Production on Season 7 of Game of Thrones has begun, and the first tender morsel of casting information has been served, wrapped in grape leaves and roasted over a fire in its own juices. According to Entertainment Weekly, Jim Broadbent, the veteran British stage and screen actor, has been cast in a “significant” role.
So, WHAT ROLE IS IT? Answer: I don’t know. But we can guess.
Essos-based characters are likely out, with Dany now heading west and all. Broadbent’s age narrows down the choices even further. Over in Westeros, the only place we haven’t really seen yet is Oldtown, in the southern Reach, home of the Citadel. You know, the place with the big library where Sam just arrived at the end of Season 6.
Let’s run down the possible suspects. (Warning: This will be mildly spoilery.)
Marwyn the Mage
Marwyn is a well-traveled maester whose expertise in foreign deities, dragons, and magic, and his propensity for keeping the company of sellswords, whores, and weird outlanders has earned him a disreputable reputation within the Citadel. He’s the Rust Cohle of Oldtown. Marwyn is perhaps the only maester to have earned a mask, ring, and rod of Valyrian Steel.
Walgrave’s treatise on ravens, Black Wings, Swift Words, is the landmark work on the subject of ravencraft. He is very old and suffers from dementia.
Some amalgam of Marwyn, Walgrave, and other minor archmaesters of the Citadel
In addition to Marwyn and Walgrave, the books mention several minor archmaesters.
King Aerys “The Mad” Targaryen
The rolling Tower of Joy flashbacks from Season 6 filled us in on Jon’s Targaryen lineage. But there’s a lot we still don’t know. What was the nature of Rhaegar and Lyanna’s relationship? Was it romance or was it a kidnapping and a sexual assault? How did it begin? There were rumors that Rhaegar, along with a coterie of loyal lords, was plotting to overthrow his father. Expect more Mad King in coming seasons.
Lord Jon Connington
Jon Connington is an exiled Westerosi lord and former close friend of Rhaegar’s. If Connington was going to appear in the show, it would have likely happened by now, but just in case … the less said about him, the better.
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.