards from the Vale or
    Dragonstone. The few times Stannis was defended I presumed that to be an uncle:D
    The latest outing of that wannabe GoT cast member raised your status even more.
    Thanks WiC !

  11. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Sue the Pirate shocked me too, hers is the Fury!

  12. The Rabbit
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I miss Brude.
    I owe him so much in my knowledge of movie-series making and everything about the process.
    Before him I had zero knowledge on the matter. Even had not clue what post-production meant.
    Thanks Brude if you read this.

    Also miss Gillian Anderson rants (lol)

  13. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    A woman did not know of the books yet, but learned of the whole universe during Season 1 on HBO, then read the books (reading for the 3rd time now), then found WiC, and am hooked with the rest of you! Viva WiC! Viva Westeros, Essos, HBO, D+D, and the esteemed cast of characters! Could not imagine another Eddard Stark now, nor King Robert, nor Viserys, nor any of the others. Viva the casting Department as well, yay Nina!

  14. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Nina is a god in human form, her powers are just too majestic to be anything else.
    I’m wondering if you noticed that you seemed to have sprouted a little annoying fan clone on some of the other posts.
    And yes any fan site that is awesome enough to get a dedication from the author that started it all is simply amazing!

  15. angel
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    I want a shirt that says:

    “When Peter Smacked Jack”

    That’s when I knew, they would go there……and there…..and there…..

  16. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    angel,

    Hmmm I prefer one of the live tweets in season 2 for a shirt. When Tyrion slapped Joffrey people in my apartment cheered like they do on Monday night football” or something like that.

  17. David Thomas
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Wow, reading all the old comments on that Cersei/Catelyn scene posting brought back old memories. The gist of those posts was that any scene humanizing Cersei was a TRAVESTY and that the fact that she had aborted all of Robert’s babies was THE CENTRAL DEFINING FACT OF HER CHARACTER. Then someone conjectures that the black-haired baby might be alive and it might be GENDRY.

    Oh, the old days. I won’t call them the “good old” days because of all the rampant bitching about the tiniest little rumored adjustments. Well, I have to say that I LOVED almost every single change for season 1…they were important for TV. The “black-haired baby” bit was a crucial piece of information to impart, and if that meant Cersei had to have a baby with Robert that later died, then so bit it. It didn’t change my feelings about Cersei at all. I still love to hate her! Of all the casting decisions, Lena was probably my least favorite, but I absolute love her in this role.

    I also remember all the speculation about every change: GRRM must have blessed this! And the secondary speculation that would inspire, such as “If Gendry is Cersei’s child, then GRRM must be planning on making Gendry a trueborn heir for a reason…” then the argument that “what purpose does that leave for Jon Snow:?” etc.

    Wow, heady times.

    I loved the changes in season 2 even more, with a few exceptions. While I trust the writers quite a bit, I’ve never been able to figure out how it helps the storytelling to remove almost all of Catelyn’s agency. I mean, in the book, she is directly responsible for several decisions that in the show become decisions of others. The only major decision she got to keep in the TV show is the decision to free Jamie. So all her wisdom is removed, and her one mistake is kept.

    My personal big fear about Season 2 was that they would greatly reduce Arya’s story. ACOK is my favorite GRRM book because of Arya’s part…her storyline in that book is my absolute favorite. While I understand how much they cut it back (and I really wanted to see the Weasel stuff…the original Weasel, not Arya-as-Weasel), I was still very, very pleased and satisfied! I loved the Arya/Tywin stuff. I just wish we had gotten Weasel Soup and the freeing of the Northmen. But that would have taken a huge amount of screen time to set up, so I’m fine with it as a storytelling necessity.

    I am 100% on board with the TV show as a separate entity, as long as it stays within about 75% of the original. In fact, the very first GoT episode that I truly, absolutely, 100% got lost in was the first one this season where they went completely off-book. I can’t remember the episode…was it the one where Dany’s dragons were stolen or the one before? Anyway, that’s the point at which I realized that I MISSED not ever being surprised by anything, and after that, I really enjoyed getting to watch the show unfold before me instead of counting the similarities and differences. That impulse was ruining the experience, and I’m glad I”m over it now.

  18. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    David Thomas,

    Clapping hands in my living room now, well said Ser (the last paragraph).

  19. Rygar
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I remember when GRRM posted in his blog about HBO getting the rights for a ASOIAF series. I would then search the web for sites that were easy to navigate and provide updates on the show. Thats when I found WiC and lurked pretty much from the beginning. I feel so old revisiting these old posts.

    Thanks WiC for being way cooler than many other sites out there, and I forgive you for being a Flyers fan. Or is it Devils? Jeez I AM getting old.

  20. Rygar
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Seconded

    I learned to separate the two after I ruined my enjoyment of PJ LOTR by critizing it all the time.

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    David Thomas,

    Clapping hands in my living room now, well said Ser (the last paragraph).

  21. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Nina is a god in human form, her powers are just too majestic to be anything else.
    I’m wondering if you noticed that you seemed to have sprouted a little annoying fan clone on some of the other posts.
    And yes any fan site that is awesome enough to get a dedication from the author that started it all is simply amazing!

    Your Grace, a woman agrees that Nina has achieved other-worldly excellence in casting GoT. Choosing to ignore the annoying troll pretending to be my twin is probably the best course of action/inaction. It is probably the same one that started the CapLock character and for some reason is completely unbalanced by a woman’s presence. I cannot help that, so will ignore it and hope it goes away. Hopefully WiC will remove the offensive posts as they do appear to be a subtle attack on my person.

  22. Rygar
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    Mrs H’ghar, I haven’t followed what has been going on, but do you need me to get out the royal sceptor and get medieval on someone?

  23. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Rygar:
    Mrs H’ghar, I haven’t followed what has been going on, but do you need me to get out the royal sceptor and get medieval on someone?

    A woman does not think that will be necessary, let’s just see if the imposter goes away. If they persist in attempting to co-opt my identity and annoy the commentariat, by all means go medieval Ser!

  24. Inka
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    I also didn’t know about the existence of the books back in 2009. I first learned about them reading James Poniewozik’s blog, which I used to read for his Lost recaps. He seemed really excited about the adaptation and the books, so I decided to give them a try. After a long library wait I finally got the first book, which to be honest, took a bit of effort to get into. But I was hooked by the end of it and I thought that Deanerys was my favorite character. Oh, how things change. I then found GRRM’s website, which led me to here and your countdown clock to the series premier, which seemed to be moving so so slowly. I don’t usually post anything, but I think that you have a really great website, so thank you!

  25. Lex
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Read the books in 2001, followed this blog since late 2008.

    The Sean Bean announcement remains, to this day, my favourite moment. I was so ecstatic when I read the news, I jumped for joy all around my living room.

  26. Brian Baldinger
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    You’re welcome, Winter! 3 years later and still my favorite site.

  27. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 26, 2012 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

    I agree that Mark Addy was a little better than PD in season 1 and for the life of me I still don’t get way neither he nor Sean Bean got any serious nominatio
    ns for their roles. But oh well.

    And as far as the Mrs. H’ghar trolling go that recently went down, my first thought was to start saying HAR! at the end of all my sentences, lol, just to annoy the haters even more (:

    I’m about to start reading aFoC. Keeping an open mind. And dying to know what the progress is on Kit’s foot.

  28. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    THis has been a very weird online week for you hasnt it?

  29. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    WOnder if its not the same guy who attacked you earlier in the week.

  30. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:29 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conquerer

    Are you going to watch Linkin Park in November?

  31. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    WOnder if its not the same guy who attacked you earlier in the week.

    A woman was thinking the same thing, seems like a weird fixation of some sort, hope it fizzles out, very strange week.

  32. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe,

    I used to be a hardcore fan, but kind off outgrew them. Still really wanted to see them though. However went to training thinking I’ll buy tickets as soon as practise is over, when I got home it was already sold out :-( So no unfortunately not. Had the same problem with U2 last year.
    2 shows is really not enough. When Jeff Dunham toured here he extended his stay with like 4 extra shows that all sold out. Know it’s unlikely but hopefuly LP do it too.
    Will you be there?

    Mr’s H’ghar, seems kinda stupid to start stalking the wife of a Faceless Man, methinks.

  33. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conquerer

    Luckily a friend got tickets (: I also outgrew them, but this is kind of my first big rock show (at Soccerdome City nogal), so I’m pretty excited actually, plus I’ll be going with good friends. I’m sorry you didn’t get tickets though. Completely missed Jeff Dunham and don’t know if I’m up for Oppikoppi (despite the rumour that Rage against the Machine would be there), but Red Hot Chilli Peppers are coming next year…

  34. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe,

    Never been a big oppi koppi fan.
    Ah jis youre lucky. I didnt know you were South Africa. thought Andrea and I were the only ones.

  35. Jackie MacPherson
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    I maybe didn’t post back then but I do remember reading those ;)

    What ever happened to About Yea High? ;p

    Can’t believe it’s only been 3 years!

  36. Ryan71
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe:
    Aegon the Conquerer

    Luckily a friend got tickets (: I also outgrew them, but this is kind of my first big rock show (at Soccerdome City nogal), so I’m pretty excited actually, plus I’ll be going with good friends. I’m sorry you didn’t get tickets though. Completely missed Jeff Dunham and don’t know if I’m up for Oppikoppi (despite the rumour that Rage against the Machine would be there), but Red Hot Chilli Peppers are coming next year…

    Linkin parks new cd rocks! I also outgrew their earlier CDs (which I used to love) but this new cd and m2m are both amazing.

  37. dizzy_34
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    A woman should bite the bullet and get an Avatar so we know it’s you. ;)
    …or would that go against the anonymity code of a faceless woman?

  38. Varamyr Fourskins
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,

    Same for me. I was dumbfounded by Addy’s addition, but that’s why I’m not a casting director. One of my favorite cast members to date. He owned it.

  39. Macha
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror,
    I wasn’t around here at the time of the casting and had no idea who was who in the show, so seing him on-screen for the first time went something like “hey look, it’s that guy from The Full Monty! Sporting a massive beard! F… yeah, I’m digging this show!” :)
    Such a brilliant casting choice. *sigh* I miss Robert.

  40. Hear Me Roar
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Jackie MacPherson,
    For those who seriously wonder,
    About Yeah High changed his name ;)

    Also, you should comment more, Jackie! :)

  41. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    A woman should bite the bullet and get an Avatar so we know it’s you. ;)
    …or would that go against the anonymity code of a faceless woman?

    A woman has one on her Twitter (MrsH_ghar), but couldn’t figure out how to get it over here (had this ID first, don’t know if that makes a difference). It would not be an actual photo of a faceless woman anyway, you are correct! Will try again and see if it works so you can differentiate quickly if I am able to import the avatar.

  42. Mimsy
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: Mrs. H’ghar
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 3:04 am | Permalink
    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    WOnder if its not the same guy who attacked you earlier in the week.

    A woman was thinking the same thing, seems like a weird fixation of some sort, hope it fizzles out, very strange week.

    Hugs to you Mrs. H’ghar and I thank you for your endearingly constant character. =) Oh, and *kisses* to your Mr. H’ghar… BIG kisses.

    Damn your pen GRRM for a tease of what could have been of the great Jaqen!

  43. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Mimsy: Hugs to you Mrs. H’ghar and I thank you for your endearingly constant character.=)Oh, and *kisses* to your Mr. H’ghar… BIG kisses.

    Damn your pen GRRM for a tease of what could have been of the great Jaqen!

    A woman thanks you for your support, it has been such a joy to interact with fellow GoT fans here. Sometimes leaving some to the imagination is a good thing!

    Update on the avatar, tried again and couldn’t get it to work, don’t have time to fuss with it right now as vacation is approaching and other things have to be done now, but will try again when time presents itself to get that avatar in here.

  44. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Macha

    I miss Robert too! Three of the four real men’s men were killed off in season 1. Tywin being the only survivor. Miss everyone of them.

    Mr’s H’ghar

    Mmmm you’re making me wonder what the woman who could snag a faceless men would actually look like. Coming up blank.

  45. WildSeed
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar: A woman thanks you for your support, it has been such a joy to interact with fellow GoT fans here. Sometimes leaving some to the imagination is a good thing!

    Update on the avatar, tried again and couldn’t get it to work, don’t have time to fuss with it right now as vacation is approaching and other things have to be done now, but will try again when time presents itself to get that avatar in here.

    I tried to get an avatar /gravatar from the site recommended here and was not
    successful like you. I’ve always wanted one so it’s rather frustrating. I’m not sure
    if it’s my Mac browser that’s the issue ( some sites are not Mac friendly) or just
    my inexperience. Enjoy your vacation, will you journey any points west of Braavos?

  46. WildSeed
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Aegon the Conqueror:
    Macha

    I miss Robert too! Three of the four real men’s men were killed off in season 1. Tywin being the only survivor. Miss everyone of them.

    Mr’s H’ghar

    Mmmm you’re making me wonder what the woman who could snag a faceless men would actually look like. Coming up blank.

    Wait until we viewers get acquainted with the Black Brothers at the Wall. Just when
    one learns their names or familiar with their talents they’re killed. Luckily Grenn,Pyp
    and Samwell ( & of course maester Aemon ) remain. same goes for the Wildlings.

    You mentioned Andrea name earlier (with the concert exchange w/ another poster)
    I was under the impression she’s in Argentina :D

  47. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed: I tried to get an avatar /gravatar from the site recommended here and was not
    successful like you. I’ve always wanted one so it’s rather frustrating. I’m not sure
    if it’s my Mac browser that’s the issue ( some sites are not Mac friendly) or just
    my inexperience. Enjoy your vacation, will you journey any points west of Braavos?

    Alas, a woman is also on a Mac, that may be the issue. We are going east to the waters edge near where my family resides, as is our custom in summer. Only a week, but hoping for good weather! We will catch wifi where we can so as not to miss any new announcements. Not till next week, but feeling rushed with errands that seem to be endless.

  48. Winter Is Coming
    Posted July 27, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    Gravatar should work whether you are on a Mac or PC. When you signed up for your Gravatar account, did you use the same email you use when you comment here? That is the only way for the avatar you upload there to show up here.

    Alternately you can sign in using Twitter or Facebook, which should be as simple as clicking the buttons on here, entering your login credentials and then allowing the app access to your account.

  49. mags giantsbabe
    Posted July 28, 2012 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Ryan71

    I actually still need to get their new music (:

    Aegon the conquerer

    I actually tried to make contact in earlier post threads but I think you got gatvol at some
    of the other comments and left. I probably started visiting Jan/ Feb.

  50. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    Yes sorry Andrea is in Argentina, was Anne I was thinking of, she’s in Durban.

  51. Aegon the Conqueror
    Posted July 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    mags giantsbabe,

    Hahaha I never thought Id read the word “gatvol” in a WIC.net comment.
    Mmmm was probably when I got accused of being the ultimate book purist hide-in-mommy’s-basement nerd.
    Are you from Gauteng?


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