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A Change on the Small Council

It saddens me to announce that we've had a casting change on the HBO series.

My old friend Roy Dotrice, who had been scheduled to play the part of Grand Maester Pycelle, has had to withdraw from the show for medical reasons. Roy was a colleague of mine from our days together on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, where he played the part of Father. More recently, he was my own personal choice as the reader on the audiobooks for A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, and did a wonderful job of reading the first three volumes (a schedule conflict required us to use a different reader for book four), playing all the parts and giving each character his own distinctive voice. Roy would have magnificent as Grand Maester Pycelle, and I was eagerly looking forward to seeing his council scenes with Varys, Littlefinger, and Ned.

Unfortunately, his health does not permit him to continue at this time. I just spoke with Roy, who is presently in Los Angeles receiving treatment. He tells me that his doctors say that, with three or four months of treatment, he should be back to his old self, and "right as rain" by Christmas. David and Dan and the folks at HBO were as distraught about losing him as I was, and all of us wish him a speedy and complete recovery. Once Roy is back to full health, we hope to find another role for him in the series. After all, he's played them ALL on the audiobooks.

Good luck, Roy. All your fans and friends will be thinking of you.

Meanwhile, back in Belfast... they have this saying in the theatre, you know the one... "the show must go on." And so it must. The redoubtable Nina Gold and her team faced a huge task in finding someone to fill the shoes of a Roy Dotrice, but as ever, they have done a smashing job. The role of Grand Maester Pycelle will now be played by JULIAN GLOVER.

Glover has a list of credits in stage, screen, and television that's just as long as that of Dotrice. The two of them have worked together, in fact -- when I mentioned him to Roy, he responded that Glover was "my old mate from the Royal Shakespeare Company."

Our new Pycelle will be no stranger to fans of SF and fantasy. He was an Imperial officer in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and he's appeared in DOCTOR WHO, TROY, HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, and even SPACE: 1999, among countless other films and television shows. More recently, he's been seen in THE YOUNG VICTORIA and in the forthcoming PRINCESS KAUILANI (with the lovely Tamzin Merchant).

Roy Dotrice will be missed, but Julian Glover will make Pycelle his own, we have no doubt. Last I heard, he was already in Belfast, being fitted for a long white beard.


Jul. 28th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
I will say, I'm a huge fan of Roy Dotrice's performances for the first 3 books, and I hope he's around to narrating a Dance with Dragons when it's released.
Jul. 28th, 2010 11:21 pm (UTC)
The way these things usually play out, the role he ends up with will be perfect for him, and in hindsight this will be a good thing.
Jul. 28th, 2010 11:25 pm (UTC)
Much as I really like Roy Dotrice, Julian
Glover is an amazing last-minute replacement.
Jul. 28th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
General Veers
Wow! Bad news on Roy Dotrice, but what a great replacement!

Apparently he's recovered from having his walker blown up and his body melted by the fake holy grail...

Jul. 28th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
Crazy, I never realized that General Veers and Walter Donovan were the same guy!

Pity about Dotrice. I hope he feels better soon!
Jul. 28th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
Well wishes to Roy, his work over many decades has been brilliant. I'm sad to learn he will not be Pycelle, but I am equally delighted to see that Julian Glover will take up the mantle, as I am a long-time fan of his as well.

Things are coming together quite nicely!
Jul. 28th, 2010 11:59 pm (UTC)
=( That's a bummer. I hope his treatment works out well, and that HBO is able to give him another chewy role. =) I'm sure Mr. Glover will be fabulous. =)
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:18 am (UTC)
Nice to see good old General Veeres getting into the act...

@magthemighty Veers' walker didn't got blown up, except your talking about expanded universe (;
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:23 am (UTC)
Julian Glover's a wonderful wonderful actor with a huge CV so I'm happy to see his name in the ranks, although obviously, the loss of Roy Dotrice is a big one. Glover also was the voice of Aragog the Spider in the 2nd Potter film so another Potter connection as well.
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:34 am (UTC)
It's a shame about Mr. Dotrice... I wish him a speedy recovery!

However, this is wonderful news about Julian Glover! I'm a big fan <3

Mr. Glover also played James Bond's nemesis, Kristatos, in "For Your Eyes Only" (another of my favorite franchises)
Jul. 29th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC)
Sending Roy Dotrice - Prayers and best wishes
I consider Roy Dotrice one of the great creative geniuses of our time, he is as much a creative master as any other master artist, writer or musician. I certainly hope his condition is not serious, and that he may be blessed with 120 years of health.

The world will be a lesser place without his marvelous voice. Any aspiring actor and voice artist will learn more from listening to his performance on the Ice and Fire audio-books than from any school.

His ability to bring countless characters to life is unparalleled. His performances reflect a lifetime of effort and mastery. I surely hope we get to see him perform on the HBO production.

Jul. 29th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
Sending out well wishes to Roy Dotrice. Get well, Roy!

From what I've heard of the audiobooks, he's fantastic in every and any role. (Dare I say he looks a bit Frey-ish in "Brief Lives"?)
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
Too bad we are losing Dotrice from the cast. Perhaps he can make an appearance in Season 2 as Maester Cressen? That would be nice to see and shouldn't be as taxing of a role.

On the other hand, Julian Glover is great, so the role will be in good hands, at least. An old friend of mine from college got to study with Glover when he went to the British American Drama Academy. This would have been back in around 1993, I believe. I hope I don't get the particulars of this story wrong, he told it to me more than 15 years ago, but apparently there is a Shakespeare First Folio (or a very old edition, at least) that gets passed around to all the top Royal Shakespeare Company actors who play Hamlet (not every Hamlet, just the best of them, I believe) and that Glover apparently had it for a while. The others were people like Olivier and Branagh, so he's in pretty good company there. I wish I could remember the details of the story, it's been so long.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC)
I hope a quick recovery for Roy.

Excited to See Julian Glover, one of my favorite characters from Indiana Jones. I am sure he will do great.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:28 am (UTC)
Marcus Pycelle
Pycelle's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan, he speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom, he'll blend in, disappear, you'll never see him again. With any luck, he's got the grail already.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Marcus Pycelle
I believe you're thinking of Marcus Brody, played by the much-missed Denholm Elliott. Julian Glover played Walter Donovan, who was in charge of the Nazi quest to retrieve the Grail.
Jul. 30th, 2010 03:23 am (UTC)
Re: Marcus Pycelle
That was awesome! LOL funny. Best comment of the day. That really sucks that he won't be in the series, though. I really missed him in the 4th audio book. That other guy was OK but compared to Roy...well..not so much.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:34 am (UTC)
Julian Glover was not just a random Imperial officer in Star Wars, but Major General Maximilian Veers.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
General Veers engineered the Empire's only real battle victory in the original trilogy, and he completely escaped getting the ol' Force Choke treatment from Vader like all the other high-ranking officers. This makes him easily the most competent officer in the Empire. So yes.
Jul. 29th, 2010 02:46 am (UTC)
Sad to see Roy Dotrice leave the project, but on the plus side you couldn't ask for a better replacement. Julian Glover is a very fine actor. I recommend his appearance as a main villain in DOCTOR WHO (the 1979 serial CITY OF DEATH) as it was barking mad but tremendously entertaining, written as it was by Douglas Adams (of HITCH-HIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY fame).

As for what role Dotrice could play, perhaps Walder Frey if the Freys are also being held back for Season 2? Otherwise maybe the Reader of Harlaw? Or one of the warlocks in Qarth, although they don't have much page-time?
Jul. 29th, 2010 03:18 am (UTC)
I've adored Julian Glover since _By the Sword Divided_. Dotrice would have been wonderful, but this is one of those rare occasions when a recasting promises to be at least as good as the original choice.
Jul. 29th, 2010 03:55 am (UTC)
Your Choice
You have chosen..... wisely.
Jul. 29th, 2010 06:31 am (UTC)
I wish I had heard about this two weeks ago, before I was working LFCC as Julian was a guest at the event. Would loved to have asked him about this.
Jul. 29th, 2010 06:36 am (UTC)
Oh, what a shame about Roy Dotrice, but...to echo everybody else, what a great replacement, if you can't have him. I hope he feels better soon!
Jul. 29th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
Julian Glover is one of very few actors to have appeared in the Holy Trinity of SF - Star Wars, Doctor Who and Blake's 7. Good stuff.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
Like everyone else, I'm of course sad to see Roy Dotrice leave the role. On the other hand, I can't think of a better replacement than Julian Glover. I actually met him once, seventeen years ago, when he was playing DeGuiche in a London theatrical version of "Cyrano." He came out on stage after the performance and spoke with those of us who remained in the theater after the final curtain. He was a real gentleman, and I'm proud to have shaken his hand.
Jul. 29th, 2010 01:38 pm (UTC)
All good thoughts to Mr. Dotrice. I remember him as Father (loved that show - even had that LP of Ron Perlman reading poetry).
Jul. 29th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Hope Roy recovers with haste. His readings of asoiaf 1-3 are legend.
Jul. 29th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
A little bit gutted that Mr. Dotrice isn't able to continue on with the production this season, but even more so that he's unwell -- we hope he has a speedy recovery! He was very generous with his time back when, when we wanted some remarks from him regarding the audiobooks.

But Glover's a terrific actor, and in particular he (like Mr. Dotrice) has a fine, sonorous speaking voice. He'll be terrific for Pycelle, who I imagine speaks in a very grand way.
Jul. 29th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
I'm sad at the loss of Roy Dotrice, but JULIAN GLOVER!?!? I'm pretty damn excited about that. He is one of my favorite Doctor Who villains, ever.

Jul. 30th, 2010 07:48 am (UTC)
*Princess Kaiulani
Jul. 30th, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
For Roy, from his BATB friends
If you happen to be in touch with our dear Roy Dotrice, please let him know he is in many thoughts and prayers. I agree 100% with Inter_Connected! His friends from Beauty and the Beast fandom can tell you all that he's not only extremely talented, but one of the sweetest and kindest people. Get well soon, dear Roy!
Love always.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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