Game of Thrones: News

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Hibbard on Game of Thrones

James Hibbard of The Hollywood Reporter posts a cast list for Game of Thrones, based on what has been confirmed or has been all-but-confirmed. In the course of it, he notes that the high level of buzz is unusual, and also suggests that this sort of sprawling, costly production doesn’t go to pilot production unless the network is “pretty confident” that it will go to series.

A Glimpse at Filming Preparations

Thanks to Alister Black, we have some photos from Scotland’s Doune Castle, where we’ve recently learned that some scenes for Game of Thrones will be shot. Among the pictures is this one, which Alister explains shows members of the crew preparing for filming.

By the looks of it, the focus of their work is within the confines of the castle, possibly making use of the courtyard as a stand-in for one of Winterfell’s yards. This would fit the report of Louie Pastore, who indicates he will be a Lannister guard as part of the fight team that the Clanranald Trust is providing for the shoot. It may be that Lannister guards and others will be seen sparring in the background of some scene which is supposed to take place at the castle of Winterfell. It should be remembered, however, that extensive sets are being built in Belfast’s Paint Hall studio, and that primary filming will take place there.

Shooting for HBO’s pilot for the proposed adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire bestselling fantasy series commences on the 24th. A recent tweet from Esmé Bianco shows that rehearsals are now well under way in the run up.

Momoa Casting Confirmed by HBO

Intrepid TV critic Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune has confirmed with HBO that Jason Momoa has been cast as Khal Drogo. Momoa, best known for his role as Ronan Dex in Stargate: Atlantis, was a favorite choice among fans of the series when they discussed who should be cast. The character of Drogo is a barbaric warlord who marries the beautiful Daenerys Targaryen, an exiled princess who is one of the central characters of the A Song of Ice and Fire.

Shooting on HBO’s pilot begins October 24th, with shooting locations in Scotland, Ireland, and Morocco.

Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo

Via Twitter, we learn that the Hawaiian actor Jason Momoa has been cast in the part of Khal Drogo. He announced that he had just learned he had landed the role at the Armageddon Pop Culture Expo in Australia. He indicates that at the audition, he performed a haka war-dance as part of his audition, he said, and then apparently showed off his backside to the audience in preparation for further nudity in the pilot, which would mark both his first nude scene and his first sex scene as an actor. He also apparently mentioned disliking horses, and not really looking forward to the riding scene the pilot requires (much less the rest of the riding scenes that will be required if the show goes forward).

It seems possible that the spread of the news has led to his official website running into occasional capacity issues. Some photos from a panel Momoa took part in at this summer’s past Dragon*Con can be found at ]his official site forum.

As George R.R. Martin stated earlier, Drogo was the last significant role to be cast in HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones.

Follow Game of Thrones’ VFX Producer

From Your Industry Insider, we’ve learned that Julia Frey is involved in the production of HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones. Listed as a VFX producer, she has taken part in location scouting and has chronicled the result of location scouting in Morocco and Scotland at her blog (1, 2, 3 [Pages have since been removed and are no longer available at the site.])

She’s currently in Belfast. One of the most interesting details is that it seems Doune Castle in Scotland has been selected as one shooting location. See our earlier post concerning the “Combat International” fight team that is being brought in to a Scottish castle for the filming.

Game of Thrones Fight Teams

Thanks to Louie Pastore, an expert in medieval and Scottish martial arts, we’ve learned that he’ll be involved as part of a fight team for scenes being filmed at a Scottish castle for HBO’s pilot episode of Game of Thrones. This is being done through the auspices of the Clanranald Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving and reenacting Scottish historic culture. The trust has formed “Combat International” to provide fight-teams to productions. Members have been involved in noteworthy films such as Gladiator, King Arthur, and Ridley Scott’s upcoming Robin Hood, and are now adding Game of Thrones to the list.

Clue Updates

We’ve mentioned GRRM’s latest clues for casting of HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot briefly, but we’d be remiss not to share the exact text and some of the speculations that have followed.

Bran Stark Confirmed

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune confirms the casting of Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark. A child actor associated with the Kent Youth Theatre, Bran is one of the last outstanding roles remaining to be cast. Ryan adds that filming begins the 24th with Scotland and Morocco as additional locations, and the fact that the role of Khal Drogo is not yet cast.

George R.R. Martin adds a confirmation of Drogo not being cast in his remarks, and teases that the “gray man” (Maester Luwin) once had groupies, suggesting the actor may once have been a musician.

Buzzing Around Belfast

It seems a number of the actors who are confirmed or suspected to be cast—Jennifer Ehle, Esmé Bianco whose role as “Ros” (formerly “Red Headed Whore”) GRRM has confirmed in e-mail, and Jamie Campbell Bower who many believe is playing Waymar Royce—are travelling to Belfast in connection to the production. In fact, Campbell Bower has already returned from Belfast, indicating he had a “good readthrough” in a tweet. This suggests that much of the activity has to do with preliminary read-throughs of the pilot script by the various members of the cast, and possibly other production-related activities such as costume fittings.

Another Actor Confirmed

Following GRRM’s most recent clues, fans scoured the Internet to try and figure them out. Now one of them has been found for certain, as the actress Esmé Bianco—burlesque and cabaret performance, singing, and modelling are among her other activities—has the news up on her official website.

For those wondering what guesses are for the other two parts, Jamie Campbell Bower, who is involved in the most recent Twilight and Harry Potter adaptions, seems surest as Ser Waymar Royce. The third role, the one GRRM said no one would guess, seems to have been cracked by Paul Gude and the rest of the sleuths over at Winter is Coming seems to have cracked it: Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark, who is a member of the Kent Youth Theater where the news ticker is presently congratulating him for a “role in a new series”. A photo can be found at the WiC site, and more can be seen at the Kent Youth Theater page such as this one (scroll down a bit).

Details on Featured Extras

In comments to his latest post, GRRM provides some details concerning the remaining speaking roles left to be cast, the writing out of a minor part, and a list of non-speaking roles or features extras that are set to appear in the pilot:

More Clues

On the heels of his most recent post, GRRM now provides more hints for three actors who have not been previously announced in roles. These are particularly befuddling, to say the least.

Last Prologue Character Cast

A quick update from GRRM on Game of Thrones, revealing that the third and final member of the trio of characters featured in the prologue has been cast. He provides no clues, however. He indicates that in three weeks or so he’ll be leaving for Ireland to see some of the shooting, and he will also travel to Morocco to watch some of the Daenerys shooting before returning to the U.S.

Notes from the Web

Some smaller pieces of news concerning HBO’s pilot adaption of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire”. First up, the 7’+ actor Conan Stevens provides an update (scroll towards the bottom) to an audition he first posted about in September. Providing more details, it seems almost certain that he auditioned for the role of Drogo, primarily with an eye towards having the casting directors see him so that they’ll remember him if the series goes forward and they need to find an actor for Gregor Clegane. He indicates that someone else has been chosen for the role he auditioned for.

Via Twitter, we came across tweets from Marisa Clayton, indicating that she will be working on post-production for Game of Thrones starting in February. An employee of post-production specialists Modern VideoFilm, she is listed as a digital intermediate producer in most of her entries at IMDB. Modern VideoFilm is a well-established, leading post-production company with extensive credits in both film and television, offering a range of post-production services. They also provide visual effects services, so it’s possible that they’ll handle digital effects for the pilot.

Game of Thrones Costume Designer

Adam Whitehead of the Wertzone points out that a costume designer for the pilot seems to be set: Michele Clapton (IMDB). She’s coming off a recent BAFTA victory in costume design for her work in “The Devil’s Whore”, and has also won acclaim for costuming a recent Sense and Sensibility television production and a Casanova TV series.