Game of Thrones: News

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UPDATED: Casting and Some Recasting

Update: HBO informs us that key production personnel know nothing of Fortuna’s involvement in the series. Does this mean he’s not part of the production whatsoever? Not necessarily, as it’s quite possible that extras or featured extras are something that higher level production members don’t necessarily keep track of. But even if he’s a featured extra, it’s not much to get excited about.

Following the recent news that Michiel Husman has stepped into the role of Daario Naharis, a character introduced last season and then played by Ed Skrein, word has come out that another role—a somewhat less prominent one—has been recast: Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides, will now be played by Hafþór Björnsson, an Icelandic strong man and past contender for the title of World’s Strongest Man. At 6’9” and 440 lbs., the athlete will certainly look the part. The role of the Mountain has been played by two previous actors, with Conan Stevens originating the role and Ian Whyte filling Gregor’s giant shoes for the 2nd season.

It’s also been revealed by Indewire blog Shadow and Act, that Angolan actor Hoji Fortuna—whose English-language credits are fairly brief, but he has appeared in a number of Portuguese films, as well as more recently in the since-cancelled TV series Pan Am—has been cast in an unnamed role. Given that filming is currently taking place in Croatia, it seems quite clear he’ll be appearing there (a notion further given weight by the actor’s own tweets hinting he was going to that country). One might speculate as to his role, but one obvious possibility is the role of Brown Ben Plumm, a sellsword captain. In the novels, Plumm became the captain of the Second Sons following its joining Daenerys; on the TV show, the Second Sons and another company, the Stormcrows, were combined, so this may not quite work… but they could easily have Plumm be captain of a second company, or perhaps make him Daario Naharis’s new second in the command.

Daario Naharis Recast

Last season, fans of Game of Thrones were introduced to the cocky, dangerous sellsword Daario Naharis, played by Ed Skrein. Now word is out that the role has been recast—no reasons stated, but they can be quite mundane—and stepping into the role is another HBO alumni accorrding to the Hollywood Reporter. Daario will now be played by Michiel Huisman, a Dutch actor and musician who’s been featured in HBO’s Treme (aside: a show I very highly recommend!).

For a taste of the actor’s work, below you’ll find a brief clip from the BBC’s Rudolf and Margot, where Huisman plays famed Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev:

Updated: GRRM Provides a Casting Clue

It’s been awhile, but George R.R. Martin has provided a casting clue on “Not a Blog”. Given the end, it’s clearly for the role of Mace Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden…

... and some quick work on the Internet already points to British character actor, writer, and director Roger Ashton-Griffiths, who fits all the particulars in the clue to a T. He’s appeared in a wide range of films and TV programs, including Brazil, Gangs of New York, The Tudors, and A Knight’s Tale, and will be appearing in Grace of Monaco in the role of Alfred Hitchcock.

Update: And Martin has since updated his post, confirming that Ashton-Griffiths is indeed playing Mace Tyrell.

Indira Varma Joins Game of Thrones

This is a pleasant surprise—on old fan casting of ours has come true, as James Hibberd over at EW reports that Indira Varma will be joining Game of Thrones as Ellaria Sand, the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell.

She’s an HBO veteran, having been in Rome, and has a great deal of experience besides in television series such as Luther and Hunted.

Filming in Iceland

Filming in Iceland has commenced, as reported recently, and it looks like it’ll run for a couple of weeks. Of course, Iceland in the summer can look very different from Iceland in the winter… and it seems that the production is really using it to its advantage, because all signs point to it representing regions much nearer to King’s Landing than in the past. Reports of Maisie Williams and Gwendoline Christie both being spotted in Reykjavik have been confirmed, and it’s unlikely to be a coincidence (though that can’t be ruled out).

The last we saw of Arya, she was in the riverlands with Sandor Clegane, while Brienne of Tarth was last in King’s Landing…. but we’ve some speculations below (with spoilers):

No News from SDCC

The Game of Thrones panel at San Diego Comic-Con has drawn to a close, and unlike last year—where a number of new cast members were unveiled at the event—there’s really no season 4 news to speak of. The host of actors, as well as the executive producers and George R.R. Martin, discussed the seasons that have come before and their various experiences, but season 4 remained a largely ignored topic. There’s no premiere date information, and certainly no new casting appearances. That said, there’s some amusing anecdotes, and GRRM remarks that if he were ever to write prequels to the series (after he’s done with it), it’d probably be about Aegon and his sisters, or perhaps Aegon the Unworthy.

Alan Sepinwall has a great recap, including the bit where Jason Momoa crashed the panel briefly, to much acclaim.

A deleted scene from season 3—which will certainly be on the Bluray (US: DVD, Bluray. UK: DVD, Bluray)—was aired for fans, featuring Tywin and Pycelle ...

And one other video, an “In Memoriam” piece for those characters who’ve departed the show, which you can see below:

Game of Thrones Garners Emmy Nominations

As is starting to become a habit, the third season of Game of Thrones has been nominated in the “Outstanding Drama Series” category for this year’s Emmy’s. But it’s not the only award it’s been nominated for, with a total of seventeen nominations (one of them in a special class). Here’s the complete list this season:

 

Mark Gatiss on Game of Thrones

Last night, James Hibberd at EW revealed another exclusive scoop: British actor Mark Gatiss—perhaps best known to fans in the US as Mycroft Holmes on the BBC’s Sherlock, which he happens to also be co-creator of—is joining the cast of Game of Thrones. But the role… well, that’s a mystery, apparently. Hibberd notes that Gatiss will be at San Diego Comic-Con to take part in Sherlock‘s first ever panel at the convention, a panel he himself is moderating, so he’s hoping there’ll be news there… but there’s always the chance that Gatiss will be brought out as a surprise guest at the Game of Thrones panel on Friday, so we’ll have to wait and see.

What role could Gatiss play? The most significant male characters as yet unannounced as being cast are Mace Tyrell and the Magnar of Thenn, but there’s a number of other roles—including the interesting notion of recasting the Bowen Marsh from the first season to give Jon Snow an additional foil on the Wall—where he might well fit.

Neil Marshall Returns

Recently, Empire Online reported (beware, spoilers!) that director Neil Marshall—he of “Blackwater” fame—was on board to direct the final episode of season 4 of Game of Thrones. We knew this wasn’t quite right, but we’re glad to see that Variety and its sources were able to clear up the issue: Marshall is directing the penultimate episode—again, beware, there are spoilers—much as he did in season 2.

Season 4 Roundup

We’ve taken a bit of a break after the rather exhausting season 3 of the series, but of course, the production never stands still: season 4 filming is soon to commence, roles have been cast, locations selected, and more. Below, you’ll find a quick round-up of some other Game of Thrones news over the last couple of weeks, for those curious as to what’s out there and what we know so far:

Oberyn Martell Cast

Via James Hibberd over at EW, the first major casting of season 4 of Game of Thrones has been revealed: Prince Oberyn Martell will be played by Chilean actor Pedro Pascal. From the article, here’s Benioff and Weiss on the casting:

“This was a tough one,” say showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss about the casting. “The Red Viper is sexy and charming, yet believably dangerous; intensely likable, yet driven by hate. The boys love him, the girls love him, and he loves them all back. Unless your last name is Lannister. We found a fellow who can handle the job description and make it seem effortless. He wasn’t easy to find and he won’t be easy to stop.”

GRRM on Conan O’Brien Tonight

Tonight’s episode of Conan O’Brien will—quite amazingly!—feature none other than George R.R. Martin, according to the full schedule at the Team Coco site. O’Brien included a reference to Sunday’s episode, “The Rains of Castamere”, in his monologue on Monday; suffice it to says, there are spoilers:

The Politics of Marriage

HBO’s official Youtube channel for Game of Thrones has posted an interesting video, focusing on the political marriages that are so central to this season of the show. The executive producers, as well as George R.R. Martin, provide commentary:

Interviewing Bryan Cogman

It’s always a pleasure to interview writer and story editor Bryan Cogman, who has so far written an episode of each season, including what are amounting to two of our personal favorites of the series: “What is Dead May Never Die” and his season three episode, “Kissed by Fire”.

Below, I talk with Bryan about the episode, the introduction of new characters, his proudest moments, and much more. It’s a lengthy one but, we hope, a good one. Enjoy!

Interview

All right, thanks so much for taking the time, first off!

“Of course.”

Now, often episodes seem to have their titles decided at the last minute—George’s episode went through a couple of different names before it was settled. Was “Kissed by Fire” always the title you preferred for your episode?

“Yeah, this one found its title earlier than my previous two.  I think I hit upon it as we were shooting the Beric/Hound duel.  While it’s not always easy or possible to have one unifying theme in an episode, I realized this one most certainly had a unifying element or image, if you will. Of course there’s the line of dialogue it came from, but you have the fiery sword, the fire imagery in the Selyse scenes, the wildfire and “burn them all” of Jaime’s monologue, etc…”
“And it’s always fun to give the episode titles that excite or are familiar to the fan base—I’ve done with all my episodes so far. I think Season Three has a lot of those.”

To read the rest, go to the full interview.

New Characters of Season 3

This long video from HBO provides a good overview of the many new characters introduced this season, along with interview excerpts with the actors, the producers, and George R.R. Martin:

Poor Edmure gets such a hiding in this video! Can’t catch a break, it seems…