'Game of Thrones' casts Theon's fierce sister

gemma-whelan

But wait, there’s more! With the Game of Thrones season 2 cast, you also get Theon Greyjoy’s bold sister Asha (except we’re not going to call her that).

Producers have tapped Gemma Whelan (Gulliver’s Travels, The Wolfman) to play Asha Yara Greyjoy, the older sister of the Stark family’s impulsive young ward, Theon. Yara defies the Ironborn traditions of her family by commanding her own ship and leading men into battle, as well as having a penchant for axes.

Producers changed the character’s name from Asha to Yara presumably because the former sounds too much like another character in the show, Osha. (They did the same with young Lord Robert in the Eyrie in season 1, changing his name to Robin as not to confuse him with King Robert Baratheon). For those who missed the rest of the season 2 cast, here’s who will play Stannis and Melisandre and Davos; here’s who’s cast for Brienne and here’s Margaery Tyrell.
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  • aleksa

    One of my favorite characters in the book. I hope the actress has fun with it.

    • aleksa

      Sorry, “books”.

    • Al

      does she Brit? hoo God help us

    • Al

      I dont need to read cos I know she is Brit

      • Benjamin

        For someone who can’t speak coherent English, you care a whole hell of a lot about the accents used on this show.

    • kl

      they are british because the accent in Westaros is derived from english. and who the hell cares where an actress comes from /facepalm

      • Javadude54

        So this all takes place on planet Earth? I always wondered. But why is the orbit so wobbly as to cause such uneven and unpredictable seasons? They don’t even use calendars. They only know Winter is coming because it’s getting colder.

    • Ken

      Asha/Yara likes axes.

      • Cesar

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  • Jon

    Let me get this straight… “Asha” sounds too much like “Osha”, so they change it to “Yara” which sounds a lot like “Arya”?

    I don’t even think they Osha’s name once in the first season, but Arya is a main character. I’m missing the logic, here.

    I’m not against changing up the name for that reason, but Yara is a pretty poor choice in my personal opinion.

    • moresco

      I have to agree with Jon here. It’s a dumb choice to change the names. There are so many names in this series the sound alike, it’s downright annoying to start changing them around. I mean…good luck with that plan.

      • erasure25

        Arya is 3 syllables. Yara is 2 syllables (right?). They sound nothing alike.

    • fearghoul

      Yara doesn’t sound a thing like Arya

      • John

        No it’s not like they share any of the same letters or anything, it’s a completely different sounding name. ;-)

      • Shea

        besides the fact that they just rearranged the letters in Arya to spell Yara? no…they don’t sound a thing alike.

      • Belkacem

        They are my fiorvrate fantasy books, and I still haven’t seen a single episode of the show!!! I don’t have cable, and am probably going to have to wait until they are rentable on DVD, or on Netflix. I have no problem with the name change, though. It justs makes sense to put a little separation between the pronunication of the names if you have people speaking them on a show with accents from around the world. As involved as GRRM is with the production of this, I’m sure if he had a problem with it, it wouldn’t have happened.

    • Hazel

      not to mention the fact that in the entirity of the 5 books written thus far, asha and osha are never in the same place.

      Its an insult to the viewing audiences intellignece that it is considered too confusing to have people with similar names, or the same name. The reason Robert Arryn was called robert is because he was named for Robert Baratheon, its not that hard a concept to get your head around. Its rediculous.

      Yara Greyjoy sounds like a poor 1970s porn star.

      • Trollabe

        Well GoT does have 1070s porn scenes so the name is right on.

      • Herba

        At some point Osha and Asha are at the same place in book 2. Not gonna spoil where but they do. But they dont interact together.

      • Jess

        umm… Osha and Asha were never in any scene together in book 2. What you are talking about doesn’t change the fact that any viewer with the mental capacity needed to understand this TV series would NOT confuse Osha with Asha! I’m pissed by this name change.

    • susie moon

      In book 3 Theon actually mentions that those two have names that sound alike. Casting and Directors and scriptwriters are going to continue to tweek and change and add and there is nothing we can do about it. I think it was one of the directors that kept pronouncing Arya as Aria.

    • Envie

      I’m with you here. I’m really ok for the name change (I mean, we’re talking about two almost-warrior-women from the north. called Asha and Osha: it’s bound to make people get confused), but seriously, Yara?

    • sarah

      I’m fine with the fact that they changed names, but Yara sounds really… lame. Like an old crone’s name. I like Asha much better. Considering Osha is a verrrry minor character (sorry, Tonks), the “confusion” really wouldn’t last long.

    • Strepsi

      I think the original name was dumb, and even George RR Martin seemed to realize it too, later, having Theon think “Asha, Osha, they sound the same”…

      I generally loooooove George RR Martin’s names (BEST NAME = HOT PIE !) but Asha is one of the worst.

      • Temp

        Aren’t there two people in the books named Balon, completely unrelated? Balon Greyjoy and Balon Swann? I kind of liked that, and how Robert Aryn was named after King Robert (and I would guess Robb Stark was too?).

        In real life lots of people have the same name, it kind of made the books realistic. But I can understand for TV, with soooo many characters, they want a easier clear way to sort everyone

    • kaduzy

      This name change is ridiculous. It’s insulting to the intelligence of the TV audience to assume they can’t tell the difference between the two names. And Yara is an incredibly stupid name. I’m sure they ran it by Martin first and he approved this and I just don’t get why. He usually comes up with great names. “Yara” doesn’t suit her character at all, and now that’s how she’ll be known to millions of TV viewers around the world, forever. REALLY disappointed with this decision. I love this character.

    • BrooklynBrimstone

      They shouldn’t have changed her name. I like Asha a heck of a lot better than Yara. Lame! They shouldn’t worry about people confusing characters just cuz of slight similarities in their names. They’re not giving us clever fans our due! ;)

  • cam

    Sorry to be a typo troll, but it’s Davos, not Darvos.

    • Austin

      And “King Robert in the Eyrie” is definitely not a king.

    • Your mom

      How about Davros instead? Exterminate!

      • Bigg Kab

        ^-Wish I could thumbs up that.

      • Kass

        Ditto… totally wish there was a “like” button for that one. :D

      • Jess

        <3 I think ASOIAF should end with a dance number with daleks.

  • djb

    They called the Lord of the Eyrie Robert Arryn Sweetrobin, because his mother uses that as an endearing term in the books. This is totally different.

  • Don

    *slight spoilers for book 2*

    I hope they include Theon trying to have sex with her because he doesn’t recognize it’s his sister. That was a great and disturbing way to kick off the competition and hatred between the two.

    • Don Sucks

      stop spoiling you idiot. this wasnt a slight spoiler. it was a great reveal when it happened in the book and now you gave it away. you suck.

      • actually

        The article already spoils it by referring to her as Theon’s sister and giving a name.

      • WinterIsHere

        They don’t even have sex so calm down. Asha toys with him but eventually rejects his advances..

      • sarah

        how is that a great reveal, you troll?

      • Don

        LOL, if you don’t want anything spoiled don’t read what’s marked under *spoilers* You, sir, are a complete moron, and deserve to have it spoiled for being so stupid.

      • hooch

        @Sarah, it was a pretty great reveal in the books, IMO. But I agree that the article itself is the spoiler. Once you see him interacting with her, if you’d read this article and remembered you’d be like ‘wait… isn’t that his sister?’

      • Don Sucks

        Sarah’s cool cuz she calls people trolls.

      • kaduzy

        Actually the article is not a spoiler because in the book she uses a different name when she hits on him (or rather, let’s him seriously hit on her). If she’d introduced herself as Asha (or “Yara” in this idiotic name-change case) he obviously would have known she was his sister.

      • Auth

        Ik zag dat iemand hvorioer het ook al vroeg, maarrr waar is jouw witte jasje van? Hij is echt onwijs leuk! Leuke foto’s verder ook, en natuurlijk een ontzettend leuke winkel.

    • chase

      Don, I thought that was disguesting and it made me like her character less than I like Theon..

      • Don

        I agree, it was pretty disturbing, but since she doesn’t actually let him go through with it, I think it creates an interesting dynamic.

      • kaduzy

        It shows her intelligence and was a brilliant move on her part. By letting Theon go so far with her, she lulls him into revealing his true character to her. He talks to her about his plans and his real opinions of her, their father and the iron islands in a way that he never would have used if he knew she was his sister. She wanted to find out what kind of a man he really was after being raised in the “green lands” away from home. Sorry you couldn’t recognize that and decided to use it as a reason to dislike this strong female character.

  • bob

    How very rude of them, Osha, and Asha, I just cannot believe that they would believe that true believers would confuse the two names. Doesn’t Yata resemble arya? I do hope they stop right here as to their character changes for as I read the books I am certainly not confused at all.

    • Spam

      It’s one thing reading the books where if you misread you can just go back, and everything they do is tagged with their name in the narrative anyway. You see their names far more in text than you do on screen since the only time you’ll ever hear it is if someone says it.

      As for Yara/Arya, the fact that Arya is a main character makes it much easier to distinguish between them, whereas there’s a lot more grounds for confusion between two comparatively minor characters. That said given their relative importance I would have preferred it if they’d changed Osha rather than Asha.

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    • fearghoul

      Why does everyone think Yara sounds like Arya? Protip: it doesn’t.

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  • Temp

    Theres actualy a reference in book 2 by Theon, about how Osha and Asha’s names sound alike, and they both annoy him so.

    I wonder if they will change the dragon names, Maybe Bob instead of viserion, so it doesnt sound too close to Viserys?

    Also, the Walders are going to be a name-changing-nightmare ;-)

    • Jess

      lol, they should just number the Walders (from 1 to 40 to beyond) so it doesn’t confuse the stupid viewers! The horror! >_>

    • Jimmy

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  • aleksa

    Yara is the name of a water goddess in Brazilian mythology. If you look at it that way, it’s a perfect name for her character.

  • Cara

    There won’t be any confusion with Arya, because she’ll be called Arry, and also she’ll go by another name at Harrenhal. So there’s no reason to gripe.

    • sarah

      spoiler. she’s on her way to the wall, and that’s all that’s been told. let them think it’ll all work out awesomely.

      • Don

        At this point people who are only going off of the show should not be reading discussion centered around casting. People are going to be discussing that character and what they expect, so it’s just assumed.

      • Herba

        * spoiler * She has to be a mouse before she can be a cat. But actually, I would love her to become a wolf.

  • Willow

    People are going to be confused by her name? Yea, because she looks so much like Osha, and, being a Lord’s daughter commanding a ship, she’s apparently going to get confused with a Wildling woman. *shakes head*

    • crazyal

      you win.

      even if their names sound similar, their appearance on screen is not even remotely similar, no name conflict

      • JR

        They may have thought it would be an issue if two characters were talking about a character who was not onscreen. And since there is a lot of conspiring going on, that happens a lot. I still think they are vastly underestimating the audience’s intelligence. If necessary they could have simply used their title Lord Robert and King Robert to avoid confusion.

        If they think Robert and Osha and Asha are confusing, just wait till all the Freys enter the picture.

        An added note on the meeting of Asha and Theon on his return: it was also intended to foreshadow how completely unprepared he is to reenter the world of the Iron Islands. He doesn’t even recognize his own sister.

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  • Seth

    I’m not sure how bad you have to be at phonetics to think that “Yara” sounds close to “Arya” (AR-YA vs. YA-RA – no phonemes the same). “Asha” sounds very close to “Osha” however (AH-SHA vs. OH-SHA – one identical phoneme and two very similar ones).

    Stop nerding out about them changing the name. It was the right choice, and the name they selected is perfectly acceptable.

    • aleksa

      God, THANK YOU!!

    • Elara

      I get your point, but my minor nitpick is that Arya is pronounced Ar-ee-ah in every place I’ve heard it officially mentioned. This does actually further your point considerably.

      • *Clapping*

        Concur with all, particularly Seth’s technical explanation.

    • schaden

      THIS. Plus the fact that the actors have british accents, it could sound similar when they pronounce Asha and Osha. I’m absolutely behind HBO’s name changing on this one.

  • charlotte

    I liked the name Asha, oh well. She’s the only Greyjoy I can really stand. I really want to find out who they cast for Ygritte.

    • stina

      Ya me too! You know nothing Jon Snow.

  • aleksa

    It’s Jaqen casting that I’m really waiting for.

    • Brett

      Didn’t we already see him in the cart/cage when Yoren took Arya?

      • aleksa

        Actually, no. His face was hidden by a cape, so you saw absolutely nothing.

      • fearghoul

        yes but we already have an actor for him, unless they choose to replace said actor

      • Alex

        Wait…Yoren? Do you mean “Yara”? Or maybe “Janos”? ;)

      • charlotte

        You think the hooded figure was anything other than an extra? They kept him covered specifically so they could wait until they had to cast him for the second season.

      • fearghoul

        Then what about Rorge and Biter? They weren’t covered. You think they’re gonna be replaced too? Jaqen isn’t that big of a role so they don’t need to make a big deal out of casting him.

      • charlotte

        No, I don’t think they will replace Rorqe or Biter, because their role isn’t that important. Are you kidding? Do you really think Jaqen is not an important role? He’s the guy who becomes Arya’s own personal assassin and leads her to the Faceless Men. He’s important.

      • Herba

        He is a major book 2 character indeed.

      • crazyal

        important character and major character are not the same thing

        important character = important to the story line
        major character = lots of screen time throughout the season/series

        Renly = important, not major
        Jaqen = important, not major

    • Cara

      I vote for Oded Fehr, I think he would be great.

      • Hazel

        nah, he’s too bulky, I always pictured Jaqen as very thin, with lank hair, sort of like Mackenzie Crook, but more dangerous.

    • Strepsi

      Me too. In my casting,

      JAQEN H’GHAR = COLM FEORE

  • Liz Lemon

    I seriously need to read the rest of the books. I have no idea who she is.
    The casting for GoT is always spot on though.

    • Snsetblaze

      Yes, read the rest of the books. I started them and can’t put them down.

      • Herba

        Unfortunatly, book 4 and 5 are nothing compare to book 2 and 3. My rating:
        book 1: ****
        book 2: *****
        book 3: *****
        book 4: ***
        book 5: **

        Its still possible for the TV series to make S4 good if they combine book 4 and 5 into 1 season and cut all the filler and the sea of uninteresting characters

      • Jess

        I agree with Herba! If book 3 is too big for one season, I’m okay with them expanding it to 2 seasons, or 3 seasons for both book 2 and 3. But book 4 and 5 should be condensed.

  • Breda

    She looks like an awesome choice. I like her face.

    I have to agree that Osha and Asha sound too much alike, but if I only remember one, I remember Asha, so I think they changed the wrong name.

    Oh, also: she’s not remotely defying ironborn traditions. She’s defying the more common Westeros roles, but she’s entirely in keeping with the way ironborn women act. She’s one of many female ship’s captains, and she’s also a legal contender as her father’s heir.

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