HBO announces the core cast members and director of Game of Thrones prequel pilot

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HBO has announced the core cast and director of the Game of Thrones prequel which we are currently (and unofficially) calling The Long Night. Fellow nerds, I recommend getting your Kermit Arm Flail gif ready before reading on.

Entertainment Weekly revealed that The Long Night‘s pilot episode will be directed by SJ Clarkson, whose directorial credits include Orange Is the New Black, Dexter, Bates Motel, and the pilot for Jessica Jones. She will also directing the next Star Trek film.

Furthermore, eight actors more have been added to the cast list, bringing the total number of known cast members up to ten. Josh Whitehouse and Naomi Watts were previously announced as the show leads.


Naomi Ackie

naomi

This British actress previous appeared in 2017’s Lady Macbeth and also has an upcoming role in Star Wars: Episode IX.

Denise Gough

denise

Though she’s best known for her stage performances in Angels in America and People, Places and Things, Gough also portrayed Marquise de Belbeuf in last year’s film, Colette.

Sheila Atim

shella

You might have seen her as Limehouse Nell on Hulu’s Harlots, but she also played several characters in the Donmar Warehouse’s filmed All-Female Shakespeare Trilogy.

Ivanno Jeremiah

ivanno

The British actor will appear in the upcoming film The Flood. You can also see him on Netflix’s Black Mirror and AMC’s Humans.

Georgie Henley

Gerogie

The 23-year old actress is still probably best known for playing Lucy Pevensie in the film adaptations of C.S Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. Hopefully, her role in The Long Night as well as Starz’s upcoming series, The Spanish Princess will help her establish herself as an adult actress in her own right.

Alex Sharp

alex

The stage actor won a Tony Award in 2015 for his lead role in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.

Toby Regbo

toby

He played young Albus Dumbledore in last year’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Crimes of Grindelwald and Aethelred in The Last Kingdom, but perhaps his most Game of Thrones-y role to date was as the tragic Prince Francis on Starz’ Reign.

Jamie Campbell Bower

jamie

The second Fantastic Beasts alum to be cast in The Long Night, Campbell Bower also played King Arthur on Starz’ Camelot as well as the silver-voiced sailor, Anthony, in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Sweeney Todd. If we get anymore songs from A Song of Ice and Fire set to music in The Long Night, I wouldn’t mind if Campbell Bower is chosen to sing them. By the way, Campbell played Ser Waymar Royce in the unaired Game of Thrones pilot, though he was recast for the reshoots and we never ended up seeing him in the show. He’s got a second chance now!


Though very little is known about the the plot or the characters, it certainly looks as though The Long Night will be a more racially diverse and female-centered show than Game of Thrones, which (as others have long pointed out) has always featured an overwhelmingly white cast.

As dearly tempting as it is to speculate who these actors might be playing (all Dumbledore/Grindelwald comments aside, do Campbell Bower and Regbo look enough alike to play brothers or is that just me?), we have to remember that The Long Night (or whatever the official title will be) will take place in a fundamentally different Planetos than we’re familiar with.

“There’s no King’s Landing. There’s no Iron Throne. There are no Targaryens — Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet with its dragons and the great empire that it built,” George R.R. Martin told Entertainment Weekly back in November. “We’re dealing with a different and older world and hopefully that will be part of the fun of the series.”

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103 responses

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    1. GeekFurious: Toby Regbo is terrifically terrible

      As I mentioned in my post in the other thread, those might be the words I’d describe JCB whenever I see him in anything, in a bad way; terrifically terrible. Perhaps tremendously terrible is more adequate. It seems to me like most things he’s in are either cancelled, critically panned or just cheesy. I’m a little less excited about the show just seeing his name. He can prove me wrong though.

      Campbell Bower and Regbo look enough alike to play brothers or is that just me?

      I can see that.

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    2. Naomi, Shella and Ivanno: very VERY interesting.
      there are the tall men of Sarnor, Ibbenese, Dothraki, summer islanders, Naathi, Asshaii, and other cultures of dark skinned people they could be playing, one or more could even have been cast as a Child of the Forest. This hints at things having happened we don’t know of in the books, so it’s exciting.

      White dudes cast:
      If this is going to involve the First Men, shouldn’t they be casting some large rough looking Scots, Icelanders, and Norwiegans too?

      Because so far it looks like Naomi Watts and her friends are going to a late 90s boyband concert…….

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    3. GeekFurious:
      Toby Regbo is terrifically terrible in THE LAST KINGDOM and I can’t wait to see what he brings to this show.

      Agreed. After his role in The Last Kingdom, I can now only imagine him playing a rich, pompous villain. Especially with his accent and general Lannister-y demeanor.

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    4. Toby had been horrible in everything I’ve seen him in. But it’s exciting to see so many unknown’ish actors. That’s how we got some of the fab actors in GOT like Emilia, Richard. Kit, Sophie, Maisie, etc

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    5. So interested in finding out the actual title. I’m intrigued by this prequel series quite a bit, but I cannot fully commit until we’ve finished GoT. But this new casting information is awesome.

      Hopefully this new blood can come to create their own magic when all is said and done.

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    6. I’ll confess that I don’t know much about these actors (thought the comments so far seems to agree they’re not very good?) but I’m more concerned about their looks…

      Isn’t the long night about the first men, the night’s watch and the others? I’m not sure what so many women/black characters will do… As for the other men… They don’t seem very first-men-y? Meaning, they look about as strong as Olly when the Thenns attacked his village.
      I would’ve expected some big, though looking guys, or if not big, at least battle-hardened…
      I think this might have to do with Jon Snow; Jon Snow (well, the actor) is quite small, so maybe they went with the same kind of physiques…
      Shows like that seems to associate small/weak looking = good guy, big/dangerous-looking = bad guy…
      Good guy warriors can be big too. Would make it more believable.
      If everyone in an army is 5’6, they would have a huge disadvantage against an army made of guys like the Clegane brothers, or even just the Jaime Lannisters of the world, who would have the edge due to strength/reach alone.

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    7. I haven’t seen Mr Regbo so can’t judge. Reign seems to have been one of those series that featured characters with names from history but had very little to do with actual history. Mind you, it was aimed at a younger age bracket than I belong to. Jamie Campbell-Bower and one other member of the cast were the reasons I stopped watching Camelot though it wasn’t really (in my opinion at least) a very good show. He was rather better in another (bad and quickly cancelled) show Will. I didn’t mind him as Christopher Marlowe but it was an awful show. I’ve heard of Georgie Henlie but haven’t seen her in anything. Was the Tulley family around at the time of the long night? With her colouring she could be a Tulley. I don’t know any of the other members of the cast offhand but will wait to see the pilot before making any judgements.

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    8. Well, as of right now, Naomi Watts is the only cast member I’m excited about.

      The presence of at least three major black characters makes me wonder if we might see some stuff outside of Westeros.

      After all, the Long Night probably affected the whole planet, given the fact that there are legends about it all over the world.

      Could be a family of Summer Islanders or something. Could be interesting to expand beyond Westeros.

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    9. Only one I’m interested in is Jamie Cambell Bower. The rest not so much. The more I hear of the spin-off the less interesting I am about it. It’s the same feeling I had when news about Dr who season 11 was released. And with that show my feeling was right.

      I hope this will not be a political correct version of GoT (Which I have the feeling). I’m not against it, i’m very political correct myself, but I don’t have too see it being forced on tv. (hopefully people understand what I mean)

      I hope I’m wrong and the main focus will be telling a good story, but my gut feeling tell something else.

      ps. I really want some news about the premier dates of season 8 he he he.

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    10. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      I always wondered what Game of Thrones would be like if it was made by The CW.

      I hate to say it, but that’s the same kind of vibe I’m starting to feel. I even thought “CW” to myself earlier. I realize I’m getting ahead of myself here but I’ll just say I’m really not wanting some teensie, family friendly, cleaned up pc program or those that start to focus and force the story mainly on specific group acceptance in our current society. There are numerous shows doing that sort of thing. Leave it to the ‘real world’ programs. It shouldn’t be crammed into this fantasy world that already has a ‘style’ of its own. Despite the vocal minority it sure seems like viewers want the grit and grime.

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    11. Eonwe:
      Nick20,

      So far the tales of the Long Night outside of Westeros are from the Rhoynar and the ancient Empire of Dawn and Yi Ti.

      And Asshai, and the Dothraki, as the Stallion who Mounts the World is basically another version of Azor Ahai.

      And some other places too. It’s pretty widespread.

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    12. I wasn’t interested in going back to the white walker well. Not much interest in the cast. Prequels in general are almost always inferior. Yet I’ll still watch. I just hope this doesn’t end any chance of other shows set in the world, ones I think would have been more interesting.

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    13. I haven’t commented in a while. Glad to see this fandom is carrying on its grand tradition of complaining about things and writing them off without much information.

      Seriously, go back and look at the archives on the old site if they’re still up. GoT was predicted to be doomed to failure based on Peter Dinklage not being blond, NCW having the wrong nose, Michelle Fairley being too old and a chair not being properly medieval looking.

      Maybe the show will be great. Maybe it won’t. It’s too soon to tell. It’s silly to dismiss it based on some cast photos.

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    14. WeirwoodTreeHugger,
      It’s just discussion and ‘fears,’ not predictions. 😀

      I’m thrilled they’re doing another series! I would have hated my time with this world to be left with only a couple books to read, eventually. It’s also about one of my top two story choices ( I think) so that’s great! There is some fear behind it though that they’ll totally change a lot of what I like so much in GoT. There are far too many examples of remakes, prequels and sequels totally messing with the style and they become completely different things.

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    15. I think that the best setting for a prequel spin-off so far is the first Blackfyre Rebellion. So many great characters and a climatic final battle decided by a very twisted action.

      Aegon IV, Daemon Blackfyre, Bloodraven, Bittersteel, Shiera Seastar, Daeron II, Baelor Breakspears, Maekar Targaryen…

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    16. Denise Gough was excellent last year in Colette, in which she played Missy de Morny (the Marquise de Belbeuf was her title via marriage), Colette’s lesbian lover who dressed as a man. She can manage a striking, strong, forceful character.

      Alex Sharp also did a nice job playing the teenaged lead in last year’s film version of Neil Gaiman’s short story How to Talk to Girls at Parties. I wonder what the nerdy Everyman role will be in the prequel.

      I’ve never seen Ivanno Jeremiah in anything, but wow: Those green green eyes with that black black skin are certainly an arresting combo! If we could just sit and stare at him for the whole first hour, I think I’d be OK with that.

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    17. I will definitely admit I’m also getting a CW and/or Freeform vibe from this so far, but even if it’s tempting to assume the worst I refuse to jump to any conclusions just yet, there’s just too little to go on at the moment–and in any case, I know I’ll be watching this show’s first season before drawing any hard conclusions about it. I owe HBO some faith, they still produce most of the best stuff on TV if you ask me, and I imagine they won’t want to abandon the gritty drama that is so strongly a part of GoT’s identity. George did collaborate with Jane on this and talked to her extensively, so she wasn’t drawing on absolutely nothing when writing it, we just haven’t been exposed to any of this era of history (which is shrouded in legend) so our speculation and expectations are based on next to nothing.

      Of these picks the one I’m most excited for is by far Ivanno Jeremiah. He has a great, striking look and he’s actually a pretty damn good actor too. Whatever concerns I might have about some of the other cast members, I’m sure he’ll be great no matter who he plays. On Planetos I’d love to see him in more of a mysterious and mystical role. He’d be an awesome Shadowbinder or Child of the Forest.

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    18. Tyrion Pimpslap: Yet I’ll still watch. I just hope this doesn’t end any chance of other shows set in the world, ones I think would have been more interesting

      Yup. Agreed. This is my concern as well.

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    19. Haven’t commented also in a while but happy to see that even the murmur of a more diverse cast calls for «  its forced / its pc ». I thought by now everyone would know black/ brown ppl always existed, and definitely still do. Good on hbo to catch that and try and capitalize on the #Demthrones demographics. Its not going backwards.

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    20. WeirwoodTreeHugger,

      Oh trust me, I still hope the prequels will be amazing. Even 50% of what got was I’m okay with. The history of a song of ice and core aka game of thrones is so rich. I will even argue that’s its richer than that of lord of the rings. So many possibilities for shows. They could make 50 seasons that can be amazing.

      But there are some fears in me and the fans. The cast of the show give us a certain vibe. The same vibe as many shows lately. Im all for diversity etc but the art need to be the main focus. That’s what got made so good. Art before the rest. The story is the most important thing.
      And Jane has also a certain way with making movies. I liked her xmen movies and other movies but got need something else. I rather have Peter Jackson or Jack bender for it. His episode was amazing in got.

      Many shows that were of high quality are being destroyed because the makers don’t understand the story. Dr who I was very interested in the change to a female doctor. Watching it I liked the female doctor,but I don’t like the rest. The new writers don’t understand what the story made so viewable. Same with star wars. Jj Abrams is amazing with lost fringe person of interest but not with a franchise like star wars.

      A good prequel is better call Saul in my opinion. The same makers as better call Saul. Its different but you see a certain quality in both shows. One of my favorite prequels. Why? Because they understand the story.

      I hope my fears are just fears and once I watch the show I’m happy it was made.

      The reason I react this way is only that game of thrones is one of my favorite TV show. And a song of ice and fire my favorite franchise. I don’t want anything bad to happen to it.

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    21. Kevin1989,

      Following up on what you wrote: I’m not a huge fan of horror movies, but I think what makes Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro (to name another) great fantasy directors is their background in horror. They really know how to tap into the darkness that is such a crucial element in the best fantasy stories. Without that, fantasy movies and TV are pure cheese—the equivalent of every Disney retelling of a fairy tale. (I like my fairy tales with their fangs left intact, thank you very much.)

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    22. Congrats to all these actors for making the cut, a special shout out to Ms Henley as she was a selection of mine for the original show, apparently the casting director agrees she has the talent to excel.
      Concerning the core acting group, wasn’t there a call for a middle aged African actor and a couple of Scandinavian ones?

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    23. Tensor the Mage, Who Has Sometimes Stayed Up Late Reading Foundational Histories Which Later Turned Out To Be Hogwash says:

      As this prequel series will, presumably, end with erection of The Wall (and thus with the start of the status quo which existed at the beginning of “Game of Thrones”) it would be fascinating to learn that most of what passes for civilization on Planetos was actually founded by darker-skinned folks, who then departed (or fell out of power). Their lighter-skinned, former underlings then carried on, gradually replacing the real history with myths of Founders who looked like them.

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    24. Wolfish,
      Yep, I’m of that thinking. I also want to highlight “fantasy,” high fantasy, which George’s stories of this world are with magic, creatures, unusual races, horrific fictional and plausible evils, etc. This is not historical or historical fiction, which is easy to build with but can also be too limiting.

      Losing the fangs is a worry in starting over with all new showrunners, and cast. They mention the separation in time from GoT that could make them think they have to change too much. In my opinion, if anything it should be an even darker, more barbaric and evil period.

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    25. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      I always wondered what Game of Thrones would be like if it was made by The CW.

      Oh burn!

      Il not giving up hope just yet, but count me among those who did not care for Toby what’s-his-name in The Last Kingdom. Not only did his character suck, but his acting was pretty unconvincing as well.

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    26. kevin1989,

      Here’s the thing for all those concerned about political correctness. One, in Planetos’ history people of color exist with fully-developed lives. It’s simply that GoT focuses most on the European part of the story. Two, since the series pulls mightily from real-world history, we need to remember real history has been multicultural for eons. The Silk Road. Ancient Chinese naval exploration. Black Africans and those of African descent in the Roman legions, medieval Scottish courts and among the generals of Napoleon. Telling stories that broaden the lens on the human condition isn’t political. It’s just correct.

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    27. Wow…that cast…is less than impressive and I am trying to be civil here. But things being as they are these times we live in, I guess we were ovedue for the “woke” version of “Game Of Thrones”…

      I hope this works out, and the actors and the show work out, because given the wealth of material and the expansive world it would be a shame for it not to do so. Ideally the focus would be on telling a good story with interesting characters and not on other issues that little to do with the show and are mostly external noise and social media generated drivel.

      But to be honest, while these are early days indeed, I am not getting a good vibe from this project. Here is praying that I am completely wrong.

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    28. Alas, I guess it was bound to happen that the racists reveal themselves when a few POCs are announced in the cast. All I can say is there has always been different races in our own world, even though they were largely ignored in literature and other media until that became simply unacceptable. Having a diverse cast hopefully means unique tales from this world that we haven’t seen or heard before. Why in the world would that be a bad thing?

      That said, I only recognize a few actors: Ivanno Jeremiah, from Humans, is a welcome addition; I recognize Alex Sharp only from the Netflix movie about anorexia; Toby Regbo’s face I recognize from those ridiculous Reign ads I had to sit through while watching iZombie and The 100 on The CW (*not Starz); Jamie Campbell Bower was not very impressive in that very first Starz original – Camelot-but I haven’t seen him in anything else. I haven’t seen any Narnia films, so no comment on the actress other than she looks like she would might fit right into this series. It’s hard not to compare, but I’m hoping she’s more Arya or Daenerys than Sansa in personality.

      While not the time period I was hoping for, I’m looking forward to what they present if it ends up getting picked up to series.

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    29. S,

      So when someone says something you don’t agree with or have a different point of view…they are racist…riiight…of course you speak with clear authority and really knowing the person or persons whom you deem racist as being so.

      Who in the world said there is something wrong with diversity?! The ASOIF world is a large one and clearly comprised from people, of different creeds, cultures, races, religions etc. That was never in doubt. But let the story and character development play that part out. Don’t impose it as a modus operandi.

      I think the concern here is, that you don’t need to be hit over the head with messages of diversity or anything else, if it comes at the expense of the story and character development. You don’t need to scream and shout, “Uhhhh look at us how diverse we are!”. Browbeating your audiences with a sledgehammer doesn’t really work out to well…just ask Lucasfilm and “Star Wars” and look at the difference between a movie like “Rogue One” and “The Las Jedi”.

      There are plenty of shows with a diverse cast, like “Star Trek Discovery”, “The Gifted”, “The Walking Dead”, “The Orville” etc., which accomplished that in the service of the story and the characters on the show not the other way around, to get some artificial seal of approval from this group or that group.

      I don’t think anybody here is rooting for the show to fail, or the actors to fail, or have any animosity towards the actors as individuals. If they do, then that person or persons don’t belong here and should be banned.

      But it’s understandable that some fans may have some legitimate concerns, in regards to the GOT prequel. Perhaps they don’t want to see the same divisiveness, bitterness and just all kind of unpleasantness, become pervasive in this franchise as well.

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    30. I loved Jamie Campbell Bower as a young Edward de Vere, Lord Oxford/Shakespeare in Anonymous. It will be great to see him again. However, I do get a fainting suspicion that this new show will be quite a big adjustment to most Game of Thrones viewers.

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    31. Dark Sister,

      Wasn’t that Jamie Campbell Bower guy in some movie with Lena Headey and Lily Collins? Maybe “Mortal Instruments – something something Bones”?

      Doesn’t matter. Two words got me pre-hooked on the prequel: Naomi Watts.

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    32. loco73,

      “Perhaps they don’t want to see the same divisiveness, bitterness and just all kind of unpleasantness, become pervasive in this franchise as well.”

      In other words some fans just might want -and it would, maybe, be a safer choice to have- a white cast and that is all?

      “I think the concern here is, that you don’t need to be hit over the head with messages of diversity or anything else, if it comes at the expense of the story and character development.”

      Who is talking of doing that? Why would someone “be hit over the head with messages of diversity” by having more than a “token Black” in a cast? How is this even accomplished in our world which is so very diverse? What correlation does diversity of cast pose to “the expense of the story and character development”?

      The curiosities in your post are exceedingly great in number.

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    33. Thinking of what loco has said above, fandoms do seem susceptible to having a dark side. Maybe with the prequel being set in the same universe different timeframe than GoT (but not on an actual GRRM set of novels) folk won’t have a preconceived idea of how a character should look. I know there has been some acrimony following the casting for the Netflix Witcher series. I’ve only listened to a little of the first story there so can’t judge that series. From what I remember (I’m not one of those people who has been through the ASOIAF books several times – once sufficed for me, so many other books to read) there was a black, well dark-skinned anyway, prince in King’s Landing in book GoT but he was never cast. I hadn’t touched on the books when I first watched the TV series so making Sallador Sahn black in the show didn’t bother me.

      If the characters who are non-white are Summer Islanders it would make sense for them to be black. When my school went to see Laurence Olivier blacked up playing the title role in Othello there were less actors of colour in Britain than there are now (not saying there were none but definitely less) so we didn’t really think anything of it but of course nowadays there are several black actors in the country. I saw the film version and some of LO’s make-up (from the arm I think) came off on Desdemona (played by a then 20-something Maggie Smith).

      I suppose I should clarify things. In my hometown there were less black people living there in the 1950s and 1960s than now though there were some – though port cities like Liverpool probably had more black people.

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    34. Jack Hamm:
      loco73,

      “Perhaps they don’t want to see the same divisiveness, bitterness and just all kind of unpleasantness, become pervasive in this franchise as well.”

      In other words some fans just might want -and it would, maybe, be a safer choice to have- a white cast and that is all?

      “I think the concern here is, that you don’t need to be hit over the head with messages of diversity or anything else, if it comes at the expense of the story and character development.”

      Who is talking of doing that? Why would someone “be hit over the head with messages of diversity” by having more than a “token Black” in a cast?How is this even accomplished in our world which is so very diverse? What correlation does diversity of cast pose to “the expense of the story and character development”?

      The curiosities in your post are exceedingly great in number.

      Who is talking about having an all white cast and “token”Black actors?! The selective nature of your understanding is curious as it is puzzling…

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    35. I don’t like to see actors incongruously “shoehorned” into roles for the sake of quotas and box-ticking. With the world becoming more diverse, this is less of a thing now in contemporary drama, but when it happens in historical dramas it’s more noticeable.

      GRRM’s world is diverse, and I don’t think GoT has displayed any incongruity in this area. So I would expect any spin-offs to include actors of any racial background in believable contexts.

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    36. Wolfish,

      +1 Same with for instance hardhome, the horror element made it one of the greatest episode ever made.

      NinaD,
      I think you misunderstood what I meant. I’m all in for diversity, I watched lot of shows with diverse cast. Grey’s anatomy, luther, and more. Grey’s anatomy is political sometimes but not all the time. Luther never made it political. The story is not about his skin but about his personality.

      As for being gay (which I am myself), I watched shameless, I don’t know if you know that show? Well there’s an gay character in that story, which I found very well done. I loved that character because being gay was just a part of him, it did not define him. His story was about other things. Around season 7 that changed, his story was all about the gay-savior, all political, and I hated the character after that, his characters wasn’t deep anymore it was just gay nothing more. Same thing happen with dr who. Season 3 had an black character which I don’t remember as black but as the sweet nurse. Season 11 the characters don’t have personality, just diversity.

      What I feel with the cast of the spin-off is that instead of making the story first and then finding the right people for it, I have the feeling they first had a list what kind of characters they need, to fill in a quota and after that thinking what kind of character they need to play.

      So I’m not against diversity, I’m all in for it. But first story than diversity, not first diversity than story. The art is the most important aspect of a TV show. Don’t let color, sexuality, gender etc define the characters, but let them have a real personality.

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    37. Looks like a number of these actors have theater training and likely acting chops. That is good, as Naomi can’t carry the whole thing.
      Also, the angular faces of the darker cast members are intriguing and I can’t wait to see which culture they come from.
      As far as the man who played Athelred, remember that somebody has to get killed off in its first season. He was someone that I certainly wanted to get popped in battle during Last Kingdom.

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    38. S,

      Yes racists, its not that I’m all against the extreme right, and always defend woman right, rights of immigrants, LGBT rights etc. I have nothing against a diverse cast. Lost was one of my favorite shows and it was one of the diverse cast from the beginning.

      read my last post about what I meant.

      ps. You know that certain actors of color are also against the diversity quotas that are being put in place. Idris Alba, Morgan Freeman, Samual L Jackson. Maybe you should read why they are against it and you understand my point better.

      loco73,
      That’s what I meant. I watched dr who in 2018 (all seasons). The first 10 seasons some episodes were political, which some episodes need to be with that kind of show. But 80% of the episodes was something about our history, a strange alien race etc. Season 11. of the 11 episodes of that season 8 episodes was heavily political how bad certain groups have (which I already agree on, so why the hell do they want to belittle me about things I already believe) only 3 episode were about what dr who was about, and it was done mediocre. Normally after one season some huge story has been told, character and plotwise. Now both have not moved at all, the story is empty.

      So if people who share the political opinions that are being portrait on screen are sick of it and just want to see some art on tv, why are we belittled with being racist is a clue to me.

      Jack Hamm,
      It’s more a feeling that people get when hearing about the cast, director, writers etc The more we hear about it the more we feel it’s getting that way. We all hope it will be just like GoT and tell a great story.

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    39. My hope with this casting is that we will see more than just the North of Westeros. Parts of Essos and points south would be awesome.

      I don’t think we need be concerned until the showrunners themselves crow about diversity. Because then we can wonder whether story will come first.

      Keep in mind too that they have the narrative room to actually incorporate peoples from all over Planetos without it breaking canon. You can also argue that the legends taught to us so far in canon are simply the stories the winners tell themselves.

      I say we give it a season or two to find its feet before canceling HBO.

        Quote  Reply

    40. I’ll probably be banned for mentioning it, but Jamie Campbell Bower was also in the Twilight movies. 😀

      S:
      Alas, I guess it was bound to happen that the racists reveal themselves when a few POCs are announced in the cast.All I can say is there has always been different races in our own world, even though they were largely ignored in literature and other media until that became simply unacceptable.Having a diverse cast hopefully means unique tales from this world that we haven’t seen or heard before.Why in the world would that be a bad thing?

      That said, I only recognize a few actors: Ivanno Jeremiah, from Humans, is a welcome addition; I recognize Alex Sharp only from the Netflix movie about anorexia; Toby Regbo’s face I recognize from those ridiculous Reign ads I had to sit through while watching iZombie and The 100 on The CW (*not Starz); Jamie Campbell Bower was not very impressive in that very first Starz original – Camelot-but I haven’t seen him in anything else. I haven’t seen any Narnia films, so no comment on the actress other than she looks like she would might fit right into this series.It’s hard not to compare, but I’m hoping she’s more Arya or Daenerys than Sansa in personality.

      While not the time period I was hoping for, I’m looking forward to what they present if it ends up getting picked up to series.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Shock Me: You can also argue that the legends taught to us so far in canon are simply the stories the winners tell themselves.

      I can’t find it now, but wasn’t there a quote about the prequel that basically says “Everything you know is wrong” ? LOL

        Quote  Reply

    42. Grandmaester Flash,
      I thought it was more along the idea that everything might not have happened the way we think it did. Essentially, we don’t know the entire story and elements we have heard are through stories/legends that are never entirely accurate.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Chilli:
      What is CW?

      CW network
      Oh gee, how does one describe it accurately?? My short answer opinion is that it’s a basic cable network that does drama programs aimed primarily at the teen to young adult demographic, with casts in that same general range… and with a lot of “cheese.”

      Their current programming includes the superhero shows like Supergirl, Arrow and The Flash along with other shows like Riverdale and Charmed. Former shows include, Beauty & the Beast, One Tree Hill, The Vampire Diaries… Those types.

      I do actually enjoy some of their shows some of the time. They’re generally not fantastic, award winning programs though unless we’re talking Peoples Choice, MTV tv Awards, Kids Choice awards (the ones voted on by brats online ballot stuffing in other words). Storylines tend to lean on adolescent angst, work in a lot of present societal issues (i.e. LGBT), are generally about as clean as broadcast network dramas and are about as politically correct as can be.

        Quote  Reply

    44. I think this show is stillborn. At least for the people who care mostly for the GoT show format (realistic historical fantasy), and are less blindly loyal to the IP (lore and world) itself. My gut feeling says that this show will lack the “credible” GoT feel. It’s not because of the “diversity” in itself, that is not the issue, but because it most likely will be handled awkwardly and bluntly.

      Non-white casts in shows and movies can be great. Actually just as great as white ones. There shouldn’t be an inherent value to having a cast consisting of people with a particular skin colour, all that should matter is whether it serves to create a good show or not. Movies like “Beasts of no nations” (which had a literally 100% black cast) and Chinese/Japanese martial arts films (often 100% Asian casts) do just great with no white actors – actually, they do even better without them, because it makes them more credible! I would hate for movies such as these to be forced to bring in white actors for political purposes. A show like the “Wire” had a largely black cast, which made perfect sense for the essence of the show and the story it was trying to tell.

      My point is this, there is nothing wrong with a non-white cast or even a diverse one, as long as it’s choice of design and writing, rather than one of principle and politics.

      What bothers me is that they chose a setting, in the vast Planetos/ASIOAF universe, that pretty much makes the least sense for having black characters and traditionally powerful females in. Don’t get me wrong, what I mean by “traditionally powerful” is powerful as in a traditional male sense: social independence (as in need no bodyguard), prowess for physical combat etc. Think of Arya or Brienne as opposed to Sansa or even Cercei and Danaerys. The latter two (Cercei, Dany) are great examples of how to make strong female characters that truly make sense in the oppressive context in which they exist, and the two former (Arya and Brienne) are the two exceptions to that very norm, which makes them all the more interesting. If all females in Westeros were fighters and that was considered normal, Arya and Brienne would be a lot less compelling as written characters.

      Back to the Long Night setting. Some quick facts: the children of the forest has no traditional “race”. The Andals (majority ethnical forefathers of Westerosi north of Dorne) were white. The Andals were likely racist towards other peoples, seeing as how they treated the Children, and would not take on foreigners in their tribes (my speculation). Black people in the show stem from the Summer Isles (the diverse free cities did not yet exist). Seeing as this era is supposed to be more brutal and uncivilized (poor and undeveloped), females are likely treated even worse than during the time of GoT (if compared to actual historical evidence of early human life). Ofc, a Summer Isles family, lost all the way in the northern end of the world, could be an extremely interesting idea if carried out right, just as having a powerful female fight the norms of her cave-mannish society is provides content for a solid character.

      The problem is that I do not think they will make these conflicts credible. It very much feels like they will water out all the grittiness and hard realities of this (fantasy world), make 10x Aryas and mix in some black actors into the Andal/first men tribes without providing an explanation. It will break the immersion of this lovingly crafted world for the sake of making a contemporary real world statement.

      As I am reaching a conclusion, I can’t help to wonder: if they wanted to promote diversity so badly, why couldn’t they have chosen another setting for the show? Like the Summer Isles, or just a story of the free cities? Or a show about the Doom of Valyria, which would have made total sense with this casting, or the story of Nymeria and her 10 000 ships? As I said earlier, the problem is not the diversity in itself, it’s the mindnumbing tone-deafness of its execution; a the revisionistic vision the reshape (fake) history.

        Quote  Reply

    45. “Valyria has hardly begun to rise yet” – i.e. it did start to rise a little bit!
      “the show may not feature dragons” (which i read elsewhere) – i.e. could they start to appear later in the show?

      Does this mean that we could actually see the rise of Valyria, and further along the way see the Valyrians first connect with Dragons?

      Exciting Stuff!

        Quote  Reply

    46. Jack Hamm:
      loco73,

      “Perhaps they don’t want to see the same divisiveness, bitterness and just all kind of unpleasantness, become pervasive in this franchise as well.”

      In other words some fans just might want -and it would, maybe, be a safer choice to have- a white cast and that is all?

      “I think the concern here is, that you don’t need to be hit over the head with messages of diversity or anything else, if it comes at the expense of the story and character development.”

      Who is talking of doing that? Why would someone “be hit over the head with messages of diversity” by having more than a “token Black” in a cast?How is this even accomplished in our world which is so very diverse? What correlation does diversity of cast pose to “the expense of the story and character development”?

      The curiosities in your post are exceedingly great in number.

      Spot on. Anyone who sees pictures of a multiracial cast, or one where the women approach their proportional representation in the real world, and immediately concludes that they’re being ‘hit over the head with messages of diversity’ needs to check their sense of privilege, stat. Why would anyone jump to the conclusion that story will suffer if a diverse cast is being hired? Before we’ve even seen a single episode?

      Hint to loco73: If you genuinely don’t relish the prospect of seeing the GoT fandom riven by ‘divisiveness, bitterness and unpleasantness,’ I’d recommend that you not play the provocateur by using neocon buzzwords like ‘quotas.’

        Quote  Reply

    47. Clob:
      Grandmaester Flash,
      I thought it was more along the idea that everything might not have happened the way we think it did.Essentially, we don’t know the entire story and elements we have heard are through stories/legends that are never entirely accurate.

      Yes, that was what I was getting at.
      I wasn’t entirely serious with “Everything you know is wrong”, hence the LOL.

        Quote  Reply

    48. Since it’s become a topic… I just want to add in here that the comments I’ve made related to what was said about the prequel in the article and the cast list had nothing to do with the race element. I actually never even considered race because I don’t see how that’s relevant to the quality of the show they’ll produce. As evidence you’ll note that I only commented on JCB because I am not a fan in the least.

        Quote  Reply

    49. The black actors are the most intriguing/exciting part of this cast list. I’m more confused by the young adult/CW type actors on this list. Other than Naomi Watts, will there be any main characters that are 45+ years old? I would love to have Lance Reddick in this if we are going to have prominent black characters.

        Quote  Reply

    50. This is the quote I was thinking of:

      Taking place thousands of years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” Goldman’s series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend–it’s not the story we think we know.

      https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/game-of-thrones-prequel-series-jane-goldman-hbo-1202837883/

        Quote  Reply

    51. Tyrion Pimpslap:
      The black actors are the most intriguing/exciting part of this cast list. I’m more confused by the young adult/CW type actors on this list. Other than Naomi Watts, will there be any main characters that are 45+ years old? I would love to have Lance Reddick in this if we are going to have prominent black characters.

      Why would you be confused? There will be loads more actors in it. They’re not going to show us the entire cast at this stage.

        Quote  Reply

    52. I’m wondering if Toby and Jamie’s characters are the sons of Naomi Watts character. After all, family themes are a big part of GoT. I guess the middle aged black actor the showrunners are going to cast will be the father of Navanno, Sheila and Naomi’s characters.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Firannion,

      Funny thing is that I started this as a fear that the story will be put second, and I see more people having that fear, some call it the CW version of GoT. And that people think I thought that because there was a black woman in the cast list. I can tell you this, that’s not the reason I was thinking of it. (And strange that people think diversity means adding a black actor because diversity is more than that)

      It’s more that the castlist, directors etc gave me the feeling of certain change happening to good franchises lately. That it will be a voice of political influence instead of telling a good story. I’m all in for diversity as long as the characters they play are not defined by their diversity but by something else. Example: Renly on GoT was not defined by him being gay, but him being the youngest brother of the king, which had a better way of dealing with leadership, and had the love of the people because of that. His love and hate for his brothers was a theme of his character. What I fear is that the prequels will take the Dr who season 11 (or shameless later seasons) route. The characters will be defined by their diversity, and the rest of their characters is blank (something CW is known for)

      And if by naming the name quota makes me racists, than Morgan Freeman, Samual L Jackson, Idris Alba are racist too. Because they talked about it, and told they never work with shows that work with quotas. For instance Luther wasn’t necessary meant to be a black actor. But Idras Alba was the best for the job so he got it, and with a good reason, one of my favorite actors out there.

      So I hope the story will be rich, and the characters will be interesting (Hoping for Summer Island storyline) and not that the characters are blank and defined by their diversity.

      (ps as I stated before I’m one always advocating for Woman’s rights, rights of immigrants, rights of LGBT etc I always see people as people not as diverse. I’m gay myself but it’s not what defines me. That’s why I always hate it when shows show it as if the diversity is the most important aspect of a human being thinking they helping.)

      I understand that what I said can be interpretate wrongly, but it was not meant as an attack on diversity, only an attack on writers/directors who use diversity as a means to get fans instead of using good writing directing. And my gut feeling tells me that’s the case here, that the writing and directing will not be that great, and that once we adress that we will be put as the wrongdoers.

      And probably I’m just overthinking. (which I do a lot)

        Quote  Reply

    54. Grandmaester Flash:
      This is the quote I was thinking of:

      Taking place thousands of years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” Goldman’s series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend–it’s not the story we think we know.

      https://variety.com/2018/tv/news/game-of-thrones-prequel-series-jane-goldman-hbo-1202837883/

      I’m wonder if we are going to see Asshai. Maybe we are going to see the first dragon being born there.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Anita: I thought by now everyone would know black/ brown ppl always existed, and definitely still do.

      In Westeros 10’000 years ago ? Not really. The First men aren’t really brown or black.

      But these actors may be playing characters in other parts of the world. I think it would be very cool to see the effects of the Long Night worldwide.

        Quote  Reply

    56. kevin1989,

      The Timelines are all messed up. The Long Night stories talk of how the Others hate Iron, but the First Men only had Bronze, the Andals are who supposedly brought Iron centuries later.

      Also its said that the Last Hero used a ‘Dragonsteel’ Sword, aka Valyrian Steel sword, so that would indicate that:

      1) Valyria already existed during the Long Night and the Westerosi were trading with them.

      2)the Andals arrived in Westeros either before or during the Long Night.

      theres a TON of stuff regarding Westerosi History that conflicts with the “official” narrative of the Citadel, like the possibility that Pre-Valyrian, silverhaired dragonriders were in the Reach before even the Pact with the Children was signed.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Anita,

      Yes… They always existed, doesn’t mean they were everywhere at all time?

      Asian people existed in the 5th century, yet you don’t see a whole lot of them in King Arthur. Because the story that happen around King Arthur are not where asian people were in that era.

      Same applies here.

      And ethnicity aside… All I see on that cast are black people, women, and scrawny white dudes… Which of these are the strong, battle-hardened first men?

        Quote  Reply

    58. macleod77,

      Nope. The last hero never used a valyrian steel blade. His tale wasn’t about a magic sword but about finding the children and using their magic.

      The sword wielding hero is Hirkoon aka Azor Ahai an essossi tale from the Empire of Dawn.

      The Andals came after the Long Night in the Age of Heroes. They were fleeing from the valyrian conquest and slavery.

      The white actors casted look more like andals than first men.

        Quote  Reply

    59. Eonwe,

      First Men used Bronze Weapons, NOT Iron:

      ‘A Storm of Swords’ page 311:

      ““The children of the forest are all dead,” said Mormont. “The First Men killed half of them with bronze blades, and the Andals finished the job with iron….”

      Iron weapons in Westeros BEFORE the Long Night:

      ‘A Game of Thrones’ page 285:

      “Old Nan nodded. “In that darkness, the Others came for
      the first time,” she said as her needles went click click click.
      “They were cold things, dead things, that hated iron and fire
      and the touch of the sun, and every creature with hot blood
      in its veins….”

      ‘A Game of Thrones’ page 643:

      “….They’d only had one candle between them, and
      Bran’s eyes had gotten as big as saucers as he stared at
      the stone faces of the Kings of Winter, with their wolves at
      their feet and their iron swords across their laps….”

      Dragonsteel:

      ‘A Feast for Crows’ page 65:

      “…The armor of the Others is proof against most ordinary blades, if the tales can be believed,” said Sam, “and their own swords are so cold they shatter steel. Fire will dismay them, though, and they are vulnerable to obsidian.” He remembered the one he had faced in the haunted forest, and how it had seemed to melt away when he stabbed it with the dragonglass dagger Jon had made for him. “I found one account of the Long Night that spoke of the last hero slaying Others with a blade of dragonsteel. Supposedly they could not stand against it.”
      “Dragonsteel?” Jon frowned. “Valyrian steel?”
      “That was my first thought as well………”

      The First Men had bronze weapons, not Iron. Yet we see the Westerosi had Iron BEFORE the Long Night, as they used it against the others who hated it.

      We see Kings of Winter, who ruled during the age of Heroes BEFORE Andal Invasion with Iron Swords.

      We See The Last Hero slaying Others with a ‘Dragonsteel’ Blade which both Jon and Sam immediately connect to Valyrian steel. The Long Night supposedly happened BEFORE the Rise of Valyria and the Andal invasion, so He should not have had Iron or Valyrian Steel.

      The Evidence CLEARLY contradicts the timeline taught by the Citadel, and you are wrong.

        Quote  Reply

    60. A northerner never forgets,

      I’ve never been a big fan of the show’s depiction of them. I would have preferred if they looked more human, just with incredibly pale skin and the glowing blue eyes. I guess I prefer them more as mystical beings than horror movie monsters. The horns on the Night King. The sharp teeth. A bit too much for me. Nothing major, though.

        Quote  Reply

    61. macleod77,

      Good point from the books. And also a perfect show of Martin´s favourite trick for ASOIAF. The unreliable narrator and tales that are being contradictory. We have Mormont telling us about the bronze weapons of the first men. But then we have Old Nan telling us that the others hated iron. But then we have the Thenns and the crannogmen who still use bronze in their weapons and armor and they are the more first men groups civilized still remaining. But then we have the maester tales in AWOIAF that speak plainly of the advantage the andals had over the first men thanks to their iron weapons.

      As for the others. We have the prologue of AGOT were we see how they can shatter into pieces the best forged castle steel. And in the show they shatter in Hardhome the axe of a Thenn leader. And they use bronze weapons. It seems like the Others can shatter normal metals like bronze, iron and steel but not the spell forged valyrian blades (by the show) or the volcanic stone obsidian.

      As for the Starks tombs. Which tombs are those? Modern or ancient Stark kings? The Stark were kings until Aegon came 300 hundred years ago. That spans thousands of years. (The rohynar scaped to Dorne 2000 or was 1000 BC?). The andals spent centuries conquering the first men kingdoms. So by modern times (3000 BC) the Starks and the north by trade (or by marriages with shouhtron houses) could very well know iron smithing. The key would be the very ancient tombs if the swords are not rusted.

      That tale that Sam found is the classic unreliable narrator trick of Martin´s. We know that Old Nan and AWOIAF never mention a sword. But Hyrkoon tale is centered around Lighbringer. And then we have this tale that mixes the Last Hero and Lightbringer along with valyrian steel. But as maester Aemon says, records at Castle Black are the more unrelliable the more ancient they are like the long Night happening 10000 years ago or the watch having 998 lord commanders.

      And yet. When did the valyrians create their famous steel? I can´t remember exactly but Ice has been in the Starks possession for 500 years. The Lannister brought their sword two centuries before the doom. DragonStone was built in recent times ( and accoring to Kevan using spells and magic in it´s building) as an outpost for the Dragonlords to have bussiness with Westeros nobility. When was developped the technology? Did they have such weapons back in the Wars against the ghiscary?

      If only Septon Barth writings were still intact we would have the most reliable (no matter how unlikely) tale.

        Quote  Reply

    62. Eonwe: Good point from the books. And also a perfect show of Martin´s favourite trick for ASOIAF. The unreliable narrator and tales that are being contradictory. We have Mormont telling us about the bronze weapons of the first men. But then we have Old Nan telling us that the others hated iron. But then we have the Thenns and the crannogmen who still use bronze in their weapons and armor and they are the more first men groups civilized still remaining. But then we have the maester tales in AWOIAF that speak plainly of the advantage the andals had over the first men thanks to their iron weapons.

      I agree that we shouldn’t always take these stories and legends and histories as strict facts, but it seems possible to me that the First Men may have only known how to make bronze weapons, while at the same time the people of Essos may have already been making iron weapons. The leaders and heroes among the First Men may have been able to acquire iron weapons from foreign lands, and may have treasured them the way modern Westerosi lords treasured their Valyrian steel weapons, but trade across the Narrow Sea was probably less prevalent in that time, so iron weapons might have stayed quite rare and extremely expensive in Westeros.

      That could explain how the First Men could be familiar with the existence of iron weapons, and sometimes used them against their enemies, but were still at a disadvantage, equipping their armies with bronze weapons and facing Andal armies armed entirely with iron. It would be kind of like if Aegon showed up and his whole army was equipped with Valyrian steel weapons and armor. That would have been a huge advantage (probably not as huge as dragons, but still a big deal).

      Of course, it still doesn’t explain why the Others supposedly hated iron, since as far as I can tell, iron (and even ordinary steel) just shatters when it hits their blades.

        Quote  Reply

    63. The only actor with whom I’m familiar aside from Watts is Campbell Bower, who impressed me in Sweeney Todd. But this overall casting does have my hopes up for seeing the lands beyond Westeros…hopefully the next batch will be the older folks?
      And I do still wish you could upvote/+1 comments on this site!

        Quote  Reply

    64. Looks like this slice of Westerosi history is a young person’s game. That suggests to me that it’s a time of hardship where only the strongest survive, perhaps – unless there are grey-haired folks and children in secondary roles.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Dame of Mercia:
      Dame of Mercia,

      “grandmaesters are supposed” – I do know the proper use of the apostrophe.Don’t know if the mistake was down to me or autocorrect.

      It’s certainly not something I’d grammar-nazi on, but since you seem to be trying to kick yourself in the head, the title is actually two words; Grand Maester. 😛

        Quote  Reply

    66. Looks like we may be getting the S8 trailer on Sunday before True Detective, at the very least we will get some sort of teaser with the premiere date. HBO has just confirmed on twitter.

        Quote  Reply

    67. Anyway back to the article, it’s still hard to get too excited about a prequel right now, especially with the trailer for S8 potentially coming this weekend. It’s clearly a more diversive cast than we are used too which is clearly no bad thing in general terms but it needs to fit and feel natural. For example if the show is largely going to be set in the North of Westeros then a high number of Black people simply wouldn’t feel organic especially when Thrones has established that part Essos has a higher number of black people compared to Westeros. Of course it works fine if the show is set in Essos:)

        Quote  Reply

    68. I’m very excited to see this. It looks to me, judging from the cast, that we’ll get to see how the Long Night was handled on both sides of the narrow sea. Ivanno Jeremiah looks like he belongs in GOT, as does Toby Regbo and Sheila Atim.

      I’ll save my “made by CW” comments for after the pilot airs.

        Quote  Reply

    69. Jon Snowed:
      Looks like we may be getting the S8 trailer on Sunday before True Detective, at the very least we will get some sort of teaser with the premiere date. HBO has just confirmed on twitter.

      Hibberd said not to expect the trailer yet. He said not to expect two big GoT things at once. They’re going to milk this final promotion as much as they can get.

      It’ll probably be something like the Hall of Faces teaser we got for Season 6 before the Vinyl premiere in 2016.

        Quote  Reply

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