Well folks, winter is coming, and that means that Game of Thrones will be filming and returning to HBO before you know it. After having cast most of the minor characters thus far, the one I’ve most been wondering about has also finally been cast. I speak of none other than Mance Rayder, the self proclaimed King Beyond the Wall. Mance is a deserter from the Night’s Watch (who kept his head) who went to live with the Free Folk (Wildlings) North of the wall and has now unified them as one… something Lord Commander Mormont and the other brothers of the Night’s Watch have a bit of a problem with.
The character of Mance Rayder to me was a very charismatic one in the third novel of the Song of Ice and Fire. And even though I pictured him being a bit younger than Lord Commander Mormont or Quorin Halfhand, I’m liking the selection of actor they picked to portray the Wildling king. That actor is none other than Ciarán Hinds, star of HBO’s Rome where he played Julius Caesar and many other movies including’;Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance and John Carter.
Hinds is definitely no light weight and if he can portray Julius Caesar in a TV show then he should have no problem playing the man leading the Wildlings. As I said I didn’t picture Hinds as Mance but he’ll definitely have the presence to do things right. A lot of things have occurred on the show that were slightly different than what I imagined from the book, but for the most part I’ve loved them. I can’t imagine if they’d left the Battle of Black Water Bay occurring in the day time, it just wouldn’t have looked as epic.
On top of the other casting selections made during Comic Con, it looks as if the cast is pretty much rounded out… at least for the first half of book three. It looks as if they may be breaking the third book up into two seasons since there are still notable characters missing. Diana Rigg has been cast to play Lady Olenna Tyrell, also known ominously as “The Queen of Thorns” in what is one of the more interesting characters in the series. Although she has been cast, the role of Mace Tyrell, the patriach of House Tyrell has not been cast yet.
Other roles that have been cast include Jojen and Meera Reed, Brynden “The Black Fish” Tully, Edmure Tully, Orell, Missandei, Shireen Baratheon, Selyse Baratheon, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, Tormund Giantsbane, Qyburn and Anguy. None of the roles I just mentioned are particularly big roles, but alot of the characters are pretty bad ass and I think everyone will enjoy their screen time when it occurs. A lot of us novel readers will notice that a handful of the characters were noticeably absent from season 2 including Edmure Tully and Brynden Tully. Whether this was due to pacing and time constraints who knows, but I’m sure they’ll fit everyone in somehow in the coming season. For a complete list of new cast members, check out this link at Entertainment Weekly and stay tuned for more casting in Game of Thrones season 3!