Avid viewers of ABC's Nashville already know Michiel Huisman as music producer Liam McGuinnis; Treme enthusiasts may be even more familiar with him based on his excellent, long-standing work on that series, as well, to say nothing of his blink-and-you'll miss them appearances in films like World War Z and Black Book. Next year, though, Huisman will expand his repertoire - and his fan base - by taking a role in season 4 of HBO's Game of Thrones.
The young Dutch actor joins David Benioff's and D.B. Weiss' acclaimed series in the wake of arguably its most shocking season yet, though there has been no indication given as to what capacity he'll be performing on the show - or even which storylines he'll figure into. His character remains as-yet unspecified, though the secrecy surrounding his casting may hint at the duties he'll be given in the next installment of HBO's fantasy saga.
TV Line reports that only one thing certain about Huisman's part in Game of Thrones is that it's recurring - though in the lands of Westeros, that could mean he sticks around for multiple seasons or just one. For Huisman's many admirers, of course, his presence on the show is probably exciting enough, regardless of his tenure.
More importantly, the fact that he and HBO are both keeping mum about who he'll be playing should breed intense speculation regarding his involvement in the coming months. The climax of season 3 saw the loss of numerous characters, which means that there's now a lot of room for audiences to meet new players in the War of the Five Kings.
At this point we can safely pinpoint who Huisman won't be portraying; Game of Thrones has already cast its Oberyn Martell , who represents the most significant addition to the series' ensemble, as well as its Styr. Few characters remain to be introduced in the conflicts encompassing A Storm of Swords, the second half of which will be covered in season 4, so it's possible that Huisman will play someone who first pops up in A Feast For Crows, the fourth book in George R.R. Martin's epic literary franchise - but that still leaves a wide expanse of possibilities for Huisman.
[Note: minor spoilers lie ahead for those who haven't read the novels]
The villainous Walder Frey still has sons that need to be cast, after all, and there are additional Martells - not to mention bit players like the Kettleblack brothers and Symon Silver Tongue (maybe the most appropriate choice, given Huisman's experience playing musicians) - who haven't debuted onscreen just yet. The hush-hush nature of the announcement, though, seems to imply that Huisman has very important things to do in coming events, and all of these characters are quite secondary.
If Benioff and Weiss do plan on jumping into A Feast For Crows as part of their plan to finish the series in eight seasons total, then it's entirely possible that he'll be bringing Euron Greyjoy - Theon's wicked, eye-patch-wearing uncle - to life, or depicting Arys Oakheart, the Kingsguard knight assigned to protect Myrcella Baratheon on her journey to Dorne. It should be stressed that this is purely hypothetical and not at all guaranteed - but it's valid to question why details regarding Huisman's participation are being kept under lock and key.
We'll know for sure what he's up to in Game of Thrones at least by next year, when season four airs, but for now, it's an exciting mystery. What do you think, Screen Ranters? Who has Huisman been tapped to play by HBO?
[UPDATE: in a humdrum turn of events, THR reports that Huisman actually won't be playing a new character at all, and will instead replace British actor Ed Skrein as Yunkish mercenary and ardent Daenerys worshiper Daario Naharis.]
Game of Thrones season 4 will premiere in Spring 2014 on HBO.
Source: TV Line