Not a Blog

Our Queen Is Cast…

August 31, 2009 at 11:50 pm
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… but I can’t tell you who she is.

Only who she isn’t.

She has no lines in common with Mr. Miyagi, but maybe she should. If we were playing “Six Degrees,” there would only be one link between us. Her mother and Big Ben are strangers.

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Report from Abq

August 30, 2009 at 10:42 am
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A good Bubonicon. Mike Cassutt gives his GOH speech in a couple minutes. And we had the usual raucous time at the Pope Room last night.

The dog is green. Just sayin’

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I’ll Be Good, I will, I will

August 30, 2009 at 1:01 am
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Eat your porage and you’ll grow up big and strong.

Just sayin’

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August 27, 2009 at 8:08 pm
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Off to our local convention in Albuquerque this weekend. Stop by if you’re in the neighborhood. Bubonicon is a smallish (about 500 people), friendly convention with a decided literary slant. This year the GOH is my old pal Michael Cassutt, a colleague from my TWILIGHT ZONE days and a veteran of the Hollywood wars. Mike is sharp and cynical and always fun to share a beer with, and we’ll be doing some panels together and talking about where the bodies are buried. Also on hand will be toastmaster Carrie Vaughn, a whole phalanx of Wild Carders, S.M. Stirling, Trent Zelazny, Diana Galbaldon, and many other good folks.

My reading is at 5pm tomorrow. Will probably read a chapter from DANCE, haven’t decided which one yet.

Meanwhile, off across the water, casting continues. The latest auditions I have screened were for “Nameless Eunuch” and “Red-Headed Whore.” (Remember, there are no small parts. Red-Headed Whore has a great line). Only one part has been filled since the Secret Seven were announced, but I expect to hear about more castings Real Soon Now.

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R.I.P. Teddy

August 26, 2009 at 11:57 am
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Ted Kennedy is gone. The lion of liberalism, one of the great voices of his generation, a senator in the proud tradition of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

He will be missed.

Teddy, Bobby, JFK. What a remarkable family. They were men like any other, not plaster saints, and had their share of failures and mistakes. But they fought the good fight, and left the world a better place than they found it, and no more can be asked of any man.

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Arya and Sansa, Revisited

August 24, 2009 at 1:29 pm
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Here, as promised, are some larger pictures of Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner, who will be portraying Arya and Sansa Stark, respectively, in the HBO pilot.


Maisie, I am informed, has some previous acting credits. Stage work, I gather, nothing in television or film. Until now. Sorry, I have no further details.


Sophie is brand new, David and Dan tell me. Well, maybe some school plays. She read for us at her school. Don’t confuse her with the DR. WHO Sophie Turner, please, or any of the other Sophie Turners that Google will turn up. (She should probably tweak her name to make it more distinctive. Maybe Sophie R.R. Turner. Worked for me)

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Statement of Policy

August 22, 2009 at 2:40 pm
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My posts about the recent castings have drawn plenty of comments, which is great.

But they have also brought out the trolls… or, to give some of them the benefit of the doubt, some thoughtless and rude posters.

I don’t mind readers posting their opinions, even critical opinions. But I do expect posters to show a certain amount of respect. Gratuitously nasty or insulting posts directed at the actors or producers of the HBO series will be deleted, just as if they were nasty or insulting posts directed at me. Ditto attacks on other posters. Disagree or criticize as you like, but be civilized about it. “X does not look the character in the books” is fine, but “X looks like a horse’s rump and makes me want to vomit” is not. Ty is still screening all the comments and will continue to do so. Posts that go beyond the pale will never be posted, and repeat offenses will get you banned.

This, of course, applies to less than one post in a hundred, of course. Most of you are great. But regardless of what goes on elsewhere, a certain tone will be observed on Not A Blog.

Thank you.

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As Ser Jorah Mormont…

August 21, 2009 at 1:22 am
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… we have Iain Glen, another distinguished British veteran of stage and screen.

Glen has a really great website at Check it out. Not only does he have a list of all his credits, but the site includes clips from many of the film and television roles, so you can get a wonderful sample of his range and talents. I wish more actors had websites this good.

One of his credits was KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, Ridley Scott’s marvelous film about the Crusades and the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Nicolaj Coster-Waldau also had a role in that film, hence the “gone to the wars” clue. But Coster-Waldau was not a kingslayer there, which was good for Glen, since he played Richard the Lionhearted. And killing Richard before his time would certainly have changed history. KINGDOM OF HEAVEN was filmed in Morocco… and Glen will be returning to those same locations to shoot the Pentos scenes for our pilot.

Iain Glen also appeared in MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON, co-starring as Speke to Patrick Bergin’s Richard Burton. A wonderful performance in a fine film. Of course the character he will be playing in the HBO pilot, Ser Jorah Mormont, has never seen the Mountains of the Moon in Westeros, although the actor has seen the African version.

Like many of the best British actors, Iain Glen is a chameleon who often disappears into his roles. Visit his website and play some of his clips, and you may realize you have seen more of his work than you realize. He won’t just play Ser Jorah, he’ll BECOME him.

That’s Ser Seven, and that’s all folks.

For now.

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As Daenerys Targaryen…

August 21, 2009 at 12:52 am
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… we have the lovely and talented young British actress Tamzin Merchant.

I know my readers play the casting game. Well, confession time, so do I. Ever since I began A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE (way back in 1991, thought it wasn’t until 1994 that I got writing in earnest), there was always a little part of me that would watch every television show and movie with one eye looking for actors and actresses who might work as my characters.

And so there I was, watching THE TUDORS (which I have VERY mixed feelings about, I confess), when Tamzin Merchant came on screen as the fifteen year old Katherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth wife. I sat up at once, thinking, “Hmmm, she could be a good candidate for Dany.”

Katheryn Howard, as all students of history know, ended with her head on the block, much like Henry VIII’s second wife, Anne Boleyn. Which gave her something in common with Ned, hence that clue. And she was Henry’s fifth wife, hence the “fourth is fifth” clue.

Dany is very difficult role. She starts out vulnerable and scared, but blooms on the Dothraki sea, and becomes a powerful leader by book’s end. It’s no secret that HBO’s Dany will start out older than Dany does in the book; that was a change that had to be made, if we wanted to keep the sex scenes, and David and Dan and I were all agreed that the sex scenes were essential. Tamzin can play much younger than her actual age (as she does when playing Katheryn) and her sex scenes on THE TUDORS were as hot as anything I’ve ever seen on TV. In her readings, she showed Dany’s other side as well, commanding and charismatic after Drogo’s death. I think she’ll be marvelous.

I believe I mentioned at worldcon that we were down to three finalists for Dany, which was true at the time. It was a hell of a hard choice, since the other two contenders were also great… so great, in fact, that I hope we can use both of them in other roles should the series last several seasons. (Yes, I know just the roles, and no, I won’t tell you which ones, nor the names of the other two actresses. Sorry, not kosher). All three were smashing. But Tamzin was Dany.

(some of her earlier work, pre TUDORS):

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As Robb Stark…

August 21, 2009 at 12:35 am
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… another terrific young British actor, Richard Madden.

Madden did some great readings as well, blowing the competition (some very good competition) out of the water.

He has done a lot of stage work in England, including playing Romeo in a recent production of ROMEO AND JULIET in Leeds castle. That was the clue I blew, when I talked about a player exclaiming about roses in a castle. Of course, it is Juliet who exclaims that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, not Romeo. Sorry about that. I did get the “castle” part right. Macbeth and Hamlet and many of the Bard’s history plays have scenes in castles, but ROMEO & JULIET does not… but the particular production that Madden was in was staged in Leeds castle.

Madden has also been cited as one of Britian’s hot young actors by ESQUIRE, which became another clue. He’s gotten some great reviews, and has a terrific look for Robb. If we go three seasons, women will weep… (and so may I).

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