Yes, I CAN nerd around with cast lists!

Someone at Watchers posted the stub for Season 6 Episode 1 that just popped up on HBO, and I got a little excited over it. For context, there are the cast lists shown for first episodes of previous seasons.

HBO doesn’t seem to have the same information posted for the very first episode, but starting with Season 2, we get:

Season 2 Episode 1, cast list!

Actors: Iain Glen, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Richard Madden, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jack Gleeson, Ron Donachie, Aidan Gillen, Charles Dance, Alfie Allen, Jerome Flynn, Rory McCann, Conleth Hill

Ron Donachie. He played Ser Rodrik Cassel, and I don’t recall ever seeing his name in the opening credits. No mention of any other guest actors.

There’s nothing for Season 3, but for Season 4, we get:

Actors: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jack Gleeson, Charles Dance, Alfie Allen, Jerome Flynn, Rory McCann, Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Sibel Kekilli, Carice van Houten, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Natalie Dormer, Rose Leslie, Stephen Dillane, Ciaran Hinds, Diana Rigg

I think those are all full cast members except for Ciaran Hinds and Diana Rigg. No mention of Pedro Pascal, though he was pretty amazing.

Game-Thrones-Comic-Con-Panel-2014

Season 5, Episode 1, the cast list is:

Actors: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen, Jerome Flynn, Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Carice van Houten, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Dillane, Michael McElhatton, Kristofer Hivju, Iwan Rheon, Diana Rigg, Indira Varma, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michiel Huisman, Tom Wlaschiha, Jonathan Pryce, Alexander Siddig, Deobia Oparei, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Jessica Henwick, Nell Tiger Free, Toby Sebastian

So, basically, the entire main cast for the whole season, plus guest actors Diana Rigg, Jonathan Pryce, and the entire Dorne crew, including Myrcella. No mention of Charles Dance playing a corpse. There’s no Dean-Charles Chapman, though he got opening-credits status for playing Tommen. It’s possible that someone simply forgot to list him because he didn’t make much of an impression and his agent was asleep on the job.

Season 6, Episode 1, we have a list!

Actors: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Aidan Gillen, Iain Glen, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Alfie Allen, Jerome Flynn, Conleth Hill, John Bradley, Carice van Houten, Gwendoline Christie, Liam Cunningham, Natalie Dormer, Michael McElhatton, Kristofer Hivju, Iwan Rheon, Diana Rigg, Indira Varma, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michiel Huisman, Tom Wlaschiha, Jonathan Pryce, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Hannah Murray, Dean-Charles Chapman

So what’s new? We still have Diana Rigg and Jonathan Pryce listed along with the main cast, and we still have Indira Varma, but there’s no mention of the rest of the Dorne crew. We know we’re getting something of the Sand Snakes, but their names don’t appear. You know what’s actually interesting here? We get Kit Harington’s name, even though we’re expected to believe he’s not coming back. We do NOT get Stephen Dillane’s name, which is to be expected when his character is really dead.

I’m perhaps a tiny bit annoyed that Daniel Portman, Jacob Anderson and Finn Jones still don’t have full cast status. They’ve more than earned it by now.

Looking at all these, I don’t think there’s any particular pattern to how HBO chooses to do their cast lists for each season of Game of Thrones. They give us all or nearly all the full cast members, plus perhaps a few carefully selected guest actors. I think last year they were trying to get us all excited about Dorne, and they’ve since figured out it didn’t work, so they’re pulling back on that. We’re still getting Dorne stuff happening because the plot needs to follow up on Myrcella’s murder, but HBO isn’t so eager to devote valuable space to promoting Dorne. They don’t seem to be drawing attention to the Riverlands Reunion, either.

For a moment there, I kind of thought the list for S6Ep1 would tell us who was appearing in the episode, and then I realized EVERYONE was appearing, and that made me nervous. Now I see that was a bad assumption, and this is the cast list for the full season, so I still don’t quite know who’s appearing in the first episode, aside from the folks shown in the production stills. I still don’t know if Littlefinger, Jorah and Daario will be in the first episode, and for now I’m thinking probably not.

This is the news: Kit Harington is still there. Stephen Dillane is gone.