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Casting and Climaxes

For all of you out there waiting for some casting hints... alas, it appears that Froggy will not be able to pluck his magic twanger here until next month.

Which is not to say that no one will be cast. In fact, half a dozen roles (some major, some minor) have already been cast -- that is to say, after watching dozens of audition tapes for every role, D&D have chosen the actors they want. That's the first step of the process (actually, it's the third or fourth step, if you go all the way back to the start, which begins with Nina Gold winnowing through hundreds of resumes and eight-by-ten glossies and speaking to dozens of agents. but it's the first step that involves me). The second step is submitting the choice to HBO for approval. Once the actor or actress is approved, the third and final step is negotiating the deal and getting a contract signed.

Needless to say, I can only unleash Froggy to torment you when all three steps have been completed. It would be pretty embarassing to announce a casting only to have to retract because we could not close the deal. That does not happen often, mind you... but it DOES happen. Every deal is unique and negotiations can often drag on. Every agent wants to get the best possible deal for his or her client, understandably.

As I write, well, we have sent five or six choices to HBO for approval, and I'm given to understand that all of them have been approved, so now we are in the throes of hammering out terms with each of those actors. I'd hoped that two or three of the deals would be set by now, so I could give you madmen a few hints (which you would then solve in twelve seconds, but that's beside the point)... but that hasn't happened.

And tomorrow morning I leave for Poland, and will not be posting here often, if at all. Some of our castings may firm up as early as next week, but I won't be around to hint at them, so expect HBO will announce the players on its own website... or perhaps through some of the TV journalists who have been following the show so faithfully. So watch the web pages and TV columns of HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, TIME, THE DAILY BEAST, AOL, etc for announcements about the second season. And Froggy will return when I do.

Speaking of my trip... maybe it is good that I am getting out of the country, with "Baelor" scheduled to air tonight. Those of you who have read the novel will have a good idea of what's happening this week, just from the title (but PLEASE don't discuss it here, unless you want your post deleted), but there are millions of viewers who have no idea and some of them may soon be turning up on my virtual doorstep with virtual pitchforks and torches.



It does give me pause to realize there are only two more episodes left in season one. Tonight and next week, and we are done. So many years of development to get to this point -- contracts and options, endless negotiations, writing, rewriting, re-rewriting, casting, shooting the pilot, waiting for pickup, more casting, location scouts, shooting the series, all the build-up and promotion and previews and trailers and teasers and then finally we are on the air, and WHAM, ten weeks and it is over. Those ten weeks have flashed by in a blur. We do have the second season, of course. We start filming in July, and the start date is rushing at us like a freight train... but it is going to feel odd not to have a new episode to watch, two Sundays from now.

Comments

( 79 comments — Leave a comment )
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Luka Arvaj
Jun. 13th, 2011 09:38 am (UTC)
with all respect
where is the battle scene?, cmon this is to cruel,......
seth_jordan
Jun. 13th, 2011 10:15 am (UTC)
DVD sales
Hi George,

Australia is behind the times (again) and won't air your show until later in the year. Do you know when Game of Thrones will be released on DVD?
Tobie Barry
Jun. 13th, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
After last night's episode... even after having read the books I'm still shocked by what happened to Ned. Normally, I'd think of all the twists and turns of the world. But now, I feel... I miss having heroes? hmm.

Reading of Westeros it's complexities from a bird's eye view gives a broad, complete vista which is contrasted with the abruptness of characters in it. This isn't like Tolkien? No, it is exactly like Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings was just the conclusion. (and even then, only of the Ainur's direct actions in middle earth) The Silmarillion had a world of tragedy where heroism and duty was made a necessity, necessity which reaches it fulcrum when Frodo is at the fires of Doom. A place where suddenly duty and desire must duel, and the black/white world of the elves, the world of treason/duty give way to the world of Man and its conflicted desires. In fact, it is entirely possible to think of Frodo keeping the Ring and things going badly. The story would still feel 'complete'. Frodo is saved by the society Bilbo has made when he spares Gollum.

In a rough way, Daenerys feels like Bilbo to me. One finds the Ring, the other dragons. One spares faceless Slaves, the other Gollum. "Wait a sec, think of all the backstabbing and sex! It's more like Dune than LotR." And yes, that's true too... Dune and the strange new horizons science and medicine were finding and the reliance of that world on Spice from a desert world...

All that thinking allows me to face what had "reshocked" me: the angry faceless masses Joffrey and Ned confronted. I used to think a Song of Fire and Ice was about "cripples, bastards and broken things", but now I think it's about connections: who can bridge the gap between the kings and the peasants? The LotR, SoFaI and Dune are about a society we vaguely recognize changing and being shaped, and not just a generic "Heroes journey". Maybe we could dumb it down and say Westeros divided North/South and nobles/peasantry is like Democratic/Republicans and rich/poor, much like people today say LotR is Britain fighting evil during WW2 and after, but Tolkien disagreed with that idea, which had always seemed so blatantly true to me.

I think I'm starting to understand how he could disagree! Hmm. I should stop here before I try and work Harry Potter into this jumble. ;P
GrzebykK
Jun. 13th, 2011 01:03 pm (UTC)
See you in Warsaw
I can't wait to see you in Warsaw, Sir.
I am so happy, you'll find time to see with fans in bookstore next to my place!
See you there!
fuintur
Jun. 13th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
Here an actual old school reader.
Still there's a virtual pitchfork and torch with me.
dazzedelf
Jun. 13th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC)
If Tyrion is knocked out and sleeps through the Battle of the Blackwater next season, I'm gonna cry. I hated their "comic relief" in order to fastforward the scene last night.
deval79
Jun. 13th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
How many Episodes in season 2?
More than 10 I hope, especially with a longer book....
bronzed
Jun. 13th, 2011 04:06 pm (UTC)
As a fan of your work for as long as I can remember, I just wanted to throw in my 2 pennies. A Game of Thrones is the reason I love fantasy, you are the cause of my obsession, when I was about 15 my mom was really getting on my nerves trying to get me to read fantasy books because I think between the two of us we own thousands, and until I was 15 I had read everything BUT fantasy books, I thought they were stupid or uncool or just some weird teenage thought process was preventing me from opening my mind to the world of dragons and imagination. She handed me your first book and promised that if you didnt like it she would buy me 10 books of my choosing. As a reading addict that was an offer I couldnt pass up!

Reading that book changed my life. It was a world changer for me, engaging characters, amazing plot, a world I wanted to be a part of. I read it in 3 days and only put it down to sleep, after that I was hooked, I read all the books by you that I could find (lucky for me, my mom owned all of them which were available in 1996).

Ever since that day, fantasy has been my favourite genre of novel, I simply cannot get enough, and if it wasnt for you I would never have discovered this whole world of amazing novels and authors and when this show came out I used it to lure my Swedish husband into adoring your work a well.

Living in Sweden I have great difficulty finding the show as it is not aired by any network here, thankfully my mom has HBO in Canada and has been recording every episode which she will be sending over on a dvd for me to watch. I know you probably get told things like this a million times and probably wont even read this comment, but your work and the work of authors of fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, its keeping me from going insane 7000km away from my family, friends and everything I find I miss over here (not limited to just the fact I never get to hear English on the streets for example).

If it wasnt for your books there were many years of depression which could have claimed my life at my own hands, but knowing that there was another Game of Thrones book due to be written got me through some of the worst days of my life, and now heres your work in tv form, keeping my spirits up on the bad days I come across from time to time.

So, I just wanted to post this so that its out there, I have the most amazing love and respect for your work and for you, because you kind of saved my life just by doing what you do best: writing. The day I opened up my first GRRM book changed my life forever, and I will be grateful for the rest of my life that you have given the world an amazing gift by sharing your genius with us all, and I highly doubt I am the only person whose life you have changed. Thank you for your work and for sharing your genius with us all, I've gotten all my friends reading your books and watching your show, because its the only way I have to thank you for your books. Anyway sorry if this is weird but, I have been following your LJ for years and I just felt like I needed to say thank you, even if you never see this, I will always be grateful to you for the amazing things I got from your novels, the greatest of which is my ability to wake up every day glad to be alive, because there will always be another fantasy novel for me to read, because you keep writing and so do all my other favourite authors. You have inspired me to not just live but to embrace life, read voraciously, and make the most of every moment just like the characters in your novels. Thank you so much for your books, and now for this show. I will be thankful every day that I breathe because no matter whats happening, no matter how dark the day, you and other fantasy authors have given me something I can use to escape and just be full with joy because fantasy books are just so amazing and wonderful. Ok enough gushing, I will keep my fingers crossed that you will receive the acclaim of award shows everywhere for this amazing show!
barak181
Jun. 13th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
As much as I love the work being done on the show - and I do think that the production team is doing a stellar job with it - I am really disappointed that the entirety of the book has to be crammed into ten episodes. Just after last nights episode, my girlfriend (who's never read the books) commented that she found it frustrating how rushed the storytelling felt. Oh, HBO...you couldn't pay for just two more episodes?
Hans Erik
Jun. 13th, 2011 05:55 pm (UTC)
episode 9 reaction video
Hi there George, big fan from Brazil.
I stumbled upon this hilarious reaction video on youtube and thought you should take a look, as if only to grasp the scope of the twist throughout the world:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owf6D2vfZqM

I hear shirts will be made from this.

Looking forward to next week and Dance With Dragons.
You're the man!

Cheers
rappy7
Jun. 13th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
Never
I will never again question why you don't want anyone else writing your characters or story. We need you at the helm. It's the difference between an A+ and a B.
laughingfalcon
Jun. 13th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
Fleeing Baelor's Sept
You might be right, George! But they won't forget this episode either. :) By the way, I really like your picture choice there! The look on Tyrion's face is priceless.

I'm watching the show with a dog trainer so we keep watching what breeds are getting used as the dire wolves. Was the one that did the fetching scene an Akita? It's tail was pretty jaunty. Will you be stuck going to CGI soon or are you having some sort of Malamute/Shephard or Great Dane/Shephard mix being bred? Oh the little details we animal lovers wonder about!

I loved the 3-eyed crow as well. It's fairly subtle with the black on black, but it looks quite realistic. I'm really grateful Game of Thrones has been picked up for a second season! Good luck in Poland.
freebooter69
Jun. 13th, 2011 07:19 pm (UTC)
If you see a black man named Larry Williams and he screams Otaku Assemble...run like hell! His reaction on YouTube was epic. I laughed like hell, though i felt exactly like he did all those years ago when i read GOT, threw my book against the wall! Sure glad he didn't throw his laptop into a wall!
harro_der
Jun. 13th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
I thought you'd get a kick out of this comment I left on HBO's Game of Thrones facebook page with all the outraged comments.

I first read your books 5 or 6 years ago and when I got to what happened in tonight's episode honestly I put the book down for a week. I was so angry and just in denial. I thought you were stupid for choosing to write it that way (only for a week!) and how on earth could the series continue.

Then I realized my rage and passion for what had just happened meant you were probably one of the best writers I've ever read. That sentiment remained true as I tore through the remaining books. Well, ok this comment might be a bit spoiler-y if the episode hasn't aired all around the world so if Ty you could just pass my sentiments on to GRRM and then delete or leave it screened, haha.
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