If you’ve been watching USA’s Political Animals then you might see why the folks over at HBO’s Game of Thrones thought Ciarán Hinds would nicely as Mance Rayder, the “King Beyond the Wall” who presides over the Free Folk north of the Wall. In Animals, Hinds plays a Bill Clinton-George Bush hybrid womanizer who miraculously spent two terms as president despite his hard-living lifestyle and lack of common sense. But Hinds is not a stranger to leadership roles nor HBO. Fans of Rome may remember him as Gaius Julius Caesar and he’s shown up recently in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, John Carter, and The Debt. EW broke the news earlier today. If you’re not caught up with GoT, then beware of spoilers below.
The Ireland native will return to his native birthplace of Belfast, where GoT shoots and sets up its production and Rayder is an important piece to the Season 3 puzzle since the Season 2 finale ended with Jon Snow (Kit Harington) taken away for a meeting with Rayder, who was raised by the Night Watch as a youth. He would eventually become a ranger and eventually left the Night Watch Order to be with the Wildings, living in the harsh environment north of the Wall. Rayder’s been spoken about in the first two seasons, but this is the first time we’ll actually see him.
Hinds doesn’t have the physical prowess of other Rome alums like James Purefoy and my personal choice, Ray Stevenson (who was also great in Kill the Irishman) as either one of those actors would have been able to do the physical imposing part of Rayder better. Purefoy is currently in production for the new TV series, The Following and Stevenson is filming Thor: The Dark World. Hinds is also a tad older than I imagined, but there’s no denying Hinds’ experience with playing a man of power and regal prowess.
Hinds will be accompanied by other Thrones rookies, Kristofer Hivju as Rayder’s chief lieutenant Tormund Giantsbane, Mackenzie Crook as wildling warg Orell, Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully, Clive Russell as Bryndon “The Blackfish” Tully, Philip McGinley as archer Anguy, Tara Fitzgerald as Selyse the wife of Stannis Baratheon, Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell AKA “The Queen of Thorns”, Richard Dormer as warrior and leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners Beric Dondarrion, Thomas Brodie-Sangster as a new ally to Bran Stark Jojen Reed, Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed, Kerry Ingram as Stannis Baratheon’s only child Shireen, Nathalie Emannuel as translator Missandei of Naath, Anton Lesser as Qyburn and Paul Kaye as the outlaw Thoros of Myr.
What do you think of Ciarán Hinds as Mance Rayder or the others newly cast for Season 3? What are you doing to fill the wait for Game of Thrones Season 3? Share your thoughts below.