With Season Five of “Game of Thrones,” in full swing, most fans are busy watching the newest episodes, criticizing them, praising them, and ultimately, hopefully enjoying them. Even as the season begins to draw to an end, I think we’re all putting off the inevitable fact that there’s another year of waiting for the next season, and enjoying the show as long as it lasts. The writers of “Game of Thrones,” however, are already thinking ahead to the next season and have begun casting actors for Season Six. With the casting list partly released, many have already recognized a few characters from the books, despite the cryptic descriptions that the casting calls offer, and with the fact that several of the characters in question play a major part in upcoming story-lines, it’s hard not to be excited.
The first character to appear on the casting list is one that will make any fan of the Ironborn sit up and take notice. Any reader of the A Song of Ice and Fire worth their salt will read the description, “an infamous pirate who has terrorized seas all around the world. Cunning, ruthless, with a touch of madness,” and immediately think of Euron Greyjoy, Balon Greyjoy’s brother and a major game-changer as far as the Iron Islands are confirmed. With little news from the Iron Islands since Season Two, this is exciting news. Will Balon, who has been precariously in a limbo of uncertain mortality on the show, finally be put to rest thanks to a dangerous bridge and perhaps a little push? More importantly, will there be the long-awaited Kingsmoot? Hopefully, Euron’s inclusion in the show suggests an Iron Islands storyline in Season Six, which will be a lot of fun, if the books are anything to go by.
Next up on the casting list, is a “Father,” whose description reads “aged 50’s to 60’s, he’s one of the greatest soldiers in Westeros- a humorless martinet, severe and intimidating. He demands martial discipline in the field and in his home. It’s described as “a very good part” for next year and that he’s “centrally involved” in a protagonist’s storyline. The description almost certainly fits Samwell Tarley’s ruthless father Randyll Tarley. The “father” is accompanied by a casting call for a “mother,” a “sister,” and a “brother” suggesting Samwell’s entire family will come into play in the next season. This is an interesting direction for the show to go in. One possibility is that Sam abandons the Night’s Watch, taking Gilly to safety with his family. Another possibility is that Randyll Tarley is introduced independently to Sam, perhaps in a way which is related to Stannis Baratheon, given that Stannis had a conversation about Randyll only a few episodes ago. Either way, this is an interesting development.
Another character that is being cast for season six is a “priest” who is an ex-soldier. For book-readers, this characters is recognizable as Septon Meribald, a wandering septon who has several interactions with Brienne of Tarth, suggesting that Brienne might make it through this year’s season to live another day.
After the “priest,” several other characters are listed in the casting call, none of who are immediately obvious in their identities. These characters are titled mysteriously as a “leading actress,” a “priestess,” and a “fierce warrior.” It will be interesting to see if these characters are created for the show, or if they are from the books.
Finally, comes the most ambiguous casting calls which leave a lot up to the imagination, but have provided fans with enough fodder for a great deal of healthy speculation. According to the casting call, HBO is searching for three actors to play a set of boys with extremely specific appearances. One is a “large boy,” another “boy” is described as having brown hair and blue eyes, and the third boy has green eyes and a Northern accent. Many speculate that these boys could be included in a flash-back to earlier times, perhaps when main characters were young. Now that the show is open to using flashbacks, as they have shown with Cersei’s scene as a young girl, it will be interesting to see who else is included in such scenes.
Hopefully, as the year progresses, we will gain more insight into the characters who will be appearing for the first time in season six. Last year, “Game of Thrones,” made introduced several new characters at Comic-con, and perhaps it will be the same case this year. Needless to say, we will probably learn more about what the new season holds in store for us as the year progresses. For now, we should enjoy Season Five while we can, but also get a little excited for Season Six.