Casting Speculation Season 6: Ian McShane

Ian-mcshane-1For years, it has been a habit of the fine people behind this site to consult their inner augurs and predict which actors and actresses will appear as characters from the vast pool of Westerosi and Essosi names. In fact, Sue has already written speculation posts this year for Randyll Tarly and Euron Greyjoy.

This post is the inverse of that idea. As of yesterday, we know that Ian McShane has been cast in the upcoming season. What we don’t know is who he will be playing. Below are some predictions, both likely and outlandish, as to who exactly this talented actor may be portraying in Game of Thrones season 6.

Light spoilers for all released books below the cut.

Ian McShane is an incredibly intense actor, and the amount of energy he projects on set can be seen through his performances. Although not a physically imposing man, he can certainly be imposing through other means, using a combination of his paralysing stare/glare and his smoky, honeyed voice. He is capable of using these in a variety of ways, which makes him suitable for a number of roles, while making it more difficult to pin down his actual role. Some may see his age as an issue (he is 72 years old), but given the fact that he looks much younger than that and none of the speculated roles see a lot of physical action anyway, this is pretty much a non-issue.

So, without further ado, let’s get down to business:

RandyllRandyll Tarly – Randyll’s (presumed) casting call defines him as in his 50s to 60s. McShane could definitely pass for ten years younger, and looks enough like John Bradley to pass for Sam’s father. Randyll is also said to be “severe and intimidating”, and he’s centrally involved in a protagonist’s storyline. Last season, strong emphasis was placed the qualities of dragonglass, as well as Valyrian steel possessing the same white walker-slaying abilities. Sam just happens to be a character who is aware of this, who just happens to be travelling to Oldtown, the Citadel of which just happens to have knowledge of both materials. The fact that Randyll has Heartsbane – a Valyrian steel greatsword – could likely explain the inclusion of this easily-cuttable character. We know that McShane won’t appear in a large number of episodes. However, a character can be centrally involved in a storyline without a huge amount of screentime (see Walder Frey and the looming impact he had throughout season 3). Besides, who can say no when presented with the prospect of John Bradley cowering under Ian McShane’s glare?

EuronEuron Greyjoy – Euron (or an incarnation of him) is all but confirmed to appear next season. The casting breakdown mentions no physical requirements for the role. In the books, Euron is consistently described by his eyes, as well as his shrewd, manipulative voice. Anyone who has seen Deadwood will know that McShane can work wonders with his eyes alone, and as referenced above, his voice possesses Euron-like qualities. Personally, McShane wouldn’t be my pick for the role, but I can definitely see why others would pen him for it.

MeribaldSepton Meribald – Physically, this seems to be the role McShane would be most suited for. The casting call defines him as “gruff”, “no-nonsense”, and “salt-of-the-earth”. Sounds like McShane to me. Although the casting call asked for a younger actor, I can see them forgoing the age restraints in relation to this character – he is an old soldier after all. McShane also possesses the chops to sell Meribald’s memorable “broken men” monologue exceptionally well. Assuming that Meribald meets with Brienne as in A Feast for Crows, McShane’s reported small role seems a perfect match for the character.

Elder BrotherElder Brother – Again, this is a small role with a memorable impact, which suits the facts about McShane’s casting. The show might be going for the angle that The Hound met his end at the hands of Brienne of Tarth, while (heavy spoilers)

Sandor Clegane will be reborn at the Quiet Isle and reintroduced to the world with the help of Brienne (creating yet another Thrones roadshow), the Elder Brother being the enabler for this relationship.
It would be great to see McShane at the centre of something like that. But… it’s just speculation.

MarwynMarwyn the Mage – Marwyn is perhaps one of the most intriguing background characters in ASOIAF. This provides another opportunity for John Bradley and Ian McShane to share at least one scene – a tantalising scenario. In the books, Marwyn hints that he has some key knowledge about dragons. It is not a stretch, then, that he would also at least have an inkling about how to stop the white walkers. Another positive for McShane appearing in this role is that all (book) evidence points to Marwyn having a larger role in the future.

AerysAerys II Targaryen – With Bran returning, and with the precedent set last season, a whole host of flashback opportunities open up for season 6. I would not personally be in favour of flashbacks unless they reveal something essential and as-yet-unknown to the plot, such as the rumoured Tower of Joy flashback. However, it is not beyond belief for McShane to appear as the Mad King himself. It would definitely be entertaining.

Northern LordNorthern Lord – Despite the vague details we have on these two new Northern characters, I think it’s a safe bet to rule out the “savage”, “massive bear of a man” one if McShane is to make an appearance in the region. “Lord of Northern Stronghold” seems like a tighter fit, apart from the age description. As before, however, as long as the role isn’t physically demanding, I think it’s plausible that they might rework certain aspects of the character to match McShane’s strengths. Described as “ruthless and calculating”, the character is said to appear in three episodes, with twenty days of filming. This matches McShane’s relatively small amount of screentime, while opening up the potential for the character to be of key importance in a possible Northern rebellion.

Ian McShane on Spongebob Squarepants. Yes, it happened.Howland Reed – If Howland makes an appearance in present-time in the show, it would be plausible to have McShane playing him. The mystery surrounding the crannogmen is often mentioned in the books, so it is not too much of a stretch for Ned to have had a friend who appears older (not to mention the High Howland theories stretching this point further). However, McShane appearing as Howland in a Tower of Joy flashback is a non-option, since in-show-universe the characters are supposed to be roughly twenty years younger. Regardless of whether this happens or not, it would be different to see McShane as a reclusive, mysterious character, rather than the centre of attention he usually is.

What do you think? Are any of these on the mark? Do you have any suggested roles and/or reasonings that I haven’t mentioned here? Post your thoughts in the comments.

156 responses

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    1. I think Ian will be playing Archmaester Marwyn. That description about it being a key character with a small amount of screen time leads me to believe it can’t be Euron or Randyll.

      And as much as I love Ian I would much rather have a more physically imposing actor play Tarly. McShane is a pretty small guy, Liev Schreiber dwarfs him on Ray Donovan. Randyll is a hardened warrior who’s able to wield Heartsbane, and I’ve always pictured him as someone who would tower over Sam. I wouldn’t object to him playing the role though. I can certainly picture him striking the fear of god into Sam with his gaze alone.

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    2. My first go to would be Euron but some of the other options are possible, too. Except Howland Reed because HR is the High Sparrow and nothing is swaying my opinion on that lol. Introducing HR in any other capacity would be to arbitrary.

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    3. Aeron doesn’t do much to make himself necessary- literally anyone could

      suggest a kingsmoot

      and the HBO family trees have indicated that Aeron doesn’t exist. In season 2, we got a random Drowned Priest instead of Aeron. He’s an interesting guy on paper but he’s not necessary.

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    4. I think that we can eliminate a few of these probabilities as unlikely and/or improbable.

      Why would they be including Septon Maribald? That is from the story told last year, and from a plotline that they have cut. That makes this roll very improbable.

      As for Marwyn, I would be surprised if this is included. Marwyn will not be relevant to Sam’s storyline in Winter: doesn’t Marwyn hop on a boat as soon as Sam gets to Oldtown? This probably will be a small supporting roll, but not that small. And although Marwyn might contribute some plot to Daeny’s storyline later, I doubt that it will be unique enough to Daeny’s story to keep. So, again, improbable.

      I don’t think that we have any evidence to support the Mad King being in a flashback. There is evidence for the Tower of Joy, but Aerys was dead at that point. There is evidence for younger Ned and Robert, but two young to be pertinent to dealing with Aerys. And again, I would bet that they would use McShane in a roll that will appear in at least a couple of episodes. So, again, improbable.

      We do not have any evidence that Howland Reed is appearing this season, at least in the present form. Moreover, McShane is way off from what we’ve seen of Crannogmen. So, that has a low probability and a low likelihood.

      Euron is unlikely because McShane is a bit older than the role.

      So, that makes one of the Lord rolls (Northern or what we think is Tarly) as the two that are both likely and probable.

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    5. Sue the Fury,

      They also do not need a Kingsmoot: that was relevant to last year’s story and then only if Yara/Asha was a lead character instead of tertiary one. At this point, including the Kingsmoot (probably) would just drag down the show and not leave the audience any better informed about what Euron is doing.

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    6. Wimsey,

      You cannot eliminate a possibility enirely because the actor is older than the casting breakdown for a role. McShane is famous (so production wouldn’t care) and he is the right age to be Patrick Malahide’s brother which is the key point. (I’m leaning away from Euron, but I’m just saying, it’s still possible.)

      People are considering Septon Meribald because of the casting description. The Priest character that sounds more like Meribald but could be Elder Brother or a combo of both. Why are you surprised people would consider him for the role of a tough ex-soldier?

      As for why include Marwyn, at this point you might as well be saying “Why include any character in any story?” Because he has amazing knowledge and is connecting storylines and is a flashy small role. And what exactly is Sam going to do at the Citadel? Hang around getting drunk with Pate?

      We’ve seen 2 crannog people who were different from each other, even though they were siblings. Not enough to draw any conclusions about Howland Reed.

      McShane could be playing any role, really, which is why the speculation game is fun.

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    7. Wimsey,

      I don’t think we can discount Euron because of age. I don’t remember Euron’s age in the books, but they’re frequently aged up characters, and he’s only a couple years older than Balon’s actor ( and doesn’t look it). Think of it this way: would you pass on the chance to cast McShane because, ideally, he should be a few years younger? I don’t think D&D would either

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    8. I agree with Sue above that Euron is possible. Patrick Malahide is 70, but looks older than McShane at 72… so, it’s easily believable that McShane could play Balon Greyjoy’s younger brother. They also have the precedent of going after an older actor (Ciaran Hinds for Mance at 62) despite the role being for somebody younger (Mance is early 40s in the books, if I recall?)

      I agree that I’d prefer to see a more physically imposing actor play Tarly. McShane is listed at 5’9″, but that could mean he’s really anywhere from 5’5″ to 5’9″ – John Bradley is the same height, I think. Somebody like Ray Stevenson from Rome is 6’4″ and is 51 years old and has the size to do it. (No idea if he’s available at all, though.)

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    9. Al Swearengen: a key character with a small amount of screen time

      I believe it was stated “relatively small”. Which begs the question, relative to what? People are assuming 1-2 scenes. Well, if it’s relative to a main character’s screen time it could be a lot more than that.

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    10. I had not considered McShane as the Mad King, but he would be brilliant as Aerys in his last days! Very different in look than I imagined, but I can see the performance easily!

      I still suspect McShane will play either the Northern Lord of a Stronghold role or Marwyn the Mastiff. The latter role not being mentioned in casting leaks so far means very little or absolutely nothing in reality since every year we find out about roles that were never leaked and ended up in the series anyway.

      Elder Brother or Meribald would be the next most likely to me. As mentioned McShane has that gruff and non-nonsense attitude down pat!

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    11. I like the idea of him being Aerys II Targaryen, actually, though I was sure that the production would use footage of Liam Burke from the pilot’s deleted scenes if they ever showed him.

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    12. My first thought was Tarly but Archmaester Marwyn seems way more likely. Still hoping we get a casting video like last year that reveals everything!

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    13. When I read this news yesterday, the Mad King was honestly my first thought. So I’m sticking with it. Fits the “small screen time large role” thing. And who better than Ian McShane to give the psychotic quick performance a role like that requires.

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    14. Wow this is so exciting!!! 😀
      I would only say don’t rule him out doing physical work given his age. I just watched Hot Rod (2007)- I know, dumb movie but it’s funny, I love those SNL guys, and McShane plays the stepfather who full on fights Andy Samberg in the movie twice, with punching, crashing through walls, etc. I was shocked to read he is that old, you’d never know, so don’t rule anything out!!

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    15. My first thought was Elder Brother, until I thought I’d re-read the casting calls. There is another that sticks out like a sore thumb. It matches what’s been said about Ian’s role on the show. I may be one on my own, at the moment, I’m going to stick with an ‘either/or’ with Elder Brother, although I think Ian could be Lachlan.

      Give the casting calls another look. You might see what I mean.

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    16. Wimsey,

      But if Marwyn knows stuff, he could be used to make things “visual” in the show. For instance, Sam might gain some knowledge in the books (to come) by reading. That doesn’t work in a show. You need person-to-person, at least largely. If Marwyn’s plot in Essos can be dropped by D&D, they could co-opt the character for other purposes.

      That being said, the above description of McShane — intimidating, severe, etc. — almost certainly comes into why he was cast for a part. He might not have the height for Tarly, but he screams everything else you’d need, and if his screen time is limited, height is not necessarily a problem for competent filmmakers.

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    17. ZappaCreed,

      Good point

      Lachlan: He’s the big leader of a group of renegades who have turned on the land that they swore to protect. They’re now extorting the poor and vulnerable. He appears in 2 episodes in season 6.

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    18. I don’t think Brienne is running into Septon Maribald or the Quiet Isle in the show. Her AFfC storyline was discarded and replaced with her storyline in S4 (which, although I think her AFfC storyline gets way too much hate, was a smart, smart choice for the show).

      More likely he’ll be seen from the perspective of the Hound, who isn’t a perspective character in the books (hence the necessity of bringing Brienne to the QI) but more than enough beloved and recognizable a character on the show to have his own scenes.

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    19. Sue the Fury: You cannot eliminate a possibility enirely because the actor is older than the casting breakdown for a role.

      I didn’t eliminate him entirely: I concluded that it was unlikely! (There is a big difference, although I always focus on the likely in the end.) Of course, we don’t know much about Euron, so maybe this won’t be an issue at all.

      Sue the Fury: As for why include Marwyn, at this point you might as well be saying “Why include any character in any story?”

      That is hardly the case! Sometimes characters make unique contributions to storylines or at the very least to plots. I am skeptical that this will be the case for Marwyn: my guess is that he’ll bring some equivalent of a “dragon-taming horn” or at best an equivalent of 93 ships; that is, something that can be more simply supplied elsewise.

      (And, of course, books typically need many more characters than do movies/shows/plays: call it a strength or a limitation, but just as those things need props, costumes, etc., books need names on people doing things and somewhat more detailed written appearance to make up for the lack of a face, costume, mannerism, etc.)

      Sue the Fury: We’ve seen 2 crannog people who were different from each other, even though they were siblings. Not enough to draw any conclusions about Howland Reed.

      But that was more a case of prior probability: we don’t have good reason to expect “modern” Howland Reed whereas we know that Northern Lord, Southern Lord and Pirate Lord are there, so the prior probabilities on those are 1.0. Thus, those three ideas must be given final probabilities than the ideas for parts that we do not know are cast.

      But as for appearance, I was not referring to physiognomy: I was referring to general build. McShane seems to be pretty solidly built (didn’t I once read that he was almost a professional football [soccer] player in his youth?), and although you can hide age and you can hide skinniness, it’s tough to hide a solid frame. Of course, they might go for stocky older-Crannogmen, which would make this more likely: but still no more probable as we don’t have any good reason to think that Reed is going to in this year!

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    20. outdoorcats,

      Ah, but the issue would be:

      can the Hound contribute to whatever the Winter story is? When they have gone “rogue PoV” relative to the books, e.g., Stannis last year after Davos left, then they still have done something that fit into that year’s story (i.e., another twist on kill the child and let the man be born).

      Again, without knowing what the Winter story is, it is tough to guess.

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    21. The casting call said nothing of Marwyn, so unless he was Benioff and Weiss’ first and only choice for the role (like Peter Dinklage), I wouldn’t count on it.

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    22. Tywin of the Hill,

      There are multiple casting calls throughout the seasons every year, you can’t really count out anyone except for truly major characters (like many-episodes-characters) who would’ve been cast already.

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    23. Fans tend to overthink this stuff, so I’m going with the actor’s wheelhouse – intimidating, slightly sociopathic – and think it’ll be Tarly. He makes a big impression in a small amount of time (like Charles Dance in S1 skinning the deer). My only fear is that he’d blow Bradley off the screen.

      Also, if D&D does go with the Euron character, please change his name a la Talisa/Yara. I can see 90% of the regular audience laughing and making “You’re On” jokes.

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    24. Off-Topic Otto: He might not have the height for Tarly, but he screams everything else you’d need, and if his screen time is limited, height is not necessarily a problem for competent filmmakers.

      Actors generally are a tiny lot. So, at 5′ 9″ (1.75m, which is actually is a little above average for a UKer of his age!), McShane will look at least average size or more in this crowd. If his main contribution to the story comes from interacting with Sam, then McShane would have an inch or two on Bradley (and, of course, camera tricks to make people look still different in size are easy!). Couple that with McShane already having a pretty athletic build and the ease of making that more athletic, plus poor Bradley having to wear a dozen pillows, and McShane could easily “tower” over Bradley visually even while appearing not too much taller and less bulky.

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    25. Hodor Targaryen,

      I think the casting call may have discounted him because of his age! They said 40-50 for the Euron-like character and Iain is 72. I mean they could age him up but I’m sure there’s plenty of folks who could do Euron well within the age. I think Euron needs to be noticeably younger than Balon as it contrasts with his more active and revolutionary ideas against Balon’s more archaic ways. I hope he’s not Euron but it could work but would be a harder sell than it need be.
      I’d go with either Randyll or Meribald of the options presented. Marwyn and Howland Reed seem less intimidating than Ian normally plays.
      Other options are he could be another Iron Islander like Damphair or Rodrik Harlaw if they do the Kingsmoot or any sort of scenes there.
      Or he could quite easily be anyone in Essos.

      So yeah…no idea!

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    26. Ravyn: I can see 90% of the regular audience laughing and making “You’re On” jokes.

      Good grief! Better change it to Eurectum then…… 😀

      (5 internet points for identifying the source of that plagiarism….)

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    27. TheTouchOfFrost: Or he could quite easily be anyone in Essos.

      Yeah, that’s the huge problem with our guessing. There almost have to be some characters of importance that Daeny will meet who either have not appeared in the books, or were just some name dropped in passing.

      But this is part of why I think that the “dropped” characters from Crows/Dragons have an even lower probability than just the lack of relevant casting calls: the show has to move forward and cannot really afford to “backtrack” in anyway.

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    28. Why is Euron even an option for so many people?In the casting call they say they want a 40-50 years old actor for him and it was the first character in the call!And they said it’s a big part this season.And with Oldtown and all the other casts it’s clear we will get the invasion too,so big part for Euron.Ian McShane has a small part,he is not Euron.I doubt he can evan be Sam’s father,I mean they cast all the family,so the small part may not suit him.

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    29. The fact that they cast as bigger star as AAA to be Malko last season ( a character I barely remember being in it) and Siddig having a pretty minor (in the end) yet you could argue important part shows that the quality and fame of the actor doesn’t really translate to the importance and screen time of the character they play.

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    30. Tywin of the Hill,

      No. You can be key in terms of how you affect the story, and memorable, but only appear in one or two episodes.

      You also have to consider that the language choices in EW may just be hyperbole on HBO’s part.

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    31. Ravyn,

      That’s Winterfell for sure. Looks like it might be the same spot Theon and Sansa jumped from, in fact. Plus, Sophie has been spotted around there recently.

      I hope we’ll hear about Iwan Rheon and some hounds being spotted in the area as well. Still expecting a hunt to go down.

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    32. Ravyn,

      That’s just Winterfell. It’s the same set as last year. Belfast Live seems to be unaware of that. And obviously we’ve been reporting on Moneyglass for some time.

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    33. Ahem, Howland Reed has already been cast. 😉

      Wimsey:
      Why would they be including Septon Maribald?

      Because the character description for the “Priest” far more closely fits Meribald than any other character. Now, I’m certain he’s a combination of Meribald and the Elder Brother in terms of role, but one expects he’ll be called “Meribald”.

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    34. Probably Randyll Tarly. Maybe Marwyn. You never know though. Unless they age up Euron. We will find out in 8 months. Gods, that is a long time.

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    35. Ravyn,

      In response to your comment that McShane, as Randall Tarly, would “blow Bradley off the screen”: While I’m sure that Sam would feel pangs of inferiority when first reunited with his father, I think that the “Gilly-Jon” effect will show him with much more resolve and confidence in who he is as a man. (Oh, my!) Recalling Sam’s “nominating speech” for Jon, this also goes for John Bradley as an actor.

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    36. Howland Reed=High Sparrow theory again? Come on people.

      Tcnativesnow,

      Unless Ian McShane is a very impressive swordsman. I’d say no. That role would be for someone else.

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    37. hexonx,

      I just have a hard time picturing Euron and Tarly having a small amount of screen time. But then again, Doran didn’t exactly have a lot of screen time in S5 🙁

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    38. Tcnativesnow,

      Wasn’t aware that Ian McShane was the best swordsman in Europe! Also Arthur Dayne was in his prime when he died at the ToJ. Aging him up to being a 70 year old would make no sense.

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    39. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I don’t believe “he’s the best sword in Europe”… I just believe D&D age up or down, names and likeness to fit thier narrative. Look at the Sand Snakes, D&D changed that whole thing up(Not to great results), to fit with their narrative.

      Now, do I believe 100% he’s Dayne? No. Just throwing something out there that hasn’t been mentioned.

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    40. Sean C.: Now, I’m certain he’s a combination of Meribald and the Elder Brother in terms of role, but one expects he’ll be called “Meribald”.

      But there is no reason to expect that character to be in the plotlines this year unless they get one of the main characters into the Riverlands. We just do not have any evidence of that happening. Without such evidence, this idea has a pretty low prior probability (even if it’s not unlikely).

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    41. I’m inclining toward Marwyn or Meribald. Hoping for Marwyn because I strongly suspect that he has had a surreptitious finger in most of the political power plays on both continents all along, and that his knowledge and experience with many forms of magic will play a pivotal role in the final acts of the story. He could even turn out to be the Big Bad Guy who ends up uniting all the bickering factions to overthrow him, though I suppose that’s a bit too Dark-Lordish a trope for GRRM’s tastes.

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    42. Marty,

      * balloons and confetti drop from the ceiling while game show music plays *

      5 Internet Points to Marty! Spend them wisely!

      I still want Bender to meet Tyrion, myself, and then they can go off and party with Titus Pullo…..

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    43. Firannion: He could even turn out to be the Big Bad Guy who ends up uniting all the bickering factions to overthrow him, though I suppose that’s a bit too Dark-Lordish a trope for GRRM’s tastes.

      That, and it is much too late in the series to begin that. The “climax” of the series should be a culmination of things brewing since the first couple of books. Dealing with the White Walkers and R’hllor would be good examples of that: both have had tangible effects on the evolution of several lead characters since the 2nd book. The whole “maester conspiracy” stuff just came up in the last couple of books, and it has had no effects on the evolution of any of the major characters.

      We can look at it another way: if it was going to be important, then B&W would have dragged it forward in the series, just as they did with the White Walkers. They also amplified the R’hllor stuff. That’s a very strong clue that B&W know that these will be important but do not consider the Maester stuff to be important.

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    44. Mr McShane is the type of actor that is sought out for a role, not asked to audition for one, therefore think about which role D&D/Nina would approach Ian to play.

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    45. TheTouchOfFrost,

      He’s a man of many surprising talents.

      TCNativesnow,

      I agree that the show is certainly willing to alter roles for actors, but the mere fact that they advertised the role as one to be played by an athlete tells you the parameters they have in mind for it (i.e., it’s going to be way more action than talk). I don’t really see how you would get from that to casting Ian McShane. If McShane just came up and said he wanted to be on the show, there’s a ton of other parts he’s more suited for.

      Wimsey,

      The evidence for that happening is the casting notice for a character who is very clearly Meribald/Elder Brother. Moreover, the Hound is very obviously still alive, so we’ll be seeing him again. It makes sense. And David Bradley has in the past said he was told he would be back, but not in seasons 4 or 5. I have no idea how it’s going to play out, but there’s plenty of things to indicate that it makes sense to see this character.

      EDIT: No, website, my comment did not “time out”. What the heck does that even mean?

      Wimsey: That, and it is much too late in the series to begin that.The “climax” of the series should be a culmination of things brewing since the first couple of books.Dealing with the White Walkers and R’hllor would be good examples of that: both have had tangible effects on the evolution of several lead characters since the 2nd book.The whole “maester conspiracy” stuff just came up in the last couple of books, and it has had no effects on the evolution of any of the major characters.

      We can look at it another way: if it was going to be important, then B&W would have dragged it forward in the series, just as they did with the White Walkers.They also amplified the R’hllor stuff.That’s a very strong clue that B&W know that these will be important but do not consider the Maester stuff to be important.

      Actually, D&D do not generally “drag” things forward. If anything, they have a record of removing things from the series until they become more relevant. We haven’t see any more of Lord of Light than in the books, and the Hardhome thing was a pretty obvious attempt to keep the pacing going of that already-introduced threat.

      Regardless, again, Sam is going to Oldtown. Oldtown is, to all appearances, about the maesters. I really don’t see how you can possibly think the writers are giving Sam his own separate plot solely to have him meet his dad (even though that doesn’t really appear in the cards for the book), rather than as part of a major new threat to the dragons, one of the series’ central plot devices, and the role of magic in general, whose resurgence is another major plot element (albeit one the show has downplayed a lot in the early seasons).

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    46. Wimsey,

      Do you remember when you claimed before S5 that Sansa won’t marry Ramsay or that YG and LSH will be in S6?

      Or many other things, for example that they will cut Euron?

      I think that you shouldn’t be so certain about some things, when you look at your history of wrong predictions.

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    47. I missed the news yesterday, saw this post and initially thought, geez they are getting desperate for off season content if they are picking random sought after actors and guessing who they could play if cast…then I read he is actually cast! Awesome!

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    48. mau,

      Your strongest comment yet!

      I have given you crap, occasionally, but this is on point.

      We are at a point where literally NO ONE can really be saying things WILL or WILL NOT be happening, because (logic).

      We. Do. Not. Know.

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    49. Seriously. In spite of all his fancy book learnin’, wimsey has a solid track record of being great at two things: telling unfunny stories from the olden days of the fandom and being terrible at predicting shit that will actually happen on the show.

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    50. Wimsey,

      But references to Marwyn’s influence have been salted throughout the series since Book One. Why would GRRM have made a point of having Mirri Maz Duur cite Marwyn by name as her Westerosi tutor in Asshai if he were not intending to build him a reputation that would eventually become significant? Quaithe hints heavily that she is able to ‘visit’ Dany and prophesy things on account of the glass candles, and Marwyn is the one who was able to make them functional again. Jaqen is clearly after something locked away at the Citadel – on whose behalf?

      I don’t believe that it’s necessary for an author to whack us over the head early on with the importance of some MacGuffin to a main character in order for said MacGuffin to become crucial in the final act. JKR introduced Horcruxes in Book Two of the Potter series, in the form of Riddle’s diary, but didn’t even hint at what they really were until the next-to-last book. Maybe GRRM didn’t give D & D Marwyn’s full story up front because he was still working it out himself. Perhaps not probable, but possible. To this reader’s eyes, the Marwyn foreshadowing seems to weigh heavily.

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    51. mau: Do you remember when you claimed before S5 that Sansa won’t marry Ramsay or that YG and LSH will be in S6?

      I did make the former claim. I was wrong. I knew that they would invent a plotline for her to give her a story, but I assumed that they would do something very different. Whoops! (In part, I think that I greatly underestimated the time required to do things: and looking at last year, it is impossible to think how they could put yet another storyline in the ones that they had; that’s tough to do!)

      I did not claim that LSH would be in Season 6. Instead, what I stated was that the earliest that LSH might appear would be Season 6, because the earliest in which LSH might be relevant to the story would be Winter. I did write that I hoped that GRRM had a big enough part for her in Winter that it would justify including her on the show: but that was in part because I am hoping that GRRM will actually be doing something relevant with her in Winter. (I think that I’ve also expressed the fear many times that LSH will prove to be gratuitous plot.)

      I know that wrote that Euron was not going to be in Season 5 but I don’t remember making any predictions about him one way or the other for Season 6. I was mildly surprised to see him cast for Season 6, but as I don’t know what is happening in Winter, I expect to be surprised by things like that. One point on which I have been emphatic is that Euron will not be revealed to be “the” villain of the series.

      So, I am basically 0 for 1 in this! Whether I am right or wrong about why LSH isn’t in the show remains to be seen. I guess that I’m 0.5 for 1 on that: the cat’s both dead and alive right now as LSH is excluded, but only possibly for the reasons I said would cause her to get excluded! 😀 Euron being in Season 6 is an 0 for 0 (although I suppose I could claim a 1 for 1 by predicting he would not be in Season 5 12+ months ago: but that seems sort of trite.) However, I do think that I will be correct that he is not going to prove to be “the” villian of the series as some have speculated.

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    52. Wimsey: Actors generally are a tiny lot.

      Unless you define “tiny” as approximately the same height as the average American male, no, they aren’t.

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    53. Firannion: Why would GRRM have made a point of having Mirri Maz Duur cite Marwyn by name as her Westerosi tutor in Asshai if he were not intending to build him a reputation that would eventually become significant?

      Is that really enough? I mean, maybe he will: but I think that it needs more than that. If the Maester’s conspiracies are going to mean anything comparable to, say, the White Walkers or R’hllor, then it should have been important fairly early in the series. Yes, Marwyn’s name gets dropped: but that did not set up the Maesters as a potential “issue” of the same magnitude of Other, major religions, etc.

      One thing that the show has done is make both the Walkers and the Red Church an issue in every season since the 2nd. (First for the Walkers if you count the opening scenes of the first episode.) The Others in particular have had a much bigger presence on the show than in the books. My thought is that B&W would have done the same with the Maester’s Conspiring if that was going to be important in Winter/Spring.

      Firannion: JKR introduced Horcruxes in Book Two of the Potter series, in the form of Riddle’s diary, but didn’t even hint at what they really were until the next-to-last book.

      No, she did not introduce Horcruxes. However, she did introduce from the start that: 1) Voldemort was the main threat for Harry; 2) that Voldemort had deliberately targeted Harry for some reason; and, 3) Voldemort could not be killed normally. Horcruxes proved to be critical to #3, and related in part to #2. So, it was more like providing additional information about R’hllor or White Walkers (like, say, what either really is about!) late in the series.

      GRRM has done similar things with the Walkers and R’hllor. However, making the Maester Conspiracy something big would be akin to Rowling making Fenrir Greyback a separate threat akin to Voldemort late in the series.

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    54. Wimsey,

      Don’t get me wrong, everyone can make mistakes, I am not some crazy nerd collecting your wrong predictions.

      I was wrong too about Sansa, because I really believed that her traumatic scene was killing Robin. I had great problems in the books and the show predicting what is Sansa’s purpose in this story, but after D&D sent her to the North I can see now. Her path is really clear, with a very interesting goal, while for example Arya is still someone in the dark, for me, in the terms of plot and story.

      What I was trying to say is that we don’t know, and you seem so certain about some thing. For example, I’m 1000% sure that some version of Kingsmoot will be in the show. It will take 5-10 minutes, but that is a perfect way to introduce Euron. There are many things that I can’t predict, but this will happen, it is so easy and so natural, but you refuse to see that, because of your perception of D&D writing and the themes they explored in S5.

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    55. My first thought was Marwan but I think the combination of small screentime/key importance could apply to Howland Reed well.

      Jon’s parentage has to be revealed at some stage and book/show six seems a likely point. There’s Bran and Meera who could make contact but also in the last book there are slight hints of LS sending outlaws to make contact with him

      He would make a great Marwan but it’s hard to see the watcher getting much more than the initial Sam/Marwan meeting for some time. Marwan’s influence seems more in the future.

      Meribald, elder brother northern lord don’t quite do it in terms of key importance.

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    56. Wimsey:
      Nymeria Warrior Queen,

      Really?I have often read that they tend to be small people.Is the average male actor actually 5’10” (1.78m)?(That was average US male height last I looked.)

      Yes, the average male actor is 5’10”. The average male Oscar winner is 5’11”.

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    57. Them saying the character has “little screen time and key importance” makes me think he’s not the elder brother, or even Meribald for that matter. The latter is a very likeable character, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t describe him as having “key importance” based on what we know so far. Personally, I think McShane’s more likely to be Marwyn the Mage or Howland Reed.

      (You know, assuming he’s not Tarly, which was my default position).

      There’s also an outside shot of him being a Manderly incarnation, but that seems less likely to me.

      Anyway, I do like how there are a tonne of arguments being made for a multitude of characters – he just looks very, very “Game of Thronesy”, doesn’t he?

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    58. hexonx: I believe it was stated “relatively small”.Which begs the question, relative to what?

      Doran small. I think they stated “relatively small” to avoid upsetting fans again when he only appears in a few short scenes like Siddig. Ian’s face screams Euron who will probably have a few scenes this season and more next. I can also see him as a priest/Septon/whatever but not Randyll or Howland since HR=HS.

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    59. Nymeria Warrior Queen: Yes, the average male actor is 5’10”. The average male Oscar winner is 5’11”.

      Height bias!!!

      Well, I stand corrected. I had been swayed by: 1) being told by everyone who had met an actor that they were tiny; and, 2) the fact that so many get their breaks young when their small stature allows them to play characters 10 years younger.

      Sniff. I guess that I cannot look down on actors anymore….. 🙁

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    60. mau: What I was trying to say is that we don’t know, and you seem so certain about some thing. For example, I’m 1000% sure that some version of Kingsmoot will be in the show. It will take 5-10 minutes, but that is a perfect way to introduce Euron.

      Alternatively, they could have Euron simply kill Balon in cold blood (probably only a slight alteration from the book) and declare himself king. However, looking back at what they have done so far, what you describe for the Kingsmoot would not be too far off from what they’ve done with other supporting characters. It can really be only a scene, not the long drawn out affair of the book chapter. So, perhaps they will do that.

      What I really want to know is, for who’s story will Euron be a key piece. I still keep coming back to Cersei, but I’m not entirely satisfied with that for some reason. Alas! I cannot put my finger on why I am not entirely satisfied with that answer. So, it nags at me……

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    61. TCNativesnow,

      The casting call they put out that screamed Dayne doesn’t match him at all though as they specifically asked for the best sword in Europe and for someone in their 40s.

      Wimsey,

      Not meaning to pile on, Wims me old mucker, but I remember that you were convinced Young Griff would put in an appearance too at one point?

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    62. Wimsey,

      They must not have met the Jon Hamm/Clive Owen/Hugh Jackman-types. 🙂

      I think the myth of actors being short stems from the fact many are not as tall as they may seem onscreen. For instance, who would think George Clooney isn’t even 6 feet tall, or hell, even Ian McShane? Sure, you can look at him in comparison with those around him and maybe figure it out, but in terms of what he projects onscreen, they guy should be well over 6 feet tall. I’d never think of “Swegin” as someone with whom I’d basically stand eye-to-eye.

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    63. Wimsey: Alternatively, they could have Euron simply kill Balon in cold blood (probably only a slight alteration from the book) and declare himself king. However, looking back at what they have done so far, what you describe for the Kingsmoot would not be too far off from what they’ve done with other supporting characters.It can really be only a scene, not the long drawn out affair of the book chapter.So, perhaps they will do that.

      I agree that Euron’s introduction won’t be drawn out like in the books. GRRM basically wrote 4 or 5 chapters to introduce him. I think we will start with Yara somewhere on the Iron Islands hearing about her father’s death, and then another scene for Euron’s introduction, where he will give some sort of speech about his plans.

      But he can’t just atack Oldtown out of nowhere.

      What I really want to know is, for who’s story will Euron be a key piece.

      We will see. I don’t know yet. I think he will be part of Cerse’s and Tyrell’s story in S6, but in S7 and 8? Who knows….

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    64. TheTouchOfFrost: Not meaning to pile on, Wims me old mucker, but I remember that you were convinced Young Griff would put in an appearance too at one point?

      I was: and I still am surprised that he got cut. I really had thought that he would be an important plot device in Winter. Moreover, he has the potential to be a very unique story device: YG is the one character that alter’s Daeny’s belief that she has to claim the throne for her family’s honor. There is no end of self-doubt that could introduce!

      That does make me worry a little that this season will be a little plot-heavy and story-lite: or it could be that YG’s book contribution is going to be plot-heavy and story-lite and therefore getting cut. (B&W have always leaned towards the latter.)

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    65. Wimsey: I was: and I still am surprised that he got cut.I really had thought that he would be an important plot device in Winter.Moreover, he has the potential to be a very unique story device: YG is the one character that alter’s Daeny’s belief that she has to claim the throne for her family’s honor.There is no end of self-doubt that could introduce!

      Without her thoughts in her chapters those dilemmas won’t seem so interesting on the screen, and I am not sure that it is interesting in the books either.

      I like moral dilemmas, but I don’t want to see them just for the sake of creating them.

      If YG really is going to take the throne in the books, I will be so disappointed, because there were so many more interesting characters that were seeking that throne.

      Yes, they wouldn’t create self-doubt for Dany, but I don’t like to see a character like that, who is so clearly only a plot device and nothing more, destroying Lannister regime.

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    66. Wimsey,

      mau,

      Perhaps it may be introduced in some form now they’re going for 8 seasons? I’m still a fan of Trystane being an Aegon like character but we shall see.
      I think in the books I wanted YG to claim the throne more than Dany just because he actually makes a play for it instead of faffing about in Slaver’s Bay!

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    67. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I don’t think that D&D find out just now how many seasons the show will have.

      They were always telling about 8 years, you can find their interview before S5. They said then that they don’t want to have 8 wasted years after the show is done (they are speaking about ending).

      If you want I can find you a link.

      So, I think that dilemma was 7.5 or 8 seasons.

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    68. mau,

      I guess it depends on whether he featured at any point in their original plans? I think they could build a similar plot around Trystane or even Gendry if they so desired but whether they will or not, who knows?

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    69. I hope they cast him for the role of Wyman Manderly, and scratch the idea of him being greatly obese. McShane would be awesome as a hateful, revenge-seeking, Stark-backing, Lord of White Harbor.

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    70. TheTouchOfFrost:
      mau,

      I guess it depends on whether he featured at any point in their original plans? I think they could build a similar plot around Trystane or even Gendry if they so desired but whether they will or not, who knows?

      But for me, it will have the same problem. You really want to see Trystane on IT?

      We will have Euron, HS, Lannisters, Tyrells, the Vale, Boltons, lords from the North, Dany(with Dorne?), Freys, the wildlings,… and WW in the next 30 episodes.

      Do we really need YG?

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    71. Ross:
      I’m 100% convinced he is Tarly.

      Which, based on my previous predictions, means it is 100% likely he is anyone but Tarly.

      Smartest post in this whole thing! I’ll be sure to reference it when McShane’s role turns out to be Manderly or Aerys or recast Rickon.

      I agree that Randyll stands out as most likely. It’s the most logical choice from the casting call, and while that’s not the perfect hint, it’s all we’ve got past assumptive speculation. And I would love this. Just imagine Al Swearengen threatening you to take the black. You would do it, right?

      Euron…eh. I suppose I could see it, as the intensity and scariness would certainly be there. But it would pull Euron a bit off center. Not so much as to be wholly innaccurate, but to take him away from where I want Euron. So this is just my preference, but I’d rather a coldly vicious and insane Euron than a ferocious and aggressively intimidating Euron.

      Marwyn might be my favorite possibility. I’m not big into the maesters v. magic thing as its own plotline, but this is very much shaping up to be a big religious season with big things a-coming for the Seven, Bran getting deep into the weirwoodiness/Old Gods, maybe some Drowned God, and R’hllor finding a new Azor Ahai and all. With the Many Faced God opening the whole “they’re all just different names for the same thing” thing (see: man’s general habit of explaining the world with grossly limited knowledge), I’d be tickled (and unsurprised) if the Citadel were introduced as the secular/science voice to the religion season.

      And McShane would be amazing for the character. He would add a ton, but he wouldn’t have to contradict book!Marwyn to do so. It would be a testament to what a show adaptation can do that a book can’t. In the book we saw him run off after a too-quick introduction, and it was necessary because right now he’s supposed to have these somewhat mysterious intentions. Even if we only get McShane for a hot few seconds, he’s such a presence on screen that he could still do much more to hint at what Marwyn’s all about.

      It’s like someone mentioned earlier; McShane could crush a quick scene in the same way that Charles Dance skinned that deer. And that would be a really exciting way, even for readers, to introduce Marwyn and hint at how important he could be in future seasons/books.

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    72. TheTouchOfFrost: I’m still a fan of Trystane being an Aegon like character but we shall see.

      I think in the books I wanted YG to claim the throne more than Dany just because he actually makes a play for it instead of faffing about in Slaver’s Bay!

      The problem with that though (as I think we’ve discussed) is that there isn’t any moral dilemma for Daeny. Trystane would be just like the Baratheons or the Lannisters or the Greyjoys or any other usurper or rebel. There will be no angel sitting on one of her shoulders telling her “the right thing to do is kneel” to counter the angel on the other shoulder telling her “it will be better for everyone if he kneels to you.” Instead, it’s just going to be one more bump on the road.

      On a related note, I do wonder is what HBO’s decision to go an extra year does to all of B&W’s planning. Presumably, they outlined this year based on Winter with the idea of doing Spring next year. Now, we don’t know the structure of the two books: will it be two separate stories or two halves to one story, or some “mirrored” story from one volume to the next? (I might well be leaving out possibilities here, too.) Structuring that over two years would have been a lot easier if there is some major “inflection” point along the way. So, does this tell us that there isn’t an inflection? Or do the HBO execs (who are beholden to HBO shareholders rather than storytelling criteria) simply not care?

      I had assumed that Winter would see Daeny journey back to Westeros (GRRM has said that much) and what happens once she gets there. If so, and if they now have to string events along 3 years rather than 2, then how do they structure this so that the season ends on a satisfying “bang” for Daeny (or any other character).

      Man, it is so hard to infer without knowing the story or the plots: it really does become guessing!

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    73. Wimsey,

      I guess it depends on if they go with Trystane being Rhaegar and Elia’s kid or not. I think it’s a wise decision to make it 8 seasons as they’ll have the time to do everything they need to and do it right. We’ve no idea how long Winds or Spring could be but knowing how George likes to write and how big the books get compared to what they were originally meant to be then each of the remaining two books could quite easily need a season and a half.

      mau,

      It’s certainly not essential but I want there to be more obstables for Dany to overcome as at the moment she can pretty much waltz in and take throne when everyone else ( excpet perhaps Dorne and the Vale) are spent forces or at least severely depleted. Aegon or Trystane would offer some serious opposition. Trystane on the throne wouldn’t happen but if it did I wouldn’t mind if it made the story more interesting.

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    74. My guesses:
      1. Marwyn (or tv simulant). Along with Euron, he brings the magical elements into play in the guise of non-magical institutions. My guess is he is on R’hollor’s side (Mirri Maz and all that), while Euron represents the ice side. Consider the words of the worshippers of the Drowned God: what is dead may never die, but rises stronger (or some such). Sam will be at the Citadel, but there is no guarantee that he will remain there. With Gilly and the forever-young Baby Sam safe at Horn Hill, he is free to make his own storyline…er path. Despite the character development throughout the series, character development is not story. Sam’s purpose as a character is not just to confront his father.
      2. Elder Brother/Meribald. As Wimsey reminds us, the conflict between the religions is coming to the fore replacing the petty squabbling of the Houses. Will Elder Bro/Mer side with the HS, or overcome him? (CLEGANEBOWL!) We’ve had the casting call, not just for this character, but for outlaws in the countryside. Either the River- or Crown-lands (the tv show has merged them to a certain extent, jet packs not withstanding) will be a setting this coming season, and the Hound will be BACK.

      I’ll be surprised if he is not one of these characters. Thanks, WotW! This speculation is fun! More mystery castings, please!

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    75. Ashara D:
      Sam will be at the Citadel, but there is no guarantee that he will remain there. With Gilly and the forever-young Baby Sam safe at Horn Hill, he is free to make his own storyline…er path.

      Minor point, but Sam at the end of last season certainly didn’t sound like he was planning to just park Gilly at Horn Hill. Given cast economy, I expect she’ll be sticking with him. Possibly Horn Hill will be played as somewhere he can go quickly and regularly.

      The Chosen one:
      Eurons story will be linked to Theon Greyjoy.

      It’s very hard for me to see how Theon gets from where he is now to the Iron Islands, particularly after a whole season where the writers went out of their way to change the story to create a family relationship to the Starks that never existed in the books, and emphasized that as his proper place in the world. Granted, characters can and do “snap back” to book characterizations/actions. But even on a level of physical location, it’s hard to see.

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    76. Nymeria Warrior Queen:
      Wimsey,

      They must not have met the Jon Hamm/Clive Owen/Hugh Jackman-types.

      I think the myth of actors being short stems from the fact many are not as tall as they may seem onscreen.For instance, who would think George Clooney isn’t even 6 feet tall, or hell, even Ian McShane?Sure, you can look at him in comparison with those around him and maybe figure it out, but in terms of what he projects onscreen, they guy should be well over 6 feet tall.I’d never think of “Swegin” as someone with whom I’d basically stand eye-to-eye.

      I think that this is partly due to extremely high quality close-ups, especially on the big screen. They make actors seem ridiculously God-like in size. (Maybe that’s where the worship comes from!). So people are surprised to see them in the flesh as normal people.

      Also, many female stars are very small. They deliberately choose very small, slight women to make the male co-stars seem more ‘manly’ in comparison.

      It’s also probably due to them being smaller width-wise than expected.

      They say the camera adds ten pounds, well it doesn’t make you look ten pounds fatter, but people are often surprised at just how small actors and actresses are overall, rather than height.

      Ripped actors aren’t that bulky, normal-sized actors are actually very slim, even chubbier actors look smaller in the flesh.

      Not sure why; but everyone in the movies is ‘thinner’ than in real life, so maybe we adjust for that without realizing and are then surprised when we see them in the flesh.

      I have seen a few tiny celebs and it is shocking how small they are.

      It’s very unusual for a woman of 4’11” or so to have the same proportions as a taller, slim woman. When they do they look unreal or at least unusual.

      It’s odd seeing grown women who are smaller than most 10/11-year-old girls.

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    77. My guess is that he’ll be none of those characters. The description makes it sound like a cameo, a la Olenna. Since I don’t believe the show will backtrack much, he’ll have a part we haven’t read, and can’t predict from casting calls.

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    78. Maceless Fan:
      My first go to would be Euron but some ofthe other options are possible, too. Except Howland Reed because HR is the High Sparrow and nothing is swaying my opinion on that lol.

      How the Hell do you work that out??

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    79. My feeling is that he will play Howland Reed. I think McShane is too old to play Randyll Tarly or Euron Greyjoy, and I don’t think Marwyn is all that key a character. Although everyone assumes HR will only be shown in a flashback which would require a younger actor, I don’t see why he could not be shown in present day. He is the only person still alive who knows what happened at the Tower of Joy, it would only make sense that Jon would want to speak to the last person alive who knows his parentage and what really went down between Lyanna and Rhaegar. Seeing something like that in a vision, or dream is one thing, but confirming it with a person who was an actual witness to events would be preferable especially with such an important plot point.

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    80. Princess Maria,

      How is he too old to be Sam’s dad but not too old to be Meera and Jojen’s?

      By all means, the show can change some lineage or timelines, or maybe the make-up folks can make someone look thirty years younger. That’s all good and fine.

      And, certainly, we’re all fans so it’s fair to cite our own guts and wishfully talk about what we want. But when our guts say contradictory things, it’s time to step back and really sort what we want from what we think.

      If the explanation is that they could just have show!Howland be an old dad, well, they could just do that for show!Randyll, too.

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    81. Kilgore Tully,

      Aside from the issue of McShane having the wrong build for a Crannogman, which D & D might just decide to ignore, I think that if we see Howland Reed in Season 6 it will be a much younger HR, in flashback at the Tower of Joy. I expect that GRRM will save ‘modern’ Howland’s big reveal for ADoS.

      P.S: Your handle is very amusing, very meta. You really ought to figure out how to shoehorn a Richard Brautigan reference into it somehow as well.

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    82. I bet it is the “Ruthless and Calculating” northern lord ( which is Manderly of White Harbour ).

      McShane has a more underplayed ruthlesness, and I would expect Tarly and Euron to be more confrontational.

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    83. Firannion: Aside from the issue of McShane having the wrong build for a Crannogman, which D & D might just decide to ignore

      Various descriptions list the crannogman as compact and slight. While both Meera and Jojen Reed were very thin, they were otherwise of normal build and height. I like the fact that Reed/crannogmen are said to be crafty, devious, schooled in the use of poisons. They are said to hate the Freys, with no love for Lannisters either. Reed/crannogmen could be instrumental to Sansa in getting some long overdue revenge on the Freys, especially since their marshes border the north of the Frey lands.

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    84. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Just curious, is that a show-only theory, or is Trystane the subject of book speculation? I had a quick look online and didn’t see much pertaining to it.

      I liked the Aegon plot (well, ok, I liked Jon C) but I’m okay with it being cut if that is indeed the case. I’m one of those weird book-readers who doesn’t mind changes, even if it means that some things shake out quite differently in the books, including if, for example, Aegon, Victarion, LSH or any of the other seemingly cut characters become significant. I’m assuming the general end will be the same and I don’t mind it if the paths are somewhat different.

      Having said that, I wouldn’t be a fan of Trystane being a Targ for two reasons: firstly, the character, so far, seems to be a complete drip: totally simpering and uninteresting. Yes, it’s early, but you’d think they’d be showcasing some sort of “specialness” about him already if they had big plans for him. So far, I have absolutely no reason to care about what happens to him and would be happy if he was lobbed overboard on the trip to KL. More Doran instead please! The second reason is that if R+L=J, I think Trystane being revealed as a Targ would take away from the impact of Jon’s revelation.

      On topic: Ian McShane! We are spoiled, holy shit. I remember Kit saying Ian was his pick for Mance Rayder (and then went on to say how wonderful Ciaran Hinds was in the role). I’m betting on Meribald or Marwyn, but god he’d be amazing in any role. Off to rewatch Pillars of the Earth…

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    85. aabe,

      Some people are idiots!

      iridium,

      Nah, Trystane in the book is a kid who plays with Myrcella ( who is also a lot younger), He’s pretty much a non-entity. The reason I tie the Dornish and Targs together is because of a secret pact made where by Arianne would marry Viserys and when that ran into problems ( Viserys being living-impaired!) they sent Quentyn out to try and marry Dany. Again, that didn’t turn out as planned so the new plan is to try and get Arianne to marry Aegon. With a distinct lack of Arianne and Aegon…if they wanted to have a Targ challenger to Dany then an amalgamation character of Aegon/Arianne would really be one of the few options left. It’s not silly to reason that Aegon’s mother was from Dorne so he’d be very safe there and Doran could take sort of the Jon Con role of mentoring him. The stumbling block is how has he been passing as Doran’s son. But as his origin hasn’t been addressed in the show then it would be possible with some creativity. I just think if Dorne were to join with Dany it would be pretty dull so hoping they have an alternative plan! On the character himself, I don’t think we gleaned that much of him from the show. He certainly looked the part and had an air of entitlement about him and he was only really made to look drippy by Bronn ( a seasoned sellsword twice his age) knocking him out. I mean of course it’s most likley not going to happen but I think it would be an interesting direction if they decided to go that way. Could potentially salvage Dorne which at the moment doesn’t appear to have any relevance to the wider story.

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    86. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Frosty,

      I know you are responding to Iridium who is Sullied but it’s just possible that there are Unsullied who visit this thread and want to read the books later and explaining what happens in book Dorne as opposed to show Dorne without covering spoilers might give a little too much away.

      Now to the casting – I’ll suggest Elder Brother.

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    87. I don’t know why, but I hope he’s not Aerys. I guess Tarly, but like the idea of him being Howland Reed

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    88. Brendan Gleeson as Randyll Tarly – he looks exactly like the gruff old warrior is described. He was Mad Eye in Harry Potter – more recently he played the gruff general in Edge of Tomorrow who had Tom Cruise’s character arrested and sent to the battlefront to fight aliens.

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    89. aabe,

      Some people over at WinterIsComing were suggesting ‘older Jon Snow’, simply based on his hair

      It’s called humor, with perhaps, a dash of sarcasm.

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    90. Dame of Mercia,

      Fair enough but I wonder how many people who haven’t read the books are going to now especially with the show set to overtake them? Kinda glad that we’re pretty much beyond the books now so discussion doesn’t have to be as censored.

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    91. TheTouchOfFrost,

      It was meant more as a suggestion than a nag, Frosty. And I guess book Dorne and show Dorne were so different that it’s a minor issue really. In fact I usually think your posts are on the sensible time.

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    92. Dame of Mercia,

      TheTouchOfFrost,

      Apologies, that was my fault for posing the question in the first place. Thanks for the explanation TheTouchOfFrost, will be more conscious of book spoilers from now on, particularly for those who haven’t read yet and want to find out all of the changes/cuts for themselves.

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    93. My page a day calendar quote for 03-August:
      The storms come and go, the waves crash overhead, the big fish eat the little fish, and I keep on paddling.
      -Varys – a clash of kings

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    94. Dame of Mercia,

      It’s cool. I sometimes lapse when I don’t think many people will see! 😛

      iridium,

      No worries. Along with the Iron Islands, I find them the two most intriguing factions as they’ve yet to fully lay their cards on the table. It’s a shame show Dorne got a bit messy. There may yet be time to salvage it but could it be better to cut their losses on it?

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    95. Ore,

      Kit’s basically a rock star, the It man now, he could have a different date every day of the week for the next few years.
      If I were him I wouldn’t squander the opportunity presented at this moment in his life, I would ask out the following…
      1. Pippa Middleton
      2. Hope Solo
      3. Margot Robbie
      4. Taylor Swift
      5. Emma Roberts

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    96. I am also pro- a slimmed-down Manderly. He may not have the corpulence, but if any actor’s going to be baking* his enemies into pies, McShane is the guy to do it.

      *allegedly

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    97. There was a time a few years ago when I would have scoffed at the idea of McShane as Marwyn… but after seeing what he did with his material in Pirates and Hercules, that might be one of the more exciting possibilities… I think it could be argued that Marwyn is almost an intersection of those two characters’ best parts.

      That being said, I would still rather see him as Euron or a Meribald/Big Bro hybrid. He just seems too perfect for either of those, despite the age conundrum…

      Or he could be a Bloodraven re-cast…

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    98. Kilgore Tully,
      Being a maester myself, I love the citidal/marwyn being important speculation.
      My hope is that some factions within the citidal will be needed to broker a peace with fire & ice, after the whole world has gone the way of the handbasket.
      I’m also hopeful that if this scenario is true, my fav Samwell Tarly may be more important than it appears & he makes it to the end.
      By then, maybe Dany And Jon have sacrificed themselves to save the world?

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    99. The Howland Reed casting possibility is my next fav speculation.
      Martin has been careful to keep Howland, his family, lands & ToJ very mysyerious. I can’t wait to know the whole story.
      Maybe the crannogmen are descended from the Children, may have read that somewhere
      Maybe the show will reveal the lineage through warging abilities or the like, instead of through physicallities, if indeed the two are related?

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    100. The Elder Brother would be great as well because then we have a chance for the return of the Hound 🙂
      If he does make a comeback, i think he may somehow run into arya & end giving her the gift of mercy

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    101. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I was just thinking if they are going to do flashbacks it makes sense the will likely have to do with the Starks (Tower of Joy, Jon’s parentage and simply people who were most likely around Weirwood trees). I don’t think the flashbacks would be of people who don’t bring great impact and are important characters. One event we are told about is the burning and hanging of Rickard and Brandon at Kings Landing. Just a thought. Ian McShane looks like a Stark to me IMO but you do bring up a good question…

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    102. Pepperoni,

      I wonder about that too!
      McShane can portray that “Northern” quality in spades… I don’t think Rickard would be key in the current story, but I will admit he could be very key in the back story!

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    103. Ashara Dayne: Also, many female stars are very small. They deliberately choose very small, slight women to make the male co-stars seem more ‘manly’ in comparison.

      While it is definitely true they often choose women who are smaller than their male counterparts to make the men appear more manly, there is the same myth about female actors being so tiny as there are about male actors. The average female actor is about 5’5″. If you put that in conjunction with the average male actor being about 5’10”, that makes the average height differential 5 inches, which is almost half a foot. That means, once you account for the male footwear, which will add at least an inch, a woman can wear heels which are at at least a few inches high, and there’s still a couple of inch differential.

      Back on topic, after thinking about it, my best guess is McShane for Archmaester Marwyn. I could just really see him in that role. However, we may all be putting too much stock into the “not a lot of screentime,” or however that was put. Not a lot of screentime relative to which characters? I think it’s fun having it so wide open.

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    104. FTW….WTF:
      If we get a TOJ scene then I think he would make a great Gerald Hightower

      Couldn’t agree more. He looks how I always pictured the Sword of the Morning in my mind, maybe a little old, but manageable.

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    105. FTW….WTF,

      Bo Snow,

      Interesting..
      I hadn’t thought of Hightower in flashbacks, but McShane could be a fine White Bull!

      Thinking of flashback roles he would be perfect for…
      Ian McShane is almost exactly how I pictured Aegor “Bittersteel” Rivers. Even the right age range. I don’t see any real need for a flashback to Bittersteel though unless Bloodraven recounts more of his personal history to Bran than I expect.

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    106. Mihnea,

      Pepperoni,

      Bo Snow,

      Darquemode,

      I honestly don’t see the point in any other flashbacks other than Ned and Lyanna’s conversation. There’s nothing that’s really that relevant. I thought the Cersei flashback was a waste of time last season as didn’t offer us anything we didn’t alrady know about her. Forget the flashbacks. Let’s stick with what’s going on in the present which is more than enough!
      I would much rather these characters and events from the past be explored in a prequel series where they can be done justice and have relevance to the overarching plot.

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    107. TheTouchOfFrost,

      I tend to agree, but some of those casting leaks made me reconsider and think Bran could be seeing a series of short flashbacks as he learns to use the WeirWeb….

      If the Legendary Swordsman role is Arthur Dayne then that would be at least one more flashback in addition to any Ned and Lyanna’s scenes. I also wonder if the 3 younger boys in the casting leaks are for flashbacks. They could be back story on Lyanna or Littlefinger I guess. If they took the time for those three scenes I would not be shocked if one or more flashbacks happened as well. Maybe one of Rhaegar and Lyanna together.. Maybe something to remind viewers of important historic events previously discussed like the history of The Children, how the White Walkers were defeated, or maybe even something Tagaryen related like Aegon’s conquest, Mad King Aerys’s actions, or the downfall of the dragons…. Bran could also be our vehicle for learning

      about L+R=J if that theory is true.

      I do not think all of the possibilities I listed necessarily NEED to be flashbacks, but if D&D decide to use a few flashbacks instead of sexposition or exposition I don’t think I would mind. As long as the scenes were relatively short and contribute to the story.

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    108. Well, well, well. Now we know who will sit on the throne in the very last episode…

      Al Swearengen! it doesn’t mater how many schemes you have, how many Mountains you have, how many troops. In the end, Al Swearengen will blade them all…

      Best cast actor ever.

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    109. come on guys!! Aerys Targaeryan. he is totally the mad king. I can imagine the scene where he burns Ned’s brother and his father, or when he is prepared to burn down the red keep and everyone in it.

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