Again, a little time has passed since the last major update with news from the Game of Thrones production camp, so here's a run-down of recent events.
Due to a combination of various factors, the start date for filming of Season 1 has been moved back from late June to 26 July 2010. Interestingly, both Peter Dinklage and Sean Bean have been able to sneak in some more film roles thanks to the delay. It is unknown if this delay will impact on the previously-mooted April 2011 transmission date. Whilst the filming date has been moved back, pre-production is in full swing. New sets are being built at the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, new locations are being looked at and various backstage crew are being assembled. Director Brian Kirk is reportedly already in Belfast preparing for the shoot, indicating he will either be directing Episode 2 or will be handling the reshoots needed for the pilot. Based on Tweets and blog posts, it also sounds like most or all of the writing for the season has been done, at least in draft, with George R.R. Martin turning in the script for the eighth episode some time ago.
That brings the news back to casting. Given that the pick-up was announced back on 2 March, it's surprising that no further casting announcements have been made beyond the replacing of Jennifer Ehle (Catelyn Stark) and Tamzin Merchant (Daenerys Targaryen) with Michelle Fairley and Emilia Clarke. Casting has been going on roughly in the order of appearance of each major character in the series, and with Martin reporting that casting is now underway for the role of Shae (who will appear quite late in the season, probably in Martin's own episode) and that they were down to two choices for Samwell Tarly, this suggests that roles appearing much earlier than that (possibly including Renly Baratheon, Varys and Littlefinger) have either been cast or are in the process of being finalised. Hopefully this means that casting announcements will be forthcoming before filming starts. Intriguingly, Martin has confirmed that Tywin will first appear in his episode, so if they are casting for Shae (who first appears around the same time in the book) they may be casting for Tywin as well, who I suspect would be a recognisable, known name.
It's also been confirmed that there will be no heavy Game of Thrones presence at the San Diego Comic-Con, despite the recent revelation that a trailer has been put together for internal HBO consumption and this is the last SDCC before transmission. It's simply too far ahead of transmission to start building up a strong buzz (something that is happening naturally due to regular media coverage anyway).
In summary, the series is currently 46 days from production beginning and (hopefully) ten months from transmission, with casting announcements due hopefully soon.