The new season of Game of Thrones is practically here, and the hints and spoilers just keep coming. The actors are talking, pictures of filming are showing up, and there are leaks everywhere.
Of our new actors, Ian McShane seems to be the most talkative about his upcoming role, but that’s a good thing because his hiring was one of the ones we knew the least about. In an interview on BBC Breakfast, McShane gives us a few very big hints that pretty much tell us who he is going to be playing:
“My character really is like an ex-warrior who’s become a peacenik, so I have a group of peaceful … sort of a cult who … I bring back a much-loved character who everybody thinks is dead.”
McShane was also particularly chatty on Radio 5 Live, and more or less told the listeners exactly who that resurrected character is. When the host brings up the Hound or Jon Snow being the only possibilities, McShane laughs and concedes, “I think you might guess which one that is. It’s not the latter. It might be the former.”
Priest, in his 40’s or 50’s. A gruff ex-soldier who found religion. Now a no-nonsense rural priest who ministers to the poor of the countryside. He’s salt-of-the-earth man who has weathered many battles.
Back to the books for help on this one. While Brienne and Podrick are traveling together, they meet and old Septon and his dog on the road. They agree to travel together for a time and they eventually come to the Quiet Isle and meet a man called the Elder Brother. Martin makes a point of describing a grave digger on the island and his horse, Stranger is in the stables. There are so many hints that lead to this conclusion, and someone was kind enough to make a comprehensive list of them and the passages from the book, which you can read here.
McShane is facing a bit of backlash from fans for sharing so much, and when they attacked him online he replied that they should “get a F***ing life. It’s only t**s and dragons.” Not sure that this was the right way to deal with it, but I can understand his frustration.
We have a newly released deleted scene from season 5 that hints more about another deceased character: Jon Snow. The scene is a confrontation between Ser Allister Thorne and Tormund Giantsbane in which Thorne makes it clear that he would much rather kill the wildlings than house and feed them. Tormund replies with “You must no longer be in charge then.” Thorne looks appropriately annoyed by this comment, but you can almost see the moment he decides Jon Snow needs to die.
In other news, I hope none of you are too terribly excited about seeing sneak peeks of the coming season because HBO has decided not to release any screeners for the media to view before the season starts. Anywhere. To be perfectly honest, no one should be surprised by this after last year, when the screeners were leaked to the internet. Guess they decided it wasn’t worth the risk. Instead they have very strictly regulated streaming sites for those lucky few who get to see the season before April 24.
One good thing that comes from this will be a lack of spoilers, since way fewer people will have access to the episodes. Now you just have to worry about seeing the episode before those friends on facebook who love to post all about what they just watched. I’ll also ask all of you, before we even begin the season, please, don’t be that person. We all deserve a fair chance to be surprised by what happens.