I'd like to know which major character Martin has off'd so far that was done so as a transparent plot device. To me the only real shocker was the Red Wedding and even that was pretty heavily foreshadowed (the shock was merely in the severity of the event, because most readers knew something bad was about to happen).
I understand the frustration with Martin's writing pace, but comparing him to Erikson? Puh-lease. I know this is the hive-mind that actually likes the LotR movies, and thus has little if any critical taste <g>, but having just read the Malazan books 5-7 I can say they may be epic in scale and effort, but not in prose or pacing. Each book is a f'n utterly formulaic 500-600 page buildup to an occasionally entertaining conclusion (though book 7 was a huge letdown).
The danger of killing off well-loved characters is that you're basically losing all the equity you've built up in them with the fanbase. All that work pays off in one big dramatic moment, and that's all you get, unless you pull a cheat and resurrect them (which far too many writers have given into the temptation to do, coughjosswhedon*cough*). It gives you lots of street cred to say that your characters don't have "script immunity," but I can understand why writers would balk at throwing away valuable assets that they took a long time to craft. Particularly if they are writing in an open-ended structure where the end isn't clearly known ahead of time.
Erikson kills characters, but he writes about everything like he's a historian chronicling the past. You don't get shocked by major character deaths or attached to much of anyone, really, because it's all just "what happened". At least for me.
I wonder what Game of Thrones might look like if IG (or a similar high profile studio) got contracted to turn it into an animated series. I'm not sure what the cost is compared to live-action, but I have a feeling, it'd be cheaper.
Certainly over-budget, but these are the types I'd be looking for:
Jamie Lannister: James McAvoy Cersei Lannister: Kristen Bell Tyrion Lannister: Zeljko Ivanek Eddard Stark: Terry Kinney Catelyn Stark: Molly Parker Jon Snow: Jonathan Rhys Meyers Arya Stark: Ellen Page Daenerys: Anna Popplewell Joffrey: Tom Felton
I could also see Georgie Henley making a really good Arya, or for that matter, all four kids from Chronicles of Narnia as the Stark children.
I'm not sure about overbudget, but certain over, and under, age if the ages will be done accurately. Your suggestions might work ok if they change the ages of everyone from the story, which has been suggested, IIRC. The books begin in 298. (using http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Main_Page as a reference)
If you're interested in casting, the main ASOIAF forum has opened a room for discussion of the HBO pilot. The kicker is that the exec producers (Benioff and Weiss) have said that they do read that forum and that they will read the suggestions. Absolutely no guarantee that they'll go with the popular suggestions, but they seem to be wanting to build that connection with the community. Plus, they are serious about this being serious suggestions. As they say, they won't take all the crazy talk about $20 million film stars in all the major roles, because that ain't ever going to happen.
Tyrion Lannister should be played by Peter Dinklage. But Peter's kinda old. You'd want a younger guy that kinda looks like Peter Dinklage, like the dude from In Bruges. He gets confused for Peter all the time.
And I'd think you'd want a 10 year old for Arya, since it's set in the first book.
I think it is especially important to get Tyrion's age in the early 20s for the arc his character has.
Yeah, that stuff about his first love and all. That's pretty fucked up but it'd make for a great scene.
And they really need to do the shitting gold stuff.
More tidbits. Interesting little things from the executive producers. The article says it will be competing against 10 other pilots HBO has ordered. No word as to how many of the 11 will be picked up.
Excellent points that the special effects (and related costs) should be minimal initially as there just are not that many creatures or magic for that matter. More like a High Fantasy soap opers, for lack of a better analogy.
Early on they were thinking either NZ or Eastern Europe. Since the BBC officially came on board recently and partnered with HBO on this, I'm betting it's Eastern Europe. There's a number of medieval castles still.