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Westeros

Westeros Blog: Highlights from the Fact Sheet

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The fact sheet has quite a lot to absorb, so here’s the highlights in terms of new actors and crew that we’ve not heard of before today.

Lets start with new crew. First up, two new directors of photography have been named. Marco Pontecorvo and Alik Sakharov are both veterans of past HBO productions, particularly Rome. Pontecorvo recently made a mark as a director for the film Pa-ra-da, which garnered him several awards as well, while the Russian-born Sakharov received an Emmy for his cinemtaography on during the Rome episode titled “Passover”.

Joining them on the production side are a few new directors. For us, the most notable is Alan Taylor, an HBO go-to guy with many HBO productions under his belt, as well episodes of shows as diverse as Lost, Mad Men, and In Treatment; he won an Emmy for his direction of a Sopranos episode, and has several other noms from the Director’s Guild Awards. The other new director named is Daniel Minahan, another go-to guy who’s directed episodes of Deadwood, Big Love, and a notable five episodes on True Blood.

Production designer Gemma Jackson and costume designer Michele Clapton remain on board with the production, which is very good to see. Though we’ve known this for a good while, I’ll note that the fact sheet confirms that the writing breakdown remains the same: executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will write seven of the episodes, while Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson (of Buffy and BSG fame), and George R.R. Martin will write one episode each.

Of note for the production? Morocco is out—something George hinted may be a possibility a long while ago—and instead it looks like the second location for shooting will be Malta. Malta, rich in scenery—especially medieval castles, walls, ports, and so on—and a spare beauty will doubtless serve for shots of Pentos and the like, and will be an excellent locale if the series goes forward to a second or third season

.And following the production teams and notes? The actors. Oh, boy, the actors. There’s so many of them!

The most significant additions to the list must be James Cosmo as the Old Bear, Jeor Mormont, a casting George revealed which is not yet on the fact sheet (see here for two other roles GRRM has confirmed). After that, it sure looks like Jerome Flynn as Bronn (Official Site) is the most noteworthy casting choice.

After that are the guest cast, which makes up the bulk of new additions to the casting rolls. I’m just going to paste them all below:

read on >>>

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GRRM's latest hint for the part of Osha seems to have been resolved by The Rabbit01: Natalia Tena. Just waiting on GRRM's confirmation. She's been in the Potter films with Jamie Campbell Bower (King Arthur in Caemlot), with Eva Green in Womb (Green plays Morgana in Camelot), and she and Osha both "made a splash", having skinnydipped (Tena at a music festival and Osha in Winterfell's hot springs).

She's almost certainly the actress who looks nothing like how Osha is described in the books, but whose performance has been so good that

GRRM suspects it will affect how he writes the character in the future.

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Oh, so now they are going to Malta, of course... If I had know, I may not have moved out of there last year. :tantrum: :crying:

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The casting more or less looks perfect.

Mild complaints, more nitpicking than anything: Lysa's actress looks a little too young, and I won't be able to watch Maester Aemon because he was just too perfect in Death At A Funeral. I mean, him smiling will confuse the fuck out of me. That specific bit of casting is just too good :(

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Wasn't Bronn supposed to be black haired? The actor is blonde. :(

Yes I know hair coloring/dyes exist, but thats beside the point.

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Yes I know hair coloring/dyes exist, but thats beside the point.

How?

In other words: Why would that matter? None of the Lannisters have the right haircolor either - is that really a problem?

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Wasn't Bronn supposed to be black haired? The actor is blonde. :(

Yes I know hair coloring/dyes exist, but thats beside the point.

How is that "besides the point?" The fact that there are things like hair dyes and wigs IS the point. Hair color doesn't matter when casting. Most of the Annies on Broadway were not red heads, Tricia Helfer was not a blond but played one on BSG...I could go on forever with that.

Besides, Bronn's hair color is in no way relevant to the story. It's not like the Lannister vs. Baratheon coloring, which is a key plot point. Bronn could have been cast with a black actor and it needn't have changed anything about the character or role.

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How is that "besides the point?" The fact that there are things like hair dyes and wigs IS the point. Hair color doesn't matter when casting. Most of the Annies on Broadway were not red heads, Tricia Helfer was not a blond but played one on BSG...I could go on forever with that.

Besides, Bronn's hair color is in no way relevant to the story. It's not like the Lannister vs. Baratheon coloring, which is a key plot point. Bronn could have been cast with a black actor and it needn't have changed anything about the character or role.

All true, and I know how one looks in one picture or acts as a certain character in one movie doesn't really say much about how they will do as their ASOIAF characters.

Having said that...

I actually screamed "WHATT??" when saw this picture. That is so anti-Bronn.

p.s. I always thought Bronn had black hair, too. No idea if it's in the books though.

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Yes, he's black-haired in the book. No, it doesn't really matter.

The more interesting thing is that the actor playing Ser Vardis Egen looks like he's of about the same age and build (i.e. not stout). This is going to change the idea behind Bronn's approach to his fight with him rather considerably.

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This is going to change the idea behind Bronn's approach to his fight with him rather considerably.

Does it have to? I'm far from an expert but Egen can still be in full armour and Bronn lightly armoured? The same tactics can apply. Egen can be made to look a bit older if necessary. Obviously, it wouldn't be as easy to tire Egen out but that might just make it more dramatic. :)

Besides the hair, i'm not sure what is very wrong with this guy anyhow. Sure, Bronn wouldn't be opening an animal rescue centre anytime soon but its all acting anyhow. :P

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Yes, he's black-haired in the book. No, it doesn't really matter.

The more interesting thing is that the actor playing Ser Vardis Egen looks like he's of about the same age and build (i.e. not stout). This is going to change the idea behind Bronn's approach to his fight with him rather considerably.

No way. Bronn fought with light chain mail on during the duel while Egn was in full plate. Same strategy.

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Let me emphasize:

the idea behind Bronn's approach to his fight with him rather considerably.

Bronn's approach would probably not have been nearly as clever against a man of the same age and level of fitness as he was. So now we're down to the canard that all else being equal, the guy who isn't in heavy plate will win it because, hey, plate armor's terribly heavy and you lumber around in it!

Which actually isn't true, normally, and certainly isn't what GRRM conveys in the series. It is true in the very specific case in which Bronn was in in AGoT ... but it seems the case is changing for the TV series, and that does sort of lead into the cliché idea of "plate armor=heavy and pointless" which is counter what GRRM does (yes, Oberyn also uses the light-and-quick approach, but then all else was not equal here, as well)

It's a very minor nit, but a real one. Of course, it's possible the photo of McCormack is wrong, or an old one, and he's rather older/stouter than he seems. In which case, it should be true to the intent of the scene.

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True. Maybe that's the approach they'll take. :) It's not like Vardis was totally unfit. He was just getting on in years and not as sharp as he used to be. Or perhaps Flynn will hit the gym.

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Seeing Bronn in action is one of the things I most look forward to in the series. I can't wait to see him fight with two swords (they better not cut that out!) Bronn vs Vardis also had better be a rockin' duel.

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I don't have the details of the duel fresh in my mind, but it's also not a stretch to imagine they might show off Bronn using somewhat dirtier fighting tricks against the honorable knight. It would be a good way to show his character and cement the idea of 'mercenary' in viewers' minds.

Yeah, that picture of the guy playing Bronn is way to chipper, but I kind of like it. I always pictured him as a bit of a charming rogue, so it works for me. Can't wait to see him in action.

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Which actually isn't true, normally, and certainly isn't what GRRM conveys in the series. It is true in the very specific case in which Bronn was in in AGoT ... but it seems the case is changing for the TV series, and that does sort of lead into the cliché idea of "plate armor=heavy and pointless" which is counter what GRRM does (yes, Oberyn also uses the light-and-quick approach, but then all else was not equal here, as well)

That's true. Certainly in battle GRRM wanted to emphasise why people wore armour. Duels are different but the point must still be true to a degree.

So they may change how McCormack looks or change the fight to be more dramatic, which is definitely possible.

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I'm just disappointed that Bronn isn't one of the 1000+ totally awesome choices that were offered here.

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True. Maybe that's the approach they'll take. :) It's not like Vardis was totally unfit. He was just getting on in years and not as sharp as he used to be. Or perhaps Flynn will hit the gym.

It would be easy enough to play up the idea that Vardis has let his fitness wane, and lost his edge as a fighter. How long since anyone in the Vale has seen any real combat, while Bronn is still a seasoned and accomplished sellsword etc. If they do fill the roll of The Blackfish with Vardis, they can show him huffing and winded on the climb to the Aerie, and perhaps show a fit and composed Bronn taking note of his difficulties.

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