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As Daenerys Targaryen...

Spain
... we have the lovely and talented young British actress Tamzin Merchant.

I know my readers play the casting game. Well, confession time, so do I. Ever since I began A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (way back in 1991, thought it wasn't until 1994 that I got writing in earnest), there was always a little part of me that would watch every television show and movie with one eye looking for actors and actresses who might work as my characters.

And so there I was, watching THE TUDORS (which I have VERY mixed feelings about, I confess), when Tamzin Merchant came on screen as the fifteen year old Katherine Howard, Henry VIII's fifth wife. I sat up at once, thinking, "Hmmm, she could be a good candidate for Dany."



Katheryn Howard, as all students of history know, ended with her head on the block, much like Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn. Which gave her something in common with Ned, hence that clue. And she was Henry's fifth wife, hence the "fourth is fifth" clue.

Dany is very difficult role. She starts out vulnerable and scared, but blooms on the Dothraki sea, and becomes a powerful leader by book's end. It's no secret that HBO's Dany will start out older than Dany does in the book; that was a change that had to be made, if we wanted to keep the sex scenes, and David and Dan and I were all agreed that the sex scenes were essential. Tamzin can play much younger than her actual age (as she does when playing Katheryn) and her sex scenes on THE TUDORS were as hot as anything I've ever seen on TV. In her readings, she showed Dany's other side as well, commanding and charismatic after Drogo's death. I think she'll be marvelous.



I believe I mentioned at worldcon that we were down to three finalists for Dany, which was true at the time. It was a hell of a hard choice, since the other two contenders were also great... so great, in fact, that I hope we can use both of them in other roles should the series last several seasons. (Yes, I know just the roles, and no, I won't tell you which ones, nor the names of the other two actresses. Sorry, not kosher). All three were smashing. But Tamzin was Dany.

(some of her earlier work, pre TUDORS):

Comments

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stell266
Aug. 26th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
Dany is not my favorite character, and this actress was not quite what I imagined for her. (But certainly closer than Theon.)
BUT--I am giving the whole production the benefit of the doubt since they did cast Peter Dinklage as Tyrion--the exact person I had cast in my head. PLUS--the unexpected bonus of getting Sean Bean as Ned. So based on that, I am trusting them.
suchija_lapa
Aug. 26th, 2009 01:07 pm (UTC)
Tamzin Merchant
Actually, I've seen only one film with her part, Love and Prejudice.I like her playing. She is natural and sencere.
sara_rojo
Sep. 4th, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
I've never seen her act, but I'm surprised at the amount of disappointment this choice has turned up. Surely she's not that bad. Anyway, I find her gorgeous, and possessing an unearthly beauty difficult to find and it fits Daenerys better than another could possibly do. She looks beautiful in a medieval dress, and has a strange way of staring and a veyr exotic face
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