Randyll Tarly or GTFO
Swegen as... Lyanna Stark.
For years, it has been a habit of the fine people behind this site to consult their inner augurs and predict which actors and actresses will appear as characters from the vast pool of Westerosi and Essosi names. In fact, Sue has already written speculation posts this year for Randyll Tarly and Euron Greyjoy.
This post is the inverse of that idea. As of yesterday, we know that Ian McShane has been cast in the upcoming season. What we don’t know is who he will be playing. Below are some predictions, both likely and outlandish, as to who exactly this talented actor may be portraying in Game of Thrones season 6.
Light spoilers for all released books below the cut.
Ian McShane is an incredibly intense actor, and the amount of energy he projects on set can be seen through his performances. Although not a physically imposing man, he can certainly be imposing through other means, using a combination of his paralysing stare/glare and his smoky, honeyed voice. He is capable of using these in a variety of ways, which makes him suitable for a number of roles, while making it more difficult to pin down his actual role. Some may see his age as an issue (he is 72 years old), but given the fact that he looks much younger than that and none of the speculated roles see a lot of physical action anyway, this is pretty much a non-issue.
So, without further ado, let’s get down to business:
Randyll Tarly – Randyll’s (presumed) casting call defines him as in his 50s to 60s. McShane could definitely pass for ten years younger, and looks enough like John Bradley to pass for Sam’s father. Randyll is also said to be “severe and intimidating”, and he’s centrally involved in a protagonist’s storyline. Last season, strong emphasis was placed the qualities of dragonglass, as well as Valyrian steel possessing the same white walker-slaying abilities. Sam just happens to be a character who is aware of this, who just happens to be travelling to Oldtown, the Citadel of which just happens to have knowledge of both materials. The fact that Randyll has Heartsbane – a Valyrian steel greatsword – could likely explain the inclusion of this easily-cuttable character. We know that McShane won’t appear in a large number of episodes. However, a character can be centrally involved in a storyline without a huge amount of screentime (see Walder Frey and the looming impact he had throughout season 3). Besides, who can say no when presented with the prospect of John Bradley cowering under Ian McShane’s glare?
Euron Greyjoy – Euron (or an incarnation of him) is all but confirmed to appear next season. The casting breakdown mentions no physical requirements for the role. In the books, Euron is consistently described by his eyes, as well as his shrewd, manipulative voice. Anyone who has seen Deadwood will know that McShane can work wonders with his eyes alone, and as referenced above, his voice possesses Euron-like qualities. Personally, McShane wouldn’t be my pick for the role, but I can definitely see why others would pen him for it.
Septon Meribald – Physically, this seems to be the role McShane would be most suited for. The casting call defines him as “gruff”, “no-nonsense”, and “salt-of-the-earth”. Sounds like McShane to me. Although the casting call asked for a younger actor, I can see them forgoing the age restraints in relation to this character – he is an old soldier after all. McShane also possesses the chops to sell Meribald’s memorable “broken men” monologue exceptionally well. Assuming that Meribald meets with Brienne as in A Feast for Crows, McShane’s reported small role seems a perfect match for the character.
Elder Brother – Again, this is a small role with a memorable impact, which suits the facts about McShane’s casting. The show might be going for the angle that The Hound met his end at the hands of Brienne of Tarth, while (heavy spoilers)
Marwyn the Mage – Marwyn is perhaps one of the most intriguing background characters in ASOIAF. This provides another opportunity for John Bradley and Ian McShane to share at least one scene – a tantalising scenario. In the books, Marwyn hints that he has some key knowledge about dragons. It is not a stretch, then, that he would also at least have an inkling about how to stop the white walkers. Another positive for McShane appearing in this role is that all (book) evidence points to Marwyn having a larger role in the future.
Aerys II Targaryen – With Bran returning, and with the precedent set last season, a whole host of flashback opportunities open up for season 6. I would not personally be in favour of flashbacks unless they reveal something essential and as-yet-unknown to the plot, such as the rumoured Tower of Joy flashback. However, it is not beyond belief for McShane to appear as the Mad King himself. It would definitely be entertaining.
Northern Lord – Despite the vague details we have on these two new Northern characters, I think it’s a safe bet to rule out the “savage”, “massive bear of a man” one if McShane is to make an appearance in the region. “Lord of Northern Stronghold” seems like a tighter fit, apart from the age description. As before, however, as long as the role isn’t physically demanding, I think it’s plausible that they might rework certain aspects of the character to match McShane’s strengths. Described as “ruthless and calculating”, the character is said to appear in three episodes, with twenty days of filming. This matches McShane’s relatively small amount of screentime, while opening up the potential for the character to be of key importance in a possible Northern rebellion.
Howland Reed – If Howland makes an appearance in present-time in the show, it would be plausible to have McShane playing him. The mystery surrounding the crannogmen is often mentioned in the books, so it is not too much of a stretch for Ned to have had a friend who appears older (not to mention the High Howland theories stretching this point further). However, McShane appearing as Howland in a Tower of Joy flashback is a non-option, since in-show-universe the characters are supposed to be roughly twenty years younger. Regardless of whether this happens or not, it would be different to see McShane as a reclusive, mysterious character, rather than the centre of attention he usually is.
What do you think? Are any of these on the mark? Do you have any suggested roles and/or reasonings that I haven’t mentioned here? Post your thoughts in the comments.
Worst rave ever.
Bach Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude
Photographer Stephen Orlando (previously) captures the nearly imperceptible movement one makes when quickly sliding a bow along strings, the senses typically drawn to the sounds rather than appearance of the instrument being played. By using carefully placed LED lights and a long exposure Orlando can track these movements through space, following arms and bows with light trails that extend out from the body and instrument. These bright ghostly marks are captured through his photographic technique and not altered with Photoshop, making their distinct patterns all the more spectacular.
The Ontario-based artist was inspired by the lighting painter Gjon Mili, who also experimented with violins in 1952. Orlando explains:
A relative motion between the performer and camera must exist for the light trails to move through the frame. I found it easier to move the camera instead of the performer. The LEDs are programmed to change color to convey a sense of time. The progression of time is from left to right in the viola and violin photos and from top to bottom in the cello photos. Each photo is a single exposure and the light trails have not been manipulated in post processing.
Seitz Concerto No. 2, 3rd Movement
Viola – Bach Cello Suite No. 1 – Three Bowings
Been in this country over 25 years and I've still never seen a funnel web or a redback in the wild.
All-Stars? More like, uh BORE-stars, AMIRITE?
Bad news if you're a fan of actual All-Stars on the MLS All-Star team. News today that Steven Gerrard has withdrawn from the MLS side set to face Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Denver, due to injury.
But that's not all! Also joining Stevie G. on the sidelines is former Tottenham Hotspur star Robbie Keane, and USA midfielder Michael Bradley, who has apparently picked up a case of "the Gold Cups." Add to that the earlier withdrawal of "Fat" Frank Lampard and suddenly the MLS All-Stars stars to look less like an All-Star team and more like a "these are the guys hanging around the stadium that we could round up" team.
It's enough that tickets to the match tomorrow on the secondary market (i.e. "scalped") are going at an average price of $136, the lowest since 2011.
But not to worry, fans. Orlando City designated player Kaka will still be there, as well as a bunch of player who have actually played meaningful matches for MLS sides, like leading scorer Kei Kamara, David Villa, and Clint Dempsey. It's a shame that we won't get to see Spurs tear apart that famed Lampard-Gerrard midfield, but what can you do.
“We look at the butt of a dead dog every time the show starts.”
Dafuq are truffle fries?
"...And what you see in that fight is a genuine connection of fist and undercarriage."
Game of Thrones fan excitement continued post-panel on Saturday, thanks to the memorable contributions by Maisie WIlliams and Gwendoline Christie at two additional discussions.
Williams participated in TV Guide's Fan Favorites panel, where she delighted the audience with tales as to why you shouldn't mess with her on Twitter, how she'll learn to fight blind in Season 6, and the names on her personal kill list.
Moderator Damian Holbrook told the audience that if they're not following Williams on Twitter, they're missing out. Case in point, a recent exchange in which a fan asked Williams for a quote for their high school yearbook. Williams responded with words everyone will remember: "Anyone can be killed." WIlliams recalled with a laugh, "People shouldn't trust me with Twitter."
As for what's in store for Arya, Williams said she'll have to spend a lot more time training since she'll be fighting blind in the coming season.
"I would love to see her be just as strong fighting blind but I do think it will take a bit of time to get there," she said. "Also for me personally, it's going to be difficult fighting with the contacts I was wearing because they're totally opaque. I can't see a thing but I know they're hoping to use them rather than CG. On one hand it's quite good because I am actually blind and I don't know what's going on. But on the other hand, doing stunts you do get injured so not being able to see while doing that is going to be hell. But I hope you guys enjoy it!"
When a fan asked Williams about her kill list, she had an answer that brought the house down:
"At school I really enjoyed maths; it's something I enjoyed in primary school when I was 12. It was my leading subject and then when I went into secondary school, I started to hate maths because of my teachers," she explained. "I feel like that's how it is for a lot of people: When you don't like your teachers, you start to hate the subject... So I'd kill all three of my math teachers."
Meanwhile, Christie wowed the crowd gathered for Entertainment Weekly's Women Who Kick Ass panel, by speaking from her heart and sharing gory details from her epic fight with Rory McCann in Season 4.
Speaking to how and where Christie would like to see Brienne's story end, she's hoping for redemption in some form. "I think where we‘ve seen Brienne up to this point, we’ve loved her because she’s so dedicated to an overriding sense of moral good," said Christie. Referring to "that terribly disappointing incident" regarding Sansa and the candle, Christie mused, "Although Brienne of Tarth is a character in a show, it made us see her humanity and how we all fail. Even the strongest, badass women fail. As long as you try to redeem yourself again, keep going and achieve your goals in pursuit of the greater good, that’s all you can do."
When the women on the panel (Christie, Hayley Atwell, Gal Godot and Kathy Bates) were asked by moderator Sara Vilkomerson to address challenges they've faced that their male counterparts have not, Christie was the sole responder to speak from her heart about the state of women in Hollywood:
"I have to say I found it incredibly difficult. I found that initially when I left drama school, the world 10 years ago was a less embracing place than it is now because the Internet wasn’t so available to everybody," Christie explained. "The Internet seems to have made people’s frame of reference so much more diverse and as a consequence, what we’re seeing are characters like the ones all these women play being embraced because women want to see themselves more represented in a more realistic way. And not just women -- men, everybody wants to see something. We’re all so unique that that’s what we want to see. We want to see people we can relate to, or people that are so vastly different from us so that somehow, through the journey of storytelling, we find out we’re not so different after all. I do feel that’s starting to happen and I’m very grateful for that."
Bates, in the midst of raucous audience applause, added: "Bravo."
Although Christie could've remained silent for the rest of the panel after those moving words, her second "mic drop" moment came when, after being asked about her most memorable stunt work, she re-told the story of how she and co-star Rory McCann trained and filmed the epic fight between Brienne and the Hound in Season 4.
"We spent two months of training for it, two or three days a week for six to eight hours a day, just to build up the strength necessary to fight Rory McCann, who’s a 6’7” man and certainly a lot stronger than I am," recalled Christie. "But the characters are of the same level of strength so I had to do quite a lot of pretending to try and carry that one off. But more than that, exactly as [Hayley Atwell said], you learn the fight as a dance and it’s actually the story you’re telling that infuses it with something else.”
Christie described learning the fight on a level floor in Belfast, only to discover that the set up was completely different in Iceland, where she had to fight going backwards up a hill. "It was also freak weather conditions in Iceland, it was boiling hot. I had the real armor on, the face was casserole-ing in the sun," she said. "And if you’re familiar with the fight, there was one moment where Brienne punches the Hound somewhere extremely intimate. We’d rehearsed it so we knew where that punch went so it was faked and no one got hurt. Then just before the take, Rory McCann said [mimicing his Scottish accent]: 'Do it for real.' I said, 'I’m sorry?' He said, 'Do it for real.' And what you see in that fight is a genuine connection of fist and undercarriage."
Suspended 400 feet above Peru’s Sacred Valley of Cusco are three capsules that appear like Space Age airstream trailers. These transparent sleeping pods are intended for unfazed adventures, crafted from aerospace aluminum and weather resistant polycarbonate giving each visitor a 300 degree view of the valley below.
Skylodge Adventure Suites was created by the company Natura Vive, a group of young entrepreneurs who aim to show people of any age or experience level a mountain adventure. As a part of the thrill, visitors must either climb or hike a challenging trail with the help of ziplines to reach their sleeping quarters in the sky.
Each 24 ft. by 8 ft. capsule suite holds four beds, a dining area, and bath, ensuring a comfortable internal temperature and atmosphere with the inclusion of six windows and four ventilation ducts. The pods also have a clear dome at the top of each, which Natura Vive explains also has curtains for privacy “from the curious gaze of the passing condors (your sky neighbors).” (via designboom)
This blind item seems to be suggesting that Batffleck is on smack..?
Bartkira Volume 3 Is live and up on bartkira.com! We’ve all worked incredibly hard on it and we’re thrilled to finally be able to share it with you. The last fifty pages which show the destruction of Neo-Springfield (spoilers!) are some of the best stuff done for the project so far.
Alex Jaffe, who has been killing it as my editorial assistant for the past 6 months, made this interactive map that shows the locations of nearly every artist who contributed to the Bartkira project. It’s still a work-in-progress, but it’ll give you a pretty good idea of the massive reach this project has had. It’s a fascinating thing.
And lastly, today we dropped the animated Bartkira trailer, a crowdsourced project by Kate Sullivan (of last year’s excellent Moon Animate Make-up). It’s at the top of bartkira.com right now!
I’m incredibly grateful to all the contributors whose hard work made this possible, from all the talented artists involved in the project to everyone in Team Bartkira who helped me organise this mad thing. Thanks, all of you! You’ll find full credits on the website and at the end of each volume. We’ve been running interviews with some of the artists involved on this here blog, and we’ve got a couple more ready to go up in the next couple of days. Don’t forget you can still get involved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your work- -or just draw your own thing, since this project really belongs to everyone.
Enjoy the show,
James (and the Bartkira Committee)
SPOILERZ this is how ASOIAF will end.
Photographer Phoo Chan has seen more than his fair share of spectacular moments while photographing birds and other wildlife around his home in California, but perhaps nothing will ever top what he witnessed last spring while shooting near Kitsap, Washington: a crow riding atop a bald eagle. It only lasted for a few seconds, but Chan managed to capture the entire encounter on film. He shares about the image:
Crows are known for aggressively harassing other raptors that are much bigger in size when spotted in their territories and usually these ‘intruders’ simply retreat without much fuss. However, in this frame the crow did not seem to harass the bald eagle at such close proximity and neither did the bald eagle seem to mind the crow’s presence invading its personal space. What made it even more bizarre was that the crow even made a brief stop on the back of the eagle as if it was taking a free scenic ride and the eagle simply obliged.
Master of the miniature Jon Almeda creates tiny hand thrown ceramics at 1″ scale that are every bit as detailed and perfect as their much larger counterparts. The Washington-based artist makes vases, bowls, and even tea kettles tiny enough to sit atop a coin or toothbrush. Despite their fragile beginnings, the pieces are sturdy enough to endure standard glazing and firing to emerge as fully finished ceramics. Almeda uses a custom designed motorized curio wheel that affords the precise control needed to execute minute handbuilding techniques need for each object.
The car park is the strangest version of Rock Band I've ever seen.
This exceedingly clever animation by artist Alan Warburton transforms two compositions from J.S. Bach’s The Well Tempered Clavier (Prelude and Fugue in C Major) into a visual interpretation of music. Warburton used a form of graphical notation manifested as thousands of fluorescent light bulbs mounted around a gallery space and parking garage. As each light pops on in sync with the music, the bulb shape correlates with with length and pitch of each note.
“Physalia Physalis” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia
Appropriately titled Over/Under, Matty Smith's series showcases the dual environments that exist just above and below sea level. Smith focuses on images right at dusk in order to expose the vibrant colors that shine within the dark waters. Each shot is divided by a wavy strip of ocean just above the center of the photograph. Fish and coral live below the horizon as seagulls and sunsets populate the upper half of the photos.
Tricky photographs to shoot from a technical standpoint, Smith uses a strobe light for the bottom half of the image to ensure that both the animals above and below water are highlighted prominently.
The Australian photographer views each half and half image he captures as a landscape photograph, and prefers environments with depth and attitude over blue sunny skies. Typically Smith scouts his locations via snorkeling expeditions. “For me one of the most wondrous parts of any dive is the moment that the water engulfs my mask as my head slips below the surface,” says Smith. “I think it’s the suspense of the unknown of what lies beneath, the transitional part of moving from one element to the next that feels so magical and the thought of what alien creatures I might encounter.” Many of his photos are available as prints. (via My Modern Met)
“Smiling Assassin” – American Crocodile, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.
“A Silky Encounter 1” – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
“A Silky Encounter 2” – Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
“Bluebottle Army” – Bluebottle cnidarian, Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia
“Crimson Tide” – Waratah Anemones, Port Kembla, NSW Australia
“Ocean Rose” – Bass Point, NSW Australia
“A Shock of Blue” – Bushrangers Bay, NSW Australia
“A Splash of Yellow” – Sargassum Seaweed, Bushranger Bay, NSW Australia
I find the American attachment to area codes kind of odd.