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Fessing Up

Time to pull back the curtain on the latest roles cast.

No big surprises for those who read the comments on the last two entries. You guys did an amazing job with the clues, as always. I can see I'm going to have to make them harder in future. Either that, or we need to start hiring more obscure actors.

But not this time around.

"The old maester has lived many lives, brief but numerous. In his youth he fought in the wars that some say inspired all of this. He has been a king and a god, but he'll always be daddy to me."

The answer to this one will be no stranger to anyone who has ever enjoyed the series as audiobooks. Yes, it's ROY DOTRICE, our once and future audiobook reader.

Roy is an extraordinary talent who first took up acting in a prisoner of war camp during World War II, and has been working constantly ever since. Among his many, many roles was his portrayal of King Edward IV in the classic BBC production of THE WARS OF THE ROSES. He's also in the Guinness Book of World Records for his one-man show, the play BRIEF LIVES; most performances by an actor in a one-man show. (If you ever get a chance to see it, do. It's a great play, and Roy is wonderful). He played Zeus in HERCULES and XENA. But for me, of course, Roy will always be Father, the role he performed on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, where I was a writer/ producer for three seasons.

Working with Roy Dotrice for those three years was a singular honor, and one of the highlights of my decade in Hollywood. He's the sort of actor who will take every line you write for him and make it better. Not to mention, he knows some great stories about Charles Laughton. He was my first and only choice as reader on the Ice & Fire audiobooks, and he has done an amazing job there as well... not simply reading the text, but acting it out, giving every character his or her own voice. He may be in Guinness for that as well: most voices by a single actor on an audiobook.

The moment the HBO project was given the go-ahead to film, we knew Roy had to be a part of it. The only question was which role. We ruled out Arya, Bran, Dany, and Tyrion, though he's done a great job with all of them on the audiobooks. Instead Roy will be playing Grand Maester Pycelle. It will be a real thrill to be working with him again, and I have no doubt that he will elevate every scene that he's in.

"He doesn't have a lot to say, but he says it a lot. He's not a muslim, not a pagan, not a scientologist, but he might be a town in Scotland."

HODOR! Hodor, Hodor, Hodor. And yes, clever ones, it's KRISTIAN NAIRN.

I don't know Kristian the way I know Roy, since I have never had the chance to work with him before, but of course I'd seen his audition tapes, and I am looking forward to meeting him the next time I visit the set. He's a huge guy, though -- only two inches shorter than Hodor is in the books -- and hails from Belfast, where he's involved heavily in the local music scene.

You can find out more about Kristian on his myspace page at: http://www.myspace.com/kristiannairnmusic

And hey, I'm told that Kristian has already memorized all his dialogue for the entire season!

Meanwhile, casting continues. We're close on half a dozen other roles. Some of them may be hinted at here, others will be first announced on HBO's own GAME OF THRONES website, or through Mo Ryan, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, and the other entertainment media. Watch this space. Watch ALL those other spaces too, especially if you're a fan of Harper Lee.


( 51 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
I was hoping Mr Dotrice would have a stake in the HBO series. For me he IS the voice of the books.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:34 pm (UTC)
Roy Dotrice! Hurray!! My first "read" through the series was via the audiobooks. I am thrilled that he's involved with the series! :)
Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
it's very cool to see this all coming together. I'm excited for Roy to be a part of this as well. It's got to help that he has such an intimate relationship with ASOIAF already. Can't wait for the show!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad Roy Dotrice was available! I've loved his work, but he's not seen that often by American audiences. He also did a GREAT Charles Dickens on a PBS miniseries in the late '70s or early '80s.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
"And hey, I'm told that Kristian has already memorized all his dialogue for the entire season!"

Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
Desperately waiting the film!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:52 pm (UTC)
As a huge fan of Harper Lee, that last comment fascinates me...
Jun. 23rd, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Harper Lee
Mockingbird, eh? Who shall have the little finger?
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
Once and FUTURE reader of the audiobooks?? This is good news indeed!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC)
Awesome news about Roy. I hated that he wasn't on the AFFC audio books, despite the fact that John Lee was very good.
Jun. 24th, 2010 04:50 am (UTC)
Words do not adequaltely express how disappointed I was when I learned the Roy Dotrice was not reading AFFC.

George. Roy Dtorice makes you sound better than you actually are. And seeing as you are ALREADY an excellent writer, that makes Roy Doctrice's versions of a Song of Ice and Fire the best audio books of all time.

Let me say it again: Roy Dotrice's narration of SoiIaF are the best audio books OF ALL TIME. No quibble, qualification or hesitation in that assessment. The. Best. Ever.

I look forward to seeing Dotrice as Grand Maester Pycelle. My only regret is that through make-up he isn't playing Maester Aemon as well. I cannot imagine Aemon Tragaryen sounding anything other than as Dotrice's voice as he read Aemon's dialog in your novels.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:17 pm (UTC)
Wonderful news! As for the Harper Lee clue....

Harper Lee wrote To Kill A Mockingbird

Mockingbird = Littlefinger's crest

WOW! Can't wait to see who is cast for LF.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
re: Roy Dotrice
Question, Mr. Martin - insight into the casting - was Mr. Dotrice offered a choice of roles, did he try out for multiple ones, etc? Love to hear more about that.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
ROY DOTRICE! Now, that's really fair! This man deserves it more than any other.
HBO, George, thank you for that.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:25 pm (UTC)
So a Littlefinger announcement is coming soon? :)
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Heyyyyy waitaminute. I just now got that Harper Lee hint :)
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
Oh I really like Roy Dotrice as Pycelle. Much juicier role with some really good dramatic AND comedic scenes. I'll giggle at one in the second season when a certain Hand visits him in after midnight!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
Audio Books
Which books did Doltrice read? I thought he only did Game and Clash. Didn't Roy Abrams(sp?) read Storm? I know John Lee read Feast.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 09:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Audio Books
Dotrice read the first three books. He was set to read the third, but a scheduling conflict (i.e. the tight deadline on getting AFfC recorded) made it impossible for him, so John Lee was brought in for AFfC. GRRM, and many fans, have previously indicated their desire for Dotrice to resume.

Looks like we're likely to get our wish. Excellent!
Re: Audio Books - rtrifts - Jun. 24th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Audio Books - lance_snow - Jun. 24th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Audio Books - mikeiniowa - Jun. 24th, 2010 10:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 23rd, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Wow - that's awesome
Roy - all time BEST audiobook reader bar none, and I've listened to a lot. I'm not gonna diss John Lee - he did fine, but I listened to the series in the long car rides home and going from ASOS to AFFC was so painful. Roy's voice sat with me on the commute for so many hours and all the sudden there's this complete stranger talking. I *REALLY* hope it's in the cards for him to narrate ADWD and beyond. Arya's confrontation with the tickler - I literally had to pull over for a few minutes to collect myself after Roy read that section.

So glad things are (seemingly) working out well for this HBO production.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow - that's awesome
I loved Roy (he was in an episode of Angel after all) but the all time best narrator was Frank Muller (he read the Hedge Knight and books 1-4 of The Dark Tower by Stephen King) I about shat my pants when i started Listening to the HK from the legends series and heard his name. If you haven't heard it yet go to Itunes and get it.
Yeah and I agree the tickler was amazing. The red wedding is also something that will haunt me for the rest of my days as well. Very nice work. The only thing I don't like about Roy is sometimes his voices for the characters change. Examples are Tyrion, Jamie, Bron, Lord Tywin. Tywin changes dramitcally in SoS
Jun. 23rd, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
And hey, I'm told that Kristian has already memorized all his dialogue for the entire season!

My train of thought was something along the lines of, "Wow! That's impres---HAAA!"

Thanks for the laugh!
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:03 pm (UTC)
I'd love that too... I, CLAUDIUS is one of my all-time favorites... but I think that once they give you a knighthood, your price triples.
(no subject) - thumbelinablues - Jun. 24th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hippoiathanatoi - Jun. 27th, 2010 12:07 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:08 pm (UTC)
Beyond stoked too hear Roy will be reading again. With all respect to him, I did not want to hear what John Lee would do with Tyrion. Roy set the bar to high.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC)
Roy Dotrice, yes! This guy could kick ass with any part in the series. His characterization of Tyrion is priceless and his Pycelle is spot on. Bravo!
Jun. 23rd, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
He may be in Guinness for that as well: most voices by a single actor on an audiobook.

Not at last check; I believe Jim Dale still holds the record with 134 characters for his work on Harry Potter.

But I'm enjoying the continuing announcements. Can't wait for it to start airing so we can watch all these great actors! :)
Jun. 23rd, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE has way more than 134 speaking characters though. Interesting to see if there's more than 134 in a single book (A STORM OF SWORDS must surely shatter that), in which case Dotrice might have broken the record, even if the Guinness Book of Records haven't recognised it yet.
Jun. 23rd, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
I remember watching BEAUTY AND THE BEAST as a 10-year-old, as my mum was a huge fan (up until a major character was killed off, which I gather was not an uncommon reaction), and remember Dotrice doing a good job in that role. Many years later I also spotted him in BABYLON 5, playing a Neville Chamberlain-inspired Earth diplomat who appeased the Centauri and allowed them to overrun and conquer a number of other worlds.

Excellent actor, and a very fine choice for the role!
Jun. 24th, 2010 12:35 am (UTC)
I saw the Hodor audition tape on westeros.org. I didn't want to get my hopes up, but he did a really nice job.

Roy Dotrice looks like the right actor for Grand Maester Pycelle.

I actually love that I don't recognize a lot of these actors. I'm looking forward to fresh faces.
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