Tom Hopper joins the cast of Game of Thrones!

Hopper-Tom-1-330x400Filming in Spain has been a whirlwind, jumping from one beautiful historical location to another in the past month, bringing us Game of Thrones news and spoilers along the way. And today, Spain is delivering again in the form of unexpected casting news!

Los Siete Reinos has gotten its hands on a photograph, via Hoy‘s María José Torrejón, taken this past Monday in Cáceres city, showing a recognizable face along with a Game of Thrones actor. L7R’s photo shows English actor Tom Hopper sitting with James Faulkner (Randyll Tarly) on a bench in the city. That, combined with another sighting of the actor with GoT stars this week, and it seems that Hopper is the newest addition to the cast of Game of Thrones season 7.

What part is Hopper taking on? That’s the really surprising piece of info. While not officially confirmed by HBO, there is evidence indicating that the actor will be playing the recast role of Dickon Tarly. In season 6, we briefly encountered Sam’s jock younger brother at the tense Horn Hill family dinner, being played then by Freddie Stroma. We’ll be seeing more of Dickon this year, but we’ll save those spoilers for below the cut!

So why the recast? It’s likely that Stroma has a scheduling conflict, since he’s currently working on the new ABC series Time After Time in which he stars as H.G. Wells.

As for Hopper, he’s a welcome addition to the cast, and will be a familiar face to many GoT fans, from his work playing Billy Bones on Black Sails, Sir Percival in Merlin, and Arminius in the recent History Channel series Barbarians Rising.

More info- and spoilers- below!

Tom Hopper and James Faulkner, in Caceres. Photo: Los Siete Reinos/Hoy

Tom Hopper and James Faulkner, in Caceres. Photo: Los Siete Reinos/Hoy

Now, about those spoilers! The Cáceres region has been very busy this past week, and Hopper is a part of the action. The actor has reportedly been spotted working out at a gym in Cáceres with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Jerome Flynn. That makes sense, since we’ve learned from our sources that next season, Dickon Tarly is part of the southern Westeros scenes, and has scenes with Randyll, Jaime Lannister, and Bronn, among others.

Game of Thrones has cleared out of Trujillo Castle, where filming took place earlier this week, and the focus is now in Malpartida de Cáceres for the next few weeks. We can confirm that Dickon and his father are present during the much-discussed ambush scene, when Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons attack a caravan train bringing goods looted from Highgarden back to King’s Landing.

Los Siete Reinos confirms that the shooting began in Las Breñas yesterday and will finish on Friday. The caravans sighted in Las Breñas, and seven buses full of extras have been brought to the location, plus about 60 horses. We’ve heard from our own sources that we can expect to see Dickon and Randyll Tarly both fighting during this ambush/battle scene.

Caravan at Las In Breñas. Photo: Los Siete Reinos

Caravan at Las In Breñas. Photo: Los Siete Reinos

After filming in Las Breñas, filming will move over to Barrueco de Arriba this weekend. Overall, filming is expected to take about 22 days in Malpartida with these locations, and we expect new details from Spain to keep on coming!

So, readers, what do you think of the casting news?

90 responses

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    1. Holy crap Billy Bones!!! I love me that eye-candy. And those muscles. *drools* Freddie Stroma didn’t really make any lasting impression so I’m perfectly fine with this surprise recast.

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    2. I hope Tom enjoys his time on GoT. Anybody coming on board now is essentially making a cameo appearance, but hell, I’d be up for that!

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    3. Lol another recast. This is going to be jarring, especially if you watch Season 7 after watching Season 6 during a rerun. How they didn’t line up filming with Stromas other obligations is beyond me.

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    4. What side is the Tarly army on? Randyll seems ambious in the books but I can’t imagine him teaming with Lannisters. He’s not a Frey he has honor. I think he would more likely try to make House Tarly the new rulers of the Reach under the Targaryen rule.

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    5. For a second I read that as “Tom Hooper”, the director.

      Jack Bauer 24,

      An ABC television project would be filming regularly through the whole fall/winter (other than Christmas). Not to mention, there’s only so far you’d seek to accommodate a minor guest actor on such a major project.

      [Leaks Discussion]

      There’s yet another point for the leaker.

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    6. He is great as Billy Bones in Black Sails, my fav character on the show! But he is more mature than Freddie Stroma! He will definitely be great at the fight scenes, I’m sure better than original Dickson! He will be a great addition, also he is ?!?

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    7. I’ve read the casting news but I skipped the spoiler bit. So what to say about it? We’ll see. I have no problems with recast roles as long as the performance is strong.

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    8. I wonder how the casting of Tom Hopper came about. Did they straight-up offer him the role after Stroma became unavailable or was there a casting call put out? Hopper definitely knows how to wield a sword so I’m looking forward to seeing Dickon Tarly in action. If he happens to lose his shirt while fighting, even better.

      [LEAKS]

      Now that I care about Dickon, it’s too bad he’ll only appear in an episode or two and will suffer such an unfortunate death. Also, now that the Randyl/Dickon part of the leaks is confirmed, I hope we’ll get a glimpse of the anti-dragon ballista that Qyburn cooks up to bring down Drogon.

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    9. JonWasPromised,

      The Tarly family is sworn to the Tyrells, and while Randyll seems hardcore about rules, it is hinted that he sees the Tyrells as upstarts, since they’ve only ruled the Reach since the Targaryen Conquest. They were just castellans before then, and all of the other big families in the Reach have better claims. But Aegon granted it to a Tyrell. I have always thought that he’d maintain his loyalty (at least in the books), but a lot of people think he has ambitions about ruling the Reach.

      I’m curious if this is a huge break from the for tv drama or if they plan on backstabbing the Tyrells in the books too. I’m excited either way.

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    10. I really love me some Black sails, and billy that character he plays has some great action scenes in sails. Wonderful news indeed, can’t wait to see this action scene. lol I wonder what tardy is doing about his missing sword Heartsbane XD

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    11. I like this recasting! Nice eye-candy. 😀
      So we know now that Tarly and son will be part of the Big Ambush!

      LEAKS

      Also Jaime and Bronn, as per the leaks. And Daenerys, of course, and her Dothraki with Staz Nair as their commander. Given the length of filming, I wonder if any other major character will be involved?

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    12. What a great recasting: the new Dickon even has some resemblance to the earlier one. When I first looked at the photo I even thought that it was Freddie Stroma. And though I have to admit that my eyesight is not that good anymore, IMO a casual viewer may not even notice the recasting.
      BTW, I wonder whether the casting call for a young, tall, and handsome lord was a call for new Dickon Tarly?

      And off topic: has anyone watched Barbarians Rising? Is it good? I am quite fond of Arminius and his story, so I’ll probably try these series, but it would be interesting to know opinions of GoT fans.

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    13. Inga,

      If you haven’t watched, black sails o highly recommend watching it, Tom is amazing on that show, also the acting, writing, and visual affects are jaw dropping, also if you like pirates give it a try.

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    14. When I saw this man’s name (I love him on Black Sails) I was hoping it would be a Rhaegar flashback. I always imagined him being a young Rhaegar.

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    15. Damn, now I’m hoping Dickon doesn’t die. If they are truly on the Lannister’s side it doesn’t look good for him. It would be a shame to see him die 🙁

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    16. Alice,

      The show made it clear there are no other Tyrell sons, and Loras was the heir. Olenna even said, “Cersei stole the future from me” in the season finale. She wouldn’t say that if there were other heirs/sons around.

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    17. Oh, I remember him from Merlin! Great recasting! He have some resemblances with Freddie! Unlike Daario Naharis actors with each other.

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    18. Sue the Fury: Dickon

      “The TV continuity technically did acknowledge that other minor Tyrell cousins exist. Back in Season 3 episode 4 “And Now His Watch is Ended”, an unnamed Tyrell handmaiden – credited only as “Tyrell lady” – actually had a speaking line in which she showed her embroidery to Olenna and asked, “Do you like it, Nana?” – i.e. directly stating that Olenna is her grandmother.

      Allana Tyrell was mentioned by Margaery while chatting with Sansa Stark. According to Margaery, when she was 12, she was very clumsy and Allana looked like a goddess sent to torture her”

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    19. Alice,

      Yes, maybe cousins are left, but no one that matters from the main family. No Garlan or Willas, that’s been confirmed a few times by now.

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    20. aeris,

      lol! I was thinking the same thing! I kind of hope they’re trying to misdirect and he actually is going to play in a flashback scene as Rheagar but I doubt it :/

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    21. Earlier today, after watching the Knights of the Vale H&L, I thought about the possibility of one of the Knight becoming a minor character with a few lines next season, another than just Lord Royce, and Tom Hopper would be great in such a role !
      Anyway, after his fantastic performance throughout Black Sails, I’m happy to see him in GoT !

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    22. Does GOT hold the record for most recasts by a series yet? For us, it’s only a mild annoyance but I can only imagine a casual view being overwhelmed by the massive amount of characters to begin with…only to suddenly be like “wait, who is this guy? Is he a face changer too??”

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    23. Matsuki,

      No, it doesn’t.

      They have hundreds of characters and they recast 8 of them (Gregor Clegane, Tommen, Myrcella, Daario, Three-eyed raven, the Leaf, Lothar Frey and Dickon).

      And only Daario and maybe Gregor were really noticeable. Everyone else had like a one scene, or they were just placeholders.

      But there were so many actors that they brought back after seasons of absence.

      Sandor Clegane, Lancel, Jaqen, Rickon, Osha, Hodor, Gendry, Benjen Stark, Aemon, Edmure, Blackfish, Walder Frey, Barristan Selmy, Yara, Lysa Arryn, Robin Arryn, Meera, Alliser Throne, Beric, Thoros, Janos Slynt, Kevan Lannister, Balon, Walder Rivers, Dontos Hollard, Tycho Nestoris, Polliver,…..

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    24. Inga,

      Yep, Barbarians Rising was a good series. Well worth watching. Seems like several of the GoT cast (since killed off!) have bit parts in it 🙂 Certainly Ser Meryn Trant, Princess Shireen and Ser Baristian Selmy from what I remember.

      A Roman general played by Ian Beattie (Meryn Trant) was a bastard in that series also and eventually got his comeuppance … So nothing changes eh 😀

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    25. Matsuki,

      I truly hope you don’t watch a daytime soap if you think GOT has problems with recasting . In those they recast MAIN characters like all the time . And like it has already been said,it’s not like they do it on purpose,GOT is a big show wih a tight schedule and they can’t wait around for one actor to finish his other commitments especially if he has such a minor part .

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    26. BunBunStark: I wonder how the casting of Tom Hopper came about. Did they straight-up offer him the role after Stroma became unavailable or was there a casting call put out? Hopper definitely knows how to wield a sword so I’m looking forward to seeing Dickon Tarly in action. If he happens to lose his shirt while fighting, even better.[LEAKS]

      LOL. Is he tall? I don’t know what those notorious leaks said about the fate of Dickon, but gee, wouldn’t this tall, handsome young lord be the perfect match for Sansa? The other Dickon still looked like a silly high-school boy, but this is a young man . I joked about the possibility of pairing Sansa with Dickon a few days ago, but seeing this young man’s picture, this is the ship I’d want Sansa to catch, if it’s possible. He has a few things in his favor, not the least of which is that he didn’t seem to be at all hateful to Sam, especially not the way Randyll was. I wouldn’t want Sansa to be paired with another type of tyrant.

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    27. Just as a further note, I googled him after I posted the last post about how tall he is … OMG the picture that came up, of him only in a pair of shorts and that body. He’s 6’5″. Perfect for 5’9″ Sansa. OMG he’d make anybody’s heart flutter. I can’t imagine them casting a body like that for only a fight-and-die scene. There has to be something more to this.

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    28. I think it has something to do with their age since they are so much younger than the rest. They started when they were still in school, while the others were all mid 20s or over. They probably will get a pay raise, just not as much

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    29. Mr Fixit: Poor Maisie and Sophie is all I can say. ?

      Would be interesting to know what Maisie and Sophie make, I am guessing , now, it is more than half of 1.5 million which is not bad. Makes one wonder what Iain Glen ,Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Conleth Hill, Aidan Gillen, Gwendoline Christie, …so on. make now … also, I guess when they signed contracts for season 7 they must have for season 8 because we have never heard about that.
      One notes that Maisie, Sophie … Gwen… now pull in big sums for other film projects.

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    30. one thing i still don’t get is house Tarly is the Tayrell banner men why they r fighiting against Danny unless they betray house Tayrell and decided to join the Lansters

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    31. bela,

      Didn’t a previous report says that the tier one stars earning north of $ 500,000.00 for season 7 and 8. Is this new report an update to the previous one ?

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    32. OneDon

      That was rumored MONTHS ago about their salaries for season 7 and season 8. The 1 million per episode figure is very new and that’s why hollywood reporter says all 5 of the main cast RECENTLY concluded a renegotiation TOGETHER that will pay them each $1.1 million..That’s how the friends cast got paid 1 million for every episode as well.

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    33. If they are doing a per episode payment system, it might be that we get more single story focused episodes so that certain actors are left out and therefore not paid.

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    34. HotPinkLipstick,

      They get paid for the full amount of their contract, whether or not the writers actually use them — see, e.g., Alexander Siddig, who was only a guest star, getting paid for four episodes of Season 6 despite only being in one.

      This also means that some castmembers have really been doing well out of minor appearance counts, e.g., Carice van Houten was paid for a full ten episodes for Season 4 despite only working a couple of days.

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    35. Zerofila,

      Makes sense. Randyll was always about how women should know their place. Mace and Loras are dead, House Tyrell is only led by Lady Olenna. Not that hard to imagine Randyll making House Tarly the one giving orders.

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    36. I’m not understanding the no Willas. What’s happen to him? He was the one the Tyrell’s were trying to marry off to Sansa.
      Are they going to explain he’s now none existence? I won’t hold my breath.
      Very disappointed he’s not in it, was looking forward to seeing him.

      George Martin said Willas had an important part to play towards the end of the book. Not a happy bunny with the show’s change of plan here.

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    37. Let-it-Snow,

      Yeah I think you might have missed something there.Willas has never existed on the show Sansa was supposed to marry Loras.Not that it matters anyway cause he is not even an extra in the books lol.

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    38. bela,

      Very doubtful this article is accurate. Kit said previously that the renegotiation story (a similar article popped up last year) was rubbish.

      mau,

      Exactly! You know, some people just always find something to complian about. They forget that after S5, it was very unlikely characters like Randyll, Dickon, Euron and Aeron would even appear at all.

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    39. Matsuki: For us, it’s only a mild annoyance but I can only imagine a casual view being overwhelmed by the massive amount of characters to begin with

      “massive amount of characters” is the key here. A casual viewer can’t even remember who most of the characters are, let alone how minor characters look like. Not to say no one of the casual viewers will notice, but trust me, for most of them recasts are not a point of confusion.

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    40. I hate to roll up with something negative- but damn! That is a lot of money. I know the entertainment/market value of the biggest show on television warrants adequate compensation for everyone involved…. but wow. Is it any wonder we get seven episodes this season? Just sayin…

      I have been trying to avoid spoilers, so have kept some distance from this glorious site. (Yeah, I peak every now and again when I need a break from this real world. So far my desire to remain spoiler-free has been … ahem…. somewhat trumped by my desire to get a fix)

      Cheers for everything you do, Sue and company. And a warm hello to all the fellow watchers!

      Peace.

      Also. Reading a graphic novel- East of West. Picked up volume six last night. Found a nice, subtle nod to GoT. “The night is black and full of Billy,” says Billy Blacksmith… a very minor lunatic mercenary character says this as he flashes steel….

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    41. Maybe Freddie Stroma got confunded again?

      To me, the most interesting tidbit of news here is that a TV series is being made of my all-time favorite time-travel movie. Hard to imagine it being as good as the original; the chemistry between Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen (while they were actually falling in love in real life) was something tough to replicate. I wonder who’s being cast as Jack the Ripper.

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    42. I’m calling it now, this is just a red herring. A casting replacement this late in the show for a really minor character? Seriously. He is actually going to play Rhaegar.

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    43. Firannion:

      To me, the most interesting tidbit of news here is that a TV series is being made of my all-time favorite time-travel movie.Hard to imagine it being as good as the original; the chemistry between Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen (while they were actually falling in love in real life) was something tough to replicate.I wonder who’s being cast as Jack the Ripper.

      Wow, I remember the film, I was a child at that time, but I was charmed by their love story, although I had no idea about the actors or Jack the Ripper. Thanks for making me understand what film you were referring to and bringing pleasant memories to me. In my country the title was changed to what is translated The Time Machine and Time after Time rang no bell for me. I’m glad to find out there will be a new show on the subject, but I can’t imagine any actors better than Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen to play the leads.

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    44. weirwood.net, I could see him with long blondish hair sort of fitting the part of Rhaegar. It would have to be the right shade otherwise with his skin tone would look washed out. Although I always pictured Jon’s dad (vaguely as I haven’t given his looks that much thought) with an oval leaning towards heart shaped face, widow’s peak and dark grey-blue eyes. Sort of like that one dude in the 3 Musketeers but younger.

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    45. Alice: asked, “Do you like it, Nana?” – i.e. directly stating that Olenna is her grandmother.

      Strictly speaking, that is stating that she is referring to Olenna as “granny.” Although people usually use that for “grandmother,” they sometimes also use it colloquially for “matriarch” or just “old woman.”

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    46. This makes me wish they had kept the book character Ser Jon “The Red Griffin” Connington, exiled Lord, former King’s Hand and Targaryen Loyalist(and possibly who Jon Snow was really named after). I believe Hopper’s Black Sails’ cast-mate Toby Stephens(Captain Flint)would have made a perfect Red Griffin with his fanatic dedication to a cause others don’t see.

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    47. nimblejim,

      Especially since he’s 32 in real life.

      I don’t think he’d make a good Prince Rhaegar either. He’s too big and rugged where Rhaegar always struck me as more Lee Pace(Thranduil), Orlando Bloom or Robert Pattinson. Strong actors who could be described as pretty.

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    48. Inga,

      To Inga: In general, not really- but Tom Hopper’s Arminius is exceptional; he & Alex Vlahos [fellow Merlin actor; he was the adult Mordred] (in the later half of the series, as the less-than-fully-sane Valentinian III) are pretty good.
      He kills Varus (played by Ian Beattie/ ‘Trant’ – spoiler alert: he gets to die again!)
      I think Arminius’ story was probably portrayed better than the others – ironically, the actress who plays Boudicca, was previously ‘Princess Honoria’ in the Attila mini-series of 2001.
      Had Stroma remained in the role, I kind of would have been ok with both father & son dying- but now, with the re-cast… I kind of only want that jerk Randyll Tarly to die, & Dickon to ‘bend the knee’ to Dany.

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    49. Inga,

      To Inga: In general, not really (I think they prioritised spectacle over character, & historical reality came a distant fourth- after the politics) – but Tom Hopper’s Arminius is exceptional; he & Alex Vlahos [his fellow ‘Merlin’ actor; he was the adult Mordred- & he is now absolutely killing it in ‘Versailles’] (Alex is in the later half of the series, as the less-than-fully-sane Valentinian III) are pretty good.
      He is opposite Varus (played by Ian Beattie/GoT’s ‘Meryn Trant’ – spoiler alert: he gets to die again!)
      I think Arminius’ story was probably portrayed better than the others; only Alaric & Geiseric were comparable, IMO – coincidentally, the actress who plays Boudicca, was previously ‘Princess Honoria’ in the Attila mini-series of 2001.

      Back to GoT: Had Stroma remained in the role, I kind of would have been ok with both father & son dying- but now, with the re-cast… I kind of only want that jerk Randyll Tarly to die, & Dickon to ‘bend the knee’ to Dany.

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