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Drezin

Your Mental Image of Characters

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I had a very definite mental image for most characters (and clothes, and places...), so I guess I'll be able to keep the book version and the tv version apart. On the other hand, for those characters that for some reason didn't visually stick with me, the show is welcome to fill the gaps - I'm thinking of Jory right now, but there will be more as the story progresses.

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I always imagined the Dothraki to be more Mongolian in their culture and Ned was more skeletal-faced and intimidating in my mind

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Some of the characters seem so close to my mental image that I feel like HBO ran a brain scan on me before casting. Some of them are somewhat close, or I didn't have a very clear mental image of them to begin with, so it might be a mix of my imagination and HBO. Some of the characters are just too different.

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I pictured Catelyn differently. Thought she'd look much younger than Michelle Fairley.

Was skeptical of Emilia Clarke for Daenerys, but after seeing some of the video clips, I think her look will grow on me :P Maybe it's cause I was also engrossed with Lost, while I first picked up the ASOIAF series, but I always pictured Dany as looking like Emilie de Ravin (Claire on Lost): http://cdn.mademan.com/chickipedia/images/7/70/Emilie_de_ravin_16_7.jpg

Other than that, I think HBO nailed it in its casting.

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Most of the actors look so much like my mental image of the characters that it hasn't been a problem. There are three people that look nothing like how I pictured them: Sandor, Jeor Mormont, and Theon.

Not that I am complaining.

Funny thing is I never imagined Tyrion to be hideous, even if that is how George described him. Daenerys has always been aged up in my mind. It has to do with the fact that I felt uncomfortable imagining a 13 year old doing the things she does in the book. Jon, Ned,and Robb I also imagined as older too.

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I don't think it'll mess with my head at all. I devour books quickly enough that I frequently don't picture characters in my head as I read.

Although, two exceptions to this are Theon, who just looks too slimy and worm-like to me, and Renly, who is actually my only real casting disappointment out of all the clips I've seen.

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Eddard is already Sean Bean in my head, and Cersey is Lena. Jon Snow i still alternate at times, but tyrion was dinklage before i knew dinklage got the part. I never pictured tryrion as ugly, even though he was described as such in the books, i just pictured a blond peter drinklage. LF has already been replaced in my head by gillen, and so has viserys. Not dani though, for some reason, and not Arya or Sansa. Bran looks the same in my head, but with shorter hair, and Theon is completely different. Renly has long hair, and sir Jorah is much older looking, stouter, and with hairy arms and a mustache--much uglier in my mind, and i like that over Glens.

edit: Oh, and jaime has been replaced also by NCW, and so has Mark Addy replaced my Robert, they looked very close in the first place. My Barristan is very different though.

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Very interesting topic! I always pictured Eddard as Viggo Mortensen's "Aragorn." Both younger, dark haired, and more gaunt. And certainly Catelyn should be younger, but since they are aging up the characters, it makes sense as far as the show is concerned.

I always pictured Dany as having straight, wispy hair, similar to anime.

As for Tyrion, I agree with the above posters that he isn't hideous, only hideous by "Loras" standards. Dinklage IS Tyrion as far as I'm concerned.

And both Littlefinger and Jorah look absolutely perfect to me.

All that being said, I don't mind using the show characters as "templates" then modifying them in my mind based on the book's description. If anything, it enhances my imagination, instead of replacing it.

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it depends ,if I had a good a idea of them, then no it didn't, but in cases where i don't. the casting has helped. I think i'll eventually replace the mental images with the actors if they are close enough to how i imagined.

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Only thing I'm really gonna mind is Jon. He is ruined. Woe, woe, woe! But the HBO Jon is so far from the "real" Jon that I'll likely keep the original in my head for a while.

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My own mental images are pretty strong at this point, and often shaped by Amoka.net.

Since I won't mentally age most of them up, many of the under 18 crowd (Daenerys, Jon Snow, Robb Stark, the Lannister bastardlings, will generally stay the same). Sansa and Bran were already pretty close to Sophie and Isaac, so those will probably merge. And Maisie just seems so charismatic that she'll probably worm her way in even though I think she's a pretty girl and Arya isn't really.

Eddard and Catelyn probably won't. Both characters are supposed to be about a decade younger than me. Fairley and Bean look older than me (and are in his case). Same with Robert and Addy. Plus there are the characters that are supposed to look a lot alike (most with age differences) and don't really on what we've seen so far (Renly/Robert, Jaime/Cersei, Robert/Gendry, Lyanna/Arya, Sansa/Catelyn, Jon/Eddard, Selyse/Dancer). In my mind, those will continue to do so.

Littlefinger/Aidan will be a tough one. I think the actor is going to do a great job. But Petyr is so much younger than Aidan and the Amoka portrait so awesomely perfect, that one may stick.

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Let's make a list

Tyrion 10/10

Always imagined him as "that dwarf from station agent". I also can't imagine him as being "truly ugly", because he appears to be very charismatic in the books.

Littlefinger 10/10

Yeah, that's my mental LF, only with shorter hair. Nothing to add, no replacement...Gillen was born to be Littlefinger.

Arya 9/10

Despite not having a "horseface", Maisie Williams looks exactly like I imagined Arya: somehow strange, highly intelligent and cute. But my mental Arya wasn't as handsome as Williams seems to be. Finally the TV-Arya replaced my mental Arya.

Robert 9/10

Missing the black hair, but all in all this is my mental Robert Baratheon

Catelyn 9/10

Fairley looks completely different than the Catelyn from the books, but I really prefer the TV-version. Her looks fits her character pretty well.

Robb 9/10

Looks like "mental Robb", only slightly too old but it's okay.

Sandor Clegane 9/10

Yeah, that's my Sandor! Maybe he looks a bit too kindly for him, always imagined Sandor as rly fcked up looking

Bran 9/10

Handsome young boy, perfect cast. Only the loong hair looks a bit over the top for me.

Rodrik Cassel 9/10

In my mind, Rodrik had different whiskers, but overall he looks the same.

Jaime 9/10

Imagined Jaime to be more classical handsome, but NCW is just awesome. He definitely blew my mental Jaime away.

Viserys 8/10

Harry Lloyd rocks and definitely has to be potential to replace my mental Viserys, who locked a bit physically stronger.

Dany 8/10

Emilia Clarke will be a faboulous Dany, but she's not the girl I had in my head. But maybe she manages to replace her.

Tywin 8/10

My mental Tywin was and will be Alan Dale. Nevertheless Charles Dance comes pretty close. But there are these awesome whiskers???

Ned 7/10

My "mental Ned" is not Sean Bean, but he looks pretty similar: older than he is described in the books, like a younger Liam Neeson with dark hair. This picture almost gets him perfect:

http://www.geekshow.us/wp/wp-content/uploads/Ned.jpg

I don't think Bean will replace my mental Ned, but I can handle him as Eddard very well

Jon 7/10

Never had a clear picture of Jon, but Kit Harrington wasn't what i expected for him. But since Harrington seems to play his role pretty well, i can accept him as Jon and maybe someday he will be my mental Jon Snow.

Cersei 7/10

Lena Headey is a good Cersei but i imagined her to be more sexy and passionate, and this picture will survive. All in all I'm also interested in the Headeys "frosty Cersei".

Loras Tyrell 7/10

Someone like Matthias Schweighöfer should play Loras. The TV-Loras is good looking, but not that good looking.

Gregor Clegane 6/10

Conan Stevens is rly a huge guy and could be Rory McCanns brother. But he looks much too lovely and likeable to be Gregor, who is described to be an ugly giant. He won't replace my mental Gregor.

Khal Drogo 6/10

Always imagined Khal Drogo to be more impressive and exotic. Momoah fits well, but looks too "normal" and modern for me. No chance to replace my mental Drogo

Sansa 6/10

I imagined Sansa to be more handsome, Sophie Turner is cute, but also looks a bit annoying. My mental Sansa is a very attractive girl with low intelligence. Turner won't replace that picture.

Illyrio 6/10

Much too normal looking for Illyro, but charismatic. We will see..

Theon 5/10

Nah, that's not him. Alfie Allen will do well, but he's just not Theon.

Joffrey 5/10

Nope, that's not him. My mental Joffrey will definitely survive the show.

Renly 4/10

No chance, this isn't Renly.

Missing characters: Jorah Mormont 9/10, Jeor Mormont 8/10 (too short beard), Maester Aemon 6/10, Sam 8/10, Varys 7/10, Walder Frey 6/10, Lysa Arryn 4/10, Maester Luwin 7/10, Hodor 7/10, Barristan selmy 7/10, Jory Cassel 6/10, Ilyn Payne 7/10, Shae 8/10, Bronn 8/10, Alliser Thorne 8/10, Benjen Stark 8/10,

10 = exact match, 9 = replacement, 8 = very good choice, potential replacement, 7 = good choice but low chances for replacement, 6 = decent choice, no replacement, 5 = okay choice, but very different from mental image, 4 and lower = totally different to mental image, no replacement

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A very valid point, OP. I think it's pretty hard to not picture the characters to look like the actors after you've seen the series. In that respect, I am worried too that those that don't resemble my mental images of them will become stuck in my head. Fortunately, most of them are pretty good matches.

The two that I really have cause to complain about are Jon and for Daenerys. I had all the good will to try and see Emilia Clarke as Daenerys and Kit Harrington as Jon, but it just hasn't worked so far. I pictured Dany as some amalgamation of my own mental image of her and of different pictures I had seen online, such as the wonderful one by Jenny Schreiber in the Westeros Gallery.

It doesn't quite fit the face of Emilia Clarke. A great face to be sure, but I can't quite bring myself to say "a face that launched a thousand ships and burnt the topless towers of Ilium".

And man, does Harrington need to lose the stubble.

I am also worried that the British accent is overdone. I'd prefer a more neutral accent rather than this Hogwarts-type English I've seen so far in the trailers - it just turns me off. For instance, the English in Braveheart was just perfect, and sufficient to differentiate between the English and the Scots without being jarring at all (and Patrick McGoohan's impeccably perfect portrayal certainly helped). But I don't have enough information to go by as yet. It may turn out that the accent will be fitting.

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I am also worried that the British accent is overdone. I'd prefer a more neutral accent rather than this Hogwarts-type English I've seen so far in the trailers - it just turns me off. For instance, the English in Braveheart was just perfect, and sufficient to differentiate between the English and the Scots without being jarring at all (and Patrick McGoohan's impeccably perfect portrayal certainly helped). But I don't have enough information to go by as yet. It may turn out that the accent will be fitting.

Just to clarify. A lot of people are speaking with their normal accent (especially those that are actually British). So they can't really be overdoing it at least.

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Just to clarify. A lot of people are speaking with their normal accent (especially those that are actually British). So they can't really be overdoing it at least.

Yeah, see, I don't know that their normal accents are fitting in a medieval setting. We'll just have to see!

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It others bothers me when people complain, "that's not how I pictured the character at all."

"Well, it doesn't defy the descriptions in the book."

"Still, I imagined him differently."

Not every character is going to look exactly like you imagined, and especially don't complain if you imagined them different from how they were described in the book. (This is me venting from the comments section of another site; it has nothing to do with people in this topic.)

Also I never had the problem with actors from Harry Potter replacing the characters when I reread the books, so I'm not worried about it happening with ASoIaF.

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Yeah, see, I don't know that their normal accents are fitting in a medieval setting. We'll just have to see!

Its difficult. It would be weird if everyone in Westeros spoke with the same accent (given how big it is), so for most characters it was easiest to let them speak in their own. (Exceptions been Jaime, Tyrion etc but they were both Lannisters, so that was fine also).

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The only character that I pictured truly different from the show is Robert... I always thought of him with a "younger" and still handsome look even if fat and drunken.

But most of all I always identified Robert with Brian Blessed interpretation of "Richard IV" in "The Black Adder" season 1: http://www.jane-williams.me.uk/glorantha/whitewall/brian3.jpg *

I also probably depicted Eddard slightly different, maybe with shorter hair and less beard... My favourite actor for Eddard was John Hamm http://www.comicbookmovie.com/images/users/uploads/16896/jon_hamm.jpg (lol... Eddard Draper :D ).

I found Arya different from my image of her, but the actress is very good and I like her "version" of Arya.

I also probably imagined Varys more thin and with hairs and Littlefinger a bit fatter, but their TV versions works fine.

*Oh yes, and Rowan Atkinson would be an amazing Aerys II :D :D http://webspace.webring.com/people/lb/blackadderhomepage/blackadder1.jpg He just need to dye his hair and use some coloured-lenses for the eyes.

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I may be in a relatively unique position here (but I surely won't be the last) - I started reading the books after hearing the HBO announcement and cast pictures. So for me the look of the cast was in my mind when I read the books. B) (I read all 5 in the last month for the first time)

So far none of the cast seem too radically different than what was described in the book, with very few exceptions:

- I imagined Renly as older

- Tyrion is continually described as extremely ugly, but much of that is due to his dwarf-ism, so that doesn't bother me

Otherwise I'm not bothered by the cast, but again, my perspective is a bit different...

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