Although the show will keep filming indoors through February, outdoor shooting on Game of Thrones Season 7 is all but over. Nevertheless, information about the new season continues to leak out. Today, Watchers on the Wall reports that Australian actor Brendan Cowell, 40, will join the cast as an Ironborn warrior.
We can see it.
Cowell has appeared in shows like The Borgias and The Slap, and in movies like To End All Wars and the 2004 version of Salem’s Lot, alongside Rob Lowe. He also has several writing and directing credits. The information about his Game of Thrones role comes from Cowell’s agency resume, which has him playing a character named “Harrag Ironborn” and working under various directors.
There are a couple of characters who go by the name Harrag in George R.R. Martin’s novels. Harrag Sharp, better known as Harrag Sheepstealer, is one of the Ironborn fighters who occupies Winterfell with Theon in A Clash of Kings. He’s killed by Ramsay Bolton’s forces. Harrag Hoare, meanwhile, was an Ironborn king who ruled in the Age of Heroes, long before the series begins. Most likely, showrunners Benioff and Weiss are borrowing the name for an original character.
But just because he’s original doesn’t mean he’s not important. The note about Cowell working “various” directors means that he’ll appear in a minimum of two episodes. (There are four directors working on Season 7 in all.) Watchers thinks Cowell fits the bill for one of the casting breakdowns that leaked back in August of 2016, specifically this one:
"Warrior, 35 – 45 years old. “The character is a tough-looking bruiser with the attack skills of a pit bull, and the actor needs to be great at fighting. He has a ‘considerable’ amount of dialogue as well. It’s described as an ‘excellent part for a top-end actor.’”"
Cowell fits the age range, looks the part, and has the experience to carry off the dialogue. Furthermore, the casting breakdown for this character mentions that the actor will shoot through October. We witnessed a few scenes that fit the bill being filmed around that time. Let’s enter SPOILER territory for a minute.
In October, the production was filming material on Itzurun Beach in the village of Zumaia, in Spain’s Basque Country. The Beach was standing in for Dragonstone, which will become Daenerys’ new base of operations in Season 7. The Ironborn popped up in a couple of scenes, none of which were good for Theon. First, there was a scene when Theon, complete with several Ironborn soldiers, came ashore. Theon reunited with Jon Snow, who seemed none too pleased to see him.
It looks like Jon still hasn’t quite gotten over the whole “You-occupied-my-childhood-home-and-took-my-family-hostage” thing. In any case, Cowell could have been present for this.
Then, a few days later, the production filmed a scene where Theon again was accosted, but this time more intensely, and this time by his own men.
Theon’s own soldiers turning against him…how very Season 2.
As mentioned in that last tweet, director Jeremy Podeswa was on hand for Theon’s beating. He’s directing both the premiere and the finale—per a source at Watchers, this scene is from the finale.
Why are the Ironborn beating up on Theon? It may have something to do with what happens to Yara, but we won’t know the details until the new season airs. Whatever happens, it looks like Cowell will be a part of it.