Game of Thrones: News

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Casting Call for Gendry

GRRM has previously informed us that the role of Gendry—the young, stubborn blacksmith with a heritage he’s unaware of—is among those being cast. Thanks to a tip from Screenterrier, we’ve gotten a bit more detail about the part due to the fact that an “urgent” casting call has gone out for the part, suggesting that the production has yet to find the perfect actor for the role. The desired age of actor is between 16 and 20, and they describe the character as broad-shouldered, muscular, and working class.

The most notable detail for us? They want him for two episodes this season. Some spoilers below the cut as we discuss what that means.

Makeup and Hair Designer Hired

It’s an eventful day, it seems, as GRRM informs us that Paul Engelen, a multiple Academy Award and BAFTA Award nominee, has been hired to lead hair and makeup design for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Engelen has an extensive list of credits stretching almost 40 years, and include such major work as Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, and Robin Hood:

Roy Dotrice is Pycelle and More

As we speculated, Roy Dotrice is indeed cast as Grand Maester Pycelle, a role which—as we guessed—he was intended to play in the pilot, in a new scenes not from the books which was cut from the shooting script. George provides explanations for his clues, and describes the singular honor he felt in having the opportunity to work with Dotrice on Beauty and the Beast for three years. Below, you’ll find a selection of videos featuring Dotrice’s work over the years.

Of course, GRRM also confirmed Kristian Nairn is Hodor. More notably, it sounds like we’re very shortly going to have a flood of additional casting news, from what George says. In particular? There’s a hint that fans of author Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird) will be particualarly interested. Petyr Baelish, better known as Littlefinger, has a mockingbird as his sigil…

Exciting times!

Hodor Confirmed

As per our previous posts on the subject of Hodor, it seems Kristian Nairn—the 6’10” Belfast-based professional DJ—is, indeed, our new Hodor. Nairn shyly confirmed via Twitter, accepting congratulations from wellwishers. We put him in touch with Isaac Hampstead Wright, the young actor who’ll be receiving a lot of piggyback rides from Nairn in the months to come.

Nairn is not a professional actor, so we can’t say there’s anything featuring his acting out there to share since the audition video was set private. However, we can certainly say that Nairn isn’t a shy performer, if this video from the Kremlin club of Belfast featuring Nairn in his alter-ego Revvlon (as per his MySpace page) is any proof:

Great song choice! We’ve also found an example of Nairn’s DJing work, in the form of a remix:

Hodor Hodor Hodor!

Oh, and George has another clue for us all, for a role that’s obviously Hodor:

“He doesn’t have a lot to say, but he says it a lot. He’s not a muslim, not a pagan, not a scientologist, but he might be a town in Scotland.”

Have to agree with Halfhand on this, this is Kristian Nairn, whom we reported on back in May. The first clue identifies the role—Hodor—and the second identifies his name (neither Muslim, nor Pagan, nor Scientologist ... but “Christian”), and the last identifies his last name (Nairn being a Scottish town). He looked like an excellent choice. A shame his audition video is no longer available, but do note our linked post above, where his agent—the one who recorded and posted the video—comments.

Clues for an Old Maester

It seems that the “old maester”, Grand Maester Pycelle or Maester Aemon, has been cast and GRRM has some clues for his identity. We think we know who this is already, however. The role was originally lined up for an esteemed, world-class actor according to GRRM, when Pycelle was written into a new scene for the pilot which we later learned was removed for time and never filmed. And one name has been commonly recommended for him, a name that’s near and dear to GRRM’s heart: Roy Dotrice, who read the first three novels for the audiobook versions.

An actor with a long career in film and theatre, Dotrice has certainly been a popular choice for a part, and Pycelle or Maester Aemon were really the only two choices for him. Martin once stated some years back that Roy Dotrice would have been his pick for Barristan Selmy, when the ages matched up better.

As to why we’re so sure?

“has lived many lives, brief but numerous.”—Dotrice starred in the play, Brief Lives, and has had many, many roles as well.

“In his youth he fought in the wars that some say inspired all of this.”—He played Edward IV in War of the Roses, a miniseries from 1965.

“He has been a king and a god”—Besides playing Edward, he was also George IV in Shaka Zulu, and he played Zeus in Hercules: The Legendary Journey.

“He’ll always be daddy”—And of course, he played the role of Father in Beauty and the Beast, which GRRM had a hand in producing and writing.

Finn Jones is Loras Tyrell

What started as rumors has now come to pass, as young British actor Finn Jones has been cast in the role of Ser Loras Tyrell, the Knight of Flowers. A young, brash knight, younger son of a great lord of the realm, Ser Loras is famed for his youthful beauty and his prodigious skill on the tourney ground. GRRM adds some more details, noting that while the decisions had been made to cast him when rumors came out, the actual contracts and the like had not been signed until very recently.  GRRM adds that the audition scene for Ser Loras was a scene from the third book, A Storm of Swords.

Embedded below is a reel of Finn Jones:

Casting Shae

According to George R.R. Martin’s latest “Not a Blog” post, the role of Shae’s still being cast for. He’s reviewed twelve audition tapes so far—perhaps the top choices to come out of casting?—and according to his stated reaction, it seems likely that they’re all quite capable of playing of the saucy, vixenish prostitute who’ll become well acquainted with Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage). He notes that auditions are continuing in Belfast, Dublin, and London for many parts, both minor and major.

Dinklage and the Knights of Badassdom

An interview with True Blood‘s Ryan Kwanten brought to our attention that Peter Dinklage, (perfectly) cast as Tyrion Lannister in HBO’s adaption of Game of Thrones, is starring in a comedic fantasy adventure film titled Knights of Badassdom. Kwanten will be co-starring.

The most interesting detail, however, is that this project is filming in the first part of the summer, by the sounds of it. Director Joe Lynch has begun to post the first of a promised series of photos taken from the production, though it’s not clear that filming has actually yet begun. When I dug further, I discovered that the film was originally set to film in April.

Could the delay in this project have contributed to Game of Thrones‘s pilot being pushed back to late July, to accommodate Dinklage’s commitment to the film? Anything’s possible, though the extra lead time for casting and pre-production certainly seems to have been a bigger factor.

Bronson Webb on The Tudors

For those who’ve missed him in Robin Hood and have access to Showtime, Bronson Webb—cast in the role of the ranger of the Night’s Watch, Will, in the pilot for Game of Thrones—can be seen in a brief speaking role in the first five minutes of Showtime’s costume drama, The Tudors, in the episode that aired on Sunday and should be available streaming for Showtime subscribers. Credited as “Forager”, Webb trades a few lines with the Earl of Surrey regarding a foraging party’s failure to find any food in the vicinity of a siege.

Closing in on Samwell

According to George R.R. Martin’s latest post, it seems that the casting for the role of Samwell Tarly is starting to narrow down. In his post, he remarks that, “We’re casting Sam right now for the TV show. Two excellent young actors stand out above the rest. A damned hard choice.” It’s always good to know that they have several top-notch options in a role, and we’re certainly joining all the fans in expectation of some casting announcements in the next few weeks.

Director to Helm Two Episodes

Via Twitter, it’s apparently been revealed that an Irish television director, Brian Kirk—whose credits include episodes of The Tudors, Dexter, and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire—is set to direct two episodes of Game of Thrones. In recent years, Kirk has been a regular nominee in the Irish Film and Television Awards for direction and for best single dramatic episode. This item of news comes from a tweet by Daragh Carville, a fellow native of Armagh in Ireland, who wrote Middletown, a 2006 film directed by Kirk.

Carville later tweeted that Kirk would begin work next week, presumably for pre-production. At a guess, the earliness at which he’s working suggests to us he may be directing some of the earliest episodes ... or he may, in fact, have as his first task the reshooting of the pilot.

This is the first director publicly attached to the series since Thomas McCarthy directed the pilot, although it’s been suggested that McCarthy may return to helm one or more episodes going forward.

UPDATE: HBO has confirmed to us that Brian Kirk is attached to the production as a director.

Jack Gleeson Film Clip

We have a short clip from a new film, All Good Children, which stars Jack Gleeson, the 17-year-old actor cast as Joffrey Baratheon in HBO’s Game of Thrones. The film has received some strong reviews with Variety particularly praising Gleeson, who played a 12-year-old in the film, stating that “Gleeson, with his massive blue eyes and anxious, ever-hopeful expression, is the pic’s big discovery.”

The clip from Vimeo below features a key scene mentioned in the review:

Thanks to Winter is Coming for pointing the clip out on Twitter.

Four Emilia Clarke Clips

A fan has posted up four clips covering Emilia Clarke’s scenes in her one professional television drama credit to date, an episode of the U.K.‘s daily soap Doctors which aired in August, 2009. The storyline has a bit of a creepy feel to it, and Clarke seems to handle herself very well with her fellow actors in the following scenes:

Emilia Clarke is Daenerys Targaryen

GRRM has confirmed that Emilia Clarke (with an e) has been cast as Daenerys. GRRM points to her resume page, which shows a number of theatrical productions for Drama Centre London. GRRM notes she provided some amazing readings, beating out a number of terrific actresses to land the part. A commercial, part of an anti-domestic violence campaign, featuring a very emotive Ms. Clarke, below the cut: