Filming on Thrones is set to wrap in Northern Ireland tomorrow, after which there will be only a few weeks of “beyond the Wall” filming in Iceland. With the casting of Rattleshirt, that contingent of characters has now been filled. So I think we can say with assurance that the season two cast for Game of Thrones is now complete.
However, those who’ve read A Clash of Kings may notice some prominent characters absent from the cast list. Let’s take a look at those characters and discuss whether we think we will see them eventually, or if they are at risk of (gulp) being cut from the series entirely.
Edmure & Hoster Tully: Well, as we speculated, the Trout looks to be out of season two. Recent reports of filming confirms this as Jaime remains a captive of Robb within his war camp; he’s not being held in the Riverrun dungeons. I suspect that season three will open with Robb and Co. arriving at Riverrun, setting the stage for the introduction of Hoster, and more importantly, Edmure Tully.
Brynden “Blackfish” Tully: But what about the Blackfish? The Blackfish is a fan favorite character, so his exclusion from season one was met with some disappointment. Now it looks like he will sit out season two as well. The big question on everyone’s mind now is, will we ever get to see the Blackfish? We have to have an Edmure and Hoster is a small role, easy to cast and include without eating up much screen time. But the Blackfish is the type of peripheral role that could theoretically be cut to save time and to keep the focus on the primary characters. We will have to continue to wait to find out the Blackfish’s ultimate fate.
Jojen & Meera Reed: Ah yes, the Reed siblings. Next to the Blackfish, these have been the most talked about “missing” characters. We’ve been waiting and hoping they would make an appearance in season two, but with filming in Northern Ireland set to wrap tomorrow, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. Still, I wouldn’t give up hope of ever seeing the siblings just yet (I’m looking at you, Julian Walker). I have a feeling the Winterfell plot line may end up being extended into season three, meaning we should get to see our little crannogmen next season.
Reek: And the main reason I think that is because we have had no word on the casting of this character, “Reek” (you book readers should know why I used quotes there). I really can’t see any way they could cut this character without massive changes to the story. So unless they have mysteriously cast this character and aren’t telling us (doubtful, as our spies would have ratted them out by now), I feel pretty confident in saying we will get our Reek next season.
Vargo Hoat: I think we will get a Vargo eventually, he’s too colorful and important a character to cut, but delaying his introduction to season three shouldn’t be too problematic.
Strong Belwas: Another fan favorite character who, like the Blackfish, could face the ultimate cut. Although he is also a colorful and distinct character, he really doesn’t serve a purpose in the story (Vargo has a pretty large role to play). He could still make it in for season three, but if I had to make a wager, I would say he’s out.
Mandon Moore: Any reason the already-cast Meryn Trant couldn’t fill Mandon Moore’s role? Not that I can see. Moore is probably out.
Qyburn: Like his Brave Companion counterpart Vargo Hoat, I suspect this ex-maester will be introduced next season.
Big Walder & Little Walder Frey: Since we have no word of casting on the Walders in Winterfell, I’m assuming these completely superficial characters will be cut from the show.
Queen Selyse, Shireen & Patchface: If they appear at all, they will be featured extras this season. These roles may then get recast later on, if necessary.
Lollys, Falyse & Lady Stokeworth: Same as above.
Mance Rayder: He doesn’t appear until book three, so look for him next season.
Winter is Coming: I know there will be people disappointed in some of these cuts. But if they are reshaping the story the way I think they are, we should still get all the characters we love, just joining the story in a slightly different way.