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More Odds, More Ends

Lots of stuff going on that I've been meaning to post about... but there's lots of stuff going on, so I haven't had the time.

Stuff stirring on the comic book front, but I can't talk about that yet. Maybe in a couple months. Maybe sooner. Maybe both.

Cool stuff coming in from Cyanide Studios on the videogame too. Can't share that either. Sorry, sorry.

Melinda and I caught the Swedish film of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO a couple nights ago at the Screen. Highly recommended. I want to talk about this in detail on my website, on my long neglected "What I'm Watching" page, but, alas, I probably won't. Suffice it to say it was a very faithful adaptation of an excellent novel. I consumed all three of the Stieg Larsson novels (the last when I was in Ireland last year to watch the pilot filmed) and found them terrific reads, but they're quite graphic, and I was worried about how they'd translate to film. Very well indeed, as it happens. At least for this version. (I shudder to think what the rumored big budget Hollywood remake will be like. For starts, they will probably move the whole thing from Sweden to California). Lisbeth Salander is a terrific character, and Noomi Rapace does a superb job of portraying her. (Hollywood, I fear, will soften the character and make her more "likeable," which will ruin her utterly). Anyway, see this. And read the Larsson books, if you haven't done so already.

On the "guilty pleasures" front, I have been meaning to confess how much I enjoy DEADLIEST WARRIOR on Spike. All those gel torsos and pig carcasses, what's not to like? The second season just started here. Not as cool as the first so far, but still pretty cool. Given my predilictions, I like the episodes featuring ancient warriors better than the modern ones. And I still say the Knight was robbed. He was the only pre-gunpowder warrior who had to go up against an opponent with firearms. Not fair. And DEADLIEST WARRIOR also confirms a point I have been trying to hammer home for years, in my books and, more recently, in those Suvudu cage matches -- defense rules. Armor kicks ass. Before gunpowder, give me a suit of plate-and-mail, a stout helm, and a whomping big shield, and keep magic out of it, and I'll make mincepie out of unarmored or lightly armored opponents.

Monkey front. Whacking at King Kong, making progress, but not as fast or easy as I like. But Freaky Monkey is finally coming together, and him I should be able to get off my back in the next few weeks.

Yes, casting is on-going for the HBO series, so I've been seeing a lot of tapes. No, I won't say who, but it's been fun. Some actors are household names who would be recognized by any film or television fan, some are veteran character actors, some are brilliant young newcomers. A wealth of choices. There are a lot of fine actors out there. On the other hand, some of these roles are very challenging, to say the least. (No, there are no obscure hints there). Parts are being cast in roughly the order they will appear in the show, so right now we're mostly concerned with filling parts for the pilot reshoots and episode two. Characters like Lord Tywin (who does not appear until my episode, episode eight) and Shae are not going to be cast until much later in the process.

It's not always going to be the most familiar names who get the roles, either. And to all the dreamers and aspiring actors out there, let me say this -- PLEASE stop sending me your photographs and resumes, I am not the way to get a part on the series. You need to go through our casting director, not through me.

What else, what else? More than I can recall. It's late, and bed beckons. Tomorrow I have to whack at King Kong again.



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May. 7th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
Knight was robbed.
Not only that, but the pirate had exactly one weapon that could pierce the knight's armor and it had a tendency to misfire. Meanwhile, everything in the knight's arsenal--including a crossbow for ranged attacks--was deadly to the pirate.

Yeah, I get way too into that show.
May. 7th, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC)
Hah, I bought two books for my nook a couple weeks ago. "A Game of Thrones" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I'm alternating series as I finish books ("A Clash of Kings" right now) and loved both. Dragon Tattoo was pretty well done. Interesting that you should mention it.

And I have never had HBO. When this series starts...that is going to change.
May. 7th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
The only actor I can ever picture as Twyin is Alan Dale. Not just in looks but in his acting talent also.
Glad to see you mention what you're watching/reading! Even ever so briefly. I'll be sure to check out those books before I watch the film as I never knew it was book based.
May. 8th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
For many years Alan Dale was my favoured choice as well. However, he has a problem with accents (perhaps unsurprising for a New Zealander who worked mostly in Australia before moving to the USA and being called upon several times to play Brits). He can do Tywin's attitude with no problem, but he may struggle with the voice.

I've recently come to favour Charles Dance for the role. I think he'd be great at it. My second choice would be Kenneth Cranham who was Pompey in ROME. Brilliant, underrated actor.
May. 7th, 2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
If it makes you feel any better, the pirate got even more robbed in the season finale when he was lumped in with all the other guys with guns. Pirate vs. Spetsnaz? That's even more unfair than knight vs. pirate.

I feel pretty good about the Spartan being the deadliest ancient warrior, though. That shield kicks some serious butt.
May. 7th, 2010 02:48 pm (UTC)
To Armor or not to Armor
While I myself enjoy "Deadliest Warrior" and "Fight Science," (because they are really fun to watch) the science behind those shows are, quite frankly, lacking. Having personally fought armored and unarmored (as close as could be replicated without actually killing someone anyway), I can say unequivocally that my preference for being armored or not depends on the situation.

If the soldier is only moderately trained, armor is better as they can simply slug it out with a given number of mistakes. If the soldier is highly trained, leave the armor at home it will only gets in the way. Speed kills, if you can hit a small target.

Thus you probably want your soldiers to have armor and your personal guard to have very little.
May. 7th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
Deadliest Warrior
We're addicted to that show - husband and I let our two oldest boys watch with us. What doesn't translate well to the computer, it seems to me, is skill and ruthlessness. Also, while armor is extremely important, second is accurate distance weaponry.
May. 7th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
News in the swedish newspapers on the american verison; it will be shot in Sweden. Not set among bee-worshippers in Maine..
May. 7th, 2010 03:27 pm (UTC)
Dunkey Kong
> ... and him I should be able to get off my back in the next few weeks.

That's good news (or very close to it). I jumped my seat when I reached to this part :)

Thanks for the update and God speed, it's all I'm saying.

May. 7th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure you should Whack at King Kong...he will just swat you like a fly. Put together a strategy...scare it up a tall building then force it to jump from the precipiece. Hey, it worked before!

Basically, have a plan. At this stage I hope you have a written plan...it always helps me when I'm developing some really complicated software...break it down into segments and build each segment then tie them together.
May. 7th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Defense rules?
I thought that you had written some great one-on-one battle scenes wherein they guy sporting mail and plate, helm and large shield was bested by his more lightly-armored opponent. Of course, one of them suffered an attack of stupidity (or pride...they're close cousins) when going in for the coup de grace.

I'm probably wrong, though; it has been a while.
May. 7th, 2010 06:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Defense rules?
You know, I initially thought of the Bronn/Ser Vardis fight, but in the Mountain vs. Red Viper fight, the lightly armored Oberyn scored the mortal blow first as well! Of course, he quickly got his face smashed in by his own mortal blow, but still! ;-)
May. 7th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Deadliest Warrior
I adore that show. I agree with you on the Knight's match up, but honestly it was the Ninja that got robbed. Hey I love the Spartans. The shield is indeed impressive. But the program they use for that show doesn't calculate for the Ninja's best weapon: Stealth. Would the Ninja have fought head-to-head in broad daylight and threw things at the shield? Hardly. They'd have attacked in the dead of night, dealing far more damage with surprise than with weapons alone.

That being said I have to say that the William Wallace/Shaka Zulu match was one of my personal favorites. That claymore was one HELL of a weapon!
May. 7th, 2010 03:56 pm (UTC)
I know an armorer. My BFF studies German longsword with him. When he was working on his helmet prototype he took his first botched attempt and decided to try his guns out on it.

A dome of steel is more bullet resistant than you'd think, at least against civilian firearms. The rifle did pierce it from good angles, but rebounded on others. The shotgun just left dents.

Wouldn't fancy the headache you might be having, but better than blood, no?

(Also, his students wear the armor he makes while practicing. They don't have any trouble getting up when they're knocked down, and they effectively grapple in it. They also practice roll-falls.)
May. 7th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
Let the Right One In
Speaking of Swedish movies/books...

Anyone read "Let the Right One In?" by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Both the book and the movie were wonderful. It always feels great knowing good horror is still kicking around in other parts of the world. Now I'm Just waiting for horror to make it full circle back to the U.S...
May. 7th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
"Cool stuff coming in from Cyanide Studios on the videogame too. Can't share that either. Sorry, sorry."

That's okay George. E3 is right around the corner.
May. 7th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
The Deadliest Warrior had more dorktosterone than I could handle. It was interesting to see how the weapons did against armor, but the guys on that show...
May. 7th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Hail to the King (kong)!!
Yay for good news!!!! ^_^

I am wanting to order books so I can get calendar FREE! I has a question though!!! Is there paypal button on this blog we can use to order or is check or money better? And can you do special inscriptions in autograph to say "Ray - keep your sword sharp!" (Ray is my nine year old son - he loves your books!)

And much love to Ty and Phipps! (how is Ty's novel doing? I have been to hoping hear about it on your blog!!)

Go go GRRRM!!!! ^_^
May. 7th, 2010 06:43 pm (UTC)
Re: Hail to the King (kong)!!
You can find ordering information here: http://www.georgerrmartin.com/books-ordering.html

Any book purchased directly from George can be signed and inscribed.
May. 7th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
Yes, Deadliest Warrior is a guilty pleasure, but it DOES drive me bat shit. Especially the Knight/pirate episode, which, was all kinds of wrong. Ineffective firearms, and pirate still wins? Argh.
And, FWIW, I made the crossbow that was used in the shop to experiment with. Which was also crazy making. They asked for aluminum prod (cheaper) and then complained on the show about how relatively 'weak' this crossbow was. I'd have put in a steel prod....
Rant over. I DO love the tests, tho.
May. 7th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
I totally agree with you about the knight vs. lightly armored opponent. Which is why I was a little chagrined to see Ser Vardis fall to Bronn so easily! Did you have a change of heart since writing that, or was it merely necessary for plot advancement?

I am a big fan of the show as well, although some of the calls they make are a little suspect (in the debate rounds, not the simulation)
May. 7th, 2010 05:21 pm (UTC)
DEADLIEST WARRIOR is definitely a fascinating show. I catch it at random and am always entertained.
May. 7th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Great News!!!
Glad to hear that things are coming along on many fronts for you. Eventually King Kong will be off your back and in his cage again. Good luck!
May. 7th, 2010 11:31 pm (UTC)
who's the casting director? :)
May. 8th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC)
Nina Gold casted the pilot. I assume she's doing the same for the TV series.
May. 8th, 2010 07:20 am (UTC)
John Carroll Lynch = dead eye Mandon
Dead eyes = Mandon Moore. It'd be like Ernest Borgnine in Marty, he'll just be himself for the part and win an award. What do you think?
May. 8th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)

If I recall correctly, you had two lighter armored guys perform quite well against two heavier armored ones in ASOIAF. Yes, Bronn was younger than his opponent but he still won. The Red Viper also had the Mountain defeated until his blinding rage caused him to lose focus.
May. 8th, 2010 06:25 pm (UTC)
Stieg Larsson
I totally fell in love with Larsson's characters last year when i saw the first movie at the theater. Been drooling on the dvds when they got out and finally bought the books which, if that could be possible were even better than the movie I saw twice (and more since) initially. I'm currently reading the third book and my heart is clutching and weeping everytime at the thought of the loss of such a great author. Life is totally unfair. I'm also waiting and sighting for the next two movies, that'll be out this summer here in France.
George, please, take care of yourself, I want to read a lot more books and stories from you. thank you.
May. 9th, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
Spartacus revisited
I know this is way off the subject but did you ever decide to give the Starz Spartacus another chance. I know the first two episodes were pretty crappy, but it ended up getting a lot better, and actually quite fun to watch by the final episode, despite the blatant 300 fight slowdown sequences.
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George R.R. Martin
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