The good people at HBO are midway through filming Game of Thrones S6, and not yet finished casting. The latest casting notice that has reached fandom is for a 50-something white guy to play a haggard-looking lord. Who might this one be?
Below the jump is what I call “news” and what many other fans call SPOILERS:
He’s the lord of a noble house, described as intelligent, wry, incisive and articulate. He’s “a hard man and a realist.” Game of Thrones is searching for an actor who is “great with language and who has a lot of wattage.” They mention that he has a good and long scene in which it’s mostly the haggard-looking lord talking the entire time.
Most of the comment-section discussion seems centered on Northern lords who haven’t yet been featured on the show, and okay, there are some. I don’t really remember Robett Glover, but I remember Wyman Manderly, who would not be described as “haggard” so much as “enormously fat,” but he’s a realist, an intelligent man, and he has interesting things to say. Maybe the new guy is a composite of Manderly and Glover? The context of S6 is different from the books in such a way that we don’t really need Manderly for plot purposes, but for a good speech, we might see some of Manderly’s ideas show up.
What if we’re not dealing with a Northern lord, though? There are other parts of the realm that’ll show up in S6. Another juicy bit of news to come up in the vacuum that Girona left behind is this business of a new castle on a river:
The castle is located by a river, and has a drawbridge. The most interesting part is over the entryway of the castle is a trout. The sigil of House Tully is a trout. The Tully castle Riverrun is located waterside and has a drawbridge.
I’m inclined to agree: the new castle is Riverrun. The trout tells us enough. This is the Occam’s Razor-friendly explanation. The only other noble House I can think of with a fish sigil is Mooton (salmon), the family in charge of Maidenpool, which is a town, not just a castle seated along a river. There could, of course, be other Riverlands families who built their castles along rivers, but the Tullys are the only House I can think of who use a fish for their sigil. Let’s just assume it’s Riverrun.
And this fits! We’re long overdue for a follow-up on the Freys, so we appear to getting one (David Bradley appears to be present for filming this year), but that means we should also be getting a follow-up on the Tullys. With the deaths of Catelyn Stark and Lysa Arryn, House Tully is down to that ridiculous dimwit Edmure Tully, last seen bedding his pretty Frey bride (and they’ve been holding him prisoner ever since) and badass Uncle Brynden. It would be helpful to see how Brynden and his numbskull nephew are holding up since the Freys screwed them over.
(I’m not too fond of Edmure. Can’t imagine why that would be.)
What happened with Riverrun in the books is that the Small Council assigned the castle and its lands to Walder Frey’s second son, Emmon Frey, who represents everything the Freys have to offer the Seven Kingdoms. I suppose Emmon is preferable to his jackass father in that Emmon is too pathetic to do much damage to anything. Anyway, we get the new reign of Lord Emmon from Jaime’s POV in A Feast for Crows, and the time we spend at Riverrun is fun to read because a) it’s Jaime’s POV, and b) Emmon is Jaime’s uncle by marriage, and we get to meet the fabulous and amazing Aunt Genna Lannister.
It would be so awesome if we got to see Aunt Genna on Game of Thrones, but we probably won’t, because she’s tricky to fit in among all the other characters, and anyway, we don’t even know to what extent Jaime is involved in the follow-up on the Freys and Tullys. Since he has no more than episodes 7-10 to spend north of the Crownlands, for all we know we could be seeing the Freys and Tullys interacting without an intermediary from the Throne. Since S6 is showing us a very different context from what we saw in AFfC, we can’t assume anything is going to happen the same way as in the books.
How are these two pieces of news related, you might be asking? To own the truth, they may not be related at all, but since I saw the casting notice for the new lord, I’ve been thinking maybe he’s a Riverlands lord rather than a Northerner. In the North, we already have the Boltons, the Umbers and Karstarks. We’ll also be dealing with the wildlings, and I suspect Littlefinger may also bring the Vale knights into the mix. In the Riverlands, we have the Freys and now probably the Tullys, and is that it?
The books have already supplied us with possible candidates for Riverlanders who may be involved in addition to the Freys and Tullys. Most of what I remember of Lords Bracken and Blackwood is them telling Jaime: “You should take Lord Blackwood’s daughter as a hostage; he really loves her!” (Jaime takes Blackwood’s tall, nerdy son Hoster as a hostage, who seems really excited about moving to the Red Keep) “Lord Bracken thinks he’s such a big man, but he doesn’t have any boy children, so who’s the big man now?” “Oh, Lord Bracken, how many daughters do you have? Five, is it? I’ll be taking one of them as a hostage. Send her to the Red Keep within the year. She’ll be an attendant to my sister.” There are other noble Houses in the Riverlands, is all I’m saying, and maybe, just maybe, HBO is casting the lord of one of those families. He doesn’t sound like Emmon Frey, but he could occupy a Blackwood-type position.