Casting Speculation Season 6: Randyll Tarly

Randyll Tarly by The Mico
Artwork by The Mico

For our first casting speculation post this year, we’ll focus on a character we weren’t ever sure would make the leap to Game of Thrones: Randyll Tarly.

As we learned last week, season 6 casting has begun and there’s a call for a character that’s a perfect description of Randyll, Samwell Tarly’s stern father who sent him to the Wall.

From our casting post:

Father. Aged 50’s to 60’s, he’s one of the greatest soldiers in Westeros- a humorless martinet, severe and intimidating. He demands martial discipline in the field and in his home. It’s described as “a very good part” for next year and that he’s “centrally involved” in a protagonist’s storyline.

In the books, Randyll is described as “the finest soldier in the realm,” and “iron-willed and shrewd.”  He has a reputation for blunt speech, and is said to be lean and balding with a “short, bristly grey beard.”

In Season 1 of Game of Thrones, we learned from Sam that his father threatened his life- it was either join the Night’s Watch or suffer a “hunting accident.” This year, Stannis revealed that Randyll Tarly is the only man who ever defeated Robert Baratheon, proving he truly is a military force to be reckoned with on the battle field.

There were no physical requirements in the casting breakdown we received, and Randyll may not necessarily look like the book describes. His hard-edged character is being translated to the screen, and that’s exciting. With that in mind, let’s get to the casting speculation! We’ve gathered up some fan faves, suggestions and interesting possibilities for the role of Randyll Tarly.

Graham McTavishGraham McTavish – The Scottish actor is best known for playing Dougal Mackenzie in the Starz series Outlander and as the dwarf Dwalin in The Hobbit trilogy. He certainly is capable of the steeliness required for military commander Randyll. A favorite of many for the role, would his commitment to Outlander prevent him from being in another TV show at the moment?

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Ray WinstoneRay Winstone – This British actor is regarded as the quintessential hard man and definitely has the toughness to pull off Randyll. Some notable films on his CV include Snow White and the HuntsmanSexy Beast, The Departed, King Arthur, and the Point Break remake. Starring in Of Kings and Prophets may knock him out of the running, though.

Peter MullanPeter Mullan – The Scot has worked with HBO before, playing Jim O’Casey in the 2014 mini-series Olive Kitteridge. Worldwide, he may be best known for Trainspotting and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. He’s quite capable of playing dark-edged characters and has done so many times, notably in Top of the Lake and the Red Riding series.

John LynchJohn Lynch – The Northern Ireland native has played every sort of character under the sun in his thirty-year career, so there’s no question he could handle this one. Most recently, he’s turned in a strong supporting performance as Jim Burns in BBC’s The Fall. GoT has made good use of Northern Irish actors so far; maybe it’s time to do so once more?

Brian CoxBrian Cox – Cox is no stranger to playing harsh leaders. He played King Agamemnon in the David Benioff-scripted film Troy, and the main villain William Stryker in X-Men 2. (Interestingly, he also was the dad in the film version of Benioff’s 25th Hour.) He’s on the high end agewise for the role and might not be available, but he’d be a great Randyll.

Mark StrongMark Strong – While he is a fan favorite for the part, Strong is unlikely to take a TV role at this point in his career, especially a supporting one in an established series. He could certainly pull off the role, but whether he could make time for Game of Thrones is another issue.


Who are your favorites, readers, and who would you like to see playing Randyll Tarly?

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of


  1. Yes, been waiting for the year’s first casting speculation!

    McTavish or Mullan for me.

  2. Themico is the worst. Why do people keep using his pseudo-arts?

    I hope this role won’t be such a disgrace to the book counterpart as Mace or Mance in previous seasons. Not that I don’t enjoy show versions of them, but man, there aren’t many decent characters left.

  3. Peter Mullan was so f-ing great in Top of the Lake. Probably too villainous for Tarly 🙂

  4. McTavish is my number one – but I’ve had a few other thoughts. Matthew Macfadyen has always bee my pick for Jon Connington – but he could do a Tarly just as well. And Truly after all of the GoT actors his show has hired – he has to play SOMEBODY on GoT.

    Nicholas Hope is a terrifying looking man/actor. here is a pic and he’s evolved this “restrained rage” style in several of his roles that just boil. After McTavish – he’s dead on – he would have also been a solid Roose.

  5. Brian Cox is the rector of my university and, having met him a few times, I’d say he’s probably shorter than John Bradley IRL! Lovely guy and talented actor though. My hopes are pinned to Graham McTavish. He played a likeable, if harsh, c**t in Rambo and he’s a fellow Scot, so… 😀

  6. Loki,

    Well let’s see, maybe you see his work a lot because he’s one of the artists who draws all the characters, including the ones that almost no one else makes fan art of?

    And no, he isn’t the worst. I think slagging off fan artists isn’t called for, considering what they contribute to fandom, usually free.

  7. Test (I couldn’t comment, seems to work now)

    I would go with Graham McTavish because out of all the actors he looks the closest to how I imagined Randyll and I know he could manage the character. Too bad he has other commitments, but I trust Nina Gold, she’ll probably make the right decision. She has yet to disappoint me.

  8. I think Brian Cox would be fantastic in the role. I doubt he is too busy to not do it, so if he is interested, I would go for him (out of the ones listed).

  9. A suggestion a saw on Reddit that at first seemed laughable but kind of grew on me is Nick Offerman. I have no doubt of his acting abilities Plus I think he could pull it off looks wise. Look up the picture where he as a beard and American flag shirt.

  10. I actually hope they won’t make him lean, but a taller, meaner, muscular type who still looks like Sam.

  11. Graham McTavish would be a no-brainer. I really enjoyed him as Dwalin in the Hobbit movies. I’d also like to see Brian Cox or Ray Winstone in the role.
    What about Ray Stevenson? He was mostly suggested for Victarion, but I think he could pull off the Randyll role.

  12. Loki:
    Themico is the worst. Why do peoplekeep using his pseudo-arts?

    It is fan art. It’s not like the artist was paid. There is no need to be so rude about it.

  13. Peter Mullan looks too much like Ian Glen. Confusing.
    I do love Brian Cox… but I don’t picture him as enough of a former, NOT gone to seed athlete.
    Graham McTavish and Ray Winstone sounds like great ideas!

  14. Sue the Fury: And no, he isn’t the worst.

    But isn’t “Not in my head” = “worst” (with a huge tie for “worst”?). After all, isn’t the picture in MY head the one that Martin/Tolkien/Rowling/Herbert/etc. intended?


    For myself, I only get strong images of a character if he/she reminds me of someone I know: then I envision that person instead of anything the author describes!

    Following that, I really don’t care who they cast. I am sure that whoever they get will be quite competent, even if we’ve never seen him do this sort of role before.

  15. Most of these actors haven’t portrayed much in the way of nobility, so I think this list is a little off the mark. The part is not for a hard-edged man. It’s for the hard-edged leader of a noble house. Someone in the Charles Dance vein is needed, IMO.

  16. Ray Winestone would be a good choice. Personally, I like David O’Hara. He jumped to mind immediately for the role to me.

  17. Out of all these, Brian Cox seems like the best choice in my opinion, then Graham McTavish or Peter Mullan.

    Mark Strong seems kinda.. young (?) to be playing Randyll, and also I can’t get out of my head the fact that a lot of people fancasted him as Stannis Baratheon few years back.

    They are probably going to cast someone not mentioned in the list, but we shall see 🙂

  18. ArgonathofBraavos,

    We’ve never been given any indication that there’s anything particularly noble-looking about Tarly, so that’s your interpretation. We all have our own. But he has been described as a severe and intimidating by the casting breakdown so that’s what we’re going with.

  19. The Long Night,

    I disagree. Winstone, as great as he is, exudes a lower-middle class Londoner vibe. Randyl Tarly needs to seem like someone who was born into nobility. An entitled, aristocratic military man. A Major General before they went modern!

  20. Sue the Fury,

    I’m not talking about looks. I’m talking about manner. And Randyl Tarly is the head of a noble house. So though he’s a hard man, it needs to be clear that he comes from privilege. A slightly more grim version of Dance, perhaps. Stannis, but meaner and more sure of himself.

    Of your list, I think McTavish and Cox probably comes closest. Though I suspect that Nina will find a diamond in the rough that we’ve never heard of!

  21. I don’t know the actors nearly well enough to say who’d do it best, but purely in terms of looks, I think Ray Winstone is the closest thing to seeming genetically related to John Bradley yet still suitably tough/gritty.

  22. McTavish has been absolutely fantastic on Outlander! If they could get him that would be fantastic, but I doubt it’s a possibility.

  23. Sue the Fury:

    John Bradley’s 5’8″. Google says Cox is 5’9″. Of course, actors lie about their height so…

    I am 5’8 and stood next to (and taller than, though not by a great margin) Cox at my graduation – he’s short, or gotten stouter in his old age.

    Not that his height should preclude him from the role. The camera is good at lying for a production’s advantage 🙂

  24. Geez, the sourpusses have invaded casting speculation threads now? Wonderful.

    Anyway, I’d love to get McTavish for the role. I doubt the character will appear in more than 3 or 4 episodes, so perhaps they can make things work with the scheduling. If not, then I think this role should be fairly easy to cast. Euron will be much tougher, and they will have to find the right guy, as they need a charismatic actor to play him.

  25. Cox would be good. Mark Strong looks the part but may be too young.

    How about someone like Philip Glenister?

  26. Brian Cox would be AWESOME!

    It could just be the “Pullo bleedover effect”, but I can’t see Ray Stevenson as anything other than a light-comedy presence. He doesn’t have the bearing of a martinet, IMO.

  27. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I have always envisioned Randyll Tarly looking like McTavish so he would be my choice.

    And I agree that it will be much harder to cast Euron, in part because it has been discussed and fan-cast for years.

  28. Rat Kook,

    This is 100% true. He does look like a bigger meaner older Bradley. He’s also great at accents AND portraying Authority. If they could get him, it would be a KO – even if perhaps he doesn’t fit the script or novel descriptions

  29. Although I really like Peter Mullan, I don’t really think he fits the part. McTavish looks the part for sure.

    EDIT: Man am I excited to see him and Euron on the show next year!!

  30. Valaquen,

    People do get a bit shorter with age- their spines compress so they lose a little height. Also actors tend to exaggerate their height to begin with so there’s that.

  31. Actually, Mark Strong is 51, 25 years older than John Bradley, so not too young after all…

  32. Brian Cox has always been my pick for the role, I can just envisage him looking at Sam with complete disgust and disdain. He’s getting a bit old though, perhaps they’ll want someone younger.

    McTavish and Mullan are great picks, I’d be happy with both. Mark Strong is a pipe dream, his schedule is way too busy for a show like GOT but I would love to be wrong.

    Ray Winstone….No just no! He’s such an inconsistent and hit and miss actor. Plus he’s lost a lot of the physicality that use to make him so menacing.

    I’d like to make another suggestion, Brendan Gleeson. He probably will never be considered but I think he’d nail the role. He’s a terrific actor and has that imposing presence about him that’s perfect for Tarly. I can just picture him with Heartsbane strapped to his back.

  33. Valaquen: I am 5’8 and stood next to (and taller than, though not by a great margin) Cox at my graduation – he’s short, or gotten stouter in his old age.

    Not that his height should preclude him from the role. The camera is good at lying for a production’s advantage

    Or maybe they’ll just consider it a non-issue, like they did with Mark Addy.

  34. Oooh,… another Valyrian sword gets added to the mix! Bring on Heartsbane!

    “Go where you want and do as you will…but when you are raped don’t look to me for justice. You will have earned it with your folly.”
    –Lord Randyll Tarly chatting to Brienne, during her quest for Arya/Sansa. [Brienne III, AFfC]

    I feel for Samwell.

    He definitely is like Tywin, with less feeling.

  35. My first choice would be Alan Dale. Dark horse would be Steven Berkoff, who played Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills Cop.
    Or Colm Meaney.

  36. streetad:

    How about someone like Philip Glenister?

    Oh, good choice. He looks like someone who could be really mean to the son who disapointed him!

  37. Missed the ability to edit my post but here:

    Child rearing advice from Jeremy Irons. Thought of Sam while watching this one! 😀

  38. ArgonathofBraavos,

    Actors can do lots of different roles: it is a capital mistake to assume that they must have done a similar part before in order to be good for this. If anything, then actors will be reluctant to take parts too similar to what they have done in the past: that leads to typecasting, after all.

  39. Graham McTavish in Outlander and Ray Stevenson in Musketeers fit the visual I had for Randyll Tarly perfectly. I think Stevenson will be busy filming Black Sails,but there may be time for Mctavish before Outlander begins filming Season 2… Not sure…

    Each of the other actors listed is someone I have pictured as a possibility for the role at some point and would be happy with. Winstone is cast in Of Kings and Prophets on ABC so he could be busy, Strong has a number of projects in pre-production or currently filming so he may be busy as well. Cox has a lot of projects in queue, but it looks like they are all in post-production. Mullan and Lynch look to have open schedules as far as I can tell.

    I would like to add three actors I can see as Lord Tarly..
    Sean Gilder, Douglas Hodge, and David O’Hara.

    Gilder and O’Hara both play the heavy roles brilliantly and have the acting chops for Thrones, but there is something about Hodge I just like. He reminds of John Bradley in some way. Maybe that is a bad thing since Sam is so little like his father? Hmmm….

    In order my choices would be:
    – Graham Mctavish
    – Sean Gilder
    – David O’Hara
    – Douglas Hodge
    – Peter Mullan

    Wild card:
    – Bryan F O’Byrne

  40. It is important he looks nothing like roose bolton or stannis becuase they are both middle aged short haired men …

  41. My personal candidate for this role – the actor Doug Bradley. He is bald, he is sixty years old, he is tall.
    But more importantly, he can play a charismatic leader. He played a sinister, severe, with a dark sense of humor leader (Pinhead from Hellraiser movies) and a good, wise, calm leader (Lilesberg from Nightbreed).

  42. Cannot believe Bill Nighy was left out of that list; tall, lean, stern, noble, cunning and British. Just looking at him brings these traits to mind, then on top of that he is an exceptional talent. He looks the part after McTavish, none of the others remotely resemble Tarly in my mind’s eye.

    my other choices…

    Ralph Fiennes
    Liam Neeson
    Rhys Ifans
    Hugh Bonneville

  43. Helenfromthegrave,
    I don’t know who this guy is so can’t comment on his suitability, but his picture is one of the best I’ve seen in a while where something in the background has inadvertently ‘joined in’. There is a very distinctive hook sticking out of the top of his head: useful for hanging him up in wardrobes, on the back of a door etc when he’s not needed ;O)

  44. CrowsEye,

    I would love that! XD

    He was one of the actors I thought of a years back, but wrote off since the role would be too small. Since then though the role seems to have gotten bigger and his career is not quite as busy…. Plus, Nina Gold does like her classically trained theatre actors….

  45. The Long Night:
    Ray Winestone would be a good choice.Personally, I like David O’Hara.He jumped to mind immediately for the role to me.

    I never thought of David O’Hara before but now that you mention it, could be good! Too young though?

  46. John Lynch wouldn’t make a bad Euron tbf idk about ray Winstone though as Tally though

  47. I’m sorry but am I missing today’s open chat for some reason or hasn’t it aired yet ?

  48. Jim Carter and Kevin McNally would be my suggestions … But out of the 6 listed, I think Ray Winstone is the best choice.

  49. That’s a ridiculously impressive list of accomplished actors. The biggest issue may be their availability. They would all be impressive in the role, but I would give the part to Peter Mullan.

    Meanwhile, in dream casting mode, put me down for Brian Blessed for the role of Wyman Manderly…

  50. I like Mark Strong. Tarly is tough and dismissive in a cold way. And he doesn’t look like Sam, he’s thin.

  51. It’s described as “a very good part” for next year and that he’s “centrally involved” in a protagonist’s storyline.

    So, time for speculation! With which protagonist’s storyline will the character be centrally involved? Cersei would be my bet. However, having not read Winter, I don’t know!

  52. Keith Allen and Alan Dale are horrendous choices for Tarly, thank god they’ll never be considered.

  53. Mullan is my favorite of the bunch. Graham McTavish is a good option as well imo. Hope it’s one of them…

  54. Wimsey: So, time for speculation!With which protagonist’s storyline will the character be centrally involved?Cersei would be my bet.However, having not read Winter, I don’t know!

    When has that ever stopped anyone? These threads would be a fraction of the length they are if people stuck to established facts and that kind of nonsense. You’re too much of a scientist sometimes, embrace your inner this-is-my-opinion-based-on-absolutely-nothing-at-all-and-stuff-anything-that-makes-any-actual-sense persona. 😉

  55. I think it’ll most likely be someone rather unknown. The show is great at getting lesser known actors to play these roles.

  56. Rolland Storm,

    I would say Nick Offerman as his character from Park & Rec if it was just a cameo performance with Tarly needing to scuff at something, anything 😀

  57. Wimsey: So, time for speculation!With which protagonist’s storyline will the character be centrally involved?Cersei would be my bet.However, having not read Winter, I don’t know!

    None, as you do not define Sam as a protagonist. The Tarly’s are just going to sit around all season having crumpets and tea, of course.

    Seriously, given the very narrow definition of the word “protagonist” as you use it, who else could it be but Cersei? Perhaps Jaime, but he needs to be heading towards Brienne not mucking around in the south.

  58. Liam,

    Such a great suggestion. I didn’t know Mark Ryan, so I looked him up. He looks like he could be Sam’s mean old father! Same face shape.

  59. Lulu’s Mum: You’re too much of a scientist sometimes, embrace your inner this-is-my-opinion-based-on-absolutely-nothing-at-all-and-stuff-anything-that-makes-any-actual-sense persona.

    Only sometimes?!?!? Clearly I am dropping the ball on occasions, then! 😀

    That written, we do have a little on which to go: after all, Winter is not going to be a reboot where, say, Cersei wakes up and discovers that all the events in Crows/Dragons was a bad dream. She would be my best guess simply because of proximity. But we need to see where this is going right now. Things are possibly shaping up (particularly on the show, but also in the books) for another 3-way fight: Lannisters vs. Tyrells vs. the Faith. My bet is that it’s there.

    I am one of those fans who likes to think: “How would I translate X’s story to the screen?” Instead, this is basically speculating about the next book: I have a strong hunch about what the story will be, but that is it. I have some strong hunches about what the opening plot lines will be: but that is it.

    Well, this makes me almost giddy!

  60. Chad Brick: None, as you do not define Sam as a protagonist.

    Of course I diagnose Sam as a protagonist. He’s a minor protagonist, but his character development been a part of each story after the first one. That’s what a protagonist is.

    That written, Cersei became a much more prominent protagonist in Crows. I am betting on Tarly becoming relevant to a Lannister vs. Tyrell vs. Faith struggle. Given that Mace Tyrell is developed as a buffoon of one sort (TV) or another (book), Tarly could be used effectively in this tussle, both in book and on screen.

  61. I think Cox or Winstone would do well they look like an older meaner version of Sam..while we are on the subject of season 6 casting.. Jason Isaacs for Euron or we riot!!

  62. Wimsey

    The time is absolutely ripe for a well-placed cunning military man to grab a lot of power: weak young king, disgraced royals, two key warriors out of action, weak or dead house leaders, religious militia, attacking Ironborn. So yes he’ll be in the midst of the KL chaos.
  63. Wimsey: Of course I diagnose Sam as a protagonist.He’s a minor protagonist, but his character development been a part of each story after the first one.That’s what a protagonist is.

    That written, Cersei became a much more prominent protagonist in Crows.I am betting on Tarly becoming relevant to a Lannister vs. Tyrell vs. Faith struggle.Given that Mace Tyrell is developed as a buffoon of one sort (TV) or another (book), Tarly could be used effectively in this tussle, both in book and on screen.

    The thing that puts me offguard is the casting of the ENTIRE Tarly family: Father, Mother, Dickon and a sister apparently. I thought that they may have rewritten the story to hve Sam meet Randyll in the south, but that makes no sense unless he heads the Tyrell forces against “Pirate in his 30/40ties” aka “sadly not acted by me”.. So I’m pretty sure that the mother, Dickon and “sister” are at Hornhill and Sam and Gilly make it there, while Randyll is definitely at Cersei’s side. The small council needs members, the problem is, they mustn’t look the same. We’ve got: Qyburn, Mace, Randyll, and

    (huge PERHAPS) Nymeria Sand?

    That’s not a lot since the SS is quite small as it is, but it does put everybody in place that needs to be there. If Dany’s season 6-arc ends up in Westeros, then the small council would have:
    – 1. A former Maester, banned by the Citadel that loves to double in necromancy/magic. Citadel hates magic+”who do you think killed the Dragons the first time?”. Dragons are magic = Banned Maester might be appealed by the prospect of serving a Dragon Queen? Or, Maester Marwyn = Show!Qyburn-amalgamation? Or was there a casting out for him? I hope so. Brian Blessed as Maester Marwyn!
    – 2. A lord who even in the show, opposed Baratheon’s, and thus sided with the Targaryens.
    – 3.

    A “Martell”, being the Dornish support, for when Dany gets there. Sort of similar to Arianne/fAegon being a Dorne/Dragon-Alliance in the books, but since that’s cut… And I don’t mean in the sense of a wedding of course.

    – 4.


    Dany was always worried that when she gets to Westeros, she has no houses that would back her claim, but if you really look at it, they only need to take out Mace (Tyrell’s will have their hands full when

    Euron hits the Reach

    ), and the ENTIRE Small Council can be seen as Pro-Targ. What if Mace orders Randyll to

    protect the Reach

    , when Varys hears of Daenerys approaching Westeros and goes to him and: “Hey, you want to join our group of Targ-loyalists, Dany’s on her way, and you’re in the best posish to become Lord Paramount of the Reach if you don’t oppose her.” Doesn’t take a genius who’s read the books a dozen times to figure out what would happen.

    That effectively puts

    the Reach and Dorne in Dany’s camp, assuming they’ll brush through the Stormlands ala fAegon, I’m saying: LF=TeamNorth vs. Varys=TeamSouth.
  64. Kells,

    I think Anthony Head is filming the second season of Dominion down in South Africa right now. I know Season 2 will have 13 episodes and production started about 2 months ago at the end of March, but I don’t know how long their filming schedule is… He may be too busy for GOT.

  65. I just want to see Ian McShane as anyone in Game of Thrones so he would be my pick

  66. I’ve said it several times on the Westeros forums and I’ll say it here – Chris Bauer (Sobotka from The Wire). He was also in True Blood, apparently, but I didn’t watch that. He’s American but he does Broadway stuff and accents. He certainly has intensity and seriousness. He put some weight on for The Wire but he’s normally pretty lean. Put a beard on him and I’d buy him as Sam’s father. Moreso than those other guys, save Winstone.

  67. Chad Brick: None, as you do not define Sam as a protagonist.

    You are correct.

    Wimsey: Of course I diagnose Sam as a protagonist.He’s a minor protagonist, but his character development been a part of each story after the first one.That’s what a protagonist is.

    That written, Cersei became a much more prominent protagonist in Crows.I am betting on Tarly becoming relevant to a Lannister vs. Tyrell vs. Faith struggle.Given that Mace Tyrell is developed as a buffoon of one sort (TV) or another (book), Tarly could be used effectively in this tussle, both in book and on screen.

    I seem to recall a discussion about Sam and you reminding me that he was a minor character. The word “protagonist” in relation to Sam was never used.

    Having said that, I agree that Randyll will see a lot of action in KL. I am hoping that he has a “reunion” of sorts with Sam.

    Perhaps when Sam stops at Horn Hill to drop off Gilly and Little Sam. (Maybe Sam can tell him about killing a WW and a Thenn. I despise Randyll.) Also, without Garlan and Willas and with Loras in prison, Randyll may serve as the military mastermind for the Reach. This may become important if Euron attacks Oldtown.
  68. MVC,

    He was cast in American Crime Story on FX Network. The season will be 10 episodes and they just began filming a week or two ago so I think he may be busy.

  69. check out mark strong from The Eagle. He was rocking a hard grey beard. Now imagine him with his normal shaved head and… bam.


  70. Jaime’s girl,

    He’s 49, so close. Cox strikes me as too old. One thing is certain, I look forward to the casting. I never pictured Steven Dillaine as Stannis, but now I can’t imagine a better choice. GoT gets the casting right with few exceptions.

    And honestly, I love the idea of Mactavish, but the discussion gets pretty boring if 300 people all just go with the same name. I was trying to suggest a good fit that wasn’t getting a mention. O’Hara also has the Nina Gold connection. 🙂

  71. I don’t think it could happen because he’s not European….but I’d kind of love to see Ron Perlman. I think a million years ago he said he would like to be a part of the show…he’s familiar with Martin’s work…and SOA is over now…

  72. mariamb: The word “protagonist” in relation to Sam was never used.

    If I ever typed “minor character,” then it was a mental typo: I only use “minor” to refer to “lesser” protagonists; I use “secondary” or “incidental” (or sometimes “tertiary” for those that aren’t really secondary but too prominent for “incidental”) for non-protagonists.

    At any rate, Sam does chip on the story line with his own internal conflicts. It isn’t a huge contribution, mind you: but he gets in a little internal conflict regarding duty in Clash, regarding love-hate stuff into Swords, and a bit of kill-the-boy-become-the-man in Crows. Obviously, that’s just GRRM trying to make a plotline that he deems important relevant to the story: but good authors do that sometimes. (“Sometimes” George! Arianne, Asha & Quentyn were way too much! 😀 )

    Basically, Sam is on par with Davos and Brienne in terms of contribution to the story. He’s ahead of all of the “new” protagonists from Crows/Dragons, but in a third tier behind the main ones (Daeny/Jon/Tyrion/Arya/Bran) and the second tier (Sansa/Jaime/Cersei). In the hordes of lead characters, I probably am omitting somebody, too. There are official terms for different “levels” of protagonists, but I’ve long since forgotten those.

    Sam also doubles as a secondary character for Jon’s arch: but that is hardly uncommon in multiprotagonist tales.

  73. Dementia,

    He was my pick for Aero Hotah

    “How about Anthony Head?”

    Giles from Buffy? How about…. Bruce Campbell. He can play the ****ing man and eats scenery all day.

  74. Hello there, another first time poster (and a very long time GRRM fan) reveals himself to your kind attention, :).
    But I will be (reasonably) brief and to the point: although I suppose the age factor is not in his advantage, how come nobody thought of …..(drum roll)….
    Ed Harris, ladies and gents ?
    Can anyone deny him that steely austerity and the grim resolve a genuine Tarly should exude ?

  75. I don’t know who they’re going to pick, but all I’ll say is it’s a shame that Dustin Diamond is going to be sentenced to prison here soon.

  76. Tom Wilkinson. John Bradley kind of looks like him.

    Danny Huston.

    Mark Lewis Jones.

  77. Would really like to see David Morse play Lord Randall.
    A young looking 61, is 6 foot 4 and looks like he could still swing Heartsbane very effectively. David has an extensive resume both in Television and Film including a 6 year role in St Elsewhere, Treme,The Long Kiss Goodnight, The Green Mile and Contact, will appear in 8 episodes of the new season of True Detective. I definitely think he could do a great job in the role!!

  78. I would cast Mark Strong for literally EVERY role with knights involved – except Tarly. xD I think Winstone would be great because he shares some physical similarities with John Bradley.

  79. StandOzone,

    When I consider actors for casting spec, I try to be remotely realistic so to be honest, a movie star like Fassbender wouldn’t be in consideration.

  80. Charles M:
    Tom Wilkinson. John Bradley kind of looks like him.

    Danny Huston.

    Mark Lewis Jones.

    These are great suggestions! Huzzah!

  81. Wouldn’t we need someone with (or who could successfully simulate) a similar accent to Sam? I’ve never heard Ray Winstone do any accent besides East London though he is a good actor. The suggestions made could all do the part regarding looks (if one is not looking for an exact carbon copy of book Randyll). I wondered about Hugo Speer – he has played hard roles but having looked him up he is 46 so might be too young.

    Although, having mentioned accents above, of the Starks Ned, Robb and Jon played their parts with northern English accents while Sansa and Caitlyn played their parts as “well spoken” and Arya (at first – her accent has become rather more “cut glass” over the years) had something of an English west country dialect. Maybe in the GoT world Sam’s (not so) fond papa could have a different accent to Sam.

  82. I’m looking for a mix between Peter Mullan and Brian Cox. McTavish seems too much of a charicature and I can’t picture him as Samwell’s daddy. Although they are different in character and size, McTavish looks too Scottish to match Samwell’s London.

    Why people want Mark Strong or Lynch I really don’t know.. They look too much like they’re in the Irish Maffia.. Italian is also a possibility for Strong.. It just doesn’t fit.

    I came across a new article for Black Angel (scfi film) and Rutger Hauer is going to play a role in that. Hauer has the gravitas of Cox and Mullan and the sterness of McTavish as well as the 50’s to 60’s criteria. Aside from him doing Black Angel, of which I know it begins filming soon, so he could be available for GoT come Late August/September. He isn’t beside doing television work and as for acting, I would list Pryce and Dance as two of his peers in skill. Definitely a strong fit in my eyes.

  83. Wait, Black Angel is a medieval/scifi.. And Rutger Hauer has done plenty of medieval roles. I think Rutger has a very, very strong chance if he were to audition.

  84. I think Graham McTavish’s availability is being underestimated: without getting into spoiler territory for Outlander, McTavish’s character plays a significantly reduced role in the second book in the series due to location changes, and I would be surprised if he is in more than a handful of episodes of Season 2. As long as his contract with Starz permits it and there isn’t bad luck with both shows needing the characters for the same small window of filming schedules, I think it would be doable.

  85. Clancy Brown! What better excuse for not living up to your father than “Well, you see, my dad is the Kurgan.” Dragonglass and Valyrian Steel may kill White Walkers, but the Kurgan eats White Walkers and Dragons for breakfast!

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