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Xray the Enforcer

[Spoilers] Possible Casting Choices for Season Two

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I'm all for Eccleston in any part he plays. Putting aside all his other strong work, he was great as a bit player in Heroes Season 1.

There are so many dour Northerners that need to be cast for season 2. If Eccleston doesn't get one of them it'd be a crime.

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She is a talented actress and she proved in BSG that she can play complicated fighter-type woman.
Uh...ok.

Brienne is at best plain, at worst actually ugly. Katie Sackhoff is absolutely gorgeous.

Brienne is a large woman. Both tall and muscular. Katie is short, fairly thin.

Brienne is uncharismatic, unfriendly, and barely smiles. Katie has a great smile and exudes charisma no matter what.

Brienne is of Westeros; Katie is American. And to my knowledge has never tried a single accent of any kind.

About the only thing that Brienne and Katie have that are the same is that they're both women. Otherwise you'd have been better off suggesting Lucy Lawless given your criteria - she's a talented actress who has played fighter-type women too. Plus who doesn't want to hear Brienne do that YAYAYAYAYYAYA as she charges into battle?

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Please no Evan Rachel Wood, i don't want her to creep up in every HBO show also she's in True Blood. i know it's not second season but Grace Zabriskie (Lois from Big Love) can do a great queen of thrones.

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The problem IS her height. I'm a big fan of BSG so I adore Sackhoff...but if Breinne isn't portrayed as almost "freakish" by the side of other women, the essence of the character will be completely changed and her impact on the viewer greatly lessened.

To be fair, people said the same thing about Robert and look at the great job Mark Addy has done. Not exactly the same, but I could see them going with a perfect actress that might not be freakishly tall, but still exudes all of the qualities that Brienne has just because of her lot in life. That being said, it'd be great if they did find someone who had both the acting chops and the right height.

But yeah, Katee being American or whatever is a hindrance anyway.

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To be fair, people said the same thing about Robert and look at the great job Mark Addy has done. Not exactly the same, but I could see them going with a perfect actress that might not be freakishly tall, but still exudes all of the qualities that Brienne has just because of her lot in life. That being said, it'd be great if they did find someone who had both the acting chops and the right height.

But yeah, Katee being American or whatever is a hindrance anyway.

I'd say Katee being American is no hindrance. Do accent coaches not exist? Peter Dinklage is American.

It is entirely her physical form that is a problem. Brienne is a reaction to the waif-like warrior women we see in most media. The fact is, a frail little thing like Katee simply would not be able to hold her own, hand-to-hand against big male knights. Brienne has the build for it, and looks as mannish as a woman with that strength would in real life.

The size of King Robert is not too important. It's not a major part of his character. Having Brienne be small and skinny would be like casting a six-foot guy as Tyrion.

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Katee Sackhoff is short and slight in build, and exceedingly pretty. Brienne is huge and lumpen and ugly, and this is an important part of her character motivation.

The only choice possible for Brienne is an unknown. I imagine most tall, plain girls get laughed out of castings, no matter how good an actor they are. TV is biased towards the pretty. It's time to give a big plain girl a chance!

I seriously doubt that Brienne's 'freakishness' will be retained for TV - no way that HBO will use a woman who fits the appearance described in the books, and even if they were to do so, it would be hard to find an experienced unionized actress with that appearance, since she would have few or no casting opportunities. They can't go the route they went for Gregor Clegane and cast outside of the TV acting world - Brienne has too much to do, acting-wise. They'll probably cast someone more conventionally good-looking and end up using her gender-nonconformity or 'unconventional' looks as her backstory and motivation.

(They've already done similar things with the thinner-than-in-the-books Sam and Lysa and the less-freakishly-large-than-in-the-books Hodor.)

So I think that they will go one of 3 ways:

1) Cast someone like the example of Daniela Sea, suggested above - a very pretty, tall, square-jawed woman. Unconventionally pretty, but as close as TV can get to the character description.

2) Deviate completely from the character description, and cast someone conventionally pretty who can play tough - use the example of Katee Sackhoff from BSG, as cited above or Milla Jovovich in The Messenger. In this situation, the actress would get a boyish haircut, and they would completely change her motivations and make her motivated by tomboyishness and ideas of honour entirely, leaving out any history of rejection due to her looks.

3) Eliminate the character. Depending on what they know about what's coming up, they could just get rid of Brienne. I am sure that the TV folks would love to do so, since it would avoid the need to cast a younger woman who can't be conventional eye candy (this is HBO, remember). The producers know more than the fans do about what's coming, and if Brienne doesn't play a big role in future books, they could write her out pretty easily, especially since they have moved some of Jaime's character development forward.

Can I add that I would be really, really bummed out if they took option 3, and I really hope they take option 1, which is as close as one of my favorite characters is going to get to her depiction in the books?

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Could we perhaps find a role somewhere for James Purefoy, what do people think, hmm? Also, what about Melinda Clarke for Melisandre? She has the look and the acting chops to go with it. May be a little old if they decide to portray Melisandre as a twenty-something, however. Come to think of it, I don't know how old Melisandre is supposed to be.

Also, the Gwendoline Christie suggestion for Brienne looks incredibly good to me.

Eccleston is generally great at everything. I'm a big fan. However I'm not sure about casting him as Stannis; he rarely sticks around for multiple seasons. He has spoken of this in the media before.

There are a lot of wonderful british actors who could bring Stannis to life without breaking HBO's bank. Many comments elsewhere have suggested Kevin Mckidd for the role. I would like to see Steven Waddington be given a shot at it. David Morrissey is a big name and talent in the UK. ANY of these actors would be marvellous.

One performance I would love to see: Sam Troughton as Edmure. He blew my mind at the RSC this year.

Play-casting ASoIaF is so much fun, it's like picking sweets!

All good suggestions. I love Kevin McKidd, and Sam Troughton has the Edmure look. I also thought Morissey was pretty good in the Other Boleyn Girl, but I'm not sure he can be Stannis...wait, maybe he can. And speaking of picking sweets, here's my dream casting: Hugo Weaving as Stannis. Or as anything, really.

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Could we perhaps find a role somewhere for James Purefoy, what do people think, hmm?

I clicked on this topic to ask this exact same question. Great minds think alike, no?

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I'd say Katee being American is no hindrance. Do accent coaches not exist? Peter Dinklage is American.

It is entirely her physical form that is a problem. Brienne is a reaction to the waif-like warrior women we see in most media. The fact is, a frail little thing like Katee simply would not be able to hold her own, hand-to-hand against big male knights. Brienne has the build for it, and looks as mannish as a woman with that strength would in real life.

The size of King Robert is not too important. It's not a major part of his character. Having Brienne be small and skinny would be like casting a six-foot guy as Tyrion.

It's been noted countless times that the producers are trying to cast as many roles as possible through the British Equity actors union - of which most American actors are not a member. They do make exceptions, as noted in Peter Dinklage and Jason Mamoa - but that was to find very rare "types" of people - the best actor available that met the look. Now, it can be argued that the same could be done for Brienne because she is a certain "type" that may fairly rare, so I do think that if the only option was an American girl, they might do it. However, Katee Sackoff *doesn't* fit the type, and therefore may not be the best option anyway, therefore negating any reason to make special accommodations for her - unless her performance blows everyone else outta the water.

I was also just pointing out that many people on the board felt that Robert's height was a major part of his character too, but with the right actor they can fudge some of the details of appearance and make up for it in the portrayal. Not saying that Brienne should be Milla Jovovich, but I wouldn't cry foul if they had to go with a less than monstrously sized woman, or one that isn't ugly. It'd be great if they could, but if they can't I'll still believe they went with their best option :)

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To be fair, people said the same thing about Robert and look at the great job Mark Addy has done. Not exactly the same, but I could see them going with a perfect actress that might not be freakishly tall, but still exudes all of the qualities that Brienne has just because of her lot in life. That being said, it'd be great if they did find someone who had both the acting chops and the right height.

But yeah, Katee being American or whatever is a hindrance anyway.

She doesn't have to be freakishly tall (though if they did find a lady who was of a similar height to NCW that would be awesome) but at 5ft 6 1/2, she is too short. I think Eva Damen is about 5ft 9 and that - personally - is as short an actress I think they should be looking for. I'm the same height as Kate and I look completely ridiculous trying to sword fight with the taller guys in a contest of strength, because it looks so faked. The only way somebody of my height would realistically win against a taller, stronger man is speed and agility. That isn't what Brienne is. She's brute strength.

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It's been noted countless times that the producers are trying to cast as many roles as possible through the British Equity actors union - of which most American actors are not a member. They do make exceptions, as noted in Peter Dinklage and Jason Mamoa

i'd just like to point out that dinklages' accent is my biggest problem so far, it sucks ass.

whoever suggested up thread merging edmure and the blackfish, WTF? shame on you!

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Could we perhaps find a role somewhere for James Purefoy, what do people think, hmm? Also, what about Melinda Clarke for Melisandre? She has the look and the acting chops to go with it. May be a little old if they decide to portray Melisandre as a twenty-something, however. Come to think of it, I don't know how old Melisandre is supposed to be.

Also, the Gwendoline Christie suggestion for Brienne looks incredibly good to me.

All good suggestions. I love Kevin McKidd, and Sam Troughton has the Edmure look. I also thought Morissey was pretty good in the Other Boleyn Girl, but I'm not sure he can be Stannis...wait, maybe he can. And speaking of picking sweets, here's my dream casting: Hugo Weaving as Stannis. Or as anything, really.

I'm seeing David Morrissey on stage as Macbeth in a few weeks. It strikes me that Stannis has a few things in common with Macbeth... or at least his wife/Melisandre have Lady Macbeth DOWN.

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Take Molly C Quinn from Castle (Rick Castle's daughter) and give her curly hair and you have the perfect Ygritte.

Ian McShane for Damphair.

Nathan Fillion as Mance.

Cieran Hinds as Balon Greyjoy

Cillian Murphy as Reek

Dominic West as Stannis

Eliza Dushku as Mel (perfect eyes)

Robert Carlyle as Davos

Bridget Reagan as Asha.

Rufus Sewell as Roose

Katherine Moenning as Brienne

Tom Felton as Cleos

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Katherine Moenning as Brienne? This Katherine Moenning, from the L Word?

She's even skinnier, shorter, and less mannish than Katie Sackhoff. You do understand that Brienne is supposed to be fairly meh looking, right? And that she's also huge - like bigger than Loras and Renly? I know they can take some liberties about appearance, but picking someone who's shorter, smaller, and way more beautiful kinda ruins the point of her.

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Katherine Moenning as Brienne? This Katherine Moenning, from the L Word?

She's even skinnier, shorter, and less mannish than Katie Sackhoff. You do understand that Brienne is supposed to be fairly meh looking, right? And that she's also huge - like bigger than Loras and Renly? I know they can take some liberties about appearance, but picking someone who's shorter, smaller, and way more beautiful kinda ruins the point of her.

In the second season she wears mostly armor so this could make up for her stature. She can easily be made masculine. Until she has to shed her armor in S.3 she can put on some weight. I think they should rather go for the slightly smaller but masculine type than for big and oafish, otherwise the non readers immediately think: Look it's Hodor's sister...

I think Katherine Moenning is an intriguing actor that can capture the audience and make huge rather dull parts of the story more interesting.

I can perfectly picture her falling in love with Renly and being rejected, I can see Jamie thinking her unwomanly, but we as the audience will love her.

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I can't imagine her ever being thought of as not beautiful. Not for a moment.

And the audience isn't supposed to 'love' Brienne. At least not for that. This isn't She's All That; when you take off Brienne's glasses and put her in a dress she's not going to turn into the prom hottie. She's not an attractive woman; Cat's first thought is 'is there anything more unfortunate than a young woman without beauty' or somesuch.

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In my opinion this mainly depends upon the view of someone who lives in the medival world of ASOIAF. Same with Dinklage as Tyrion. In our modern world he is a handsome albeit small man, there he is an imp, an abomination. Same could be true with Brienne who does not fit the common view of the fair maid and as some had previously mentioned, look at what happened to Charlize Theron in Monster.

But aside from Brienne, what do you think of my other suggestions.

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