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As Sandor Clegane, the Hound...

... yes, it's Rory McCann, a wonderful Scots actor.

Most of you figured that out weeks ago, of course. Mea culpa. My clues were much too obvious this time around, especially the spelling of "porage," which yielded up the secret to anyone who googled the word. If I had gone with "porridge," that might have created a few more hours of mystery at least.

Here's the Scotts Porage Oats commercial from which the clue was taken:

As for my second clue, "the dog is green," well, that one was pretty easy to find as well, once you found McCann's name from the "porage" reference:

It wasn't either of those that won Rory the role, however. Nor was it his performance in HOT FUZZ, a movie that I've heard good things about but never seen. His look had a lot to do with it, though. A lot of good actors auditioned for the role, and several gave really first class readings... but simply did not have the physicality the part demands. Sandor needs to be a big guy, powerful and threatening, someone who looks like he could break you in half. Rory is all of that and more.

Mostly, though, it was his readings. We had other good ones, yes, but none to touch his. One of the scenes in the side was Sandor's scene with Sansa, where he tells her how his face came to be scarred. In the space of a few lines, Rory had me terrified (where he roars, "Look at me," and makes her look at his face), made me chuckle (when he says no, the burns weren't dragonflame), and brought a tear to my eye (when he tells his story). After I saw that, I knew he was Sandor... and David, Dan, and Tom all agreed.

I think you'll going to love him as the Hound.

Of course, if we go to series, now we're going to have to find someone a foot and a half taller to play his brother. Now THAT will be difficult!


( 94 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:04 pm (UTC)
He's bound to be great!

Where/when can we see these readings?
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
You can't.
(no subject) - bccreations - Sep. 24th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - icemannorth - Sep. 24th, 2009 07:36 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - maria_in_iowa - Sep. 24th, 2009 12:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sandor? - malice22 - Jun. 23rd, 2011 05:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Sara Lovn - Dec. 9th, 2011 05:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
Surely just a foot taller would be acceptable... ;)

Excellent news to have confirmed, however. He looks very impressive, and sounds like he's figuring out how to inhabit the character. Things are getting better and better!

Would it be outré of me to ask if a Director of Photography has been selected yet? It's one of the pieces of non-casting news that seems to be most wondered about at this stage.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
Hmm. Your Porage Oats video embed actually gave me an evangelical ad against atheism. Is that a quirk of my browser? It's possible that that particular video appeared elsewhere on my friends page and confused the real embed.

Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
The Porage Oats embed works fine for me.
(no subject) - tekalynn - Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - slojae - Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lux_alexander - Sep. 24th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - infinite_hiatus - Sep. 24th, 2009 09:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:21 pm (UTC)
I love him as an actor and I love The Hound. Yay!
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:28 pm (UTC)
A Great Sandor
Getting someone who can scary the bejesus out of you is excellent, but getting someone who can do that and then show vulnerability is priceless. I love this cast.

Would you go as far down as six inches taller for Gregor? I've heard interest from the 7ft tall actor contingent.
Sep. 24th, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: A Great Sandor
yeah his name is Conan Stevens he even look like he could be McCann's brother
Re: A Great Sandor - firstashore - Sep. 24th, 2009 01:20 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: A Great Sandor - parrismcb - Sep. 24th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: A Great Sandor - sgnpcomix - Sep. 24th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: A Great Sandor - wrona - Sep. 24th, 2009 05:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Wow. He's a perfect choice. Reminds me a lot of Sean Connery in his younger days.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
Oh man, the Dog is my favorite and I love this guy.

This is going to be great.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
When In Doubt...
CGI. I mean, we all know Frodo wasn't -that- short in real life. who's to say it can't go the other way around?
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:49 pm (UTC)
Is he going to play the part Scottish? Please say yes.
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
You've written many words in this blog, but these are the only few that have actually gotten me excited.

Although if he wasn't the Hound, he could always play Hodor. I mean, there isn't THAT much of a difference between 'hodor' and 'yarp.'

That was a Hot Fuzz joke. If you don't get it, go watch the movie.
Sep. 24th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
That was my first thought when I read it, too. :D
Sep. 23rd, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
Rory looks pretty danged close to what I imagined... I was thinking a cross between Rory and that scary soldier who gets bit on the cheek from Braveheart...

Great casting! Thanks for the updates. I love 'em!
Sep. 24th, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
Firstly, you have never seen Hot Fuzz? Good God man, what are you waiting for? ...just, er, don't drink anything while watching. Or eat.

Secondly, Sandor was one of the roles I was most anxious about, because he is, hands down, one of my favorite characters. When you say that Rory is perfect for the role - who better to judge that?

Of course, if we go to series, now we're going to have to find someone a foot and a half taller to play his brother. Now THAT will be difficult!

That's what the FX department is for. *g*
Sep. 24th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Get the best actor for the role and then put him on a box.
Sep. 24th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
It seems like an excellent choice. Rory has such a great smile in that commercial, it's a shame we won't be seeing it on the show.
Sep. 24th, 2009 12:53 am (UTC)
*IF* it goes to series?

My worry is if HBO doesn't pick it up (R'hllor forbid) that we'll never get a chance to see it.

Far too often, pilots that are rejected as a series never see the light of day -- on TV, DVD, or otherwise -- unless they are leaked on the web (which doesn't always happen).

Even if GoT doesn't go to series, I'd really want to see the pilot episode make it to DVD.
Sep. 24th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
When I heard that this HBO project was a go, I swore I wouldn't watch, thinking there was no way that anyone could bring believable life to these deep (deep!) characters.

Well, I was wrong. George, I should have know that you would bring the same excellence to this as you do to the writing.

This dude IS the Hound. Wow. I freakin' love it.

And go G-Men.
Sep. 24th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
That Aussie actor Conan Stevens expressed interest in the Gregor role well over a year ago on his blog, sgnpcomix, I'm sure that's who you mean. He even looks a lot like Rory, they really could be brothers.

He got wind of speculation about him because he mentioned on his blog he had read for a role in an American TV series - he didn't say what role at all, just that he'd done an audition. Then he made a nice, long comment on the Winter is Coming blog about it cause people were emailing him and such. Basically, he said if he got cast as either Drogo or Gregor he'd be very happy - less so, I think, if he was Hodor (which frankly, he's just wrong for, IMO). He was very careful to not say what show he did an audition for, though. He was being pretty careful about that.

I hope the guy can act well, I like him from reading his page and his comment on WiC. He's smart (a member of Mensa), and a total sci-fi/fantasy geek, admitting he plays D&D and has a whole host of other nerdy pursuits. (He's one of us!! One of us!! One of us!!). In the end, though, it's what he can do performance-wise that really matters.

About Rory, I'm very happy. I've seen him in a few things and he's great (a great, showy and dramatically climactic scene in "Alexander" and as Atilla the Hun on TV). His role in "Hot Fuzz" isn't much to go by, though I love the movie. He's basically Hodor in that movie if Hodor was monosyllabic ("Yarp") instead of duosyllabic ("Ho-dor") - oh, and kinda' mean...Hodor is the farthest thing from mean.
Sep. 24th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
This is exciting! Now I just wish I had HBO. I know a friend of mine (my copies of A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords are currently living at his house)who's getting it just so he can watch the series.
Sep. 24th, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)

It is almost ironic that you got to tell us this month!
*looks at this months fire and ice calendar image*
Sep. 24th, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
Sep. 24th, 2009 02:56 am (UTC)
So who's lined up for Gregor then? Be tough to get somebody bigger than 6'6, the only person that comes to mind for me at present is The Big Show (real name Paul Wight), a 7ft WWE wrestler who's done a teeeny bit of acting... In Star Trek: Enterprise, amongst a few other things.
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
isnt he dead?
I thought I heard that the big show was dead? or maybe I was wrong?
(no subject) - creon454 - Sep. 29th, 2009 06:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 24th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
Awesome. Just awesome.
Sep. 24th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC)
excellent casting again. Burn one half of his face and then slap him on the other and he'll look exactly as I imagined Sandor. (burnt and pissed). This is going to series George....welcome to legendary status.
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George R.R. Martin
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