Skip to main content

Ian McShane is joining the cast of Game of Thrones

ian mcshane
Crack open some peaches, Deadwood fans. Ian McShane is joining the cast of Game of Thrones.

The Emmy-nominated actor who made obscenities sound positively Shakespearean in the aforementioned Western drama will play an unspecified role in the upcoming sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, according to EW. The report indicates that McShane will have “a relatively small amount of screen time during the season, yet his character is of key importance.”

McShane, who won a Golden Globe Award to go along with the Primetime Emmy nomination he received for playing saloon owner Al Swearengen on Deadwood, most recently had a recurring role on the Showtime television series Ray Donovan, as well as appearing in the Keanu Reeves action thriller John Wick, and the latest installment of Disney’s pirate franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Production is already underway on Season 6 of Game of Thrones, which is expected to blaze a new narrative trail in the saga adapted from George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. With the fifth season bringing the television series more or less up to date with the novels, and the next book still being written, the television adaptation will lead the way when it premieres next year.

Early speculation about who McShane will play has run rampant, including rumors that he could potentially play one of Theon Greyjoy’s uncles, including the mad Euron Greyjoy, or possibly Victarion, leader of the Iron Fleet, while others have him pegged as cunning military strategist Randyll Tarly, Samwell’s cruel father.

Slated to run 10 episodes, the sixth season of Game of Thrones is expected to premiere in the spring of 2016. HBO’s president of programming recently confirmed that the series will last for at least eight seasons, with the possibility of more seasons or a prequel series on top of the network’s current plans for the show.

Editors' Recommendations

Rick Marshall
A veteran journalist with more than two decades of experience covering local and national news, arts and entertainment, and…
How House of the Dragon saved Game of Thrones’ tarnished legacy
Alicent and Rhaenyra clutch each other in House of the Dragon.

May 19, 2019, is a date branded on the pop culture lexicon. The finale to Game of Thrones, the television phenomenon that single-handedly revitalized the fantasy genre and redefined what "event television" meant, aired to the collective disappointment of millions of fans. The show's decline in quality had begun in season 7, with some questionable choices happening as far back as season 5, but the train wreck that was season 8 was beyond words. Consistency went out the window in favor of spectacle, resulting in a rushed season that reduced the world's greatest TV show into a sad shadow of its former self.

The controversial finale put a seemingly permanent stain on Game of Thrones. In the years leading up to its conclusion, HBO expressed interest in creating a franchise based around George R. R. Martin's World of Ice and Fire. However, the episode's terrible reception put the network's plan in doubt, with many wondering if the Game of Thrones brand was in a healthy enough place to support a franchise. Things got worse when the first spinoff, starring Naomi Watts, got unceremoniously axed -- even after shooting a $30 million pilot -- spelling doom for the would-be franchise. Alas, not all was lost; GoT still had an ace up its sleeve, and it was called House Targaryen.
Mother of Dragons

Read more
Game of Thrones deserves to be a great video game like Elden Ring
Tyrion and Daenerys on Dragonstone with Rhaegal and Drogon on either side.

After the generational success that Game of Thrones brought the overall HBO brand, the face of original premium TV has begun a broader expansion of the dark fantasy world of author George R. R. Martin with House of the Dragon. The prequel has reinvigorated the strengths of the flagship show, with more projects underway -- including the Jon Snow-led sequel series. But aside from more TV prequels and a sequel, as ambitious as that all sounds, the video game medium should be something else that's at least on HBO and Martin's radar.

Given the tumultuous merger between Warner Bros. and Discovery, it's hard to say what the likes of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment will look like in the near or distant future, but the world of A Song of Ice and Fire is teeming with a mythology that would lend itself well to gaming. Whether it's through the roleplaying or real-time strategy genres, there are plenty of avenues developers can take this IP.
The Elden Ring factor

Read more
The 10 most powerful Game of Thrones characters ever, ranked
Daenerys and Jon meeting together in her room.

House of the Dragon ended its hugely successful first season with an episode that included everything, from plots to steal the Iron Throne to dragon battles and a violent death. In short, it was just another day in Westeros. Yes, House of the Dragon was a resounding success, but it owes much of it to Game of Thrones. The show that single-handedly revived the fantasy genre and redefined what the word "spectacle" meant in television, GoT was a game-changer.

The show conquered fans' and critics' hearts with a successful mix of political intrigue and good, old-fashioned drama; there was nothing like it on television or film. Game of Thrones featured a seemingly endless parade of morally-dubious characters vying to seat on a pointy chair, and we couldn't get enough of them. Indeed, the pursuit of power was at the heart of GoT, with every major player wanting to get their share of the glory. But what is power in Westeros? Varys said it best: it's an illusion, a shadow on the wall. And these characters certainly cast a very large shadow. Whether because of their resources, armies, gold, or charm, these figures were the most powerful in Westeros and the beating heart of the game of thrones.
10. Jon Snow

Read more