During the desolate months when Game Of Thrones is off the air, fans can only amuse themselves with avid theorizing about any tantalizing information surrounding the upcoming season. HBO and the show's creators (David Benioff and Dan Weiss) are notoriously secretive, which only makes fans more fervent in their speculation. For the first time since the series began, book readers and show watchers are in the same state of unknowing - given the deviations from the original material in season 5 and the show having (mostly) caught up with George R.R. Martin's published work.
Most recently, it is the casting of new actors that are inspiring these deliberations. The vast world of Game Of Thrones is an ample reservoir of unique and exciting characters that attract notable acting talent to its ranks - the latest being the versatile Richard E. Grant, who will apparently be joining the show for season 6.
The Watchers On The Wall have astutely noticed that the show has been added to Grant's many Television credits listed on his ARG Talent Agency Resume; Variety has since confirmed that Grant's joining Game of Thrones for its sixth season. This enticing piece of information is a surprise, as no official casting announcement has been made and there is no particular episode or director listed. Therefore, the character he will play and the size of his role is very much unknown.
Grant is an actor that has managed to seamlessly flip between film, television and theater throughout his career. His recent T.V credits include Doctor Who, Downton Abby and a hilarious turn in another of HBO's shows, Girls. Grant is one of five new actors reportedly cast for Game Of Thrones season 6, including Freddie Stoma (Dickon Tarly), Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy), Max Von Sydow (who is replacing Struan Rodger as the Three Eyed Raven), and Ian McShane whose role is also unknown.
Spies have reported the filming of key Greyjoy story lines in Northern Ireland, confirming Game of Thrones season six will in some way cover plots missing from season 5 (featured in Martin's "A Dance Of Dragons"). A prominent Greyjoy character that could suit Grant is Aeron Greyjoy, uncle to Theon and priest of the Drowned God. It is also possible with Samwell Tarly headed for Oldtown via Horn Hill, that Grant could be lined up to play the Archmaester of the Citadel or even Samwell's father.
The Independent is reporting a casting call from the show that may also be prudent to consider:
'Grand Theatre Actor/Manager (55 – 70) The larger-than-life leader of a troupe of actors. He specializes in portraying drunken aristocrats. He is a huge presence on stage and rather nasty to his company when off-stage.'
The truth is, any yet to be seen character within the same age range as Grant could be possible at this point, including the very slim chance of a cut book character, such as surprise Targaryen guardian, Jon Connington, who could fit the bill nicely. (This is a wildcard guess as one of this character's key story lines has already been given to Jorah Mormont, instead.) Still, with book fans disappointed that many of Tyrion's adventures on the road to Meereen along with some important Dorne story lines having been skimmed over or cut, revisiting this material in another form, shouldn't necessarily be ruled out.
Educated guesses about Grant's character are hit and miss under the circumstances of the show heading into un-written territory. It is possible that any further fan theories supported by the books are moot from this point onward and the actor could play someone we have no prior knowledge of. Chances are, we will not be enlightened any further until season 6 airs.
Game of Thrones Season 6 will premiere on HBO in 2016.