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Styr the Magnar of Thenn Cast

Via James Hibberd over at EW, fans have learned that Russian actor Yuri Kolokolnikov has been cast in the role of Styr, the Magnar of Thenn. “Magnar” is a word in the Old Tongue of the First Men, meaning “lord”. The Thenns are an isolated group of wildlings from the far, far north of the inhabited lands beyond the Wall, and in the novels they treat the Magnar almost as a deity. The character is introduced early in A Storm of Swords—in fact, Jon at first mistakes him for Mance Rayder—but obviously the show trimmed the character from the corresponding season…. and now he’s back. It will be interesting to see his role, given his later introduction, but it’s likely a safe bet that he’ll be involved in the penultimate episode of season 4, directed by Neil Marshall.

Making Game of Thrones: Dragon’s Breath

Over at the official Making Game of Thrones production blog, Cat Taylor shares a scene from early in the fourth season filming, when the production put together some tests to simulate visual effects for the dragon flames that will be seen this season. Here’s an excerpt, right from the end:

As the dragons grow and start to test their power, their fire breathing will get stronger and more powerful. The Dragons are legend for a reason and this season we will get a hint of why. The final tally, 22 canisters and 400 litres of gas – all for just one day in Essos.

For more, visit the blog!

A Notable Casting

Word’s out that an actor has been cast in a role that is, frankly, something of a spoiler… so see below the cut for the relevant information

New Figurines from Dark Horse

The New York Comic Con has opened, and with it Dark Horse has revealed a brand new series of Game of Thrones figurines that will soon be on sale. The three new figures will be joining the Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen figures that Dark Horse announced back in July. And who are these three figures? None other than Tyrion Lannister, Ned Stark, and Khal Drogo.

The full press release, and additional images from Dark Horse, can be found below the cut.

Hizdahr Cast

A role introduced in A Dance with Dragons, that of the wealthy and influential Meereenese nobleman Hizdahr zo Loraq, has been cast, according to EW’s James Hibberd. Filling the role is British actor Joel Fry, who has largely featured in British television programs, but has made appearances in Roland Emmerich’s 10,000 BC, as well as Tamara Drewe. Fry is also a musician, one of the lead vocalists for Animal Circus.

While the role is being introduced earlier than in the novels, it makes sense to present some Meereenese characters earlier on who will then have more of a role later on.

Bronze Yohn Royce Cast

Given the news that Mark Gatiss will be playing a character introduced in A Dance with Dragons in the upcoming fourth season, it is perhaps no great surprise that another character from a novel that goes mostly beyond the point of season 3 has been cast. Winter is Coming’s tipsters discovered the CV of British actor Rupert Vansittart naming him as playing the role of Bronze Yohn Royce, a lord of the Vale of Arryn. The character does, actually, get mentioned at a couple of points in the first novel as someone who is present in KIing’s Landing for Robert’s tournament—and, perhaps more interestingly, as the father of Ser Waymar Royce, the ranger killed way back in the prologue of the first episode of the show.

But what will his role be in this season? While we can just imagine that he could just appear quite late in the season, to coincide with his A Feast for Crows appearance, we’re going to guess the show will want to bring him on stage earlier.

Below is a showreel put together by Vansittart’s representatives—several years old now, but features some interesting scenes, including his appearance in Four Weddings and a Funeral:

Sigur Ros to Guest on Game of Thrones

James Hibberd at EW has the exclusive news that critically-acclaimed Icelandic band Sigur Rós will be making a cameo appearance in the fourth season of Game of Thrones, an appearance they’re already filming in Croatia. Hibberd seems to know what their role is, but isn’t sharing… but we’re guessing it’s tied into their occupation as musicians, to say the least.

Though we can’t embed it, here’s the video to “Ekki múkk”, one of a number of experimental short films the band has made; you’ll find the narrator quite familiar, Game of Thrones fans.

Mark Gatiss the Banker

Though HBO has officially refused to comment on the role that writer/actor Mark Gatiss will play, the Curtis Brown Agency website’s CV for their client now includes the name of his role: Tycho Nestoris, an emissary from the Iron Bank of Braavos.

What’s interestingx is that this character is introduced in A Dance with Dragons, well after some key events that have yet to play out in the show and may well not take place until late in the forthcoming fourth season. This may portend that his role will be somewhat different, or at least expanded, from what it is in the novel.

Some speculation below.

Blackwater Takes the Hugo Award

This year’s Hugo Awards have been announced at LoneStarCon 3, the site of this year’s Worldcon, and it turns out that the George R.R. Martin-penned “Blackwater” took the Hugo Award for best, short-form dramatic presentation. This is something of an upset, breaking the lock Doctor Who has had on the category for the last three years; three separate episodes of that series were among the nominees.

Game of Thrones‘s first season carried away the 2012 Hugo Award in the long form category, with all episodes being treated as part of a single, unified work.

UPDATED: Casting and Some Recasting

Update: HBO informs us that key production personnel know nothing of Fortuna’s involvement in the series. Does this mean he’s not part of the production whatsoever? Not necessarily, as it’s quite possible that extras or featured extras are something that higher level production members don’t necessarily keep track of. But even if he’s a featured extra, it’s not much to get excited about.

Following the recent news that Michiel Husman has stepped into the role of Daario Naharis, a character introduced last season and then played by Ed Skrein, word has come out that another role—a somewhat less prominent one—has been recast: Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides, will now be played by Hafþór Björnsson, an Icelandic strong man and past contender for the title of World’s Strongest Man. At 6’9” and 440 lbs., the athlete will certainly look the part. The role of the Mountain has been played by two previous actors, with Conan Stevens originating the role and Ian Whyte filling Gregor’s giant shoes for the 2nd season.

It’s also been revealed by Indewire blog Shadow and Act, that Angolan actor Hoji Fortuna—whose English-language credits are fairly brief, but he has appeared in a number of Portuguese films, as well as more recently in the since-cancelled TV series Pan Am—has been cast in an unnamed role. Given that filming is currently taking place in Croatia, it seems quite clear he’ll be appearing there (a notion further given weight by the actor’s own tweets hinting he was going to that country). One might speculate as to his role, but one obvious possibility is the role of Brown Ben Plumm, a sellsword captain. In the novels, Plumm became the captain of the Second Sons following its joining Daenerys; on the TV show, the Second Sons and another company, the Stormcrows, were combined, so this may not quite work… but they could easily have Plumm be captain of a second company, or perhaps make him Daario Naharis’s new second in the command.

Daario Naharis Recast

Last season, fans of Game of Thrones were introduced to the cocky, dangerous sellsword Daario Naharis, played by Ed Skrein. Now word is out that the role has been recast—no reasons stated, but they can be quite mundane—and stepping into the role is another HBO alumni accorrding to the Hollywood Reporter. Daario will now be played by Michiel Huisman, a Dutch actor and musician who’s been featured in HBO’s Treme (aside: a show I very highly recommend!).

For a taste of the actor’s work, below you’ll find a brief clip from the BBC’s Rudolf and Margot, where Huisman plays famed Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev:

Season 3 Bluray Preview

HBO’s official Youtube channel for Game of Thrones has just released the deleted scene previously shown at Comic-Con, indicating that it will be part of the season 3 Bluray set (Pre-order: US Bluray, US Bluray Amazon Exclusive, UK Bluray, UK DVD)

The scene features Lord Tywin and Grand Maester Pycelle discussing recent news… and Pycelle’s choice to hide behind feigned infirmity. You can see it below:

Amazon’s Season 3 Exclusive

Season 3 of Game of Thrones won’t be released on Bluray and DVD until next year, per usual HBO practice, but that doesn’t mean that HBO isn’t interested in whetting the appetite of fans of the show. The latest volley? Amazon.com has revealed its exclusive Bluray set. Not only does it also include the full Bluray set, as well as (barebones) DVDs, but it features a pretty remarkable, sculpted packaging that you can see here:

HBO sends the following information, describing the sculpted package:

In this limited edition sculpture, Daenerys’s dragon from the season 3 poster art takes center stage with its impressive wingspan and a highly detailed tail, which wraps around the core of the piece. Created in durable heavy weight material, the highly textured collectible is finished with a weathered
patina evoking the feel of Westeros and a bygone era. The collectible also contains a hidden compartment which houses The Complete Third Season.

The limited packaging of course comes at a premium… but you can always order the regular Bluray and DVD sets at the more usual price (Pre-order: US Bluray, UK Bluray, UK DVD), if that’s more your speed. That packaging does look rather stunning, though, so it should be very tempting to quite a few fans.

Updated: GRRM Provides a Casting Clue

It’s been awhile, but George R.R. Martin has provided a casting clue on “Not a Blog”. Given the end, it’s clearly for the role of Mace Tyrell, Lord of Highgarden…

... and some quick work on the Internet already points to British character actor, writer, and director Roger Ashton-Griffiths, who fits all the particulars in the clue to a T. He’s appeared in a wide range of films and TV programs, including Brazil, Gangs of New York, The Tudors, and A Knight’s Tale, and will be appearing in Grace of Monaco in the role of Alfred Hitchcock.

Update: And Martin has since updated his post, confirming that Ashton-Griffiths is indeed playing Mace Tyrell.

Indira Varma Joins Game of Thrones

This is a pleasant surprise—on old fan casting of ours has come true, as James Hibberd over at EW reports that Indira Varma will be joining Game of Thrones as Ellaria Sand, the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell.

She’s an HBO veteran, having been in Rome, and has a great deal of experience besides in television series such as Luther and Hunted.