[WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Game of Thrones.]
If there's one thing audiences have learned from HBO's Game of Thrones, it's not to get too attached to any of the characters, no matter how long they've been around. For instance, the season 4 finale robbed fans of the great Charles Dance, whose performance as the impossibly demanding patriarch Tywin Lannister was a consistent high point of the show.
The show's creators Dan Weiss and David Benioff significantly altered great chunks of A Clash of Kings for season 2 in order to keep Lord Tywin onscreen - the scenes between Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Tywin never happen in the source material. Still, despite the many changes, when it comes time to deliver some of the most iconic scenes from the books, Game of Thrones has risen to the challenge.
Tywin Lannister's rather undignified end at the hand of his son Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) was no exception. Early reports about season 5 have indicated that while some major plot threads involving important characters will appear, some others may not.
With this in mind, it's difficult to know what to make of Charles Dance's recent comments about his role in the next season. Speaking with MTV to help promote the upcoming Dracula Untold, Dance hinted that we'll be seeing him again after all.
According to Dance:
I'm not completely missing out on the next series. You haven't seen the last of Tywin Lannister.
How exactly could Tywin reappear? The most obvious possibility is that one of the many characters who will remain haunted by Tywin (Cersei, Jaime, Tyrion) could see him in a dream or flashback. A less obvious idea has to do with Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), who in the season 4 finale arrived at the Weirwood tree to meet the Three-Eyed Crow, revealed to be a Child of the Forest (known in the books as the Last Greenseer).
Bran's abilities include a form of clairvoyance called greensight, and as he learns to use them, he is able to see elements of the past and present, including a glimpse of his father Ned Stark as a young man.
Will Tywin show up through Bran's powers somehow? Utilizing Bran's greensight might be an efficient way to keep Tywin around while exploring an aspect of Bran that has been teased since the first season.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO in Spring 2015.