Everyone can identify Kristofer Hivju by his look. The man who plays Tormund Giantsbane on Game of Thrones is pretty conspicuous with his red wild(ling) hair and beard. However, no one should overlook (overhear?) his equally great voice, which gives Tormund just as much of his power and gravitas as his appearance does. Hivju’s is the kind of distinct voice that lends itself perfectly to giving life to any character he might play, which is just what he is going to do this year when he voices a big ole mean lizard for Disney.
The Norwegian born actor will guest star during the upcoming second season on the Disney Junior animated show The Lion Guard as a monitor lizard named Kenge, a creature that is “big as a crocodile” and has an “intimidating, ferocious nature.” Apparently Kenge also “doesn’t take orders from anyone” either, making him sound like a real unpleasant reptile (he doesn’t seem like a “kneeler,” so no wonder they went with someone from north of The Wall).
So what might Kenge sound like? Hivju shared a clip of himself recording some Kenge dialogue from a studio in Oslo, and we’re pretty confident in saying they got this casting choice exactly right.
ARCH! Doing a guest role in #theLionGuard as “Kenge”, a Monitor lizard, big as a crocodile and with a intimidating, ferocious nature! Doing my best! He is a leader who won’t take orders from anyone. (That kind of reminds me of another character I play:-) #Disney Junior’s hit series “The Lion Guard,” continues the epic storytelling of “The Lion King” and follows the adventures of Kion, the second-born cub of Simba and Nala, and his diverse group of friends as they unite to protect the Pride Lands!
Could we get footage of him doing all of Kenge’s lines? We know animated means “heard not seen,” but my goodness was that great to watch. If you didn’t catch the first season of The Lion Guard last year, it continues the story of The Lion King. The show follows Kion, Simba’s second born cub, “as Kion and a team of animals known as “The Lion Guard” try to keep the peace in the surrounding terrain.” It does not sound like Kenge is likely to be the Tormund to Kion’s Jon Snow, so if Kenge is destined to be a real thorn in Kion’s side, does that mean we can start calling him Tormund Lionsbane? Get it? Get it! Lionsbane! What do you think of that one, Kristofer?
Uh, we will say he is on the fence about that one.
The Lion Guard airs on both Disney Junior and the Disney Channel, and season two is expected to premiere in 2017.
What other Game of Thrones actors would be good choices for voice over work? We want to hear your best casting choices for animated work in the comments below.
Featured Image: HBO
Kenge Image: Disney Junior