Max von Sydow, the Three-Eyed Raven, passes away at the age of 90

Three-EyedRaven ep 2

We have sad news for the Game of Thrones fandom and film fans around the world today. Legendary actor Max von Sydow passed away yesterday at the age of 90, according to his family.

He made a lasting impression on GoT fans in 2016 with his performance as the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran’s mystical mentor beyond the Wall in season 6. The actor earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his role.

That was just one award nom of many in his storied career. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for his movie roles in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Pelle the Conqueror. Over the years, his body of work was varied and creative, in movies like Never Say Never Again, Flash Gordon, Needful Things, Shutter Island, Minority Report, and of course his many collaborations with director Ingmar Bergman including The Seventh Seal when he played chess with Death itself.

We’re tremendously lucky to have been blessed with his presence on Game of Thrones for a time. The words are often said but in his case are the most true: we shall never see his like again.

 

25 responses

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    1. Sad to hear! Another great talent taken away, another original voice silenced! But, happy we had him for as long as we did.

      RIP Max Von Sydow. What an interesting person, great life and storried career!

      He was in soo many movies and TV shows I grew up with, but I’m truly grateful he blessed us with his presence in “Game Of Thrones”!

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    2. loco73:

      …RIP Max Von Sydow. What an interesting person, great life and storied career!

      He was in soo many movies and TV shows I grew up with, but I’m truly grateful he blessed us with his presence in “Game Of Thrones”!

      Yup. I didn’t read your 9:34 am comment before posting mine a few minutes ago. I too remember Max Von Sydow for so many memorable performances in movies and TV shows I watched growing up.

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    3. Damn man. One of the main things I knew him from was Seventh Seal. My Norwegian grandfather, who watched all of GoT with my grandmother, mother, and myself (all separately of course 😉) was kinda lukewarm on the show as a whole, but was very interested when Max showed up as the 3ER.

      “What do we say to the god of death?”
      “If I beat you in chess, you have to let me live.”

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    4. I saw an early (early-ish anyway) film with Max von Sydow on TV some years ago – “The Virgin Spring”. I had to use the subtitles as I don’t speak Swedish and it was a film with a dark theme but well acted. He had “the acting chops” as they say.

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    5. “…He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for his movie roles in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and Pelle the Conqueror. Over the years, his body of work was varied and creative, in movies like Never Say Never Again, Flash Gordon, Needful Things, Shutter Island, Minority Report, and of course his many collaborations with director Ingmar Bergman including The Seventh Seal when he played chess with Death itself.”

      Max Von Sydow’s list of credits is ridiculously long and extraordinarily diverse. Good guys, bad guys, mentors, heroes, villains, grandfatherly types, bad guys masquerading as good guys … he did it all.

      For me, here were just a few highlights:

      • “Dreamscape” (1984) – As Director Novotny. This sci-fi thriller is one of my favorite “underrated” movies. Max von Sydow plays a scientist heading an institute dedicated to locating and training psychically gifted individuals, in the hopes that they can help psychologically traumatized patients by entering into the patients’ dreams.
      Dennis Quaid (“Alex”) was one of the gifted individuals, but he preferred to use his powers of premonition to pick winners at the racetrack. Kate Capshaw plays a colleague of the Director at the institute –

      and Alex makes unsanctioned visits into her dreams out of romantic curiosity

      . Eddie Albert plays the President, plagued by recurring nightmares, who turns to the institute for help. Christopher Plummer plays a presidential advisor. George Wendt (Norm from “Cheers”) has a supporting role as a journalist who suspects a shadowy government agency is aiming to weaponize the institute’s work.
      Max von Sydow was excellent in this movie.

      • “Flash Gordon” (1980) – as Emperor Ming: a truly iconic, memorable performance in a popcorn movie that’s since become a cult classic (see homages in “Ted”). Max von Sydow disappeared into the role of Emperor Ming, giving the character gravitas when a lesser actor might have turned him into a cartoon villain.
      This was probably the first Max von Sydow movie I ever saw.

      • “Dune” (1984) – as Dr. Keynes – sort of an Obi-Wan Kenobi type character, if memory serves correctly.

      • “Minority Report” (2012) – Great role as a complex character in a good but inaptly titled movie. [“Future Crimes” or “Pre-Crime” or something like that would’ve been more descriptive of a movie about technology harnessing unique individuals’ psychic abilities to foresee a person’s commission of a crime before he even thinks about doing it. “Minority Report” made it sound like a film examining racial injustice: a worthwhile subject but not what the movie was about.]

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    6. Incredible actor. We were very fortunate to have him on Game of Thrones. In only three episodes, he made the Three-Eyed Raven feel wise and timeless.

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    7. Mr Derp: He was great in the Exorcist.Minority Report too.

      Yes! See my 1:15 pm comment highlighting some of his movies, including “Minority Report.” It’s been so long since I’ve seen “The Exorcist” that I don’t recall much about that movie other than demonically possessed Linda Blair’s projectile-vomiting scene. 🤮

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    8. Ten Bears,

      He was also the voice of Vigo, the bad guy, in the horrible “Ghostbusters 2” and I remember he was also in “What Dreams May Come”, an overly sappy, manic-depressive movie starring Robin Williams. He’s been in so many different types of films and shows. Very versatile.

      A “brilliant” career 😉

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    9. Jared:
      Incredible actor. We were very fortunate to have him on Game of Thrones. In only three episodes, he made the Three-Eyed Raven feel wise and timeless.

      And he made it look so easy! I hope his departure was, and that he passed with few regrets.

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    10. Jared:
      Incredible actor. We were very fortunate to have him on Game of Thrones. In only three episodes, he made the Three-Eyed Raven feel wise and timeless.

      I fully agree with this. He was great as the three eyed raven. Such a great actor. He will be missed.

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    11. From playing chess with Death itself to being reaped by an other form of Death in the “The Door”, he had a colossal career in cinema and TV. Rest in peace, mr. Von Sydow!

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    12. Sad news, I first saw Max in Dune when I was young a child and his work was always very good. He only made a small contribution to GOT (in terms of screen time) but it was very memorable. Rest in Peace Max.

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    13. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1ZAMiW4yEQ

      please don´t think Max von Sydow and the movies he´s been in might have had influence on the directing of GoT in general… especially not “The Seventh Seal”. oh no, no, no. want to say: casting him as the Three Eyed Raven was even more logical than just presenting Sean Bean in armor as some sort of walking spoiler alert. His history as an actor given, MvS has crowned GoT.

      some moments of the clip i linked reminded me of some moments in GoT very straight. and of the fact that i should dive deep into Bergman´s work now.

      also, playing chess with Death himself… wait, who here has always been a fan of “Watership Down”? who ever, you know what part of the book i have in mind right now, don´t you?

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    14. Ten Bears: Yup. I didn’t read your 9:34 am comment before posting mine a few minutes ago. I too remember Max Von Sydow for so many memorable performances in movies and TV shows I watched growing up.

      I think people forget that he was not really a stranger to HBO, having been involved in the HBO movie “Citizen X” with Jeffrey De Munn and Stephen Rea. It tells the harrowing and disturbing story of the hunt for one of the world’s (certainly Russia’s) most infamous serial killers, Andrei Chikatilo.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYtvCXrVsrM

      The trailer is pretty weird and badly made and it doesn’t do justice to the movie…but Max Von Sydow appears a bit in the middle and then at the end when the cast is listed…

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