Not a Blog

Moving On

October 28, 2009 at 2:11 pm
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The Scottish filming is done, and cast and crew are packing up today for the big move to Belfast and its Paint Hall, where the shoot will resume. So far, so good.

Parris and I are moving on as well. She’ll be headed over to Ireland tomorrow to spend Samhaim with friends, while I linger here in Scotland a few more days to visit with Lisa Tuttle. We converge again in Belfast in November. Today we swung by the HarperCollins warehouse outside Glasgow, where I signed five hundred hardcovers of SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH. Ask for one at your favorite UK bookstore, they will be going all over the country.

Things are shaping up for the signing at Eason’s in Belfast. Last night after the filming wrapped we stayed up late drinking with the cast, and I think we convinced a number of them to join us at Eason’s. Should be a hoot and a half, assuming they don’t come to their senses in the cold grey light of morning. I told them my readers were essentially harmless. Hah.

The cast is sensational, by the way.

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Feeling Guilty

October 26, 2009 at 7:39 am
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I’ve met Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner (and their charming moms). They’re terrific, bright and beautiful and bursting with enthusiasm, excited to be a part of this.

And now I’m having pangs of guilt about all the horrors that they’re going to have to go through in the months and years to come, thanks to me.

I’m going to have to rewrite the books so only nice things happen to Arya and Sansa. Might change the story some.

Also ran into Ron Donachie, Jennfier Ehle, and Kit Harington, and all of them were great The rest of the cast is around here somewhere too, but we haven’t bumped into them yet. But I expect we’ll meet them all today on set.

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Jetlagged in Scotland

October 24, 2009 at 2:30 am
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We’re here in Edinburgh, safe and sound but jetlagged. A grueling trip, three flights, Albuquerque to Houston, Houston to Newark, Newark to Edinburgh. I can’t sleep on airplanes, so as usual I arrived exhausted, and collapsed as soon as we hit the hotel. Sleep until midnight, then woke, ate a room service meal, and will soon go back to sleep in hopes to waking tomorrow and getting into sync with the time here.

Glad to see so much enthusiasm about the cast.

Gnight again.

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The Last Man Cast…

October 21, 2009 at 11:42 pm
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… (but certainly not the least) was our intrepid horselord, Khal Drogo of the Dothraki.

The search for the right khal was exhaustive, and included auditions on four separate continents (maybe five, not sure if those Brazilian readings ever took place). As with several other parts, there were a lot of great readings, and the producers had several interesting choices.

The final nod went to Jason Momoa, who is best known to American television viewers for his role on STARGATE: ATLANTIS.

I blush to confess that I have never seen any STARGATE but the movie… but Jason’s auditions were terrific, displaying all the fierceness that our khal requires, but showing warmth and tenderness in the softer scenes as well. And yes, his haka was terrific.

Khal Drogo was the last of the speaking roles to be filled, so the cast is now complete… until and unless the show gets picked up to series, when we’ll start the process all over again to find Littlefinger, Varys, Ser Barristan, Renly, Loras, Hodor, Lord Tywin, and all the rest of our merry company.

But I’ll worry about that later. Tomorrow we’re off to the UK.

See ya.

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The Big Man and the Redhead

October 21, 2009 at 4:30 pm
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I said that the big man could tell you the latest casting news. That’s because the big guy is Ian McNeice, a veteran British character actor most recently seen on HBO as the newsreader in ROME. He’s done a million other parts as well, of course. In A GAME OF THRONES, he’ll be playing Illyrio Mopatis, Magister of the Free City of Pentos, merchant prince, and arch- conspirator.

There is one character with a speaking part in the HBO pilot who did not appear in my novel. In the early drafts of the script she was known only as Red-Headed Whore, but she has since been christened “Ros.” Playing Ros will be the lovely Esme Bianco, an actress, model, and burlesque performer whose website can be found at

Her previous credits include CHEMICAL WEDDING, BURLESQUE FAIRYTALES, and DEAD MAN RUNNING, which is where those clues about chemicals, fairies, and dead men came from. Tyrion will be very pleased to make her acquaintance.

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Not Coming to Denver

October 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm
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I’m off tomorrow for the UK and the pilot shoot, so it stands to reason that I won’t be at MileHiCon in Denver this weekend. I haven’t yet figured out how to be in two places at one time.

However, there will be some cool news announced for the first time at MileHiCon, so if you should happen to be in Denver, keep your ears peeled, and you can be one of the first to know.

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A Pair of Starks

October 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm
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One of the hardest parts to cast was Bran. When the story opens he’s a cute kid, off to see a man beheaded for the first time. But after that… think of all the challenges that await the boy in this role. We think we’ve found a young actor capable of handling them, however. His name is Isaac Hempstead-Wright.

My clues for this one are pretty self-explanatory. Hempstead is a town in Nassau, and Isaac was the Biblical sacrifice (not really, of course, Yahweh was just joking around). All the same, I was astonished when some of you managed to puzzle them out. Isaac is a bright young talent and he gave a great reading, but I figured he was google-proof. Not so. I’m looking forward to seeing him bring Bran to life.

Also cast, as his uncle and Lord Eddard’s younger brother Benjen, a ranger of the Night’s Watch, is Joseph Mawle.

Another fast-rising British actor, Mawle has portrayed both Jesus and Judas, starred in a film called FREEFALL, and began his acting career at the Tobacco Factory Theater. Check out his showreel at for a sample of his talents.

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Coming to London

October 21, 2009 at 12:16 am
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Can’t make the signings in Belfast on November 3 or Dublin on November 5?

Maybe the third time will be the charm. I’m coming to London as well.

I’ll be appearing at Forbidden Planet’s megastore on Wednesday, November 11, to sign copies of the new Harper Collins trade hardcover of SONGS OF THE DYING EARTH, the Jack Vance tribute anthology, and any of my other books as well.

Forbidden Planet
179 Shaftesbury Avenue

If you can’t make the signing, but would like to order a signed book mailorder, phone the store at 0207 420 3666 and I am sure they will be happy to oblige you. You can also order a copy over the internet. Just click here:

The signing will begin at 5:30 pm. Or 17:30 for you folks over there.

See you there!

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Three for the Prologue

October 20, 2009 at 11:32 pm
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A GAME OF THRONES opens in the haunted forest north of the Wall, with three brothers of the Night’s Watch on a ranging.

The viewpoint character is Will, sent to the Wall for poaching. In the pilot, he will portrayed by Bronson Webb.

He has been in projects with Tamzin Merchant, Nicholaj Coster-Waldau, and Iain Glen. One of his first roles was “boy on a bicycle.” Peter Parker is Spider-Man and Bronson is a Webb, so they have spiders in common. And he has a home page, a Facebook page, and a MySpace page.

Will’s commander on the ranging is the young knight Ser Waymar Royce, a son of Bronze Yohn Royce, new to the Wall, clad in sable cloak. Playing Ser Waymar will be Jamie Campbell Bower.

JCB has an important role in the forthcoming HARRY POTTER movie, as a wizard from Dumbledore’s past, and can also be seen the new TWILIGHT film. And of course it is the twilight zone that lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. He’ll also be in the PRISONER remake, but as a number, not a free man. He was in SWEENEY TODD too, though I didn’t include that in the clues. Didn’t want to make it too easy.

The grizzled veteran Gared is the third member of the prologue’s intrepid trio. His part will be played by Richard Ridings.

Ridings’ previous credits include roles in RED DWARF, FAT FRIENDS, HIGHLANDER, and WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? and turns as characters named Roach and Daddy Pig.

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HBO Pilot Cast

October 20, 2009 at 7:04 pm
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I am the last one to the party, I know. I was off in Fargo enjoying Valleycon, away from my computer and the internet, and while I was gone the last remaining speaking part in the pilot was cast, and HBO officially confirmed a whole bunch of the roles and actors I’ve been hinting at. The cast lists are all over this Interwebbie thing by now, and you guys guessed pretty much all of them ages ago in any case (it really was scary, the way you all figured out some of those clues).

For them what came in late or haven’t been paying attention, however, let me be the last to confirm the confirmations and introduce you to our newest cast members.

The Old Knight is Ser Rodrik Cassell. He’ll be played by Ron Donachie.

Ser Rodrik is Winterfell’s master-at-arms, and Donachie also played the master-at-arms in TITANTIC. He has played a colonel, a doctor, a friar, a nazi, a sergeant, a superintendant, a corporal, and a minister in the past, and has been in projects with Lena Headey, Sean Bean, Iain Glen, and Honor Blackman.

The grey man is Maester Luwin, a grey-haired fellow in grey robes. He’ll be portrayed by Donald Sumpter, another fine British character actor.

Sumpter’s previous credits include DR. WHO, and also a film called GROUPIE GIRL.

(More on next rock)

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