Well, my friends, with the fifth season of Game of Thrones three episodes from being finished for its long winter’s nap, the look-ahead to the future and its sixth season is upon us. And this here post is chockablock with speculation and spoilers so if you’re afraid to know what might be coming in the series’ endgame, look away now. Because we’re going deep into book-reader knowledge territory to talk about the new casting breakdowns the show released and trying to figure out what it all means.
Naturally, after last year’s casting notices revealed the fact that we’d be getting a Cersei flashback this season, the production is keeping stuff really vague — but it doesn’t mean these vagaries don’t look like they’re pointing to some pretty particular book doings.
- First up is the search for a large boy to be played by an “actor who is 10-12 but playing 7 or 8. He’s described as ‘a clever boy’ who seems too large for his age. He’s big and tall but not fat. ‘Characterful squat features’ are a plus for this part. It’s specified that this is a one-time appearance.”
- Next up the show is looking for a 12 year old boy “with brown hair and blue eyes. He needs to use a Northern accent. He has scenes where he has to spar with a wooden sword.”
- And last is the 7 year old boy with “dark brown hair, a narrow face, and green eyes. He also has a Northern accent. He also spars with the wooden sword, the description stating that the character is being ‘introduced,'” meaning the duration of the role is at this time unknown.
To us, this reads as the casting for a new flashback — or perhaps a Bran vision from his father’s past. (Weirtree stuff!) Why do we say his father in particular? Well, mostly because Sean Bean (a.k.a. Ned Stark) has green eyes, plus there’s that whole Northern accent requirement thing. We’re less sure about the other two boys, though, because it could go either way, as both Robert Baratheon and Ned’s brother Brandon were considered usually large for their age. Depending on who that clever, large boy is could mean the third lad is either Brandon or Benjen Stark (who we last heard was North of The Wall, missing). We’re sort of leaning towards Brandon and Robert, though.
- Father: “Aged 50s to 60s, 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.”
- Mother: Also in her 50s is considered “a sweet, plump, and adoring mother, and has a soft spot for one of her children who benefits from her decency.”
- Sister: “in her early 20s, she’s a kind, friendly, and unpretentious woman.”
- Brother: “in his early to mid-20s, he’s athletic, a good hunter, an excellent swordsman, manly, not particularly bright but the favorite child of the father.”
Now, book readers know that Randyll Tarly is quite the formidable man — TV viewers also got a nod to this in Stannis Baratheon’s mention of such to Samwell earlier this season — so one this feels all-but-guaranteed. Add to that the fact that Sam has also spoken of his younger, more favorited brother Dickon (for whom Sam was forced to give up his lordship) and this breakdown explicitly states the brother is “the favorite child of the father,” and you can see why we’re fairly certain this is happening.
And that also means we’re likely to see — either at the end of this season or the beginning of the next — Sam and Gilly head off to Oldtown (yay!), one of the largest and in addition to being the oldest city in Westeros and home to the Citadel (where the maesters learn their trade). Heading to The Reach also leads into our speculation regarding the next breakdown:
- Pirate: A man in his 40s to late 50s, this character is “an infamous pirate who has terrorized seas all around the world. Cunning, ruthless, with a touch of madness. He’s a dangerous-looking man,” and the role is considered “a very good part this season.”
This will make a lot of people happy, as it seems to point to the arrival of Euron Greyjoy — uncle to Theon and a fearsome, unpredictable fella with a penchant for war games. And as readers know from A Feast for Crows, Euron raids The Reach (where Oldtown is) to devastating effect in his plight to legitimize his claim as The King of the Isles and the North. He also gives Daenerys Targaryen quite the run for her money. So, you know, it’s all exciting stuff.
- Leading Actress: “in her early 40s, she’s an elegant actress with a traveling theatre company. Fun, charismatic, rum-drinking actress in the troupe.”
- Priestess: “Mid-20s to early 30s. Any ethnicity – she’s beautiful, intense, and magnetic.”
- Fierce Warrior: A “tall man in 30s or 40s with a powerful physique. They’re looking for someone with ‘mixed ethnicity’ for the role.”
Of course they could also relate to Dany’s trek to Westeros (which has her encountering many a varied folk), but we’re fairly certain that, regardless of which character they directly relate to, the “mixed ethnicity” bit all-but points to the stories going on in Essos.
And last but not least, there’s this less-than-vague business:
- Priest: in his 40s or 50s, the priest is considered “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.”
Like most folks on the Internet, we’re pretty sure this is a description of Septon Meribald, given that he’s explicitly referenced as a minster who wanders the countryside ministering to the poor. And it also probably means good things for one lady in particular:
Of course we could be totally off-base with a lot of these — or maybe you, dear readers, have some other ideas as to whom the characters may be. Either way we want to hear what you think.
So let us know in the comments below, won’t you?
Alicia Lutes is the Associate Editor of The Nerdist. Find her on the Tweet Machine @alicialutes.