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New Dothraki Language Interview

Wired’s Geekdad blog has posted an in-depth interview with David J. Peterson regarding his development of the Dothraki language for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Quite a lot of excellent details, including Peterson comparing the sound of Dothraki to ” Arabic plus Spanish divided by two … squared,” giving the latest count of the dictionary (2,356 words, conservatively), and a new phrase to practice. It’s another fascinating look into the development process.

Joe Auditions for Game of Thrones

Who’s Joe, you may ask? An American residing in Northern Ireland, Joseph Campo is an independent actor, writer, and director who has set his sights on landing a role in HBO’s Game of Thrones. To drum up support, he’s taken to Youtube, where he’s created a channel where he’s posted several videos making his case with a substantial helping of humor. But humor aside, Campo is quite serious, and has already done some legwork, such as verifying that he should be eligible to join British Equity due to his current acting associations.

His latest video seems to hint that he’ll be preparing an audition video for the role of Mance Rayder, or perhaps some other wildling, but we’ll share his first video which brought him to the attention of Game of Thrones fanatics:

HBO Exec on Game of Thrones

In an interview with Vanity Fair, HBO‘s president of programming Michael Lombardo discusses HBO’s past and present Emmy success, far and away the most nominated and award-winning cable network for the last number of years. In the course of the discussion, Lombardo brings up Game of Thrones, where he has the following to say:

“The fact that it was genre, i.e. a little bit of magic, in a world that is not in fact real was irrelevant to the storytelling. The human drama that I read in the page, the characters as scripted by David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss]—I was hooked on the pilot after reading it, and I’ve done this enough now to know that doesn’t happen all the time and when it happens you need to pay attention to it. Because to have a great show, I got to tell you, what you have to start with is a great script. It was a great script.”

Thanks to Nymeria_WiC for bringing the interview to our attention.

Castle Black Set (and a Waycastle?)

Thanks to Zanthia2, we now have an image of the Castle Black film set at Magheramorne Quarry after filming has commenced there. As you can see, part of the quarry wall has been painted white, which fits reports we’ve had from extras. The picture was taken from a nearby island:

One detail that leaps to mind is the structure on the quarry tier immediately above the white-washed section of wall. It looks like an arch and a low wall around it. We’re not 100% sure, but we think this could explain word that actor Brendan McCormack was starting filming in the middle of this month. Could it be that McCormack, in the role of Ser Vardis Egan, will be shooting scenes set of the climb up to the Eyrie at the quarry? If so, that structure we see there could very well be one of the way castles, perhaps Snow or Sky.

Alternatively, the structure—if it does have anything at all to do with the production—might be used to show one of the gates and tunnels that lead through the Wall.

Thanks to Zanthia2for the photo, and Winter is Coming for the retweet.

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.
Vote for Game of Thrones!

Television Without Pity’s Tubey Awards are being voted on, and Game of Thrones is among the nominees for “Most Anticipated Show of 2010-211”. If you can take just a moment, just head over there and vote! The category is on the final voting page, being category #12.

NI Report Heavily Features Game of Thrones

Northern Ireland Screen has posted the 2009-2010 Annual Report (PDF) on their website, which reviews the various productions, goals, and funding they were involved in over the previous year. We’ve previously reported on early reports regarding the publication, but this is the first time the public will have been able to see it.

Most notable? HBO’s Game of Thrones is very heavily featured. The cover pages make use of the first official still from the pilot, and there are references to the production through out the whole thing. There’s almost no new information to speak of that’s specific to the show, except for the fact that NI Screen gave their maximum grant of £1.6 million (roughly US $2.5 million) to the production not once, but twice: once to help fund the pilot, and once again for the first season. This was nearly 60% of NI Screen’s total grants made in the 2009-2010 period. You can read more regarding the budget of the series, and NI Screen’s funding of it, in our article, A Budget to be Reckoned With.

One last tidbit, a quote from the report which made us chuckle (and which is, we think, our first mention in a governmental publication):

‘Activity on the web was frantic, with the two main blogs "Winter is Coming" and "Westeros" vying with each other to be the first to publish hitherto unknown facts and information about the cast, locations and budget and to announce whether it would go to series.’

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.