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.