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June 29 2011

'Game Of Thrones': season two dream casting. The writers at the MTV Movie Blog suggest that Christina Hendricks should play Melisandre and Amy Acker play Asha Greyjoy.

Oh, no, I think Amy Acker would be a poor choice. Christina Hendricks would be good, though.
Mad Men filming is on hold? Until when? Pretty sure Christina is too busy with that to be in Game of Thrones, as much as I'd love to see more of her.

I can't comment on Amy Acker, as I know nothing about that character, but can she do a British accent? I'd bet anything that they're exclusively casting UK actors, but I could be wrong about that.

I do love the idea of Christopher Eccleston on the show. He'd be a fantastic fit.
I can't quite see Amy Acker as Asha; I picture her as a robust, swaggering woman with a forceful voice. On the other hand, Acker can probably act the hell out of any role she's given, so who knows.

Christina Hendricks might be amazing as Melisandre (aka "The Red Woman" - hmm). And I am so with everyone who's hoping to see Christopher Eccleston as Stannis.

No Jaqen H'ghaar on the list? How about...argh, who played Lindsey?
@Kairos, that'd be Christian Kane
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) is actually American, he just works a lot in the U.K., and Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) was born in Hawaii and raised in Utah, so casting Americans isn't out of the question. Personally, I was so happy to see Clive Mantle turn up as Greatjon Umber (one of Robb Stark's chief bannermen) that I yelped at my TV set. I was also delighted to see Elyes Gabel, previously from "Casualty," turn up as Daenerys' whip-wielding Dothraki stalwart. And if they are casting out of the U.K., there are always ASH and Olivia Williams :)
I would've reversed those ideas. Acker would be great as creepy priest lady & think of the scene when Theon "meets" Asha... Hendricks would rock.
Dunno any of these characters (just a viewer of the series, not a reader of the books) but Peter Dinklage's Tyrion shows that a top-drawer performance and charisma/screen presence out the wazoo can paper over some occasionally large accent cracks (for some characters before anybody jumps on me from a great height over my 'Doctor Who' position ;) so it's not necessarily a deal-breaker.

That said, Amy Acker seems something of a vocal chameleon (judging by how different Fred's voice is to Illyria's) so I wouldn't be surprised if she could do a decent English accent. Only thing, is the character northern or southern (I assume northern because of the "Ironborn" reference) ? Because a regional northern accent would be much harder I reckon, a lot of Yanks will have very little experience with it, much less than with southern English (i'm particularly thinking of Josh Hartnett's excruciating "Yorkshire" accent in "Blow Dry" - though in fairness I seem to recall even the usually phenomenal Alan Rickman didn't do a fantastic job of it either). She can certainly play forceful though (again, see her go from Fred to Illyria).

(and Eccleston's a natural choice for any northern part. He plays hard well but he can play anything well since he's just a great actor all round)

[ edited by Saje on 2011-06-29 10:45 ]
Why is a British accent a requirement? Especially for Melisandre of Asshai who comes from the far east, further east than the Dothraki sea. If anything, her accent would by rights not be British.

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-06-30 15:03 ]
I was wondering the same thing Emmie. These characters aren't English .... They're not from this world.
Isn't Westeros meant to be a fantasy version of Britain?

I missed the casting call for extras on Sunday. Boo.
Roughly, yeah (from what I gather). It certainly maps quite closely in quite a few ways (even literally i.e. the map of Westeros could be a fiddled with map of Britain e.g. with higher sea levels, mountains moved and approximately Wales chopped off).

These characters aren't English .... They're not from this world.

The people around them are though and everyone from Westeros so far has had a British accent of some description. So why would these characters be different (apart from any foreigners in there, as I say, I don't know much about them) ?

Why would Stannis Baratheon have a radically different accent to his brother Robert (played with a northern English accent by Mark Addy) ? Why would "Ironborn" Asha Greyjoy (i.e. from the Iron Islands off the west coast of Westeros) have a radically different accent to everyone else from Westeros (she could have an Irish accent I suppose which, the odd slip from bit players aside, we haven't heard yet on the show IIRC) ? I appreciate she may well sound different to Theon (her brother, played with a northern English accent by Alfie Allen) since he was taken to the north when quite young but why would she sound e.g. American when no-one else in the show does ?
I don't know the books so I don't know if this would be good casting. I'm torn about reading the books Would I still enjoy the show as much if I'd read the books? On the other hand, I really, really want to read the books and find out what happens next. I have the four published books on my shelves and have the fifth in my Shopping Cart on Amazon.

BTW, do love Christopher Eccleston's casting. Again, I don't know his character except in the various references, but he looks like he'd be part of that universe.

I do think any actor on the show should speak with a British accent. Peter Dinklage adopts one (and btw, I think he steals every scene he is in - I really, really want to see him win the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor) and I think Jason Mamoa grunted in an English accent.
Not that I need another reason to look forward to season two of Game of Thrones but Chris Eccleston as Stannis Baratheon would certainly qualify. The guy can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned.

Not so sure about Amy as Asha though. I would imagine someone more along the lines of Eve Myles, assuming she wouldn't mind dropping the Welsh accent. The casting choices have been perfect thus far, so I've no doubt they will make the right decision here too.
[ETA:]Welsh would also work for "west of Westeros" (I went with Irish cos of the show's Irish connection) so she could even keep it if she liked.[/ETA]

...and I think Jason Mamoa grunted in an English accent.

Heh ;). Jason Momoa's a Dothraki from across the narrow seas so his grunts can be something else entirely. French maybe ;-).

(the Dothraki seem to be something like the Mongol Horde with a middle Eastern - Parthian ? - twist so their entirely different language/accent seems appropriate)

I'm also somewhat torn over reading the books or not, particularly now season 1's over and we've an "HBO year" to wait for more.

[ edited by Saje on 2011-06-29 13:27 ]
True enough about Eve's Welsh accent probably not being an issue, Saje.

As for the books, I'd recommend giving them a look. The first one at least, if only to fill in the gaps that the television series was not able to cover. They're worth your time and, as you say, you certainly have plenty of it before season two arrives.
I just caught the last two episodes of this series, but you can say it hooked me, line and sinker. Very much looking forward to the DVD release of season one (to catch up) and the start of season two. Guess that's a lot on two episodes, eh? I've always been a easy fish to catch.

Oh, concerning the comments whether Amy can fill the role? Sure, she has knocked the ball out of field several times, why would this be any different.
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"I went all the way past participle and all I got was this lousy t-shirted"
The accent issue may be an important issue, but not because Westeros is an Alt-Britain. GRRM has repeatedly denied it (nevermind the War of the Roses) and has deliberately vagued up distances and sizes of land. He claims things are as far apart as they need be for plot purposes. lol And doesn't try to rectify inconsistencies. However, geek fans HAVE used various statements in the novel to calculate land sizes-the Wall is 300 miles wide, thus Winterfell is 1500 miles from Kings Landing and the N/S distance of all of Westeros is about 3000 miles. If you buy all of the if-then assumptions.
(the Dothraki seem to be something like the Mongol Horde with a middle Eastern - Parthian ? - twist so their entirely different language/accent seems appropriate)


Here's an article on the language, mentions a couple of the creator's inspirations. Whatever GRRM modeled the culture itself on (and you're probably right about the Mongolian and Middle Eastern influences), it's clear from the brand new language that he didn't want them to be seen as parallel to any real culture. Maybe that's a sign that Westeros isn't supposed to be quite as medieval England-y as it looks, though I kind of doubt it - it's just the world around them that's different.

Jason Momoa only speaks one word of English/Westerosi in the whole series, doesn't he? Dothraki roles can pretty much accommodate actors of any nationality - if their original accent shows through, they're not doing it right.

I think the Iron Islands should have a similar accent to Winterfell; they're nearby, if my memory serves me right. I'm more interested in what we're going to hear for a Dornish accent, or an Asshai one. Also, I can't remember if any other Braavosi characters show up, but I have absolutely no complaints about taking them down the Inigo Montoya route.

I'm also somewhat torn over reading the books or not, particularly now season 1's over and we've an "HBO year" to wait for more.


DOOOOO EEEET.
Kairos, Momoa has an entire line in English about the golden crown in a fairly memorable scene :) I think he has a few others throughout. It sounds fairly Middle Eastern. And Tyrion's new lady friend Shae has a German accent, so clearly there are elsewheres within the landscape :)

edited to correct misspelled character name

[ edited by Shapenew on 2011-06-30 03:17 ]
Hehe, okay, couldn't remember if he'd said those lines in English.

Btw, Shae's accent isn't German, it's foreign.
Whedonesque: The #1 Site For Language And Accent Discussions.

Exactly what I was thinking!
I have to admit that Mamoa did a better job than I thought him capable. I watched all of STARGATE ATLANTIS even though I complained about the casting from beginning to end (definitely one of the most poorly casted shows ever, and even though I was delighted Jewel Staite joined the show, I thought she replaced the best actor on the series). But of all the terrible actors on the show, Mamoa was far and away the worse. Brought to mind the old quip about having mastered all the emotions from A to B. That said, he did everything on GoT that he needed to do and in general enhanced the series.
electricspacegirl, Mad Men is usually on US screens in July/August but season 5 was delayed over contract disputes and so it hasn't even begun shooting. It is meant to be back in March 2012.
I had heard a podcast saying that Dothraki is the new Klingon.

Eccleston is a very good choice and please, they should find a role for Tom Hardy, I just saw The Take and the guy is amazing. Also, if Brit accent is a must, we all know a ex-demon hunter/watcher who can do the did.
I love Amy, but I can't see her as Asha. Christopher Eccleston on the other hand would be absolutely perfect as Stannis.

Just two more weeks to go till Dance! (book 5)
electricspacegirl, Mad Men is usually on US screens in July/August but season 5 was delayed over contract disputes and so it hasn't even begun shooting. It is meant to be back in March 2012.


I know this, but that wouldn't give Christina enough time to be on GoT. Pretty sure filming would have to overlap.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2011-06-29 22:03 ]
It's a bit academic since we're just hypotheticalising but Alison Brie shot 'Mad Men' and 'Community' (which is admittedly only a half-hour show) at the same time for a couple of months so it can be done, with an accommodating boss (and lots of commuting ;).

Brought to mind the old quip about having mastered all the emotions from A to B. That said, he did everything on GoT that he needed to do and in general enhanced the series.

In fairness, the same could be said of him on Atlantis, Ronan being pretty similar to Khal Drogo in a lot of ways (he just spoke better English thanks to *waves hands* Stargate magic). It's sometimes difficult to judge actors who're playing very emotionally repressed/restrained characters IMO, they could have a narrow range or they could just be playing their character's range perfectly.

DOOOOO EEEET.

I may well dooooo ;).

(and cheers for the link Kairos, I love that sort of attention to detail, it adds substance to the world, makes it more immersive)
Saje. Not only are Game of Thrones and Mad Men hour-long shows, they also don't even film on the same continent. There would be a lot of complications in juggling those two shows. I'm not saying it's impossible, it just seems highly unlikely.
Could our Ms. Amy Acker play Asha? I think it's possible since no one is exactly what I envisioned from reading all of the books; well Dinklage, yes, but they didn't uglify him for Tyrion. Coster-Waldau is close as Jaime (and I was one of the first to nominate him at the original Westeros website to the producers) but not pretty enough. However, he is marvelous. So back to Amy - everybody in the series is older than in the books so I have no concerns about that. Plus, she is a chameleon and I'm pretty convinced she can do anything she sets her mind to. And Christina Hendricks? What a marvelous idea. She could also play a role in the fourth book if they get that far in the series.

[ edited by Tonya J on 2011-06-30 04:30 ]
I'm also somewhat torn over reading the books or not, particularly now season 1's over and we've an "HBO year" to wait for more.


Saje, I was torn also but I decided to go ahead and read the first book at least, and I discovered that while the TV series is a faithful enough adaptation, you're still missing a lot of nuance and detail given in the books. Whether you read the books before watching the series for the first time or read the books after watching the series for the first the time, I'd definitely recommend reading the books at some point. I'm rewatching the first season after having finally read the first book and I'm enjoying the TV series more than I was previously in large part due to the books.

I initially avoided reading the books because I'll pretty much always like the book version, the adaptation never ruins the book for me, but the books can ruin a movie/series for me if they fail to live up to the books. In this case, the TV adaptation is so faithful to the book series that I don't think it matters much either way.

As for the accent, Jason Momoa's described the language of the Dothraki as more guttural. It seems to me that only the people speaking the Common Tongue as their native language might have a British accent (varying however it's deemed appropriate), but there's a lot of characters from the Free Cities, the Dothraki, from the far east who wouldn't have a Common Tongue Westeros accent.

It seems problematic to me to reduce an entire fantasy world to British when Martin sought to portray many diverse cultures.

[ edited by Emmie on 2011-06-30 04:56 ]
(and cheers for the link Kairos, I love that sort of attention to detail, it adds substance to the world, makes it more immersive)


Here's another. When this was first announced I was one of those giddy fans who was actually considering studying the language. I even exchanged a few words with the very nice man who made it, but ultimately didn't get past "qoy", which is perhaps a blessing. I mean, even I laughed at Trekkies and their Klingon.

I think it's possible since no one is exactly what I envisioned from reading all of the books; well Dinklage, yes, but they didn't uglify him for Tyrion. Coster-Waldau is close as Jaime (and I was one of the first to nominate him at the original Westeros website to the producers) but not pretty enough.


I felt that about both characters, too, but I wouldn't give those actors up for anything. I think I even read somewhere that it was acknowledged that Dinklage was way too attractive for Tyrion, and they altered his character to account for that because that sexiness he added to the ugly guy was too good to pass up.

I still kinda regret Jaime's hair, though. You're right about "pretty" - Coster-Waldau is gorgeous as all hell, but not in that slightly feminine way Jaime must have had to match his sister so perfectly.
...but ultimately didn't get past "qoy", which is perhaps a blessing. I mean, even I laughed at Trekkies and their Klingon.

Here's hoping we get to enjoy 'MacBeth' in the original Dothraki one day ;).

('Hamlet' might be a problem - they don't have 'to be' right ?)

It seems problematic to me to reduce an entire fantasy world to British when Martin sought to portray many diverse cultures.

Think I get where you're coming from Emmie but I don't think we're really doing that, we're talking about one country in that fantasy world. It's not a matter of "privileging one accent over another" (particularly since we're talking about at least 2 different accents, more if we include Welsh etc.), it's just that these characters are from Westeros and its surrounding islands (apart from Melisandre - and maybe Davos Seaworth ? - as I mention, I don't know them that well) so why wouldn't they fit in with all the other characters from Westeros ? Doesn't seem problematic to me really, it just seems like consistent world building - if you choose to have Romans with English accents you don't then suddenly have some Romans with Russian accents (although in that specific case it might be more realistic to have Romans from Rome with one accent e.g. posh southern English and "Romans" from the occupied countries with something more regionally appropriate).

(as others have pointed out, we already have numerous characters with non-British accents in the show including the entire Dothraki horde and Shae, Tyrion's concubine-who's-clearly-more-than-she-seems. Because they're not from Westeros that's consistent too - googling, Melisandre is apparently from the other side of the world to Westeros so i'd expect her to sound different too)
Hehe, well, they must have some version of "to be", but apparently there's no "please" or "follow"...Shakespeare's probably off the menu. Maybe we could have some metal and thrash songs translated into Dothraki.
Saje, of the two characters we were talking about initially in this discussion (at least, the one's highlighted in the link discussion: Asha Greyjoy and Melisandre), one was from Westeros (the ~fantasy~ Britain) while the other's heritage lies further east from Asshai. That's the distinction I was focusing on.

I don't think there's real beef here. We're essentially agreeing, but we're framing it differently. We're beefless.

Though honestly, I don't think all accents on Westeros have to be British. Consider the incredible variation in accent in Britain and America in just the past few centuries. Westeros might begin ~like~ Britain in some ways, but it hardly need be a carbon copy. If the accents are just North=Scot, Isles to the West=Irish -- well, that's not exactly imaginative, is it? Having some form of variation would actually be more interesting to me; this is fantasy, not historical fiction. So, I'll be over here having loads of respect for the creativity of the Dothraki language developed for the TV series. (Even having a slight variation in accents on Westeros would be interesting to me; the history of Westeros is not the same as Britain, why would the fallout of accents be the same, too? Shake it up, is all I'm sayin'.)

Still think you should read the books when you get a chance...
Just a little clarification. I didn't suggest Coster-Waldau for Jaime, but any of the major male roles he might be appropriate for, including Ned Stark. I'm very grateful the producers listened because I loved Nicolaj so much in New Amsterdam.
I'd love to see Tony Head take on ANY role on GoT. Maybe Balon Greyjoy? Or the Blackfish?

And Tonya J, I'd like to sincerely thank you if your input at Westeros helped land NCW an audition. He is really amazing as Jaime, one of the best cast characters of the series IMO along with Tyrion and Arya. I'd never seen him in anything previously, but GoT has made me a huge Nikolaj Coster-Waldau fan!
Coster-Waldau's a little too pretty for Ned Stark IMO but he's great as Jaime.

Still think you should read the books when you get a chance...

Think I will Emmie, i'm now far enough past my personal tipping point for "basically sane, sensible people with not entirely dissimilar tastes to mine suggesting I should read the books" to go ahead.

... while the other's heritage lies further east from Asshai. That's the distinction I was focusing on.

Sure in my first response to your initial point I say

"So why would these characters be different (apart from any foreigners in there, as I say, I don't know much about them) ?"

so from near the start i've been totally with you on the foreign characters I just think it makes sense for Westerosians (Westerosi ? Westies ? ;). Re: unimaginative, maybe but then they've already gone with "northern" = northern English, "southern" = southern English and "across the narrow sea" = totally foreign which is the main reason for sticking to Westeros accents = British of some description for me - it borrows consistency from our world which makes their world feel more consistent, as if it actually did develop.

Agreed though, we're utterly beefless, we're like, tofu or something ;).
Oh thank you Whedonesquers! I've been having the "to book or not to book" dilemma, too. (Season 2 is soooooo far away!) You have now convinced me. Book 1 gets added to the nightstand pile very soon.
Man, I wish we could have weekly threads devoted to nothing but "convince Whedonesquers to read A Song of Ice and Fire". Nothing I like better than hearing about an impending conversion. :)

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