The Importance of Dorne
By Fire And Blood on in Casting, Editorial, Speculation.

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Dorne. It conjures up a host of images, doesn’t it? Rolling desert dunes baking under an angry red sun; sweeping grassy plains undulating beneath burgeoning thunderclouds; craggy foothills, soaring mountaintops; water gardens and golden domes and labyrinthine city streets teeming with a cacophony of colorful and colorfully-dressed peoples.

Sunspear! The Threefold Gate! Palaces, bazaars, and pillow houses! Oh my!

Readers of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire were first introduced to Dorne by way of mention. We were told of Elia Martell, the wife of Rhaegar Targaryen, raped and killed so viciously by Ser Gregor Clegane with the blood and brains of her murdered infant son still on his hands. A joyful introduction if there ever was one!

tumblr_m1mzt9dYK41qksuq5o1_500Soon we got to know Oberyn Martell, rogue younger brother of Prince Doran Martell. Oberyn “The Red Viper” is a character many readers immediately gravitate to; most of us can’t wait to see who is cast in that milestone role. And Oberyn is, to most, the door that opened to Dorne, and from there we get Arianne, and Hotah, and the Sand Snakes, and Darkstar who is the NIGHT—!!!

I want this. I want a kickass Red Viper and I want freaking Dorne! I don’t care if Dornish girls taste funny, I want to try one!

And yes, I have my reasons why I see Dorne as important. Some people don’t—some have even suggested the show might cut corners by removing its onscreen presence altogether—but I disagree. Vehemently.

But I’m just one guy. I only have one opinion. And really, who the hell cares what I think? Fortunately for me, I am not alone. And rather than have me just go spout off about it, I decided instead to make this a bit more of a community-spirited endeavor.

So I gathered unto me a panel! My goal was to make a collage of thoughts—a colorful one, pun intended.

370px-Sand_snakesI collected a multiethnic assemblage of ASoIaF fans, one that would attempt to in some way represent the actual diversity that’s in our actual world.

I had initially hoped to have as many men as women on the panel, however all of the men I asked politely declined… so I ended up with a panel full of women. Eight of them!

Not a problem! If you’ve ever been to a George R.R. Martin book signing, you already know the female fans outnumber the males. (Dude could have himself a harem if he wanted one, honestly.) So I made the giraffe—all the ladies are depicted accurately in that picture there above—and I fired four questions at them. Two of those questions appear here before you now; two will appear in a later post, aptly titled “The Importance of Dorne – Part 2.”

Our cast is as follows: Celia (Korean American); Sade (Nigerian American); Ours is the Fury (white American); Christi (Latina); Rachel (white New Yorker); Jonelle (Jamaican); Marissa (Taiwanese American); Cheryl (Vietnamese American); and me, FaBio, your Average American White Guy. (With Jewish tendencies. I credit my grandmother.)

Below are the first two questions I asked. What I want you to do, gentle readers, is to ask yourself the same questions and to respond in a like manner; I want this to be an open thread discussion. Do you agree with any of the opinions and points made? Let us know! Do you disagree? Let us know that too!

I want to open a dialogue and to keep it open. You will not be mocked. (At least by me.)

Dorne

NOTE: Aside from a few slightly-spoilery pictures, I have tried to mitigate certain DIRECT spoilers from leaking into the narrative (though obviously the cat’s out of the bag as far as Dornish characters and some of their more interesting personality traits go). I ask that if any of you wish to discuss some of the more spoilery plot-smashers that Dorne brings about—PLEASE use spoiler text!

Question 1. As a reader of A Song of Ice and Fire, do you even like Dorne? Where, amongst all the other lands, do you place it in your pile of favorites? Top three? Top ten? Tell me what sticks with you when you think of Dorne, good or bad?

Fury: I love Dorne. I mean I freakin’ love it. Easily top 3. Dorne is freedom and danger and deserts and most of all, the Martells.

House Martell banner by Narwen

House Martell banner by Narwen

Sade: Dorne has worked its way up to the number one spot on my favorites list. Dorne’s presence challenges most things we as readers have been asked to accept as the Westerosi status quo. Most women in Westeros can only inherit marriage; Dornish women are granted the same inheritance rights as men. They are allowed to hold positions of power as well as share the same sexual freedoms. This might be a reflection of the fact that Dorne is the only kingdom founded by a woman, but I find it progressive all the same. In addition, Dorne’s geographical location made them difficult to conquer and assimilate into Westerosi culture. Even the Targaryens, who came in on dragons, had to find common ground with Dorne in order to bring the kingdom into the fold of the Iron Throne. As a result, unlike the rest of Westeros, the Dornish have been able to maintain their cultural identity and I find that fascinating.

Celia: I think Dorne is even more vivid to a reader’s imagination than Essos. I really like the region and its flavor. It is definitely top five.

sample-arianneRachel: Firstly – I’m a sucker for a good vengeance story. Secondly – Dorne is a much friendlier place for women in Westeros. Their attitudes about sex, inheritance, and the role of women in society is more aligned with my personal beliefs, and I’m not ashamed to say that I am easily attracted to the pieces of fiction that I agree with. We can put Dorne in my top 3. I’d probably put the Greyjoys and the Wildlings ahead of them (also a sucker for lost causes). The cast of characters in Dorne is pretty spectacular. The snarky ‘tudes alone, guys! Arianne is the best!

Cheryl: I went from being somewhat “ehh” about Dorne to being very intrigued by it. Mainly because I found the Red Viper so fascinating, also, it’s the only land where women are truly valued!

Marissa: Dorne really stands out to me because of its ability to maintain, for the most part, a distinct Westerosi subculture despite overwhelming pressure from the crown, the Faith, and the majority Andal subculture. Out of all of the seven kingdoms, Dorne alone withstood Targaryen conquest and was the kingdom most on equal footing with the Targaryens, intermarrying with the royal family. Dorne also happens to be the most progressive kingdom, supporting cultural practices such as absolute primogeniture and polyamory. Dorne is ethnically and culturally different from Andal-dominated Westerosi culture.

Christi: Dorne is my second favorite place mostly because Spanish was my first language and I prefer to see the Martells as noble Spanish Moors. All of the other minorities in the series exist as either foils or companions to the primary POVs, but Dorne introduced to us ethnic POVs, and it really won my heart. So I can’t wait to see Dorne!

DorneJonelle: Dorne is perhaps at the top of my list of favourite places in ASoIaF. Socially, their society is a more progressive and less restrictive than the rest of Westeros; they have equal primogeniture, bastards are allowed some upward social mobility, they have healthier views on sexuality etc. Their unique location and geography means that they have a history of being difficult to conquer and they’ve also resisted subjugation by procuring alliances through marriage.

Marissa: I find it fascinating that historically, Dorne has always been the entry staging ground for any invasion of Westeros from the First Men to the Andals to the Rhoynar (the only exception being the Targaryens who flew in on dragons and landed in King’s Landing.) That’s just fan trivia, though—Dorne is meaningful to me because as a cultural entity, it challenges a lot of automatic fantasy tropes about a “monolithic fantasy culture.” Even though absolute primogeniture did not exist in our world until the 1960s, it can exist in Dorne in a fantasy world with medieval-level technology! Also, the fact that the otherwise incestuous Targs repeatedly married into the Dornish royal family defuses any racially awkward (and clichéd) assumptions about the very white Targs prioritizing “racial” purity—instead, the Targ fascination with intermarriage can be understood as family/bloodline purity.

tumblr_lp874a8Vpc1qkrmc6o1_500Sade: At the time I began reading the book series, I was also researching kingdoms in Africa whose historical impact in Europe have been largely ignored. Reading about the Dornish I was able to draw connections to Ethiopia (one of the few countries in the world to resist colonization by the British), the Moors of Spain (whose religious and cultural independence made them a nation to fear), and the Tuaregs (desert nomads that mostly occupy regions in North Africa). It’s clear to me that the Dornish are meant to be people of color in a genre where it’s so rare to see a character that isn’t white in a position of power—if you see them at all!

Rachel: Dorne has a culture that is distinct from the Western European-like peoples that populate the rest of the continent and that can be a welcome relief after my thirtieth hour reading about bearded dudes with greasy hair reminiscing about jousting. If GRRM claims to subvert the traditional fantasy genre then he is definitely making a statement with Dorne; the history of Westeros that the reader is presented with up until their introduction is not the only legitimate history of Westeros. A Song of Ice and Fire is as much about points of view and the non-reliability of memory as it is about the traditional fantasy trope of the empowered youth finding their rightful place in the world. Plus, people forget that the Martells represent the only remnants of the Targaryens in Westeros and that makes them absolute contenders and the fantasy reader in me that obsesses over bloodlines (blame Tolkien) really likes their claim.

Jonelle: The most interesting part is that it bucks the idea of a purely white European fantasy world. There are plenty of clues in the text that indicate the ethnic diversity in Dorne and the fact that their ruling family are people of colour, such as their spicy food (the spice trade initially developed through South Asia, the Middle East, Northeast Africa, and East Asia), their origins in Essos/the east, and the way they’re exoticised in the text and thought of in terms of their physical and culture differences; and there’s also some prejudice against them. There are additional quirky clues, such as when Nymeria of the Rhoynar crossed the narrow sea to the shores of Dorne, she married a ruling Martell named Mors Martell. Whether George intended this or not the name Mors is a reference to the Moors, who were African Arabs that ruled parts of Spain for 700 years.

tumblr_mmb1rvMhKz1qk5wfdo1_1280Christi: If the question is “what stands out most to you” with Dorne, for me honestly it’s “potential”. It seems like it would be so much FUN to do the water gardens and Sunspear and all that exotic spicy COLOR…. like it’s a place where a Latina (or any ethnic person) can say “I think I belong here!” —and it’s in a FANTASY world! It blows my mind. It feels like they could open up SO MANY doors in our imaginations. It’s this huge canvas just waiting for paint, you know?

Marissa: What I think is interesting, too is that a lot of fans stump for a “Mediterranean” Dorne; but since in the show Kings Landing is already a Mediterranean stand-in, it’s clear that in order to make Dorne both a distinct and consistent cultural entity within Westeros, casting and design should very firmly shift away from northern or western European cultural trappings seen in the northern parts of the continent. In a lot of fantasy works, the world building stops at Northern or Western European influences…this isn’t and shouldn’t be the case for ASOIAF.

pdc_endersgame2Rachel: Everyone is pointing out that Dorne is culturally distinct. That the Dornish have different laws, different food, different skin colors, and that the way that GRRM uses the Dornish in the genre is just as important as the way he uses them in the ASoIaF narrative. Entertainment Weekly released a pic of Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham in the Ender’s Game adaptation. I had figured they would just gloss over the Maori part of Rackham’s character but no, they gave an Indian guy Maori facial tattoos. Because that’s OK. I am even more invested in this conversation now. This kind of thing just can not be allowed to continue without public outcry. The casting process is officially lazy. It must be changed. We have higher expectations.

Fury: If the filming of movies and shows like Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and Spartacus on location in New Zealand have proven anything, it’s that there’s a huge amount of talented actors of Maori descent who would be suitable for Mazer Rackham, and the same applies for Game of Thrones. There is no lack of non-white talent in the UK and Ireland either. I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit trolling for casting tips and looking over agency webpages, and there are plenty of actors to choose from. The show has no excuse.

Marissa: The diversity of Dorne itself actually allows for some casting latitude because there is no one-on-one correlation to a real-life ethnicity in the same way as there is in Ender’s Game. Nina Gold and the other casting directors actually have a great opportunity to cast from a multiplicity of ethnic groups for the Dornish roles (eg. instead of putting out a casting call for a Tunisian actor or Indian actor specifically, they can put out a casting call for a wider range (North African, Middle Eastern, South Asian, etc.)

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Question 2. The Red Viper is the first Dornish character we’re introduced to, and is easily considered a fan favorite. Who do you imagine in that role when you picture him? Not necessarily a specific actor, but is there a type of person you would hope to see? Also, in the books he is noted as being bisexual. Is this an important trait?

Celia: I see someone lean and mean, wisdom etched on his face, both coldness and passion in his eyes.

oberyn_martellChristi: Haha is it too late to get Antonio Banderas or Javier Bardem?? JK. I could also see a buffed up Alexander Siddig or David Negahban if they wanted a more Middle Eastern look. When I first read the books I imagined Oded Fehr but then I thought hmm he has played this sort of role all his life.

Fury: When I read A Storm of Swords, I envision someone darker in coloring, and lean and angular in appearance. Dangerous looking, but not bulky or obviously imposing.

NOTE: FaB likes the thought of Naveen Andrews in the role, but he may be busy working on a television film.

Rachel: I’ve always imagined Oberyn as a handsome man just entering the decline of his prime. I also definitely imagine a person who is not white. I don’t tend to picture absolute identities when I read, but if pressed I would probably describe an Arab guy. But he could also be East Indian or African. Or anybody not white because at this point in the show, I would settle for a simple “not white”.

250px-Denkata5698_Rhaegar_Elia_goodbyeJonelle: I consider Elia Martell to be the first Dornish character we’re actually introduced to, but I think people tend to skip over her description in the narrative. She’s talked about in the same exoticised way Dornish are typically described in Westeros. Elia’s description was actually one of the first bits of information that gave me clues that the Martells were people of colour. She’s described as “darker” in the text and Rhaenys, her daughter, is remembered as looking more Martell in her colouring than her brother Aegon. There’s no actor in particular that I imagine as Oberyn Martell. I hope that the casting will give actors of colour a chance to accurately represent the Martells as they’re the only prominent ruling house with people of colour.

Marissa: The Red Viper is both an emblem of the House and the readers’ and Tyrion’s gateway into understanding the Martell family of Westeros. Oberyn and his paramour, Ellaria Sand, should bring a new dynamic to court. Their Dornish ways challenge the mainstream-Westerosi social order; Dornish bastards like Ellaria can become royal consorts, and noblewomen like Cersei bristle at her presence. There develops a clash of cultures at King’s Landing that is far more threatening and adventurous than when the Tyrells came to court. Oberyn is kind of a provocateur—he’s incredibly worldly, sexy, deadly. Also, he was the brother-in-law of Crown Prince Rhaegar Targaryen.

Sade: House Martell is said to take after the Salty Dornish (most Rhoynish blood, olive skin, black hair, dark eyes) but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a variation in looks. Tyrion describes Oberyn:

“…his face was lined and saturnine, with thin arched brows above large eyes as black and shiny as pools of coal oil…A salty Dornishmen for certain.” – ASOS, Tyrion Chapter 38

Tyrion noting with certainty that Oberyn is a salty Dornishman means (as far as Tyrion has been lead to understand of racial diversity in Dorne) there is no doubt that Oberyn is Dornish and by Westerosi standards different. Considering the negative racial undertone that is provided when the Dornish are spoken about (see Lazy Leo’s charming description of Alleras’ heritage in AFFC among other examples) it is clear that, at the very least, the ruling family of Dorne does not reflect the Westerosi standard of “normal”. I would like for Nina Gold to consider this when casting and find an actor of color—maybe of North African or Middle Eastern descent—to play the part.

575px-Oberyn_Martell_by_Magali_Villeneuve,_Fantasy_Flight_Games©Marissa: I am confident that Nina Gold can find a British actor of color–perhaps someone of Middle Eastern, North African, or South Asian descent– for the role because there is a lot of unique talent out there. To me, casting an actor of color to the Red Viper serves a number of different purposes. First, it will clearly convey a story—the story of the Rhoynar settlement, the story of Dorne and its unique relationship with the Iron Throne, the story of a strong independent culture distinct from Andal culture. This casting will also extend opportunities to actors of color to play an old family from Westeros rather than the recent immigrants primarily portrayed by actors of color on the show (Talisa, Salhador, Xaro, etc. are all immigrants.) Lastly, it will prevent Game of Thrones from sending a problematic and hurtful message—that the best actor to play a character of color is a white actor even though there are plenty of equally talented actors of color.

Cheryl: I imagined him as a darker skinned individual, maybe Mediterranean, or Middle Eastern. I don’t think the bisexuality is an important trait; I didn’t even remember he was.

Celia: Whether he’s bisexual does not matter to me, maybe adds even more layer to the man because he is a BAD ASS.

Ellaria_SandJonelle: Oberyn and his paramour Ellaria Sand are two of the few queer/bisexual characters in the series. I think it’s important to represent marginalised sexualities that actually exist in ASOIAF, especially through two people who are very loving and respectful of each other since there are few healthy relationships depicted in the series.

Christi: I don’t mind him being bisexual but I would still hope they would cast Elaria Sand. In fact I would omit Taena Merryweather and give Elaria Sand her parts. How much Myrish swamp are we going to get if Thoros of Myr is a white man anyways? The more that they can do to show off Dornish culture in this upcoming season the better, IMHO.

Fury: I think his bisexuality matters and I’d like to see it acknowledged even if it’s in a subtle way, such as him checking out a man in passing. We had one character’s non-straightness eliminated (Xaro) and I’d hate to see Oberyn turned 100% straight.

Sade: I would die for them to address it with substance because I think his sexual freedom is also a reflection of Dornish culture but given the show’s depiction of non-hetero couplings I’d rather they not touch it at all. Or at least allow him to speak openly of his trysts (much to the chagrin of Cersei, I’m sure) with men the same way he speaks of sharing partners with Ellaria. There is this open pride and dismissive attitude of Westerosi standards that Oberyn gleefully displays in the books and I would love to see it play out on screen.

tumblr_ma7q61W2Nm1rb2vh2o1_1280Rachel: I also think it important that Oberyn be portrayed as virile, masculine, desirable, competent and bisexual. I put all those words together in one sentence because I think it is time that we stop defining non-hetero men as un-masculine. It’s just insulting to all parties for a variety of reasons that I would love to discuss in the comments. I’m not being a book purist when I make that point, btw. I think when creating fiction, whether adapting or creating something original, we have a responsibility to ourselves not to totally bullshit our audience. If, as a writer, you choose to portray a continent populated by people of only one ethnicity or sexual orientation then you better have a good reason to do so. If you are attempting to portray a continent the size of South America (says GRRM), featuring a variety of established religions and ethnicities, well then it’s total bullshit when you homogenize the populace. It just is.

Celia: I actually don’t think the writers should be concentrating on his bisexuality. It should just be a matter-of-fact kind of a thing. He should be this BAD ASS guy that even straight men would be crushing on… and then suddenly in one scene he’s shown in bed with Ellaria and another man. I don’t need the show to focus or embellish on his bisexuality, I barely rememebered it myself (it’s also been awhile since I read the books). The thing that stuck with me about the Red Viper was that he was an exotic BAD ASS who I was rooting for. And he had layers and complexity. I think his bisexuality should be one of those layers just casually peeled for the audience, not something that is featured. Maybe Loras can even represent a foil for Oberyn in that way. Loras’ homosexuality is a plot device that GoT uses, and unfortunately with Margaery’s strength and maturity, some of those Tyrell strengths, in my opinion, were taken away from Loras. But they can totally turn the stereotype up on its head with the Red Viper. And they SHOULD.

etendardmartellsr5Marissa: With Oberyn, I think people tend to focus on his bisexuality (pansexuality? Oberynsexuality?) but I also think it’s interesting to note that Oberyn is also “poly.” He and Ellaria Sand have an open, yet monogamous, collaborative, polyamorous relationship. At the same time, both characters shun the institution of marriage (depicted as so oppressive and as a power transaction this season) by choosing not to partake in it. It amazes me how one supporting character, present for just half a book, can have so many intersectional identities. (“How would I describe the Red Viper…I hear his hair is insured for 1000 golden dragons.”) He can’t be boiled down to “the bi guy” or “the poly guy” or “the brown guy” or “the witty guy” or “the poisoner guy” or “the enigmatic guy.” Television writers are trained to write in tropes; to write this character accurately will require the writers to really challenge those tropes to make a character that is not designed for audiences to immediately understand. George R.R. Martin makes that look so effortless, but it is actually really hard. So I don’t think Oberyn would identify as ‘bisexual’ any more than the ancient Greeks would have. He just isn’t the type of person to let gender norms stop him from doing what he wants (a very Dornish attitude).

And that’s what I want to see: a very Dornish attitude. The most succinct way I can put it is to say Dorne opens, for fans of color and alternate lifestyles, the doors to a fantasy realm that’s not often seen:

One that can be theirs.

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So David, Dan, Vanessa, and Bryan. Guymon, Frank, and Vince. Gemma and Michele. Nina and Robert.

Create this. Do it for the people. And make it burn.

Please give us Dorne and an awesome Red Viper!

My thanks to Marissa, to Fury, Sade, Rachel, Celia, Cheryl, Jonelle, and Christi, for participating in this. Part two in a few weeks!

~FaB~


355 Comments

  1. HellFell
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    AWESOME

  2. martell lover
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    this is great

  3. Unbowd UnbentUnHodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    yayaya, Arianne is mah gurlfrand. She just doesnt know it

  4. Jentario
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I agree completely. House Martell is awesome.

  5. hodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    hodor

  6. Ser Tahu
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    For me personally, I loved everything about Dorne. In fact, Dorne was the main thing that got me through AFfC (along with the Iron Islands and the Vale. AFfC was a very boring book outside of that). Then in ADwD I found myself very much looking forward to each Quentyn chapter (I know I am probably in the minority in this). So, if any member of House Martell itself is cut from the show I will be extremely disappointed (I am prepared for some combining of the Sand Snakes though). As for Oberyn, he is easily in my top 5 characters from the books.

    So, long story short, I would be disappointed beyond belief if any major aspect of the Dornish storylines is dropped from the show, as I believe that they are important to the overall arc of the series and are among the more entertaining storylines in the latest two books. In fact, I would like to see the storylines (especially Quentyn’s) expanded on in the series.

  7. Yago
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Can’t say I’m a fan, and I wouldn’t mind them not showing Dorne, as we already have too many storylines…

  8. Omar Brown
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Some parts of the Dorne aspect are cool, but like the Greyjoys they will need careful culling, the books felt bloated with them and the Tv show will make it worse.

    Keep: The Red Viper, Doran and Arriane
    Toss: Everything else, yes even Hotah, he was Strong Belwas of Dorne, some cool lines and nothing else

  9. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    This was great! I’ve always been a huge Dorne/Martell/Sand fan and I’ve been worried that it was going to get ignored. “I also think it important that Oberyn be portrayed as virile, masculine, desirable, competent and bisexual.” I COMPLETELY agree with this and with the importance of casting POC actors in the roles. Waiting with bated breath for the casting news!

  10. Helen
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    House Dorne is one of my favourites! I was thrilled when HBO announced they were casting Oberyn. The duel between him and the Mountain was one of my favourite scenes from the series.

    http://tiny-tran.blogspot.ca/2013/05/crystal-clay-game-of-thrones-part-4.html

  11. Unbowd UnbentUnHodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu,

    i agree with your comments about aFfC. i found dorne and the iron islands most interesting because it felt different and a new window into the world. i also did enjoy the Quentyn chapters

  12. ProgGrrl
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Cannot wait for the Red Viper next year and hopefully Dorne/House Martell to follow in S5!

  13. Bryon Blofstein
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I think I’m as excited at WiC to see how Drone plays out here. D&D have have done great work so far. Dorne is such a big factor in the later books and it all makes sense.

    Please do us right by this D&D. The Moutain V. Viper scene is on of the favorite one on one fight in the novels.

    Sunspear and the Martells are just fantastic.

  14. Bee Beep
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    This is a fantasic post. I was a bit meh when Dorne and the Martells were introduced first, simply because we already had so many storylines going on and I thought they would get in my way to read more of my favorite characters, like the Greyjoys did for me (except Theon). But the more I read about Dorne, about the Martells, about the Red Viper and Arianne and the Martells, I just completely fell in love. I love Dorne, it has by far become one of my favorite places in the whole series. I just hope that they cast eastern europe looking actors.

    The description of food, which GRRM gives us plenty lol, reminded me so much of food I get when I’m Turkey, and from the description of the looks of Dornish people, they sound very arabian/iranian/persian. So I really hope they keep that in mind. Personally I will be disappointed if they look rather african, not because I’m racist, simply because they were described as oriental looking.

  15. Herr Fick
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Congratulations for this great blogging idea, FaBio! This is an outstanding piece on WiC.
    All the important points about Dorne and its place in ASOIAF are covered by your panelists. Bring on more qestions and answers!

  16. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    I actually don’t think the writers should be concentrating on his bisexuality. It should just be a matter-of-fact kind of a thing. He should be this BAD ASS guy that even straight men would be crushing on… and then suddenly in one scene he’s shown in bed with Ellaria and another man.

    Basically, he’s the Omar Little of Westeros. And seeing as how we’re not likely to get Michael K. Williams (one can dream…), we’ve got to get someone similar who can carry off a LOT. The fact that we’re getting the Red Viper bodes well for later on down the road, particularly as we get some culling of other cast members as time goes by.

  17. Nick Larter
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Marvellous stuff! Darkstar rocks!

    And for any Dorne fans that have never seen the article below, which was rescued from the old ‘Dungeon Manual’ site, I highly recommend it!

    http://criticalimmunity.tumblr.com/post/13641885402/george-rr-martin-darkstar-gerold-dayne

  18. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Ethnic diversity, but little sexual diversity. Huh. This kind of ended up being a pretty one-note smattering of opinions.

    I can only speak for myself, but the singularly excellent Oberyn Maryell aside, Dorne felt like too much on top of the heap at the time I was reading. The same with the Brothers Greyjoy material. As a reader I found it hard to care without immediate and apparent knowledge of their importance after the books focused so strongly on several core areas and their conflicts. I agree Dorne is a colorful and exciting locale with a distinct culture, but Oberyn was compelling for his direct bearing on a certain character’a fate as well as his uncommon demeanor. He was connected pretty quickly whereas the others seem so distant and apparently inconsequential. It’s a lot of faith to demand from someone up front who’s been religiously following so many other characters, and were still waiting for some payoffs thousands of pages later.

    I hope the show does streamline Dorne among other new threads, though not in the draconian way FaB suggests others have in mind. Just show us the real movers of the story. Don’t stop for every named badass, just the ones that will build the plot as GRRM has planned out and a few more around them to keep us guessing. If so many readers struggled to care for the new threads introduced and dragged though AFFC/ADWD, how will viewers, largely a more casual bunch, receive the burden of yet more new faces/factions with little to show for their existence? This is why I hope AFFC/ADWD are adapted into one season. There simply isn’t enough content to justify a season per without some intense filler magic being worked in. That way, we can get lots of visually realized Martells and Greyjoys without letting their stories drag their feet as they did in ASOIAF. I’m of the opinion the two book split coincided with a drop in quality. I strongly believe a smart adaptation could exceed the impact of the original material. Dorne is rich, but simply spread much too thinly over too many pages. I truly hope we get AFFC/ADWD Redux from the show. This would involve some distillation of Dorne, but no more than with any other storyline for the sake of narrative impact. We would get a tasty reduction instead of the relatively bland marathon of new faces and useless gestures we’ve been treated to so far. Less would be so much more here.

  19. J.Hancorn
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Question 1. As a reader of A Song of Ice and Fire, do you even like Dorne? Where, amongst all the other lands, do you place it in your pile of favorites? Top three? Top ten? Tell me what sticks with you when you think of Dorne, good or bad?

    I love Dorne, I’m incredibly nervous that they’ll cut plot arcs or characters out of the Dorne storyline. Small things like reducing the number of the Sand Snakes would be fine, but I want to see all of it as I think people underestimate Dorne.

    This is also why I like them in a way, especially Prince Doran, who appears so frustratingly distant and slow when in fact he is quick minded and has a brilliant plan to restore the Targaryen’s to the Iron Throne again.

    In a pile of favourites, I’d say they’re in the top 3 of mine, since I don’t particularly like that many houses, and prefer individuals more.

    Question 2. The Red Viper is the first Dornish character we’re introduced to, and is easily considered a fan favorite. Who do you imagine in that role when you picture him? Not necessarily a specific actor, but is there a type of person you would hope to see? Also, in the books he is noted as being bisexual.Is this an important trait?

    I imagine him being a very arrogant, physically attractive and imposing figure. Clearly a fighter, in a way the Dorne version of Jaime if he wasn’t charming and smart. I always had the sense that the Red Viper had many qualities but wasn’t the most intelligent of the sons of Dorne.

    In terms of physical appearance, I always saw them being more darker skinned than a Mediterranean olive skinned colour. There’s a whole host of actors I would love to see, the suggestion of Idris Elba got me very excited, plus he’s been on HBO before (The Wire), I think he do something brilliant with the Viper.

  20. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    WompWomp: Ethnic diversity, but little sexual diversity. Huh. This kind of ended up being a pretty one-note smattering of opinions.

    Considering how very often roundtable discussions on the internet are 100% men, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. Despite our shared gender, we are capable of having different opinions, as our answers show.

  21. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Not so thrilled about those either. I’d like to see an even split. Too many a discussion has been reduced to the braying of brosome banter.

  22. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Awesome read!
    Personally, outside King’s Landing Dorne is my favorite region by far. Dorne is the second most important kingdom after King’s Landing in the second half of the series.

    Doran has his fingers (via the Sand Snakes) in every realm importance in the books! The characters have only been touched on in many cases, but each has an important role to play moving forward from all appearances. Many of the regions a people we have met lose importance as the series moves along and the Dornish will be taking the opposite trajectory becoming more important, more involved in every plot. The red herrings will be sorted out and the importance of some of the Dornish roles will move to the forefront.

    Some people seem to have the opinion that Dorne cannot be important since it was introduced so late, but I beg to differ! Dorne, and the Martells were introduced to us very early in the saga. The are vital to the overall narrative.

    As far as culture and ethnicity go I see them as Berber or Northern African maybe. I pictured them similar to the Moors (Rhoynish) or Egyptians (Salty Dornish) as I read and have a hard time picturing anything else honestly. Although I am not adamant in that the be cast that way! D&D and Nina can cast them anywhere from Italian to Indian and I will be okay with it.

    As for the Red Viper…
    I do not think of his bisexuality as important to the story in any way whatsoever. I’m not even sure his polyamorous lifestyle is important, but that shapes who he is more so and serves as a backdrop for the various ethnicities of the Sand Snakes. If D&D include those details.

    I find the idea of Ellaria taking the place of Taena of Myr intriguing as well….

  23. Udi
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    #Bee Beep – Not trying to be a grammar Nazi but this (The description of food, which GRRM gives us plenty lol, reminded me so much of food I get when I’m Turkey…) got me laughing! You might want to add a “the” (or leave the sentence as is, it’s kinda cute).
    Also – (ok, NOW I AM being a grammar Nazi) – #Bryon Blofstein (I think I’m as excited at WiC to see how Drone…) also got me smiling.
    Anyway, to the point of this post, great post and wholeheartedly agree Dorne should be amazing. I trust the showrunners and staff to pick the best locations and actors for the Dorne parts and as Omar Brown said – to introduce a minimum of characters so non-book-readers don’t get entirely lost.

  24. Sue Monforte
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I want Dorne to be a huge part of the GoT series so badly it hurts! I want to see the vastness of this desert region exploited and explored along with the richly colorful characters brought to life in all their splendid glory! This has got to happen GoT – we readers of the books need to see ALL Dorne has to offer. Make it so…PLEASE!!

  25. Worthing
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I’d be more interested in Dorne if they could do anything right. Their fascinating culture is somewhat undercut by their seeming incompetence and low impact. Doran’s big speech is cool and all, but they really haven’t had an impact on the story or world much so far. I feel the same way about Dorne as I do about Young Griff: by not really getting into them until the 4th and 5th books, I think GRRM has kinda tipped his hand that they’re really not that important in the grand scheme of things. I think the Iron Islands stuff, while similarly padded, will translate better to TV since GoT has already been there, and viewers have spent time with several Greyjoys already.

    Also, Hotah can totally go. He is literally a dude who stands in the corners of rooms listening to other people’s conversations so that readers can hear them, too. You don’t need that kind of crutch on TV.

  26. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Worthing,

    Hotah is fine so long as we don’t have to live inside his head. [laughs] Despite the odds, I was hoping for Left and Right to accompany Diana Rigg this season. Any deviation from the generic (though admittedly well-dressed) Lannister guard would be welcome.

  27. Al Swearengen
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Oded Fehr was born to play The Red Viper !

  28. ACatLover
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Question 1. As a reader of A Song of Ice and Fire, do you even like Dorne? Where, amongst all the other lands, do you place it in your pile of favorites? Top three? Top ten? Tell me what sticks with you when you think of Dorne, good or bad?

    I love Dorne. I have Dorne flair on Reddit, Dorne is my favorite of the areas of Westeros, I’m intrigued by everything Dornish (hoping World of Ice and Fire, which GRRM just mentioned might be released as soon as next spring despite the previous announcement pushing it back to next fall, will have a lot on the Rhoynish and Dornish history). What sticks with me is the cultural diversity, the geographic allure, and the highly interesting characters. Seeing Sunspear/The Water Gardens on the show would make GoT perfect to me.

    Question 2. The Red Viper is the first Dornish character we’re introduced to, and is easily considered a fan favorite. Who do you imagine in that role when you picture him? Not necessarily a specific actor, but is there a type of person you would hope to see? Also, in the books he is noted as being bisexual.Is this an important trait?

    I’m not a big fan of memorizing actors’ names and/or fitting them into roles, but I hope they choose someone with olive skin, dark features, and long hair — because that’s what I have. Going even further, as a bisexual alpha male, perhaps the reason I like Oberyn so much is that I can see the fantasy-version of me in him. The writer in the piece that said “I also think it important that Oberyn be portrayed as virile, masculine, desirable, competent and bisexual” was completely correct, and I also hope they hint at or show his poly tendencies with Ellaria and others.

  29. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I think the show will keep Hotah actually. I completely agree that he isn’t that important as a character, but the show likes action, and I think the scene with the Myrcella plot unravelling, and then Hotah killing Oakheart would be something that could look good on TV. I don’t think Hotah would have many lines or be cast with a notable actor. They could cast any well-built stunt-capable actor with fighting skills and an intimidating look.

    Udi,

    They can’t edit their posts so there’s not much point to criticizing their grammar or spelling errors. :)

  30. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Worthing,

    So the Dornish are not interesting because they screw up a lot?
    Aren’t the books full of characters and houses that cannot get anything right? Look at the Lannisters or Starks. They make one mistake after the next.

    Personally I find the Starks and Lannsiters intriguing because of their flaws and errors… Likewise for the Dornish. Different strokes I guess….

  31. Turncloak
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I actually don’t think the writers should be concentrating on his bisexuality. It should just be a matter-of-fact kind of a thing. He should be this BAD ASS guy that even straight men would be crushing on… and then suddenly in one scene he’s shown in bed with Ellaria and another man.

    ^This

  32. GerB40
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    For some reason i thought the dornish were black. Not brown or mixed race, just black. With that in mind i always pictured Idris Elba doing a pretty good job as the Red Viper. He’s an amazing actor who can do accents well, what more do ya want?? And who doesn’t want to see Stringer Bell fighting Gregor Clegane?

  33. Delta1212
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    It took literally the entirety of AFfC (seriously, last paragraph of the last Dornish chapter) to get me interested in Dorne, but once I was on-board I fell hard and I enjoy everything about it a lot more now than I did on my first pass.

  34. Sky Aero
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I think the RV could make or break S4. He’s really like a tornado that meets the Capitol.

    I hope he’ll be Middle-Eastern or perhaps South-European.

    + I hope for some RV man action!

  35. Clob
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I haven’t gotten to the point of appreciating anything Dorne in the book series as of yet. Reading through the first time it all felt so disconnected and I kept wondering why I was reading about all (this) when all I wanted was to find out what happens next with the “main characters.” It felt like having scenes totally separate from the main story with a newly introduced character 3/4′s of the way into a movie. There is now some crossover that’s happened so far and I expect there will be more to make the inclusion of these characters make more sense. However, what’s there so far and the amount of it feels a bit unnecessary to me. That’s just me though and, again, that’s just at this point.

  36. Ren Snow
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    That image of the Sand Snakes has tiny mistake: Elia Sand, the fifth sand snake, is not a little girl but a 14 years old teenager

  37. Arkash
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Question 1 :

    Dorne may be my favourite place in Westeros, ex-aeqo with North of the Wall.
    The freedom there ! Women’s right (as a man, it is so much more exciting to dream about those fiery and independant women there, but that is from a dream perspective – where would I live there ? – cause of course, as a reader, I so love all the women who have different standarts, but as a human being, Dornish Women are my favourite).

    And of course the beauty of Dorne : hot deserts, cold nights, Water Garden… its history (so apart from the rest of Westeros), the Martells, their endgame, their ambitions, their way of life…

    Question 2 :

    Aaaaah, the Red Viper ! Bloody Red Viper ! Cant really have an actor in mind for him. I like many ideas : Oded Fehr, for example, is a good idea ! But I’d rather have someone quite unknown with the same looks and vibe as him. (the only actual big name I now want in the show is Mads Mikkelsen as Euron).
    But yeah, definitly someone in that vibe.

    As for the bisexual aspect, yes, it is important. It really shows how much Dorne is open-minded ! The show already stated the Tyrells as open-minded thanks to the Queen of Thorns, but I really hope they’ll go further (South) and show that the Dornish are the real deal !

    “YOU RAPED HER ! YOU MURDERED HER ! AND YOU KILLED HER CHILDREN !”

    DORNE RULES !

    And since I know D&D often come here at WiC (they read your “tweeter reviews”, FaB), I hope they’ll read this thread ! Do not screw with Dorne !

  38. Maxwell James
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed this roundtable, and don’t question the basic premise that Dorne should be in the show. I love Dorne as a location and some of the characters (principally Oberyn, Doran, and Arianne). The Mountain-Oberyn fight is an essential set piece, as is its fallout. And the Dornish sequences in AFFC are very well written.

    I’m skeptical, however, that most of the Dornish plots can make it into the show successfully. We’ve seen time and again that the show can handle about 8 storylines per season AT MOST. Doing even that much makes some episodes feel like a so-called clip show – just look at how rich “Second Sons” was in comparison with “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” (which I liked, but definitely felt rushed).

    Arianne’s plot to crown Myrcella and Quentyn’s quest to marry Dany both involve a ton of new characters without all that much payoff in the end. If the point of Quentyn’s story (which can be said to be over, yes?) is to free Dany’s dragons and set up their alliance with Aegon, that can be accomplished without adding a bunch of new characters to an already-ginormous cast. Similarly, while I enjoyed Arianne’s plot, in the end it really doesn’t seem to have been that important to the main storyline, especially with Myrcella still alive and Arianne now considering a marriage to Aegon.

    I’m not completely opposed to including those storylines, but my question is: what would you cut in order to include them? AFFC + ADWD already have something like 18 storylines between them. That’s just far too much for the show to handle all at once.

  39. Dorian
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    I don’t mind Dorne. Does that figure into my opinion about its place in the show? I don’t think so.

    The fact is the show doesn’t need to show much of anything of what goes on in Dorne. At all. The introduction of this entirely new location, with an entirely new set of characters, relatively late in the show (Season 5, minimum) will be for little real gain and alot of straight up downside.

    1. Casting costs: Doran Martell, Arianne Martell, a Sand Snake (1, minimum), Gerold Dayne, Arys Oakheart – all these new people thrown at us a mere season after the show has made some room in its cast roster by eliminating the entire Robb Stark plotline.

    2. For what benefit? To see Myrcella get maimed? What purpose does that serve? They can just talk about this in King’s Landing when its necessary. We need not ever bother to meet Arianne Martell until the events of ADWD/TWOW – provided the show gets that far (fingers crossed). We can learn all about Doran and his plans from when Quentyn shows up to marry Dany

    3. Game of Thrones is already a very ambitious show in the number of storylines and characters it asks viewers to keep a track of. The fact is that introducing this entirely new bunch of characters – none of whom will have any connection to the audience whatsoever by way of a character that the audience actually already knows will try the patience of non-book readers to the extreme.

    4. The other plotlines will benefit from room to breathe. The Dorne plot will see that breathing room even further reduced for no obvious purpose.

  40. Maxwell James
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Incidentally, since I love suggesting ideas to streamline the show, here’s a new one:

    Have Arya go to Meereen, rather than Braavos, to train with the Faceless Men.

    That will put her in a position to not only connect Dany to the “main” storyline, but also to even take a hand (pro or con) in the assassinations & terror attacks that occur during her rule there. Maybe the Kindly Man has some clients in the Sons of the Harpy…

  41. Treasonbeard
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    This whole ‘gather and label people by their race/ethnicity’ thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Pigment has very little to do with actual diversity, and its an odd way to view the world.

  42. quasadu
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    This may be the best article I have ever seen on this website – and that is saying a lot. Nice one, FaB.

  43. dizzy
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I think what most people are concerned with about Dorne is how they are going to impact the end game. At the moment it seems they are proving to be futile players (hence all the hate they get). I hope all the subplots end up playing a role. Otherwise I can see them being justified in cutting Dornish parts or characters out of the show.

  44. Hmadkour
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I think you should do the same post but with the Greyjoys( Vic, Euron, Aeron…)

  45. Jasmine
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Agreed with everything but I think HBO will be too mindblown when you tell them a majority of ASoIaF fans are women to read farther.

  46. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    It is not 18 full storylines though….
    A number of those lines intersect and then break off and join other lines and so on. It is more like 12-14 storylines with the way they interact I think. Maybe still too many for some readers or viewers…. Not for me.

    I still say there I like to be 10-15 (or more) new roles introduced every season as locations change and are introduced over the next few seasons. It is unavoidable. Many, or maybe even most, will be supporting cast for the few more meaty roles. After that the storylines and regions appear to begin contracting and there will be less new characters and regions introduced.

    For me though the thing that makes ASOIAF so brilliant is how huge the world is. That is also one of the key aspects that separates the TV series from everything else on TV. The scope is huge, epic even. D&D have done a very good job of narrowing the scope so far and will not narrow it much more in my opinion. Why should they? To streamline it down to be too much like everything else on TV loses the very essence of the saga. It will always have a huge cast with a huge world of varying regions. It is what it is.

  47. babar
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Treasonbeard: Pigment has very little to do with actual diversity

    I agree. And it shows in the article: the opinions were pretty much the same.

  48. Dorian
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Darquemode:

    There’s no point in adding to the huge cast and the huge world where its not necessary. And frankly, the entire Dorne plot in AFFC is not essential. It is a gigantic digression that goes nowhere. The one concrete thing that happens can be revealed later, in dialog, between characters whom that event actually affects.

  49. Mark
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I just had a fancast thought I hadn’t seen before for Oberyn (though feel free to correct me if someone else has)–Alessandro Juliani (most notable role was Lt. Gaeta in Battlestar Galactica). He might be slightly on the young side, but not so much that he couldn’t make it work.

  50. Lars
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Treasonbeard:
    This whole ‘gather and label people by their race/ethnicity’ thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.Pigment has very little to do with actual diversity, and its an odd way to view the world.

    Perhaps… But it a show with very little diversity (pigment or otherwise) – anything would be helpful, if the show runners want to portray a more realistic world.

    Having more actors with darker pigment would be a great step forward. (and I say this as a veeeery pale person) ;-)

  51. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Dorian,

    Disagree completely with the premise it goes nowhere.
    We will see how it all plays out in the final books, but I think Arianne, Darkstar, Doran, Nymeria and Sarella will have roles to play in the endgame of the saga. I bet a couple of them will be important players as well..

  52. Worthing
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    It’s partly that the Dornish screw up a lot, and partly because their thinly-drawn characters (so far) have really limited how to view them outside of those failed schemes. We come through three books with the Lannisters and Starks, and their stories, warts and all, are given room to breathe. The Martells, meanwhile, get all of four chapters in AFFC and just a few more than that in ADWD, and so readers are subject to a lot of telling instead of showing. They’re hastily established, and none of the characters have enough depth yet to function as much more than plot engines. Maybe TWOW will improve their lot a bit.

  53. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    It took some time for me to like Dorne because it took me away from characters I already knew. Eventually though it’s become one of my favorites. Especially Red Viper and the Sand Snakes. It’s great to have a place that’s diverse and socially progressive.
    I totally disagree that AFFC and ADWD were filler and that the new characters aren’t as important to the end game as the characters introduced early on. I see ASOIAF as two trilogies. The first one being the war of the five kings. AFFC/ADWD are the first volume if the second trilogy. They set up the war of the three queens and approaching long night IMO.
    Regarding Oberyn’s bisexuality, I hope they keep it. Usually popular culture depicts men who are bi as being in transition to being gay. For whatever reason it’s become socially acceptable for women to see their sexuality as fluid, but for men it’s still taboo. It would be nice to see a great character who defies convention on T.V.
    As for replacing Taena Merryweather with Elaria, I don’t think it would work. Cersei wouldn’t put her trust in the paramour of the man who defended Tyrion. Also, why would Ellaria stick around KL after the trial? Why would she be a mole for Margaery? It doesn’t make sense. Just give us both characters please!

  54. Brian
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    The issue is not whether Dorne is cool, or interesting, or unique. The issue is whether the Dorne storylines are compelling, interesting stories that contribute to the saga as a whole – especially given the huge number of already-existing characters and storylines. And, they simply are not.

    IIRC, these are the Dornish subplots:
    1. Areo Hotah watches Doran suffer from gout. Doran locks the Sand Snakes in a tower.
    2. Arianne, who is definitely an awesome character, doesn’t even get out of Dorne before her coup attempt falls apart. Doran then locks her in a tower.
    3. The painfully boring Quentyn Martell journeys to Meereen, gets rejected by Daenerys and burnt to a crisp. The only things of consequence he contributes to the story are the release of Viserion and Rhaegal, and possibly fulfilling a part of Mirri Maz Duur’s prophecy. The show can find some other way to release the dragons, and the show doesn’t care about the prophecies anyway. This character and subplot should definitely be cut from the show.

    Let’s not forget that there are at least fourteen other story lines to potentially be adapted:
    1. Cersei’s reign in King’s Landing
    2. Daenery’s reign in Meereen
    3. Lord Commander Jon Snow
    4. Stannis reclaiming the North
    5. Theon and the Boltons
    6. The Iron Islands’ Kingsmoot and invasion of the Reach
    7. Arya’s assassin training
    8. Bran the greenseer
    9. Sansa in the Vale
    10. Tyrion’s journey to Meereen
    11. Sam’s journey to the Citadel
    12. Jaime’s diplomacy in the Riverlands
    13. Brienne’s quest to find the Stark girls
    14. Davos’ quest to find Rickon

    I have no doubt that season four will be fantastic – but unless the show make some cuts, I worry that season five will be horribly digressive. As a book reader, I think Benioff and Weiss should cut out as much of the books as they need to in order to tell a tight, compelling story. I would not be sorry to see them cut some of Dorne for the good of the story.

  55. Jared
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I really like Dorne. I absolutely want to see it as a major location and most or all of its important characters depicted on screen. But some condensing of the characters and plotlines is inevitable, and frankly, necessary.

    Essential: Oberyn, Arianne, and Doran. All of them are major players, although Arianne may not be introduced until Season 5, and Doran certainly won’t be.

    Could theoretically be cut for time constraints, but probably won’t be: Ellaria Sand isn’t strictly speaking essential, but there’s little harm in casting her, considering that she helps reinforce the lusty nature of Oberyn’s persona. Quentyn Martell could be cut if the producers decide that they want to greatly condense Daenery’s Meereen arc (and it needs some condensing). But he’ll probably make it into the show. Regardless, he won’t show up this season.

    Will probably exist, but almost certainly will be marginalized: Trystane Martell could theoretically be played by an extra. And while Areo Hotah -the most boring and useless POV character in all 5 books to date will probably be cast – he won’t be a major player. He’s only a POV in the books because Doran is one of those characters who “knows too much”.

    Will probably exist, but certainly will be condensed: The Sandsnakes. The younger ones are almost certainly gone (or at the very least, won’t be seen on screen). I will be VERY surprised is Sarella/Alleras and her quest to become a Maester in Oldtown makes it into the show (In fact, unless Sam’s quest to become a Maester has some hugely important role to play in future books, I will be surprised if we see Oldtown at all. He could end up just staying at the Wall). Obara, Nymeria, and Tyene could theoretically be combined in some form. I know that seems ridiculous when you consider how different they are in appearance and backstory, and I’m certain some of hardcore purists would have a stroke if this happens. For the record, I am NOT endorsing this, but when you consider that the Sandsnake’s primary role in the story is to demand that Doran go to war to avenge Oberyn’s death, it has to be on the table (honestly, Arianne could take the lead on this). Do you really need to depict three/four/eight of them on screen with substantial speaking roles when you could cast one or two and then have the rest played by extras?

    Uncertain: Arys Oakheart and the Darkstar. This really depends on how much (if any) of the plot to crown Myrcella makes it into the show. Benioff and Weiss will probably lean on insight from Martin as to how important this story is to the future of the series. If it’s not that important, then it will be reduced or cut, and these characters may go along with it.

    And then there’s the whole Aegon plot and Dorne’s role in that, which I won’t even get into here.

  56. Hi-Fi
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Great article. I adore Dorne.

    Maxwell James:
    I’m not completely opposed to including those storylines, but my question is: what would you cut in order to include them? AFFC + ADWD already have something like 18 storylines between them. That’s just far too much for the show to handle all at once.

    Maybe we DON’T see all of Brienne’s boring, long and repetitive quest for Sansa? Sam’s travels can probably be reduced as well. Those were definitely the chapters that made the books drag for me. I only went back to be interested in Sam’s story when he reached Oldtown.

  57. you-know-nothing
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Question 1. As a reader of A Song of Ice and Fire, do you even like Dorne? Where, amongst all the other lands, do you place it in your pile of favorites? Top three? Top ten? Tell me what sticks with you when you think of Dorne, good or bad?

    Dorne is awesome and easily one of my favourite plot locations. I’d definitely have it in my top 3! Dorne allows the reader to escape to land of freedom and intrigue which eventually reveals itself to bubbling with unresolved resentment and a need for vengence. I honestly cannot understand it when readers say they aren’t interested in the Dornish plot. It grabbed me from the get go!!

    Question 2. The Red Viper is the first Dornish character we’re introduced to, and is easily considered a fan favorite. Who do you imagine in that role when you picture him? Not necessarily a specific actor, but is there a type of person you would hope to see? Also, in the books he is noted as being bisexual. Is this an important trait?

    I don’t have a specific actor in mind when I think of Oberyn, in fact I’ve never considered anyone for any of the roles in the show. Just always enjoyed other peoples and then pleasant surprise when Nina Gold chooses an absolute master that nobody thought of :P. Saying that, I do believe that whoever is cast should be handsome, tall, strong and broad shouldered. He should look Middle Eastern or North African and I’ve never really considered his sexuality as a key personality trait but, as a gay man myself, I’m always open to some male nudity (random male whore was an unexpected treat this season).

    With regards to Dornish casting, i do think that Ellaria could be cut with a number of the Sand Snakes (they’d need 3 at the most). I think Arianne should accompany Oberyn to Kingslanding, that would introduce the Martells earlier and allow Arianne to be involved in key stories. She can do everything that Ellaria does, and more.

  58. Tessa_Leonie
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I like Dorne with its more equal rights. However I think there should be more than just Myrcella to link the Dorne story line to the others. I’m also curious how they will depict Dorne. On the one hand Dorne is significantly different from the rest of Westeros, yet is it as exotic as the Dothraki sea or Qarth or Astapor? How extreme is their climate? How different is the architecture/fashion etc etc? I suppose the art department will come up with a brilliant way of making Dorne both different yet also part of the Seven Kingdoms.

  59. Jared
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    The major concern becomes how to justify Dorne’s increasing importance in the story to the non-readers. I know that some book-readers will dismiss this as a concern, but it is logistically important issue to consider when you come to terms with the fact that a large portion of the show’s fanbase has not read the books, and have enough trouble keeping up with the characters as it is. Consider that since the first season with every major new location that’s been introduced, the audience has been given a ‘Point-of-Entry’ character who the audience is already familiar with to justify why the series is spending time at this new location with a new group of characters.

    -The Iron Islands were initially introduced through Theon’s return home, and I believe that when the series returns for the Kingsmoot in Season 4, Asha/Yara will serve as the primary ‘point-of-view’ character for the audience (rather than the Damphair or Victarion, who the non-reader audience has not met).
    -The Tyrells were introduced through Catelyn and to a lesser extent, Renly.
    -Lysa Arryn and the residents of the Eyrie were introduced through Catelyn and Tyrion, and when we return there in Season 4, through Littlefinger and Sansa.
    -Ramsay was introduced through Theon.
    -Mance Rayder and the Wildlings were introduced through Jon Snow.
    -Every character on Essos to-date has been introduced through Dany.

    And so on and son. The one exception to this structure was Stannis and the Dragonstone crew at the beginning of Season 2, but Stannis was discussed quite frequently by the residents of King’s Landing during Season 1 and his future role – as Robert’s ‘rightful’ heir – was clearly established by the lead character (at the time) of the series, Ned Stark. Now they could do something similar with Dorne – have Oberyn talk up Doran and Arianne to Tyrion/Tywin, etc. so that when the series jumps down to Dorne in Season 5, audience members who have been paying attention have at least a vague idea of why we’re suddenly spending time with this group of characters. Keep in mind, however, the series at that point was much more condensed in scope than it will be in late Season 4/early Season 5, when Dorne will introduced. It will be more difficult to make it work this time around.

    This brings us to question that has been somewhat contentious among book-readers – namely, will Arianne Martell accompany Oberyn to King’s Landing so that we can get to know her, and so she can later return to Dorne as our Point-of-Entry character? I’ve already outlined most of the arguments for this course of action above. The arguments against it all have merit, but come with their own issues.

    1) Why would the Princess and Heir to Dorne go to King’s Landing? She wouldn’t – based what we know of her from the books. They would have to bend some logic to get her there, but that’s doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be useful. And the non-readers would be none the wiser.

    2) Would she replace Ellaria Sand (obviously not as Oberyn’s lover, but as his travelling companion). She wouldn’t have to. Ellaria would be an easy cut to make, but there’s no reason Arianne couldn’t accompany her uncle in addition to Ellaria.

    3) Why not give that role to Nymeria Sand (since she ends up in King’s Landing anyway)? Because the Sand Snakes, as mentioned earlier, are comparatively minor characters, who will likely be condensed in some form. There’s little point in building up Nymeria when she’s going to be marginalized later.

    4) Just introduce Dorne in Season 5 and trust the audience to follow it – they’re smarter than you think. I agree that a good percentage of the non-reader audience is both incredibly intelligent and invested in keeping up with all of the characters and their importance in the larger narrative. But the series has casual viewers as well, and while the producers don’t need to pander to these viewers by explaining everything, they can’t just ignore their needs entirely. When you encounter viewers of the show who still have trouble remembering the names of characters we’ve known for THREE YEARS, and that the show will be adding the Iron Islands, Meereen, Braavos, new Wildlings, new Northmen, and Aegon to its roster in the coming years, you have to appreciate that it’s a lot to keep up with. If Benioff and Weiss want viewers to care about what’s happening in Dorne, they need to make us care about the new characters. That’s going to be a challenge when so much else to cover.

  60. Maxwell James
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    I think it’s fine for them to keep adding locations. And – with great caution – cast members to populate those locations. Some folks are going to die, others will fall offscreen for a while (such as the BwB), and there’s no need for them to actually shrink the cast. That’s all in the nature of storytelling.

    But adding storylines is another matter altogether. I think your level of tolerance is extremely unusual; going by my reading of recaps, most viewers, readers included, start to get irritated with the show when it covers more than 6-7 storylines per episode. 12, which would probably be the minimum to cover all of AFFC and ADWD in sync, would be right out. Think about it – we’d probably get about 4.5 minutes per episode with any one group of characters.

    And newbies in particular struggle get frustrated in particular with storylines the further they get away from the central political conflicts in Westeros (hell, lots of readers get frustrated with this in the books). Think about all the complaints about Jon and Dany’s storylines last year, or Theon’s this year. I think a plot like Arianne’s, that involves NO well-established characters other than Myrcella, who’s been onscreen for a total of maybe 10 minutes so far, would be extremely disorienting for viewers. Especially if it was mixed in with 11 other plots every episode.

    Right now the show has a good balance of complexity and payoff. But getting that much more complex would kill it.

  61. Not Today
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I guess I’m in the minority of people who’s not that into the Dorne/Martell stuff (although I think they have one of the most awesome house words). However, it is still the reason why AFFC is the book I re-read the most and why I like it even more than Clash or Dance.

    I’m somehow just not intrigued by the “looks” of Dorne and its people, culture, customs, …I don’t know why, I guess I’m simply more of a Northerner..

    Plus, imho there are way too many different Dorne POV chapters of characters that I don’t care about for the above-mentioned reasons.

    Therefore, there are only two factors that make the Dorne chapters so interesting for me; it’s all the background stuff about Rhaegar & Elia you finally get to hear. This is also why I can see the importance of these chapters (unlike with the many Greyjoy POVs).

    And then there is one Martell I’m REALLY intrigued about and that’s not Oberyn but Doran Martell. I can’t shake the feeling that he might be one of the smartest players in the GoT.
    So in terms of Dorne characters I could totally be fine with only Oberyn (because of THE scene) and Doran being in the show. I couldn’t care less for the Sand Snakes, to be honest.

  62. Maxwell James
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Hi-Fi,

    OK, but then you’re cutting out two much-loved characters, and the actors who have done great work in those roles, in favor of completely new people and plots.

    I think for that to work the new plotlines would have to be killer. While they have their good points, I don’t think Arianne (who I am in favor of casting, fwiw) and Quentyn’s plots are good enough to justify that.

  63. Lars
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree with many posters… I like the Dorne, and I like most of the characters. But the plots… Most of them lead nowhere. That is the problem that D&D have to solve.

  64. Knurk
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    These are all arguments that don’t matter for tv. You can give arguments why you think Dorne is such an awesome place, the fact remains that NOTHING happens there. Regular tv-viewers will be bored out of their skull when we switch to Dolan and what’shername.

  65. dizzy
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Jared,
    The Wire added new characters all the time. You just went with it and trusted the show. I don’t see why Dorne couldn’t be the same. However I’m all for simplifying things a bit. Having a “witness” to the happenings at Kings Landing makes sense for the show.

  66. Bryon Blofstein
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Udi,

    HA! Grammar Nazi indeed. It’s all in fun. But the excitement for Dorne should be great. Anyone who doesn’t agree just didn’t get it when reading the books.

  67. Hollyoak
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Never knew there was such fascination with Dorne. Wow.

    Haven’t read the complete post yet but I’m looking forward to it.

  68. Nancy
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I am assuming the Dorne is going to be a player in future events in the books and series, so I am not opposed to Dorne being introduced on the show. The Red Viper is a great way to do that (I would love to see Naveen Andrews or Alexander Siddig tackle that part). The show has already sent Myrcella there, so I expect to catch up with her on the show as well. Whether we meet all of the Dornish characters on the show that we do in the books, well I don’t know that we need to meet them all…but besides the Red Viper, the show has to introduce Doran, Arienne and Quentyn at the very least.
    I’d be okay if the show did skip Aerys Oakheart and the Dark Star, unless the Dark Star is playing an important part in future events

  69. mags giantsbabe
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    This conversation was great to read. I will definitely look at the Dornish with new eyes when they appear next season, and when I pick up the books for a read again. Sensitivity to different racial contours on an imagined continent the size of Westeros makes complete sense. The distinct ethnicity of the Dornish should not be ignored, but neither should it come across as pc. It should also be their traits and culture make them distinct, not just their skin colour. I try to be aware of this when I write my own fantasy, which is based on a smaller world (a forest community), but where divisions also rather happen along class lines, because of my world’s mining and forestry economy.

    Can’t wait for the Red Viper, I completely forgot about his bisexuality. The chase with Marcella stood out to me, the Viper’s duel and also any background info related to the Targaryean links to Dorne. I also wish there were more information on Rhaegar’s relationship with Elia (I know there is some), and on a side note, his relationship with his own parents.

  70. Cabbo
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Celia knows.

  71. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Interesting. Personally I…

    Love: The Red Viper

    Like: Doran, Arianne, Dorne as a setting

    Hate: Darkstar

    I want to see an awesome Red Viper. To me, that takes clear precedence over his ethnicity. He’s olive skinned, anyway, so I don’t really see him as necessarily non-caucasian. And this is coming from a non-caucasian.

  72. GaryE
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    According to Martin, Dorne= Wales+Spain and Palestine with some imaginary influences thrown in the mix also. I would say Dorne itself should be fairly culturally diverse.

  73. Hounded
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I really look forward to Dorne being on the show. Think it could look amazing on screen. However the only Dornish character I’m that interested in seeing is Oberyn. The others aren’t that interesting and are oddly thinly drawn for GRRM. I think the show could improve those characters, Arrianne, Quentyn, Doran, The Sand snakes etc

  74. juststoppedby
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    Your comment is the first real breath of fresh air I’ve read. I agree, the opinions in the post are almost completely one note. Yes, Dorne should be a people of color, Oberyn needs to be a bad ass with some seriously quirky layers and I agree that Dorne itself needs to be a beautiful, over the top place. But does it need to be fully represented in the series as it is in the books… maybe, probably not. Like you I felt worn down by the never-ending additions of characters with little or no connection to one of the many story lines already in play. Other than the connection of Myrcella being in Dorne I was completely caught off gaurd by the plethora of new Dornish characters added. At the end I understood why Dorne and it’s people are included; thier relation to the Targaryens and the upcoming story twist but it seemed like so much of it was little more than filler material. Much like the overly dragged out Greyjoy brothers (that needs to pan out in the next book or I may have to hate GRRM for a couple minutes) I felt like this entire story line needed to be cut down and edited for actual content instead of added to an already exasperating amount of information that we need to keep track of.

  75. Michael
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    “And that’s what I want to see: a very Dornish attitude. The most succinct way I can put it is to say Dorne opens, for fans of color and alternate lifestyles, the doors to a fantasy realm that’s not often seen…One that can be theirs.”

    This is exactly the promise of Dorne. I couldn’t have said it better, so I quote. Please please please please please please please please please please please please…I beg you please. DO NOT F**K DORNE UP! There are a lot of British/African/India actors who would be perfect for these roles. Diversity on GOT has been selective and marginal, but much of that is reflected in the source material. Don’t lose this opportunity to not only be faithful to the text, but to push GOT as a medium into truly new territory.

  76. Javi Marcos
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Well, I’m Spanish, so I love Dorne.

    In my opinion Dorne should be varied ethnically. Almost 80-90% of us Spanish are white skinned, we have not black skin and only that 10-20% have olive skin. The show should not keep that ratio, but maybe half of the dornishmen should look caucasian and half of them moors. Not all of them moors, and most of all, no black people.

    Not because of racism, but because there is no a single Dornish in the book with totally black skin and in Spain, Morocco, Egypt or even India people have not as usual black skin.

  77. Suzaku
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed Dorne and the Greyjoys, for that matter.

    My only real hope for the show is that they start filtering in those storylines next season. If we can get some insight into Dornish politics and the Kingsmoot before these storylines become a heavy focus, as they did in Feast/Dance, I think that will make it more palatable for viewers. In the books it’s like you’re just suddenly introduced to several new plotlines and characters with very little time to acclimate.

  78. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I forgot spoiler tags and don’t know how to add them retroactively. Please don’t read on if you haven’t read AFFC.

    Here’s a way to create a point of entry to Dorne. Replace Arys Oakheart with Bronn. I know the two characters are different but it could work.
    Say in the first season four Tywin sends Bronn to Dorne to guard Myrcella. Maybe after the PW to cut Tyrion off from any remaining allies. Bronn, caring more about the loads of money Tywin pays him to get of town than his (non) friendship with Tyrion readily agrees. We all know Bronn likes the ladies so Arianne seduces him. Arys is shy and inexperienced and falls in love. That will have to change to lust with Bronn. Also I think Bronn would enjoy the queenmaker plot just because it shakes things up and he gets to display lots of bravado. D&D can find out if Bronn is important in the last two books. If he is he can just be taken hostage. If he doesn’t do anything else important he can be killed in dramatic fashion.
    This would cut down on the number of cast members and give Bronn something to do in the next two seasons. After all, Bronn is a fan favorite. Arys not so much. They haven’t cast the Stokeworths and probably won’t so what else is Bronn going to do?
    I know this could seem out there, but the replacement of Edric Storm with Gendry has worked surprisingly well even though it seemed sacreligious at first,

  79. Shmurb
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Great article! I always loved Dorne and the Viper, and this gave me some insight into why. Everything in around around Dorne just seems to much more free and less repressed than the other areas of Westeros.

  80. rikon
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I think the showrunners should introduce “Dornish cast” gradually in Seasons 4 and 5 – and of course there will be some cuts – if Ellaria is cast she can take over some functions from one of the sandsnakes later on (for instance she can accompany BS instead of Obara – I know some purists might go apeshit about it, but I think changing Ellaria’s personality and making her more like one of sandsnakes is a good way of both keeping Oberyn’s lover on the show and reducing the number of sandsnakes – besides they have altered characters of Littlefinger, Renly, Loras – compared to them Ellaria is really a minor character and making her more agressive-pro-cative like Obara will not be such a drastic change )

    In Season 4 they can introduce Oberyn, Ellaria, Darkstar (as their boytoy)

    In Season 5 we meet already familiar Dornsh gang bringing body of Oberyn back to Dorn, and we are introduced to Doran, Arianne, Myrcella, Arys, Areo and 2 Sandsnakes, after Doran has Sandsnakes arrested, he has a secret meeting with Quenteen and sends him out, triggering Arianne conspiracy, ‘d love them to expand the Quents story, but if there is not enough space and if they do bulk of AFFC/ADWD in one Season – then they can show Quent being dispatched on a mission in EPP 1 and then show him again only athe then of Epp 7 when he meets Danny and introduces himself, EPP 8 will feature thei failed negotiations and his first meeting with Dragons, EPP 9 – Events of Fighting Pits, While Quenteen barbeque can be a scary and impressive finale for the season )

  81. Hassan Madkour
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Can I hope for a post like this about the Greyjoys?

  82. Hassan Madkour
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Amr Waked should be the Red Viper

  83. Bee Beep
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Udi: Udi
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink
    #Bee Beep – Not trying to be a grammar Nazi but this (The description of food, which GRRM gives us plenty lol, reminded me so much of food I get when I’m Turkey…) got me laughing! You might want to add a “the” (or leave the sentence as is, it’s kinda cute).

    Oops. Not even did I forget to write a ‘the’ in front of food, but more importantly, the ‘in’ before Turkey xD My mind is always faster than my typing hands and I constantly ‘swallow’ words. Glad to have made you smile though :)

  84. Bee Beep
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I forgot to add another reason why I cannot wait to see Dorne in my earlier post.
    MYRCELLA! I love her and I cannot wait to see her again :D

  85. Doug M
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Perfect actor for the role: Benjamin Bratt.

  86. Walter_Eagle
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Oberyn is in, Doran will need to be as well, and Arianne probably has a more notable part to play in the last two books. I don’t think we need every Sand Snake on the show, and other than Oberyn I think they don’t need to be in Season 4. And Hotah, Oakheart, Trystane, Ellaria, Darkstar, etc. could be cut. It’s easy for a reader to get excited about people who are ultimately like the 50th most important characters in the books, but for non-readers (and not the kind who use this site) once we get into AFFC/ADWD territory the number of characters is likely going to get torturous so cuts must be made.

  87. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Lol Oona Chaplin is not a person of color, she is whiter than me…just because someone is from Spain (or Italy or Greece…) and has olive skin (or taned by the sun) doesn’t mean they (we) are not white…

    Maybe a european commenter would have been nice ;)

    PS: I mean someone from the “real life” Dorne ;)

  88. Laurentius
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    I think you’re on to someting. Of course people will rave at this idea, but I think something along those lines would be a good way to minimize the addition of new characters.

  89. Fourth Of His Name
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I’m roughly one-third through AFFC and I’m finding it hard to stay invested in the Dorne/Martell chapters. I think this is mainly because they’re completely new material than what I’m used to. As far as who will play the Viper, it would be great if they get a “big name” actor, therefore making it even more shocking when he’s killed.

  90. Voicereason
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    They can keep Dorne. Just as long as they cut dull as hell character’s like Arys Oakheart and Areo Hotah.

  91. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    juststoppedby,

    Thanks for reading and replying! It was kind of a wall. [laughs]

    I believe the more pressing discussion at hand is how to adapt the Dornish side of the story. Any reader worth their salt should figure Dorne must be included in a substantial capacity since the fact the storyline persists at all must indicate some future significance. The post is mostly a discussion of how much the contributors appreciate the projected modernity of Dorne and what color Oberyn should be. I think there’s more at stake here, namely the integrity of the show’s narrative.

    I don’t think any of us ambivalent to Dorne have anything against the place or the people. It’s more how GRRM has handled them in practice and how it’s colored our opinion of them (ha!) as an element of the series. Sure, GoT has added in new factions before, after a fashion, but they have all been easily traced back to the established cast through blood or politics (ex: the Brothers Baratheon and the Tyrells, who have multiple points of relation to the cast of the first season/book). Dorne has been namedropped in the books and the show many times, but chiefly as a source of wine and salacious women. Aside from the Red Viper’s appearance, which is firmly rooted in diplomacy and some historic relationships and anchored by the trial and Oberyn’s charismatic hold over us, the rest of the Dornish players really do come from left field. Their bearing on the plot is uncertain, but we all know their inclusion serves some purpose, even if some of us feel acutely indifferent to them thus far. In this I speak for myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    I really hope they pare things down for the show’s sake. The failed plot with Arianne and Myrcella ending with Oakheart’s death should be one of the first non-Oberyn tastes of Dorne we get following his death, ideally in the season after. Perhaps one scene illustrating her seduction of Arys earlier in an episode, another shot establishing his royal guard detail, and his death early in the next episode. They can’t delay her meeting with Doran, and Quentyn should be promptly introduced after their conversation. His death could be a thrilling anticlimax near the end of the season. Of course, this is all general suggestion to illustrate my greater belief that if the existing material is to be compelling on film, a brisk pace is the key. Otherwise we’ll get something unfashionably meditative, like the first season of Carnivale. I loved that show to death, but it was slowburn to a fault, not unlike the Dornish arc in relation to the closest analogue to TV time we have in the books, the page count.

  92. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Interesting ideas…
    I have been trying to figure out what to do with Bronn.

    Personally I am not against losing characters to the mists and do not think we need to see every favorite every season. Case in point Theon this year. Worst arc of the series so far by far.

    That said, merging roles is not something I am against in any way……
    I love the Gendry and Edric combo so far.

    I can see Bronn replacing a number of roles honestly… Having the romantic and naïve Arys replaced with the jaded and worldly Bronn is not something I would think of. I think there are better fits for Bronn than Arys (like the Kettleblacks or Jalabhar Xho), but it could maybe be used in a pinch. The only issue I have with that idea is Tywin trusting a sellsword enough to rescue and protect his granddaughter. Even if he wants to isolate Tyrion it does not sit right with me….

  93. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Voicereason,

    Same as my take on Hotah. The show should have Arys too. Just don’t let us live in his head, even for a little bit. I want to see Areo chop his head off. It would make an awesome visual.

    As much as I share the general meh regarding the Dornish plots, I believe meeting them in the show will ignite a new flame in my fanheart for them, just like Ed Skrein’s Daario did. I certainly didn’t expect to be won over by his character. I despise Daario in the books, mostly because he is a whisker-twirling caricature that brings out Dany’s flaws. Not because she satisfies her womanly needs with him, but because like most readers, I’m dying to see her move on from Essos, or at least the slaver cities. Even the rest of Essos has more to offer than those wretched walled cities.

  94. gisizzlah
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this awesome post FAB…. I hope the powers that be take note of how much the book fans LOVE Dorne!!

    I know a lot of ppl would like to see Dorne of a more Middle eastern descent… but i agree with a couple panelist that said a more East Indian descent can work too…

    As a matter of fact… I wouldnt mind seeing some one like Amitabh Bachchan as Doran, or Freida Pinto as Arianne or even Reshma shetty( ‘royal pains’)…. Suraj Sharma (life of pi) as Quentyn…. you get my drift…

    Also across the narrow sea, we already have that middle eastern descent look for the ppl on that side of the map… so a lil East indian look can introduce something new…

    Additionally,The ‘kindly old man’ that trains Arya, I pictured him to be Oriental…. kinda like Mr Miyagi….

    Edit: idk… but the spoiler tags doesnt seem to be working…

  95. NukeDorne
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Dorne belongs in a Bluray extra, not clogging up the show. Keep Oberyn, cut the rest and its plotsinking drudgery.

  96. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    NukeDorne,

    Hahahaha, did you just whip up that handle to cheese off the Dorne adoring?

  97. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Your reservations are the one thing I didn’t like about my idea too. Someone above suggested an already established character should take us to Dorne so it isn’t so out of nowhere. That was about the best I could come up with. They could maybe remove the entire subplot about Lancel’s religious conversion and send him? I could see Lancel in the Arys role. It depends on if he has any important role in the last two books.

    Bronn as the Kettlebacks is interesting too. Does that mean show-Bronn would be from the Fingers and be a Littlefinger ally? That would be funny. They need to do something with him. That’s for sure.

  98. Jen@House Stark
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    If I were not House Stark, I would be House Martell. Love Dorne and all things Dornish. And please, all the Sand Snakes. The more, the merrier.

  99. Kyrenna
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to answer the two questions first, then read the responses in the text and comments. So apologies if this stomps through a conversation :)

    Question 1. As a reader of A Song of Ice and Fire, do you even like Dorne? Where, amongst all the other lands, do you place it in your pile of favorites? Top three? Top ten? Tell me what sticks with you when you think of Dorne, good or bad?

    I kinda do. There had to be seven (ish) kingdoms, each with their own signature ‘feel’, and for a world that’s so much like our own medieval times, or atleast sortof Earth, it makes sense for the southernmost kingdom to be hottest. Hot places have deserts, spicy food and hot tempers. All things I don’t particularly like. Woudn’t want to live there, at all. Gimme rain and storm and snow and bland food, thank you very much. Then again, it’s the only kingdom where women can inherit as men can. Where bastards are treated like children born in a marriage. I really like that part. I like the Rhoynar legacy that brought Dorne those laws. Had to write in a counterpart to the Iron Islands’ treatment of women, I suppose. It’s also a good device to show just what Dany is up to in terms of patriarchal society; anything said about the weirdness of Dornish laws n sexual freedoms/agency I tacked unto her.

    Because of Dorne I have a hard ish time keeping apart the free cities, the cities in Slavers bay, and Dorne itself. They tend to blend together because they’re all hot and exotic/do things different from what is considered civilizaton, or something. Areo Hotah being from Norvos doesn’t help, there.

    As far as the characters go…I don’t care much for Arianne or Quentyn. They seem stupid and naive, especially the latter. Perhaps that’s because, by the time you reach them in the books, you’ve just seen too many people like them die or meet rotten fates…I dunno. I was genuinely bummed when Oberyn died, so something was done right to not make his storyline seem hopeless or too contrived. I actually believed he had a chance, and I cared about a guy willing to risk war to get revenge for a dead sister! ha. Without Doran, I don’t know just how Dorne would be governed, so it’s good he’s there. I think all of them suffer for coming to the story so much later then other characters.

    Where does Dorne rank for me? Above the Iron Islands. I almost hate that plotline, courtesy of DwD. Below the North. I’m just a sucker for tragic heroes. *shrug*

    Question 2. The Red Viper is the first Dornish character we’re introduced to, and is easily considered a fan favorite. Who do you imagine in that role when you picture him? Not necessarily a specific actor, but is there a type of person you would hope to see? Also, in the books he is noted as being bisexual.Is this an important trait?

    Small ish, in that um…he’s a head smaller than, say, Tywin Lannister. No big muscles to be seen anywhere, no barrel chest, elegant; olive-skinned or darker, self-assured without being too braggish, intelligent, witty, sexy without being a drag queen, enjoying all the good things of life while staying focussed on one thing: revenge.

    His being bisexual…it’s important in the sense it shows he doesn’t care about so far established common Westeros society conventions and just enjoys life. So yeah. That should be in. Shouldn’t make that all there is to him, though. He’s more then his sexual life, so is Dorne.

  100. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    All the show has told us so far is that the Dornish export a lot of wine (all of it red, apparently), that Tyrion quipped “do Dornish girls count?” and that Cersei was forced to betrothe and send her daughter Myrcella to House Martell in a bid to keep them neutral. If I recall Cersei’s monologue correctly, one of the Martells was married to one of the Targaryens. She and her children were killed by Lannister soldiers during the sack of KL that led to Robert’s coronation.

    The above post and the comments describe Dorne as a largely arid, geographically remote and ethnically/culturally/historically separate from the rest of Westeros. Apparently, they negotiated their accession to the Targaryen realm by marriage rather than risk conquest, i.e. they managed to retain a greater degree of autonomy than other parts of Westeros. If so, their influence in the realm must have been greatly reduced after the Targaryens were all but wiped out. The Martells don’t seem to have a burning interest in regaining it.

    All this begs a few questions:
    Which language(s) do they speak in Dorne?
    Which god(s) do they pray to?
    Is the High Priest of the Red God trying to convert the Martells?
    How do the Dornish view their place in the world?
    Do the nobles own slaves or serfs?
    Do they have a powerful army and/or navy?
    Do they maintain close trade and political relations with Essos? If so, which city or cities?

    Most importantly: Is there a good reason to include Dorne as an expensive fifth locale in the show’s sprawling narrative as early as season 4?

    From the comments, it would make a lot of sense for House Martell to find out if Danaerys is a potential threat or a potential ally. That said, who knows what Ser Barristan was up to between the time he left KL in a huff and his re-appearance in Astapor?

    Otherwise, the most obvious tie-in would be vengeance against the Lannisters at a moment of weakness. If so, the Myrcella gambit merely bought Tywin and his brood some breathing room.

    Of course, it’s also possible Dorne is the only place south of the Wall that has significant deposits of obsidian. If so, the Martells could find themselves – very reluctantly – at the sharp end of a war against the White Walkers because the other Houses are preoccupied with fighting each other.

  101. Jentario
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    The moment I’m waiting for the most is watching the opening credits and seeing the camera pan down to reveal Sunspear on the map.

  102. Hawk
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    You should stick w/ the TV show and avoid to books altogether…the latter seem to be a bit much for you to take in and appreciate fully…

  103. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Personally I think Oberyn will be the established character to take us into Dorne.

    We will meet him and have half a season to get to establish him (and just how awesome he is), then after the trial-by-combat his dead body being returned to Dorne will be our gateway to Dorne proper. I think that works better than having Arianne in KL personally.

    I don’t see Lancel getting that job. Maybe he could go to Oldtown though or be more of a presence in KL following the High Sparrow?

    I see Bronn more in the role of Cersei’s patsy than Littlefinger’s ally I think. With his well established whoring (even more so on the TV series) he is a convenient pawn she can frame for sleeping with Margaery (will we get younger cousins?)…. In that sense he would take the Kettleblacks role(s) and Jalabhar Xho and whoever else Cersei was setting up. I forget that minstrel’s name….

    I can see other roles he can play too, but no matter the new direction I cannot see his endgame honestly. Could he go to Essos with Tyrion? Could he go to Dorne? Maybe be imprisoned by the High Sparrow? Nothing sits just perfectly enough for me to really feel confident in his outcome.

  104. Joshua Taylor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin,

    At no point in the show did Cersei mention that the Martells were married to the Targaryens of that I am certain. Unsullieds such as yourself have only been made aware that the Martells hate the Lannisters via the Cersei/Tyrion conversation in 2×03 “What is dead may never die”.

    You must be remembering information you read elsewhere and blending it with that of the dialogue in the show.

  105. Shady_Grady
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Javi Marcos:
    Well, I’m Spanish, so I love Dorne.
    In my opinion Dorne should be varied ethnically. Almost 80-90% of us Spanish are white skinned, we have not black skin and only that 10-20% have olive skin. The show should not keep that ratio, but maybe half of the dornishmen should look caucasian and half of them moors. Not all of them moors, and most of all, no black people.

    Not because of racism, but because there is no a single Dornish in the book with totally black skin and in Spain, Morocco, Egypt or even India people have not as usual black skin.

    I don’t know what you mean by totally black skin but “black”people can range in skin tone just like “white” people. There are black people in Morocco and the rest of North Africa. When I think of Dorne I imagine people like Caterina Murino, Freida Pinto, Rula Jebreal, Wentworth Miller, Naveen Andrews, Prince Bandar and a few paler or darker people.

  106. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Jentario,

    Seconded. Each new location is such a treat in the title sequence.

    Hawk,

    Whatever you say, Ser Holier-than-Thou?

    Darquemode,

    Love the idea of Oberyn’s body being the viewers’ ambassador into Dorne. That would be an intelligent segue into the location, and mirror Jon Arryn’s somber introduction in S1. As for the Arianne in KL idea that’s floating around, I hope they just drop Taena altogether in any form. Please remind me if there’s any real significance to her role (really, remind me if there is, it was lost on me when I read it), but I don’t see her adventures with Cersei to be in line with Headey’s portrayal, as much as I would love to see her out of those awesome, awesome dresses.

    Bronn as a stand-in for the Kettleblacks seems a bit of a stretch. He’s the type to stay out of such loaded frisky business, at least that’s my impression. I’m not exactly rooting for the Kettleblacks’ inclusion either, though… man, that’s a real headscratcher. Really curious how they handle Cersei vs. Marg now.

  107. Lex
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Too bad they already made King’s Landing look like Dorne…

    Anyways, I expect Dorne will be included in the story, but drastically reduced. We may only see a glimpse of Sunspear (or none at all), and the Arianne/Myrcella storyline will be truncated.

  108. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    There are definitely enough hints at its inevitability, particularly Myrcella’s first class shipment Abu Dhab- er, Dorne.

    Which makes me wonder if we’ll ever see White Harbor, given the confirmation of a certain Manderly’s inclusion.

  109. Michael274
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Hawk,

    Shut your trap ! If someone doesn’t necessarily like all the things from the novels doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate them .

  110. juego de tronos
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    I love Dorne and the red viper.

  111. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Michael274,

    Thank you. I was ultimately disappointed with the two-book split of AFFC/ADWD, and I found a good deal of the material to fall short of the purposeful density of the previous novels, but I still consider myself a huge fan of both incarnations of ASOIAF. Otherwise I’d have no opinions.

    juego de tronos,

    I’m actually looking forward to meeting Doran just as much, though that’ll probably be a longer wait. I found his quiet strength and unearthly patience unusually poignant.

  112. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    If and when Dorne and the Martells are introduced, it might make sense to mess with the preconceived notions of the Sullied a little bit.

    Instead of Moorish Spain, think Morocco. The architecture is similar and Dany’s scenes are already being shot around Essaouira, thus avoiding the need to set up shop in yet another country.

    Instead of Spaniards, think Native Americans (though not in tribal clothes). Apparently, one of the Martells is called the Red Viper. Alex Kruz, anyone?

  113. Hawk
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Michael274,

    a personal salute to you, two fingers, one on each hand…

    I wonder why people continue to subject themselves to the torture of reading a story, the scope of which, has gone beyond their ability to comprehend…it’s really what leads to all the dislike of Dorne and Pyke and Meereen…I know, people want their gratification and they want it now! ASOIAF is not for, and is not written for, everybody…the TV show is there to hold your hand now…

  114. mariamb
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Thanks – this is a truly wonderful post. Its about time the Dornish were shown some love. The Martells are my 2nd favorite house in Westeros. The story of Elia and her children grabbed me from the start and I, like the rest of the Martells, am eager to see her murder avenged.

    Doran’s comment – “Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood” – is my favorite in the entire series.

    Darquemode:
    Many of the regions a people we have met lose importance as the series moves along and the Dornish will be taking the opposite trajectory becoming more important, more involved in every plot.The red herrings will be sorted out and the importance of some of the Dornish roles will move to the forefront.

    Some people seem to have the opinion that Dorne cannot be important since it was introduced so late, but I beg to differ! Dorne, and the Martells were introduced to us very early in the saga. The are vital to the overall narrative.

    Excellent points and I agree.

  115. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Hawk,

    Way to keep it classy.

    Also keep in mind ASOIAF isn’t just written for you, and the fact you love every word of it doesn’t make you the Hand of the Fandom. Hell, I don’t even think ASOIAF is written for me. I just bought each book and read them, and I happened to fall in love with three of them. As a reader of books and lover of stories, I happen to disagree with the execution of the latter novels. Even that is only my opinion, and not some final word, as we’ve yet to see ASOIAF play itself out. Are you so threatened by the fact some people have strong opinions discordant with your own that you have to raise virtual hostility? Talk about a missing chip.

    mariamb,

    Doran’s my favorite Martell for that very line. He’s another breed of player (in the game of thrones), that’s for sure, and one I find quite likeable despite my uncertain allegiance to the other core characters.

    I may not like the Dornish threads now, but there’s simply no way they’re not going to contribute more significantly to GRRM’s grand design. Same with the Greyjoys.

  116. DarkRavenous
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Establishing principal characters from Dorne early on will be very important. Bringing Arianne into Kings Landing next season would give the viewer’s reason to care about her. The Martells are going to have a big impact on the story in the last two books with the Sand sisters and Arianne all given their own missions. I cannot wait to see how they portray Dorne on screen. I am hoping it has an exotic feel to it, similar to Daenery’s story.

  117. Zeus
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m really not sure why people are so hung up on the Dornish being “people of color”. The description in the books of the three kinds of Dornish is pretty indicative of Spain, Italy or to a lesser extent Greece. In all three countries there are people who would be described as Salty Dornish. There are also blonde haired and blue eyes people who clearly resemble the Stony Dornish. There are Spanish, Greeks and Italians who could resemble any of the three. I think people in America tend to think of European countries as homogenous masses when it really isn’t true.

    It seems that people just want to make the Dornish look darker for the sake of “diversity”. There will be plenty of room for those characters when Dany takes Mereen.

  118. Nagga's Kin
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor:
    Nagga’s Kin,

    You must be remembering information you read elsewhere and blending it with that of the dialogue in the show.

    I double-checked and you’re right. The sack of KL at the end of Robert’s rebellion was described in detail on one of the Blu-Ray extras. Sorry for misattributing the info.

  119. Hawk
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    well at least you understand that what you may not understand now will be made clear to you in the end…

  120. mariamb
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:

    mariamb,

    Doran’s my favorite Martell for that very line. He’s another breed of player (in the game of thrones), that’s for sure, and one I find quite likeable despite my uncertain allegiance to the other core characters.

    I may not like the Dornish threads now, but there’s simply no way they’re not going to contribute more significantly to GRRM’s grand design. Same with the Greyjoys.

    As you say, Doran is likeable because he is a different breed of player. And that’s what is so fascinating about ASOS – different characters approaching the same problem in different ways. Desire for vengeance can result in gathering your best buddies, riding to KL and demanding someone’s head. Or it can sit and simmer until a decisive blow can be dealt. Success is not guaranteed with either approach.

    While I’m not a fan of the Greyjoy brothers, I agree that they – along with the Martells – will have a major effect on this story going forward.

  121. Al Swearengen
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Zeus,

    It’s not just a case of diversity I’ve always pictured the Dornish characters with a mediterranean/Persian look because of the landscape George described, I’ve always thought of Dorne as looking like a country from North Africa. I just get a Carthaginian vibe when I read the chapters that take place in Dorne.

  122. Matt
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ve come to love Dorne after a re-read of FFC. Whether it be their culture, the beaufiful landscape, the way their society is structured (equal rights for women and bastards), or the characters themselves (Doran and Arianne have become two of my favorite characters in the series).

  123. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Zeus,

    I don’t see the fuss either, especially the suggestion the Dornish be black. No idea where that line of thinking comes from. I wasn’t a big fan of Xaro’s treatment either, but really?

    Speaking as a member of an ethnic minority, I really couldn’t care less if we saw people of every color on the show for its own sake. If anything, I’d be frustrated at the decision for its impact on suspension of disbelief if pursued overly aggressively. It’s fine for decidedly modernized feel-good shows like Merlin, but GoT takes itself more seriously as a fictitious period piece, which I deeply appreciate. Just like we enjoy not being patronized with morally perfect characters, can’t we apply the same appreciation for the flaws of the world being portrayed the same way?

    However they cast the Dornish, all I care about is that they find a rock-solid ethnic identity for the Martells that differentiates them. Make them a family. Make them a people. That’s what really matters. I understand some countries have incredible ethnic diversity, but the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep It Simple, Silly) applies here. They are Dornish, not Summer Islanders. May it be so!

    Hawk,

    Whatever.

  124. wycoff
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I preferred the Red Viper when he was called Inigo Montoya. “Hello. My name is Oberyn Martell. You killed my sister. Prepare to die. Hello. My name is Oberyn Martell. You killed my sister. Prepare to die. etc. “

  125. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    wycoff,

    With the way GoT’s casting’s been going, I’m sure we’ll learn to love one as much as the other.

    Haha, I’m imagining what disgusted faces that little boy would make if his grandfather read ASOIAF to him. And he thought a little kissing was bad…

  126. The Winter Rose
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Brian:

    3. The painfully boring Quentyn Martell journeys to Meereen, gets rejected by Daenerys and burnt to a crisp. The only things of consequence he contributes to the story are the release of Viserion and Rhaegal, and possibly fulfilling a part of Mirri Maz Duur’s prophecy. The show can find some other way to release the dragons, and the show doesn’t care about the prophecies anyway. This character and subplot should definitely be cut from the show.

    Totally agreeing with you on that. That entire storyline and character was incredibly boring, ultimately irrelevant and was practically the exact same as Aegon. I really hope they don’t include it in the show. Then again, I think the majority of ADwD could be cut out since it is mostly just characters mindlessly wandering about and traveling without anything actually happening save for the first and last 100 pages.

  127. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    The Winter Rose,

    For all my general frustration with ADWD, I really, really want to see OMGQUENTYNBBQ. It didn’t hit me hard in the books by a longshot, but if they keep his arc short and to the point (a scene every other episode of a hypothetical S5?), I think it will be an awesome scene for TV.

    You made me think of that iffy Clerks 2 joke about LOTR. That is how I felt about a lot of ADWD’s glorified travelogues.

  128. outdoorcats
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Great write-up and interview, FaB! Thanks to all participants for their thoughts. It was a great read. I, too, am a fan of Dorne, and GRRM clearly has big things planned for them and the Ironborn in the last two books. I don’t believe for a second that these storylines can be ‘cut’ just because their introduction isn’t particularly action-packed. Have faith in GRRM–the guy knows what he’s doing.

    My favorite choice for The Red Viper has always been Alexander Siddig. The Red Viper isn’t supposed to be bulky or muscular, but someone who carries himself in such a way that you know how dangerous he is just by his presence. Also, the role calls for a bit of big-name casting if one on GoT ever did. I do not think Oded Fehr is a good enough actor.

    I’ve always seen the Martells as Middle-Eastern, but as for the other Dornish, they have freedom to cast whatever skin type they wish – Dorne is supposed to have a healthy racial mix from black to white and everything in between. I hope like the ladies in your discussion that they go for some significant diversity and not just cast white actors with tans. Areo Hotah could be anyone/whatever racial type for instance. Why not cast a Black guy?

  129. J.Hancorn
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I think Quentyn can have a legitimate and significant point to the story, but I think it would need some adjustment.

    To me he can be a representation of Dany’s failings as ruler of Meereen and how far away she has come from her goal to take the throne back. It’s really from her dismissal of Jorah I begin to dislike her character and the choices she makes, including Daario who I can’t stand.

    He would also represent the wrath of Dorne and how I personally think it is foolish that other characters have underestimated them and their game.

  130. Delta1212
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    wycoff,

    Yes, everyone knows that fight is a Princess Bride homage. I think Martin has even stated as much.

  131. Storm of S-Words
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I do have some worries that the TV series will end up having some of the same problems as the awesome books if they try to keep every story line in the books, i.e, spreading itself over so many story lines. They have to cut something. The Greyjoy thread on TV was limited to events surrounding Theon. As long as they keep a certain epic fight scene involving a Martell I’m forgiving if they jettison almost all the rest about Dorne, even knowing D&D would do a great job with it.

  132. mariamb
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:

    For all my general frustration with ADWD, I really, really want to see OMGQUENTYNBBQ. It didn’t hit me hard in the books by a longshot, but if they keep his arc short and to the point (a scene every other episode of a hypothetical S5?), I think it will be an awesome scene for TV.

    I think that Quentyn BBQ (what a great line) needs to stay but it must be condensed. Don’t think that we need to see the boring details of his journey to Meereen. Just get him there, roast him and get us back to Dorne to see Doran’s reaction. The entire Meereen story line – not just Quentyn’s arc – has to be handled differently.

  133. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    J.Hancorn,

    She does have a strangely mercurial code of conduct for all her aspirations. While it’d be a shame if her ultimate significance amounts to bringing the dragons back into the world, I wouldn’t be too sorry at this point if she dies by the end of the series. Emilia Clarke is bringing back some of the love I had for the character, but it’s fragments of the love that Meereen beat into the dust a year ago.

    Storm of S-Words,

    Still my favorite username on the site.

  134. The Winter Rose
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Lex:
    Too bad they already made King’s Landing look like Dorne…

    That was my problem too. I really dislike the look and feel of how they stylized both the location of King’s Landing and the costuming for it. To me it looked far too Mediterranean. I think it would have been perfect for Dorne, but now I feel like the Free Cities, King’s Landing and Dorne are going to look too similar. I understand that they wanted to get away from a generic high fantasy setting aesthetic, but what they went with just doesn’t feel right forKing’s Landing to me.

    WompWomp,

    LOL – it’s true! It does remind me of that too :D

  135. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger:
    Darquemode,

    Your reservations are the one thing I didn’t like about my idea too.Someone above suggested an already established character should take us to Dorne so it isn’t so out of nowhere.That was about the best I could come up with.They could maybe remove the entire subplot about Lancel’s religious conversion and send him?I could see Lancel in the Arys role.It depends on if he has any important role in the last two books.

    Bronn as the Kettlebacks is interesting too.Does that mean show-Bronn would be from the Fingers and be a Littlefinger ally?That would be funny.They need to do something with him.That’s for sure.

    I seriously doubt Bronn takes the place of the Kettleblacks. I’d more likely see them consolidated, and they use Meryn Trant instead.

  136. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    mariamb,

    Luckily for those of us who feel that way, there is no choice but for every storyline to be handled differently thanks to the nature of the medium. AFFC/ADWD fragmented my attenton with POVs I couldn’t fully appreciate at the time of reading. I still don’t appreciate them much. Maybe a reread will help, but I can only speak to what I feel now. Television, however, won’t allow for any of the ponderous pussyfooting that lost my interest. And we will SEE the characters, and there will be appreciable amounts of action to go with them. Meeting the perfectly played Quentyn will certainly be more compelling than squatting in his thick skull. Same goes for Hotah and Oakums, and hopefully others.

    Honestly, I’m not only hopeful for post-S4 GoT, but looking forward to it. Just because I’m not a fan of those particular books doesn’t mean I think they’re without a prayer in the transition to film. :)

  137. The Winter Rose
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    mariamb: I think that Quentyn BBQ(what a great line) needs to stay but it must be condensed. Don’t think that we need to see the boring details of his journey to Meereen. Just get him there, roast him and get us back to Dorne to see Doran’s reaction. The entire Meereen story line – not just Quentyn’s arc – has to be handled differently.

    Ya’ll are really selling me on this Quentyn BBQ Roast thing now XD

  138. Joshua Taylor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Nagga’s Kin,

    Ah the blu-ray histories! Sorry if i came off curt. I was on the bus texting with my mobile and fighting the autocorrect feature every which way. Needless to say I won the fight. Barely.

  139. sunspear
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t finished the article or read the comments yet so sorry if this has been mentioned, but isn’t fairly clear that the Red Viper isn’t actually bisexual? It always read to me like a rumor someone started to humiliate him.

  140. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    The Winter Rose,

    Trust me, from the moment we meet him on the show we’ll be counting the days ’til he’s toast. [laughs]

    There’s also the potential to juxtapose Doran with that scene or somehow connect them in the same episode to actually make it sad.

  141. Oi!
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m still in the camp of hopefuls that they cut Dorne as location and all the bs there. Just have Oberyn in Kings landing.

  142. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode:
    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Interesting ideas…
    I have been trying to figure out what to do with Bronn.

    Personally I am not against losing characters to the mists and do not think we need to see every favorite every season. Case in point Theon this year. Worst arc of the series so far by far.

    That said, merging roles is not something I am against in any way……
    I love the Gendry and Edric combo so far.

    I can see Bronn replacing a number of roles honestly…Having the romantic and naïve Arys replaced with the jaded and worldly Bronn is not something I would think of. I think there are better fits for Bronn than Arys (like the Kettleblacks or Jalabhar Xho),but it could maybe be used in a pinch. The only issue I have with that idea is Tywin trusting a sellsword enough to rescue and protect his granddaughter. Even if he wants to isolate Tyrion it does not sit right with me….

    There’s another option here, then. Have Oberyn strike up a friendship not just with Tyrion, but with Bronn as well. Then have an agreement come to pass that Bronn goes to Sunspear — thus taking the place not of Arys Oakheart, but of Areo Hotah. He’s more ideally suited to serve in this role, and you can just gloss over Doran not having a captain by saying he was killed, and Oberyn’s friendship with Bronn/Tyrion provides the impetus for Arrianne to trust Bronn. In fact, this is even more reason to have Ellaria, Oberyn’s paramour, as *SHE* becomes the one who develops a keen trust in Bronn, and brings him to Sunspear.

    Then you eliminate the Balon Swann character entirely, and the naive Oakheart becomes both the linchpin for bringing the Dornish to KL (which is supposed to be an ambush), and Bronn kills Oakheart after he maims Myrcella. (To D&D: No thanks needed, just send a check.)

  143. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Really? I thought it was clear he used to clean his squire’s stables, so to speak. And rumors tend to have truth in them in ASOIAF. My impression was homosexuality isn’t a serious blow to anyone’s reputation in the higher circles unless you’re caught.

  144. Alexis
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I am dying for Dorne to have an enormous presence in the show. Not only are the Dornish my favorite individuals, but I think they’re vitally important. They represent a liberality for GRRM’s medieval-esque series that was very often seen in those times. I also think that they are going to become VITAL in the last couple of ASOIAF books, so they’d probably be a bad choice for writers to cut down on in terms of story lines and casting.

  145. JR
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I think a lot of the Dorne story will be Cut. The HBO show is geared toward non book readers. It will be quite difficult to get the average viewer invested in the Dornish and the Iron people. I know too many people who may stop watching entirely with too many new characters. It’s already hard for some people to remember all the characters they have now.
    Most people will not put up with we readers have with the awful AFFC. HBO is too smart for that and will still feature Tyrion, Jon, & Danny. The Red Viper is a good character but would be more effective if this was a smaller cast. I look at Mance Ryder as an example. I don’t even know how many scenes he’s been in this year, but I would wager that 90% of non book readers have know idea who he is.

  146. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Alexis,

    A connected question (given the dispersal of the SSs) is whether they’ll include Oldtown or not. My personal favorite character introduced in AFFC was Marwyn.

  147. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Non-readers don’t seem to be having a problem understanding who Mance Rayder is.
    And I love AFFC. Everyone has a different opinion. I find it impossible to believe that some people think ACOK stinks, but it’s true- some think it’s the weakest of the books. So never assume everyone agrees.

    sunspear: I haven’t finished the article or read the comments yet so sorry if this has been mentioned, but isn’t fairly clear that the Red Viper isn’t actually bisexual? It always read to me like a rumor someone started to humiliate him.

    Not sure why you got that impression. Oberyn is widely reputed to be bisexual and he doesn’t seem particularly humiliated by the reputation. He’s a very lusty person.

  148. TheWoodOfTheMorning
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    I think AFfC is awesome because of Dorne (and Victarion Greyjoy). I can’t wait to see Areo Hotah brought to life on the small screen (I picture Ray Winstone or an aged-up, bearded Vinnie Jones). Dorne is obviously going to occur because it’s been set up already. Myrcella was shipped off to Dorne last season and now GRRM confirmed they’re casting the Red Viper. If Oberyn’s story is similar to that in the books, then visiting Dorne as viewers is inevitable. That being said, I’d be surprised if Dorne were in season 4. I’d do PW: around episode 3. Tyrion’s trials: court ep. 5, combat ep. 6; Tyrion’s flight/patricide: 8 or 9; the Dornish aftermath season 5 ep. 1 I think they should squeeze the entire life out of ASoS until GRRM is closer to finishing TWoW, but that probably won’t be the case.

  149. Mad Hatter
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    For all the “equal rights” and “progressive” values, who’s in charge in Dorne?
    An old man.
    Very much in charge, as it turns out.
    (And, yes, he’s an awesome old man but that’s not your point.)

  150. Mad Hatter
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyed the Dorne stuff.
    Could live without those tedious Greyjoys, though.

  151. JR
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I think your perspective of the average viewer is skewed. Most of the people you discuss Thrones with are people who have likely read the books multiple times or maybe more educated. I bet if you asked 5 people on the street right now who claim they watch the show who Mance Ryder is, they will go 0 for 5. Those same people couldn’t name any person from the Brotherhood Without Banners. There is no way HBO is going to bring on all these characters and risk losing their audience. Dedicated fans of the books can only take the series so far.

  152. neverbowdown
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Love the Martells. Love the Dornish attitude. Like Dorne (we honestly have not spent enough time there in the books). But certainly top 5.

    As far as the Red Viper…would love to see a person of color in this role…possibly middle eastern. Alexander Siddig could fit the bill. But I also like David Oyelowo. There are so many possibilities here. Whoever it is, will need to be able to hold their own in a scene with Peter Dinklage. Not an easy task.

    One of my favorite and most frustrating chapters is when the Red Viper and the Mountain square off. Why Red Viper…Why did you toy with him…Why!?!

  153. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    JR,

    Not true. I run a spoiler-free tumblr, Tumblr of Thrones, so I speak with quite a lot of people on a regular basis who haven’t read the books.
    Many of the characters like Mance are mentioned quite a bit before they ever appear onscreen so the audience is well-prepped before they meet them. Not every character will get that benefit but I think the major ones will. We’ve already heard a lot about Mace Tyrell. I suspect the major players of Dorne will get mentions and intros so the non-reading audience isn’t floundering.

  154. Bard
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Maybe we’ll see Oberyns farewell from his family before he travels to King’s Landing early next season and will be introduced to Dorne in this way. Dorne as a location would be no problem as the storyline of AFFC chronologically overlaps with ASOS, at least partially.

  155. Veltigar
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Mad Hatter:
    Enjoyed the Dorne stuff.
    Could live without those tedious Greyjoys, though.

    The Greyjoys are way cooler and a lot more interesting than the Martells IMO

  156. Mad Hatter
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar, I think George Martin agrees with you. Didn’t he write a short story about the Killjoys and their damp unscapades which was eventually incorporated into GOT?

  157. Delta1212
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    dizzy:
    Jared,
    The Wire added new characters all the time.You just went with it and trusted the show.I don’t see why Dorne couldn’t be the same.However I’m all for simplifying things a bit.Having a “witness” to the happenings at Kings Landing makes sense for the show.

    The Wire tended to drop whole plots and swaths of characters (sometimes temporarily, sometimes not) in order to pick up new ones, though. Areas and characters constantly popped in and out of the series from season to season. It worked really well, but it’d be like skipping North of the Wall for a season to introduce Dorne.

  158. Dorne Fan
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I love that you wrote this, absolutely love it, but about 1/4, if not 1/3 of the world is of Indian (the country obviously) origin, whether Indian-British, Indian-American, Indian-Australian, etc, and yet not one in your panel of eight reflected this.

    So much for: I collected a multiethnic assemblage of ASoIaF fans, one that would attempt to in some way represent the actual diversity that’s in our ACTUAL WORLD

    Unfortunate seeing as how so many of the readers associate the Dornish with the lighter skinned North Indians (and yes, they are vastly different to the Southern Indians, different languages, religions, customs, etc).

  159. Jospeh
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Another awesome article. Looking forward part 2.

    I loved Dorne when I read the books. To me it brought an idea of people who lived freer in their ways because there is less structure to the supposed normal sexual, relationships and political behaviours of society.

    I’ve always had problems imagining who should play characters, probably because i’m not really knowledgeable of different actors who might fit. Do love to see other peoples suggestions though.

    Who might have been the indigo of your colourful panel here?

  160. Veltigar
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Mad Hatter:
    Veltigar, I think George Martin agrees with you.Didn’t he write a short story about the Killjoys and their damp unscapades which was eventually incorporated into GOT?

    ???????????????

  161. Cary Storm
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    I just came up with the perfect and heretofore unmentioned cast suggestion for Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper. Jaye Davidson. He’s the right age, the right ambiguously ethnicity, probably the right build, suitably sexy. Jaye Davidson. You heard it here first.

  162. sunspear
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Not sure why you got that impression. Oberyn is widely reputed to be bisexual and he doesn’t seem particularly humiliated by the reputation. He’s a very lusty person.

    Tywin Lannister is widely reputed to sh!t gold in the books, but that doesn’t mean that he does. I can’t think of one mention by Oberyn about sleeping with men, or one reference by Ellaria about him sleeping with other men, or one reference by any of his family about sleeping with men. His squire is said to be pretty furious about people who suggest he slept with Oberyn.

    So really, what indication is there that he is bi?

  163. Perkins
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    edgar ramirez for RV. or should he be older?

  164. Fire And Blood
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Jospeh:

    Who might have been the indigo of your colourful panel here?

    Christi is probably indigo. Maybe Sade.

    Keep in mind one has to be a shade off the 7-color spectrum.

  165. David
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    “Even though absolute primogeniture did not exist in our world until the 1960s,”

    Actually Marissa, the Basques of the kingdom of Navarre (In Modern-day Northeastern Spain) practiced absolute primogeniture throughout the middle ages.

  166. sunspear
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I loved Dorne in the books, and I really don’t want it to be cut in any major way (or think it needs to be). I think they can reduce or eliminate entirely Arianne’s time locked in the tower, turn Areo Hotah into a nameless extra, get rid of the younger 4 sandsnakes, and cut back on the number of people involved in the Myrcella plot, but that’s it.

    Dorne has some great characters. Doran sets himself up a nice contrast to Tywin Lannister, someone who wants revenge but doesn’t want his people (especially the children) to suffer unnecessarily. He’s smart enough to know when the odds are insurmountable, and patient enough to wait for an opportunity.

    And I disagree with the idea that Quentyn and Arianne are stupid or umimportant. Arianne found a letter that could easily be interpretted as being disowned and acted accordingly. Sure, she got beat by Doran, but Doran is a skilled player. And so what if she uses her body as a weapon? So do Margery, Cersei and Dany, and unlike them, Arianne doesn’t have a huge group of soldiers that she can command.

    Quentyn for me, is the most relatable character in the series: socially awkward but dutiful. When it comes to his plot to steal a dragon, people confuse ‘desperate’ with ‘stupid’. Quentyn was fully aware of how dangerous what he was doing was, but he saw it as the only way to avenge his family, and he showed some intelligence getting the Windblown to help him.

  167. JamesL
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Nonreaders on tumblr are not a good example of the average casual viewer of the show. The average casual viewer does read about or discuss the show with people online. My mom is a perfect example of a casual viewer, she can follow along fine and enjoys the show but she can barely name any character by name and if I asked her who Mance Rayder or Varys was she would not be able to tell me.

  168. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    I suppose the elephant in the room, which I’d just like to put out there, is that we have no idea what significance Dorne will have over the end game of ASOIAF. And that is the real factor influencing whether or not the show should visit Dorne.

    D&D will be making their decisions based on what George has told them. It will be difficult for us as fans to critique those decisions as we have no idea where this is all heading. Judging by the sheer size of AFFC+ADWD, in combination with the fact that George originally planned to skip five years, I’m inclined to believe that plenty of it is filler. But seeing as this story is not yet concluded, I have no way of knowing that.

  169. MaybeSansaMaybeNot
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    GRRM has confirmed that Oberyn is intended to be bisexual.

    http://www.thebacklot.com/gays-go-medieval-in-upcoming-a-game-of-thrones-fantasy-series/01/2011/

    Why are you treating Oberyn’s bisexuality like it is some extraordinary claim like Tywin being able shit gold? There are rumors in the books that Oberyn is bisexual, we meet a male character who has possible been his lover and his bisexuality has been confirmed by the author. This is not enough for you?

  170. babar
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    You speak with non-readers who actually spend their free time on GOT-oriented tumblr. Those are a special kind of viewers, and they’re not really representative of the majority.

    Most viewers watch the episodes, and that’s it. They don’t spend their time talking about GOT or looking for extra information about it on the Internet… and they probably would have a hard time telling who Mance Rayder is if you asked them. (I know my non-readers friends wouldn’t be ableto tell who he is)

  171. Jospeh
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    I was taking it as read that seeing as you were making the eight, you’d be that most magical colour octarine.

  172. Cary Storm
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    MaybeSansaMaybeNot:
    sunspear,

    GRRM has confirmed that Oberyn is intended to be bisexual.

    http://www.thebacklot.com/gays-go-medieval-in-upcoming-a-game-of-thrones-fantasy-series/01/2011/

    Even more reason for Jaye Davidson. We need some openly LGBT actors/actresses represented up in here. People need JOBS, MAN.

  173. Joshua Taylor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    The show shouldn’t cowtow to people who don’t know who Mance Rayder is. They can follow along to the best of their ability but if they start to get confused maybe they should realize that they can’t be a casual viewer of the series, that perhaps they need to invest themselves deeper than they already are. Maybe it’s me but if I liked a show I would try to immerse myself into that world. That’s how I approach all television shows to be honest. For me it’s either commit or quit. I will never be a casual viewer of something unles it’s sports or the news.

    I guess that’s the difference between a geek and a rube.

  174. Shmurb
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    JR,

    I don’t know, I think it’s skewed to say that most people can easily follow along with all the characters, but also skewed to say that most people can’t. There’s a huge spectrum of people with different levels of interest and commitment in the show, and just different abilities to follow along too. So I think they have to strike a balance between not “dumbing down” things for the audience (to keep the show rich), but yes, not to go too far with the complexity either. I’ll understand when they inevitable cut a portion of the Dorne stuff, but I hope they give some of the characters their due, because done right I have no doubt people will love characters like Oberyn, Doran etc. Characters I find much more interesting than Dany or Jon, even though they get more time.

  175. Shmurb
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being casual, to some people TV watching is more of a fickle experience, and that’s fine. Though I mean, you’re right, it takes all of 2 minutes to check out the HBO character and location guides, so I don’t feel too much sympathy. I think the show takes these types of viewers in mind, but doesn’t pander to them, which seems to have struck a pretty good balance with this massive undertaking so far.

  176. Atreyu
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Cary Storm,
    My man boobs are in an uproar that D&D had the opportunity to cast a yiffer but failed to do so. The economy has been hard on everyone, ya’ll.

  177. Hi-Fi
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    sunspear,

    Arianne herself reflects about Daemon Sand, Oberyn’s squire, being supposedly his lover as well.

  178. Rygar
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    I usually immerse myself in a pussy while watching GoT or vice versa. And by pussy, let me be clear that I mean not what you think.

  179. Joshua Taylor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    With either meaning its questionable so carry on.

  180. Drfunk
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    I have complete faith the RV we end up will be a total bad ass. The role is so critical that I’m sure Nina will go through an even more extensive search then usual. I’m also not that worried about Conan Stevens not being brought back for S4 (I do recall a vague thing about him not being a team player with the rest of the cast?). They don’t even need to have the current Mountain do the fight. It could be any professional stuntmen that’s big and imposing (Think WWE level big freaks). Since he’ll be fully armored and helmeted it doesn’t matter who plays the Mountain.

    What I want however, is to try and go with a different direction with choreography. We don’t need cheap slow mo tricks (ala Spartacus), but it is also true the fight scenes could use a bit of spicing. This isn’t to criticize the work being currently done but just as there are many great actors, there is also a great many talented awesome choreographers and their team of stuntmen to make a fight look awesome. I wish D&D would invest more into that aspect even if it’s just for that 1 awesome epic fight scene.

  181. Cary Storm
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Rygar is secretly an old spinster cat lady.

  182. Luana
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article that really makes it clear why Dorne is so awesome, and why it’s essential to cast the Dornish as POC.

    I’d like to add that on a purely practical note, in the visual medium of television, it’s even more important that the Dornish are POC. Casual viewers of this show need all the help they can get to understand that the Dornish are completely different and separate from the rest of the Westerosi, with a radically different culture and origin. Changing them to white people who dress funny just wouldn’t cut it.

  183. Serpent's Grass
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait for Dorne to get introduced, though for potentially different reasons than many others. Yes, Obyren is awesome, as are many of the fiestier Dornish characters, but I’m a sucker for cunning old men, so Doran is one of my favorite characters. He’s in it for the long haul. He’s been been planning for ages, sitting quietly and out of notice while he bides his time for vengeance. I can’t wait to see where his plotline goes, and I would be devastated if he got cut from the show. After all, what good is Obyren’s serpent if it doesn’t have grass to hide in.

  184. Chris
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I’m amazed.
    To me, Dorne has been the most pointless, worthless, detour from the actual story in the entire ASOIAF series.
    …even more so than Brienne’s meaningless dogleg off to Cracklaw Point.
    In retrospect, the entire Dornish sub-sub-subplot seems like a bit of literary doodling GRRM indulged to keep from losing his mind, and give his publishers SOMETHING to print, while wrangling desperately with his mereeneese knot.
    The moronic Dornish soap opera that bogs down so much of Feast For Crows could have been condensed down to a single chapter culminating with the revelation that Doran wanted to wed his daughter to Viserys and had switched to a “Plan B” pairing of Quentin and Dany. Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons could then be one better. much more faster paced, book.
    Even more foolhardy than Robb’s stiffing of the Freys was Doran’s repeated decision not to behead his traitorous nieces. Was this just supposed to be another of the bad decisions we’ve seen wreaking havoc in Westeros?
    This one was particularly annoying to watch and left me paging furiously forward hoping for some point at which the actual story gets going again.
    Here’s an idea for the TV show: Benjen Stark hit it off pretty well with Tyrion at Castle Black. Why not have HIM fight Gregor Clegane on Tyrion’s behalf? …or have Arthur Dayne mysteriously show up to avenge Elia? …or have Ser Dontos do it in a drunken stupor? Anything to write Dorne out altogether.

  185. Rygar
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,
    A “Pussy” is a Suburban Long Island term for a decanter of beer, a “Growler” so to speak.

    Thats not to say that I haven’t had my fair share of growling pussies.

  186. Luana
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and by the way, FaB, “making the eight”? Really? I vomited a little in my mouth when I read that.

  187. Shan
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Treasonbeard:
    This whole ‘gather and label people by their race/ethnicity’ thing leaves a bad taste in my mouth.Pigment has very little to do with actual diversity, and its an odd way to view the world.

    Thinking that way is a luxury that a whole lot of people don’t have, though. People judge me based on how I look, and most of where they get their information/stereotypes is not from real life, but from the news and TV. How people who look like me are depicted on TV has an enormous effect on my day to day life, and so me not worrying about how people who look like me are depicted on TV is not an option.

    Look at Peter Dinklage. Would you tell him that he’s too concerned with how little people are depicted in the media? Of course not — because how little people are depicted in the media affects how people see them in real life. If they’re just comic relief and minor parts, people will think it’s funny to toss them across a room like Martin Henderson. If they’re show as full, human, interesting characters like Tyrion, people will actually be more likely to see them as people, and not toss them across the room.

    Minorities may be very diverse in a lot of ways, but concerns like these are something that we all have in common — I’d argue one of the main things that we all have in common.

  188. WildSeed
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Omar Brown:
    Some parts of the Dorne aspect are cool, but like the Greyjoys they will need careful culling, the books felt bloated with them and the Tv show will make it worse.

    Keep: The Red Viper, Doran and Arriane
    Toss: Everything else, yes even Hotah, he was Strong Belwas of Dorne, some cool lines and nothing else

    I couldn’t agree more.

  189. sunspear
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    MaybeSansaMaybeNot,

    Hi-Fi,

    In the TWOW sample chapter, I believe there is a reference to Daemon Sand vehemently denying he ever slept with Oberyn, and their aren’t any other male characters who have. But if GRRM confirmed it, then I guess I was wrong.

  190. WildSeed
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Well put topic for discussion, Fire and Blood. Should the show runners decide
    to delete or abbreviate Dorne’s existence, or it’s impact, I will be very disappointed.
    Aside from the significance from the evolving story line in the books, Dorne
    represents an historical aspect to King’s Landing and Targaryeons as a whole.

    With what we as viewers discovered of a pared down but well done Pike
    scenes with Balon Greyjoy, I’d hope there remains a need to deal a script
    worthy of the Dorne experience. The addition of a colorful people and
    atmosphere would be a welcomed sight from the current cast as well.

  191. sunspear
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Chris,

    And he could have left Catelyn’s journey to Renly and just had her describe what happened when she got back. Or he could have just cut out all of Ned’s investigating the death of Jon Arryn and just had him figure it out in one chapter. He didn’t do what you suggest because it’s incredibly bad storytelling.

  192. Joshua Taylor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Rygar,

    Good to know. I have filed that information away so I will make use of it when I visit Long Island. And here I was going to order the Ice Tea!

  193. Jackol
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Random, and probably not particularly useful thought, but:

    The Arianne/Myrcella conspiracy is basically a self-contained story that is used to introduce us to Dorne and the major Dornish players.

    There’s basically no interaction with the rest of the GoT universe up to that point apart from Myrcella.

    If HBO were keen to fund additional GoT related work, they could think about making a little spin-off mini-series or TV movie which is just this story – perhaps 2 or 3 episodes, or maybe a 2 hour ‘TV movie’ event. It would introduce Dorne and Doran, Arianne, sand snakes etc, but wouldn’t be required viewing in order to follow the main GoT story. They could experiment with a quite different, focused, storytelling which would be nice – being more contemplative/atmospheric perhaps to do the introduction of the new land and new culture.

    D&D, of course, simply don’t have the time to do this and this would be part of the point of making a distinct, separate, experience that could be taken or left on its own, and branded sufficiently differently (though obviously GoT connected) to not tarnish the GoT core series if quality suffers. Whether D&D and others have the ability to delegate/outsource this kind of work and not micromanage it is another question.

    I think there is plenty of appetite for as much decent GoT related material as HBO can produce at the moment, and if they can package a chunk up as a self-contained story that has a beginning/middle/end, and helps to flesh out these more recent additions to the show without viewers getting that groaning, overweight feeling that I certainly got reading AFFC/ADWD…

  194. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Does anyone have a soild source to GRRM telling Janina Gavankar that she looked like Lady Nym? Not only would I love that but perhaps it would get people to stop getting into a bizarre huff about suggesting that the people of Dorne might not be white. Or even white with a tan.

  195. Sword of the Morning
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Dorne is my favorite in the books, can’t wait to see it on the show and I think Dorne will have a prominent role in the final 2 books.

  196. Steel_Wind
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    I dissent — and disagreeably, at that.

    I’m all for the Red Viper, but that one character aside?

    Dorne is where GRRM wallows in the pointless, where the author adds in quantity without quality; more for the sake of more. Dorne is where this series descends into skirt smoothing and braid tugging. It is demonstrable evidence of the author having written himself into a corner and in desperation, he lengthens the series just to lengthen it and prolongs it for commercial gain.

    Dorne is an entire section of the novel that a braver editor would have asked the author to excise in its entirety.

    There is nothing in the Dornish that is central to the story — and little that is secondary. Calling it of tertiary importance is over-flattering to the point of being downright simpering in admiration towards the word tertiary.

    Every scene that we don’t see of Jon Snow being the hero of the tale? Every scene where we do not see more of Arya, more of Bran, more of Stannis and Mel and the Lannisters? That will be because we saw another pointless scene in Dorne.

    This show post book 3 will have to make severe edits and create entirely new storylines — let alone scenes — to give some of its actors something to do for entire seasons. Unlike an author, HBO must pays its cast and give them something to do. Unlike GRRM, it cannot park the central characters in the tale for 11 years. The demands of a show are not the demands of a book series. Their interests and commercial realities radically differ.

    I could care less than less about Dorne. If these books needs to be trimmed — and I submit that unequivocally and demonstrably, that simply must be done — then Dorne is where you start cutting. Excise it after the Red Viper and do so utterly without mercy. Cut out every bit of it — every last shred.

    The show will be the stronger for it.

  197. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    GreatJon of Slumber,

    Hmmm that could be interesting too.
    I agree that Bronn taking Hotah’s role is more fitting in a lot of ways… IF they can attach Bronn to Ellaria. That is something I had not thought of at all honestly.

  198. Anguissette1979
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Naveen Andrews for RV!

  199. Turncloak
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Luana,

    I thought the “making the 8″ joke was funny. Calm down

  200. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind,

    While I’m not a huge Dorne guy, I wouldn’t be so quick to accuse GRRM of milking ASOIAF through Dorne filler. I’m certainly not a fan of the seeming detour, but I believe it will come to some fruition in the future. So in light of that, it isn’t filler… just, in my humble opinion, poorly realized and executed. The first three books were rich and taut and believably eventful. AFFC/ADWD is such a departure from that standard. It’s not just Dorne that bothered me. It was the bulk of those books combined that tempted me to put them down once in a while. I’d rather assume GRRM lost his way in the creative process and thought he was doing the right thing than assume he was squeezing money out of a rushed release.

    I guess I know how the Dorniest fans feel, though. I happened to really enjoy Brienne’s doglegging to the crab habitat and beyond. Quite an earthy journey, really. It was the unexpectedly cheesy one-note Stoneheart meeting that marked a lowpoint in Brienne’s storyline for me, a meeting that should have been awesome.

  201. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Not sure I see what you two see in that scenario. The characters see much too different in motive and demeanor to be interchangeable. Hotah is like an ax-wielding babysitter. Bronn is, well…. Bronn-ey.

  202. WildSeed
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp: However they cast the Dornish, all I care about is that they find a rock-solid ethnic identity for the Martells that differentiates them. Make them a family. Make them a people. That’s what really matters

    I concur, their identity on the show should reflect a cohesive quality. As much as I
    enjoyed individual performances of the Greyjoys, I failed to observe much connection
    except where Theon or Asha made emotional pleas to each other, drawing on some
    unseen experience for the benefit of the viewers. The actor that portrayed Balon, was
    a strong presence, much lending to his own fine acting abilities. I’m quite interested
    in any followup proceedings,with the introduction of Victarion and /or Euron,
    and if Asha will return for any further emphasis
    . So far, I’ve much reluctant
    love for the onscreen family Lannister, they are a cohesive if dysfunctional lot.

    WompWomp: I understand some countries have incredible ethnic diversity,

    There is no country in the world, on this planet earth, that has not been untouched
    by migrant people and DNA mixing. Skin color remains superficial from a
    scientific perspective. Some continents or countries are indeed ” incredibly diverse”,
    by the looks of it, true. I hope that the GoT series takes to heart the collage of
    different people and cultures which reflect the spirit of the books, that’s how
    I hope it remains ( k.i.s.s.) simple. Employing only heartthrobs for a fan base
    could only backfire and cheapen the story ( I hope to god that Kit Harrington gets
    better lines or situational drama to uphold his character’s value by next season ).
    Ed Skrein’s Daario has not impressed not impressed me thus far, although I’d
    admit it’s far too soon to criticize his full potential. I can’t help thinking his casting
    fulfilled a dual purpose of rating high on the female preference quotient as well as
    acting ability ( I’m biased on the romance filler stuff, this has been exaggerated on
    GoT. I can hear violins in que ).

    I disagree with Xharo Daxos miscasting according to his skin color, this was a
    bold move that could have added strength to the series. Instead, we got a weak
    Qarth story line as a whole. I could not take one more bloated scene with Pyatt Pree.
    The series needs to reflect the “ethnic ” interest of the books because it’s deficient
    in that aspect.

    The Summer Islanders you speak of, need not be from the African
    sub continent, nor Dorne from western Europe.

  203. coronaking
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Jentario:
    The moment I’m waiting for the most is watching the opening credits and seeing the camera pan down to reveal Sunspear on the map.

    That and the theme Ramin Djawadi will compose for House Martell! :D

  204. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    zaprowsdower,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nFPWqjTyqTo

    I think he did say that – here’s a vid of the two of them together. It’s actually really interesting as in the books, Lady Nym is described as having “pale white skin”.

    Maybe GRRM has changed his mind and now considers the Dornish to have darker skin than he did previously?

  205. WildSeed
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Dorne Fan:
    I love that you wrote this,absolutely love it, but about 1/4, if not 1/3 of the world is of Indian (the country obviously) origin, whether Indian-British, Indian-American, Indian-Australian, etc, and yet not one in your panel of eight reflected this.

    So much for: I collected a multiethnic assemblage of ASoIaF fans, one that would attempt to in some way represent the actual diversity that’s in our ACTUAL WORLD

    Unfortunate seeing as how so many of the readers associate the Dornish with the lighter skinned North Indians (and yes, they are vastly different to the Southern Indians, different languages, religions, customs, etc).

    You put this better than I have words for.

  206. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    JR,

    Not true.
    Well, you may be right in saying people could not NAME Mance Rayder or a BWOB member, but they will describe them just fine. The basic story is getting through even if some details are lost on some non-readers.

    I think too may people worry about what some viewers get or do not honestly. The series is popular because of its scope and quality. D&D would be silly to change the story to focus even more on Dany, Jon and Tyrion. Especially considering they are the focus of the books in the first place! Even more so the focus of the series.

    Many people are not enjoying Jon’s arc as much as many readers did, but his relative isolation at The Wall makes his story easy to follow and ingrain in people’s minds. Likewise for Dany. Tyrion, thanks in large part to Dinklage, kicks all kinds of ass and will always b in people’s minds even if his time is cut back.

    The thing about the minor characters like Mance is that they have a role to play. We do not see as much of them or get to know them as well as in the books, but f the TV series story to advance we simply do not need the same level of detail as in the books. Characters like Mance, Doran, Victarian and their ilk may not get a lot of minutes or scenes, but those scenes are needed to advance the story. So they need to be cast along with many of the roles people consider “cut-worthy”.

    I digress…
    My Point is that even the non-readers I know that do not know many characters names LOVE the series and will keep watching even if they do not know all the characters names! People that cannot handle a huge ensemble cast quit watching in Season 1. There is a reason the ratings keep going up, the show is incredible and those that watch it get pulled into the epic story even if they do not get all of the details.

  207. sagaz
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    I want to submit spanish actor Eduardo Noriega to play Oberyn https://www.google.com.ar/search?q=eduardo+noriega&newwindow=1&safe=off&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=TaWmUcK3Eorm8wSms4CgBA&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1486&bih=752 he could do well all the traits of the character discussed in the main article.

  208. Shaved Snakes
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I think that the cultural distinction of Dorne is not enough to include them (And when I say them, I mean more than just Oberyn). It needs to be plot motivated. The theme of cultural differences, how they affect characters, and how those characters interact with characters from other cultures is seen all over ASoIaF. Dany amongst the Dothraki, Qartheen, Slavers. Tyrion in Volantis. Hell, the Greyjoys and the Lannisters are about as different as you can get thematically and they live right next to eachother!

    I’m all for an awesome battle between (Old) Gregor and Oberyn but Arianne, the Sandsnakes, Doran, and especially Quentyn are almost meaningless to the rest of the characters up to this point. Aegon might change that.

    Basically, a lot of Dorne should be cut.

  209. Dorian
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Steel_Wind:
    I dissent — and disagreeably, at that.

    I’m all for the Red Viper, but that one character aside?

    Dorne is where GRRM wallows in the pointless, where the author adds in quantity without quality; more for the sake of more. Dorne is where this series descends into skirt smoothing and braid tugging. It is demonstrable evidence of the author having written himself into a corner and in desperation, he lengthens the series just to lengthen it and prolongs it for commercial gain.

    Dorne is an entire section of the novel that a braver editor would have asked the author to excise in its entirety.

    There is nothing in the Dornish that is central to the story — and little that is secondary. Calling it of tertiary importance is over-flattering to the point of being downright simpering in admiration towards the word tertiary.

    Every scene that we don’t see of Jon Snow being the hero of the tale? Every scene where we do not see more of Arya, more of Bran, more of Stannis and Mel and the Lannisters? That will be because we saw another pointless scene in Dorne.

    This show post book 3 will have to make severe edits and create entirely new storylines — let alone scenes — to give some of its actors something to do for entire seasons. Unlike an author, HBO must pays its cast and give them something to do.Unlike GRRM, it cannot park the central characters in the tale for 11 years.The demands of a show are not the demands of a book series. Their interests and commercial realities radically differ.

    I could care less than less about Dorne. If these books needs to be trimmed — and I submit that unequivocally and demonstrably, that simply must be done — then Dorne is where you start cutting. Excise it after the Red Viper and do so utterly without mercy. Cut out every bit of it — every last shred.

    The show will be the stronger for it.

    Hear, hear!

    EDIT: there’s a lot of IMO blind faith that somehow the stuff in Dorne that happened in AFFC is somehow going to be important down the line. There’s no real compelling reason to think that’s the case.

  210. WildSeed
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Actor Steven Cole and Amrita Acharia are still sorely missed, too bad their fates
    awaited them at Qarth ( or the route there ). I’d much rather have them in Dorne.

  211. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    MaybeSansaMaybeNot,

    Agreed.
    I thought it was well established Oberyn is a hedonist that does whatever pleases him no matter what others think.

    However, I always read it as he is with more women an men seeing as his paramour is a woman, has the Sand Snakes from 5 different mothers, and one of the first things he asks upon arriving in KL is where can I get some female companionship.

  212. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    WildSeed,

    I was speaking in generalities for the sake of simplicity. It we really want to dissect the reality behind each broad point, we could be here for hours ironing out details that would prolong the discussion to no discernible end.

    It wasn’t the fact that Xaro was black that bothered me. He was just an uninteresting character. Not sure how I’d feel about a pale dolled up effeminate man who can cry a single perfect tear on command, but I just found Xaro lacking overall, and some people seem to take issue with all the black characters being reprehensible one way or another. I personally like Sallador Saan, but I see what people mean.

    Turncloak,

    I’m not always the most receptive to kneejerk reactions to text construed as misogynistic, but given the context, I have to agree that the “making the eight” reference was in surprisingly poor taste. Not making judgments about FaB’s character. He seems like a cool cat. Just, looking back at the joke/reference, it was particularly ill made given the context of the all-female panel.

  213. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Joshua Taylor,

    Hear, hear! Well said.

    Shows should not cater to the casual fan. Period. They should tell their story and not hold a finger to the air to see what direction the wind blows before decided storyline arcs or character fates.

  214. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    zaprowsdower: Does anyone have a soild source to GRRM telling Janina Gavankar that she looked like Lady Nym? Not only would I love that but perhaps it would get people to stop getting into a bizarre huff about suggesting that the people of Dorne might not be white. Or even white with a tan.

    http://www.celebritytweet.com/link.php?s=http://post.ly/2bdwn
    See if this link works. It was a tweet with a pic attached. It says “George just told me I look like Lady Nymeria.” Perhaps this will stop people from getting into a bizarre huff about the fact that the Martells are not white.

  215. sunspear
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Dorian,

    Oh really? How about this for evidence. Did you think Arys Oakheart’s death was important in AFFC? I’m going to guess not. But his death was the catalyst for getting Ungregor named to the Kingsguard so she would have someone to defend her at the trial.

    You probably didn’t think Lollys was important in AGOT, but she’s been building up her own subplot for quite a while. GRRM does these types of things all the time.

  216. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    That’s such a puzzler as Nymeria Sand is described as having “pale white skin” in the books, according to the ASOIAF wiki:

    http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Nymeria_Sand

    Is anybody able to verify this? It looks like if George is happy to darken his own characters there’s no reason why the show can’t follow suit.

  217. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Thank you!

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    I know. I always pictured the Sand Snakes as varying skin tones. Perhaps George has changed his mind on her?

  218. redqueen
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James,

    You are quite right, Red Viper is essential as is his sigil etc.

  219. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    George actually describes Nym’s skin as being darker in another book. He wrote two different descriptions of her skin and has admitted that the inconsistency was an error. Being that he is the author, I’d say that we should defer to his opinion on the matter on what his character looks like. The author says this is what Lady Nymeria, a Martell by blood, looks like. :)

  220. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    For me the central element to Arys is his youth and naiveté. That is the exact opposite of how I think of Bronn.

    Areo Hotah is not as social or amusing as Bronn, but more experienced, and more about business like Bronn. Plus like many people think, I think Hotah is not necessarily a needed character, but the active role of someone going after Arys and then DarkStar may be needed. That can be possibly be accomplished by using a different character.

    Not IDEAL, but more plausible to me I guess. If that makes sense.

  221. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    One other possibility…
    When GRRM looks at Janina Gavankar he sees more than just her skin color and thinks her personality, her stature, the way she holds herself, and basic look fits his idea of Nymeria. After all he does not say, that is the skin-color I think of for Nymeria!

  222. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Janina is gorgeous and a fantastic actress (even in the sea of ridiculousness that is True Blood). If they do cast the Sand Snakes, she would be awesome.

  223. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Oh I’m sure he is seeing more than her skin color, but he did say “looks like Lady Nymeria.” Not her personality, but her look. So I would factor in her bone structure, her lips, her hair and so on. This isn’t about her personality.

  224. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Or maybe he meant all of the above.

  225. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    That’s interesting. I always thought of the Martell family and Sand Snakes as being largely white because of people like Nymeria and Tyene. I mean, I’m Indian – and blue eyes and blonde hair isn’t a typical trait in my family. (Admittedly Tyene is half Westerosi, presumably). In addition, the books say that the sandy Dornishmen, who are darker than salty Dornishmen, have their faces “burned brown” by the sun – which implied tanning rather than natural colouring to me. So for all those reasons I thought of the Dornish as mainly heavily tanned white guys with a mixture of naturally coloured Rhoynish immigrants.

    But if GRRM says otherwise well, we know who’s boss.

  226. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Gavankar is one my considerations for the role because of those traits honestly, but I also consider lighter skinned actresses that capture the look as well. Amber Rose Revah for instance. I just do not think skin color is a limiting factor since Dorne and the Sand Snakes are so multi-ethnic.

  227. Unbowd UnbentUnHodor
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    i picture all sand snakes as all looking Arabian, despite what they’re described as. i don’t know why

  228. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    At times I’ve interpreted that “burned by the sun” line the same way. It seems to be a very specific word choice. To me it implies they are not so dark a to not darken and burn in the sun. Although even that is somewhat vague…

    Frankly I think there is a large range of ethnicities that fit the vague “olive skin”….. or even the darker Rhoynish.

  229. WildSeed
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    zaprowsdower:
    Janina is gorgeous and a fantastic actress (even in the sea of ridiculousness that is True Blood). If they do cast the Sand Snakes, she would be awesome.

    Quite agree, I hope her professional range goes further too. I quit watching TB
    2 or 3 seasons ago, therefore experiencing only a sample of her work. She’s a
    beautiful woman and I hope represent Nymeria Sand as depicted from ASOIAF
    ( or equally proficient GoT character ).

  230. Luana
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Turncloak:
    Luana,

    I thought the “making the 8″ joke was funny. Calm down

    Well, I thought my line about throwing up a little in my mouth was funny. So how about you calm down, sunshine?

  231. Staeven
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    I love Dorne, the concept of Dorne, Dornish wine, the Sand Snakes, the Red Viper and I want see Dorne in GoT on TV.
    I’ve done some location scouting a found Sunspear and Watergardens in one location.
    Fatehpur Sikri in northern India near Agra.
    I’ve travelled through Rajasthan several times and it’s the place I think of most when reading about Dorne.

  232. Shock Me Sane
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    People get really caught up by skin color, wow. I just hope the actors are good myself, though some consistency of appearance would be preferable.

    In other news, I found myself really annoyed by running across an interview with the guy who played Maester Cressen in S2, and the fact that it may include a fairly major book-spoiler about Melisandre. I won’t print it, but don’t watch that interview if you don’t want un-printed info.

  233. Darquemode
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Ooops, I forgot to comment on personality…
    Personality has A LOT to do with how people look.

    I know twins, same hairstyles, both dress for casual comfort and yet they look totally different to people. One is outgoing and flirty and oozes sexuality and most people see her and think of her as hot. Her sister is more insecure and introverted and comes off being mousy. They look the exact same physically though.

    How one holds oneself and how their personality influences physical appearance, or how people see that physical appearance.

  234. B
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    I definitely think we need the Greyjoys in there considering the role they have been set up to play in what I for one am eagerly anticipating. </b>I am speaking of the horn of Joramun and Victarion trying to get to Dany with his Red Priest. I can’t wait for the next book!

  235. Zaprowsdower
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Shock Me Sane,

    When you are a person of color in a culture that consistantly white washes characters, it becomes somewhat important. Of course, the actor’s chops are the most important to me but why not find a fantastic actor that is also a person of color for roles that call for it?

  236. B
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Shock Me Sane,

    It’s quite a bit more complicated than color of skin, it’s the culture and experience that is often associated with color of skin. As much as people say skin color doesn’t matter, we see that many experience great advantage or disadvantage because of it. Just as people say how attractive a person is or not shouldn’t matter, we all know it does have a lot of bearing on how people are treated. I think the casting department should take into deep consideration the cultural tapestry Martin has woven. It does mean something otherwise, he would not have taken so much time to detail. It certainly made the reading experience more immersive.

  237. WompWomp
    Posted May 29, 2013 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Understood. I do hope we get a proper Hotah. I think it’s important to give Doran a recognizable acting man due to his condition.

    B,

    Can’t wait to see how they shake things up myself. I’m excited to see them become real gamechangers in their own right.

  238. Dorian
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    sunspear:
    Dorian,

    Oh really? How about this for evidence. Did you think Arys Oakheart’s death was important in AFFC? I’m going to guess not. But his death was the catalyst for getting Ungregor named to the Kingsguard so she would have someone to defend her at the trial.

    You probably didn’t think Lollys was important in AGOT, but she’s been building up her own subplot for quite a while. GRRM does these types of things all the time.

    That’s a really weak reason to justify the meandering nowhereness of the AFFC Dorne plot. If that’s the whole point, it could easily be established with a single line of dialog of any sort from a character we already know, e.g. we never replaced Ser Mandon Moore therefore there’s a place open (the same way Tywin was going to appoint Ser Loras to the KG), or Ser so-an-so has been arrested by the High Septon, or on and on and on. We don’t need to meet Ser Arys Oakheart at all, and certainly not for this reason.

  239. B
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    Also, I agree with you on every point you make about Brienne’s story arc. Especially the last point with un Cat.

  240. Doug M
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Doran Martell: Edward James Olmos.
    Oberyn Martell: Benjamin Bratt.

    Done and done.

  241. Shock Me Sane
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Zaprowsdower,

    Not really sure how you know anything about the color of my skin. From the book descriptions, the Martells are either olive skinned or middle eastern in appearance. I’m just saying, I don’t care which one they choose as long as there is consistency in the actors, and most importantly that they can actually act.

  242. Stacia
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    I would prefer Dorne be cut. It seems very unnecessary and including it only for the sake of diversity would be wrong.

  243. Bill Volk
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    How the hell did Dorne resist the Targaryens for a century, anyway? Aegon had six kingdoms at that point, complete naval superiority, and three giant dragons, any one of whom could have melted Sunspear in an afternoon. It seems unlikely that the Martells managed to kill all three of Aegon’s dragons, not least because those dragons went on to breed other dragons after them.

  244. Arthur
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    I found a real treat for everyone looking forward to the Red Viper payoff. It’s a fan made martial arts performance of the scene.

    Now imagine this scene done like this amatuer fan made one but written by D&D with a HBOs big budget and professional acting and choreography… I am going to be teary with excitement!

    SPOILERS!

    DO NOT CLICK LINK IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS!!!

    http://youtu.be/1bzTrHlSW7M

    How’s that to wet your appetite?

  245. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Shock Me Sane,

    I clearly didn’t say anything about the color of your skin. I thought it was clear that I was speaking on this person of color in a culture that consistently white washes characters’ behalf but perhaps not..

  246. Darquemode
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:48 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    Thanks.
    Pretty entertaining, but really nothing like the Red Viper vs the Mountain fight.

    The highlight of that fight in the books to me is the contrast in styles and the contrast in men. The fan fight had two men fighting with staffs with fairly similar fighting styles and builds…

    However, even I I know how awesome spear/ staff fighting can be, seeing that scene does make me want to see Oberyn vs Gregor even more! The speed and fluidity of the staff in a lean, athletic (hopefully even somewhat acrobatic) man versus the hack and slash style of an overpowering hulk of a man should make for a brilliant fight scene! I hope…

  247. LordDavos12
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Arthur,

    A fight with two staffs doesn’t whet my appetite at all. It’s like showing Luke vs Vader with a lightsaber vs pistol. I appreciate the work that those guys did in choreographing that, though.

    Also, I found it somewhat interesting that while watching that video, one of the recommended links was this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Up-PPR32Bs

    Spoiler Alert: We don’t need Conan back. Just get someone big.

  248. NoOne
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:52 am | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    My thoughts exactly, I didn’t like last two books of ASOIF at all, but until I read the final books in the series I will not lose my faith in George RR Martin, WOW or ADOS can make Feast and Dance much better in retrospective.

  249. Bill Volk
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    I’m just going to say it: there are too many Sand Snakes. Only one or two of them need to exist, and they’re a pain to keep track of. The only characters whose names are harder to keep straight than the Sand Snakes are House Kettleblack.

  250. Darquemode
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    WompWomp,

    I agree about Hotah honestly.
    He s one of those roles that easily could be cut since he does not directly influence the greater narrative too much. However, if cast he can add quite a bit of context and layering to the story and to Doran. Even without a lot of screen time and almost no story centered on his character..

  251. Arthur
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:58 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Yeah!

    But that’s just a fan made scene but it was intense. I totally agree about the real book fight being power vs agility.

    But that fan made scene just really shows you the potential for the power of that scene. I watched it 5 times now.

    I can’t even imagine seeing the GoT, D&D produced scene. If some college kids with a cellphone camera and college gym can recreate that scene from the books and give me chills… D&D are going to literally floor people with it…

  252. Arthur
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    LordDavos12,

    I know the weapons are different in the books and the styles are different. For me, what I like about this fan made recreation is the guy playing the Red Viper keeps saying his lines throughout the action sequences. Just makes it really hit home for me, straight from the books.

  253. Zack
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    From the moment I finished the books, the fight scene I was most looking forward to was this one.

    So far on the show, IMO, they’ve only lived up to the book for two of the epic duels, Bronn v. Vardis Egan and Hound v. Beric. Am I forgetting another great one?

    Honestly I want this scene to be one of the big moments of S4, in the ninth episode with associated traditional ninth episode climactic pacing. Give it a good 5 minutes of screen time. This is seriously one of the greatest parts of the books and if it is not done brilliantly I will be inconsolable. I would prefer Conan back or at the very least a similarly huge hulking brute of a guy with his face behind a helmet if it comes to it.

    You’ve done a great job of getting to why it’s got so much potential. That clash of styles could be riveting.

  254. Darquemode
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    Bill Volk,

    I love the Sand Snakes and I agree that there are just too many for the show! would love to see all 8 represented since I find them quite fun, but realistically half of them are just not important.

    I can see 3 older Snakes and one younger teen if Elia has anything important to do in the later books. It appears she may play a role, but not sure how important it will be just yet from the leaked chapters.

    I think Obarra and Nymeria add a lot and have roles to play that make them more important than the others and should be included in the series.

    If D&D do send Sam to Oldtown I think Sarella/ Alleras can add a lot to Sam’s arc and should be included.

    I’m not sure were the Tyene Sand in Kings Landing with the High Sparrow arc is going exactly, but I think she likely is the least important and most easily replaced some other character if need be.

    I would think the younger 3 Sand Snakes can be left out easily. In fact give their Water Gardens exploits to Elia to fill out her character.

  255. Darquemode
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Zack,

    Agreed on the fights.
    For me they have been fairly hit and miss, half being somewhat lackluster like Jn vs Qhorin and Hound vs Mountain. The two stand outs to me are Beric vs Hound and Bronn vs Egan like you said.

    The one not-quit-true fight I would add is Jon versus his NW brothers when he arrived at Castle Black. I may not always like or respect Kit Harrington’s portrayal of Jon Snow, but them man can use a sword! I think those training sessions were some of the best, most believable fights in the beginning of the series!

  256. Jenny
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    I think the Dornish are mixed, are they nor? i mean some are red haired orthers spanish moors.
    I always imagine The MARTELLS sspecifically as 1001 Night characters, but not necessarily all their retainers.
    For example the Dayne Family. – Darkstar who is OF the night, is rather an Italian Fashion Model and his Uncle (?) Ser Gerold Dayne The Sword of the Morning has never so far been imagined anywhere I read as a person of colour. They have also married and remarried with Northern Houses.
    But then for example Arianne’s mother is not even a westerosi hence she should even look different from her father!!!
    To be nitpickingly precise.

  257. Bill Volk
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    Obara doesn’t really contribute anything to the story so far, and I think she’s just going to be killed by the Darkstar in the next book. There’s no way she’s going to kill the Darkstar like she’s planned to, both because we still have to learn about his motivations and because nothing ever goes as planned in Westeros.

  258. Jenny
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:35 am | Permalink

    I have a rather banal question.
    Where does POC (strange whitewashes grammatical construct I think) begin?
    And doesn’t it imply that PNOCs are the norm and others are not?
    What about Asians? Have there been any in show? Would an Asian be a POC or would it depend whether he was “brown” or “yellow”.

    I always think it’s rather logical by the description of climate and history of a place, what colour/ shape their inhabitants have.

  259. Arthur
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Another cool fan made Red Viper themed video…

    SPOILERS. DON’T CLICK IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS.

    http://youtu.be/WAF_TSb6R6E

  260. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    Darquemode:
    Zack,

    Agreed on the fights.
    For me they have been fairly hit and miss, half being somewhat lackluster like Jn vs Qhorinand Hound vs Mountain. The two stand outs to me are Beric vs Hound and Bronn vs Egan like you said.

    The one not-quit-true fight I would add is Jon versus his NW brothers when he arrived at Castle Black. I may not always like or respect Kit Harrington’s portrayal of Jon Snow, but them man can use a sword! I think those training sessions were some of the best, most believable fights in the beginning of the series!

    A woman agrees with you on the fighting scenes — they have been good, but they COULD be GREAT in future episodes as well if the right cast is chosen.

    There have been many threads on this site discussing the hope that the Red Viper will be very physically talented in appearance and in fighting ability – and this woman has contributed to many of them. IMO Dorne should have an important role as a most unique area of Westeros, and the people should reflect the different culture, history, and ethnic background. How large should the role be and who shall be chosen to depict this culture? A woman trusts in the talents of D&D and Nina Gold, as they have not disappointed so far. However, it would be really cool if the Asian martial arts could be even partially incorporated to expand the repertoire of fighting styles, and this link shows a staged fight of staff vs. sword in the 2004 movie “Hero” with Jet Li and Donnie Yen, worth a look just for the fun of it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeeoEpmyb2Y

    Oh, and Fabio…a woman loved your roundtable discussion and looks forward to Part 2!

  261. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Jenny,

    A person of color is someone who is not white so Asian people would fall into that category.

  262. Bill Volk
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    A question related to the long-awaited fight: is there any chance that Conan Stevens will come back as the Mountain for season 4? Surely the Hobbit movies have finished shooting by now. I think most fans are in agreement that Ian Whyte just doesn’t work as well for the part. He’s too thin, his jaw is too narrow, and his eyes don’t look soulless enough. When he speaks in Season 2, he almost looks like he’s having a rational thought.

  263. A-Gone
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:56 am | Permalink

    Lord Tywin Lannister’s opinion :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbwroS0YP54

  264. Darquemode
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    Bill Volk,

    Very true.
    I personally think she is more than just her actions though.

    Although I would say I agree with you on her relatively small role and likely demise at Dark Star’s hands (I think that in itself is somewhat important), she also highlights Dorne’s progressive attitudes towards women by being a female soldier. She shows how different the culture is just by “being” and does not need to do a lot to be effective in that regard IMO. Her being an symbol of her more liberal culture and chasing DS makes her important enough that she could be cast in my mind.

  265. Arthur
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Geez… After cruising through YouTube and seeing just how loved The Red Viper is. I really feel sorry for whoever is cast as him. The fan base sees The Red Viper as like some kind of superhero thrust into KL…

    I mean I think he is really cool too just saying whoever D&D cast for the role has some enormous shoes to fill. He surely is the biggest and most important character to be introduced in season 4.

    People just love that guy!

  266. Darquemode
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    Mrs. H’ghar,

    I liked Hero and that scene!
    I’m not sure I see the Dornish as Asian, but I agree about the fight scene being interesting I hope they can incorporate some martial arts into it too!

    I know there are Indian forms… African, and Middle Eastern styles I’m sure too, I’m jut not well versed in the martial arts to know the names. I just know I respect anyone trained and talented in martial arts and find the demos and fights very entertaining to watch!

    Did a quick search for some Indian martial arts demo or fight videos..
    Here are a couple staff scenes that I found.
    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmlD4yxjbu4
    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml0lvDwBkr0
    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4cc0ZRmVuM

    I just hope we get to see some serious speed and fluidity in the spear fighting!
    A few of the fights in the series have seemed very by-the-numbers and scripted to me. I do not blame the coordinators or actors really though… Maybe editing?

  267. Shock Me Sane
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Any other Dornish other than Oberyn are probably out till S5, and even then we are going to lose all but one of the sandsnakes and possibly Hotah. I think Doran and Arianne are guaranteed, but for s5. Who knows about Quentyn, he’s a storyline that could easily be cut. You could have extras accomplish what he does.

  268. Arthur
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    This is without a doubt the absolute perfect theme song for The Red Viper…

    Just listening to it and thinking of The Red Viper and the scene give me goosebumps.

    http://youtu.be/Lhv_yFMuwxs

    Lyrics;
    Before I die alone
    Let me have vengeance
    Before I die alone
    I will have vengeance
    (2x)

    Before I die alone
    Before my time has gone
    There’s just one thing I have to do

    Before the fire and stone
    Before your world is gone
    Have you some patience
    ‘Cuz I will have my vengeance

    Before I die alone
    Let me have vengeance
    Before my time has gone
    I will have vengeance
    (2x)

    Before I die alone
    Let me have vengeance
    I will, I will have my vengeance

    Before your world is gone
    Before the fire and stone
    Have you some patience
    ‘Cuz I will have my vengeance

    Before I die alone
    Before my time has gone
    Let me have vengeance
    I will, I will
    I will have vengeance
    I will have vengeance

  269. Fire And Blood
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Turncloak,

    I thought Luana‘s comment was funny. I like funny!

    I have three responses I’m juggling. I’ll let you choose one and we’ll go with that.

    1. “You don’t know how persuasive I can be.”

    2. Are you implying I’m not attractive?! (Probably, seeing as I make her gag…) (We may be forced to go with that one, if I’m deemed as just plain fugly.) (Though it’s not very funny.) (The ol’ multiple parenthesis gag can’t even save it…)

    3. Don’t feel bad, Luana, some people just have a quicker gag reflex than others. I’m sure this happens to lots of girls!

    Bazinga!

  270. Udi
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Bee Beep,

    All in good fun, as someone already mentioned.
    Did not at all mean to be mean or critical, just pointing out some fun mistakes (Hey, I make them myself)!

  271. Udi
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Wasn’t criticism, just pointing out this can turn out quite funny :)
    All in good humor

  272. Sennahoj
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    This is a great article and a very interesting panel, and I’d like to see more of these on different topics too. As far as Dorne is concerned, however, I can relate to the fascination of that kingdom only up to a point. Maybe I will find it more interesting after a reread of AFFC, but as of now I think that while GRRM created a really intriguing culture separate from the rest of Westeros, he did it a disservice by using several POVs with only very few chapters each. Thus I didn’t really get invested in any of them.

  273. Chickenduck
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Jenny:
    I have a rather banal question.
    Where does POC (strange whitewashes grammatical construct I think) begin?
    And doesn’t it imply that PNOCs are the norm and others are not?
    What about Asians? Have there been any in show? Would an Asian be a POC or would it depend whether he was “brown” or “yellow”.

    If you include the Indian subcontinent as part of Asia, then there has been at least two on the show: Amrita Acharia (played Irri, half Nepalese) and Ramon Tikaram (played one of the guys Daario beheaded, Indian descent but from SE Asia).

    But that’s been it so far. No actors of East Asian descent.

    I would LOVE to see some Asian crossover in GoT. Asian countries have a huge industry of historical fantasy, 70s kung fu movies, Crouching Tiger, the old TV series Monkey (Journey to the West etc). Maybe if the story had ever gone to YiTi we’d see some?

    I would be totally cool with Oberyn being cast in the martial arts hero mold and for the Dornish to be Asians or Eurasians. George Takei for Doran!

  274. Ser Tahu
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I thought that I would just mention this:
    Larry Williams, who is an unsullied, has stated in one of his videos that he is eager to see House Martell.

  275. Red Hound
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Someone write me in the list that prefers the Greyjoy plotlines over Dorne.

    Ships, horns and salt wives!

  276. Charles2
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    My prediction: it will kill the show. TV audiences aren’t going to want to start all over again with new characters.

  277. Ser Tahu
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Charles2,

    Wait, did I miss something here? I wasn’t aware that the introduction of Dorne will require the removal of every character that has appeared before them.

  278. Daniel
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Dorne, the setting, is awesome. But the storyline that unfolds there needs to be changed to suit the TV show. Will be interesting to see how D&D do this.

  279. Lord Varys
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    In season 4 we only need Oberyn. But has anybody really assumed that they would cut Ellaria Sand, now that Ros is dead and Littlefinger has moved to the Vale? They will need their share of naked women in the show, and Ellaria being somewhat of a whore who turned into the consort of a Dornish prince was a woman who was adored in the books by Shae. They’ll try to make something out of that…

  280. rkr87
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    When I read the books I pictured Oberyn to be similar in appearance to Nick Tarabay, Ashur from Spartacus – Maybe it was the whole Syrian thing he had going on in Spartacus as I read SoS about the same time as season 2 of Spartacus was airing.

    Really excited to see the exchange between Oberyn and Tyrion about the first time they met when Tyrion was born and also to see the Oberyn/Mountain duel – was one of my favourite chapters of SoS!

  281. sunspear
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Dorian,

    Killing Arys is not the whole point of Dorne. There’s the plot to start a civil war by naming Mycella Queen, which might even gain Cersei’s support. There’s the fact that Dorne is one of two completely unblooded armies that is likely to join with Aegon (or initially, Dany. There’s Dany rejecting the marriage with Quentyn, showing how her priorities have shifted as a ruler. There’s him releasing the dragons and fulfilling the MMD prophecy. These things were done in one line in the books because that would be lazy storytelling.

  282. Dorian
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    sunspear:
    Dorian,

    Killing Arys is not the whole point of Dorne. There’s the plot to start a civil war by naming Mycella Queen, which might even gain Cersei’s support. There’s the fact that Dorne is one of two completely unblooded armies that is likely to join with Aegon (or initially, Dany. There’s Dany rejecting the marriage with Quentyn, showing how her priorities have shifted as a ruler. There’s him releasing the dragons and fulfilling the MMD prophecy. These things were done in one line in the books because that would be lazy storytelling.

    To be clear, I’m not saying all Dorne is pointless. I’m saying in specific terms that the chapters that take place in Dorne in AFFC are simply not worth putting on screen. The plot to start a civil war by declaring Myrcella queen over Tommen is an ignominious failure that serves only to see Arianne locked up because she doesn’t know the actual plan, which is revealed to her in ADWD. It serves no purpose beyond that. Of course Quentyn should still show up and meet Dany, because that’s something viewers will connect with, because they know Dany. And yes, Arianne could be sent to see Aegon. But my point is that we can be introduced to these characters at these events, not the meandering slowness for no real result that is the AFFC Dorne plot.

  283. Ser Tahu
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Dorian,

    What you’re forgetting is that non-readers won’t know the end results of these plots. For example, they won’t know that the plot to crown Myrcella will fail, the whole time they will be think Dorne is rebelling?!? How will this play out for Tommen/Cersei/the Lannisters. And then the surprise ending with Areo Hotah stepping off the boat, Arys’ death, Myrcella’s maiming and Doran’s true intentions will come as a complete surprise. It would translate well to the tv.

  284. Zelko
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Jenny,

    The whole POC label is pretty much an American concept, and is an umbrella term for everyone not white. It makes little sense to me, since the American view on white has also more to do with history than the actual skin color, which is why an American of Sicilian descent may have darker skin than f.e. an American of Latino descent, but the former will be considered white and the later won’t. I find it confusing and annoying, especially since Americans often generalize this concept to the whole world.

    I’m also of the opinion that the Dornish should be darker, but I see no reason why darker people from Italian, Greek or generally South-Eastern European descent shouldn’t be included in the casting effort.

  285. Abyss
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Off-Topic:
    How could I miss this? That’s exactly how I picture an meeting in the writers room. ;-)
    -Btw, it refers to the books, so it’s kind of spoilery in a very vague way.

  286. Dorian
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu:
    Dorian,

    What you’re forgetting is that non-readers won’t know the end results of these plots. For example, they won’t know that the plot to crown Myrcella will fail, the whole time they will be think Dorne is rebelling?!? How will this play out for Tommen/Cersei/the Lannisters. And then the surprise ending with Areo Hotah stepping off the boat, Arys’ death, Myrcella’s maiming and Doran’s true intentions will come as a complete surprise. It would translate well to the tv.

    I just don’t think TV viewers will care. Hell, I’ve read AFFC, and I know I don’t care. But the reasons they won’t care will be different. Namely, that these are all new characters in a new location with no entry-point character they already know at all. And it will result in a lot of discontent that valuable screen time was wasted on these newcomers, and a lot of frustration in keeping track of a load of new characters.

  287. Ours is the Fury
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Dorian,

    Not true. Myrcella is in Dorne and I think she’ll be used as a connecting point. There will also be Ellaria, having survived season 4.. The writers are smart enough to foresee the issue you’re describing and to work around it.

  288. Labadulo
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Don’t know where to put this.
    Excellent James Brown/GOT theme mash-up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwF-D5wEEmk

  289. Abyss
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Off-Topic:
    Very funny panel with Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage from the Calgary Expo in four parts. The upload is a month old, but I haven’t seen it and the view counts are pretty low, so chances are many here haven’t as well. The are some spoilers in it, manly one big one where an audience member really fucks up!

  290. GreatJon of Slumber
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Darquemode:
    Zack,

    Agreed on the fights.
    For me they have been fairly hit and miss, half being somewhat lackluster like Jn vs Qhorinand Hound vs Mountain. The two stand outs to me are Beric vs Hound and Bronn vs Egan like you said.

    The one not-quit-true fight I would add is Jon versus his NW brothers when he arrived at Castle Black. I may not always like or respect Kit Harrington’s portrayal of Jon Snow, but them man can use a sword! I think those training sessions were some of the best, most believable fights in the beginning of the series!

    Surprised to see some of these opinions. Agreed re Jon/Qhorin; Mountain/Hound was meant to be a brief skirmish anyway.

    But the biggest battles – Beric/Hound and Vardis/Bronn – were executed in superb fashion.

  291. Darquemode
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Dorian,

    Hmm, not sure I agree in any way honestly.
    I seriously doubt Dorne and the Iron Islands were introduced as time wasters that do not play a part in the endgame of the saga. The people from those regions (some of them) will be important…. Some already are honestly.

    As far as people not caring….
    When D&D get into more detail about who the Martells are and how the Lannister thugs murdered Dany’s brother’s family do you think people will not care? I think people will be instantly attached to the Martells because of how they are victims of the Lannisters, their relation to Dany, and because they a cast of great characters who will play very well onscreen. Even better than in the books.

  292. Boyo71
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Other than Red Viper subplot, I hope the rest of the Dorne plot is explained away in sexposition.

  293. Kevin
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Lars,

    Westeros is supposed to be like Europe. People in Essos are far more ranging from Black, brown, tan, to white. People in dorn are going to be look very tan as they are in the sun. Thinking more hispanic or native american.

    This show isn’t diversity for you sake, it goes as the story goes. Like Othello is a moor.

  294. Dorian
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury:
    Dorian,

    Not true. Myrcella is in Dorne and I think she’ll be used as a connecting point. There will also be Ellaria, having survived season 4.. The writers are smart enough to foresee the issue you’re describing and to work around it.

    The audience last saw Myrcella in mid-Season 2, and she’s a glorified featured extra. No one is attached to Myrcella. A legitimate example of a connecting character is Theon introducing us to the Greyjoys / Ironborn in Season 2.

  295. Clara
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Do we know how much they will be splitting the 4th book up? I know that halving it like book 3 would bring it’s own problems, but there is no shortage of new story lines coming up. Slowing book 4 a bit and perhaps shortening some bits while lengthening others may be a solution. This could smooth over the Dorne and Greyjoy problems of too much new information.

    I think really the issues for D&D are:
    (a) how much they decide to condense it
    (b) if they can get non book readers invested in the characters. I think they did a quite good job with Stannis though and this issue more depends on good acting.

    Right now if I was in charge (which lucky for ye I’m not) I’d ramp up the references to both Dorne and the Iron Islands in preparation for the next season. Maybe even as obvious as “I hear Oberyn Martell et al are on their way form Dorne”. I know that’s overblown but you see my point.

    I really think Dorne could work well though, if the writers are careful. It’s all about balancing the characters’ stories on this show and it’s about to become even more complicated.

  296. Ser Tahu
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Dorian,

    Dragonstone didn’t have any connecting characters at the start of season 2.

  297. Darquemode
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Game of Thrones tours popping up in Belfast and Dubrovnik.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/30/travel/game-of-thrones-tours/index.html

    How fun would those be!?!
    I know many locals have visited the sites during film season, but for me over in the USA it sounds like a lot of fun!!

  298. Dorian
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu:
    Dorian,

    Dragonstone didn’t have any connecting characters at the start of season 2.

    Dragonstone actually affects characters we know in a massive way in the same season and throughout the show, and Stannis was referred to as a large presence looming over everything all throughout the final act in Season 1 to boot. By contrast, the Long Pointless Story of Arianne’s Stupid Scheme That Failed affects pretty much no one we care about whatsoever, unless you count Cersei being upset that Myrcella was maimed, which is hardly the sort of thing hours of TV time should be wasted on.

  299. WompWomp
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Boyo71:
    Other than Red Viper subplot, I hope the rest of the Dorne plot is explained away in sexposition.

    Oooooooo, that is COLD. [laughs]

  300. fuelpagan
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The prophecy of Mirri Maz Duur is pointless if you don’t include Dorne.

    I’m not that worried. I think D&D have a good understanding of the importance of Dorne.

    Dorian,

    It’s the job of the TV show to get the audience to care about the new characters. The connection has already been made with characters talking about Dorne. With introducing Oberyn in season 4, the family relation will be enough for the audience to be at least curious about the new characters.

  301. Alen
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    This was a great read! (Although that line about “alternative lifestyles” made me cringe, I really don’t like that phrase)

    I love Dorne. It’s my favorite ASOIAF location next to King’s Landing (in terms of plotlines and characters that inhabit those locations). Oberyn and Doran are two of my favorite characters in the series. They are really different but each of them brings so much to the series.
    I really hope the show incorporates Dorne as much as it can. It would be such a contrast to the familiar rules of Westeros. It would gives us an ethnic, sexual and gender diversity.

    In my opinion, the Red Viper’s bisexuality does matter. But only because he is so open about it. Westeros is a harsh place for women and non-straight people. To incorporate characters with different set of values (values that are closer to this day and age) would be amazing. Think of the possibilities! Think of the dialogues! Think of Cersei’s raised eyebrows!
    As a gay man, it’s hard to relate to characters in a fantasy world. I’ve not been very impressed with the show’s potrayal of Renly and Loras. Does every gay man on television have to be interested in fashion? The scene with Loras and Sansa in a recent episode was obviously played for laughs (“Haha look at Sansa, she doesn’t realize he is a flaming homosexual”) but I’m sick of that. The Red Viper would be a welcome addition to the show and I hope they at least recognize his non-straightness. I would love it if he were to be really open about it to the dismay of others. It would be great to see how Loras reacts to that as well.

    And it’s really interesting how women are treated differently in Dorne. I would love to see that contrast as well (I can’t wait for Arianne!).

    There’s so much that Dorne can bring and I hope they do it justice!

  302. dogs
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    This is a cool post and Dorne is a cool place, but I think changes may occur in how Dorne is woven into the story in the TV show.
    My thoughts: The concept of Orientalism, developed by Edward Said. Dorne is only exoticized when you are not an insider there, when the narrative is not physically occurring there, but only referred to and engaged with in myth-like terms, as judged by a Westerosi “norm”. Like, Tyrion saying “Do Dornish girls count?” to Yoren about strange things he’s eaten. Tiny references that build up an exotic mythology around the place, and when the place is introduced in its “real” manifestation in the book a Feast For Crows, I think I was let down by it a little bit because the myth had become larger than the reality could ever hold. I guess, I found the actual plots which occurred in Dorne in A Feast For Crows pretty unconvincing as well though, so that didn’t help its introduction.
    So what I mean to say is, the longer Dorne is NOT introduced as a new physical setting of the show but with elements of Dorne’s involvement in the plotlines and world increasing, I think the show world will actually benefit. That is, I think the show should take advantage of how Dorne is “orientalized” or exoticized, since it increases the mystery and suspsence about the place.
    Separately, I know that the idea of orientalizing is really fucked up and reflects a really fucked up part of Western culture. However, Dorne is a made-up nation in a made-up world, and I think Dorne has already been exoticized in the show in vague referential world-building bits, so the process of orientalizing Dorne for the show-watchers is already at work. I think, the narrative can use that to its advantage.
    The most effective thing to do in my reasoning would be to ultimately introduce Dorne through the eyes of an already-established Westerosi character who is an outsider arriving in Dorne. Which character, I have no idea, since that’s not the way it’s introduced in the books. Maybe George wanted to purposefully subvert all of that by introducing Dorne on its own terms by using its own native POV’s, “normalizing” Dorne culture. In my opinion, the narrative suffered for it though.

  303. Samson
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I want Dorne! That is all. Nice article too, you should make a poll about whether or not people want Dorne, Martell, etc.

  304. Kees
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    But I’m just one guy. I only have one opinion. And really, who the hell cares what I think?

    You are Fire and Blood, representative of the oldest and most important GoT fansite. Men seek your favor.

    and by men I mean hopefully HBO and GoT producers.

  305. Pau Soriano
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury: http://www.celebritytweet.com/link.php?s=http://post.ly/2bdwn
    See if this link works. It was a tweet with a pic attached. It says “George just told me I look like Lady Nymeria.” Perhaps this will stop people from getting into a bizarre huff about the fact that the Martells are not white.

    Martin also describes her as having “pale white skin” ( according to the asoiaf wiki). So yeah. Maybe he already went blind ;)

    Anyway, Lady Nym mother is supposed to be from volantis, and to me volantis was always akin to India, so that would make sense as Gavankar is half-indian. So that would leave the Martell’s dylema back on the table (Lady Nym could be dark (wich she isn’t, but well) due to her mother).

    On the other hand, they have cast a mediterranean actress for the only Volantine character.

    I would prefer they go the route of middle-eastern/arabic look for Dorne and the Indian one for Volantis, but it seems they’re doing it the other way around…o well, no biggie.

  306. KG
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    fuelpagan:
    It’s the job of the TV show to get the audience to care about the new characters.

    No, it was Martin’s. And he largely failed.

  307. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Pau Soriano,
    I guess you missed this:

    Ours is the Fury: George actually describes Nym’s skin as being darker in another book. He wrote two different descriptions of her skin and has admitted that the inconsistency was an error. Being that he is the author, I’d say that we should defer to his opinion on the matter on what his character looks like. The author says this is what Lady Nymeria, a Martell by blood, looks like. :)

  308. Alen
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    I disagree. I think he succeeded. Many of the fans of the books love the characters from Dorne (as evidenced by this post). It’s true that there are fans who don’t care about them but that may be due to the fact that many expected the return of beloved characters for the 4th book.
    It’s highly possible the show fans will love the characters from Dorne. I don’t think they’ll be angry at the show for introducing new characters, look how warmly they’ve embraced Margaery, Olenna, Ygritte…! The only thing the show needs is something that links Dorne to King’s Landing and that is provided by Oberyn and Marcella.

  309. J
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Spoiler alert !! I spoke to Martin at a book signing a few years ago, and I asked him “which character do you miss writing for the most?” He told me, flat out, the Red Viper. I think that Martin would love to see Dorne in the HBO series, but, realistically, I just don’t see it. All the more reason for Cersei to scratch the Imp’s eyeballs out one of these days!

  310. Fire And Blood
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Kees: You are Fire and Blood, representative of the oldest and most important GoT fansite. Men seek your favor.

    and by men I mean hopefully HBO and GoT producers.

    Oh, those men!

    (Insert nervous laughter… ahaha… ha…)

  311. Valyrian
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I’LL NEVER STOP LOVING THIS POST.

  312. WildSeed
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    WompWomp:
    WildSeed,

    I was speaking in generalities for the sake of simplicity. It we really want to dissect the reality behind each broad point, we could be here for hours ironing out details that would prolong the discussion to no discernible end.

    It wasn’t the fact that Xaro was black that bothered me. He was just an uninteresting character. Not sure how I’d feel about a pale dolled up effeminate man who can cry a single perfect tear on command, but I just found Xaro lacking overall, and some people seem to take issue with all the black characters being reprehensible one way or another. I personally like Sallador Saan, but I see what people mean.

    Turncloak,

    I’m not always the most receptive to kneejerk reactions to text construed as misogynistic, but given the context, I have to agree that the “making the eight” reference was in surprisingly poor taste. Not making judgments about FaB’s character. He seems like a cool cat. Just, looking back at the joke/reference, it was particularly ill made given the context of the all-female panel.

    I appreciate your POV more than you think, and the Diversity aspect was only
    one part of my comments. I began by speaking to a cohesive family unit in
    respect to Dorne. The show runners have illustrated this nicely with the
    dysfunctional Lannister clan. In short, I was agreeing with your comments
    towards “making them a family….. make them a people “

  313. WildSeed
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Dorian: The audience last saw Myrcella in mid-Season 2, and she’s a glorified featured extra. No one is attached to Myrcella. A legitimate example of a connecting character is Theon introducing us to the Greyjoys / Ironborn in Season 2.

    Some may not recognize Myrcella to date, same for Rickon Stark. The groundwork
    has been laid to connect their stories in future seasons, where pivotal moments
    will dictate. Benioff and Weiss have done well this season to pace the story
    and relevant characters within the changing landscape and social dramas.

    You mentioned the Greyjoys, but I consider Roose Bolton’s story and that of
    the Dreadfort. I’m very excited to engage more with Micheal McElhatton’s
    evolving scenes as Roose. Given his initial placement, anyone observing him
    would have dismissed his ultimate importance on the show ( S2 ). From hereon,
    both he and Ramsey are the ones to watch ( esp S4 ).

  314. quadurp
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Great! Keep spreading misconceptions about ‘people of color’ in fantasy! There is plenty of good fantasy with diverse and different settings. It only speaks for the lack of knowledge on the persons part who claims otherwise. The argument applies only to TV/Film medium but not literature.

  315. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode:
    Mrs. H’ghar,

    I liked Hero and that scene!
    I’m not sure I see the Dornish as Asian, but I agree about the fight scene being interesting I hope they can incorporate some martial arts into it too!

    I know there are Indian forms… African, and Middle Eastern styles I’m suretoo, I’m jut not well versed in the martial arts to know the names. I just know I respect anyone trained and talented in martial arts and find the demos and fights very entertaining to watch!

    Did a quick search for some Indian martial arts demo or fight videos..
    Here are a couple staff scenes that I found.
    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmlD4yxjbu4
    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml0lvDwBkr0
    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4cc0ZRmVuM

    I just hope we get to see some serious speed and fluidityin the spear fighting!
    A few of the fights in the series have seemed very by-the-numbers and scripted to me. I do not blame the coordinators or actors really though… Maybe editing?

    Those are cool clips too Darquemode, thanks for those! You GET what I’m going for, something a little more “OMGIHAVE TO REWIND THAT AGAIN” worthy in certain fights that may be to come…the potential is there, the story is there, PLEASE D&D, HIRE DONNIE YEN or SAMO HUNG or JACKIE CHAN to choreograph an epically beautiful fight scene or 2 so we all go WOWOWOWOWOWOW and not just, “Oh, swords again.”

  316. Uno0
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I’d love to see the show’s designers/set people get a crack at the Water Gardens – it’s such a compelling (with slightly pedophilic undertones) image of Doran calmly watching the children’s play in the oasis-like gardens in a land that’s a large part desert.

  317. Mrs. H'ghar
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Chickenduck: If you include the Indian subcontinent as part of Asia, then there has been at least two on the show:Amrita Acharia (played Irri, half Nepalese) and Ramon Tikaram (played one of the guys Daario beheaded, Indian descent but from SE Asia).

    But that’s been it so far.No actors of East Asian descent.

    I would LOVE to see some Asian crossover in GoT.Asian countries have a huge industry of historical fantasy, 70s kung fu movies, Crouching Tiger, the old TV series Monkey (Journey to the West etc).Maybe if the story had ever gone to YiTi we’d see some?

    I would be totally cool with Oberyn being cast in the martial arts hero mold and for the Dornish to be Asians or Eurasians.George Takei for Doran!

    Chickenduck, this woman has been pushing for Asians for the Dornish for years, such as Donnie Yen as the Red Viper and yes – George Takei could be Doran, why not? If you check my link in my previous post, you know you’re not alone in wishing for some Asian Martial Arts/fantasy influence in future epic fight scenes!

  318. sherry
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    Dorne should definitely be included in the series. It has been mentioned many times already so hopefully Dorne will become a major setting for the show as it was in the books. Also, maybe some backstory regarding Dorne will eventually be inserted into the show. The characters Red Viper, Doran, Arianne, and the Sand Snakes are too important to delete. They serve a definite purpose.

  319. Prince of Pentos
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    There are so many echoes in GRRM’s world to the real world and real history, as he himself so often mentions.

    I’m quite sure Dorne was inspired by Al Andalus Spain. Even the Pyrenees are there.

    Sometimes it can be a bit annoying, though, when some (slightly historically ignorant) readers begin thinking GRRM is so incredibly creative when in fact he “copied” so much from real history.

    But never mind. It’s fine. Personally, I actually quite enjoy these echoes, and then also the twists he adds to them to make them unique.

  320. Turncloak
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    When I was unsullied during the first season I remember reading an interview with Sean Bean saying he would like to return to Game of Thrones season 2. At that point I was 100% sure Ned would survive. however, i worried that they might recast him. I was so pissed when I saw him beheaded as I thought Sean Bean tricked me! That being said what a great moment! I hope they do a similar interview with the Red Viper!

  321. Hard Truths
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    I think that most of Dorne should and will be cut (the Red Viper is the only Dornish character worth including). Everything else that has taken place in Dorne can easily happen off screen.

    The amount of people trying to cast the Red Viper based on solely on race is puzzling. The most important thing is they need to get an actor who can pull off the Red Viper’s charisma. Some people really want the guy from the Mummy or Sayid from Lost? I think they would both be awful picks. I would like to see James Purefoy, Dominic West, or Idris Elba.

  322. Anguissette1979
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    Darquemode,

    I LOVE the middle video you posted. If Mr. Viper fights light that I’ll be a happy camper.

  323. Zaprowsdower
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Hard Truths,

    Purefoy said he wont have anything to do with Game of Thrones due to Rome bad blood. I guess he later said that he was joking? But I can’t see that happening.

  324. B
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Hard Truths,

    Definitely NOT West for this role. He sure did miss the boat with Mance though. He would have been perfect. (For all six or so lines Mance has spoken this season) I am still sour over the fact he turned it down. But apparently it was a trip he was not willing to make. : (

  325. Gatorfisch
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Zeus:
    I’m really not sure why people are so hung up on the Dornish being “people of color”.The description in the books of the three kinds of Dornish is pretty indicative of Spain, Italy or to a lesser extent Greece.In all three countries there are people who would be described as Salty Dornish. There are also blonde haired and blue eyes people who clearly resemble the Stony Dornish. There are Spanish, Greeks and Italians who could resemble any of the three.I think people in America tend to think of European countries as homogenous masses when it really isn’t true.

    It seems that people just want to make the Dornish look darker for the sake of “diversity”.There will be plenty of room for those characters when Dany takes Mereen.

    I agree with this, to a point. But, I think people use the term “People of Color” to mean “not only white”. Oona Chaplin is Spanish, where this a lot of ethnic diversity. I am really embarrassed at people’s ignorance regarding ethnicity. The Lebanese are often paler than many Italians and the true Celts were dark haired/eyed. It was the interbreeding with Norsemen that brought about the blonde/red haired blue eyed “modern” Celt. And, what we think of as Italians are actually an amalgamation of various ethnicities.

  326. Gatorfisch
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    1. I love Dorne! It is my one of my top 3 regions in Westeros. It is awesome! The diversity of landscape and ethnicity….the progressive nature of the people. I have a hunch that the Martells will play a HUGE role in the rest of the SOIAF. And as far as the complaints about too many characters-there’s an argument that many of the current characters will be out of the picture by then. And, Hotah has a POV, remember? He is much more important than Strong Belwas ever was.
    2. I want the Red Viper to be shown in all his glory. He’s a BAMF. I want them to show his bisexuality and polyamorous relationship with Ellaria. I want it all.

  327. Ser Tahu
    Posted May 30, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Hard Truths,

    They could easily have had Viserys’ death, Ned’s death, the birth of the dragons, the battle of blackwater bay, the sacking of Astapor, The Red Wedding, the Sansa wedding plots, Ned tracking down the bastards, all of Dragonstone and all of the Theon storyline (in season 2) happen off screen, but they didn’t because that would be horrible storytelling and harm the show.

  328. kurozukin
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Lord Varys:
    In season 4 we only need Oberyn. But has anybody really assumed that they would cut Ellaria Sand, now that Ros is dead and Littlefinger has moved to the Vale? They will need their share of naked women in the show, and Ellaria being somewhat of a whore who turned into the consort of a Dornish prince was a woman who was adored in the books by Shae. They’ll try to make something out of that…

    Um, Ellaria is the daughter of a Dornish lord. She was never a whore. Cersei and the Tyrells called her whore as an insult, but that just illustrates their disparaging attitude torward Dornish sexual openness, not that she was literally a whore.

  329. vic sage
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    I look forward to seeing The Martells and Dorne.I think the reaction to The Red Viper online will be something to behold.

  330. beyza
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    dorne is my favourite location!!! pleeeeease, we need to see it!!!

  331. Hard Truths
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Ser Tahu:
    Hard Truths,

    They could easily have had Viserys’ death, Ned’s death, the birth of the dragons, the battle of blackwater bay, the sacking of Astapor, The Red Wedding, the Sansa wedding plots, Ned tracking down the bastards, all of Dragonstone and all of the Theon storyline (in season 2) happen off screen, but they didn’t because that would be horrible storytelling and harm the show.

    I would argue that all of those events are key to the central story, whereas Dorne has just been a subplot up to this point. If Dorne becomes key to the central plot in TWOW or ADOS then I would add the characters to the show at that time. Basically I dont think there is justification for including them on the show based upon what they have done in AFFC and ADWD. That could change, but I wouldn’t assume they will be important later on just because GRRM included them. I think we will look back at AFFC and ADWD as mostly filler once ASOIAF is completed.

  332. Hard Truths
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Zaprowsdower:
    Hard Truths,

    Purefoy said he wont have anything to do with Game of Thrones due to Rome bad blood. I guess he later said that he was joking? But I can’t see that happening.

    Yeah I remember that. I think he was joking. I don’t know if you have seen Rome, but the his performance as Mark Antony makes me think he would be a great Red Viper. Mark Antony was the cockiest/most charismatic character in that world, and the Red Viper is the cockiest/most charismatic character in ASOIAF.

  333. Hard Truths
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    B:
    Hard Truths,

    Definitely NOT West for this role. He sure did miss the boat with Mance though. He would have been perfect. (For all six or so lines Mance has spoken this season)I am still sour over the fact he turned it down.But apparently it was a trip he was not willing to make. : (

    I agree he would have been great as Mance, but if I remember correctly part of the problem was that he didn’t want to film in Iceland (something he would not have to do for the Red Viper since he would mostly be filming in Northern Ireland, and maybe a bit in Croatia). The fact the Red Viper is a one season role might also be more enticing to him.

  334. Daine
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Yessss, we need him to be bi/pansexual, polyamorous, masculine, badass, unrelenting, and of color. I don’t mean they have to shove it in people’s faces (I’d prefer it be subtle, but there), but at least some of those traits have to be there for it to be Oberyn.

    It’s not like Daario, where the character would be a joke if implemented as in the books. Oberyn has so much swag and pride that he doesn’t care if you don’t like the way he looks at your husband, or the fact that he’s of a different ethnicity, or any of the other things that some people are going to take issue to with him. Given the popularity of Thrones, this character could end up eliminating some bias and stereotypes pretty damn effectively if done right.

    And I would love soooo much to see someone Dornish say something regarding marriage or inheritance that pisses Cersei off beyond belief because it’s something she can’t have but Dornish women have been able to do it for centuries, bwahaha.

  335. zaprowsdower
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Hard Truths,

    I liked Rome and was disappointed that it was cancelled. He is a great actor but doesn’t strike me as the Red Viper. And though he later said on twitter he was joking about the Rome/GoT beef, it does seem like there is bad blood there. *shrugs*

  336. Arthur
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Hard Truths,

    James Purefoy was having small talk with Kevin Mckidd when he supposedly said that.

    IMO Purefoy was just having small talk with an old friend and reflecting back Kevin’s feelings about being frustrated ROME was canceled and venting it on GoT.

    Because in all reality James Purefoy’s character Mark Anthony was already wrote off the show (dead) before ROME was even canceled so why would Purefoy even care?

    He was just being kind by agreeing with Kevin Mckidd…

  337. Tom
    Posted May 31, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Raza Jaffrey for Red Viper!

  338. Luana
    Posted June 1, 2013 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood:
    Turncloak,

    I thought Luana‘s comment was funny. I like funny!

    I have three responses I’m juggling. I’ll let you choose one and we’ll go with that.

    1. “You don’t know how persuasive I can be.”

    2. Are you implying I’m not attractive?!(Probably, seeing as I make her gag…) (We may be forced to go with that one, if I’m deemed as just plain fugly.) (Though it’s not very funny.) (The ol’ multiple parenthesis gag can’t even save it…)

    3. Don’t feel bad, Luana, some people just have a quicker gag reflex than others. I’m sure this happens to lots of girls!

    Bazinga!

    If that comment had been made by anyone other than a mod, it would have been deleted.

    Since you want to make this personal, FaB, instead of making it about your inappropriate joke about fucking all the women on the panel, well, fine.

    I don’t know or care what you look like. Even if you looked like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, you’d still make me sick, because you spout misogynistic shit like the above.

    Happy now? Or should I should I say that one of the responses I’m considering is that someone’s dick is obviously far too small to activate anyone’s gag reflex?

    “Bazinga” is perfect coming from you, given how similar that character’s social skills are to your own.

  339. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 1, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Luana,

    Awww, Lulu. I was just goin’ along with your joke. You told Turncloak you didn’t need to calm down. You said you thought your line was funny. I agreed that it was!

    I assumed we were, you know, all good. I guess you were being… what, disingenuous?

    And you’re saying I did what to all of the women in the panel? That’s quite a leap. Rather crude, really. Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?

    I understand you probably think that I meant all sorts of nasty things with that little throwaway joke. I get that you don’t get me. And I’m fine with that. You don’t have to.

    Keep frothing though. Your tenacity is remarkable.

    Stay thirsty my friend!

    ~FaB~

    (I’m a little sad her dick joke will probably get deleted. I enjoyed it, though. If I have a vote, I would like to let her comments stand!)

  340. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted June 1, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Fire And Blood,

    If it counts for anything, I found your “making the eight” comment amusing. Good old Robert Baratheon. Luana’s comments also sort of remind me of this clip:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqPcjm-X5GQ

  341. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Ah, Stephen Fry. I love that guy. He’s part of my holy trinity—errr—Four Horsemen of the Offensalypse, which also includes Louis CK, Ricky Gervais, and those dudes from South Park.

    Basically if it’s funny to any of them, it’s funny for me.

  342. Andrew
    Posted June 1, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Before reading some of the comments here, I didn’t know people made fun of Darkstar. I liked Darkstar. :(

  343. Fire And Blood
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 3:58 am | Permalink

    But Andrew! He is of the night!

    Team Darkstar, tbh

  344. Family, Duty, Hodor
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Andrew,

    Saw this joke:

    Q: How many Darkstars does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
    A: Five. One to hold the mirror. One to do his hair. Three to actually overpower the little girl holding the lightbulb.

    But as Fabio said; he is Darkstar. And he is of the night.

  345. Sh4rp3
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Daine:
    Yessss, we need him to be bi/pansexual, polyamorous, masculine, badass, unrelenting, and of color. I don’t mean they have to shove it in people’s faces (I’d prefer it be subtle, but there), but at least some of those traits have to be there for it to be Oberyn.

    It’s not like Daario, where the character would be a joke if implemented as in the books. Oberyn has so much swag and pride that he doesn’t care if you don’t like the way he looks at your husband, or the fact that he’s of a different ethnicity, or any of the other things that some people are going to take issue to with him. Given the popularity of Thrones, this character could end up eliminating some bias and stereotypes pretty damn effectively if done right.

    And I would love soooo much to see someone Dornish say something regarding marriage or inheritance that pisses Cersei off beyond belief because it’s something she can’t have but Dornish women have been able to do it for centuries, bwahaha.

    Indeed! Come on all, Dorne is essential and Oberyn is in all our top ten character lists, admit it ! He should be as is in the books , just like Tyrion and Dany and Bron and Jamie etc. Yes there are so many plot lines but isn’t that the point? The books are founded on the way each chapter leaves us needing more, we hear of theon going home and just when we’re thinking this may be too much the chapter ends and we can’t wait till it returns to the iron born. The producers are hoping the series runs for ever and so do I, it is already gaining fast on the books and Dorne will surely help elongate the story. It should also come with all its characteristics , including Oberyn’s sexuality and most importantly ethnic qualities. The world GRRM has created is as diverse as our own and of course the show should reflect that. This is known!

  346. Andrew
    Posted June 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Family, Duty, Hodor,

    I’ll make a “Leave Darkstar Alone!” video, guys, don’t tempt me!

  347. Yvonne of Tarth
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I love Dorne. It is my third most favourite place in Westeros. As for the Viper, I don’t know if GoT can affor him, but I think Edward Norton would be the ideal actor for that role.

  348. Unak78
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Shan: Thinking that way is a luxury that a whole lot of people don’t have, though. People judge me based on how I look, and most of where they get their information/stereotypes is not from real life, but from the news and TV. How people who look like me are depicted on TV has an enormous effect on my day to day life, and so me not worrying about how people who look like me are depicted on TV is not an option.

    Look at Peter Dinklage. Would you tell him that he’s too concerned with how little people are depicted in the media? Of course not — because how little people are depicted in the media affects how people see them in real life. If they’re just comic relief and minor parts, people will think it’s funny to toss them across a room like Martin Henderson. If they’re show as full, human, interesting characters like Tyrion, people will actually be more likely to see them as people, and not toss them across the room.

    Minorities may be very diverse in a lot of ways, but concerns like these are something that we all have in common — I’d argue one of the main things that we all have in common.

    Well said. I can’t add anything to that statement. It surprises me how many people seem to think that proclaiming race and ethnicity to be unimportant will magically make all of the problems that it entails go away.

  349. El Beto
    Posted June 16, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    They can cut characters, but Dorne is essential to the books. They are going to reduce them as possible, like the no Margaery’s cousins.

  350. Tatiana
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Answer 1: I LOVE Dorne. The Martells are probably tied for my second favorite family alongside the Tyrells. (My first favorite is the Starks, because I’m predictable) Dorne was such a refreshing change, and the characters were so colorful – both literally and figuratively. At first, I was annoyed to have been ripped away from my previous favorite characters, but I had fallen in love with Oberyn Martell on the spot, and Arianne & The Sand Snakes soon won me over as well. Now my number one concern is how the show chooses to adapt the Dorne storyline.

    Answer 2: I want to see a strong, charming, darker-skinned man. Someone who has a fierce but … loving look? I’m not entirely sure where Dorne is analogous to in the real world – I always envision India or the Middle East – but it’s incredibly important to me that the Martells be POC. Someone like Oded Fehr or Naveen Andrews is what I envision, tbh. But I’m open to anyone who both looks the part and can portray the personality. And, yes, I think it’s important that Oberyn be bisexual – but that his sexuality not be made into a joke, the way Loras’ has.

    Thanks for writing this! I love reading everyone’s answers.

  351. W
    Posted June 19, 2013 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    Lol, another dumb american projecting dumb americans things into something that isnt american.

    You, as an american, dont realise how bloody idiotic you look when you say “I have assembled a group of multicultural people” and thrn reveal they are all just americans who look different. I mean fuck me you even fucking refer to yourself as ‘average’, so youre saying that white american males are the basis for the entire world? My gosh you’re an idiot amongst idiots. Man, americans truely are bloody retarded, they cant relate to anything that isnt american cuz everything else would require too much intelligence for any american to muster.

  352. Paul
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Mark Dacascos would be good to play the Red Viper. He’s not white, can act somewhat, and can throw down. He was pretty good in “Brotherhood of the Wolf”.

  353. Dylan
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    And months later is was decided, we have a Red Viper and he is gonna be Bi!

  1. [...] it turns out, I did, in Part 1 of The Importance of Dorne. FaBio asked questions of eight Game of Thrones fans and two weeks ago, presented Part 1 of the [...]

  2. [...] it turns out, I did, in Part 1 of The Importance of Dorne. FaBio asked questions of eight Game of Thrones fans and two weeks ago, presented Part 1 of the [...]


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