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Martin Confirms, Adds a Fifth

George R.R. Martin has confirmed all four guesses that we’ve listed (with added Youtube videos featuring performances): Lalor Roddy as “Assassin”, Simon Lowe as “Wineseller”, Mark Lewis Jones as Shagga, and Clive Mantle as the Greatjon. He also adds a fifth name to the mix, Susie Kelley, cast in the role of innkeeper Masha Heddle.

He’s taking off for Australia and the Worldcon there on Monday, so does not expect he’ll be providing updates for when other roles—he lists Ser Ilyn Payne, Prince Tommen, Princess Myrcella, Rickon Stark, Mirri Maz Duur, “and more”—are cast and can be announced.

More from the Mountain

Conan Stevens has a terrific update on what he’s been doing, besides putting on more muscle (by his estimation, he’s gained 7kg—about 15 lbs.—since he arrived in Belfast). He identifies the riding trainers, The Devil’s Horsemen (who have an extremely long list of prior credits), and comments that his extra bulk has led to some alterations to his costume. He’s coy about the details of the costume, but his remark that, “Ser Gregor Clegane will be the centurion tank of Westeros,” and, ” the weight is spread over my entire body rather than having all that weight just hanging off my shoulders,” certainly suggests that he’s in a suit of plate armor, just as the character is described in the novels.

Other details of note? Just as was reported from the pilot film set, it seems a documentary crew is on hand preparing extras for DVD/Blu-Ray and (Stevens speculates) pre-airing promotion. The crew caught Stevens and Rory McCann, cast as Sandor Clegane, rehearsing their big fight scene. Conan wraps up by noting that since joining in the production, his career has been making great advances, with a number of productions showing interest in his involvement once he gets back to Thailand.

Below, you can find a video of The Devil’s Horsemen company performing at a medieval faire:

The Four Roles

Although George has not confirmed the guesses at the four set of clues, we’re very confident in the guesses that have been put out there… so why not cover the actors?

The first “man with no name”, we believe, is Lalor Roddy. He’s been a guard (in The Guards) a garda who’s seen a UFO (in Summer of the Flying Saucer), he knows Murphy’s Law (having been in a show of the same name), he’s seen sleeping dogs (Circles of Deceit: Sleeping Dogs), he’s eaten a girl (Boy Eats Girl), and he’s met the greatest creation of Kavalier and Clay (The Escapist). At a guess, we think he’ll be a would-be killer in Winterfell.

The second “man with no name” was pointed out by hadespuppySimon Lowe. He’s neither simply (Simon), nor high (Lowe), has been on the beach (in Beachy Boys) and crossed the Mersey (in “Mersey Beat”), been on “Doctors”, and went down in flames in Hindenburg: Titanic of the Skies. We’re guessing he’ll be a certain wine seller who’ll meet Daenerys.

As to the two named roles, the first of these we believe is Welsh actor Mark Lewis Jones as Shagga (who’s fond of goats), one of the wildlings who joins Tyrion’s following. Jones is Welsh (rabbit or rarebit), and has played a nobleman (Uther Pendragon in Mists of Avalon, King Olaf in the new “Merlin” TV series), a moron (in Morons in Outer Space), and a hog (Mr. Hogg in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World).

Finally—and we can’t believe we missed this one (we figured out all the clues but hadn’t put them together), but thankfully a commenter at Winter is Coming put the pieces together: Clive Mantle as the Greatjon, Lord Jon Umber, putting to rest questions as to whether the character would have a role. Robert Clive was a famous British empire-builder in India but never conquered the whole thing, Mickey Mantle chased after Roger Maris for the homerun record, he holds the record as the tallest actor to play Little John at 6’5” in Robin of Sherwood (we even thought of this particular fact, and missed—we own the DVDs!), and was in the recent remake of The Poseidon Adventure.

Below we’ve linked to what videos we can find featuring each of the actors. Prize has to go to Mark Lewis Jones, who stars in a short fantasy film newly posted to Youtube just a week ago.

And Two More…

And again, clues from George R.R. Martin for two more roles, this time for named characters:

“The first guy loves goats, the second likes his meat tough. The second guy never conquered India. Is it rabbit or rarebit? The first guy might know. The guy who had more dingers than anyone but the guys who liked the juice, well, the second guy isn’t that guy, or even the guy who chased that guy all summer. The first guy has been a nobleman, a moron, and a hog. The second guy holds a record: the biggest little guy. The first guy has been every flavor of cop. The king of the deep knocked the second guy topsy turvy.”

The first actor is clearly cast as Shagga son of Dolf. The second, we guess, is cast in the role of the Greatjon, one of the Stark’s more memorable bannermen.

Two More Clues

GRRM has a new set of clues that seem to be for actors cast in roles that, in the books, are not given names. The clues are as follows:

“The first guy is a man with no man, who is up to no good. The second guy is a man with no man, who is up to no good. ((Maybe they’ll get names eventually, hey. Our red-headed whore did. Just sayin’)) The first guy has been a guard and a garda, he’s slept with beasts and eaten a girl, he knows that anything that can go wrong will go wrong, he’s seen sleeping dogs and flying saucers, and met Kavalier and Clay’s greatest creation (or did he)? The second guy is not simple and he’s not high, but he’s been to the beach and crossed the Mersey, seen his share of doctors, and once went down in flames. Oh, the humanity, the humanity.”

Two quick thoughts: the first may be

Frank O’Sullivan

Lalor Roddy (been in The Guards, has played a garda in a film concerning a flying saucer, has appeared in The Escapist...), while the second must have been in a film or program concerning the Hidenburg disaster.

Also, at a guess, the two roles that come to mind—nameless men up to no good—are the catspaw at Winterfell and a would-be assassin out in the East.

Owen Teale is Ser Alliser Thorne

Welsh actor Owen Teale, a Tony Award-winner who has appeared in dozens of television and film productions (including genre works Robin Hood, Doctor Who, and The Last Legion), has joined the cast of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Teale will be playing the role of Ser Alliser Thorne, taking over from Derek Halligan who was previously announced in the role. Teale first came to light when Belfast-based photographer John Boucher posted this Tumblr post about running into the actor on the street and asking him to be part of his Through-the-Viewfinder portrait series.

Below, you can see Teale starring in the short film Auto-de-fé, a heart-rending portrayal of two people coming to the end of their relationship:

Game of Thrones Production Notes

Just a quick mid-week recap of the news that we’ve had from the production so far, as there have been a few relevant tweets, articles, and blog posts of note.

  • First off, catching up on a story from two weeks ago, it seems the Ballymoney Times has now reported on the shooting in Ballymoney. It seems one part of the shooting was in this field of willows (thanks to Jackie for the link). At a guess, the scene shot here would have been part of Joffrey’s and Sansa’s excursion to the ruby ford.
  • Actor Luke McEwan, cast as the Night’s Watch recruit Rast, has provided a couple of interesting tweets. On the 16th he tweted that he was looking forward to filming with Peter Dinklage the next day, which fits with prior news that there would be filming at Magheramorne Quarry, site of the Castle Black exterior set. The evening of the 17th, his tweet seemed to suggest that things went very well.
  • McEwan’s other tweet of note came today, when he reported that he was watching the Mountain that Rides (Conan Stevens) and the Hound (Rory McCann) fighting, and that he had never seen such big men before. This could mean that McEwan was visiting the filming of the Hand’s tourney ... but much likelier, he was dropping by the stunt team’s offices where the two actors were going over their fight scene, perhaps to rehearse his own fight sequence(s). From what Stevens has blogged, it seems likely his filming will be done by the end of the month, though it seems likely he’ll be back from Thailand to film further scenes.
  • From series extra Rimshot, it sounds like the Hand’s tourney proper will in fact begin filming later this week (or perhaps even next week). Before that, though, it looks like he’ll be doing something quite different at another location he had not expected to be involved in, according to these tweets. We’ve previously reported that the tourney itself seems set to be filmed in the area of Shane’s Castle.
  • We’ll soon have some things to report regarding Welsh actor Owen Teale, who was recently revealed to be joining in the production. A little bird has whispered to us that he is in fact taking over a role from a previously-announced cast member…
  • Via SweetSigma, we learn that actor Jamie Sives, cast as Winterfell’s captain of guards Jory Cassel, is due to be involved in filming through the end of October.
Sean Bean Update

This weekend we shared an ITN report regarding Sean Bean filming in London for the spy thriller Cleanskin. In the article, ITN notes that the production is a six week shoot, which led us to speculate that most of Bean’s scenes in HBO’s Game of Thrones will have to wait until October. However, as a poster notes, Cleanskin actually started filming in late February.

The filming that ITN was covering was a brief, one day reshoot, and not a sign that Bean will be occupied for weeks with that production.

Filming the Vale

We know that filming is presently going on for scenes set in Castle Black, as actor Luke McEwan (cast as Rast) tweeted he had finished his first day of work this past Friday, and we know that the Hand’s tourney is set to film starting around this coming Friday. But it seems something else is up for mid-August: shooting scenes set at the Eyrie and/or Vale of Arryn.

Or, at least, that’s what Brendan McCormack’s agents report on his profile page, indicating that he begins filming in mid-August. McCormack, cast as Ser Vardis Egan, will have a somewhat expanded role compared to the novel according to author George R.R. Martin, who indicated that he’ll be taking some of Ser Brynden Tully’s role.

At a guess, they’re either going to be able to make use of some of the exterior sets (such as the area of the tourney ground, or perhaps even Magheramorne quarry) to represent parts of the Vale of Arryn and the Mountains of the Moon, thereby minimizing amount of travel the crew has to do, or they’ll be doing some interior shoots at Paint Hall to represent the Eyrie.

Sean Bean Filming in London

But not for HBO’s Game of Thrones. In fact, Sean Bean is the lead in a new action/thriller film Cleanskin, which is filming in London as we type this. According to ITN, which provides a photo & brief video interview of the actor in his current look, the film will be shooting for the next six week.

(Note: See our update which, thanks to a commenter at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, shows that this was a single day reshoot for a film that was completed in the spring.)

This fits with the news that much of the Winterfell footage is waiting until September to be filmed. Given that we had reports of Bean being available the first week or two of shooting, we suppose that they’ve done some work with him, but not a lot. The bulk of his scenes as Eddard Stark—both in Winterfell and King’s Landing—will have to be filmed at the end of September and right through to December, when filming is scheduled to end.

Some Production Notes

Just a few bits and bobs of information regarding HBO’s Game of Thrones production, for those who’re interested in the nuts-and-bolts.

  • Via silverjaime and Rimshot (commenting over at Winter is Coming, we learn that Shane’s Castle is once again being used as a shooting location; in this case, a part of the extensive property is being set up as the tourney ground for the Hand’s Tourney. From information we’ve received, it seems likely that this location will be used for filming in late August. We also learn that Magheramorne Quarry, site of the Castle Black exterior set, will see (or perhaps has already seen) filming there this week, or next week.
  • In related news, the local Norwegian newspaper Tromso.no has an interview with Amrita Acharya, cast as Irri. It turns out that, though the actress resides in London, she spent much of her early life in Tromso, Norway. She reveals the following about Game of Thrones (translated from the Norwegian):

    I’ve only been and filmed a single episode so far, and I haven’t met Sean Bean. He’s in another part of the storyline than the one I’m in. He’s mostly filming in Ireland, while the storyline I’m part of is filming in Malta. There’s a lot of established as well as fresh actors involved, and the sets are really huge.

    Given that she says she’s filmed, it seems fair to say that the majority of her scenes will be in Malta, but there are some things (interiors, primarily, we expect) that are being or will be filmed in Northern Ireland.

  • According to David J. Peterson, creator of the Dothraki language for HBO, the Dothraki lexicon has grown to encompass over 2,300 words.
  • Finally, on a lighter note, here’s Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell) and Conan Stevens (Gregor Clegane) on a horse two horses (photo courtesy of Finn Jones). Look out, Isiah Mustafa! The two are currently being put through an intensive crash course in horsemanship in the U.K., according to what Jones and Stevens have previously stated.

Gendry and Jhogo Cast

After a couple of hours of sweating over the clues, GRRM confirmed his clues. First, he confirmed that Elyas Gabel—who’s been in Waterloo Road, Casualty, Apparitions, and was a zombie in Dead Set—has been cast in the role of Jhogo, one of Daenerys Targaryen’s kas, her personal guard of Dothraki warriors (the three other guards will be played by extras or featured extras, at least in this season). Then, as we guessed, actor Joe Dempsie has been cast in the role of Gendry, a young, stubborn blacksmith.

Below are two videos featuring the actors:

Bloodrider Confirmed

Just a quick note, amidst all the clue pondering. Source’s close to the production have confirmed something that was rumored earlier, based on an errant IMDB entry: Danish actor Dar Salim has indeed been cast in the role of Qotho, one of Drogo’s three bloodriders, his closest and most loyal bodyguards. Salim’s appeared in a number of Danish and Scandinavian productions, and is particularly noted for his role as the titualar character of Go In Peace, Jamil!, a Shiite Muslim in Denmark on the run after committing a murder to avenge his mother’s death years earlier:

This makes us wonder if the “bloody bowman” of the clue might not be another Dothraki, in this case Daenerys’s guard Aggo, who receives a bow from her…

New Clues from GRRM

Another set of clues for two characters at “Not a Blog”:

“The bloody lash knows what it’s like to be dead. He’s met his waterloo and been a casualty, and seen his share of apparitions too. The horny-headed hammerhand is older than you might have thought, but too young to need a pacemaker, though he might have ridden on the ferry with Gerry. Another friend of our kraken’s sister, he knows the doctor and the wizard too. Damned if he doesn’t play what he calls football (not the real kind).”

After correcting the initial clue from bowman to lash, it’s clear that the first clue is for Jhogo, one of Daenerys’s young Dothraki guards. The other must be for Gendry, and we’ve tenatively identified Joseph Dempsie as a candidate (he’s rather older than Gendry as described in the books, appeared on Lily Allen and Friends, has been both on Doctor Who and Merlin, has appeared as a footballer in The Damned United, and hails from Merseyside, inspiration for the Gerry & the Pacemakers song, “Ferry Cross to Mersey”).

The Mountain’s Progress

Conan Stevens (Twitter) has put up a new blog post regarding his experience as part of the Game of Thrones production. He starts by showing off Dark Sword Miniatures‘s Gregor Clegane figure, and the fact that George R.R. Martin congratulated him by e-mail and offered to send him one of the figures. He also notes he had to pass up a chance to take a drink with Sean Bean, and saw but was not introduced to Peter Dinklage.

In production news, Conan notes how much work he’s been putting into riding, having flown to the U.K. to receive his training. As we noticed yesterday on Twitter, he ran into actor Finn Jones (cast as Ser Loras Tyrell) while there. He’s had some riding experience in the past, and says he’s picking it up, with his goal being getting the horse up to a steady gallop by the end of the week. Of particular interest is his plan to slim down so he can get the full six-pack going, both for professional and personal reasons. But in the course of it he notes that he wants to do this “before I go home by the end of the month”. This lets us know that Conan’s first scenes will be filming in August.

At a guess, the rest of his scenes will be filmed in the Fall.