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Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire Comes to HBO


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#1

dhb

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 1:49 PM

I think I just peed in my pants.

Link.

HBO has acquired the rights to turn George R.R. Martin's bestselling fantasy series "A Song of Fire and Ice" into a dramatic series to be written and exec produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Damn! Who could they get to play Arya Stark that would do her justice.

#2

Sprout

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 2:01 PM

The hell with Arya, who is going to play Tyrion? I mean, we all know that Ron Perlman HAS to play Sandor Clegane. And how are they going to do the Wall? A 700 foot tall wall of ice that stretches across a continent isn't something that can easily be done justice to.

This is an insanely massive undertaking. You've got a cast of hundreds, spread from the tundra of the North to the deserts of Dorne to the Dothraki Sea and the lands east of the Narrow Sea. You've got huge pitched battles, such as the Battle of the Blackwater where you've also got a RIVER set on FIRE. Oh, and dragons. And zombies. If HBO couldn't finance a third season of Rome, how the hell are they going to do seven seasons of this?

#3

blackwing

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 3:08 PM

This is cool, one book per season. But I'm assuming it would be a 12 episode season as is standard with HBO dramas. Still, I don't think 12 episodes is enough to go through a whole book. There are going to be lots of things cut out and lots of characters fused into one. I have a feeling this is going to be nitpicked to death by those who read the books like me.

Arya? Arya to me is one of the more minor characters. I couldn't care less about her and always hate reading her chapters. I'm more interested in who they are going to get to play Cersei and Jaime.

And I agree, there are going to have to be a lot of special effects to do this justice, and lots of money spent on sets and costumes. "Rome" was financed half by the BBC, I just can't imagine HBO doing this one their own.

The cynical part of me says that this project never happens because of cost. Plus, the audience is decidedly limited. A lot of people have at least heard of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings before the movies came out. But seriously, only a hard core sci-fi/fantasy fan would have even read these books. Most people would take one look at their sheer size and find something else to read. :(

#4

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 3:13 PM

Arya? Arya to me is one of the more minor characters.

I don't think you can regard any of the "perspective" characters (those who get chapters told from their perspective) as minor, at least until you get to some of the one-offs in A Feast For Crows. That does make me kind of wonder how they plan on doing seasons four and five (if they've thought that far ahead) since AFFC and A Dance of Dragons are supposed to happen roughly simultaneously.

I don't think HBO should have too much trouble promoting this to the more casual Lord of the Rings crowd, as long as they play up the sex and violence (and downplay that a lot of that involves incest and/or minors).

Edit: Plus, Jamie is barely in Game of Thrones (aka Season One), and doesn't really become a major character until Storm of Swords (Season Three). Cersei is mainly there as an antagonist for Ned and Sansa Stark in the first two books as well, not getting her own plotlines until Feast (Season Four). Jaime and Cersei have to be two people who are both almost identical, and really good-looking, you've got to find a woman who's built like a linebacker (Brianne of Tarth), and there's the minor question of a guy who's eight feet of solid muscle. I pity the casting director.

Edited by Sprout, Jan 17, 2007 @ 3:19 PM.


#5

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 3:32 PM

What I've found is that whenever a book gets adapted into a movie/TV show, the purists who have read the books get so irritated whenever any minor change happens that deviates from the book. (Look the the bookreaders who have noted lots of changes over on the Harry Dresden thread.)

For the movie Sahara, I remember readers of the Clive Cussler books complaining that Al Giordano as played by Steve Zahn was not missing his pinky finger like in the books. Not to mention the fact that Giordano is supposed to be short and built like an ox, and Steve Zahn.... well, he's short.

I'll be happy if we just get any kind of adaptation at all, and I'm telling myself that I should be willing to let any casting quirks slide. The people on "Rome" and the upcoming "The Tudors" on Showtime are all probably prettier than their real life historical counterparts.

#6

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 3:51 PM

Jaime and Cersei have to be two people who are both almost identical, and really good-looking


You could just get one actor and make them up as male and female...

I'm very excited about this news. I love the books, but I'm willing to give them a little leeway just to see it on tv.

I love Arya - she, Tyrion, Jamie and Jon are my favourites - but it really will be hard to find a kid who can play her well.

#7

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 3:54 PM

Jaime and Cersei have to be two people who are both almost identical, and really good-looking

You could just get one actor and make them up as male and female...

Except that really isn't going to work, as I'm sure there will be plenty of full-frontal nudity for both. I know it will never happen, but I think if "Rome" really does wrap up for good after the current season, they should cast Polly Walker as Cersei. She does the evil temptress thing so well. And then maybe James Purefoy as Jaime? I know they are blonde in the books, but those are minor details.

#8

Natroga

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 4:04 PM

Let me just say AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!

*jumps with glee*

#9

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 4:09 PM

Aren't they both a little old for Jaime and Cersei? For some reason I'm under the impression that they're no older than their early 30s. I'm not too hung up on stuff like hair color (which can be easily fixed with dyes or wigs anyway), but the resemblance is an important part of Cersei's pathological narcissism. (it's kind of implied that it's a big part of her attraction to Jaime)

One of the big problems with presenting Arya on TV is that so much of her story is internal. To outside viewers she could just come off as petulant.

#10

blackwing

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 4:18 PM

Their first-born son Joffrey was 16 when he died, I believe. Now I guess in medieval times women got married earlier and had kids earlier, but I'm not exactly sure what is supposed to be the norm in Westeros.

When I read the books, I always thought of Cersei and Jaime as being around 35 or 37, so I think Walker and Purefoy could pass. They have good chemistry together and I'd love to see them together again. I guess Walker could dye her hair blonde. Purefoy it would be a bit harder for him because of body hair, but still, it could be done.

I think it would be too difficult to find a pair of actors who resembled each other so closely that they could be the male/female versions of each other. Unless they were actually brother/sister, and then the nudity and lovers part is kind of yuck.

#11

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 4:31 PM

On one of the ASOIAF fansites where they did a casting of all the characters, they cast Purefoy as Oberyn. Which I think is a pretty good choice. He'd make a better Oberyn than Jaime.

#12

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 4:38 PM

Interesting, I could see James Purefoy as the Red Viper. I'd be happy to see him in this production as any character.

Out of curiosity, do you remember who they suggested for Cersei and Jaime?

#13

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 4:44 PM

I believe they suggested Tricia Helfer from BSG as Cersei and Jensen Ackles as Jaime.

I think both are fine except together it doesn't reallywork, Ackles would look too young compared to Helfer for them to be believable as twins.

#14

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 6:48 PM

Except that really isn't going to work, as I'm sure there will be plenty of full-frontal nudity for both


*smacks head* HBO! Of course there will be!

#15

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 9:54 PM

HBO killed Deadwood prematurely due to budget issues, but they're going to come up with the cash for this massive undertaking? Boo. I hate network executives.

As much as I liked the first three books, I thought the A Feast for Crows was a letdown. Same amount of pages as the rest, but about half the story. I'd think they'd have to combine FoC with the fifth book, otherwise the fourth season would only be a few episodes long.

On the plus side, if this series does get off the ground, I'd consider it one step closer to my dream of seeing The Book of the New Sun onscreen.

#16

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Posted Jan 17, 2007 @ 10:17 PM

Damn, I'm excited about seeing this onscreen. Word about the casting difficulties, though. Jamie/Cersei, Tyrion, Gregor Clegane, not to mention all the kids who have to carry off very adult roles.

#17

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 4:29 AM

HBO killed Deadwood prematurely due to budget issues, but they're going to come up with the cash for this massive undertaking?

I think with Sopranos ending soon that some cash will be freed up for this. But between a 7 season run for this and a 5 season run for Preacher (do we have a thread for that yet?) they're going to have to be spending lots of money. HBO is pretty clearly searching for the next big big hit once the Sopranos goes away.

#18

alabaster

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 6:56 AM

KiwiRaptorUK I'm following you around the boards today!

not to mention all the kids who have to carry off very adult roles.


So true. Surely they'll have to cast older? I don't know much about exactly what HBO can get away with, but there are certain scenes that spring to mind, that...yikes.

#19

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 8:20 AM

The problem with the Stark kids (and the Lannister-Baratheons too) is that they aren't really teens in the "teen show" sense. Sansa, Arya, Bran, and Rickon are little kids and you just can't wedge a 25-year old into that slot. You could maybe fudge it with Jon, Robb, and perhaps Joffrey, but they're going to have to find child actors. Even Daenerys (unless they bump up her age) can't really be played by Willowy Ingenue #847.

#20

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 8:37 AM

unless they bump up her age


Yes, that's what I meant. I wasn't clear. I'd hate to see Dawson's Creek style 30 year old teenagers!

#21

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 11:06 AM

As my favorite characters, I'm most interested in who they cast as Arya and Jon Snow.

For some reason, I subconsciously keep thinking of Lucas Black [from "American Gothic", "Jarhead" and "Fast and the Furious 3"] as Jon Snow. He's sort of how I envisioned Jon after reading the books.

And, for Arya, I think the girl from the 4400 who plays "Maia" might be aces, for some reason.

Edited by ShadowDenizen, Jan 18, 2007 @ 12:06 PM.


#22

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 11:20 AM

I've always thought of the characters as having English accents, cause, ya know, all fantasy/medieval stuff requires English accents. It will be interesting to see what approach they take with the casting.

#23

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 12:28 PM

The thing is, that there will probably be NO big name actors in this series, except for maybe the one who plays Ned, for reasons known to those who have read the books. They will be no names and if the show does well, it will make them famous. Like Ian McShane and Deadwood...

#24

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 12:36 PM

Wow, stunning news. But will Martin have the time neccessary to be doing the screenplays? I'd love it to be Martin, but I don't see how, what with 3 books still outstanding in the series. And, I am selfish, and would rather have those books on my shelf. :)

If it's going to be done, I hope they do it right. Don't try to cram more than one book into 13 episodes.

Edited by Khakiass, Jan 18, 2007 @ 12:54 PM.


#25

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 12:55 PM

Right, I can easily see them getting a "name" for Ned, due to how his stuff plays out. And I believe that Martin (who actually used to write for TV back in the '80s/early '90s) is currently only supposed to write one ep at this time.

#26

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 2:04 PM

I've been advocating (to many people who don't care) that ASoIAF should be an HBO series for a long time now, so I just felt so *vindicated!* when I heard the news. And psyched!

I agree that casting for this will be tough; but I might be biased by being a reader/fan. It may well be that casting professionals will think it's a cinch; certainly they won't have any trouble luring actors to the show, it's super-juicy and everyone in Hollywood knows by now that careers can be made on HBO.

I also think they will have to cast older for most of the kids' roles. The child characters are just as important as the older characters and these would be pretty sophisticated roles. I think they'll end up bumping up the ages of the younger kids like Bran and Arya to young teens and characters like Jon Snow, Robb, Sansa, Daenarys and Joffrey are probably going to be cast as "real" teenagers (like 18 year olds being played by 20+-year-olds) from the start. The material works in the books, but imagine some of that stuff being played out by real 7-year-olds and 14-year-olds; it would seem kind of like "Bugsy Malone." I'm telling you they're going to make the kids older in the screenplay.

#27

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 2:28 PM

I still think that we're going to lose a lot of characters. I could see them completely writing out Rickon or making him one of those "seen in the background" characters. After all, he's 4. He'll be like Vorena the Younger if he appears. I see a Martell amalgamate character. There's just way too many Houses to keep straight - I could easily see some of the Baratheon/Lannister houses being combined into one. And I could easily see them writing the Greyjoys out altogether.

What will they do if/when they get to Season 4? Some characters would be absent the entire season. Unless they take the events of Book 4 and Book 5 and just mix them together.

#28

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 2:56 PM

What will they do if/when they get to Season 4? Some characters would be absent the entire season. Unless they take the events of Book 4 and Book 5 and just mix them together.

Since Books 4 and 5 are supposed to occur roughly simultaneously, I think this is what's going to happen.

I can easily see them writing out Rickon Stark and folks like Kevan Lannister, Grand Maester Pycelle, some of the Vale lords or Northern lords, and some Night's Watch guys. We may be looking a bit too big picture, though. Martin's pretty good about rotating new characters/factions in as others fall and/or become irrelevant.

#29

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 4:59 PM

This is so cool. I can't wait to see how this goes.

I really hope they go with unknowns for the cast. It'll allow them a wider margin to manuver. As quite a few people said already, casting some of the roles is going to be a bitch. Tyrion in particular is going to be a nightmare. In comparison, finding someone to play Brianne of Tarth is going to be a walk in the park. They only have to find a really tall muscular woman, since her notoriously ugly face can be dealt with thru make up.

Sansa Stark is another character that worries me. She doesn't really grow much of a brain until the 4th season, so they need to find an actress that can make her simpatetic enough to the audience until then. Unless they cast someone that can really win the audience over, she has the potencial of becoming this show's Lana Lang.

And they need to find someone that can really play Littlerfinger in all of his magnificent bastardness.

Edited by AzureOwl, Jan 28, 2007 @ 9:29 AM.


#30

Mr. Excitement

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Posted Jan 18, 2007 @ 5:05 PM

Taffer writes:


HBO killed Deadwood prematurely due to budget issues, but they're going to come up with the cash for this massive undertaking? Boo. I hate network executives.



I'm inclined to agree, for that reason and others; namely, that David Benioff couldn't write his name in a snowbank if he used both hands. Hiring a man who managed to make a boring movie about the sack of Troy to adapt an epic fantasy series is the dumbest move HBO has made since-well, since hiring the writer of Grumpy Old Men to adapt Preacher. There's something strange going on over there...

Edited by Mr. Excitement, Jan 18, 2007 @ 5:12 PM.