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Can you feel that buzz in the air? We are two weeks out from San Diego Comic Con and every nerd, whether they be attending or not, is in a frenzy. Even the creators coming to share their wares at the con are getting a little antsy. George R.R. Martin, you may know him from HBO‘s hit television show Game of Thrones and that guy people yell at on the street to, “WRITE FASTER!”, has shared his Comic Con plans on his blog,

The next convention on my calendar is the San Diego Comicon.

My dance card is already almost full. Yes, there will be a GAME OF THRONES panel, and I’ll be on it. It is scheduled for Friday, July 19, 2:50 to 3:45, in Hall H To be followed by an autographing at the WB booth. Of course, I’ll be joined on the panel by half a dozen cast members (no, don’t know which ones yet) and David and Dan.

He provides some hints at what we can expect from Game of Thrones, like a panel in Hall H on Friday with David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and as of yet unannounced members of the cast. (What do you know? UPDATE! John Bradley, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harington, Rose Leslie, and Richard Madden will be in attendance.) Surprised? No way! After last season and all those records they broke of course the series was going to get a prime time and placement.

GRRM also has some comments for those concerned about the recent casting announcement of The Red Viper, and there are rumors Neil Marshall is returning to direct Season 4’s finale. Hit the jump!

Last week we learned of another name joining the ever-growing cast of Game of Thrones: Pedro Pascal as The Red Viper of Dorne. I’m confidant we’re looking at another fan favorite, but some fans were upset over the casting, and some due to the actor’s race. GRRM took to his trusty blog, again, to ease fans’ concerns in what I found to be a great explanation behind the races of Westeros and beyond,

I wasn’t present for Pedro Pascal’s audition, but I understand that he really killed it with his reading. And since his casting was announced, the producer of another TV show on which he appeared recently has written me to say how terrific Pascal is, and to congratulate us on the casting. So I suspect that he will turn out to be a wonderful Red Viper.

I do know that David and Dan and HBO do favor having a racially and ethnically diverse cast on the series. It is true that we’ve lost several black characters who appear in the novels (Chataya and Alayaya, Jalabhar Xho, Strong Belwas), but to balance that, characters like Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos, both white in the books, have been played by black actors. Missandei as well, though in the books the Naathi are golden-skinned, not white.

As for the Dornishmen, well, though by and large I reject one to one analogies, I’ve always pictured the “salty Dornish” as being more Mediterranean than African in appearance; Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, etc. Dark hair and eyes, olive skin. Pedro Pascal is Chilean. (Check out Amok’s version of the Red Viper, that’s how I saw him. Or Magali Villenueve’s beautiful and sexy portrait of Princess Arianne).

When and if the show introduces Prince Oberyn’s daughters, the Sand Snakes, I expect we will see the same diversity as in the books, ranging from Tyene (blond and blue-eyed) to Sarella (light brown skin, as her mother was a Summer Islander). And I expect that the crew of the CINNAMON WIND will all be cast with black actors…

I’m no fan of white-washing, and I believe it only hurts a film or TV series when the cast is all, well, white. But those behind Game of Thrones seem very aware of how these characters are depicted in the books and take this into consideration with their casting. They also seem to very much of the mind, “Cast the right person for the role, not matter the color of their skin.” What do you think? Have they been on the up-and-up when it comes to a diverse cast?

And lastly, remember the Neil Marshall directed episode from Season 2, “Blackwater“? Of course you do, it was frickin’ amazing! Well, Empire has learned from a source Marshall is expected to be back for Season 4 and will be directing the finale. Now, I don’t want to spoil anyone, but book readers will know what I mean when I say big battle in the north. That’s what the finale will supposedly cover, and really, who better than the director who gave us that awesome battle in the south?

But, Winter Is Coming, warns for us to not get ahead of ourselves. They claim to have conflicting information from another insider source.

Sigh. Why can’t these unnamed sources ever be on the same page?

I’m not too sure who to believe. For one, Empire’s a definite legit news source, but Winter Is Coming is the best GoT news blog around, soo… You see my dilemma. For now, it’s got to be considered rumor, but I’m holding hope it’s true because I want Marshall directing that episode! Don’t you?

Sources: Winter Is Coming (2)(3)

Category: TV

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