Last year we were unable to announce our full line up of guests until just two weeks before the convention because of the constantly changing nature of the production schedule that television programmes are subject to. It was an extremely aggravating process for us as several potential guests had to drop out along the way but thankfully in the end we were able to confirm some wonderful guests including Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and they really enjoyed attending TitanCon last year.
Unfortunately this will be the situation again in 2012 and we won't have the full line up of guests for you until a couple of weeks beforehand. But rest assured we are confident we'll have a great line up on the day and we'll be working hard to make announcements just as soon as we possibly can. We are committed to not naming guests until we are completely sure that they will be in Belfast on that weekend and available to attend. We would hate to announce someone only for them to drop out when the schedule changes and they need to be in Croatia or Iceland instead.
This is the downside of holding a convention like ours in the middle of the ongoing filming schedule however it does mean we can bring you a good number of cast and crew member guests for a much lower cost than it would be if we had to fly everyone in from all over the world during their down time. We hope you'll agree the trade off is worth it.
Luckily we've got a few familiar faces we can name up front who (barring apocalyptic disaster) will definitely be at TitanCon 2012.
Ron Donachie is one of those "oh that guy" actors. He has appeared in dozens of movies and stacks of TV shows. He always brings great weight and gravitas to every role he plays but he's never been particularly well known.
Perhaps then white haired, sideburns tied under the chin, castellean Rodrik Cassel in Game of Thrones will be considered something of a defining role for Ron. I'm sure fans will remember his emotional and bloody exit from the show in season two for a long time to come. Ron's tear jerking goodbye, "I'm off to see your father", followed by Theon Greyjoy hacking at his head four times to sever it while a horrified Bran and Rickon watch on was one of the most emotional moments of the entire second season. A very welcome change from the books when Ser Rodrik dies off screen.
Before Game of Thrones Ron was best known as the Master at Arms in James Cameron's Titanic. Other film credits include Comfort and Joy, White Mischief, Fierce Creatures and The Jungle Book. He has also appeared in Doctor Who, Heartbeat, Rebus, Monarch of the Glen, The Bill, Taggart, and just about every major British TV series of the last twenty years.
Ron was a guest at our first Belfast Moot in November 2009. He told us that he read George RR Martin's Fevre Dream when it was first published in the 80's and loved it, and so he was thrilled to be involved in this series now. He devoured all four books (published at that time) within a couple of weeks of landing the part even though he knew his character would not live beyond the second book, a sure sign that he is a true fan. Parris Martin brought a lovely gift over for Ron during the filming of season one, a set of the beautifully drawn Fevre Dream comics (published by Avatar Press). If anyone ever makes a film version of Fevre Dream Ron Donachie definitely needs to play the part of Abner Marsh. UPDATE: Ron will be playing Abner Marsh along with all the other parts when he reads for the forthcoming audiobook version of Fevre Dream.
Ron was recently in Chicago with George RR Martin to accept the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation Long Form for Game of Thrones season one.
We're very pleased that Ron will be able to join us at TitanCon 2012 - though we make no promises about the possibility of Ron wearing the famous wig when you meet him!
In his 64 years I suspect Ian McElhinney has never picked up a sword in anger and yet I firmly believe he really could carve me up like a cake should the need arise. A testimony to the great acting Ian brought to the role of Barristan Selmy in season one of Game of Thrones. It is also another point in the long list of perfect casting choices in the show. Barristan the Bold is one of the few genuine and honourable characters in the series and Ian is exactly that in real life, one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet.
Similar to Ron Donachie, Ian is another of those 'oh that guys' that Game of Thrones seems to be filled with. Great actors who have done brilliantly in small parts but very rarely had a chance at a lead role. Ian also has a Titanic connection, he played Sir Henry Carlton in the recent TV series Titanic: Blood and Steel.
Looking at Ian's IMDB page it stood out to me that he has played a Priest or a Reverend on numerous occasions throughout his career including films such as Leap Year, A Shine of Rainbows, Clay, A Love Divided, Blind Justice, Circle of Deceit and even played Pope Clement VII in TV series The Tudors. Other roles include Captain Hammond in Hornblower and he was also in City of Ember which was filmed at The Painthall here in Belfast.
Ian lives in Belfast with his wife, playwright/actress Marie Jones. Together they started up their own production company Rathmore Productions Ltd. Marie is the writer of smash hit play A Night In November which will be on at the Belfast Opera House from Tuesday 11 to Saturday 15 September 2012. Ian is directing the production so buy your tickets now and go see it while you can.
Readers of A Song of Ice and Fire will know when and where Barristan reappears (characters in this series do not disappear for no reason) but to preserve the surprise for those who are only watching the TV series we request that nobody asks Ian about when and where we get to see his character again. Not even in a really vague kind of way. Please keep your questions limited to what we saw of Ian in season one. Thank you.
Miltos Yerolemou is a Shakespearean trained actor based in London with an impressive list of theatre credits to his name including work with the Royal Shakespeare Company and The Globe Theatre. Until recently he only had a small amount of TV and film experience but in 2010 Miltos was cast in HBO's Game of Thrones as the elegant yet deadly sword master Syrio Forel. Syrio is hired by Eddard Stark to be Arya's instructor in the smooth Braavosi fencing style known as Water Dancing.
Most of his TV work prior to Game of Thrones was for the BBC including My Family, Black Books, Absolutely Fabulous, Hubub and Walking With Beasts where he played a Neanderthal. Miltos had a small role as a waiter in The Inbetweeners film, although you'll only be able to see it on the DVD extras.
Miltos is currently appearing in the spectacular The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe theatre production at the purpose built ThreeSixty Theatre in Kensingston Gardens, London. Miltos plays Ginarrbrik, the Ice Queen's dwarf henchman. He's evil but Miltos puts on such a great comic performance you can't help but secretly love him. Check out this Youtube trailer for the show here and see the official website for ticket details. The show runs till 9 September 2012 so get along and see it while you have the chance.
Miltos is an incredibly versatile and skilled actor with such diverse talents as Ballroom Dancing, Stage Combat, Stand-up Comic, Puppetry, Stilt Walking, Trapeze, ScubaDiving, Tai-Chi and of course Fencing.
In fact Miltos kindly offered to host a fencing workshop at TitanCon 2011 - something we called "Water Dancing Live with Syrio Forel. Just so." This workshop was a huge success with Maisie Williams and Joseph Campo getting on stage to try out some moves, and also several TitanCon members were lucky enough to spar with them too.
Miltos was at Belfast Moot 2 in October 2010 and following on from that he worked with Joseph Campo on episode 6 of Get Joe on the Show. If you haven't seen it check it out below as Miltos puts Joe through his paces in a punishing training regime. Funny stuff!
Aimee was originally going to be a guest at last year's TitanCon but much to her utter dismay HBO flew her off to Croatia for an extended holiday in beautiful sunny Dubrovnik over that weekend. She was absolutely gutted to have missed out on that massive downpour of rain that got us all soaked in Tollymore Forest during the coach tour while she was forced to spend the day at the beach. So unfair! Thankfully we are pleased to say Aimee will be able to join us at TitanCon 2012 and I know she will be jumping up and down with excitement to be able to make it this year.
Fourteen year old Aimee Richardson lives in Bangor Co Down with her mum, dad and cat, Herbie. She made her stage debut at the age of six, playing the part of Mary in her school Nativity Play - and decided there and then that she wanted to be an actress!
Aimee was an active member of her school drama society and attended a local branch of the Helen O'Grady drama club for several years during her primary school education. It was through this club that, at the age of nine, she got a tiny part in the movie Miss Conception starring Heather Graham, playing Heather's character, Georgina, as a child in a flash-back scene.
She then joined ExtrasNI and was soon cast as Lucy, the main character in a short promotional film for local gas company, Firmus Energy.
In September 2009, Aimee was asked to audition for a non speaking role in a pilot for a new HBO drama series called Game of Thrones. She met with David Benioff, Dan Weiss and pilot director Tom McCarthy in Belfast and was ecstatic when she was told she had the part. However, Aimee knew that even if the series was commissioned there was no guarantee that she would even be invited to audition for the proper role.
In May 2010 Aimee received the call she had been waiting on with baited breath - she was to be auditioned for the part of Princess Myrcella Baratheon. Her first audition was to camera with two local production staff, and then followed another nervous wait. A few weeks later she was asked to attend a second audition, this time in front of David, Dan, Frank Doelger and Robert Sterne. Her biggest challenge was demonstrating to the panel that she could deliver a convincing English accent. Thankfully she did, and finally she received a call from Carla at ExtrasNI telling her that she was Myrcella for real. This time she was euphoric!
Aimee describes filming her Game of Thrones scenes last year as "the absolute best days of my life so far. I loved every single second, even the portaloos and the waiting around. Getting to Dubrovnik last year to film my scenes there was just amazing. I had such a brilliant time and even on my days off I wanted to be on set. It was like being in the best dream ever! Everyone was so nice to me even though my part was very small and I can't wait to do it all over again".
We were delighted to have Callum Wharry join us at TitanCon 2011, though only for the later part of the afternoon. Callum had a football match in the morning and of course his team won the match!
It's the same story again this year, Callum will be footballing in the morning and joining us in the afternoon to be reunited with his on-screen sister Aimee Richardson. Good luck in the match Callum!
Callum went through two auditions in 2010 to land the part of Tommen Baratheon in Game of Thrones, his first major acting role of any kind.
We didn't see much of Tommen in season one but he became much more prominent in season two culminating in that outstanding scene at the end of Blackwater where he is sat on Cersei Lannister's lap. The tension was palpable as she was about to pour poison down her son's throat to prevent what Cersei believed would be a crueller death at hands of Stannis Baratheon. Really great acting from both Lena Headey and Callum Wharry, he plays innocent so well.
William Simpson is a storyboard artist working on HBO's Game of Thrones, but he is far better known as a comic artist and illustrator. Over his 30 year career Will has worked for all the major comic houses: Dark Horse, DC, Vertigo, Marvel and 2000AD.
Will grew up in Prehen, near Derry, his earliest work was for the Belfast anthology Ximoc in the early 1980s. This led to professional work in the UK, drawing "Big Ben" in Warrior in 1984, and a run on Transformers for Marvel UK in 1985-1987. His first work for 2000AD, a Future Shock, came in 1985, and he was a regular on the magazine from 1987 to 1991, drawing Universal Soldier (1987), Judge Dredd, including episodes of the epic Oz (1987-88), Tale of the Dead Man, and Tyranny Rex (1988). He provided painted art for several Judge Dredd stories, as well as the Rogue Trooper reboot The War Machine in 1989-90. In 1991 he created Sex Warrior with writers Pat Mills and Tony Skinner for Toxic!.
1991 was the year he made the move into American comics. With writer Garth Ennis, he took over on DC's horror title Hellblazer, which he drew until 1993. He drew an Aliens miniseries, Rogue, for Dark Horse Comics in 1993, and 1994 co-created the sexy vampire miniseries Vamps for DC/Vertigo, with writer Elaine Lee, which returned for two more minseries in 1996 and 1998. Also with Lee, he drew the first issue of Indiana Jones and the Spear of Destiny for Dark Horse in 1995. He drew a three part Batman story, "Freak Out", written by Ennis, in Legends of the Dark Knight in 1997. Other titles he has drawn include Excalibur (Marvel, 1992), Animal Man (DC, 1993) and Punisher 2099 (Marvel, 1994).
In recent years Will has concentrated primarily on illustration and filmmaking and has drawn storyboards for films including Breakfast on Pluto, Closing the Ring, Reign of Fire, City of Ember and Your Highness. Many of these were filmed in Belfast and this has naturally lead to Game of Thrones. William was at Belfast Moot 2 in 2010 and TitanCon 2011. A fantastic guest who brings a great deal of insight from the other side of the camera.
Emma Andrews works in the drapes department on HBO's Game of Thrones. She graduated from the University of Ulster at Belfast 'Art College' in 2009 with a degree in fine and applied art where she specialised in textile art.
Emma started by making large exhibition pieces, wallhangings etc, but somehow her work got smaller and smaller over the years. Emma now specialises in jewellery and accessories working mainly in silks. Some of the techniques Emma uses include patchwork, quilting, embroidery and beading but with her own contemporary twist.
Emma tells us that last year for the season two production she was mainly making tents and banners and more tents and yet more and more tents! During season one she did a lot of embroidery including the wee bits that Sansa and Arya are working on when we first meet them in the opening episode. Emma also stitched the stag and hand of the king emblems into the chair backs of the Small Council seats.
I'm sure those of you who were following Winter-is-Coming back in the days of pre-production on season one will remember "Chair-Gate" which ensued after the hand of the king chair appeared briefly in one of the early trailers and some fans felt that the design was too modern looking.
I wonder what Emma makes of the fans being so obsessed about every little detail like this. I think the fact that the production team care so much about the details to hire talented artists like Emma to create beautiful sets and props, many of which we don't even see on screen, shows their dedication to the show's quality. The artisans that work on the show are just as important as the actors that appear front and centre which is why we are happy to announce that Emma will be our guest at TitanCon.
We are also thrilled to announce that she will be running a Dothraki Jewellery Workshop for us at TitanCon. We're offering the opportunity to sit down with Emma and create your very own piece of Dothraki jewellery. All the materials will be provided for you including wooden beads and real horse hair from Emma's own horses to string it all together.
There is an online sign-up form for the Dothraki Jewellery Workshops which will open at 12.00 noon GMT on Sunday 16 September 2012. Please see the sign-up page for more details about the sign up process.
Jo first died in public in 1991. It was during the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of "A Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde". Entering stage left; playing her clarinet in a street urchin band, she was pulled through a sugar glass mirror and strangled to death, by an enraged Mr Hyde, who then closed act one with her "corpse" in his arms.
Since then Jo has branched out into a wide range of performing talents.Working in theatre companies, firedancing, fighting for film and TV - (usually as some kind of warrior/zombie/wench/murder victim); taking part in historical reenactments (as a Tudor infantryman/ Viking/Napoleonic camp follower and cannon swabber, Irish clanswoman, Norman, Saxon, second world war FANY and perhaps most amusingly a 13th century Hospitallier nun), performing Burlesque - currently under the name Mutha Hydra - with her own company - The Club 1830's Retro Future Cabaret, choreographing violence, studying Celtic Civilisations and Mythology at NUIG, and being a muse. Jo was a featured extra in the Game of Thrones "Pilot That Never Was", a role which largely involved curtseying many hundreds of times to Mark Addy's Robert Baratheon. After weeks of swanning around feeling like the Amy Winehouse of Winterfell, she made it into about four seconds of screen time - look for the hair!
Trained in western martial arts weaponry and techniques, Jo has recently been training and further qualifying as a stunt performer/coordinator with RC Annie, a female led fight team based in London.
Those of you who attended TitanCon 2011 will remember Jo's performance during the Water Dancing workshop with Miltos Yerolemou and the Dothraki song (see the Youtube clip below with everyone pounding on the tables) performed at our Coach Tour feast on the Sunday. Jo ran a Water Dancing workshop at Eastercon earlier this year and will be assisting Miltos at our Water Dancing workshop at TitanCon 2012. Jo and the boys from Clan Ulaidh will be back again to entertain the crowds at Shane's Castle and she has also convened the Hardbitten Fleabottom Swingtime Band who will be performing songs from and inspired by A Song of Ice and Fire.
Jo was sore to miss the opportunity to feature in prime scenes like the Blackwater and various horrible death's during last season's filming. She was travelling in the USA with her family and making sure Parris and George's wedding reception didn't go awry! Speaking of which - Jo has her eye firmly set on certain upcoming Westerosi nuptials...
A television show like Game of Thrones would be impossible to produce without the hard work of hundreds of dedicated extras. People prepared to grow beards and go months without cutting their hair just so they have the right look. People willing to get dressed up in any kind of clothing, be it heavy armour or something with little protection from the elements while they are outside for days at a time in the worst imaginable weather, repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again until the director decides he has enough footage.
In the Extras panel we will salute the hard work and sacrifice of the Game of Thrones extras as they relate their experience of working on the first and second seasons of the show and provide real insight into what it takes to be an extra. Back in July 2011 over two thousand people turned up for the ExtrasNI casting session and if any of those people would like some advice on how to become an extra themselves this panel may just have the answers.
Due to a change in filming schedule Kristian Nairn is not available to attend TitanCon 2012. Please read our announcement about this.
Due to a change in filming schedule Art Parkinson is not available to attend TitanCon 2012. Please read our announcement about this.
We will be announcing more Game of Thrones guests over the coming weeks leading up to the convention so check back regularly or follow our Twitter feed for news and announcements.
Please note that all guests appear subject to work commitments. Panels and events may be cancelled or rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances. We will do our best to arrange alternative events; however this may not always be possible. Refunds will not be available due to changes in the event line up or schedule. TitanCon accepts no liability for loses incurred through errors or omissions on the website or the TitanCon convention booklet. Please see our Code of Conduct for more information.