Warning: Thar be book spoilers. Some of these character descriptions and discussions below reveal book characters not yet introduced in the HBO series. Leave now if you don’t want to know more!
Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have teased big deviations from George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire source novels going into the show’s sixth season (as it seems like Season 5 will tackle most of the major plots from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons — the most recently published book). As part of that, book readers have assumed that a major storyline from AFFC has been erased from the series, as part of Weiss and Benioff’s desire to streamline the narrative: the goings-on at House Greyjoy and Pyke.
Game of Thrones waited until Season 5 to really introduce Dorne and the stories there, using Oberyn Martell (and his death) as a bridge to orient viewers with this realm of Westerns that had heretofore not been explored. And now, a leaked cast list, which found its way to the Game of Thrones fansite Watchers on the Wall, seems to suggest something similar may happen with Reek/Theon Greyjoy and Pyke.
In the past, HBO has put character names on the casting list, but since it always gets out, this year, there are just general descriptions of characters, although they still suggest plenty. (It’s also worth noting that while these lists are unconfirmed, in the past they have revealed characters that do end up being part of the show, so this is not necessarily just wish fulfillment).
As for the potential Season 6 characters, one role is described as a “pirate who has terrorized the seas all around the world. Cunning, ruthless, with a touch of madness.” The role also suggests it will be a major character. There have been some rumors that Theon’s uncle Euron Greyjoy may be joining the cast, and this seems like the most likely candidate here.
Further, in “The Gift,” it seemed like Sam and Gilly might not be making that journey to Oldtown and beyond, like they do in the books (with several scenes happening at the Wall instead of on the way). However! Another character description reads: “Father, aged 50s to 60s, he’s one of the greatest soldiers in Westeros — a humorless martinet, severe and intimidating. He demands martial discipline in the field and in his home.”
The role is also described as key to a protagonist’s storyline, which all seems to add up to it being Randyll Tarly, Sam’s terrible father. The fact that Stannis brought him up this season seems to suggest that the show is laying some groundwork for him appearing, which is really great news. A few more new cast positions (mother, sister, brother) may also be Tarly family members.
Several other mysterious roles for a priestess, fierce warrior, and a leading actress in a theater company could be new characters, or combinations of book characters. Another cast grouping calls for three boys with very specific descriptions — does that perhaps portend another flashback, like the one at the beginning of Season 5? Are these possibly visions of the past that Bran will access as the admin of weirwood.net?
So, book folk: who do you think these characters may be, and are there any you are particularly excited about or hope show up? (Even if they aren’t listed here). Do you think incorporating the Pyke storyline is a good idea, or no? And if you were able to pick a flashback scene for the series to do, what would it be?