If the Harry Potter movie franchise became known for casting more or less every well-known older British actor around, Game of Thrones is making a concerted effort to do the same. HBO's prestige historical fantasy series has so far featured the likes of Sean Bean, Julian Glover, Charles Dance, Jonathan Pryce and Ian McShane - though, as is the case with many of the show's actors, these featured appearances often end with their characters being horribly killed.
Now another well-known face from British TV and cinema is joining the cast of Game of Thrones in the upcoming seventh season: Jim Broadbent, a beloved character actor who has appeared in films like Hot Fuzz and Bridget Jones Diary - not to mention playing Professor Horace Slughorn in the Harry Potter movies.
The casting news was broken by Entertainment Weekly, along with the claim that Broadbent's character will play a "significant" role in season 7. He is the first new actor to join for season 7, and is an excellent addition to an already stellar cast. Unfortunately, we don't yet know which character Broadbent will be playing, though he does fit this description from the leaked casting call:
Priest, in his 60’s. He’s a venerable priest with moral authority and gravitas. The show is seeking a white actor, using an RP accent, with characterful face for this part. He’s scheduled to shoot one week, from September 22nd.
Though readers of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels might be able to speculate about Broadbent's character (one popular guess is Marwyn, the archmaester of the Citadel), it could very well be the case that he's playing someone who hasn't appeared in the books yet. Game of Thrones overtook its source material in season 6, and author George R.R. Martin is still working on his sixth novel, The Winds of Winter, with no news yet as to when it will be published. It could be before Game of Thrones season 7 arrives, giving the fanbase an idea of what to expect on the show... or it may not be published until after Game of Thrones is all wrapped up.
If Broadbent is indeed playing the character mentioned in the casting call (he does have a "characterful face," after all), then filming for just one week suggests he will not be in the show for very long. He could be "significant" in the way that Ian McShane's character, Brother Ray, was significant: playing a brief but pivotal role in another character's story arc. Whoever he's playing, though, Broadbent is sure to be entertaining in the role.
Game of Thrones will return for its seventh season in the summer of 2017 on HBO.
Source: Entertainment Weekly