Casting news for Game of Thrones continues to trickle out of Westeros, and we’ve learned that two familiar faces will return, as well as a new name in a new role!
Although she was only on screen for a short time, it was significant that Alys Karstark — the last surviving heir to Karhold after the rest of her house was defeated alongside Ramsay Bolton — was called upon by Jon Snow in Season 7 to reaffirm her family’s loyalty to House Stark. So significant, in fact, that actress Megan Parkinson will return to the role for Season 8, according to a listing on the actress’ talent agency website: Independent Talent lists Parkinson as portraying the Northern noble in Season 8 as well.
In addition to Alys Karstark, young Ned Umber, who represents what’s left of House Umber — another Northern house who fought against Jon in the Battle of the Bastards — also reaffirmed his family’s fealty, and the actor who portrayed him, Harry Grasby, also will return in Season 8. Wiki of Thrones reported recently that Grasby was spotted at the Belfast airport, so it’s safe to say that we’ll see the heir to Last Hearth again.
As for new faces, the Lisa Richards agency lists Irish actor Seamus O’Hara as “currently filming on HBO’s Game of Thrones,” and casting site Spotlight.com reports that he will play a character known as Fergus. It’s not a name from the books, so we’ll have to wait and see who Fergus is and what his role might be.
It’s not surprising that houses Umber and Karstark might feature prominently in at least one episode of Season 8; Last Hearth, the Umber’s castle, is the closest to the Wall and likely will be the first one for the Night King and his army to come across, with Karhold not far from there. But will the castles fall without a fight, or will Ned and Alys have bigger roles to play? Only time will tell.