Game of Thrones Season 7 Casting Update: A Confirmation and More

Megan ParkinsonIt’s time for a Game of Thrones casting update, this fine cold morning! We’ll be checking in with a previously known casting addition, and adding another name to the roster for season seven.

Last fall, actress Megan Parkinson was spotted on the Game of Thrones set in Northern Ireland. Photographs showed the young actress wearing northern-style dress, leading us to speculate she might be playing the role of the 16-year-old Northern girl said to be taking part in “a high-stakes scene with leading cast members.”

Luckily, Parkinson’s CV has since been updated with information about her role on Game of Thrones.

According to Parkinson’s agency CV , she will be playing the part of Alys Karstark. Her director is simply listed as “Various” which can mean multiple episodes, but can also just be used as a placeholder when the director information is unknown by the agency.

megan parkinson alys karstark

Screenshot from independenttalent.com

 

It’s interesting to see Parkinson will be taking part in the adaptation of another popular book series, according to her CV; she’ll be playing Brittany Brockbank in the BBC version of J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike novels. The series is set to air on HBO in the U.S.A. Charles Sturridge is directing the adaption of book 3, Career of Evil, in which the Brockbanks play a role.

As for her Thrones part, Alys Karstark was a popular guess for Parkinson’s potential role, so this doesn’t come as a surprise. It makes sense that we’ll see a new Karstark in play, since last season’s Harald Karstark (Paul Rattray) sided with the Boltons and may be dead. In the ASOIAF novels, Alys is the headstrong teenage daughter of Lord Rickard Karstark; she resolves a problem with Jon Snow’s assistance. The question now is, will her storyline on Game of Thrones follow a similar path? The show is unlikely to get bogged down in the tangential aspects of Alys’ story from the book, but Parkinson was seen on set the same day as Kit Harington, among others. The show may be cleaning up the Northern loose ends, in the aftermath of the Battle of the Bastards, or setting up a new alliance to deal with the White Walker threat.


Ben Fox headshotThere’s one more name for the general casting roster of season seven: British actor Ben Fox.

According to the actor’s Spotlight CV, he’ll be appearing on Game of Thrones. Unfortunately there is no specific role listed at this time, and we’re given the vague “Various” once again in the spot for a director name.

Fox’s TV credits include The Crown, The Living and the Dead, Doctors, and a role in TNT’s upcoming series Will. This year, he’ll also be appearing in the new version of Beauty and the Beast.

47 responses

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    1. Ben Fox doesn’t look to be a stockily built fellow, but hope springs eternal for a Marwyn casting!

      I hope the Cormoran Strike series is done well. The books have been quite entertaining so far, even though detective stories aren’t really my cup of tea.

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    2. It could be interesting to see Jon, in the show, trying to bring the Free Folk in the Northern fold by marriage, just like he did in the books.

      But apart from Tormund (and the un-named other redheaded chief that was at Hardhome and appeared in 607), there are not many Free Folks left alive that we know of… so yeah, I guess we will assist to a Tormund – Alys wedding !

      EDIT : apparently, that FF leader’s name is Dim Dalba. I wonder if he survived the BotB !

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    3. corinnestark,

      Though I’d enjoy seeing Tormund take a bride (“The Ginger Wedding”), I’m guessing the Alys Karstark role will be more than just to serve as a FreeFolk-North unification device. Also, with so little time left and only seven episodes in 2017, I’d be surprised if the show detours into marriage alliances and wedding scenes like it did previously with Joffrey + Marg.

      The description of the role says Alys will have a “high-stakes scene with leading cast members.” I can’t envision how a marriage of the Wildling leader with a Northern lord’s daughter would be a “high stakes” scene.*

      I suppose “leading cast members” could be guests at a wedding, but I figure there’s got to be something more significant for them to do in a “high-stakes” scene other than scarf down cake and drink wine.

      I hope I’m wrong. I’d like to see Tormund with a fiery young Northern lady so he can put his baby seal theory to practical use.

      * and if somebody kills the bride or groom in the middle of the wedding, that’d be cheap and repititious.

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    4. The description of the role says Alys will have a “high-stakes scene with leading cast members.” I can’t envision how a marriage of the Wildling leader with a Northern lord’s daughter would be a “high stakes” scene.*

      Hey, it’s Westeros and we know how weddings turn out over there ! 😀

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    5. I’m glad this has been confirmed. I always liked Alys Karstark as a character and her dynamic with Jon, even if I had no particular interest in or attachment to the storyline through which she was introduced in the novels. She should be an interesting addition to the Northern storyline as a representative of a defeated vassal house. (At this point, I think we can safely assume that the 10 year-old boy is the heir to House Umber. Tinyjon Umber, if you will).

      I expect that in that “high-stakes scene”, Alys will be making some kind of gesture that will finally bring House Karstark back under the Stark banner (not that she has much choice). Her father and her brother both perceived that Robb Stark had been dealt them a great injustice, and allowed their desire for vengeance to lead them first to open rebellion, and then in turn to the grave. It’s a perfect example, distilled in miniature, of the kind of destructive internecine politics that have crippled the realm in advance of the coming Winter.

      I don’t know if we’ll see Jon directing Alys to marry Tormund or some newly introduced wildling character in order to repair that wound; my guess would be no. But it would be fitting bit of closure to see Alys and Jon acknowledge the tortured recent history between their houses, and make peace in the interest of preserving what’s left of House Karstark and augmenting Jon’s forces with an eye towards the war to come.

      Given how busy this season is shaping up to be, I suspect that Alys will only be present for that one “high-stakes” scene. Nevertheless, it would be interesting if she stuck around and joined Robett Glover and Lyanna Mormont as part of the retinue of Northern lords and ladies (I’m hoping that Lord Manderly and Lord Cerwyn will return as well, if only for cameos. I always enjoy minor characters from previous seasons making return appearances – it helps reinforce the continuity.

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    6. star,

      Well Jon is the King so he makes the decisions. I’m sure this will be the adaptation’s version of the events in the books. I don’t know if it will be a Wildling but it will be similar.

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    7. i loved the character in the books so I am interested to see how this goes.

      pure speculation, but I can see the show starting out hinting that she could be Jon’s Queen and Littlefinger whispering in Sansa’s ear that if Jon has a queen what will Sansa’s role be? Nothing may come of it, and her role maybe background except for the one main scene listed in casting announcement.. but it would be a legitimate concern for Sansa and believable in driving a wedge between her and Jon (if that is what show runners want)

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    8. Ten Bears,

      That would be great! A little sad, but mostly a cool nod to a character that left an indelible impression during her brief tenure. The actress, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, really seemed to enjoy her time on the show; she was certainly grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response she received from the fans (when she won Best Guest Actress at the WOTW Awards for Season 5, she actually tweeted a video message of thanks to people at this website). Perhaps we’ll get a cameo from her in the last two seasons once the Army of the Dead begins its advance; I can’t imagine it would be a big time commitment.

      I’m well aware that some people will inevitably label any such cameos as “fan service”, and I understand that point of view, even if I don’t fully agree with it (mostly, I just dislike that term; I think it’s become dramatically overused and misused in recent years). Nevertheless, if it makes sense from a story perspective, there are plenty of minor characters who I would love to see one more time before the show concludes. Salladhor Saan. Hot Pie. Anguy. Sam’s mother and sister. Lollys Stokeworth. Wight Hodor … actually, maybe not Wight Hodor. That might be twisting the knife a little too much.

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    9. Well I’d be happy to finally get *more than one* Northern vassal House with a female leader (we remember Jonelle Cerwyn!)

      Would be interesting if she marries a wildling ally as part of an alliance bid, I don’t know.

      But yeah, as article says, appears to be tying up loose ends.

      The director confirmed that they lost three days of filming at the end of the Battle of the Bastards: was Harald going to die on-screen but the scene was cut? Or perhaps, they intentionally left that out to show Jon executing him later in Season 7?

      And if not, and it was due to lack of time…..why not have Season 7 wrap up loose ends with a quickly introduced Harald execution scene?

      Any casting reports indicating if he’s returning for Season 7 in some fashion?

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    10. Undarkwin:
      Super Northener,

      I really hope that is the case. I thought of Howland just as I saw Ben Fox

      Totally agree. He’s got a mild, rather ‘fey’ face, and from the head shot doesn’t appear to be sturdy or tall. He looks a lot younger than Sean Bean, but since the Crannogmen live in a milder, wetter, less exposed part of the North, it’s possible they’re less weathered than other Northerners. Maybe Howland has some Greensight too. There is a possibility he could appear in a Harrenhal flashback as well as a corroborator of Jon’s parentage.

      And Selena, your idea that Alys might be involved in some sort of Littlefinger-Sansa manipulation is a good one. Littlefinger aside, I suspect the presence of a nice looking young redhead would awaken Sansa’s insecurities anyway.

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    11. Hi all.. miss you guys!
      Ive been MIA for a while.. skipped this article and comments to avoid spoilers.. Do we know if all filming is complete? Or what?

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    12. Knowing what show-Sansa has suffered through because of her political marriages, I really doubt that show-Jon will arrange any sort of marriage between young Alys Karstark and a Wildling or Northern lord in order to cement any alliances. While I liked the Alys plot in the book, Jon doing something like that in the show would be insensitive & out of character for him, I think. Especially if his sister is sitting next to him while he makes any demands of Alys.

      Combining the “high stakes scene” and the fact that (previous WOTW spoiler)

      Alys will be carrying a sword (PAP4U’s pics), I wonder if she’ll literally bend the knee and lay her sword down at the feet of KitN as a show of her fealty. If she does, they better demand the same of TinyJon Umber too. Only fair.

      Is Alys pronounced “Alice” or kinda like “Alease”?

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    13. Dee Stark,

      Hey Dee! Yeah I think all filming is complete. Emilia Clarke seems to have been the last actor to leave Belfast, in the first week of this month.

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    14. YES! FUCK YES! I thought they’d chopped the Wildling/Karstark story when they killed Mance so early & the Karstarks had hardly been mentioned since season 3 except a coupla scenes between Ramsey & Harald/Ramsey, Harald & Small Jon last season.

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    15. Now trying to take a different approach to make the scene HIGH STAKES.

      Come the start of the show maybe the remaining Umbers and Karstarks have already given fealty? Mayhaps. But just like the books Alys’s Uncle is trying to forcefully marry Alys, who is heir to Karhold, so that he becomes Lord of Karhold. And once that happens he will kill Alys. So Alys is actually running from Karhold to Winterfell for Jon to protect her. The Uncle isn’t far behind Alys, he shows up at Winterfell and Jon sentences the Karstark uncle to death. It is high stakes because Jon, new King, kills a potential Lord of the North. But good thing is the rest of the North approves. He marries one of the remaining clan chiefs, not Tormund, to Alys. Tormund has other things to do, like go to East Watch. So that is why I doubt Tormund marries Alys. We will skip the wedding, just go to the ceremony, everyone happy, everything is good and this is where Jon tells Tormund he wants him to go to East Watch. It is a somber moment because things are now good but the focus has to turn towards the Wall and the Wights. And Jon is basically splitting the group up at this point. He is gambling, and he wins. How does that bring the Umber boy into the fold. No idea.

      I know I am grasping at straws.

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    16. BunBunStark,

      I agree about show-Jon. Last year, the show made much of Sansa seeming more and more like her mum, so what if she was behind an arranged wedding?*

      *Which goes terribly wrong and almost everyone dies.

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    17. My guess? A lot was made of the actresses similarity to Sansa, might she be used by the Northerners as a device to keep Robin Arran & his knights in the North?! Marry her off to the lord of the Eyrie and solidify their alliance and if possible circumvent Littlefingers influence?

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    18. I think the ‘high stakes’ factor will presumably come down to whether or not the Karstark and Umber heirs will pledge their fealty, putting an end to any further internal conflict in the North, or whether Jon will be forced to execute/punish them and perhaps eradicate their Houses altogether.

      We know from Season 6 that Sansa believes the Umbers “can hang”, and I doubt they will make Alys Karstark a pushover, especially if her father did die at the hands of the Stark forces, so there’s the potential for a fairy tense situation.

      I doubt Jon will fancy executing any more kids, and he’s bound to consider bringing the Umbers and Karstarks quickly and peacefully back into the fold more of a priority than vengeance or political squabblling.

      I don’t think a Wildling marriage is on the cards, since we don’t have any viable characters for her to marry. And I’m not sure if either Jon or Sansa would be particularly down for forcing a teenage girl to marry some random stranger anyway, given their own recent experiences of such a situation.

      I could see Jon pursuing a hostage situation, a la Theon, at least until winter is over and the White Walkers are defeated.

      But it should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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    19. BunBunStark:
      Is Alys pronounced “Alice” or kinda like “Alease”?

      Whenever there’s a name that is basically just a regular name with some of the vowells switched out, I go with the real world pronunciation, personally.

      Though there’s a lot of inconsistencies around pronunciations of names between GRRM, the audiobooks (Roy Dotrice’s ideas are often really strange), and the show. I know in one of the little video clips of the show GRRM pronounced “Lysa” like “Lisa” instead of “Lye-sa” like the show (and most readers, in my experience) does.

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    20. Cersei’s Brain: ,

      I thought they were still finishing up filming till the end of this month?

      That is what has been said publicly, yeah. People are taking Emilia being finished with filming to mean that all of filming has been completed. Filming was set to run through February though, in the studios where we don’t see much. There haven’t really been any sightings lately in Belfast, but then, most of the less-famous actors do tend to slide under the radar.

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    21. I think her role is a one off. And the high stakes are the argument between Jon and Sansa on what to do with her. Sansa will want to do it the Stark’s way by executing her to serve as a warning to other houses not to betray the Starks. Jon is more forgiving as he was when named KON. Jon will decide to marry her off to Tormound. Thus, giving lands to the Wildings and having an trusted ally heading the Karstark house.

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    22. Cersei’s Brain,

      Dee Stark,

      I think actor filming has been finished and now they are just finishing up some shoots of extra props, CGI dragons and scenery both Emilia and Kit who were the latest actors to film have finished up and are both starting on new projects now.

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    23. At least now we can officially put away the theory she was Sophie’s body double. Unless they introduce a younger wildling I don’t think they will make a marriage happen, they could be fighting over whether or not to forgive her family for their actions against them, though I’m sure a 16 year old girl played no part in it.

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    24. I loved Alys Karstark in the books – “let him be scared of me” – and while I am unsure how much of the book plot we will get, it is great as always to see minor book characters popping up.

      What I am looking forward to is Sansa’s input into any punishment Jon gives out. In KL, Sansa was beaten whenever Robb won a battle; what impact will this have on any suggestions she may have for dealing with Alys? Will Jon remind her of how Joffrey treated her for something that wasn’t her fault any more than Alys was responsible for Harald choosing to take Ramsay’s side?

      I can see a hostage scenario more than anything here – Jon knows the North needs to be united, and continuing a war with the Umbers and Karstarks isn’t really an option given the need to fight the NK.

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    25. Leak spoilers:

      If the leaks are right and Sansa really wants to punish the children of the northern families who sided with the Boltons, I’ll be very disappointed. In King’s Landing she knew exactly what it felt to be punished for a “crime” she didn’t commit, and It seems pretty out of character of her to act this way. I guess I will wait to see how that plays out on the screen, if the leaks are proven to be correct.

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    26. Vincent Stark,

      [Leak spoilers]

      According to Lads, as I understand it, Sansa’s position is that the Karstarks and Umbers have forfeited their lands. That’s a firm line, but it’s not really analogous to anything that happened to her in King’s Landing; if she was advocating for Alys to be beaten up, yeah, that’s a different matter. But I don’t think it’s out of line to suggest that banner houses who betrayed them and (in the Umbers’ case) handed over Rickon to his death shouldn’t get to be powerful lords in the north anymore.

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    27. selena,

      Why? I’m sure her brother will have to marry someone eventually. It’s not like she’s his Cersei to his Jaime.

      For the record, no I don’t think Jon is going to marry Alys. Not enough leverage there.

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    28. I love weddings where nobody is killed – dull affair, I know, I’m a dull girl! I hope Alys is Tormund’s bride, a contract which both of them will find agreeable.
      And about paying for your family’s crime: I am certain Jon can’t accept that.

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    29. corinnestark:
      BunBunStark,

      I never saw Alys as any kind of victim when it came to her marriage arrangement in books. She seemed to be on the same page as Jon in that regard.

      I have to agree with this – I always felt that Jon presented the Sigorn marriage pact as an option for Alys, and wasn’t forcing anything on her. Marrying Sigorn gave her a protector with an army and therefore a way to get Karhold back from her great-uncle. Alys knew what she was getting into, and entered the marriage willingly.

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    30. Sean C.,

      I understand your point. Maybe when the scene plays out (if the leaks are correct) and the exact context is given, It’ll make perfect sense to me.

      But I also can’t help but think that this is a thing the old Sansa would not do with her “I’ll make them love me instead” philosophy.

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