Inevittable

PhD research: Doran Martell and you

34 posts in this topic

I would be grateful if you could take some time to answer these questions in as much or as little detail as you like, to help me gather data for my thesis. This is one of several research threads about the characters in ASoIaF and Game of Thrones. There is a thread here which you are very welcome to join to discuss the research project or ask questions.

Doran Martell
1) In your own words, describe what Doran Martell looks like (eg his face, body, clothing, posture, anything else) and what his personality is like. What is your description based on? (for example, descriptions in the book, fan art, Alexander Siddig, another actor, other things)

2) Alexander Siddig will play Doran in the show, how does he compare to your own mental image of Doran before he was cast? (eg does he look the same? Is it hard for you to remember your mental image before he was cast? Did you imagine someone else playing the character? Anything else?)

3) Have you seen Siddig in any other films or shows (eg Syriana, Reign of Fire, Clash of the Titans, Star Trek, 24, anything else)? How do those other roles affect your feelings about him being cast as Doran? (For example, did you like those other roles? Are you happy to see the actor in something else? Are you happy to see the actor in GoT in particular? etc).

4) Have you read or seen any interviews with Siddig about his part in Game of Thrones? What have you learned about Siddig himself or his role as Doran? Where did you find this information? (for example YouTube, his official website, other websites, magazines).

Reference material
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Siddig
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0796502/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Some small print...
I am currently studying towards a PhD in Media, Culture and Communication at Keele University. My project title is An online ethnography of the fan community of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels and the Game of Thrones television adaptation and my aim is to investigate the history and current practices of the fan community of A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones.

With the permission of the owners of this website I am initiating this thread to try and encourage discussion about the topic described above. This topic is just one part of a much larger research project, and you may notice other threads around the forum.

An information sheet is available here, which will hopefully address any questions you may have about the research. The information sheet contains information about the research process, and also information about how your posts to this thread will be used. You are under no obligation to take part, however your help in the project would be much appreciated.

By posting in this thread you are agreeing to the statements on the consent sheet which is part of the information sheet linked to above. By posting in the thread you are agreeing that you are over 18.

If you have any queries please let me know.


Many thanks,
Inevittable

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1) Middle-aged, somewhat overweight, clearly unhealthy: ravaged by gout that has swollen his joints, a man constantly suffering, kept going mostly by willpower and heavy use of milk of the poppy (an opiate). A kind face, but very, very weary. I admit, thanks to fan casting discussions, Edward James Olmos has struck me as a fine example of what he could look like, though of course he's rather a lot older.

2) About the right age to the character, but much leaner than I imagined. But I think he can absolutely carry out the weariness and kindness, as well as the hunger for justice and revenge. He's not quite what I imagined, but I think he's a very good choice for the role.

3) Seen him in Deep Space 9, Syriana (a role that, I think, isn't terribly far from Doran in some ways), DaVinci's Demons (just the one episode, that was enough!). Oh, also, Kingdom of Heaven. I actually quite like him, and will pay a bit more attention to a film/show if I know he's in it. Happy to see him in GoT.

4) Other than his brief appeaerances in HBO's introduction to the new characters, I'm not sure he's done any interviews regarding the role. If he has, I've missed them, or I've forgotten them.

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1) In your own words, describe what Doran Martell looks like (eg his face, body, clothing, posture, anything else) and what his personality is like. What is your description based on? (for example, descriptions in the book, fan art, Alexander Siddig, another actor, other things)

On the shortish side, stocky, with dark hair and eyes. You might not notice his height, though, as he's wheelchair bound. His swollen extremities, and the painfulness of his joints would likely strongly affect his appearance, as despite his best efforts to hide the pain, he'd likely have some vibe of being in anticipation of something that will make him flinch (a touch, a jolt). His hands would be hard to look at, on account of the gouty joints. I think he's wearing loose-fitting clothes, anything to avoid pressure on his joints, but that the quality of the cloth would be nice. I think his gout prevents him from wearing shoes, but he keeps his legs and feet covered so that others can't see the extent of his deformity. If I had to sum up his appearance in a word, I'd say "pained." However, I'd also say that there's some charisma in his bearing; Areo Hotah says that Mellario when first she saw Doran asked who it was that shone so bright, so when he's "on" I think he comes across as commanding.

2) Alexander Siddig will play Doran in the show, how does he compare to your own mental image of Doran before he was cast? (eg does he look the same? Is it hard for you to remember your mental image before he was cast? Did you imagine someone else playing the character? Anything else?)

Siddig is much thinner than I imagined Doran, but I think he's got enough lines on his face, and his eyes are deep-set enough, to convey being worn/pained by his experiences and illness. I thought, though, that Ian McShane would be a perfect Doran.

Siddig is better looking than I imagined Doran, but the show does that with a lot of characters, and I'm not complaining about the eye candy! With Tywin's demise, we needed a "hot dad" replacement, and Siddig's Doran should fit the bill.

3) Have you seen Siddig in any other films or shows (eg Syriana, Reign of Fire, Clash of the Titans, Star Trek, 24, anything else)? How do those other roles affect your feelings about him being cast as Doran? (For example, did you like those other roles? Are you happy to see the actor in something else? Are you happy to see the actor in GoT in particular? etc).

Yeah, as Dr. Bashir in Star Trek: DS9. As a fan of that show, I was thrilled to see Siddig cast, and I do think that there's a way in which the jumped up intelligence of Bashir jibes with Doran's ostensible smarts/strategic thinking. Of course Bashir is a brat in a way that I doubt Doran ever was.

4) Have you read or seen any interviews with Siddig about his part in Game of Thrones? What have you learned about Siddig himself or his role as Doran? Where did you find this information? (for example YouTube, his official website, other websites, magazines).

No, have there been any?

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Hello all,



I had to take a brief leave of absence from my work following a car crash (I'm fine, the car's not!), but I'm now keen to get back to it before the new season starts!



It's probably pretty old news that a new photo of Siddig as Doran was released by HBO (http://www.makinggameofthrones.com/production-diary/2015/1/30/see-images-from-season-5), but I'm posting it here in case it inspires any new contributors to this thread.



I haven't seen any interviews he's done in the run up, but I'm just about to catch up on all the other releases from the past couple of weeks.


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1) In my mind he looks older than he is. He looks sickly, especially his hands and legs. He tries to cover his gout with numerous ways (large clothing, blankets etc). You can see his pain from his face, even though he tries to hide it. His pain can be seen from the weariness of his face. His hair is white.


2) I have trouble remembering how I pictured Doran in the first place, but I think that Siddig fits the part. Judging by the pics, he doesn't look so sick. His hands didn't seem have any gout. He doesn't have the white/grey hair, but that doesn't matter so much, since Siddig is good age wise. Long before they cast Siddig, I had this quick thought about who do I want to see as Doran and for some reason the first thing what came to my mind is Ghassan Massoud who played Saladin in the Kingdom of heaven. Perhaps I thought that the show would make Dorne more Arabic in a way.



3) I saw him in Clash of the Titans, but I don't even remember his role in it.. I was still quite happy when they announced Siddig as Doran, since he had the certain feel to it. His experience will come handy.



4) Still waiting to see them!


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Does anyone have anything to add to this? I'll be creating a new thread shortly in which we can discuss Doran now that he's featured on the show.


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1) Doran in my head looks pretty old. He has a solemn look, olive skin, long unkempt white hair, with threads of black here and there, and dark eyes. He usually wears a velvet robe in the colors of House Martell over a tunic. He is always sitting in a comfortable chair, due to his gout, and his legs are covered by a blanket. My image of him was partially influenced from this fan art. I'd say Doran is a very restrained and calm person, very contrasting when compared to his brother, Oberyn and he is devoted to his family. Despite that though, when he has to deal with enemies, he's cunning, sneaky, and ruthless whenever he thinks the time is right. As it has been said many times, he plays to win the game.



2) Much healthier and leaner than what I imagined him to look. Also much younger looking. I didn't think Siddig was a bad idea for the role, but I would've loved to see a classic actor like Ian McShane play him.



3) I remember seing him in Syriana, and that is not a movie that I really had any interest in. Not to say it was bad, but I probably didn't pay attention to it enough. Didn't watch DS9 or anything else he's famous for really. So I was only vaguely familiar with the actor, so the only thing I really had going was his looks for the part, and also the lauding word of mouth about him.



4) I spotted an interview with him and Deobia Oparei, and also various other cast members for the show on Facebook. Didn't watch it though.



*EDIT* If anyone is wondering, here's the interview I was talking about. It's dubbed in Spanish though, so if you know Spanish, go ahead and look at it. Siddig and Oparei come in at 3:08.



Hope I helped out!


Edited by The King Of Cooked Steak

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1) I've always pictured him like Alfred Molina. I imagine he always looks tired, breathing heavily, speaking softly, and he moves like a much older man, fragile, grimmacing, like always enduring pain, and sometimes dozing off, when the milk of the poppy kicks in



2) I think Siddig looks younger, stronger, healthier, more attractive than my mental image of Doran. Like, with more presence too and fiercer. He's closer to how I imagine Oberyn, actually



3) It's awful to say because I watch a lot of tv/movies, but when I think about it I only really remember him from "Da Vinci's Demons", and I thought the role was a bit too "Orientalist cliche" for me, but he was good in the role. And I think the Martells also suffer from some Orientalization/Othering anyway



4) I only watched the original cast annoucement where Siddig is like on a plane or something, and he just said he was playing Doran, and that's it


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1.) My image of him was totally different. Light dark skin, much older looking with wrinkles. Bald and tired looking. Overweight, with robes to hide his gout filled legs. I suppose it's only been influenced by reading the description. I tend to get an image in my head instantly and it's hard to shake it off.



2.) I would have thought an older actor would have played him, but I think he'll do a good job, he certainly carried the tired look I expected him to have. Still maybe this question should be left till we've seen a bit more of him. The only one I had in my head was Ben Kingsley.



3.) I don't watch that much TV I've seen Reign of fire and Clash of the Titans and I can't remember him at all. Which I guess means he didn't overwhelm me.



4.) All I remember from the casting announcement is "Hi, I will be playing Doran Martell." I remember thinking that he didn't look like I thought he would but that's all

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1) In your own words, describe what Doran Martell looks like (eg his face, body, clothing, posture, anything else) and what his personality is like. What is your description based on? (for example, descriptions in the book, fan art, Alexander Siddig, another actor, other things)

Like most of the other responses, I pictured Doran as overweight and "pained."

2) Alexander Siddig will play Doran in the show, how does he compare to your own mental image of Doran before he was cast? (eg does he look the same? Is it hard for you to remember your mental image before he was cast? Did you imagine someone else playing the character? Anything else?)

Siddig is definitely skinnier than what I imagined, but judging from the first episode he has the rest of what I envisioned.

3) Have you seen Siddig in any other films or shows (eg Syriana, Reign of Fire, Clash of the Titans, Star Trek, 24, anything else)? How do those other roles affect your feelings about him being cast as Doran? (For example, did you like those other roles? Are you happy to see the actor in something else? Are you happy to see the actor in GoT in particular? etc?)

I've seen the movies that you mention, but I only remember him fr om Syriana and Star Trek. I don't much care about any particular actor, so his presence in a role isn't a selling point for me. He's a good actor, but that doesn't mean I'll be pleased with how he plays the role (ex. Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder.)

4) Have you read or seen any interviews with Siddig about his part in Game of Thrones? What have you learned about Siddig himself or his role as Doran? Where did you find this information? (for example YouTube, his official website, other websites, magazines).

A few. He seems pleased that he was a fan favorite for the role, so that's a plus. It's always more fun when the actors interact with the fandom.

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1. A middle aged man a little older than Oberyn and with similar dark facial features and costume, but a good deal fatter and less fit. Greying. Gouty :- so he has his feet up in his wheelchair with puffiness on display rather than down and hidden. A shrewd, non-impulsive man, but still constantly calculating paths to revenge and quite bitter. - From book description and his dialogue. Also from Oberyn's portrayal in the TV series.



2. Alexander Siddig is a lot thinner, and, although he IS in a wheelchair and is immobile, he plays that down by not having his feet up as a gout sufferer would. Otherwise the looks, dress and calm disposition he displays, while also having a sort of brooding quality is just right.



3. Spooks/MI5 (posing as an islamic terrorist), Kingdom of Heaven, Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (Doctor Bashir), Poirot: Cards on the Table (Mr Shaitana). He is clever and often crafty in all these roles. So far they have been people of arab ethnicity rather than hispanic as Oberyn was, but he fits both as Oberyn's brother and arab-style at the same time in the backdrop of the Alcazar of Seville, which in my mind is the historic merging of these cultures/styles. The setting of Dorne there really makes it natural and believable to me. I am very happy to see him in GoT because he is a really good actor.



4. The official website announcement of new characters a few months ago, including a very brief clip (not in costume or accent.) Also a recent interview via Watchers on the Wall website after/during filming.


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1) He's older than his brother, so maybe he's in his late 40s, early 50s? He is in a wheelchair, and must always look a bit pained, as a result of gout. I'm into costumes, so I see him wearing the clothing of Al-Andalus. I see Doran as secretive, introverted, repressed. I don't imagine him smiling easily. He must be furious and grief stricken, because of Oberyn's death, and furious and frustrated, because of Sand Snakes and Arianne. He's a bit like Varys, in that he's prone to very long-term, secret planning. His motives are getting revenge while preserving the lives of his people by keeping them out of wars they can't win.

2) I thought of Siddig while reading, so I like the casting. The barely suppressed fury that Siddig brings to the role was good.

3) I've seen him in Syriana, Star Trek, Kingdom of Heaven. I like him, but then I'm a sucker for British actors, which means I like all the cast, so far.

4) I'm not into actor interviews, so no.

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1) In your own words, describe what Doran Martell looks like (eg his face, body, clothing, posture, anything else) and what his personality is like. What is your description based on? (for example, descriptions in the book, fan art, Alexander Siddig, another actor, other things)

When I read the books I pictured him as overweight, somewhat Mediterranean features, sickly, very tired, mostly white hair, very swollen joints. Wavering creaking voice. Older than his years. That image is just from how I saw him from the books.

2) Alexander Siddig will play Doran in the show, how does he compare to your own mental image of Doran before he was cast? (eg does he look the same? Is it hard for you to remember your mental image before he was cast? Did you imagine someone else playing the character? Anything else?)

He is much thinner than I expected for Doran but I think the makeup folks did a good job of making him seem tired and a little ill. Not as ill as the books but not 100% healthy either. I heard somewhere, I think on A Podcast of Ice and Fire from a couple years back, that he was a fan favorite for the role. I was really surprised at first because he really didn't fit the image I had in my head. But I realized that's because I was picturing Dr. Bashir as Doran, not Alexander Siddig. So when I reframed it like that, it made more sense. He stil seemed too thin but otherwise a good enough match. HBO is never going to cast someone unattractive in a major role so it doesn't surprise me that they prettied Doran's character up a little. I think he still retains the basic features of being not very strong and somewhat ill.

3) Have you seen Siddig in any other films or shows (eg Syriana, Reign of Fire, Clash of the Titans, Star Trek, 24, anything else)? How do those other roles affect your feelings about him being cast as Doran? (For example, did you like those other roles? Are you happy to see the actor in something else? Are you happy to see the actor in GoT in particular? etc).

DS9! And I loved him but Dr. Bashir is so different from Doran it is hard to compare them. Plus he was much much younger then. I'm thrilled he was cast. I'm a sucker for genre crossovers.

4) Have you read or seen any interviews with Siddig about his part in Game of Thrones? What have you learned about Siddig himself or his role as Doran? Where did you find this information? (for example YouTube, his official website, other websites, magazines).

The first thing I read from him was in the EW feature where he said being on GoT have him a kind of "swagger," which I thought was kinda pompous but still funny. But then he explained more that the swagger is not just because it's awesome to be on such a popular show but that being on a popular show has the very practical effect of reassuring the actors that their jobs will continue (unless they are killed off of course!). I also read in another article that he carefully studied Pedro Pascal's bits in season 4 and I thought that really showed when we first met him in The House of Black and White. It was uncanny how much Siddig's overall presence resembled Pascal, even his speaking pattern (that is, not just the accent, but where they put the emphasis on words).

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1) Overweight, middle-aged but looks old and weary beyond his years, probably has bags and shadows under his eyes, feet so swollen with fluid that they look like they're about to pop. Pained and moves like a rusty hinge.



2) Siddig is now Doran in my mind, even for book!Doran. I started watching the show before reading the books so if the TV character exists, the looks of the actor in the role becomes how I picture the character in the book.



3) I've seen him in Da Vinci's Demons and remember him from Star Trek. Love him. I was thrilled when he was cast.



4) The only GOT-related interview I've seen him do is the brief "New Characters" one for HBO.


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Doran Martell

1) In your own words, describe what Doran Martell looks like (eg his face, body, clothing, posture, anything else) and what his personality is like. What is your description based on? (for example, descriptions in the book, fan art, Alexander Siddig, another actor, other things)

>In my mind Doran Martell was quite overweight, consequently nearly unable to move on his own. Reading the books I was never quite sure what Dornish ethnicity was. Would it be Arabic, Indian, Hispanic, Black? I only knew he would be lighter skinned than Areo Hotah. I think my view of Doran was also colored by Arianne's frustration with her father, as in the books he is often shown through her eyes.

2) Alexander Siddig will play Doran in the show, how does he compare to your own mental image of Doran before he was cast? (eg does he look the same? Is it hard for you to remember your mental image before he was cast? Did you imagine someone else playing the character? Anything else?)

> Siddig is taller, thinner and a much more prominent actor than anything I had imagined. I'm glad to see someone of his stature in GoT and I look forward to seeing more of him.

3) Have you seen Siddig in any other films or shows (eg Syriana, Reign of Fire, Clash of the Titans, Star Trek, 24, anything else)? How do those other roles affect your feelings about him being cast as Doran? (For example, did you like those other roles? Are you happy to see the actor in something else? Are you happy to see the actor in GoT in particular? etc).

>I've seen him previously in Syriana, 24, probably a few other things I don't recall (since I recognized him in those projects), and in the trailer for an independent film that looked really good that I never saw. Kind of romantic. Again, I'm happy to see him in GoT and look forward to his scenes.

4) Have you read or seen any interviews with Siddig about his part in Game of Thrones? What have you learned about Siddig himself or his role as Doran? Where did you find this information? (for example YouTube, his official website, other websites, magazines).

> I didn't know he was cast until he appeared onscreen.

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1) In your own words, describe what Doran Martell looks like (eg his face, body, clothing, posture, anything else) and what his personality is like. What is your description based on? (for example, descriptions in the book, fan art, Alexander Siddig, another actor, other things)



My concept of Doran Martell comes from the books. I see him as somewhat flabby and bloated without actually being obese, with swollen legs and huge joints, perhaps swathed in linen bandages. He sits in an elaborate wheeled chair or tram with his swollen, slippered feet elevated most of the time. He basically wears a richly embroidered silk robe or caftan over silk shifts because his skin is sensitive and he cannot tolerate the weight of heavy fabrics or the touch of rough fibers. His face is lined with pain and his complection is sometimes greyish beneath a more typically pale golden brown skin tone of the Dornish (I see the Dornish as being like paler-skinned Egyptians or South Americans). His hair is thinning but still fairly dark. His facial features are strong and were handsome before being transformed by pain and suffering and lack of exercise. His personality is sometimes a bit snappish due to being constantly in pain, but he is generally a deep thinker, a planner, a strategist, and prefers in general to keep his powder dry as long as possible and play a long game. He does not favor anything rash or hotheaded. He is the ice to the Red Viper's fire.




2) Alexander Siddig will play Doran in the show, how does he compare to your own mental image of Doran before he was cast? (eg does he look the same? Is it hard for you to remember your mental image before he was cast? Did you imagine someone else playing the character? Anything else?)



Siddig would have been a good choice for the pre-illness/pre-Gout Doran Martell, but he looks too healthy and fit. Doran Martell is a man in constant pain and basically immobile.



3) Have you seen Siddig in any other films or shows (eg Syriana, Reign of Fire, Clash of the Titans, Star Trek, 24, anything else)? How do those other roles affect your feelings about him being cast as Doran? (For example, did you like those other roles? Are you happy to see the actor in something else? Are you happy to see the actor in GoT in particular? etc).



I saw him in the Star Trek Series and he was fine in that. I'm not sure there is an actor who could achieve my mental image of DM without heavy makeup. Most people that sick and gouty aren't acting! :) I think they should make him up to look heavier and more ill. Jeremy Irons comes to mind as someone who could play this role in good makeup but I imagine his salary demands would be too high. :) I don't have a better suggestion.




4) Have you read or seen any interviews with Siddig about his part in Game of Thrones? What have you learned about Siddig himself or his role as Doran? Where did you find this information? (for example YouTube, his official website, other websites, magazines).



I have not read any interviews with him about his role. Doran Martell is a not a character who is well-established yet in the series and he isn't a character I feel particularly pulled in by in the novels. I'm sure Siddig will do a fine job playing the character. It's not like every character looks like the book version and most of us have learned to live with those actors not looking like the book version. Cases in point: Varys and Tyrion.

Edited by coldpie

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1)

I pictured him ugly, old and pale (yeah despite being dornish) and bald. I picture him much like Arianne pictures him. Out of touch, cool tempered, patient, meticulous. Also has a childish optimism about certain things and the way the plan will work out. He is numb with grief over his brother and reacts the opposite way from the sand snakes. I pictured him to speak in a slow drolling way. My description is based on the text.


2) He doesn't look at all like him and it doesn't affect my image of the way he looks in my head. I have read the books twice before seeing him on the show.

3) I don't recall seeing him in anything else so it has no effect


4) I haven't seen anything about him other than a short promo for season 5, an in his performance on season 5.

Edited by zeppelincheetah

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I imagined him as fat and unhealthy because he is described as gouty and in America unhealthy and fat go hand in hand. I also picture him as Mexican because I don't know many Spaniards but I do know a lot of Mexicans and in my subconscious Mexico and Spain are the same thing. So basically a fat unhealthy Mexican guy.

I have been a Sidfig El Fadil fan since before he knocked up Nana Visitor in the dressing room of Star Trek DS9 then changed his name to Alexander SiDig. I was a big fan of his in DS9 and also liked him as Saladin in Kingdom of God. I like that he got the work but he contrasts deeply with my mental image of Doran.

Doran on the show seems much more formidable than my mental image. SIf dig (sorry my autocorrect won't let me type his name) looks like he could just stand up from his chair and murder someone where Doran in my head looks pathetic. Did dig looks capable of intimidating someone where Doran in my head would inspire pitty instead of fear.

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1) I was seeing a very sick person, looking older than his age. Because he is always in his bed or chair, and has not much taste for food, he should be just skin and bones now, with not much flesh left. His hands are very hard to look upon, the joins impossibly swollen, red or blue.
I would see him much in pain, and looking very tired. Contemplative, most often lost in his thoughts, exploring his political and war options. Or lost in his drugs. Speaking with few words, but clear and precise. Very determined, because he would need a very strong will to dominate his pain and continue to live and fight. His determination draws the respect and love of people close to him.

2) Acceptable in stature and build. But I was seeing in Siddig someone too smiling and energetic. Too young also. But I was not concerned. Actor's play and makeup would do the trick.

3) I knew Siddig from Star Trek DS9. From there, mostly my perception of a too young and happy guy. I saw him nowhere else. I found nothing remarkable, good or bad in his play. For me, he was a rather simple character in DS9.
I was not especially thrilled by his cast for GoT, but not worried either.
I find Siddig playing good. Doran control of Dorne is unquestioned, his intelligence and understanding of the situation perfect so far. But he looks too healthy to my taste. It seems nothing would prevent him from standing up and walking normally. He doesn't seem at all diminished. While his character should have been fashioned by his disease.

4) None but the short video announcing his casting for GoT. Liked it. If only because the actor seemed enthusiastic to be in GoT.

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1) I imagine him with unkempt, greasy hair and a tired, painful expression in his face. The constant pain from his gout seems to be tre trait most commonly mentioned in his descriptions, so I tend to picture him as slightly hunched, usually with his hands resting softly on his lap and his hugely swollen legs covered in blankets. I imagine him sitting on a wheelchair that looks like a wooden throne with massive wheels.

2) The actor isn't too far from my mental image of Doran. Perhaps I imagined him older, or at least more aged by his condition, with dark bags under his eyes. The pain described in the books really doesn't come across on his acting, I think.

3) I have seen him in a few movies, but hadn't found him particularly memorable. Had to do a google search when he was first announced as Doran. He wasn't exactly as I had pictured the character, but I was satisfied with his casting.

4) I haven't read or watched any interviews about his part in the series.

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