Game of Thrones, HBO’s sweeping fantasy series that takes place in the fictional land of Westeros and across the Narrow Sea to Essos, follows multiple storylines and characters. While the show’s season 5 finale left viewers wondering about the fates of certain characters, some fan-favorites included, one main character sat out the entirety of Game of Thrones’ fifth season.
Last viewers saw Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), he had followed a three-eyed raven north of The Wall with Hodor (Kristian Nairn), Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick). In the season 4 finale, Bran met the human form of Three-Eyed Raven amongst the roots of a weirwood tree. Now, the Three-Eyed Raven will return for season 6 along with Bran.
EW is reporting that Max von Sydow (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Exorcist) has been cast in Game of Thrones, replacing Struan Rodger, who played the Three-Eyed Raven in the season 4 finale. In addition to von Sydow, Game of Thrones recently added Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) to the sixth season in an as-yet-undisclosed role.
In George R. R. Martin’s book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, the Three-Eyed Raven (referred to as the Three-Eyed Crow) teaches Bran about greensight (having prophetic dreams) and skinchanging (entering the mind of another being, usually and animal); skinchangers are also referred to as wargs. In the most recent novel, “A Dance With Dragons”, Bran meets the Three-Eyed Raven and learns to strengthen and use his abilities.
Since Bran’s storyline from season 4 encompassed at least half of the character’s path from “A Dance with Dragons”, Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff explained that they put his story on hold so that the other characters’ plotlines could catch up. Additionally, Hempstead-Wright recently mentioned Bran will have “some interesting visions,” so season 6 will seemingly follow Bran’s remaining story from A Dance with Dragons.
However, since Benioff said Bran’s training wouldn’t be “particularly cinematic,” the Stark may likely return in season 6 as a fully-fledged warg and seer. Still, the recasting of von Sydow as the Three-Eyed Raven confirms Bran will interact with his mentor – to what extent, though, is unclear. With EW not expecting von Sydow to have very much screen time, the Three-Eyed Raven may not appear as much as fans would hope, but will play a role in Bran’s development on Game of Thrones nonetheless.
Game of Thrones season six is expected to premiere on HBO in spring 2016.