A while back, a casting call for a a couple of unnamed roles on Game of Thrones Season 6 surfaced.
- 12 year old boy, with brown hair and blue eyes. He needs to use a Northern accent. He has scenes where he has to spar with a wooden sword. The length of the role isn’t specified.
- 7 year old boy with dark brown hair, a narrow face and green eyes. He also has a Northern accent. He also spars with the wooden sword, so it’s safe to assume it’s the same scene. This role is similarly open-ended, the description only stating that the character is being ‘introduced.’
At the time, fans speculated that the second role might be a call for a young Ned Stark, what with the mention of a Northern accent, dark brown hair, and green eyes (Sean Bean has brown hair and green eyes). Now, Watchers on the Wall is reporting that these guesses have proven true, as a young actor named Sebastian Croft has been cast as young Ned Stark.
Croft is 13 years old and has a rich theater background. He played Gavroche in a production of Les Miserables, Peter Pan in Peter Pan, and Young Simon Cowell in something called I Can’t Sing, so already he has experience playing the younger versions of noted TV characters.
We note that, while the casting call above calls for a seven-year-old, Croft is 13. This might mean that the role in the casting call wasn’t for Ned Stark, that HBO has decided to go with an older actor (not for the first time), or that the other unnamed role was for Ned Stark, despite the discrepancy in eye color. Whatever. Sebastian Croft is young Ned Stark!
BEGIN SPOILERS AND SPECULATION
How, you might ask, will we get a glimpse of young Ned Stark? Seeing as the production broke its “no flashbacks” rule with the scene involving a young Cersei in “The Wars to Come,” we could simply glimpse him in a flashback.
NO REALLY—TURN BACK IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED
It seems more likely, however, that we’ll see young Ned Stark through Bran’s eyes, as the paraplegic Stark boy learns to see into the past through the eyes of Westeros’ ubiquitous weirwood trees, just as he does in A Dance with Dragons. He might even glimpse young Ned Stark using the same weirdwood tree that old Ned Stark is leaning against in the header image, and everything circles back.