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Winter Is Coming… to SKY

July 28, 2010 at 8:44 pm
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My readers in the UK have been emailing me for months, wanting to know whether GAME OF THRONES would be shown over there. The answer (I hoped) was “yes,” but I could not give details, because (1) I didn’t know, actually, and (2) some major negotiations were going on behind the scenes.

But now the GUARDIAN has broken the story, so all can be told:

The short version: SKY has bought the UK rights to the entire HBO catalog of original shows, past and present.

So, yes, GAME OF THRONES will be seen in the UK… on SKY.

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You Guys Are Scary Good, the Sequel

July 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm
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And it did not take you very damn long to figure out the second role as well.

The part of Shae, the camp follower that Bronn the sellsword finds before the battle of the Green Fork and delivers to Tyrion Lannister, will be played by the amazing SIBEL KEKILLI.

Shae needs no introduction to any Ice & Fire reader, I would imagine. If you’ve forgotten her, you obviously weren’t paying attention, so get off the internet at once and go and reread the books. There may be a pop quiz.

Sibel Kekilli is a German actress of Turkish descent, who crashed onto the film scene in a big way in 2004 in an award-winning film called HEAD-ON, after being discovered by the casting director while shopping in a mall in Cologne. She’s won both the Bambi Prize (the deer) and the Lola Award (cherry cola, L-O-L-A Lola, and if you missed that clue, you obviously haven’t been listening to enough Kinks). The Lola is the “German Oscar,” and Sibel has actually won it twice. She’s also won the Tribeca Award and the Golden Orange Prize.

I want to say a few words about her audition, which I thought was extraordinary. A lot of beautiful young women read for Shae. The scene they were reading was the first meeting between Shae and Tyrion, in his tent on the Green Fork the night before the battle. Shae is a camp follower, a prostitute, and she is, of course, coming on to Tyrion in a big way. There is a LOT of sexual heat in the scene, as written and as played. And all of our Shaes were sexy as hell. Watching them one after another would fog up anyone’s glasses.

But there’s another dimension to Shae as well. She’s not as practiced and hardened at this as a more seasoned pro. There’s still a girl next door quality to her, a sense of vulnerability, playfulness, and, yes, innocence. And it’s that quality Tyrion responds to, that quality that brings him back to Shae, and drives all that follows. He knows what she is, consciously, but down deep he wants to believe that he has found another Tysha.

All of our Shaes were hot as hell. But only a handful of them captured that other quality, maybe three out of twenty, and Sibel was the standout. It’s easy to see why she has won all those awards. Watching those auditions, any red-blooded male would want to take every one of our Shae candidates to bed. But Sibel made you fall in love with her as well.

She’s going to be amazing. And I can’t believe you figured out who she was so fast!

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You Guys Are Scary Good

July 28, 2010 at 7:10 pm
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I cannot BELIEVE how fast you guys unravel even my most obscure and difficult clues. The CIA should be looking to hire you all to break cyphers.

(I’m going to “Adult Content” this post, which I’ve never done before, because… well it will be pretty self-explanatory).

Anyway, yes, you nailed the first one in three blinks and a winks. The role of Dany’s handmaiden Doreah will be played by ROXANNE MCKEE.

Doreah was one of three slave girls given to Dany as a wedding present by her brother Viserys (big brother’s gift), though of course Viserys got the girls from Magister Illyrio Mopatis, which is why I misremembered them as the fat man’s gift. Irri and Jhiqui are Dothraki, but Doreah came from the pillow houses of Lys.

Roxanne McKee was born in Canada (the great white north), but moved to England, where she appeared in the soap opera HOLLYOAKS (the land of oaks and hollies). She has thrice been nominated for “Sexiest Female” in the British Soap Awards, winning twice (she was the sexiest female twice, NOT the sexiest female once). Her most recent role was in a film called F . She has also appeared on LILY ALLEN & FRIENDS, and Lily of course is the sister of our Theon, Alfie Allen.

Doreah is given to Dany to instruct her in the erotic arts. Viserys himself vouches for her skills. We had a lot of beautiful young women reading for the role, so this one was a tough call. Congratulations to Roxanne on winning the part.

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Riddle Me This

July 28, 2010 at 5:22 pm
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Big brother’s gift is the sexiest female. The sellsword’s gift is like cherry cola. Take twelve steps to big brother’s gift. No, no, the other one. Big brother’s gift is not the sexiest female. The sellsword’s gift was shopping when they found her. Big brother’s gift has known a lot of ups and downs. No, no, the other one. Big brother’s gift is a friend of the kraken’s sister. The sellsword’s gift once won a deer. Big brother’s gift came from the great white north to the land of oak and hollies, where she was the sexiest female, sometimes. Yes, that one, The sellsword’s gift tackles life head on. Big brother’s gift gets a F. No, no, the other one. Controversy and the sellsword’s gift are no strangers. All the gifts are hot, hot, hot… but that’s not a clue, just a comment.

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A Change on the Small Council

July 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm
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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.

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