Today’s submitted article is from our good friend and frequent podcasting guest, Dan Marsh.
GoT:S3 Casting Decisions Announced at Comic-con
There were two major Game of Thrones castings announced at the San Diego Comic-con this week; one that I’m thrilled about and one that confuses me. Since there are more than 8 months till season 3 premiers, I suppose I shall have to latch onto any and all news that comes to light. Having read the series, casting news really sheds light on which plot points are going to be highlighted.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the show’s driving forces, have stated that their goal is to adapt the Ice and Fire as a series on the whole, not necessarily any given book at a time. That being said, they’ve given their intention to divide the third book, A Storm of Swords, into two parts. This was to be expected given that it was 205 pages longer than its predecessor A Clash of Kings.
The casting of Diana Rigg (aka the original Emma Peel from The Avengers (the British TV series, not the movie of the decade)) as ‘The Queen of Thorns’ Olenna Redwyne excites me. That they would select such an eminent talent to play the role tells me they fully intend to give the character the presence she commanded in the book. My hope lies mostly in the meaning of the last paragraph – the loose adaptation of the series chronologically. Benioff and Weiss have stated that this season contains a major event from the third book that was a huge factor in their decision to adapt the series. All three major events I recall happen past the halfway point, but if it’s the one involving The Queen of Thorns then I fully expect a collective cry of joy from viewers when it occurs.
The second major casting announcement was Mackenzie Crook as Orell the skinchanger. Crook is largely known for two roles: Gareth in the original version of “The Office” and the Pirate of the Caribbean with the wooden eye. There are two things that confuse me about this choice. The first, and lesser, source of confusion is the casting of an actor know for his comedic chops in this role. I’m well aware that actors often seek to stretch the bounds we’ve placed them in and that may be what he’s attempting here. There’s room for comedy in the role if they want to play with it some, but that ties into my larger reservation about the decision….that this role is garnering the attention it is. It’s by no means a minor role, but it is definitely limited in scope and given the ever-increasing size of the cast I’m a little pensive that such a recognizable name was placed in this position. I’m anxious (as if I wasn’t already for a hundred other reasons) to see why this decision was made and what direction the writers are planning to take north of the wall.
There were several smaller casting decisions made, most notably a couple of Brothers without Banners, and Stannis’ wife and child. One point that left me confused last season was the fate of the younger Stark brothers, but the Reed siblings have been cast for this season so it seems they simply took their stories from the second book to the third.
I suspect such timeline toying will really pick up from this season forward. Martin did it himself with the 4th and 5th books; separating them geographically instead of chronologically. Since the final book won’t be released any earlier than 2018, I’ve been curious as to how the TV producers were going to pace themselves to keep from overrunning their source material. Obviously they are going to have to divide the books as they’ve already planned for this season. But I wonder whether they’ll continue to weave one narrative thread across many fronts or if they will separate seasons into something like one for the north, one for Easteros, and one for Westoros. While this would make it easier to keep up with the vast array of characters, I abhor the thought of worrying what’s going on, say, with the Lannisters while we’re watching Dany’s story. That was the thing I least liked about the last two books. It felt like he was telling half a story. I’m putting blind faith in the producers that they will be able to maintain a compelling storyline while balancing all the character arcs. Here’s hoping that faith is well placed.
By all accounts the GoT panel was one of the highlights of the conference. Were I a millionaire, or even a hundred-thousandaire, I would have been amongst them asking George Martin what he was doing in public instead of writing The Winds of Winter. But there have been tons of articles (well, two that I’ve read) admonishing fans for their criticism of Martin’s sluggish pace…so I’m trying to temper my impatience. Until he’s banged out his last two behemoths, I shall have to content myself with whatever news emerges about either medium. Feel free to comment, correct, theorize, and speculate at will. I’ll take what I can get at this point.
You can find out more from Dan on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dan.marsh.9) & on Twitter (@danmarshthe1st).