In one of the more memorable cameos on Game of Thrones, the notoriously foul-mouthed Ian McShane appeared in the show’s sixth season as Septon Ray, a hardscrabble priest who nursed the Hound back to life after Arya left him for dead in Season 4. The Hound’s reappearance was supposed to be a surprise, so some fans were up in arms when, before Season 6 began, McShane did everything but stand on his chair, cup his hands in front of his mouth, and scream that the Hound was returning. Now that Season 6 has come and gone, what does McShane think about those fans’ reactions? McShane opened up opened up to Vulture.
They take it very seriously, some people. Dear God! I mean, I didn’t have to sign one of those contracts where you don’t talk about it. And on the other hand, if you tease it up, more people will watch it. So it wasn’t exactly bad publicity for HBO, you know?
It’s interesting to learn that McShane did not sign a nondisclosure agreement about Season 6, so it seems he was within his rights to be a bit more chatty than other actors on the show. After all, how would HBO punish him for spoiling things? It’s not like the show could hang his character again.
They said, ‘It’s a good, juicy, one-episode part that has a big monologue, and we’d love you to go and do it. I didn’t want to do the whole thing, the whole series. It’s a good plot. I got hung. I’m out of there, man.
With children and grandchildren who are fans of the show, McShane took the role “[s]eriously enough to be quite good at it, but not seriously enough to think ‘Game of Thrones’ is gonna change my life.” McShane’s appearance, although brief, was a highlight of Season 6, so it’s hard to argue that McShane did not give the role his all. Still, his attitude stands in humorous contrast to the more reverent tone sometimes taken by other actors on the show.