Casting Speculation

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The Wedding Guest

He’s a father, he’s a son.  He’s been a bishop, a cardinal, a prior, a friar, a vicar, a knight, a lord, a mayor, a director.  There’s one born every minute, but by any other name he’d smell as sweet.

Hear Me Roar: Oh, so nostalgic. Quick, what’s this about? Have we got our Mace Tyrell? Surely the first part refers to the actor’s roles … and the second bit – well, there is a “rose” involved, according to the Shakespearian hint. Part of the name?

UPDATE: And we did it again. We think. The best guess and fit is Roger Ashton-Griffiths. The reader Jordan was first to identify him, followed closely and independently by our Fury. Confirmation pending.

124 Comments

  • Definitely Mace Tyrell…those roles that are listed make it seem like this actor has done a lot of period films. Any ideas?

  • There’s a “sucker” born every minute, according to P.T. Barnum., which I think refers to lampreys, and the “rose” smelling as sweet points to the Tyrells.

  • After an extensive 5-minute Google search I think this is referring to Mark Gatiss – he played a vicar in Funland and a simpleton (a sucker, born every minute) in Nighty Night. That, and the speculation is that he’s been cast as Mace.

    Am I wrong? Probably.

  • I think the trick to identifying the actor would be to focus on “a director”. If that means he’s played a director in a movie on on TV, that’s got to be a relatively small list. If it’s saying he has actually been a director in real life, as well as an actor, it’s a bigger list, but still much smaller than the list of people who have played any of those other parts.

  • Think I solved it. Roger Ashton-Griffith- see here- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004355/

    Guy has played among other things, P.T. Barnum (in Gangs of New York), Cardinal Woolsey (in a miniseries about the Tudors), and the Old Bishop (in A Knight’s Tale).

    And looking at the picture, there’s a Mace if I’ve ever seen one.

  • “There’s one born every minute” made me think of Jim Dale (who played Barnum and sang There is a sucker born every minute) but that quote probably refers to Mace being a dumbass right?

  • Roger Ashton-Griffiths seems to fit all the clues, I think.

    edit: I see Jordan found him too. Yeah I think he’s the one. Has to be Mace, don’t you think?

  • Sam Neill is a good guess! And I do picture him as a perfect Mace Tyrell for the show. His performance in the Tudors was terrific <3

  • Jordan:
    Think I solved it.Roger Ashton-Griffith- see here- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004355/

    Guy has played among other things, P.T. Barnum (in Gangs of New York), Cardinal Woolsey (in a miniseries about the Tudors), and the Old Bishop (in A Knight’s Tale).

    And looking at the picture, there’s a Mace if I’ve ever seen one.

    Excellent guess! Certainly looks the part.

  • Could it be Irish actor John Kavanagh?

    – Priest (7th Heaven)
    – Cardinal (The Tudors)
    – King (The Court Astronomer)

    He was in a show called Father & Son.

  • Agreed on Roger Ashton-Griffiths. I think the PT Barnum connection is what hits the spot.

  • Jordan,

    I think you got it. Every one of those roles came up Ctrl+Fing his imdb page, including Prior, and he directed the Ballad of the Sad Cafe. Is Father/Son a reference to Mace or I am missing something?

  • Ewan Mcgregor! My first thought. Know he has had some of these roles. I haven’t checked for all.

  • Think our Mace could possibly be Steven Hartley: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0366889/

    He played a role in the Merlin episode, “His Father’s Son” and narrates “One Born Every Minute” for Channel 4 in the UK

    Edit: Not that I can see anything else backing it up in the other clues

  • Jordan:
    Think I solved it.Roger Ashton-Griffith- see here- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004355/

    Guy has played among other things, P.T. Barnum (in Gangs of New York), Cardinal Woolsey (in a miniseries about the Tudors), and the Old Bishop (in A Knight’s Tale).

    And looking at the picture, there’s a Mace if I’ve ever seen one.

    Very, very hard to argue against any of this. I’m already giggling in anticipation.

  • There’s one man who springs to mind that has done a lot of those roles described, is a director too and links in with the mainly English cast……but he is a big star which flies in the face of most Thrones casting. Ray Fiennes anyone!?

  • Felt Pelt,

    I think Father and Son is probably just pointing us toward Mace, since he’s Olenna’s son and Margaery’s Dad, yeah. The rest of the clues fit Ashton-Griffiths perfectly.

  • The last thing I want to clear up though, before I’m 100% sure, is what’s the connection between Ashton-Griffiths and Romeo&Juliet (‘by any other name he’s smell just as sweet’)?

  • Roger Ashton-Griffiths definitely fits. And he definitely looks like he could play a ‘Ponderous Oaf’. Mace it is!

  • outdoorcats:
    The last thing I want to clear up though, before I’m 100% sure, is what’s the connection between Ashton-Griffiths and Romeo&Juliet (‘by any other name he’s smell just as sweet’)?

    A rose = Tyrell

  • outdoorcats,

    That might just be a reference to the Mace role. Although, its also plausible that he acted in a production of Romeo and Juliet- it just isn’t recorded on the IMDB page.

    Amusing that he’s played so many clergymen (often evil ones, I think).

  • This makes me very intrigued as to who Gatiss is going to be playing if not Mace. Surely an actor of his standing would not be cast in a throwaway role and he has apparently already finished his filming. Interesting….

  • Jordan:
    Think I solved it.Roger Ashton-Griffith- see here- http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004355/

    Guy has played among other things, P.T. Barnum (in Gangs of New York), Cardinal Woolsey (in a miniseries about the Tudors), and the Old Bishop (in A Knight’s Tale).

    And looking at the picture, there’s a Mace if I’ve ever seen one.

    Well done! I am now almost sure that’s our Mace. He looks perfect for the role. I really hope it’s him.

  • Cosca,

    Actually that is a very good point. If its a smaller role that isn’t being revealed I guess he could end up being Coldhands then.

  • The actor is a strong fit. I fail to see him as Mace Tyrell, tho. Any other party guests? Butterbumps, maybe? :P

  • Scales On Blackfish,

    I think he’ll be a tiny cameo role akin to Burn Gorman in season 3. Probably not even a named character. He only filmed for 5 days which would literally only be 1 small scene. A big scene (like a wedding or a battle with lots of extras) would take at least 2 weeks to film.

  • Born 1957. So that makes him 56; not quite of age to be Diana Rigg’s son, but it’s close enough, if we assume she’s 75, and he’s an oafish-looking 50. It works.

  • There is no way whoever he’s talking about isn’t Mace, in my opinion. The last line talks about suckers and roses. Mace is pretty much known to be an oaf. Rose=Tyrell. A father, a son. Father to Loras and Margaery, son to Olenna. Wedding guest. I’m almost 100 percent sure he’s talking about Mace. Now the question is how correct are we in guessing the actor…

  • Mace has been characterized as an oaf so far when spoken of on the show, so I think this guy looks the part if he’s the right one. Mace won’t be as imposing because Olenna has been given a bigger role and so has Margaery.

  • Scales On Blackfish,

    I’ve been thinking that Gatiss will be a Frey, possibly Merrett (this year’s Mackenzie Crook/Orell?). Just based on some of the other Freys we have seen, he has the family look. And for a family known to be the result of one guy’s absurd over-procreation, I think it is fair to emphasize casting a bunch of dudes who look alike:

    http://winteriscoming.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/plesterheadshot.jpg
    http://i2.listal.com/image/735739/200full-.jpg
    http://winteriscoming.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/mark-gatiss.jpg

  • Blutrabe,

    Very unlikely. The two Dornish characters cast so far provide a template for what they will go for with future characters from Dorne, specifically the Martells. Suffice it to say, Irons doesn’t fit.

  • Dammit!
    I go out and Froggy returns?
    ^$#^&^&^#&#$%&$#&

    I think Jordan hit the nail on the head with Roger Ashton-Griffiths, but he does not feel like a Mace Tyrell to me honestly. However, I cannot think of any other roles to fit as well.

    Wedding guest could be a singer?
    – Aemon Costayne is one of the seven singers at the wedding and his sigil has a rose in it, but… no.
    – Hamish the Harper sings “A Rose of Gold” for the wedding. I think he was older…. so… no.

    Talbert Serry has a rose in his sigil too, but not at a wedding and unlikely to appear this year if at all.

    No role seems to fit outside of Mace, right? Am I missing something?
    Maybe he is our Mace… It certainly fits the supplied clues!

  • Hold on to your hats, people.

    I was thinking (watch out!), and another possibility is that he’s talking about Manderly though. He is also present at a wedding (fake Arya, correct?), presumably someone’s son (lol), father to his son lost at the Red Wedding. Now, I know that the last line heavily implies that it is a Tyrell, but listen: it could also be lord too fat to sit a horse. The context of the scene in which “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” occurs makes it possible that he’s talking about two groups of people who are supposed to be friends but their names keep them apart (Starks and Manderlys, post Robb’s downfall, in this case). Then, the line about a sucker being born every minute matches too, because it references his demeanour towards the Freys and faking Davos’s death. A hoax. A scam.

  • not very Mace Tyrell to me either… I was hoping for someone… bigger, like Robie Coltrane or Brendan Gleeson. Pff…but let’s see how this guy inhabits the role and then criticize or praise the casting decision.

    edit: looks more manderly to me too… but the casting clue points a Tyrell :(

  • I pictured a squarer jawed sort of a face, since Mace was supposed to have at least been built like a warrior before he got old and chunky. Still, this fellow will do.

  • gargaf,

    I’m not reaching, as I just said before that that I think it’s most likely Mace. I’m just not being as closed minded as to assume that there are no other possibilities besides the most obvious…

  • haltwhogoesthere: The last line talks about suckers and roses

    The part about “suckers” isn’t a reference to Mace but to Ashton-Griffiths having played Barnum in Gangs of New York.

  • Ours is the Fury,

    ‘Gangs Of New York’ is one of my all-time favorite movies. I actually can see a little Mace in him from that movie, but that was over 10 years ago. He looks older than 56 in some of the pics I have seen.

  • So this means Mark Gatiss is playing either Coldhands or Bloodraven. I don’t see any other reason to keep his role a secret

  • Blutrabe:
    He’s probably Mace Tyrell, but he looks more like a Gyles Rosby.

    I agree. Ashton-Griffiths fits my mental image of Gyles Rosby or Harys Swyft. I envision Mace more along the lines of Hugh Bonneville or Victor Garber.

  • Ours is the Fury: Mace has been characterized as an oaf so far when spoken of on the show, so I think this guy looks the part if he’s the right one. Mace won’t be as imposing because Olenna has been given a bigger role and so has Margaery.

    You just said that the actor looks like an oaf x)

  • Turncloak,

    Didn’t people use that same logic to say Burn Gorman was Coldhands last year?

    I doubt they are keeping Gattis’s role a “secret” as much as they have just not released 80% of the actors cast in new roles for Season 4 yet.

  • Turncloak,

    Yes, I think he looks like he could play an oafish Mace. But that has nothing to do with the clue “sucker,” which is what I was referring to. The clue about “one being born every minute” is a reference to his role as Barnum.

  • haltwhogoesthere: I may have missed something as I didn’t read the actual post on his site. Was that stated as a fact somewhere?

    No, but it is an incredibly famous PT Barnum quote. If it’s not a reference to Ashton-Griffiths, it’s a reference to PT Barnum’s sucker quote in some other actor’s capacity.

  • Ashton-Griffiths would be a great Mace Tyrell. I first saw him in NBC miniseries of The Odyssey (which is on youtube and definitely worth checking out), as Polites. It wasn’t a large role but I thought he really stood out. He’s got a powerful voice, loud laugh, and can certainly pull off the “lovable buffoon” role that I’d imagine Mace Tyrell will be on screen.

  • Darquemode,

    Yes but Burn did have a very significant scene. If you have a talented actor he either has to be part of the plot (Orell/Mathos/Coldhands) or atleast have an impactful scene with the potential of having more impactful scenes down the road (Cirian Hinds as Mance, Burn Gurman as rogue nights watchmen, Gatiss as Bloodraven). Otherwise you can just get cheaper talent

  • I’ll go out on a limb and say Steven Hartley. I think GRRM’s wordplay are direct references to the titles of his Merlin episode and the series he narrates. He has the Game of Thrones look as well, older, handsome but rough around the edges. He’ll be at the Purple Wedding as well. Definitely Mace.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0366889/

  • Turncloak,

    True.
    I’m not saying Gattis will not have a good scene or two with more probable down the road… Or that he won’t be Coldhands or Bloodraven (although i’m not sold). I just don’t think there is any weight to HBO/ D&D keeping the role that Gattis was cast in a secret.

    Grrr… Where is GRRM’s confirmation! XD

  • Definitely him. The PT Barnum reference seals it. If it isn’t Ashton-Griffiths I will be very surprised!

    Regards “looking like Mace”, I suppose he doesn’t necessarily look like an old warrior gone to seed, but two things to say about that:

    1. It’s not unheard of for formerly fit and strong men end up looking like a bit of a podgy oaf… Check out some pro-sportspeople who get into the booze and coke after retirement.
    2. They can alter the backstory to emphasise that he was only ever really the general and didn’t do much of the sword-thrusting himself (leaving that to men such as the oft-mentioned Randyll Tarly).

    Think in terms of the old British colonial army, where the officer class was filled with inbred weak-jawed aristocrats who relied on giving perks to their roughnut thugs a little further down the ladder in order to keep things going. Like the old British boarding school cliché of School Bully being an official staff member.

    Maybe that trope isn’t familiar to US audiences, but it’s pretty recognisable to those in the Commonwealth cultural sphere.

    It also allows for good dramatic contrast to Tywin.

  • After giving it some thought I wonder if he could play Butterbumps.
    Wedding guest = Tyrell jester = rose.
    “Smell as sweet” = ability to fart on command.
    Aston-Griffiths was an opera singer…. and plays the fool quite well…. and has a much more similar look to Butterbumps than Mace Tyrell!

    The “Father , Son” clue does not fit then… hm…

  • Darquemode,

    You have a good point but I just don’t see any other alternatives. I don’t think he can play any1 from Dany’s arc. Maybe he could be Bowan Marsh or Donal Noye but Donal Noye can be replaced by Grenn as they will need to build up Noye in order for us to care about his fate. I don’t think they have time for that this season . And Bowen Marsh is not needed until season 5 so they can hold off on him. Coldhands is most definitely needed in season 4. I will also argue that Bran must meet Bloodraven at some point in season 4. The thought of stalling Bran’s story and having him run in circles for a season is not one I think D&D are comfortable with.
    Gatiss will not play some no name random Frey, well maybe Merret as his scene with Lady Stoneheart is epic. If Daavos does not accompany Stannis than he can play that character that spared Ned’s life during the rebellion and ultimately spares Daavos’ life after he’s betrayed by Salahdor on his way to White Harbor. Any other character at this point I think would be a reach. My Darkhorse is the Kindly Man if the speed up Arya’s story(which does not look like the case so far)

  • Turncloak,

    I can’t find the perfect role for him either. I was leaning towards Aeron, but I think that will be next year more likely…. or has not filmed yet. Kindly Man was my next guess too, he certainly has the look for the role. I am with you though and do not think we will get to meet KM unless it is in the “finale” a brief intro in one scene only. Possible, but….

    No role makes complete sense to me. Which is why I’m not sold on Coldhands or Bloodraven (they make as much sense or more sense as any other role). I’m just not sold on any role XD

  • Darquemode:
    Turncloak,

    I can’t find the perfect role for him either. I was leaning towards Aeron, but I think that will be next year more likely…. or has not filmed yet.Kindly Man was my next guess too, he certainly has the look for the role. I am with you though and do not think we will get to meet KM unless it is in the “finale” a brief intro in one scene only. Possible, but….

    No role makes complete sense to me.Which is why I’m not sold on Coldhands or Bloodraven (they make as much sense or more sense as any other role). I’m just not sold on any role XD

    It’s either Bloodraven (short appearance at the end of the season) or a short appearance as Damphair in Yara’s storyline (if any of the Greyjoy brothers gets introduced in the flesh this season it’s Aeron). The actor gave the tip that it involved “hair” in some way. These characters are the only ones that fit the bill (Damphair because of his name and BR because he should wear a Targaryen wig then) and could be introduced this season.

  • Darquemode,

    I think Aeron can be dropped. They can have Yara, Euron, Victorian lead the Kingsmoot with an extra crowning the new king. Hell, maybe the same extra that baptized Theon

  • Turncloak,

    I’m not sure Brennock O’Connor is a CotF…..
    He was sighted in Iceland last week, as was Maisie Williams. So I’m betting he is in her arc somewhere. I’m guessing he is either Edric Dayne or the squire at the Inn with Poliver.

    I don’t think they have started filming on Bran’s arc yet have they (and if so in Iceland)? Hmmm….

  • Turncloak,

    Agreed.
    I think he could be cut or an extra as well. I’m not sure he will becut though.

    The “hair” clue is what made me think Damp-hair. Well, and he has a similar look and age to the role. Also being such a minor role he could be done filming.

    I agree with you though that it seems odd to cast Gattis in such a minor role. I do not consider him a big star like some seem to, but he is fairly well known in the UK at least.

    You (and Veltigar) may be right in the end… Guess we need to wait a little longer ntil some confirmation comes out.

  • Well worked out guys. Another piece of the puzzle. Mace is not a character I feel strongly about but I will look forward to seeing what Ashton-Griffiths does in the role.

    Turncloak,

    One thing in favour of Aeron however is that Bryan Cogman said he would love to write for him.

  • Darquemode,

    I don’t think we will see Dayne. It will be kind of weird to cast him now since they’ve already gave his most important and probably only significant plot point to Gendry. I did not know O’Connor was filming an Iceland, maybe he plays that kid that Arya encounters who claims to be milk brothers with Jon Snow. Im curios to find out where they will film the North of the Wall scenes this year

  • Regarding Mark Gatiss’ role…

    With the information that he filmed all of the scenes for his role in early July – when the Dragonstone gang was filming – Patchface seems like a possibility.

    Regardless of who he is playing, why such secrecy about his character? Perhaps his character hasn’t been revealed because he isn’t in the books. Maybe its a D&D creation similar to what was done with Locke/Vargo Hoat.

  • Bupol:
    Sam Neill is a good guess! And I do picture him as a perfect Mace Tyrell for the show. His performance in the Tudors was terrific <3

    Australian actor , Sam Neill ? If so, he’ll make a fine cast member for the role of Mace
    Tyrell. Ashton- Griffiths would be okay too.

  • mariamb18,

    The other Dragonstone role I wondered about was Alester Florent.
    Introducing Alester Florent now and combining him with Axell Florent could be a way to intro the Queen’s Men and then have Melisandre burns him alive to get favorable winds for the voyage north to The Wall. That would mean a short film time since it is only a few scenes at most.

  • Veltigar,
    O.O I never thought to read Damphair as Damp-hair. Mind = Blown.

    As for Mark Gatiss, I think that the candidates are Bloodraven, Aeron Greyjoy, and the High Sparrow. I personally think it could be the High Sparrow as he is already done and Brienne/Pod are known to be filming, while I haven’t heard anything about Bran stuff being filmed right now, or Balon stuff being filmed.

  • Turncloak:
    Darquemode,

    I don’t think we will see Dayne. It will be kind of weird to cast him now since they’ve already gave his most important and probably only significant plot point to Gendry. I did not know O’Connor was filming an Iceland, maybe he plays that kid that Arya encounters who claims to be milk brothers with Jon Snow. Im curios to find out where they will film the North of the Wall scenes this year

    Edric Dayne is the character in your spoiler, Edric Storm is the character whose role Gendry took.

  • Darquemode: troducing Alester Florent now and combining him with Axell Florent could be a way to intro the Queen’s Men and then have Melisandre burns him alive to get favorable winds for the voyage north to The Wall. That would mean a short film time since it is only a few scenes at most.

    Theres no fire like a Melisandre fire ;]

  • Ser Tahu,

    Ha!
    Oddly enough I never pronounced it that way either and only realized it with Gattis’s “hair” clue. I always heard it pronounced as “Dam-fair” in my mind…
    *shrug*

    Mormegil,

    Just so.
    Thanks for commenting on that. I was going to, but got a knock at my door and forgot when I came back to the PC.

  • Ok, here’s an interesting question. Will Penny be cast this season?

    Personally, I hope her entire story is cut as I don’t think it adds much to the story (at least thus far). Sure, she was there to change Tyrion’s mental state but it came across as somewhat crude and artificial to me. Still, there have got to be some Penny lovers out there

  • Darquemode,
    Yes, I also pronounced it as Dam-fair in my head :P.

    Family, Duty, Hodor,
    Unless she has some extremely important role in the final two books that can’t possibly be given to another character (which I highly doubt) I believe that she will be cut. I personally didn’t mind her but her role in Tyrion’s story can easily be given to Jorah (eg instead of two dwarves jousting it is a dwarf fighting a bear. Jorah can be covered in fur so explaining why Barristan and Daenerys don’t recognize him in the fighting pit). Overall, removing Penny would streamline the story, reduce the cast size which is set to reach its peak in season 5, and allow for more Tyrion-Jorah interactions.

  • This is totally off-topic, but I just got finished re-watching the movie La Haine, and I’ve decided that I would really love for Vincent Casssel to play a role in the series. I just don’t know who he would play… Perhaps Cassel for Euron (with Ray Stevenson as Victarion, obviously), since it seems unlikely they’ll be able to get Mads Mikkelsen for the role? Maybe he could play a decidedly different take on Hizdahr zo Loraq?

  • Darquemode,

    I think Brennock O’Connor will be the squire Arya and the Hound find with Polliver at the Inn, showing Arya killing an innocent 13 yo boy will shock and help the audience to see she’s going to a dark path (yes the kid was annoying but didn’t deserve to die)

    As for Gattis, I think he’ll be the High Septon or Bloodraven, if he’s just Aeron why keep it as a secret?

  • Gods be good he looks older than 56… I guess the GoT make-up dept will have their work cut out for them shaving years off this guy. I didn’t think Mark Addy would fit as Robert Baratheon, though, so WTF do I know?

  • Darquemode:
    mariamb18,

    The other Dragonstone role I wondered about was Alester Florent.
    Introducing Alester Florent now and combining him with Axell Florent could be a way to intro the Queen’s Men and then have Melisandre burns him alive to get favorable winds for the voyage north to The Wall. That would mean a short film time since it is only a few scenes at most.

    The thing about Alester Florent, that I don’t know if it has been mentioned in the books… It’s not obvious that Alester is Samwell Tarly’s grandpa, , but he is. His mother is Melessa Florent, Alester’s daughter. I don’t know about anyone else, but I haven’t read anywhere about Sam’s thoughts about his grandfather being burned alive by Stannis’ people and I don’t know if it’s an oversight by GRRM, or something that the character just hasn’t learned yet, but if it doesn’t have significance, I think it should, and if it does, then we haven’t heard about it yet, and perhaps Alester will still be cast as his own self in the show.

    Just some thoughts.

  • I’m almost sure that Mark Gatniss will be playing Merrett Frey ever since the above user suggested it. He has the Frey look.

  • Family, Duty, Hodor,

    I like Penny more than others do, but she wouldn’t be necessary this season. They could just use stunt dwarves with visor helmets and wait until next year. Also, the show simply must have a dwarf joust. They can use horses instead of a pig and dog.

  • Cary Storm,

    True, but if they combine him with Axell as I suggested he becomes more age appropriate and more age flexible.

    Frankly though I am not sure of which role he will play. Not at all.

  • I wonder why

    but by any other name he’d smell as sweet.

    made me think of Kevin Bacon for a moment.