Casting Speculation

Casting Season 4: Oberyn Martell

Art by KuroSy

Art by KuroSy

Season three is still 46 days away, but it is never too early to begin speculating on casting. We asked readers to submit their choices for some of the roles that will likely be added in season four. Now we’re going to take a closer look at the key roles and the top fan choices for each. Starting with the Red Viper.

Oberyn Martell, known as the Red Viper, is the younger brother to Prince Doran Martell, head of House Martell and ruler of Dorne. Dorne and the Martells have not had any screen time in the TV series to date, but their importance grows in later books. Oberyn Martell in the books is a great warrior, in his 40s, with dark eyes and dark hair streaked with silver. He comes to King’s Landing to serve on the Small Council. Let’s take a look at some of the fans’ top picks for the role.

Oded FehrOded Fehr – This Israeli-born actor should look familiar to US filmgoers, as he has appeared in a couple of popular film franchises. These include The Mummy movies as well as the Resident Evil series. More recently, he has taken on a number of TV roles, appearing on Covert Affairs, V, Law & Order: LA and NCIS. At 42, he is the perfect age for the role and he matches pretty closely the books’ description of the Red Viper. However, it seems the majority of his work has been confined to US-based productions, so it’s up in the air whether he would have a chance at getting cast in this mostly UK-based cast.
Naveen AndrewsNaveen Andrews – Andrews is a British-born actor of Indian descent. He is most well-known for playing Sayid Jarrah on Lost. He has also appeared in the films The English Patient and Grindhouse. He has the right age and at only 5’9″ matches the small stature of the Oberyn in the book. I don’t think he quite matches the look I had in mind for the Martells, (I always pictured them looking more Middle Eastern, not Indian) but that is only personal preference. He hasn’t done much since Lost ended, so presumably he would jump at the chance to take a role on the show.
Alexander SiddigAlexander Siddig – This classically trained theater actor was born in Sudan but raised in London. He has appeared in a number of Hollywood movies, including Kingdom of Heaven, Syriana, Clash of the Titans and the Neil Marshall film Doomsday. He has also had roles in television including stints on 24 and the Cinemax series Strike Back. That last one gives him a bit of an HBO connection as Cinemax is owned by HBO. Age and looks are a match, the one issue may be his availability. He is currently appearing on the Starz show Da Vinci’s Demons and that may cause a scheduling issue.
Cliff SimonCliff Simon – Simon is a South African actor who has made his bones on TV. He is perhaps most well-known for starring as Ba’al on Stargate SG-1. He has also appeared in 24, NCIS: Los Angeles and the daytime soap Days of our Lives. At 50 years old, he is the oldest actor listed here, although I suspect that wouldn’t be an issue. They may even be looking to age the character up anyway to remain consistent with the rest of the characters. His work so far doesn’t speak to an abundance of acting talent, but that may not be entirely his fault. If he knocks the audition out of he park, he may be a good fit.

What do you think of these choices? Do you think any of them would be perfect as the Red Viper? Or do you have someone else in mind? Sound off in the comments below!

453 Comments

  • “(I always pictured them looking more Middle Eastern, not Indian)”

    I think the Dornish are supposed to cover a pretty wide swath of skin tones, right?

    I wouldn’t choose him for this particular role either, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Indian Dornish alongside MiddleEastern Dornish, in fact I hope they think along these lines and try for such variances.

    Just so long as its not some damn white Dornish so as to make them identical to every other race in Westeros. That’s practically the only way casting the Dornish wouldn’t mesh with what Martin described.

  • OMG YES for Cliff Simon.

    To who ever wrote the article here, shame on you for saying SG-1 is not an “abundance of acting talent” maybe you should educate yourself with the series first. He was the most popular villain and had more screen time then any other villain on the show. SG-1 ran for 10 seasons, longer than ANY American Science Fiction TV show in history, including any version of Star Trek.

  • Judging by the 4 actors, i think Cliff Simon will be the best choice. But maybe to old. I hope for a big name, because Oberyn will only be in season 4 (most likely). And I think they will make him even more important then in the books. Not only Tyrions trial and fighting Gregor

  • I actually always found Cliff Simon’s performance fairly nuanced compared to many of the other Goa’uld. ;) He was a fan favorite for a reason.

    Anyway, good list. I’ve given up having a ‘favorite’ for parts because it seems whoever they cast ends up awesome anyway.

  • Zack,

    The “Stony” Dornish, as described in the books, seem to be white. The “Sandy” Dornish are the darkest skinned, and the “Salty” Dornish are in-between (If I remember correctly, the Martells are apperently “Salty” Dornish)

    With that in mind, I like Oded Fehr the best. He was my favourite in The Mummy; dude was a badass!

  • Don’t think Siddig is ruthless enough to play the Red Viper. Of this list, I like Oded the best. I also like Esteban’s Mark Strong suggestion.

  • Quentyn7,

    I’d rather have someone talented and unknown rather than someone famous just for the sake of it. Would be a waste of budget as well. In Nina Gold we trust.

  • As far as Oberyn is concerned, I was always thinking along the lines of Antonio Banderas in the 13th Warrior. He’s not too old since all of the actors are older in the series than in the books. And since he would be appearing only this season they could go for a big Hollywood star.

  • None. I’m still holding out hope that Mads Mikkelsen will be available. I know he’s playing the new TV version of Hannibal Lecter but GOT films on a different schedule.

  • Andrew,

    Thanks for the clarification:)

    Not that they should necessarily or plan to stick to the described look (Ducksauce — but that was relocating the character’s origin to match his look too) but — I hope they try to keep the Dornish with their own visual identity.

    I like Cliff Simon’s look as well, but I have no idea as to his acting level. I hope they get someone who’s completely up to the task here, he’s got such a great role to play.

    eta: To illustrate the differences between the looks of the various Dornish, weren’t the Sand Snakes all from different mothers and different skin-toned as a result? I hope they keep that aspect when it comes time for casting them.

  • Michael K,

    I love SG-1 and no offense that show had serviceable to mediocre acting. It wasn’t the kind of show to flick on if you wanted thespian drama. Simon was awesome though.

  • I vote Naveen! Great actor, severely under-utilized in the later seasons of Lost. I can very vividly visualize him as Oberyn. Also, here’s hoping that Conan Stevens returns as The Mountain in Season 4!

  • Zack,

    Yeah, for sure. I just didn’t want anybody forgetting about the Stony Dornish, and getting all upset if some Dornish (The Daynes I believe) end up having white actors, haha.

    I really hope we get to see the Sand Snakes, too. If not all of them, at least one or two. I always liked Tyene.

  • I always try to think like a casting director and hit at other HBO projects or things Nina has worked on. Irfan Khan would be my first choice in casting someone of Indian descent or from that region and he’s worked on In Treatment, I believe and was fantastic in Life of Pi. I think he might be too mild mannered for the Viper but could possibly play a great Doran if he can put on the weight although this post is about Oberyn, his brother.

    I’d also venture that HBO could borrow from Showtime and nab Homeland’s Navid Negahban as Abu Nazir. If you haven’t seen the show, you should. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1041023/

  • I’m with RG! Oded Fehr is who I see as the Red Viper! Absolutely – no question. He has the chops – physical ability, appearance, voice, talent – Please Please Please… Oded!!!

  • YES: Cliff Simon !! He has those eyes: clever and dangerous. And Oberyn must be aged up a bit since our Tyrion is 42 years old!
    If Alexander Siddig will bulk up a bit, he would be awesome too. Plus with make-up and a wig, he should be just fine.
    An UNKNOWN actor – great! altough Oberyn is something like Ned was in the first season, and they might go with a big name.

    NO: Naveen Andrews- I always imagined the Martells as dark-skinned spaniards, not with indian or middle-eastern look. :(
    Oded … no, please, just no!

    Anyways, I don’t worry since Nina Gold will select the best as always!

  • I would think it all depends on which culture/race the producers decide to base the Dornish on.

    Most people imagined them as Latina/Mediterranean so Spanish/Mexican actors would work well for them.
    Some people though imagined them as Indian.

    I’ve always imagined them as the former myself but could totally see a lot of Indian actors working well like Frieda Pinto for Arianne.

    If they go with the former, I’d say Fehr for Viper, Siddig for Doran.

  • I couldn’t possibly care less, since I hate the Dorne storyline with a passion fans normally reserve for hating the Iron Islands.

    That said, Siddig and Mr. Soap Star are way too old. The Martells are pretty clearly described in terms that evoke Middle Eastern features, so I’m expecting someone completely unknown and hugely talented (Nina Gold has that gift)

  • Carne,

    Not to famous, but i think the role can be a interesting choice for many actors. And they dont need a long term contract. Thats the reason why they got Sean Bean, but off course he was the main character of season 1 and Oberyn will not be one of the main characters for season 4. But the most important thing off course will be to get a highly talented actor. And looks, becouse I hope they will make the Martells look very different from the other Westerosi in the show. So in that case the 4 suggestions here will all fit in well.

  • I know he doesn’t quite fits the description of Oberyn… but I pictured Joe Manganiello (Alcide from True Blood). Yes, I know it’s impossible because he’s too tall, and he’s not british, and he’s kinda busy with True Blood and all… but man he is hot as the dornish desert.

    So I guess I’d like to see Alexander Siddig (who was amazing in Primaeval) or Naveen Andrews as my beloved Viper.

  • I pictured James Callis in the role, he has a similar look to Siddig, in fact he’s often mistaken for him, and I think he’d be great.

  • The way the Dornish are described as having three main branches, Stony, Salty and Sandy has reminded me of Spain. If you go to Spain you will see all varities of skin color and ethinic looks yet they are all Spanish. Like the Dornish were invaded by and mated with the Rhyonar the Spanish were invaded and mated with the North African Moors. So geographically both in Spain and Dorne the looks of the people correspond to the geographic areas most affected by the invasion. The same can be said of almost all countries on the Medditerranean whether it be Greece, Italy, France and the FCOY. If you have ever visited Turkey you will notice there are a lot of light featured Turks with blue or light eyes. My father is from Northern inland Greece and we have light hair and very blue eyes yet mildly dark skin.

    The Martells are classified as being the Salty Dornish as somewhat in the middle. I would see the Red Viper as having dark Medditeranean features, not Indian or middle Eastern.

  • BoiledLeather: Also, here’s hoping that Conan Stevens returns as The Mountain in Season 4!

    I know we’ve discussed it a lot on here but I’m still not over the disasterous recast of Gregor. Conan Stevens was utterly terrifying in the role and – bringing it back to Oberyn – would have made the duel truly daunting / engaging. This won’t be the case now I fear, which massively undermines one of the key moments in the entire series.

  • Please please please let Oded Fehr be cast as The Red Viper !!! Hopefully his agent is aware of this role.

  • Johnny Depp. If we’re dream casting here. I am completely aware this unrealistic by leaps and bounds … BUT he does own two homes in France, and a home in England. He enjoys living, and when possible, filming in Europe. He is worth 350 million dollars. He doesn’t need to do anything for the money anymore. What if he loves the show, or the books, or even just the script( Oberyn part)? HBO could scrape together a measley 5 million per Season for Depp (a fraction of what he could make on a film, but enough so it’s not an embarrassing amount), and HBO could work around his schedule for filming Oberyn scenes. Again this would only work if he is a huge fan of Game of Thrones, AND he’s bored playing a pirate. Again I realize this 100% a dream, but could you imagine what this would do for the show?

  • David T,

    Eduardo Noriega!!! Yes!! Luis Tosar will creep me out a lot (the last movie I saw of him was “Mientras duermes”), but I’d LOVE to see Eduardo Noriega in GOT!!

  • They all seem awesome to me.
    As an Israeli I’d support Oded (who also voice acted Ra’s El Ghul and seems well fitted) but he looks very different from how I imagine Oberyn.
    Naveen is an amazing actor but I don’t see him as a viper, he always seems wise but not cunning.
    Alexander and Cliff both have the looks and the game for this role. Personally, out of the four, I’d like to see Cliff Simon play the role (those eyes are hypnotizing like a snake)

  • When I read the books there was two characters I could vividly picture in my head and, straight away I knew the actors I’d like to play those roles

    Red Viper = Oded Fehr
    The Crows Eye = James Purefoy

    It won’t be the end of the world for me if they aren’t cast but I just hope Nina Gold at least considers them.

  • Andrew,

    See all these suggestions for Spanish actors for the role? That’s kind of what I had in mind when I read ‘stony Dornish’, so they would still be pretty clearly differentiated from the rest of white Westeros. Eduardo Noriega seems an intriguing choice, but I have only seen him in one role I think and am not an expert. Still, I enjoy seeing others thinking along those lines.

  • Mark Strong would look the part… specially if you have seen him in Body of Lies…

    then again I also hope they give a chance to spanish or italian actors, some of whom do have that mediterranean/middle eastern look

  • Oded Fehr and Cliff Simon really look the part with the olive skin and penetrating dark eyes! I’m for either one of them! Can’t wait to see the Red Viper! I wish he could be in season 3

  • Considering it’s a short time role, I’m still dreaming with big names. Spanish actors Antonio Banderas or Javier Barden would be amazing. Mark Strong or Richard Armitage would be great as well. James Purefoy too, but that’s unlikely given “The Following” success. The above mentioned Alexander Siddig is also a favorite of mine, followed by Naveen Andrews. I confess not knowing Cliff Simon’s work at all.

  • I would like Oded Fehr or Cliff Simon. I don’t think Naveen Andrews fits the part, but I would like him to be cast as some character in Essos.

  • Zack:
    “(I always pictured them looking more Middle Eastern, not Indian)”

    I think the Dornish are supposed to cover a pretty wide swath of skin tones, right?

    This. In the books, the Dornish have a very wide range of skin tones. Nymeria Sand is described as “milky pale”, whereas Arianne Martell has “olive skin” and others even darker. Obviously it has a lot to do with marriage to other houses. I think for the “traditional” Dornish natives I’ve always pictured them with a mediterranean look, if anything else.

  • KG,

    As with pretty much all of the characters in the show, I bet my money on Oberyn being aged up as well. According to AWOIAF, Oberyn was 42 when he died. Siddig is 47, so he is not too old at all.

  • Daniel Lin:
    They all seem awesome to me.
    As an Israeli I’d support Oded (who also voice acted Ra’s El Ghul and seems well fitted) but he looks very different from how I imagine Oberyn.

    Ra’s definitely wasn’t his most memorable part from the DC Universe, though. Was more of a fan on his Dr Fate from Justice League (and Unlimited).

  • Would absolutely love to see Alexander Siddig in the role. I think he would really nail it. Someone commented (dubq, I believe) mentioned the actor Faran Tahir. I think that would be a could casting as well.

    Forty-six days feels like forty-six months. Cannot wait for the show to return.

    Michelle Peeples
    @ZedShowgirl

  • Sorry, can’t imagine any of these actors as Oberyn
    Out of these 4 I like Alexander Siddig most of all but even he is not exactly Oberyn for me

    And let’s be honest – Oded Fehr – I think he is cheesy, looks like a cover of the romance novel and is quite a mediocre actor at best.
    As to Naveen Andrews – I like him as an actor and I suppose some ladies and gentelmen find hims sexy but
    1. There are actors in india / of indian descent that look more “princely”, but there is nothing aristocratic about Naveen – sorry for this politically incorrect statement but he looks very “working class” . There is nothing wrong with it, but c’mon – people could believe in Audrey Hepburn playing a princess, but not in Marilyn Monroe (both are georgeous – but there is a difference in a “type”)

    2: I never imagined dornish as Indian, they are spanish/italian in my book.

    + if they cast actors of Indian/Pakistani origin as Martells, this would backfire when casting young Griff – 1. he is supposed to be a child of Rhaegar and Dornish princess; 2. he is supposed to have valyrian look – Now I do know people who have mixed Scandinavian/Indian origin and most of them look drop dead gorgeous but none of them retained platinium blond hair; of course this is fantasy but I think usually GRRM strives for some logical credibility.

  • Johnny Depp is the picture that comes to mind when I read about the Red Viper. Especially after seeing “once upon a time in Mexico”. Another actor I would love to see play the Red Viper is Manu Bennett who plays Crixus in Spartacus and also plays Slade Wilson (aka Deathstroke) in Arrow

  • Naveen Andrews! Loved him in Lost. He is just the right combination of mysterious, charming, goodlooking, and badass for this role.

  • My dreamcast for the Red viper is Benno Fürmann, who is best known for his role of Siegfried in the The Dragon King movie.

  • Kosis: Amr Waked

    Amr Waked would be a brilliant choice. He’s such a charismatic presence on screen.

    But, of the above choices, I would go for Alexander Siddig, or Oded Fehr.

  • And Oberyn must be aged up a bit since our Tyrion is 42 years old!

    AdrianAegon,

    Are you serious? Haven’t you heard of older actors playing younger characters?

    And by your logic, that would mean

    1. Tyrion’s older brother Jaime was born a year later

    2. Jaime and Cersei are twins born 3 years apart!

  • Don’t know if he’s been mentioned already, but what about Amr Waked? He was in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

  • I too always imagined Dorne to be analogous to Spain.

    This may be an outlier, but I always thought James Purefoy was perfect for Oberyn. Unforunately, he’s got a job on The Following.

  • dubq: This. In the books, the Dornish have a very wide range of skin tones. Nymeria Sand is described as “milky pale”, whereas Arianne Martell has “olive skin” and others even darker. Obviously it has a lot to do with marriage to other houses. I think for the “traditional” Dornish natives I’ve always pictured them with a mediterranean look, if anything else.

    No I dont think the casting should be strictly focused on Indians but do you believe people of color only have one skin tone? You can easily find a middle eastern actor with “milky pale” skin.

    In regards to Nymeria: Janina Gavankar, who is of Indian descent, was told by GRRM that she looked like her so…

  • I realize that Dorne is comparable to Spain in the real world, but with all the deserts and snakes, and also with the way the cities are described, I’ve always felt it was more like Egypt or maybe even Mexico.

  • Both Oded Fehr and Manu Bennett look like male strippers, with fake masculinity and sleazy-sexy looks – sorry, definitely not my idea of badass

  • Please not Sayid. He is an okay actor, but terrible at showing any emotion. The “torture” scenes in LOST were painful to watch.

  • The Bear,

    Did he? Well tastes differ, and everyone is entitled to their opinion but
    in Mummy I saw just a hustler from “male gigolo” dressed up like Bedouin there and acting macho – fake fake fake…

  • I am looking forward to the casting of the Red Viper since he is one of my favorite characters.

    As far as the actors mentioned above:
    Big LOST fan and I don’t want Naveen (completely missed the book description that Oberyn is “small in stature.”
    Oded has the right look
    As far as Siddig not being available because of his role in DaVinci Demons, I wouldn’t worry about it. That show is terrible.

  • Carp:
    Itchypanda,

    But…but….Mads Mikkelsen is totally a Greyjoy! :)
    I adore him. That would be a dream casting catch.

    Wow. great call. Mikkelsen would make a great Crow’s Eye. We should probably lock down Michael Sheen as Victarion as well.

  • Razha,

    Hahaha. Well, I haven’t seen that movie in probably ten years… Maybe I just thought he was a badass when I was fourteen.

  • What about:

    -Cliff Curtis (Three Kings)

    -Saïd Taghmaoui (Three Kings)

    -Arnold Vosloo (The Mummy)

    -Navid Negahban (Homeland)

    -Mido Hamada (Homeland)

  • flame,

    I’m sorry if I confused you. I was only saying that Peter Dinklage is 42, and an Oberyn must look a bit older than him. Not the same age. (My belief is that Tyrion in the show is in his mid 30’s). IMO

  • I’ve given up making expectations for casting. Unknowns are fine to me ! I’ll take what they offer !

    Except for Mads Mikkelsen, but that’s another story !

  • Out of the above I would want to say Naveen Andrews, purely cause his character in LOST was awesome, however I have to say Alexander Siddig looks more of the part in my mind.:)
    Either way, I have complete faith with db weiss and david benioff!

  • Easily Cliff Simon. Oded Fehr is not a very good actor, and though I really like Siddig, I think he looks a bit “soft” for the role. As a huge Lost fan, I thought Andrews was very good in the first three seasons, and frankly awful in the latter three. Simon’s role as Ba’al shows that he could play the part of Oberyn with ease, and I also think he looks the part more than anyone else mentioned, given the description of the Viper in the book.

  • I really like the Cliff Curtis suggestion…

    But Siddig? The guy has zero physicality and looks like he would topple over from a light breeze. Oberyn needs to be physically imposing to be believable in a fight against Gregor.

  • Phil Norris:
    Wow, Siddig’s bio without his most famous role!

    Came here to post this, lol. Mention a brief stint (7 episodes) in 24, but don’t mention his Star Trek: DS9 role which lasted over 170 episodes? I’m not even a Star Trek fan at all, but come on. Nice TV journalism… ;)

    Personally I’m not thrilled by any of those choices, though Siddig would probably be the best. Still he doesn’t ooze sexuality, charisma and warrior strength the way Oberyn should. I’d prefer James Purefoy even if he’s a little too pale-skinned, but he got butthurt at HBO for cancelling Rome or something and refuses to play in GoT. Pity.

  • I always pictured the Martells somewhere inbetween Mediterranian and North-African-looking, so Siddig and Fehr fit that description the best. To be fair, none of them look really like I pictured, but I don’t know enough actors to propose anyone.
    Going purely from what I had in mind, I’d probably say Oded Fehr, just cause he look to be taller and slender, without being thin. He also has more of the sharp nos and overall facial structures. Siddig doesn’t look like he could play a warrior. Again, going purely by looks. Fehr looks friendly enough on the surface, I just hope he has the range to play the Viper as well.

  • I’ve always been partial to Said Taghmaoui from Three Kings and Hideous Kinky; he’s got the right look – thin, reedy, a bit feral, and certainly of a more emotional type that fits the Red Viper. Alexander Siddig seems too controlled to me.

    Akbar Kurtha – who played the younger, more venal brother of Siddig’s character in Syriana – would also be a fine choice.

    Joey Ansah — half-white, half-Ghanian — who played “Desh” in the third Bourne film (and is most notable for that absolutely ridiculous fight scene in Morocco with Matt Damon) would work well, too. He’s got an intense look about him and clearly can handle himself physically, obviously. He’s 6’1″, so he’s a big bigger, but he only need to compare in size to Gregor, in which case he’s going to look small no matter what.

    Reda Katek, who spent the first 20 minutes of Zero Dark Thirty getting tortured, has the right sort of look for the part as well.

    But I confess Taghmaoui has always been the actor I’ve seen in this.

  • I wonder what it’s like to be ” half white ” , in a world where DNA and ancestries
    are blended beyond comprehension…………. just sayin’ . Hope “that ” actor choice
    has other qualities as well.

  • Carne:
    Quentyn7,

    I’d rather have someone talented and unknown rather than someone famous just for the sake of it. Would be a waste of budget as well. In Nina Gold we trust.

    I’d second that .

  • The thing is, real world Middle Easterners and North Africans show the same phenotype diversity I imagine of the Dornish – there is not simply one “Mediterranean” or “Arab” look. Some are white, some are swarthy white, some are brown, and some are very dark. The same diversity can be found in the Indian subcontinent – compare a “wheatish” Punjabi to some dark skinned southern groups to Tibetan-related societies in the northeast. The same can be said for Latin-Americans – different individuals from the same country can be of predominantly African, European, indigenous, or even Asian and Middle Eastern descent, or may not know with any kind of certainty which is predominant. The Rhoynar invasion didn’t happen thirty years ago and the constructs of “salty, sandy, and stony” may ultimately be as clumsy as all human racial/ethnic groupings. I thought the diversity in Dothraki casting also made sense despite the relatively uniform book description – they are a nomadic culture constantly assimilating slaves from across a huge section of a huge continent and beyond. Scythian graves, for example, present challenges to anthropologists concerned with identifying racial categories.

    It is important for many of us that the Dornish not be whitewashed. That doesn’t mean casting no white actors. But I think it’s also a problem if only unimportant Dornish characters are cast as people of color. This is an opportunity to at least START to fix what IS a problem. HBO already has one show where its creators flippantly don’t give a damn about people of color despite being set in one of the most diverse cities in the world. Fact is that so far, GoT’s POC representation has been “savages” (without, apart from how they benefit Dany, much of the complicated respect for Dothraki one can gain through the books), a pirate who wants more than anything to f*ck the Nordic queen, and a con artist. Medieval Europe itself was more diverse than is popularly imagined and people of color played a part in its history, so I don’t see how leaving them out is excusable. In spite of what Lindaaaa says, we don’t need “Eurocentric” entertainment all to ourselves when our mass media is already Eurocentric enough.

  • Thanks for updating the subject of Oberyn Martell, WiC.
    Ideally, I ‘d like to see Siddig or Andrews on screen, but for a longer script
    or inclusion. The RV burns bright , but then the flame is soon
    extinguished. Sob..sob….

  • All of these look pretty awful to be honest, except for Naveen Andrews. I haven’t seen the other’s works, but The Mummy, Clash of Titans and Days of Our Lives don’t scream “great actor” to me.

  • I have to say, while I think all 4 would be awesome, if the Red Viper is only going for a 1 season appearance (possibly 2, depends how they adapt the books), I would definitely think about going for a well known, big-name actor.

    Siddig and Oded are well known, but right now I think Mark Strong would be the biggest name I would suggest. Only problem is, the bastard is so busy!

    Red Viper should be the Sean Bean of Season 4/5.

  • Either Oded Fehr or Cliff Simon for me. Naveen Andrews just doesn’t have the right look and Siddig is a great actor but too weedy. (Unless maybe he’s willing to bulk up for the role?)

  • Janine: I pictured James Callis in the role, he has a similar look to Siddig, in fact he’s often mistaken for him, and I think he’d be great.

    Not a bad idea at all ..

  • Gonfaloniere: He played a warrior in “Kingdom of Heaven” (and in my head, the wonderful actor who played Salah-ud-din has always been Doran Martell) – and I think he looks EXACTLY like Oberyn in this picture.And here he is in a still from “Syriana”, again, looking very much the part from the descriptions of Dorne.

    Indeed Siddig , or Andrews could Own the role of Red Viper, and looks, in this
    case, plays a significant part, but not the essential catalyst. The RV is enigmatic
    and bold in presence. He is audacious and a cunning swordsman. Both these
    actors satisfy these elements. HBO does offer some star vehicle, so I hope
    their agents are considering , if both aren’t committed to other film projects.

    Initially I had wished only for a longer role on GoT tv, but I’ll be willing to
    be content with short impact like that of Sean Bean’s Ned.

    This tidbit is just an aside; Alexander Siddig lineage dates backs to Sudanese
    royalty or high ranking family .

  • I’m actually kind of worried for what they do with the Viper.

    So far they seem to have really toned down the charisma of some of the playful characters and made them more serious (renly, mance etc) and I’m a bit scared they will do it to Oberyn as well :/

  • Gem,

    Oh for goodness sake – are you serious? Our is this an outline of your essay for univercity? FIX, PROBLEM, WE WANT, EUROCENTRIC…
    this must be most prententious and obnoxious post I have read on this site.

  • When I read it, I had a more Middle-Eastern vibe (Omar Sharif in Lawrence of Arabia was a persistent image!)

    Having said that, I can only think of Latin actors who might fit Oberyn.

    Edgar Ramirez – Zero Dark Thirty, Carlos the Jackal, Bourne Ultimatum

    Oscar Isaac – Bourne Legacy, Drive

    But Ramirez would be my first choice.

  • I don’t understand why some people keep on suggesting American actors in these fan cast discussions? 90% of the GoT cast is British. Apart from a few notable exceptions there are very few American actors in the show.

  • Here’s a list of the actor’s agents and their contact info, in case someone wants to suggest the role to them. It has worked before (Hivju and Christie), so don’t hesitate. Couldn’t find any contact info for Oded Fehr:

    Naveen Andrews[email protected]

    Alexander Siddig[email protected]

    Cliff Simon – [email protected], or Twitter where you’re almost guaranteed to get an answer.

  • Cliff Simon is white, so he probably isn’t appropriate to play Oberyn. I love a lot of the fancasts I’ve seen for this role, so I’m not invested in any one actor. Amr Waked is probably closest the visual I had in mind when reading the books.

  • I like Oded out of what’s been listed above…but what does everybody think about Irrfan Khan?

  • I would be intrigued by the idea of some of the more famous Bollywood actors like Shah Rukh Khan or Hrithik Roshan, but I’m not sure how they are about acting in more Western productions…..

    Oded Fehr and Cliff Simon are the two that always come into my mind as I read the role, butI do not have strong feelings about them in the role honestly. Fehr more so as I have never been impressed by his acting, but Simon I am inrigued by sicne he is VERY athletic and may bring something other actors cannot to the role…

    Navid Negahban is one of my picks and I think he has such a great look for the role… although I always come back to wanting Amr Waked as the Red Viper. HE has that look and can act as well. I’ve seen him be the explosively threatening terrorist, to the welcoming and warm Sheik…

    One actor I’ve been considering lately is Khaled Nabawy although he may be a little young. The book Oberyn is 48 and GoT usually ages up the roles 5 years or more…..

  • Beardy,

    He would be great!
    I hadn’t thought of him until I saw he was cast in the US remake of The Bridge… The two other “Spanish” actors I see in the role are Jordi Molla that someone above mentioned and Olivier Martinez. I think Martinez really has the look and vibe…can certainly act as well, but I always go back to more Middle Eastern actrs in the end…..

  • Forgot to mention one actor I can see in the role…. in 4 or 6 years….. Razza Jaffrey!

    I think he may be a few years too young, but I like what I have seen of his projects and he has a very Red Viper look as I see him……

  • testure,

    I’d love to see Oscar Isaac as Red Viper (or any other cool role, really), I think he’s amazing. That said, I believe he’s way too big now to do TV.

  • I am not very impressed with this options.

    Fehr is too young looking. Oberyn is father of Obara who is close to her 30.
    Siddig is too soft.
    Andrews casting would create lot of problems for casting another dornish characters.
    Simon could teoretically work based on his look and age, but i never seen that actor so i have no idea how good he would be for that role.

    I certainly hope show will choose white spanish looking actors for ruling family of Dorne. That would be best garantee to get good actors and good writing for dornish characters. Sound bit rasistic, but it is not. It just experience with poor writing for non white characters, which is very typical for Hollywood products created by typically white writters. Non white characters often end up very shallow and cliched.

  • Of the four I like Oded but I’m sure whoever gets the part will do a good job the show seems to have a good track record picking the actors that can do good jobs even if they are unknowns

  • All of the various Dorne:real country analogies are helpful, but let’s not get lost in them. GRRM took bits and pieces from real cultures, for sure, but he made something original and we should expect the show to take some small steps to buffer Dorne and the Dornish from any direct comparisons. (Think of how accusations of the show being racist with the Dothraki never really took off because, to paraphrase Poniewozik, no one was sure if it was possible to be racist against a race that doesn’t exist.)

    I expect that the Dornish will be cast from a relatively broad palette, even the Martells. They’ll still be darker–no way the production misses a legit chance to diversify–but that still leaves a ton to choose from. Oberyn and Doran could be Israeli and Mexican actors who look a bit a like while Arianne is a Persian bombshell who looks nothing like Doran.

    Right. We were just talking about Oberyn. I always pictured his fight with the Mountain to be a lot like Astaroth vs. Maxi (some will be tempted to say Kilik, for the staff, but he still engaged and hit hard; Maxi was all about quick strikes and moving in and out of distance), so I mostly see Oberyn as a very lithe and skinny guy who fights with a dancer’s footwork. Which makes sense, as he probably does dance his way into pants more than he fights.

    I also got the impression that Oberyn wasn’t particularly handsome or tough looking, and that it was strictly his force of personality that made him sexy and dangerous. Sadly, to me this rules out Fehr for actually looking like a hot badass and Siddig because I can’t imagine him being lusty enough. Andrews could be great (I can especially see him getting himself killed by losing control of his anger and grief), but the more I think about Simon, the more I see it.

    Also, Oberyn is a perfect one-season role with mostly indoor scenes (and one big exception that would be scheduled around Oberyn’s actor and Conan Stevens!?), so I can easily see a big name or someone with another commitment making it work.

  • I’d go for mark strong as he’s played a middle eastern man a few times, and I’d imagine siddig as doran

  • Having not read far enough to be introduced to this character, I don’t really know what his material is or how talented an actor you’re looking for. That said, do you think one of the actors who played the Knights of Camelot in the BBC Series, Merlin, would do? Maybe Eoin Macken(he played Gwaine)?

  • Siddig is too effete to play the Red Viper. Oberyn is a great role for a really high profile casting. Similar to Ned, he’s got an important but short arc so the production could feasibly go for a starry name without committing too much money in the long term.

    James Purefoy or Idris Elba would be excellent in the role.

    Out of the four listed, Naveen Andrews would be my choice.

  • markus: I’m actually kind of worried for what they do with the Viper.

    So far they seem to have really toned down the charisma of some of the playful characters and made them more serious (renly, mance etc) and I’m a bit scared they will do it to Oberyn as well :/

    U haven’t even seen Mance in action yet

  • Hawk:
    I think Vincent Cassell would be the most awesome choice ever

    Wow. Yeah. This is correct. And the fact that his wife could play Ellaria is…titillating.

  • Always pictured Dorne as Egyptian influenced myself. So Oded Fehr from the mummy has always been the picture in my head of The Red Viper.

  • I have not read all the posts on this thread much less the whole of the forum so be gentle in your responses please. I personally have always seen the people of dorne to be more like Latino then someone from the Middle East. I had in visioned the folks from Qarth or bravos to be more middle eastern. Anyone else have that vision in their heads or am I the only one?? Thanks for the great forum by the way, I read something here everyday but post very little.

  • I’ve cast the Dornish in my mind… Arienne – Aiysha Hart. Oberyn – Siddig, obviously. Tyene – Antonia Thomas. Nymeria – Janina Gavankar.

  • Having seen what Naveen Andrews was capable of in LOST, I have to say that he would be perfect for this role. In fact, ever since this series began I have been hoping that he would be cast in it for this part. Not only is he an extremely talented actor in general, but the character of Sayid reminded me of the Red Viper in many ways. Make it happen!

  • Darquemode:
    Navid Negahban is one of my picks and I think he has such a great look for the role… although I always come back to wanting Amr Waked as the Red Viper. HE has that look and can act as well.I’ve seen him be the explosively threatening terrorist, to the welcoming and warm Sheik…

    Negahban will always be Abu Nazir to me; I could never think of him as Oberyn.

    Amr Waked certainly has the right look. I’m not familiar with him, however.

    The actor that is chosen for Oberyn has to be physically capable – not necessarily big – but athletic and agile. He also has to convey a level of confidence that borders on arrogance. He also needs to be able to deliver that sharp-tongued banter convincingly.

  • Johnny3toes,

    I don’t think there is a “right” or “wrong” opinion here honestly… We all imagine made up worlds and regions as we want.

    When I read the books I saw Dorne as Egyptian or North African and Slaver’s Bay and the Free Cities as Middle Eastern bizarres with Arab, Indian and Persian influences.

    Then when Miltos was cast as Syrio Forel I shifted to looking at Braavos and the Free Cities as more French/ Italian/ Spanish Mediterranean with Dorne being the more Southern Mediterranean countries or maybe still Middle Eastern.

    Like others have said on here, so many cultures have similar traits that Spanish and Italian actors can look like relatives of moe Middle Eastern actors… I’m no sure we have to limit it to one region or ethnicity I guess.

    Personally I tend to think of more Indian or Middle Eatern actors since I am more familiar with them than Spanish actors, but I have no doubt casting Spanish or Italian could be effective too. So much of the Dornish look will come down to how the sets and wardrobes are designed honesty…. No matter who wears the clothes (even if “white” actors are cast).

  • Ours is the Fury:
    Cliff Simon is white, so he probably isn’t appropriate to play Oberyn. I love a lot of the fancasts I’ve seen for this role, so I’m not invested in any one actor.Amr Waked is probably closest the visual I had in mind when reading the books.

    Ours is the Fury,

    Amr Waked, the “Blue-eyed Egyptian” is great, but a little on the short side – about 5’9″ I think. And I’ve never seen him in a sword fighting scene. Remember in “Syriana” he had some Stinger missiles and a willing participant to do “the deed”. Still, he has one of the greatest faces ever. I also like Mido Hamada, an Egyptian-born German actor. He was in “Homeland” last season, but his character was killed off, so maybe there’s a chance. He has a great physique and looks like he can fight.
    Here is a photo (I hope) – the Preview function is missing on this one –
    http://www.vidiot.com-TerraNova-images-TerraNova-Hamada-2011-01.png

  • mariamb18,

    That’s how I see him too, more arogant and seductive.. maybe hedonistic is the word, but then capable of bursts of rage and agression that can change them from enticing to dangerous in an instant.

    Plus, they should be closer to 50-years old than 40…. Over 50 if HBO ages up Obara who is 30 in the books. If they are under 50 they need to have a more weathered or worn look to them that allows them to play older IMO.

  • Hawk,

    Amen on Siddig = Doran. He has a very quietly intense, intelligent presence as an actor, and would fit right at home in the water gardens. Of the four listed, I would love to see Naveen Andrews get the work, although I agree he doesn’t quite look the part. I love the suggestion of Amr Waked, too. It’ll all depend on where Nina Gold wants to spend the casting salary cap and what color range they settle on for with the Dornish.

  • Tereeza777,

    I really like Mido a lot, but was thinking he may be too big and look too young to play someone who has a 30-yearold daughter… On Terra Nova he looked to be about 30-years old himself! XD

    I know he is cast in the upcoming series ‘Red Widow’ too, but I’m not sre that would interfere with anything since everything I have heard makes me think it will be cancelled this year…..

  • Darquemode:
    mariamb18,

    That’s how I see him too, more arogant and seductive.. maybe hedonistic is the word, but then capable of bursts of rage and agression that can change them from enticing to dangerous in an instant.

    Plus, they should be closer to 50-years old than 40…. Over 50 if HBO ages up Obara who is 30 in the books. If they are under 50 they need to have a more weathered or worn look to them that allows them to play older IMO.

    “Hedonistic” is a great word to describe Oberyn. Agree that he needs to be closer to 50 than 40.

    The actor must be charismatic. Oberyn isn’t around for long but he leaves an impression.

  • I’d be happy with the first three. I always pictured Oded Fehr while reading. Frankly, I’m surprised at how many people are ripping his acting. The guy is charismatic and physical. That is what you need for Oberyn. The Red Viper isn’t some deep and tortured soul. Fehr would be brilliant as the Viper. I don’t know of Amr Waked’s work, but he definately looks the part too. Itrust that Nina Gold will find the right guy for the job, and I’m confident they won’t pass up the opportunity to add some diversity to Westeros.

  • Hassan Madkour,

    I haven’t read ASOS i na while, but I cannot recall him being described as small. I can remember Tyrion describing his face when e meets him, but nothing about his stature… Could you point out the chapter or line?

  • I think Nestor Carbonell would be a decent Oberyn. I think he has the look for it, going for a Spanish/Mediterranean look. He has has also worked in big television shows (Lost) as well as Hollywood films (The Dark Knight). Also, with his ridiculously dark eyes, they would save some money on eye liner. What do you think?
    http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1466875648/nm0004801

  • A woman would like to see somebody with more of an “action” orientation as the Red Viper, as he is, first and foremost, a warrior. Also a lover of women, so he should be deadly handsome. As in “I’d shed my clothes right now for this guy” handsome, and that is hard to tell with just a few thumbnail pictures of some that this woman is not familiar with above. Handsome warrior types are plentiful though, so Nina and co. will have an embarrassment of riches to choose from and we should trust their judgement by now. Still, favorites that this woman has mentioned before in similar threads about the Red Viper: Chow Yun Fat, Donnie Yen, Cas Anvar, Mark Dacascos, Mark Strong (was great fighting in the Bourne series if memory serves) and some of the above might be fine too (don’t care for Naveen Andrews as the RV though). For a spear fighter, Donnie Yen and Chow Yun Fat are probably much better than many others that have been mentioned since they’ve been there and done that multiple times through many films and television episodes. This woman has been surprised that more experienced fighting types haven’t been mentioned. If South Americans and Middle Easterns are considered, why not Asians too?

  • Antonio Banderas as Oberyn and Danny Trejo as Doran. My growing up in the 90’s action movie junky self wants this to happen. Make it happen HBO.

  • Hassan Madkour:
    Tereeza777,

    Oberyn is described as small in stature

    And audacious bold in presence too. I hope that, for whomever is chosen, that
    wimpy-ness is ruled out. So far the chat here extends to physical appearance
    , mainly. I do realise however, that more has been discussed about Oberyn in
    previous months with admirable thoroughness ( by Fury, Darquemode, and
    many many others before today ). *>*

  • lady_d,

    He definitely has the appeal but I doubt he’ll join the crew…….. actually
    Strong could fulfill a number of roles because he’s such a chameleon.
    Did he star in ” Syriana ” , alongside Siddig and Clooney ?

  • Naveen is too young. Oberyn is probably around 50. Remember, he and Elia visited Tyrion in his crib when Elia was around 16-19.

  • The Anchoress:
    Hawk,

    Amen on Siddig = Doran. He has a very quietly intense, intelligent presence as an actor, and would fit right at home in the water gardens. Of the four listed, I would love to see Naveen Andrews get the work, although I agree he doesn’t quite look the part. I love the suggestion of Amr Waked, too. It’ll all depend on where Nina Gold wants to spend the casting salary cap and what color range they settle on for with the Dornish.

    I could get behind this idea too, for Doran’s role, especially.

  • … But I would still prefer someone more more ethnic looking (preferable arab or middle eastern) in the role.

  • lady_d,

    I never would have considered Mark Strong for Oberyn before this thread,. Even though he’s half-Italian I never think of him as such or being able to play Middle Eastern honestly.

    Seeing that he has been cast in Middle Eastern roles before….. and of course has Nina Gold ties…. Yeah the idea is growing on me.

  • Lars: I’m so used to seeing Mark Strong as bald beardless bad guy… But this picture above has changed my mind. He could really work!

    In ” Body of Lies “, the first film I’d noticed him in, he wore a wig or had hair.
    I was shocked to see him bald in another production . His voice alone menaces,
    he scares the s**t out of me, hate to anger his movie personas. :D

  • Eric:
    Antonio Banderas as Oberyn and Danny Trejo as Doran.My growing up in the 90′s action movie junky self wants this to happen.Make it happen HBO.

    Vengeance. Justice. Fuego y sangre!

  • Simon Merrells(Crassus on Spartacus) is the perfect choice for Oberyn Martell. Age, Body type, fighting…perfect choice

  • People seem to once again be making a big deal out of ethnicity. I still am for getting the best candidate who represent a true spirit of the character in the books. We still have many characters who took a drastic changes from the books (of which some are good to bad), but instead of focusing on skin color or spouting some PC agenda why not focus on what made the Red Viper? For me the criteria is as follow:

    1. Has to be young enough to do some heavy athletic scene, ASOIAF does not have a great number of duels but the RV is involved in perhaps the most critical one of the series. Getting an older actor with gravitas could work for a dramatic role, but let’s be serious we aren’t casting Doran here. It’s all about a hot blooded warrior (think Pitt or Bana in Troy level action in terms of physicality).

    2. Has to have a strong aristocratic features making him more memorable. Sharp angular faces, high cheekbones would go nice with a widow’s peak.

    3. Must have SWAG. If there was a top 10 “coolest” character in GoT, the RV would fall in the top 3. Not because he’s the prettiest, or cleverest but because the man oozes confidence like nobody else.

    4. Since it’s an epic role for a short commitment, it’s not unreasonable to dream movie star quality instead of settling for the usual suspects. Considering the buzz we know S3 will generate with the masses, agents might be more receptive selling the movie star that a short stint on S4 might not be such a bad idea. So instead of focusing on all actors of “X country by Y skin colour” think bigger.

  • You have a bunch of middle easterners on this list but I always picture the Dornish like Italians. Dorne is to Westeros what Italy would be to Western Europe.

  • I’m for Oded or Naveen…..But i cant help but think some lucky unknown actor will do justice just as well.

    I’m just as concerned with the casting of the entire Martell house and the potential ‘whitewashing’ as the rest of you guys. I hope they take notice to all the comments made here and all over the internet for that matter so that they don’t end up like the atrocity that was ‘the last airbender’.

  • Between those, i would pick up Naveen Andrews.

    I’m Italian and i want to propose two italian actor:
    Pierfrancesco Favino – (“Narnia: Prince Caspian” and “Angels & Demons” ) Best Choice
    Sergio Castellitto – (“Narnia: Prince Caspian”)

  • I began pushing Simon for the Red Viper a few years ago (I believe I was the first person at Westeros to have brought his name up), and many of my fellow Stargate fans gave a lot of support to the idea.

    To be honest, the idea for him came not simply from his physical appearance, but from the way I saw Lord Ba’al’s mannerisms being much like I imagined Oberyn Martell’s would be onscreen.

    (Of course, the first book-to-screen role I imagined him for is that of Demandred in a theoretical Wheel of Time series).

  • Amr Waked is a great suggestion! Looks the part and is a fantastic actor.
    His height is somewhere around 5″8 too, it would look perfect next to a 7″1 Gregor.

  • Paweł Ausir Dembowski,

    Ruiz is just about PERFECT as far as how I pictured Oberyn in the books…. maybe a little tall since he is 6-4. He can convey power and swag, is believable as a man who has slept his way through the reamls, icapable of physicality, and he can act of course too!

    I htink his role on Grimm might keep him too busy ing Thrones film season though. Maybe not….

  • Is there any confirmation yet that Oberyn will NOT be appearing in season three? Is it possible they’re just holding back the casting announcement?

  • Either Jeremy Irons or Oded Fehr please. Naveen is gentle and reserved, and Siddig is not physical enough.

    Edit: Btw if anyone wants to see a tv show where Fehr was menacing and just awesome, check out the Showtime series Sleeper Cell. It’s on netflix. He was the main villain and damn he was good.

  • imlad,

    And the athleticism seeing as he was a near-Olympic quality swimmer, gymnast, and has performed all over the world as an acrobat.

  • Darquemode:
    WildSeed,

    That’s why I kind of liked him as Euron Greyjoy myself.
    Can totally see him as Crow’s Eye as far as his persona goes and he really looks the role in this pic too.
    http://www.shawmovies.sg/theeagle_stills/highres/4049_d041_24455_JPEG.jpg

    A few actors (Arben Bajraktaraj being the main one) I like as Euron more than him, but I think he’d be a strong Euron….. Oberyn?Not how I pictured him, but he may do just fine in the end!

    Yes, Strong is such a chameleon , I’d consider him in any role. Needless to say,
    he brings such a presence that the audience graciously accepts him. He can be
    soft spoken or menacing, shrewd and intelligent. Your photo submitted ,may
    hold the key to casting our often contemptuous character, Euron Greyjoy. It could
    mean a larger role in later seasons. I won’t get my hopes up for his accepting the
    assignment though….. on the other hand, ” Green Lantern ” and ” John Carter “….

  • Alexander Siddig is the man! Besides the Martels are not that cool, except the Sand Snakes and Arianne. Prince Quentyn is a complete tool and has, at least to me one of the funniest deaths in ASOIF!!!! LOL…dragon tamer my ass!

  • Oded Fehr seems the best, he is a young actor that fits the physical description enough to seem a Martell and his looks just seems like the Red Viper.

  • Personally, I always pictured Mark Strong as Sansa.

    What? You goofballs already put him in every OTHER role …

  • Skin tone aside, Cliff Simon has the face I pictured when I read that part of the story. The closest of these four actors anyway.
    I enjoy Naveen but I am not feeling it, even though he played a convincing warrior-type on Lost. Fehr I can envision but only with a wig of long hair. I don’t know anything about Siddig but from that picture alone it’s hard for me to imagine him being the kind of man to father bastards on different women. I’m not seeing that attractive and ‘dangerous’ look.

  • Eric Bana for Oberyn Martell. He’s swarthy enough to satisfy the PC people and the Purists, he’s a good actor that will make the “you raped her!” hysterics that much awesome and he’s not too huge a star not to be considered for guest star status. He can also pull off the right age.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    Michael K,
    I love SG-1 and no offense that show had serviceable to mediocre acting. It wasn’t the kind of show to flick on if you wanted thespian drama. Simon was awesome though.

    Just the kind of show you “flick on”??? I say again it ran for 10 seasons, longer then any science fiction show in US history and the 2nd longest running science fiction show of all time. The only show that has been on air longer is Dr. Who and show changes it’s actors every few years.

    A show you watch because you have nothing better to do does not stay on the air for 10 seasons. The main reason it got cut was because the main actors didn’t want to do it full time any more. Had they stayed it would probably still been on the air.

  • Michael K,

    Simpsons is in it’s twenty-sometieth season. Your point?

    As I said I love the show but there’s a point when longevity doesn’t exactly equal quality.

    Compared against The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Deadwood, the Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica? I would place Stargate SG-1 with entertainments like Person of Interest, Heroes, Supernatural, Enterprise etc

  • How about Khaled Abol Naga? I like this scene of him in the movie Civic Duty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o0SnF4WvbY He has the Red Viper written all over his face! I can just picture him shouting at

    The Mountin That Rides

    at the top of his lungs! And he is a witty lady’s man just like Oberyn Martell…

  • I like the idea of Antonio Banderas as the Red Viper. Big name, sexy accent. And he could really chew up the scenery. Just imagine him with Tyrion. …or making his speech as he darts around The Mountain.
    On the list, I’d go with Naveen Andrews. I’ve groaned over complaints about their not being enough actors or characters “of color” in GOT. Most of them sound pretty silly since there were very few of them in medieval England after which ASOIAF is modeled. Here, however is a chance to diversity up the show without something that looks like craven tokenism.
    Meanwhile, I’m delighted to see Cliff Simon.
    Not that I imagine him as Oberyn Martell. Actually, he is PRECISELY the actor I imagined to play Bronn!
    Ah well.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I so agree with you. Yes, there seem to be a few people posting who are unfamiliar with Oded Fehr’s work. Oded is much more than his roles in the Mummy and Deuce Bigalow. He has done a variety of work and tends to chose roles that allow him to play vastly different characters. He has incredible range and can absolutely take a character from gentle and tender to brutal and raging … the perfect quality (I think) for Oberyn. I’ve always pictured him as Oberyn – and always pictured Oberyn as having a middle-eastern look. Oded is tall, slender but strong and is drop dead gorgeous and has an intriguing mystical quality – perfect for the warrior Red Viper! Alexander Siddig would be great as Doran.

  • The Bear: Drfunk

    Lol what other words are there? Exhibiting over confidence? Cocky? Arrogant? I just hope they don’t mess with one of the most exciting character in the series and get some 2nd rate actor based on skin tone.

  • Eh, as much as Andrews is Indian in real life, he played a middle-easterner on LOST, no reason he can’t play a Moorish-like character…the most important thing is the acting ability.

  • bojangles:
    Either Jeremy Irons or Oded Fehr please.Naveen is gentle and reserved, and Siddig is not physical enough.

    Edit:Btw if anyone wants to see a tv show where Fehr was menacing and just awesome, check out the Showtime series Sleeper Cell.It’s on netflix.He was the main villain and damn he was good.

    Jeremy Irons? Really? Too old, and frankly way to likely to mail in a performance. See: The Borgias, where he frankly is sleepwalking through it.

  • This is just one short scene to help make the case for Cliff Simon. He’s exchanges with O’Neill are some of the best moments I’ve ever witnessed in television. Richard Dean Anderson has a very under appreciated sense of comedic timing and he is at his best with Cliff Simon.

    http://youtu.be/qAuxWHIM5HI

  • Joshua Taylor:
    Eric Bana for Oberyn Martell. He’s swarthy enough to satisfy the PC people and the Purists, he’s a good actor that will make the “you raped her!” hysterics that much awesome and he’s not too huge a star not to be considered for guest star status. He can also pull off the right age.

    A woman likes this idea, if he’s not too busy…he was awesome in “Troy”!!!!!

  • If we are talking about a big name star, like a Sean Bean, for the Red Viper…why not Eric Bana? He’s got the ethnic look, is very athletic, and can really act. I can see him taunting the ladies and the Mountain alike.

  • From the beginning, Antonio Banderas has always been my Red Viper.

    Right look, passable for the right age, right stature, good looking enough without being “pretty,” graceful in action yet looks rugged enough he can whoop some ass.

    I think he was born for this role.

  • Any of these would work for me, except for Naveen Andrews. He’s a great actor and I loved his acting in LOST, but I don’t think this role is for him. He looks more like a Ghiscari to me than a Dornishman. Among these options Cliff Simon is my favorite one, but I think I’d prefer if they cast a talented unknown actor.

  • Arstan Whitebeard,

    I don’t think Banderas would object to doing an HBO series, and it would only be a single season role that would require maybe a month of filming. But the big question would be what type of salary he would require. I just don’t see the show wanting to allocate that type of money to one role. The cast is simply too big. It’s nice to think about, though. He would certainly bring even more publicity to the show.

  • If we’re going to get Banderas, let’s be really unrealistic: Javier fucking Bardem.

    You all know that would rule.

  • Alexander Siddig has always been my head canon for The Red Viper, though Oded Fehr would also be a good choice. Additionally, Cliff Curtis could pull off The Red Viper too. Also, Shaun Toub should totally play Doran.

  • Gatorfisch,
    Joshua Taylor,

    Eric Bana, yes! Since Oberyn is Ned-like (a big role in one season), he has the relatively big name that Sean Bean has. And he is awesome! has the talent, the phisicality, and the sex-appeal that Oberyn is supposed to have.

    Nice choice!

  • Janine:
    I pictured James Callis in the role, he has a similar look to Siddig, in fact he’s often mistaken for him, and I think he’d be great.

    Amen, sister. Baltar could totally pull it off. Forget about that hulking doofus Oded Fehr.

  • Those who doubt Oded Fehr’s acting ability should watch him in some of his more complex roles, with more screen time, such as he has had this past season on Covert Affairs. That said, CA may have him booked up, and those two shows film at around the same time of year.

  • Thethoughtful1:
    How about Khaled Abol Naga? I like this scene of him in the movie Civic Duty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3o0SnF4WvbY He has the Red Viper written all over his face! I can just picture him shouting at at the top of his lungs! And he is a witty lady’s man just like Oberyn Martell…

    Thethoughtful1,

    This actor would be great as the Viper. Seems like he’s acted mostly in Egypt where he’s a total heart-throb. No kidding! Tall, dark, handsome, beautiful voice, and his Show Reel shows some very good acting. Great choice! Fingers crossed for Khaled, Amr Waked or Eric Bana.

  • Naveen is really close to my mental image of Oberyn. The Red Viper is one of my favorite characters in the series, so I just hope that whoever gets the part does it justice.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    HELL YES!! He was the exact guy I had in my mind for the roll of the Red Viper. He is a bit tall for the purest but his height is a minor liberty the producers can get away with. I was trying to find his name when I made my first post for the suggestion but never found it. Javier Bardem
    has the acting chops to pull the role off for sure. I had even thought that a fit and trim Jeffrey Dean Morgan would fit the roll good too but Bardem is better.

  • A Spanish actor. It will be a 2-3 months only role, so any star (Banderas, Bardem, Javier Coronado or Luis Tosar with a wig) could fit the role.

  • Matt,

    You think the Red Viper should be the Sean Bean of a season? You mean the sole marketing face of a season? The lead? The Red Viper’s importance to the overall story is rather minimal and while I would love to see the battle played out on screen, it would not be too much of a loss to lesson this already tertiary character or alter it somehow.

    Honestly, I think the Martells are another family GRRM threw into ASOIAF to extend the story further to publish more books. He may sell you on some importance but the core of the story will not be decided in Dorne.

  • I wouldn’t waste any of these excellent actors on a throw-away character, unless they re-write the outcome of his fight.

  • Why would they even consider casting anyone other than Silas Carson? He would be absolutely PERFECT, and unlike Oded Fehr, he can actually act.

  • Jaime Saltcliffe,

    So you read A Dream of Spring eh? Tell us why should we change our own opinions because of your feelings for the Dorne storyline? Do you expect us to?

    Out of angry vicious spite I hope they cast a good name for a memorable, albeit short lived character.

    Sidebar: it’s hilarious how these discussions turn personal and nasty. Blame it on the power of ASOIAF fandom I guess.

  • I know he’s american but an outside the box choice to me would be Bobby Cannavale. “Everybody got a sword!”

  • Oded Fehr looks more like he belongs on the cover of a cheesey romance novel than in Westeros. I’ve seen nearly every movie he’s made, and just can’t see how anyone thinks he’s more than a merely competent actor.

  • Having watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when I read the books a few years later, Alexander Siddig el Fadil was the face I put to Oberyn Martell. I still think he’d do a fine job. That being said: the casting team’s been brilliant so far, so no doubt they’ll find someone who can play sleazy-sexy, temperamental yet intelligent, dear little Oberyn. Ah, and intense. Almost forgot that one. Oberyn’s anything if not intense. I’m happy if they find someone who can put that into the role convincingly.

    I’m also thinking ‘If, Gods forbid, they do foo one thing up…I can suffer one bad ish fighting scene even if said fighting scene is the epic conclusion to nearly two decades of seeking revenge that’s being mangled. I cannot suffer bad acting throughout a season.’ Not when it’s Oberyn, anyways.

  • Quowala:
    KG,

    Mads Mikkelsen as Arya.
    James Purefoy as three different whores in Littlefinger’s brothel.

    I think we’re onto something! Elizabethen “no girls” version of GoT!
    … I wonder if we can get Shaquille O’Neal to play Brienne?

  • These picks are all wrong.

    Oded Fehr looks like he belongs in the sequel to Zoolander. I just can’t take his serious face seriously.

    Naveen Andrews only brings diversity to the table and an unwanted reminder of Lost.

    Alexander Siddig is too bourgeois looking.

    Phil Simon looks like he could be an awesome Red Viper in that picture. But like the blurb says, he’s not available.

    I’m shocked James Purefoy is not here, as he was always a fan favorite until the prank he pulled during the interview (which was taken indignantly by the short fused GoT fans). Obviously he’s going to be the Red Viper. None of the candy arse acteurs above got a thing on the Viper.

  • Esteban:
    Since i first read the book, I imagine Mark Strong as the Red Viper… I know that he may not fit the character description but, what do you think?

    If only! Mark Strong is one of my favourite actors, but he is too different from what Oberyn is described in the books… He would have been the perfect Stannis, though (not to say Stephen Dillane is a bad choice, but Mark Strong was perfect).

    Having said that, I don’t really like any of the options. After I knew they had tried to get Dominic West in the show, I can only imagine him as Oberyn Martell, even though he doesn’t look like the character at all.

    I’m sure the one actor they end up choosing will be great.

    edit: scratch that. After seeing lady_d’s pictures of Mark Strong I definitely think he should play Oberyn. Dude, that would make me love this tv series forever!

  • Drfunk:
    People seem to once again be making a big deal out of ethnicity. I still am for getting the best candidate who represent a true spirit of the character in the books. We still have many characters who took a drastic changes from the books (of which some are good to bad), but instead of focusing on skin color or spouting some PC agenda why not focus on what made the Red Viper?

    The point people have been making is that the show already bordering on white-washed… And it’s not the only HBO show to be seen as such. I want the cast members representing Dorne to widen the diversity of the show, to make widen its scope.

    Of course the best actors should be cast, but there are plenty of good actors of many backgrounds and ethnicity, if they care enough to look. And they don’t have to look far – there is a LOT of diverse england-based actors.

    And this has nothing to do with being PC – certainly not for me. It has everything to do with widening the scope of the on-screen world of Westeros/Essos.

  • Elizabeth,

    He would indeed be a great ft, wow!!
    I have seen some of his projects but I really was not aware of him as an actor……
    He is definitely in my top 5 list for the Red Viper now though.

  • Jaime Saltcliffe,

    The Martells were always huge players in the politics of Westeros before Robert’s Rebellion. They also have some of the most interesting culture and history of any of the houses, IMO. Not to mention they have more reason to wage war against the throne than anyone else in the kingdoms. Frankly, I was relieved when they finally were brought to the forefront in the last couple books and can’t wait to see how their story plays out.

  • Laura,

    Grimm is on one of those long hiatus breaks right now and will return March 8.
    As fara s I know it has not been cancelled.

    Last year it was one of NBC’s few “success” stories….
    NBC has been hit and miss this year with Revolution being a “hit”and Do No Harm being cancelled after 2 episodes. If their upcoming series Hannibal and Crossbones do well I would think Grimm could be in serious danger of cancellation again, but if Hannibal or Crossbones is cancelled Grimm might suvive another year….

  • Lars,

    It’s like people make no effort to use their grey matter. Anytime you don’t want a show to be 98% white people you’re PC. Instead of just, you know, having the capacity to read and understand textual descriptions, of looking at the world we inhabit and noticing the skin color of people who live in the hottest regions of the world is often markedly darker than those in the coldest regions, and of using that data to think broadly about what gives the impression of a vast world populated by many different peoples, not all of whom look alike.

    No, it couldn’t be any of that. It’s all a need to be PC.

  • I always figured the Dornish to be Latino, with their rainbow of skin tones and love of spicy food.

  • Critical Geek:
    I always figured the Dornish to be Latino, with their rainbow of skin tones and love of spicy food.

    You know Latino is not just another word for Mexican, right? Even the French could be called Latino. But I know what you mean. I also picture the Dornish as Meso-American/Andalusian-Spanish.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    If we’re going to get Banderas, let’s be really unrealistic: Javier fucking Bardem.

    You all know that would rule.

    A completely badasss Spaniard along these lines would be a memorable way to take the character and Dorne as a whole, and I could easily get on board with it.

    So long as the character oozes the required charisma, all else is relatively unimportant, TBH. The Viper needs to be electric. Handsome, average, doesn’t matter as long as he has magnetism. And a Latin Dorne feels as plausible as an Arabic/Indian one. I’m looking forward to this casting announcement more than any other for the next season, I think, just so that I can begin to get an idea of what they envision for Dorne.

    In contrast to a number of opinions here, I don’t feel at all that Martin was just looking to pad the books when writing them. In fact I can quite easily see them ultimately standing victorious especially going from that latest leaked Arianne chapter, where an Aegon/Dany/Dorne alliance seems like the most obvious thing

  • Moderators, I have a request:

    That button atop the page to reveal or hide all the spoiler bars…it’s actually counter-productive (at least in my case) when I forget I’ve clicked it, and my spoiler markings aren’t visible. Freaks me out.

    I’d like to request that upon choosing to reveal all the spoilers, all text previously hidden behind black bars is simply bolded, as I seem to remember used to happen on the mobile site.

  • Zack, hmmm… I like the idea of marking the spoilers in some way, so those who’ve revealed all can still be sure they’ve correctly hidden their spoilers. I’m not sure the best way to do it though. I think making them bold would just confuse people, as they would not have intended to make their spoilers bold and they may edit their comment and unbold them, effectively removing the spoilers.

    As a note, you can still see the spoilers when you preview your comment, even if you’ve clicked the reveal spoiler button. For now, you can use that to make sure you’ve hidden your spoilers properly. I will see if I can come up with an elegant way of making it obvious your spoilers are hidden, without actually hiding them.

  • Winter Is Coming,

    Mm, I get your point. Ah, running a website. All the different considerations that must be made. You’ve all done a great job, I don’t envy the task.

    And I appreciate the advice, thanks!

  • Winter Is Coming:
    Zack, hmmm… I like the idea of marking the spoilers in some way, so those who’ve revealed all can still be sure they’ve correctly hidden their spoilers. I’m not sure the best way to do it though. I think making them bold would just confuse people, as they would not have intended to make their spoilers bold and they may edit their comment and unbold them, effectively removing the spoilers.

    As a note, you can still see the spoilers when you preview your comment, even if you’ve clicked the reveal spoiler button. For now, you can use that to make sure you’ve hidden your spoilers properly. I will see if I can come up with an elegant way of making it obvious your spoilers are hidden, without actually hiding them.

    I think you could mark the spoilers as white letters over a black background. It would look similar to the hidden spoiler mark.

  • OBERYN MARTELL———David Spade
    DORAN MARTELLE———Rob Schneider
    QUENTYN MARTELLE—–Adam Sandler

    OK…close your eyes and imagine it. David Spade in light armor moving lithley with a large spear screaming, “You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children”. Rob Schneider with large red pathetically swollen joints being wheeled around the water gardens. Adam Sandler finally bumbling into the dragon’s lair and stealing a dragon….what…..NOOOOOOO…..roasted alive!

    You know you want to see it…When I was reading the books…I could only see these guys in my head…I still smile when I think about Adam Sandler melting.

    COME ON HBO….MAKE IT HAPPEN….

  • leoff,

    OH. MY. GOSH. If Richard Armitage made it onto Game of Thrones in any way/shape/form I think I would explode with happiness. Unfortunately The Hobbit installments may keep him pretty busy…. I don’t picture him as a Martell but if he played a wilding or an as yet-uncast northerner or even Darkstar I would absolutely freak out.

  • I like the first one! The accent he has would be perfect too. That part of the world shouldnt sound like the royals in kings landing

  • kk:
    Gem,

    Oh for goodness sake– are you serious? Our is this an outline of your essay for univercity? FIX, PROBLEM, WE WANT, EUROCENTRIC…
    this must be most prententious and obnoxious post I have read on this site.

    I’m afraid it’s you that’s being a bit obnoxious , mate.

  • Hey Gem:

    If you don’t like Eurocentric programming, make up your own books and TV series. Don’t watch ours, then bitch and moan about it.

  • Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Arstan Whitebeard,

    I don’t think Banderas would object to doing an HBO series, and it would only be a single season role that would require maybe a month of filming. But the big question would be what type of salary he would require. I just don’t see the show wanting to allocate that type of money to one role. The cast is simply too big.It’s nice to think about, though. He would certainly bring even more publicity to the show.

    I may have entertained Banderas’s appearance , as RV, perhaps a decade ago.
    He’s a good actor, and proven at swordplay ( Zorro, etc ). I think he’s a bit
    slow now. The Oberyn role may not be age appropriate for him. Just sayin’,
    I could be dead wrong.

  • That Chubby Kid:
    OBERYN MARTELL———David Spade
    DORAN MARTELLE———Rob Schneider
    QUENTYN MARTELLE—–Adam Sandler

    OK…close your eyes and imagine it.David Spade in light armor moving lithley with a large spear screaming, “You raped her.You murdered her.You killed her children”.Rob Schneider with large red pathetically swollen joints being wheeled around the water gardens.Adam Sandler finally bumbling into the dragon’s lair and stealing a dragon….what…..NOOOOOOO…..roasted alive!

    You know you want to see it…When I was readingthe books…I could only see these guys in my head…I still smile when I think about Adam Sandler melting.

    COME ON HBO….MAKE IT HAPPEN….

    So you’re that chubby kid, from around the corner *>* ?
    Surely you jest by your cast nominations. I’ll give you another consideration
    worth ( laughing about ) pondering : Will Ferrell as the Red Viper
    Adam Sandler as Doran Martell
    David Spade as Arianne Martell
    Pauly Shore as Quentyn Martell

    Apply pressure to your side rib if you can’t stop laughing :D

  • tysnow:
    I am all for Anglo-Indus actors for the Dornish roles, the UK has hundreds of talented actors from this ethnicity and you get a somewhat Med look with them cast. So with no further ado….

    Irrfan Khan as Oberyn

    Actor Irrfan Khan as Oberyn would be a fail as a sword wielding badass,
    however worth considering as Doran Martell. Mr Khan, Javier Bardem,
    Mark Strong, are truly fine actors although I have little expectation of
    either accepting a cable production ( at this juncture in their respective
    careers ). One can wish though, all are excellent choices for major
    roles on GoT.

    Eric Bana’s name has been tossed about in a few posts, also a nice candidate.

    I continue to support Rufus Sewell as a Greyjoy, but I wouldn’t mind him
    considering the Martell family as well.

  • As Oberyn is described in the book:

    “Oberyn has a lined face with thin eyebrows, black “viper” eyes and a sharp nose. His hair is lustrous and black with only a few silver streaks and recedes from his brow into a widow’s peak.”

    http://www.cliffsimon.com/img/cliffsimon_photo03.jpg

    The choice is clear – “white” (South African, actually) or not.

  • Casting the Martells is trickier than it looks. Of the four, I would go with Siddig, but there are others I have been looking at…

    For Winterfell!

  • Khal-A-Bunga,

    His eyebrows are bushy. His eyes are hazel. And he does not have a widow’s peak. You can hate Oded Fehr all you want, but he looks the most like Oberyn is described.

  • I wonder if they’ll include a scene of Oberyn leaving Dorne, saying “goodbye” to his daughters, etc. I think it’d be kind of cool and it would establish a better connection with him and the Sand Snakes in the non-readers’ minds for when they come into play later on.

  • WildSeed,

    Wildseed comment: Actor Irrfan Khan as Oberyn would be a fail as a sword wielding badass.

    My response: Have you seen any of his action epics made in India? He can weild a sword and other weapons with the best of them. Furthermore he has this cold lethal Samurai aura about his sordsman roles, and is extremely agile and athletic. I believe you and many would be pleasantly surprised with his hand to hand combat capability.

  • Best thing about Bana: he’s worked with Benioff before re: Troy.

    I actually picture him with some grey hairs and his hair tied back with an accent like he had in Munich. Hey Ciaran Hinds was in Munich!

    Another candidate for the RV: Rudolf Martin.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    I’m confused on the spite comment. Or me telling people what to think. Deep breaths guy.

    Just saying I think the martells are being a little blown out of proportion. Antonio Bamderas? Javier Bardem? Save the money for special effects.

    And of course ill read a dream of spring. Rhaegar’s death doomed us all

  • The Bear,

    You made a lot of sense. I can see them strengthening Aegon’s claim as a foil to Dany. Give a little more fire power. That should be interesting. But still more excited for the Greyjoys than the Martells but that’s just my opinion

  • Joshua Taylor:
    Best thing about Bana: he’s worked with Benioff before re: Troy.

    I actually picture him with some grey hairs and his hair tied back with an accent like he had in Munich. Hey Ciaran Hinds was in Munich!

    Another candidate for the RV: Rudolf Martin.

    Bana has the eyes, the hair,the nose, the charisma…I can totally see him wielding a spear. Because, for all the “sword play” commenters, the Red Viper wields a SPEAR…like a BOSS…

  • Jaime Saltcliffe,

    I agree. Banderas or Bardem would blow a relatively small role out of proportion. And getting them to do it is just unrealistic anyway. I’d rather have an talented unknown play the part and own it.

  • Joshua Taylor:
    Michael K,

    Simpsons is in it’s twenty-sometieth season. Your point?

    As I said I love the show but there’s a point when longevity doesn’t exactly equal quality.

    Compared against The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Deadwood, the Sopranos, Battlestar Galactica? I would place Stargate SG-1 with entertainments like Person of Interest, Heroes, Supernatural, Enterprise etc

    Person of Interest belongs in that first group, I think.

  • What about Alon Aboutboul ?
    He was someone I considered for Doran honestly because he usually seems older to me in the roles he plays, but he is 47 which is about the pefect age to play Oberyn in my mind. Technically Oberyn is 42 in the books, but that always seemed young to have a daughter who is 28, plus HBO always ages up the book ages…..

    http://www.contactmusic.com/pics/lf/dark_knight_ny_premiere_8_160712/alon-aboutboul-the-dark-knight-rises-new_3993466.jpg

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0009530/

    One caveat would be that he seemed to play an important roll in the Homeland finale so he may be tied up in filming Season 3 of Homland during Thrones production time…….

  • Jaime Saltcliffe,

    The thing about the Martells in my mind is that they are one of the few houses that is actually aware of most eveything that is going on in the realms. Plus they have figures in almost every important region.They could be intrinsically involved in every future plot of importance…

    As far as the importance of the role goes….
    I thnk the fact that it is a single season role that has some serious bad-ass-ery to it makes it ideal for a bigger-name actor to be cast. They can film for a few weeks and move on to other projects.

    I would think Euron an Victarian are both meatier roles, but they last for multiple seasons with their scenes more dragged out over time in theory making it a bit more difficult for bigger-name actors to be cast in the roles….

    All that said, I think Bardem and Banderes are pipe dreams too.

  • Keep in mind that Oberyn has to have some serious charisma. He’s going to go toe-to-toe verbally with Tyrion Lannister. Any actor you picture playing him, you have to picture him on screen describing Cersei giving baby Tyrion’s penis a pinch. A character that watches Tyrion’s reaction without staring at him. Sexy, deadly, confident, doesn’t back down, and is out for blood. Can’t be anyone with a humorless expression on his face 99% of the time. Oberyn is passionate. He’s alive.

  • tysnow,

    Wasn’t he much younger then ? Bollywood does have other choices, I’m sure.
    I’m just not up to date on the key players anymore. Actor Irrfan Khan is likely
    too sought after to consider GoT, his career scans the globe. He did guest
    star a couple of years ago, on a short run HBO series called ” In Treatment “,
    a superb portrayal. Apparently he’s open to cable tv projects, and hopefully
    a fan of GoT, but his career right now is scalding hot.

  • Jaqen is Q: Person of Interest belongs in that first group, I think.

    Seriously? Person of Interest is straight up disposable trash about on a par with CSI.

    Entertaining, but not really a lot of substance.

  • Anyway, back to Dorne… GRRM described Dorne in his head being a mix of Spain and Wales.

    In my head the Dornish were all colors (as described re Salty Dornishmen etc) but Oberon basically looked like Saïd Taghmaoui, as I’d been watching a lot of LOST at the time.

    Mostly I don’t care what race they cast… What I DO want to see is for them to have a distinctive accent, the “Dornish Drawl” that GRRM often mentioned in the books.

    It might be cool to mess with everyone’s expectations and cast them all with Asian actors or something though… Just to shake things up. Maybe if you’re talking LOSTies, go Ken Leung as Oberyn and François Chau as Oberyn. And with a “drawl.”

  • Oded Fehr for Prince Oberyn Martell and Ghassan Massoud for the role of Prince Doran Martell. It’s impossible to look at this picture and afterwards imagine anyone else comprising the role.

    Alexander Siddig is my second choice for Doran, considering how slim the chances are of Ghassan Massoud being cast.

  • Can I just say that I love these casting threads? And can I also say that NINA GOLD IS AMAZING AND I TRUST HER BEYOND MEASURE. Seriously, she nails it. I can’t think of a single character who doesn’t fit. OK, so maaaaaaybe Jaime was a teensy bit off from my head version to begin with (I think his slight accent throws me) but I do ADORE the look.

    Think about it. Brienne? Gwen slays it. Maisie Williams, I can’t even describe. So amazing. Sophie Turner? Magic. All of them.

  • The Laughing Storm,

    Ghassan is awesome but he knows very little English. He was chosen by Ridley Scott for playing Saladin after Scott watched many Arabic movies, soap operas and dramas. He has great presence in KoH but very few lines if you noticed. Doran Martell is a character that needs many lines and who can have an accent but should be fluent in English.

  • Chickenduck,

    Oh come on like CSI? Jonathan Nolan is crafting a superhero without a costume epic with P.O.I. While Caviezel is a little stiff I find his growing humanization quite profound. And Michael Emerson, Taraji P Hendon deliver great performances. Not to mention the subtle tragiccomic hero that is Kevin Chapman’s Fusco. Throw in a layered backstory with memorable recurring villains like Elias, Root, Cara Stanton etc P.O.I is great network television.

  • I totally agree with those who see James Callis as Oberyn even if he didn’t make it to the finalchoices . I’d like to see him on the show. (A few years ago, before the main parts were attributed, I used to think he could make a great Littlefinger, but BG was not over yet and Aiden Gillen is great anyway.)
    Can’t really picture him as Euron though.

  • Darquemode,

    What about Bana? He would be a possibility over Banderas and Bardem. Not to mention his Benioff connection. The question is how strong is that connection?

  • I think Cliff Simons looks like a good fit for Oberyn. Remember he’s not young, but he’s still handsome and very dangerous. Simons seem to have that ‘viper’ look about him. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the scenes with him in S4 and also for the showdown between Oberyn and Gregor Clegane. That should be brilliant! I always thought it was a shame he died. He was a great character.

  • I think they will pick someone awesome for the Red Viper.

    I would love to see Naveen Andrews or Alexander Siddig take a crack at it. I think they both could do the part well.

    I loved Irrfan Khan in In Treatment, I would hope he would play Doran Martell.

  • Bana would be my dream Oberyn…He has both the intensity and the humor.

    Nicholas Cage would be a hilarious Oberyn…but I just see him in my mind going over the top in the fight seen….screaming the “You murdered her” lines angry but hysterically…and weeping, which is different from the book, but might be very entertaining…and make more sense as to how Clegane gets the best of him. Fun to think about.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    I think Ban could pull off whatever role he was cast in, but I do not see him as Oberyn honestly. I do see him as Euron Greyjoy though…

    Speaking of Beinoff connections though,
    What about Homayoun Ershadi as Doran?
    He was in the Kite Runner which Benioff wrote… Well, adapted the screenplay from the book technically….

    http://images.askmen.com/photos/david-benioff/29199.jpg

    http://www.empiretheatres.com/files/images/syndicated/celebrities/11255/39550.jpg

    Honestly, so many of these actors would mot likely do a fine to incredible job if they were actually cast… They just do not fit a of our indivdual perceptions of Oberyn…

  • While I’m on the Bana train, the more I think of Rudolf Martin for the role, the more and more I Iike it. He has the looks, a menacing yet seductive presence about him and he’s about the right age. Yes I am in the Rudolf Martin camp.

  • Joshua Taylor,

    He definitely has the most “Viper-like” appearance out of any of the actors mentioned. He has that intensity required for the role, the sex appeal, and the ability to appear dangerous or at least menacing…. He even has a bit of a swarthy look to him en if he’s maybe not olive-skinned as described in the books. I have pictured him in the role off and on as I try to think of the perfect actor.

    I’m so nterested to see how Nina and D&D cast the Martells and Sand Snakes!

    I know I have always seen more Middle Eastern,or Near Eastern,… possibly Spanish actors, but I really do not have an issue with them casting “white” either if I’m honest. Although I do have a hard time picturing them casting anglo-European actors since I think this is the perfect chance to add a little racial diversity to Westeros… Not because I think GoT is “too white” or racist. Just because they are described as olive skinned Salty Dornishmen…..

  • Elizabeth,

    Silas Carson really does look like how I pictured Oberyn. I do wonder if he is too tall at over 6-3….. Outside of that he has the PERFECT look and personality for the Red Viper IMO.

    I know some people have stated that Oberyn is described as small in the books even if I cannot recall that being stated personally. I do not have the books commited to memory verbatm though so I could have forgotten that line… I’m still waiting for someone to remind me of the chapter and passage where GRRM wrote that….. IFhe did I mean.

  • Zack,

    Oh completely understand why people want a smaller Red Viper!

    In the books even a 6-3 Oberyn would appear small versus a near 8-foot tall Mountain, but since we are stuck with a more “human-szzed” 7-foot tall Ian Whyte (or hopefully the retnrn of Conan), a sub-six foot Viper makes more sense proportionally speaking.

  • Gem:
    Right on! The Dornish are the only House of Westeros with POC in it, and I think HBO has a responsibility to uphold that. The dearth of POC representation in fantasy is inexcusable and if the Oberyn Martell role were to be whitewashed in anyway, I’d be very disappointed in HBO. All of the people here saying that it’s “inaccurate” for darker-skinned actors to play Oberyn need to a) reread the books and b) reexamine the role of “accuracy” in a series where dragons and ice monsters play a huge role.

  • AdrianAegon,

    I do like this Eric Bana idea you guys are floating around. He was great as Hector in Troy. I so wanted him to kill Achilles and his whinning over with :)

    My choice for this would be Oded though. Oberyn has that arrogant, I am better at everything than everyone around me kind of attitude and he can play that really well. Watch some of his episodes of Covert Affairs and you’ll see it. He’s cocky but likable and you believe he could kill you in a second with out even thinking about it.

  • How does one discuss Alexander Siddig without bringing up Deep Space Nine? Would love to see him or Naveen Andrews as Oberyn, although when reading I pictured him more as a David Strathairn type – dark eyed, clever and slender.

  • TyrionForPresident:
    leoff,

    OH. MY. GOSH. If Richard Armitage made it onto Game of Thrones in any way/shape/form I think I would explode with happiness. Unfortunately The Hobbit installments may keep him pretty busy…. I don’t picture him as a Martell but if he played a wilding or an as yet-uncast northerner or even Darkstar I would absolutely freak out.

    I see Santiago Cabrera (Lancelot in “Merlin” & Isaac Mendez in “Heroes”) as Darkstar:

    Santiago Cabrera photo

    He would definitely be in the running for the most handsome man in Dorne, and I can imagine Arianne admiring his beauty. Though Daynes are noted as more fair, and Darkstar is supposed to have silver hair, I still pictured the Santiago “type” in reading the books, and would be pleased to see him in GoT.

  • All the way with Oded Fehr, he’s a great actor and he fits the description of Oberyn all the way. I believe he is the best choice.

  • Had an off the wallthought earlier…
    I was having a chat with a friend as we watched TWD and was reminded of Jean Dujardin from the Artist. Not who I ever pictured, but he has those angular features, major receding hairline into a widow’s peak, and serious viper-eyes! I know many will see him as too white (and he is maybe a bit too young as well)…. but he can certainly act and has the right look for the role….

    http://i2.listal.com/image/3486604/600full-jean-dujardin.jpg

  • ThomasS:
    I too always imagined Dorne to be analogous to Spain.

    This may be an outlier, but I always thought James Purefoy was perfect for Oberyn. Unforunately, he’s got a job on The Following.

    100% agree. I know Purefoy said he wouldn’t do thrones, but I think he was essentially having a little bit of fun when he said that. Also, The Following is an absolutely horrendous show so maybe it won’t make it. Further, Purefoy’s role in the following is not so huge that they couldn’t coordinate his schedule to film what will likely be 3-4 episodes of Game of Thrones. Purefoy is the Red Viper for me.

  • Zeus:
    The way the Dornish are described as having three main branches, Stony, Salty and Sandy has reminded me of Spain. If you go to Spain you will see all varities of skin color and ethinic looks yet they are all Spanish.Like the Dornish were invaded by and mated with the Rhyonar the Spanish were invaded and mated with the North African Moors.So geographically both in Spain and Dorne the looks of the people correspond to the geographic areas most affected by the invasion. The same can be said of almost all countries on the Medditerranean whether it be Greece, Italy, France and the FCOY. If you have ever visited Turkey you will notice there are a lot of light featured Turks with blue or light eyes.My father is from Northern inland Greece and we have light hair and very blue eyes yet mildly dark skin.

    The Martells are classified as being the Salty Dornish as somewhat in the middle. I would see the Red Viper as having dark Medditeranean features, not Indian or middle Eastern.

    I cannot explain it better by myself, and, being spanish and after reading the books, all the martells world and history reminds me really strong places and histories from cordoba, toledo, and even barcelona.

  • Zeus:
    The way the Dornish are described as having three main branches, Stony, Salty and Sandy has reminded me of Spain. If you go to Spain you will see all varities of skin color and ethinic looks yet they are all Spanish.Like the Dornish were invaded by and mated with the Rhyonar the Spanish were invaded and mated with the North African Moors.So geographically both in Spain and Dorne the looks of the people correspond to the geographic areas most affected by the invasion. The same can be said of almost all countries on the Medditerranean whether it be Greece, Italy, France and the FCOY. If you have ever visited Turkey you will notice there are a lot of light featured Turks with blue or light eyes.My father is from Northern inland Greece and we have light hair and very blue eyes yet mildly dark skin.

    The Martells are classified as being the Salty Dornish as somewhat in the middle. I would see the Red Viper as having dark Medditeranean features, not Indian or middle Eastern.

    I cannot explain it better by myself, and, being spanish (and blond/redhair with brown eyes) and after reading the books, all the martell’s world and history reminds me really strong places and histories from Cordoba, Toledo, and even Barcelona… i really really wish to see someone from Spain, Italy or Greece (and all the countries in-between) in the dornish roles.

  • Oded is good, but I think he’s a little too big for the role, not the slinky agile Oberyn that I imagine. Plus, when he fights whoever plays Gregor, the size differential won’t have the same contrast. Alexander Siddig is awesome, but maybe a tad old? My front runner is Cliff Curtis, he looks perfect for the part.

  • Esteban,

    I hadn’t thought of Mark Strong but he would make an excellent choice in most regards, except for the lack of a widow’s peak. He has a quiet, menacing air to him and has all the grace of a snake.

  • Casting Oberyn is going to be difficult, I’d imagine. Maybe Raz Degan (Darius III in Alexander) fits the bill? Anyhoot, I’m looking forward to seeing Oberyn on the screen.

  • Esteban:
    Since i first read the book, I imagine Mark Strong as the Red Viper… I know that he may not fit the character description but, what do you think?

    Absolutely! Mark Strong is who I pictured as well. When I imagined the look at sound of the Red Viper when reading the book, I realized I was imagining Mark Strong!

  • Michael K:
    OMG YES for Cliff Simon.

    To who ever wrote the article here, shame on you for saying SG-1 is not an “abundance of acting talent” maybe you should educate yourself with the series first. He was the most popular villain and had more screen time then any other villain on the show. SG-1 ran for 10 seasons, longer than ANY American Science Fiction TV show in history, including any version of Star Trek.

    Just because a show was on for 10 seasons, doesn’t mean it maintained the best quality those 10 seasons. It dropped off when Anderson went part time.

  • Paterson Joseph, anyone?

    What you want is an Errol Flynn type character who can play a Byronesque hero. Foppish and theatrical, but dark and tragic. Intelligent yet brutish, like a medieval James Bond.

  • Laura,

    I agree Joe Manganiello as Oberyn Martell. I don’t think he’s too tall as Oberyn is tall also and remember the Mountain is supposed to be 8 ft tall, so he would make anyone look like a lilliputian. Beyond that Manganiello has the “salty” Dornishmen look, the natural graying and the lithe body. His acting prowess has not been sufficiently tested on TB, but he is classically trained. Remember Peter Dinklage was born in Bklyn and until I read up on him I didn’t know his accent wasn’t authentic. I have faith that Manganiello could pull off the British accent as well.

  • I don’t know if I can prove this but I think I was the first to suggest Siddig on a casting post last year. First or not I’m sure other people came up with the same idea, he’s a natural for the part. We’re all assuming they are going to go for a “Mediterranean” look for the the Dornish cast and if so I can’t think of anyone better. But we’ve seen in the past D&D are more interested in the individual talents of the actors than if we fans think they look like how we imagine the characters. I think Siddig has the range and gravitas to pull of the Viper’s big scenes. We’ll see what D&D think. Of course practical concerns like schedules and contracts have a lot to do with it but I still have my hopes up.

  • Siddig’s name has been kicked around by fans for Oberyn since at least the beginning of the show.

    As for Joe Manganiello…he has an impressive body but he is a terrible actor. I say that as a True Blood fan who appreciates his assets. Also, he is white.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    You would know the fan buzz better than me. I only claim to have thought about it before reading it somewhere else. Not surprised I wasn’t the only one.

  • Oded Fehr may seem like the most obvious choice but I actually really like Sadiq. I imagined Oberyn as being pretty attractive but with an almost feminine beauty that makes all these women go crazy for him.

    Sadiq doesnt totally have that but I think hes such a good actor he could really convey him.

  • I read the books imagining Dwayne Johnson (the Scorpion King) as Oberyn Martell. I know… I know… :(

  • Edgar Ramirez, Moritz Bleibtreu, Kevin Alejandro Adrian Paul – all of them are better choices than Fehr.

  • when ever i envision Oberyn on the books I always imagine a walk or swagger for lack of a better word that Ganondorf has on the Zelda games not looking like him but having the stature that he has on that note Cliff Simon would be my choice

  • Quentyn7,

    If they are going to drag out Season 3 (which it appears they are if Oberyn doesn’t appear until Season 4), then those who have read the books know what’s coming in Season 3’s finale! I for one, really don’t want to wait that long! Season 4 is going to be OFF THE HOOK! You can’t even begin to imagine the things that are going to happen!

  • all of them are not at all like the red viper! remember michael fassbender in 300? that’s exactly how oberyn martel should be!

  • I know he doesn’t fit the description well and is a terrible actor, but I want to see Lena Headey reunited with Gerard Butler. You know, for old-times sake.

  • Skyofwelkup,

    That has always been my problem with Siddig, he does not look menacing in the slightest. He failed in my opinion as a warrior in “Kingdom of Heaven” and his character on Primeval also failed to be dangerous or even slightly scary.

    It is all about the guy’s eyes and face; he just seems to have “nice guy eyes.” Maybe this comes from the majority of his acting I’ve seen was him as Dr. Bashir on ST:DS9, but he just always seems like a soft, kind-hearted character no matter how he is trying to act.

  • Cliff Simon was born to play the Red Viper – he is absolutely PERFECT for the part. His appearance exactly fits the description in the book and he has great villainous charisma! He also has the physicality to play the role, being a former athlete. No better choice!

  • it is true that dornich are said to be like moorish spainish.. but they can choose italian or spanish actor..some is spainish and italians ancestors were arabs i mean look at dario nahaaris.. they chose white actor but he looks fine.. even they made him dark.. i actually thought he is a young red viper .XD .. i love to see Christian bale.. or somene looks like him.. u know dDorn is x of Andulesia and Weles as GRRM said
    non of the above actos fit ..Oberyn is like the most important charachter of the next season.. and u know 40 is not old at all! look at all 40 years actors.. they still look young and handsome.. and Dornish can not be indians at all.. there is a huge difference between middle easterns who conqoured spain long time ago and indians

  • ladynym,

    i like him sooooo much! he is definitly will be a great choice.. he is going to be an arabian character Altair.. from assassin’s creed.. i see he can be Obeyne too

  • ladynym,
    i like him sooooo much! he is definitly will be a great choice.. he is going to be an arabian character Altair.. from assassin’s creed.. i see he can be Obeyne too

  • Of those mentioned, I’d vote for Oded Fehr. Have to say Cliff Simon also looks the role.

    Also, imagined the Martells as Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or Greek.

  • Terrance,

    Lve Cliff Curtis!

    I was watching Mtrix Reloaded last night and noticed Daniel Bernhardt would make for an awesome Red Viper too!
    http://kinoafisha.ua/upload/2013/01/persons/5166/fotos/1359373339deniel-bernhard.jpg
    http://www.reocities.com/tbuiso/BernhardtDprev2.jpg

    He is whiter than many would like, but has marital arts ad stunt background, has the right look to both dangerous and a hedonist, the widow’s peak, plus that smirk I always picture on Oberyn’s face just waiting o say some barbed statement! XD

  • Excited to see who they are going to cast as Oberyn, we’re getting closer and closer. Amr Waked would be great in my opinion.

  • Ioan Gruffudd as Oberin Martell would be perfect he acted as lancelot in the movie king arthur

  • out of these characters i like that cliff guy. why does everyone say oded? i cant imagine him having those interesting conversation game of thrones is amazing at, just because i imagine his annoyingly fake accent from the mummy

  • Eziz,

    Out of all the reasonable suggestions so far (reasonable meaning not Viggo Mortensen, because as much as I want him on the show it will probably never happen) this would be my favourite suggestion.

  • Mads Mikkelsen as a Greyjoy?….. Hmm…. Perhaps as Victarion…. Anyway, I personally want Oded Fehr as the Red Viper and Omar Sharif as Prince Doran when we finally meet him. Then, perhaps Zuleikha Robinson as Arianne?
    Carp,

  • Don’t get the love for Mark Strong in this role. Maybe for Euron Greyjoy.

  • I think Alexander Siddig is perfect.

    If not him, then Fuat Ait Aattou, Saleh Bakri and Amr Waked.

  • See,

    Mark Strong has played Arabic characters before pretty convincingly though. More than a few times if I recall.

  • I always picture Oberyn as a larger guy. I think he has to be taller and maybe thinner but sturdy. He’s going to be taking on the Mountain that Rides. He has to be pretty good size to even think he has a chance which is why I was thinking of James Purefoy. Of the four mentioned here, I think either Fehr or Siddig would be the best choices.

  • Nina Gold has offered the role of Oberyn Martell to Cosimo Fusco (Rome, Friends, Angels and Demons). I don’t know if he has accepted yet.

  • Baalthasar,

    If that is true then Nina has pulled a rabbit outta the bag. Cosimo Fusco nails the look IMHO.

    To wade into the debate about which countries represent Dorne better, I would have to say that the cultural elements are a mixture of the Club Med mostly and then Middle East. Let me explain.

    The geography and the colours remind me a lot of Spain primarily. South Spain (Andalucia in particular) has desserts and architecture similar to the ones in the books. The colours of house Martell (red,orange,yellow) scream Spain to me.

    The military attire and equipment reminds me of classical Greece and in particular Spartan Hoplites to me (bronzed armour, round shield, red cloak and spear). Now don’t tell me Classical armour is not Medieval, tell that to GRRM! Spears had become pretty much obsolete due to plate armour and were replaced by pikes, haldberds and the like. Anyway.

    The relaxed attitudes towards sexuality remind me again of the Greco-Roman culture, way ahead of their time in that regard. The good wine points to the Med again, while the spicy food is mostly a middle eastern and even more so Indian thing. Clothing and architecture reminds me more of Arabian and Persian styles but homosexuality, promiscuity and women empowerment were never really the order of the day in those parts of the world.

    Finally, I personally don’t give too hoots about the ethnicity or nationality of the actors they pick. Freida Pinto who’s is Indian pulled of playing a Greek as Phaedra in the Immortals and so did a Scottish man (Butler) playing Leonidas in 300. Shows you what you can do with lighting and make up.

    Casting Oberyn is not so much about picking the right colour to me, as it is about the menacing face. Cosimo Fusco has just that.

  • Baalthasar:
    Nina Gold has offered the role of Oberyn Martell to Cosimo Fusco (Rome, Friends, Angels and Demons). I don’t know if he has accepted yet.

    Source?

  • ConcernedCitizen:
    I always picture Oberyn as a larger guy.I think he has to be taller and maybe thinner but sturdy.He’s going to be taking on the Mountain that Rides.He has to be pretty good size to even think he has a chance which is why I was thinking of James Purefoy.Of the four mentioned here, I think either Fehr or Siddig would be the best choices.

    The biggest toms would seldom win, she noticed; oft as not, the prize went to some smaller, quicker animal, thin and mean and hungry.
    -Cat of the Canals

  • I pictured Oberyn as a smaller type, but quick on his feet.

    Same battle plan as Bronn vs the heavily armoured guy in the Vale (Egan? Can’t remember the name off the top of my head).

    Cat of the Canals gets it, yo.

  • Tyrion also describes him as tall, slim and graceful. So yeah, not really a big guy. A lot like a snake, amusingly.

  • I think they should cast Michael Dorn as the Red Viper. He would be badass. He already has stage combat experience from Star Trek, and has a commanding voice and presence.

  • Adam,

    Maybe not, but at least he’s different from most of the cast and doesn’t look like he is descended from the First Men(North) or Andals. This would signal that they want to go with Mediterranean for the Martells. I always imagined Dorne as Spain, but pictured Middle Eastern/North African actors in the roles. Go figure.

  • I mentioned him last week and absolutely love the idea of him as Oberyn!
    Right age (for the series and ability to have 30-year old daughters) and the absolutely perfect look. Plus a better actor than some other actors mentioned by many IMO.

    The Nina Gold connecton strikes again…. maybe!

  • Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Same for me! XD
    I only recently started looking at Italian and Spanish actors and that’s when I ‘found’ Cosimo. The recent Nina Gold connection is what started me looking at him honestly….

    If true I am quite happy.
    If not…. come on Amr Waked! XD

  • Johnny Depp for the Red Viper. He apparently is qualified to do many races of mankind.

  • Cary Storm:
    Johnny Depp for the Red Viper. He apparently is qualified to do many races of mankind.

    I totally suggested him as a joke, but it’s possible he’d be able to. I only suggested it because of his facial hair hahaha

  • Cary Storm:
    Johnny Depp for the Red Viper. He apparently is qualified to do many races of mankind.

    Haha… Yeah, when I saw the trailer for the Lone Ranger I cringed a little. Like, seriously… You could never do blackface anymore, but native American, uh, “redface” is ok?!

    To be fair, Johnny Depp has a tiny amount of Cherokee ancestry (apparently), but it’s probably like me where it’s about 8 generations back and doesn’t really excuse playing Tonto!!

    On a related note, I actually sometimes DID fancast Johnny Depp on GoT – but as Euron, in the style of Jack Sparrow ;)

    BACK TO THE TOPIC THOUGH>>>

    I’m fine with Cosimo as the RV. For all that he’s not a “POC” (to use the American term), he’s still visually different than the rest of the Anglo/Celtic/Germanic main cast. He’s actually darker than some of my Arab students and coworkers, some of whom look pretty European.

    And at the end of the day, what matters is that he can act.

  • Chickenduck: To be fair, Johnny Depp has a tiny amount of Cherokee ancestry (apparently), but it’s probably like me where it’s about 8 generations back and doesn’t really excuse playing Tonto!!

    I probably have more native American in me and I’m totally blond hair / blue eyed and very Northern European features. Only place my Indigenous blood shows is when I don’t really burn severely in the sun…

    I guess what I’m saying is that my 6 generation and 7/8 generation Native blood doesn’t qualify me to go sneaking into sweat-lodges or qualify for tribal rights. Also doesn’t let me play an American Indian in a movie…

  • Cary Storm: I probably have more native American in me and I’m totally blond hair / blue eyed and very Northern European features.Only place my Indigenous blood shows is when I don’t really burn severely in the sun…

    I guess what I’m saying is that my 6 generation and 7/8 generation Native blood doesn’t qualify me to go sneaking into sweat-lodges or qualify for tribal rights. Also doesn’t let me play an American Indian in a movie…

    Of course – that’s exactly the point I was making!

    Having a little Cherokee somewhere doesn’t mean Depp should be playing a Native American.

  • Chickenduck

    And at the end of the day, what matters is that he can act.

    Guess its time to go back and watch a few more episodes of “Rome” because I only know Cosimo from “Friends” (Paolo). That was years ago and, well, that particular part wouldn’t speak to skills as an actor.

  • Andrew:
    Zack,

    The “Stony” Dornish, as described in the books, seem to be white. The “Sandy” Dornish are the darkest skinned, and the “Salty” Dornish are in-between (If I remember correctly, the Martells are apperently “Salty” Dornish)

    With that in mind, I like Oded Fehr the best. He was my favourite in The Mummy; dude was a badass!

    Hear, hear! For the love of the Weirwood, Nina Gold, make it so!

  • Geographically speaking, most of the Middle East is on the Mediterranean. Many times you cannot differentiate between an Italian/Spanish/Greek from a Lebanese/Syrian/Palestinian. So if you are looking to cast a Mediterranean-looking person, an Arab would do just fine.

    Based on the books, the Dornish are a mixture of light-skinned Andals who correspond to Northern Europeans, and the Rhoynar, who correspond to Mediterranean people like those of the Free Cities, especially Volantis. The world of GOT is based most off of Europe, illustrated by the lack of Asians and other non-Caucasians, except for a few black characters from the Summer Isles. Sothoryos corresponds to Africa, but it is not well explored. The farthest east you go in GOT is Ghiscari lands which correspond to Greece/Ancient Egypt. Valyria and the Free Cities are like Italy. Although there is hints that there are lands farther east that are unexplored like Asshai, which I feel corresponds to Persia considering the fire religion comes from there. (It would be nice to see some people wearing turbans in the series, as well as some Asian-looking people.)

    So I expect the Martells to have an Essos look similar to the Targaryens minus the white hair. Despite their white hair and purple eyes, the Targaryens are more Eastern looking than the other Westerosi, considering their closest ancestry lies in Essos, as do the Martells with the Rhoynar when Nymeria crossed over to Dorne from the Volantis area.

    Zeus,

  • SerCountryFriedSteak,

    Arianne is SHORT. Frida Pinto is 5’6. 5’6 is NOT short. Whoever plays Arianne has to be no taller than 5’3 and have good curves. Go read the books again. I like Frida, but she’s no Arianne.

  • Lipstick,

    You’re right, but like many other characters that are short in the books, their shortness is not important to the character really. Queen of Thorns being a prime example. She was very short in he books and Dame Riggs is 5-9, fairy tall for a woman.

    With Leaf or the Waif where their stature is very much part of their character I think a short actress is needed. However, with Arianne I’m not so sure.

    I do agree though, Pinto is not the “look” I pictured for Arianne either.