We are just a two weeks into Game of Thrones season 6, but the massive audience tuning in every Sunday night has already been gifted with one eye-opening return of a certain member of the Night’s Watch. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have shown they’re not afraid to keep shuffling the deck, as season 6 has also already included the on-screen return of Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), who viewers had not seen or heard from since season 4.
On a week-to-week basis, it’s always difficult to predict which characters are likely to receive the spotlight, so it doesn’t come as a major shock to learn that another Stark boy will be making his return to Game of Thrones at some point in season 6. Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on the show, recently confirmed that her on-screen brother, Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson), will make his long-awaited return to the show in some capacity.
In an interview with BBC Radio 1, (via Mashable) Williams joined a long list of actors and directors revealing information that producers perhaps wanted kept undisclosed, in order to surprise audiences when the episode (or highly anticipated Star Wars spinoff movie) was screened for audiences. During the interview, she was asked by a caller whether or not young Rickon (who, by this time is just Rickon) would make an appearance in season 6. Williams replied, "Ye-es," and then "Yes. Maybe," before apparently deciding the cat was out of the bag, and telling the caller, "Yes, we will indeed... Oh no, I'm literally going to get off the air and someone's going to email me!"
Although Williams spilled the beans as it were with regard to Rickon, she neglected to confirm when he would be appearing and with whom -- just that the youngest Stark boy would be appearing at some point in the next few weeks. As you'll likely remember, Rickon parted ways with Bran in the company of Osha and Shaggydog quite some time ago, and unlike his older brother, Rickon’s return to the show never felt like a sure thing. There are a number of ways in which its easy see Bran playing a role in the show’s endgame, so his return was expected, but the role Rickon will play is far less certain, especially as the series heads towards the finale.
Still, it will be interesting to see what Benioff and Weiss have cooked up for Rickon this season (as well as Osha, if she's still in his company). For the showrunners to allocate the most precious resource on the show – time – for the youngest Stark's return, one would think there has to be a good reason behind such a decision.
Game of Thrones season 6 will continue with ‘Oathbreaker’ at 9pm on Sunday, May 8.