HBO has announced two additions to the season six cast of Game of Thrones: Ian McShane and Max von Sydow.
The show, which garnered twenty-four Primetime Emmy Awards nominations this year, has McShane in an undisclosed role and von Sydow playing the Three-Eyed Raven.
This will be McShane’s return to HBO after his role in Deadwood. Sources tell EW that he has a small amount of screen time, but his role is significant in the overall narrative of the season, which is moving into territory covered in George R.R. Martin’s yet-to-be-published books in the series.
Von Sydow, who also has a role in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, replaces Struan Rodger in the role of the Three-Eyed Raven. This casting certainly implies a story arc to feature Bran Stark, who was absent from season five. Actor Isaac Hempstead confirmed to the Irish Examiner that he is coming back to the show: “I can’t say a lot, but I am back this season, and it’s going to get particularly interesting with Bran,” Wright said. “He has some interesting visions.”
At the Television Critics Association Summer Tour, HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo discussed plans for the show’s end, which at this point seems to be the eighth season.
“Obviously we’re shooting season six now, hopefully discussing seven,” Lombardo said. “I think their feeling is we’re looking at two more seasons after six. I’m hoping they’ll change their minds, but that’s what we’re looking at right now.”
The show is set to return in Spring 2016 with ten episodes.