The Hollywood Reporter, via Winter is Coming, is reporting on several majors roles being cast for the upcoming HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire:

In the adaptation of the George R.R. Martin fantasy-book series, Coster-Waldau will play Jaime Lannister, one of the king’s guards and a ruthless usurper of the previous king. The actor, most recently seen in Ron Moore’s Fox pilot “Virtuality,” is repped by WME, Impression and Independent Talent Group.

Another addition is Tamzin Merchant (Showtime’s “The Tudors”), who’ll play Daenerys, an exiled teenage princess.

Also new to the cast: Richard Madden (“Hope Springs”) as Stark’s eldest son, Robb; Iain Glen (“Into the Storm”) as Ser Jorah Mormont, a disgraced knight; Alfie Allen (“The Other Boleyn Girl”) as Theon, Stark’s young ward; Sophie Turner (“Doctor Who”), as Stark’s eldest daughter, Sansa; Maisie Williams as Stark’s young tomboy daughter, Arya.

Martin has been dropping hints about these castings for a while now, and members of the Winter is Coming community manage to figure out the identity of each actor beforehand. Still, it’s nice to have it all confirmed.

Martin had a bit to say about each of the actors cast:

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau - Jaime Lannister in A Song of Ice and Fire

he’ll make a terrific Jaime.

Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen
Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen

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.

Richard Madden as Robb Stark
Robb Stark

He’s gotten some great reviews, and has a terrific look for Robb. If we go three seasons, women will weep…

Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
Maisie Williams as Arya Stark

Maisie brought Arya alive in a way that none of the other kids could match, right from the first.

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark

Sophie read two scenes; the scene with Arya on the kingsroad, and a much later one when Joff is forcing her to look at the heads on the walls. Two very different sides of the character. She knocked ’em both out of the park.

Alfie Owen-Allen as Theon Greyjoy
Theon Greyjoy

I knew absolutely nothing about Alfie when this process began, except that he had done some kickass readings for us. His audtion for Theon was particularly strong, especially the scene where Theon returns to Pyke to confront his father Balon (no, that won’t be in the pilot, but it was a great scene to use in the sides).

Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont
Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont

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.

All in all, HBO keeps me confident. Coster-Waldau looks perfect for the role (as long as he can adopt Jaime’s swagger) and the Stark children all feel right (well, at least based on a small photograph. The only casting I’m not totally sold on is Alfie Owen-Allen as Theon Greyjoy, who I pictured as more effortlessly handsome. All in all, though, the good news seems to keep coming.

What are your thoughts on the recent castings?

  • Erik August 21, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    It will be great if they make Tamzin Merchant’s hair more silver and her eyes violet.

  • Jaquandor August 22, 2009 at 9:20 am

    All these parts cast, and yet no word on who will play Hodor. (And wouldn’t that be a dream gig for an actor? If this project succeeds you’ll have work for years, and you’ll never have a lick of trouble remembering your lines!)

  • […] here, leading here, and reported (with pics of the actors chosen) here are the new additions to the cast of the HBO Pilot of A Game of […]

  • Alieda October 27, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    I am hoping that they give Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey), and Lena Headey (Cersei)the all-important blond hair. Without that… Joff’s claim to the throne could be legit, and that would basically turn the Starks into bad guys. I think it’s a more important detail than it seems on first sight!

  • aidan October 28, 2009 at 5:49 am

    Of course they’ll include the blonde hair! It’s iconic and important plot-wise!