2:00 pm EST, December 13, 2012

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

BRADLEY JAMES: Gerris Drinkwater

Game of Thrones Merlin Bradley James Gerris DrinkwaterGerris Drinkwater appears in A Dance With Dragons as the companion of Prince Quentyn Martell. Physically, Gerris is described as, “tall and lean and comely, with blue-green eyes and sandy hair.” Personality-wise, Gerris has, “a swordsman’s grace and a courtier’s wit,” with an air of confidence which comes awfully close to arrogance. Sound familiar?

But while these likenesses to King Arthur might help James get the part, Gerris differs significantly from James’ Merlin character. Which is of course important for actors, who are usually fighting tooth-and-nail against typecasting. Gerris is a normal man, posing as a wine merchant with two servants to get Quentyn safely to Daenerys, and he is forced to join a band of Westerosi to get to her. Gerris is overconfident and headstrong, but ultimately loyal to his friend and prince.

James can portray a really deep sense of both entitlement and humility, and we would very much like to see him approach a role where he ultimately has no power other than what he tries to convince strangers of.


Game of Thrones Merlin Anthony Tony Stewart Head Victarion GreyjoyWith Uther, Anthony Stewart Head showed exactly how great he would be on Game of Thrones. No more Mr. Nice Giles, no; Uther was cruel and ruthless in the face of what he believed was the enemy. And even though tenderness occasionally shone through, ultimately he played the game of thrones. Get it?!

That’s why we believe he’d be perfect as Victarion Greyjoy, Theon’s most warthirsty uncle, and one of the brothers who will be vying for control of the Iron Isles. He is the Lord Captain of the Iron Fleet, both a powerful warrior and a very controlled, pious individual.

There is nothing Victarion values more than honour, and he is willing to do horrible things to maintain his own. We’d love to say Anthony Stewart Head in this stark, brutal role, because we think he could be exactly the right combination of awe-inspiring and terrifying.


Game of Thrones Merlin Tom HopperSee, if we really had our way, we’d have cast Hopper as Grey Worm, chief of the Unsullied and one of the more prominent new characters in season 3. But Jacob Anderson has already nabbed this part, so we’re gonna cast Hopper as his #2 in command, Hero.

The Unsullied soldiers are going to take center stage in Daenerys’ story from this point on. They are slaves trained to battle from a very early age, and their common trait is, “unquestioning obedience and martial prowess.”

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Hopper has the masculinity to pull off such a role, being a soldier first and foremost who comes to feel very loyal to Dany. He also has a likability and vulnerability which is perfect for this character, as he is one of the few prominent Unsullied soldiers whom Martin uses in the story to make us empathise with the group.

SANTIAGO CABRERA: Hizdahr zo Loraq

Game of Thrones Merlin Santiago CabreraIn A Dance With Dragons, this character will become very important to Daenerys’ storyline. He is a wealthy and attractive Ghiscari noble who has a particular interest in the fighting pits of Meereen and a curious connection to the Sons of the Harpy. Is he hiding a damning secret, or is he really, genuinely out for our Targaryen princess’ best interest? Well, you’ll have to wait and see!

Hizdahr may be described as vain and weak, but this character is also cunning, and knows how to play to his strengths. We could see Cabrera charming the audience, making them hang on his every word, leaving them wondering about his true allegiances and intentions.

On to page 3 for Katie McGrath, Eoin Macken, Adetomiwa Edun and Richard Wilson!

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