Young Actress Cast in Big Season 8 Episode!

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As Game of Thrones filming season continues, today we bring you the kind of news that are understandably few and far between for the show’s last season: casting news. But they exist! A young actress has been cast in a role, which isn’t saying much, but there are clues that may point us to the right direction, such as the character’s name, previous casting calls that match the role, and the veteran who is directing her scenes.

As we can see in her agency’s site, the young actress cast in season eight is Bronte Carmichael. That alone is not much with which to speculate (though that is a stupendous name,) but we know a bit more than that. The character’s name is Martha, which is a common enough name … common enough, perhaps, for one of the smallfolk?

Most intriguing is the director attached to Carmichael’s role: Miguel Sapochnik. As the man responsible for The Gift, Hardhome, Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter, few veteran Game of Thrones directors can compete with his track record. That’s probably why, for this six-part season, Sapochnik is the one directing the third and fifth episodes, which we have reasons to believe are the ones with the season’s two greatest battle sequences. Let’s keep this spoiler-free (so tag your spoilers in the comments!), but if you have been following our filming reports, you know which two I mean.

Though Bronte’s role may be small, she is not an extra, but a featured character played by an accomplished child actor. So, if I were to guess (judging by her résumé, her character’s name and who is directing her,) I’d say this “Martha” character will be one of the many smallfolk who find themselves in danger during the White Walker invasion.

This profile may remind you of the young daughter role we so recently uncovered, but that casting notice called for much younger talent; twin girls, in fact, to film more hours without breaking any child labor laws. Instead, “Martha” is much more likely to be the Northern girl character we revealed last September: around age 8 (but played by an actress as old as 10,) Northern-accented, straight-talking, dauntless, honorable, fearless, from a family of soldiers. The part was said to be a “very nice stand-out part for a strong-minded young girl with a fighting spirit.” If this is indeed Carmichael’s role, according to the casting call she already filmed her scenes back in November.

Arya Stark 101

Will Martha be the tough Northern girl she appears to be? Is she, perhaps, one of the children who Jon decreed would learn to fight regardless of gender? What do you think?

40 responses

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    1. If she’s not going to become “Bronte-saurus” I suppose my second guess for who she is…

      Martha Glover, granddaughter of Lord Glover.

      “You expect me to put a spear in my granddaughter’s hand?”

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    2. Another one little kid who will be a White Walker ..along with little Alys Karstark and little Ned Umber

      Clob:
      Gotta be Bran’s warg vessel for kicking wight ass.

      * oh oops

      Hodor… or in the fashion of Mr Derp…Hoclob

      Hold the Clob..lol

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    3. Clob: Martha Glover, granddaughter of Lord Glover.

      “You expect me to put a spear in my granddaughter’s hand?”

      That’s a great guess! I may still be partial to mine, a smallfolk child soldier, but she could well be a Glover instead. She was alluded to last season, after all.

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    4. She shouldn’t be fighting if she’s only 8, Jon told his people to start training all boys and girls over age 10, unless I’m mistaken?

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    5. Is “Martha” a placeholder name, like the pseudonym they used for Lord Manderly before S6?

      PS In the books,

      isn’t there a classic speech by Manderly’s daughter or granddaughter…something about “the wolves taking us in when we were sore beset”, or something like that?

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    6. ABlueEyedGiantNamedMacumber:
      She shouldn’t be fighting if she’s only 8, Jon told his people to start training all boys and girls over age 10, unless I’m mistaken?

      They may be looking for a look, more than an actual age. But you’re right about that. Of course, she could just be a fiesty non-combatant. We’ll see!

      Ten Bears,

      I doubt they’ll give the Wylla Manderly role, or an equivalent, to such a young girl. But Martha could be a placeholder name; they usually are. Honestly, they may not even say her name on screen. It may give us an idea of her place in the world, but other than that I don’t think there’s much meaning to the name.

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    7. cos alpha:
      Is Martha really a common name, especially in Westeros?
      We don’t really know many common Westerosi names.

      There isn’t a Martha in the books… but she can be “first of her name” 🙂

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    8. I suppose she could be a Karstark as it looks like she’s got some reddish hair and freckles like Douchebag Karstark from season 6.

      Either way, I would tend to agree that it’s the daughter/granddaughter of one of our flip-floppin fickle Northern lords.

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    9. Luka Nieto,

      If she is “straight-talking, dauntless, honorable, fearless, from a family of soldiers”, she can’t be related to Lord Glover aka Lord “In Their Hour of Greatest Need, You Refused the Call” Glover.

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    10. cos alpha:
      Is Martha really a common name, especially in Westeros?
      We don’t really know many common Westerosi names.

      When the show uses a real name, and spelt the way we spell it, there is a common misconception that this is a deviation from the books. But the books are full of real names, especially outside the nobility (with key exceptions; e.g. Robert.) I even saw people complaining about the show using “country” to refer to the Seven Kingdoms (not just to the land,) even though the word has been used in the same way many times in the books. I guess the weird, Medieval-like names for people and places stick more with us, so when we see the show use a normal name for something it seems strange. But it isn’t, really!

      Mr Derp: I suppose she could be a Karstark as it looks like she’s got some reddish hair and freckles like Douchebag Karstark from season 6.

      We already have Alys Karstark. Maybe it’s her little sister, of course, but it seems a bit overkill to have two very similar tertiary characters.

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    11. Luka Nieto,

      Absolutely. I have no idea who she’ll play, but, for example, if they decide to show Karhold getting massacred then it wouldn’t be unreasonable to show more than 1 of the Karstarks.

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    12. Luka Nieto,

      True.
      Jon, Arthur, Robert, Robin, Ben, Lucas… Most names are odd or spelled differently but there are several rather common ones in the story. Maybe they can just spell it Marthaw.

      This made me think of Caitriona Balfe. That name or spelling may be common in Ireland and Scotland. I don’t know, but I’ve never see it before her.

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    13. Clob,

      Yea, I think it’s a Gaelic form of Katrina or something like that. It’s definitely unique to her as I haven’t seen or heard that pronunciation in my life, though I’m sure others in Ireland or elsewhere have it too. As far as I’m concerned, she’s so awesome in every way that she SHOULD have a unique name! *Day dreams for a few moments before shaking it off* Anyway…

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    14. Luka Nieto,

      I’m vaguely familiar with “classic” book speeches, and I’ve noticed that the show sometimes adapts them out of chronological order, rewrites them, or assigns them to different characters. (For example, I wasn’t thrilled with Brother Ray’s version of “The Broken Man” speech from the books; in fact, I thought the words of the young Lannister soldiers who invited Arya to their cookout in S7e2 hewed more closely to the themes of the book speech.) In other instances, the show has paid homage to book storylines, eg Sandor as gravedigger burying the bodies of Rabbit Stew Sally and her father in S7e1.

      So who knows? Maybe the show will adapt a book speech and have “Martha” deliver it. I haven’t a clue – and would like it to stay that way.

      🚱

        Quote  Reply

    15. Ten Bears,

      I kind of think that they fused together Lyanna Mormont and Wylla Manderly to represent the fierce girls that seemed to be found throughout the North. While not the same, Lyanna Mormont’s “the North Remembers” speech has a bit of the spirit of Wylla’s outburst in White Harbor:

      “A thousand years before the Conquest, a promise was made, and oaths were sworn in the Wolf’s Den before the old gods and the new. When we were sore beset and friendless, hounded from our homes and in peril of our lives, the wolves took us in and nourished us and protected us against our enemies. The city is built upon the land they gave us. In return we swore that we should always be their men. Stark men!

      If they were still planning on having Wylla and her speech, the time that it would make the most sense would be if the Manderlys were planning on rebelling against House Stark given Jon’s decision to bend the knee to a Targaryen and Wylla steps up and reminds everyone else where their loyalties lie.

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    16. If Lyanna Mormont had a little sister, she’d be it.

      Interesting, I’m not sure which family (if any prominent one) she’d be in. Cool name!

        Quote  Reply

    17. Well I don’t know who she will play, I would just like to say how pretty she is and OT just watched Aiden Gillen in Dave Allen at Peace which included Conleith Hill as his brother and Ian McElhinney. Dave Allen will probably only be known by Brits of a certain age, but if you get the chance give it a go. His irreverance of religion at the time was quite something in the 70’s/80’s.

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    18. Ten Bears:
      Is “Martha” a placeholder name, like the pseudonym they used for Lord Manderly before S6?

      PS In the books,

      I’m hoping for that speech so much.

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    19. Congrats to the young actress for landing a tiny role on GoT.

      I haven’t followed all the casting and filming spoilers here, but I do remember a call for a feisty northern girl. It might not be this casting, probably isn’t, but I remember groaning at the time. Like, all girls now have to be “feisty”.

      It has a wiff of girls (and women) don’t matter unless they’re ‘feisty’, or, to put it more bluntly, more like boys or men. There’s a wiff of misogyny. S7 Arya said it, sneering at Sansa’s feminine pursuits like sewing (which gave Jon a cloak worthy of a Stark King in the North), and even at her pretty handwriting. Even little Lady Mormont disparaged knitting, not understanding the enormous work the home front does to enable the men to fight.

      Knitting warm woolens for the boys at war really is crucial. My country fought a bitter war against an overwhelming enemy in the dead of an exceptionally cold winter. The enemy wore cotton, our guys wore standard issue woolen trousers and jackets, then woolen jumpers, socks, mittens, scarves, underwear, all knitted by the wives, mothers, sisters. The enemy perished more due to the cold than any actual military advantage. Our side knew how to operate the few guns we had, with winter, -30 Celisius or more, it gave us an edge. Winter knowledge is power. Our brave soldiers knew how to cope with cold, bitterly cold winter, they were as warm as they ever could be, thanks to all the knitted jumpers, socks, scarves, hats, mittens etc. So never tell me knitting isn’t important. I really want to have a word with little Lady Mormont. Oh, and Arya, too.

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    20. Ten Bears:
      Luka Nieto,

      I’m vaguely familiar with “classic” book speeches, and I’ve noticed that the show sometimes adapts them out of chronological order, rewrites them, or assigns them to different characters. (For example, I wasn’t thrilled with Brother Ray’s version of “The Broken Man” speech from the books; in fact, I thought the words of the young Lannister soldiers who invited Arya to their cookout in S7e2 hewed more closely to the themes of the book speech.) In other instances, the show has paid homage to book storylines, eg Sandor as gravedigger burying the bodies of Rabbit Stew Sally and her father in S7e1.

      So who knows? Maybe the show will adapt a book speech and have “Martha” deliver it. I haven’t a clue – and would like it to stay that way.

      I was so pissed when they gave Sansa’s own thoughts / words to L F in season 5.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Dear Talvikorppi, girls can be both, feisty and good knitters. Isn’t it amazing, what a good needle could do?

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    22. Luka Nieto,

      “When the show uses a real name, and spelt the way we spell it, there is a common misconception that this is a deviation from the books. But the books are full of real names, especially outside the nobility (with key exceptions; e.g. Robert.)…”

      I must apologize.
      In Your essay above You wrote “Martha, which is a common enough name … common enough, perhaps, for one of the smallfolk?” and I took “common” for “vulgar”, a typical vulgar name for smallfolk. It seemed to me as if the conclusion Martha > vulgar name > smallfolk had not really a basis, because names as Sam, Jon, Robert could be claimed to be vulgar also.
      But I see, You meant common = it is known.

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    23. Grail King: I was so pissed when they gave Sansa’s own thoughts / words to L F in season 5.

      I haven’t read the books. What thoughts or words of Sansa did they give to LF in S5?

      BTW, I read a while back (or maybe heard it in a Rory McCann interview) that LF’s S1 speech to Sansa and Arya about Gregor burning Sandor was originally scripted to be delivered by Sandor himself to Sansa, but the showrunners changed it before filming. The showrunners assured Rory it was because they wanted to bring his character along slowly.

      In that case, it worked. Sandor’s scene with Arya in S4e7 in which he tells her about Gregor burning him is one of my Top 5 GoT scenes. I doubt it would’ve had the same impact if Sandor had delivered that speech early on.

        Quote  Reply

    24. talvikorppi,

      Great point about the strategic importance of knitting duing the Talvisota! And it’s sad that modern cultural standards demand turning every “strong female character” into a tomboy. Probably, only the nations which have been through a real war for survival are able to understand the importance of “spinning and mending”, but life is life.

      As for Martha’s character, IMO she really makes sense as Glover’s grand-daughter, especially if the showrunners intend to adapt a certain speach: Lord Glover might need some scolding to stay in the right place, and here it might fit. Children are not their fathers or grandfathers after all.

        Quote  Reply

    25. cos alpha:
      Dear Talvikorppi, girls can be both, feisty and good knitters. Isn’t it amazing, what a good needle could do?

      It’s not as if Arya was without sewing skills.

      Let me wash it out and help you sew it up at least.

      – Arya to Sandor, S4e7

        Quote  Reply

    26. She looks like Bella Ramsey. Lady Mormont said Bear Island will begin training girls and boys immediately. If we think of feisty, the first character that comes to mind is Lyanna. There’s a good chance this is a cousin or a sister of the good Lady Mormont.

        Quote  Reply

    27. talvikorppi: It has a wiff of girls (and women) don’t matter unless they’re ‘feisty’, or, to put it more bluntly, more like boys or men.

      Inga: And it’s sad that modern cultural standards demand turning every “strong female character” into a tomboy.

      I understand what you’re saying and your points are valid. What I don’t think is that in the case of their casting using the word “feisty” is necessarily meaning tomboy or boy-like. I just believe they want someone who can believably act strong spirited and outgoing. Some, boy or girl, might find it difficult to even ACT that way. Bella Ramsey could and fit as Lyanna Mormont and I’d describe that character as feisty, but I wouldn’t consider her a tomboy. On the other hand, one wouldn’t consider Sweetrobin as a very feisty or a strong character. I might have used that term for someone like Olly though…

      GoT is stuffed to the rafters with strong female characters that are/were nowhere near being turned into tomboys or male-ish. Daenerys, Catelyn, Cersei, Margaery, current Sansa, Olenna, and others all qualify. Brienne and Arya ARE actually tomboys in the story though and were called such. They both grew up wanting to do the things the boys were and not caring about what their culture considers women’s work.

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    28. talvikorppi,

      Gee, I wonder what could be missing from the composition of the writing team that they reflexively fall back on “knitting” as an unworthy activity suitable only for bubbleheaded girls? 🤔

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    29. Ten Bears: I haven’t read the books. What thoughts or words of Sansa did they give to LF in S5?

      BTW, I read a while back (or maybe heard it in a Rory McCann interview) that LF’s S1 speech to Sansa and Arya about Gregor burning Sandor was originally scripted to be delivered by Sandor himself to Sansa, but the showrunners changed it before filming. The showrunners assured Rory it was because they wanted to bring his character along slowly.

      In that case, it worked. Sandor’s scene with Arya in S4e7 in which he tells her about Gregor burning him is one of my Top 5 GoT scenes. I doubt it would’ve had the same impact if Sandor had delivered that speech early on.

      In book, LF is asking Sansa / Alayne if she can be his daughter in heart and mind, and Sansa tells us: ” But I’m not your daughter, I’m Sansa Stark eldest daughter of Lord Eddard and the Lady Caitlyn; the Blood of Winterfell “, “but that’s not what LF wants to hear, lies and Arbor Gold… of course father who else should I be.” Remember his speech to her overlooking Moat Calin?
      In book Sandor tells Sansa of how his face was burned, not LF as in the show.

        Quote  Reply

    30. talvikorppi:
      cos alpha,

      I know 🙂Tell that to Lyanna Mormont and Arya Stark. 🙂

      but, these view points are ‘real’ view points, even if you don’t agree with them or are mature enough to understand people can be strong in many different ways… I was once a little girl who scoffed at a several ‘girly’ things that I ‘felt’ was always being forced on me, but I grew out of that, as most of us do. These are characters that were written to represent a ‘type’ of girl, so the writers used an obvious (and overused) shorthand to do that. So, if you have a problem blame the writers for being lazy…

        Quote  Reply

    31. The world doesn’t just let girls decide what they’re going to be. True then, true now…though to a lesser extent. If a girl wants to be girly or refuse gender limitations, so be it. Boys should have choices too; some men knit. The modern world should allow choice to everyone…AND to let them succeed. I support anyone who knows their path and pursues it, whether it’s the well-trodden path for their ‘type’ or something different and difficult. But it’s the mould-breakers I truly admire because their courage widens horizons for us and for future generations. Cheers!

        Quote  Reply

    32. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      “I knew what I was doing was against the rules but he was smiling, so I knew it wasn’t wrong. The rules were wrong. I was doing what I was meant to be doing and he knew it.”

      – Arya (S7e6), describing Ned watching her secretly practice archery

        Quote  Reply

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