There is good and bad about the ending of each Game of Thrones season. The bad is that in less than two weeks another 10 episodes has gone and we have to wait a whole freaking year for the next time we’ll get to visit the most riveting characters and stories put to screen. The good is that now with the confirmation of season 3, we can begin the year long obsession with casting for characters we’ve never seen in the show. In a way it’s a coping mechanism for fans of the show and the books going through Thrones withdrawal. The issue of casting speculation usually consumes book readers or daring, non-reader fans of the show who care to “look-ahead” to the next installment of the series. It’s difficult to say if this area of speculation is spoiler territory so read on at your own risk if you don’t want major or minor characters and plot-lines to be revealed.
Last year around this time audition and casting calls went out from GoT headquarters in Belfast and the year before that some rare audition tapes were unearthed and put up on the web. The first round of audition speculation comes by way of Riverrun in Westeros, the home of Lady Catelyn Stark’s family House Tully. We have yet to see any of the auburn-haired Tullys in the first or second season thus far, much to the dismay of many fans of the books. Speculation about the casting of Cat’s brother Edmure, their uncle the Blackfish, Brynden Tully and even Cat’s father Lord Hoster Tully have almost reached a fever pitch on various fan boards. Now it appears that we have an answer to the question about seeing any of the Tully’s on screen. With the cutting and merging of characters so far in the series it’s difficult to tell if your favorite character however minor or major from the book will even show up. WinterisComing.net posted an article recently of a found audition tape by one of their astute twitter followers of an Irish actor reading for the role of Edmure Tully. The video was posted to vimeo and taken down shortly thereafter once the buzz started escalating on the inter-webs, but I did get to watch the video a couple of times before it was removed. The excitement was not over the actor’s performance, which was fine, but the affirmation that the character will be cast for season 3 and if the off-camera dialogue spoken in the film is any indication that its highly possible that the fan-favorite Blackfish will also be cast. I’m not a huge Blackfish fan, but I can somewhat understand his appeal. There is speculation to the character’s sexuality that is always fun to look for clues in the series but to give you any more information would definitely be spoilerific.
More interesting to me was the announcement the next day from the Extras NI (Northern Ireland) that sought out some specific requirements from extras for its season 3 casting call. Descriptions of note include “men or women that are over 18 and that are under 5ft in height.” Now to a non-reader that could sound like they might be casting possibly for a little person posse for Tyrion, which would be incredible, but wrong. There are some theories including some very spoilery thoughts about casting a certain eunuch army but more tantalizing speculation is the prospect of casting the Crannogmen by way of Greywater watch, a short in stature people that are sworn bannermen to the Starks. There are probably no two characters omission from the series as widely discussed as the teenage Reed siblings, Meera and Jojen who meet up with Bran and mentor him on his “spiritual journey.” I can attest to the fan obsession with the Reeds, they are an interesting pair that through Jojen helps Bran connect to his dreams and connection to his direwolf Summer. Meera, the 16-year old sister armed with a frogspear and a net reminds me a lot of Arya in her very un-ladylike personality and huntress set of skills. The Reeds are supposed to be short in stature so the under 5ft stipulation to the casting call could very well be the sign that the series will feature the Reeds and possibly other Crannogmen in the series. Nothing will be a sure thing until a lot closer to the next season’s start date next spring but I’m guessing more and more information will leak out about casting in the time between to fuel our speculation commentary.
Interestingly to add to the theory that fandom can influence casting choices or at least in this case prompting an audition, Norwegian actor Kristopher Hivju was rumored to be auditioning for an unnamed role in the series a few weeks back. According to an interview with the actor on a Norwegian talk show that was just not true but word of the rumor did get to his agent and supposedly that led to the agent submitting Hivju for a part in the series. Hivju says in the interview that his audition went well and that they wanted to see more of him but no confirmations have been made. Judging by his picture the actor would make a great addition and that beard belongs in the Smithsonian case entitled “epic beards.” I’d like to see him get a meaty Wildling role but could also see him playing a member of the Tully family (red hair) if he can do the accent.
And finally just within the last few days another actor has tweeted confirmation about an audition for the show. Actor Cas Anvar mentioned in his tweet that he was auditioning for Game of Thrones and asked his fans to wish him luck before commenting he should head to the gym. Hmm, Anvar, who played Said’s brother in the series Lost has a distinct ethnic look about him that could hint at his casting might be for a character from Dorne or a colorful sellsword on the other side of the map. I think there’s a good chance he could land the role as his twitter profile has him holding a sword! Coincidence?
I originally had the stance to ignore casting rumors and speculation theories put forth by fans to fully embrace final casting decision by the show by trusting David and Dan, the show’s creators. It’s also interesting that many of my favorite actors performances in the series have been mainly relatively unknown (i.e. Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, and Gwendoline Christie) so putting forth guesses for quasi celebrities for possible roles like wanting Antonio Banderas, Cillian Murphy, and even former HBO series Rome star James Purefoy might not always make the best choice. Sometimes having a well known actor in the role is distracting where an unknown can really inhabit the character without any baggage from previous films or TV shows. Sean Bean ran a risk of that phenomenon last season from previously starring in the Lord of the Rings films but his incredible performance as Ned Stark now overshadows Boromir but sadly his internet meme will probably outlive both roles. I will admit putting forth casting suggestions is pretty fun so after the season wraps we might start so clear out a spot on the casting hearth.
Game of Thrones Season 3 has been confirmed but casting speculation continues around the web for the new characters. Feel free to leave us a comment below with your own thoughts for all of the new characters we’ll meet next season.