One of the single greatest characters in the history of HBO was Deadwood‘s Al Swearengen. He was a foul-mouthed, quick thinking, manipulative bastard- and we loved him. Swearengen was played brilliantly by English actor Ian McShane, and stole every scene he was in. Now McShane is heading back to HBO, this time for Game of Thrones.
Entertainment Weekly reported on the casting earlier today;
The show’s tight-lipped production will not reveal any details about McShane’s character, who’s coming on board for the most mysterious season yet. Thrones is preparing to dive headlong into narrative territory not yet revealed in author George R.R. Martin’s novels (and despite that opening sentence, McShane’s character could theoretically appear in Westeros or Essos or somewhere in between).
We can tell you, however, that sources say McShane has a relatively small amount of screen-time during the season, yet his character is of key importance.
Well that doesn’t give us much to go on. We can probably eliminate him being a Lannister or Targaryen, but that still leaves plenty of possibilities. He could be a slave trader in Essos, an elder Dothraki (doubtful), or he could be connected to the Martells in Dorne given his darker hair and complexion. We’d like to see him as Sam’s father, Randyll Tarly. Whomever he ends up playing though, expect him to make the most of the dialogue. He was stellar opposite Timothy Olyphant on Deadwood, we can only imagine how fun he’d be jawing with Tyrion and Varys.
If you haven’t seen Deadwood (what the Hell are you waiting for!?!?), you might have seen Mr. McShane in some of his other roles. From the fourth Pirates movie where he played Blackbeard, to recent action hit John Wick, to the much under-appreciated Kings on NBC. Or perhaps you most know him as Andy Sanberg’s step-dad in Hot Rod?
Whatever you know him from, you should recognize what great news this is. Ian McShane is sure to make an impression on the Game of Thrones landscape.
Images: HBO, Paramount Pictures
Source: Entertainment Weekly