Ian McShane isn’t the only well-known actor joining the cast of Game of Thrones next season. He’ll now be joined by veteran actor Max von Sydow in the upcoming sixth season of the hit HBO series.
The Oscar-nominated actor, whose career spans more than 65 years of on-screen roles, will play the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran Stark’s mystical tutor in the series, according to EW. The character was briefly seen in an earlier episode of the series, played by a different actor.
Like McShane, Sydow isn’t expected to have a lot of screen time this season, but the roles played by both actors (McShane’s character hasn’t been identified at this point) are said to be key characters in the sixth season’s storyline. Given that the last season brought the television series more or less up to date with George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels — the inspiration for the series — the upcoming season is expected to blaze a new trail for many of the characters.
An actor with more than 150 credited roles on his résumé, von Sydow is probably best known to cinephiles for his performances in 1973’s The Exorcist, 1980’s live-action Flash Gordon movie, 2002’s sci-fi adventure Minority Report, or his portrayal of knight Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film The Seventh Seal (the first of 11 collaborations with Bergman). Von Sydow has been nominated for two Academy Awards, first for his portrayal of Lassefar in the 1987 film Pelle the Conqueror, and then again as “the renter” in the 2012 movie Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (pictured above).
Sydow will also appear in the upcoming Star Wars sequel Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens.
The sixth season of Game of Thrones is already in production, with an expected premiere date in spring 2016. Earlier this week, HBO’s president of programming confirmed that the network is planning for at least eight seasons of the series, with additional seasons — and a potential prequel — possible if it makes sense for the network and creative team.