2:00 pm EST, December 13, 2012

A Month of ‘Merlin’: Casting the ‘Merlin’ actors in ‘Game of Thrones’

Now that Merlin is ending, how will we survive without the brilliant actors?! If we can’t have spinoffs, here’s Hypable to the rescue: cast them all on Game of Thrones!

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In some ways, we feel like it’d be a natural progression for some of the Merlin actors to move on to Game of Thrones after their series finishes. A lot of actors have already crossed between the two series (including Charles Dance, Liam Cunningham, John Bradley and Joe Dempsie), and we sometimes like to pitch Merlin to new viewers as the G-rated version of Game of Thrones.

So as part of our A Month of Merlin celebration, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find roles for all the major Merlin cast members, should they want to pursue roles in the HBO series and keep working in the medieval fantasy genre!

Please note that this column will contain references to characters coming up in future seasons of Game of Thrones (as we obviously can’t cast the actors in roles that are already filled – which is a shame, because we think Will would have made a brilliant Gendry – oh, wait…).

We won’t spoil anything about the characters’ lineages or what happens to them, though, so if you’re not a total spoilerphobe you should be able to read this without having read all of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels.

This article was written by Selina Wilken and Jessica Chapman.


Game of Thrones Merlin Colin Morgan Young GriffWe are first introduced to Young Griff in A Dance with Dragons. He is described as “a lithe and well-made youth, with a lanky build and a shock of dark blue hair.” Who does that sound like? (Plus, we think Morgan would look great with blue hair!)

This casting choice goes far beyond simple physical appearance, though. Young Griff is a boy living under the weight of a great secret, a secret that his very life depends on. He has the promise of destiny hovering over him, weighing him down. While he understands the seriousness of the situation he is in, he is also young enough that he finds a certain romanticism in it all and demonstrates the arrogance and petulance often found in youth because of that. It’s like the perfect combination of Merlin and Arthur!

There are so many layers and nuances to this character that we know Morgan can achieve. Not only does he know how to show the subtle effects of hiding one’s identity and living underneath the weight of destiny, he also knows how to show the lightheartedness of youth. And he does both brilliantly!

ANGEL COULBY: Arianne Martell

Game of Thrones Merlin Angel Coulby Arianne MartellPhysically, Angel Coulby very closely resembles Arianne Martell, who has olive skin, dark eyes, and long black hair, and an inherent toughness about her which makes her one of our favourite new characters in the series.

Arianne is not only cunning and regal, but also shares some very sexy scenes with Arys Oakheart in A Feast For Crows, and her character is really laid bare when she suffers a crushing defeat and has to deal with the consequences.

We already know that Coulby can portray a cool and collected, poised ruler, but we really want to see her embrace her wild side in this role! Guinevere has always been shy and reserved by nature, but we see the fierceness below the surface. If given a chance, we believe that Coulby could do something really powerful with this role, and firmly establish herself in the fantasy genre.


Game of Thrones Merlin Alexander Vlahos Edric StormEdric Storm has not had a very large role in the series as of yet, but it has been heavily hinted that the bastard children of Robert Baratheon will have significant roles to play.

The general consensus seems to be that Vlahos has done a magnificent job with the role of Mordred (we certainly feel that way). There is a subtlety to his acting that adds so much depth to the character he is playing. Even though we don’t know what Mordred has been up to in the years since we saw him as a little boy, we can tell that he has been through a lot.

Vlahos manages to give Mordred a vulnerability, probably born from a lifetime of hiding in fear for his life, while not losing the slight arrogance he had as a child. That ability in nuance would come in very handy with Edric. He had a comfortable upbringing with lavish gifts from his father, but was tucked away in the remote location of Storm’s End. He was an acknowledged son of the King, but he was still a bastard. Oh, and don’t forget that he has the black hair and blue eyes of the Baratheons. Seems to us that Vlahos is a perfect fit.

RUPERT YOUNG: Arys Oakheart

Game of Thrones Merlin Rupert Young Arys OakheartOh, Leon! The loyal knight of Camelot who defied death time and again. Will Arys Oakheart fare as well on Game of Thrones?

Ser Arys makes small appearances throughout the series, but it is in A Feast for Crows that he has his moment in the spotlight. His character has light-brown hair and a “comely” face, which fits perfectly with Young. He is a knight who has a strong sense of loyalty and chivalry, traits that he sometimes finds at war with each other.

Arys is the knight sent with Myrcella to Dorne as her protector. His loyalty to the Princess he is sworn to protect is put at odds against his loyalty to the crowned King when he has a steamy romance with one Arienne Martell (forget Lancelot, Guinevere, here comes Leon!). We already know that Young is fantastic in the role of the stoic knight and it would be great fun to see him take that familiar role and stretch it into new territory.

On to the next pages for Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Eoin Macken, Tom Hopper, Anthony Stewart Head, Santiago Cabrera, Adetomiwa Edun and Richard Wilson!

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