According to James Hibberd at The Live Feed, HBO’s Game of Thrones is “not expected” to have a presence at this summer’s San Diego Comic-Con, which falls in line with what we’ve heard over here at Westeros.org. This seems to be supported by the lack of reference to the series among the announced panels from HBO (who are certainly featuring True Blood). It also makes some sense, due to the fact that it’s almost a year before the show premieres, and the filming starts very close to the time of the convention—not an ideal time to drag cast and crew from Northern Ireland and North Africa for a whirlwind press junket.
That said, the possibility that teasers or promotional posters might first see the light of day at San Diego Comic-Con certainly exists. If you’re attending the convention next month, we’d certainly suggest visits to HBO’s booth (they’re almost certainly exhibiting), asking some questions, and expressing your enthusiasm for the show.
UPDATE: Maureen Ryan also confirms that HBO’s not holding a panel for the series, given the logistics of having production starting in Northern Ireland at the same time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve previously reported the fact that Scientific American published a guest blogger’s letter to HBO, George R.R. Martin, and David J. Peterson regarding the Dothraki language and what role it could have in helping to move linguistic science forward. Now David J. Peterson, along with Language Creation Society president Sai Emrys, has posted a thorough response. Among other things, it seems to include a few, previously unpublished snippets of the Dothraki language, and some examples of its morphology.
The response also goes into great detail regarding the general premise of the original letter, pointing out that the linguistic universals that have been cataloged are not quite so universal as they appear at first blush, as well as the fact that it’s currently too late for them to change the Dothraki language but that Peterson will certainly keep these issues in mind should he be called upon to create other languages for the series or to expand Dothraki.
Jace Lacob of Televisionary is the first person we’ve seen outside of the production who’s seen the whole of the pilot, and probably one of the last who shall do so in that form as a number of scenes will be reshot to accomadate the new actresses in leading roles, Michaelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark and Emilie Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen.
What’d he think? “I was blown away,” he writes, and has been effusive in his praise for the pilot as being one the strongest pilots he’s seen in the current pilot cycle. Over at Twitter, I decided to ask if he had read the series before, as a number of supportive critics have done. He replied that he had not read the books, wanting to go in fresh, though he had read the pilot script earlier and also loved it. He’s looking forward to seeing how the reshot pilot will look.
The fact that he went in fairly “cold” to the series is a great sign—Lacob probably fairly well represents where your average HBO viewer will be when confronted with this new HBO series. If it works for him, as well as for the producers and executives, then it seems to stand fair odds of working for the general subscriber base.
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.
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:
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:
Maureen Ryan has confirmed that the role of Daenerys will now be filled by Emilia Clark, a British actress who has not been involved in U.S.-funded productions before, and we can’t seem to find any information on her at this time. She may be a genuine unknown, new to acting.
Ryan also gained confirmation of the start of principal photography as taking place in late July, back from the earlier late June plans, which we’ve reported on previously.
Update: Video now removed. Given the way these videos come and go, we can’t promise it will be around permanently. But while it’s up, here’s what looks to be like a genuine casting tape for the role of Hodor, intended for Nina Gold who is the casting agent in the U.K. for HBO’s Game of Thrones production:
The hopeful Hodor is Kristian Nairn, a professional DJ according to his MySpace page.
It seems likely that the production for HBO’s Game of Thrones has decided to present the Dothraki culture as a multi-ethnic one, a realization that dawned on us today when an Irish actor of African origin, Yare Jegbefume, revealed on Twitter that he had auditioned for the parts of two Dothraki warriors, Jhogo (one of Daenerys’s guards) and Qotho (one of Drogo’s bloodriders). In retrospect, the fact that many of the wedding dancers that have been noted (such as Kelechi Nwanokwu) were also black should have suggested not that they were supposed to represent slaves from far-flung regions (as we had initially assumed) but that the production was taking this particular course.
Although this does not fit the Dothraki as represented in the books—their appearance being a much more homogenous look, a mix of Native American in regards to their coppery skin and Asian due to their eyes and flatter faces—it sounds like an excellent way to widen the field to find the best possible actors. We can’t wait to see how the Dothraki appear on screen next year!
According to a comment from GRRM, principal photography has been pushed back to late July for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Nothing really bad about this, as bringing in so many disparate logistical things together can be difficult, but there’s always the possibility that there’s interesting reasons for it, like having to wait on a newly-cast lead (ala Daenerys) to be free to work, or a director, or other things of this sort.
GRRM also notes that he’s unlikely to spend any time in Northern Ireland to watch the filming, except possibly when his own episode (episode 8) is filmed, and doubtless when he’s in the area for Octocon in October.
George R.R. Martin mentions that he’s come back from a convention to some hundred new auditions tapes. He notes some of the roles actors are seeking in the tapes: Rast (one of the recruits on the Wall), Mord (brutish jailer at the Eyrie), Jhogo (one of the Dothraki warriors assigned as personal guard to Daenerys) are among the smaller parts, while Lord Tywin Lannister, Ser Barristan Selmy, and Lysa Arryn are among the larger parts.
We expect that the first casting announcements are likely to come by the end of the month, or early next month, with production set to begin in earnest right around the end of June or start of July.