Richard E. Grant Joins 'Game Of Thrones' Season 6, But Who Will He Be Playing?
There's a new veteran British actor in the Game Of Thrones season six cast: Watchers On The Wall reported on Monday, and Variety has confirmed, that Richard E. Grant has joined Game of Thrones, and it's just another win for the 58-year-old thespian who has been in a number of extremely successful British (and American!) productions: Doctor Who, The Iron Lady, Downton Abbey, Gosford Park, and Girls, stateside. Grant clearly has the chops, but who will he be playing in Westeros? Watchers notes that there are several roles still unfilled for Season 6, and there's one in particular that needs a stately man like Grant: Lord Randyll Tarly.
Randyll Tarly, as in the dear old dad of Samwell and Dickon Tarly. The man so cruel that he threatened to kill his first son Samwell if he did not take the black, and also so cruel that he named a kid Dickon. This is just a wild stab in the dark, since there are several other open roles to fill — as Watchers reports, besides dear ol' dad, there's also Aeron Greyjoy, uncle of Theon/Reek and a priest of the drowned god; Lord Karstark, who could be an entirely new character; Smalljon Umber, who in the book series was killed at the Red Wedding, so the show could deviate; and the members of a theatre troupe, which includes what might be a Dothraki character.
It would make the most sense for Grant to play Randyll Tarly, since the casting announcement of Samwell's younger brother most likely means we will get some more backstory on the past of Jon Snow's BFF. Freddie Stroma will be playing Dickon, who Sam's father favored because he was, well, more lordly, physically fit and all of that — which is why Randyll gave poor Sam the ultimatum to either take the black or "disappear" in a hunting accident, so Dickon could become the heir.
The last time we saw Samwell in Season 5, he was riding off with Gilly and her baby to the Citadel to become a maester, right before the untimely death of the Lord Commander Jon Snow. Even though Snow is dead (or is he? The actor that plays Samwell, John Bradley, is pretty sure he's dead as a doornail), Sam still has a potentially bright future ahead of him. Although "bright" might be too optimistic: though he finally got it on with Gilly, and he is on his way to becoming a maester, he still doesn't know that his best (and only?) friend Jon Snow has been killed by mutineers at the Wall. That's definitely going to bum him out, big time.
We know that Season 6 will go deeper into the histories of the characters and the burdened past of Westeros. Ned Stark is returning to the show in a flashback, and the 13-year-old actor Sebastian Croft was cast earlier this summer to play a young Eddard, which hopefully means more information about Ned's sister Lyanna Stark. (Who might be Jon Snow's real mother. See? It's all connected.) We also don't really know much about anything, when it comes down to it. It's the second major flashback slated for the show, after we saw a young, cold Cersei meet the Witch.
I'd put my bets on Richard Grant playing Randyll Tarly, but there's still so much time between now and Season 6 of Game Of Thrones that he could be playing anyone. We do have our three-eyed Raven, though, so Season 6 will hopefully reveal some sordid secrets of the history of Westeros.