By now, it's almost become a tradition that some charming, loose-lipped British character actor will spill some secrets about Game of Thrones. Last year, Deadwood star Ian McShane gave a hilariously salty interview to the BBC that revealed his role in Season 6. He then told the Telegraph that spoiler-averse fans should take a chill pill because "it's only tits and dragons."
This year, Harry Potter actor Jim Broadbent has taken a less profane approach to letting us in on some Season 7 secrets months ahead of schedule.
In an interview with ScreenCrush, arranged to promote his upcoming literary adaptation The Sense of an Ending, the 67-year-old English actor revealed that he shared many scenes with Sam Tarley, the lovable aspiring measter who we last saw arriving in the Citadel of Oldtown at the end of Season 6. "I’m a maester, an archmaester," said Broadbent in the interview. "I’m an old professor character."
(Warning: Potential spoilers for Season Seven and Game of Thrones follow.)
What does this revelation mean? It's hardly surprising that Broadbent was recruited to play an "old professor character" since he's perhaps most famous around the world for playing potions professor Horace E. F. Slughorn in the Harry Potter films. (I didn't think he'd be playing a sword-swinging knight or a dragon.) But, as ScreenCrush's Erin Whitney points out, it's likely that Broadbent will be playing a specific important professor: Maester Marwyn, who readers of author George R.R. Martin's novels will be familiar with.
Of course, it's possible he could be playing a maester with a different name: Game of Thrones writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have been known to deviate from Martin's writings on occasion, particularly in the most recent seasons. However, if they stay true to the path presented in A Feast for Crows, Marwyn could end up being a pivotal character in the show's endgame.
If Broadbent is Marwyn, he could be around for a while. As Whitney points out in the article, Martin's book sees Marwyn depart the Citadel to find Daneys after he hears about her impressive fire-breathing army. In the interview, Broadbent reveals that he didn't get to do any CGI work this year, so it's unlikely he'll be hanging with any winged creatures by the end of Season 7. Instead, perhaps Season 8, likely to be the final Game of Thrones season, will find him mixing it up with the Queen of Dragons.
As is often the case with Game of Thrones, it's worth pointing this out: things could change! Despite a steady stream of news like the likely return of Gendry, HBO has yet to set a premiere date for Season 7. (Though actor Liam Cunningham recently floated July as a possible start date.) Like any schemer in Westeros, it's best to keep your eyes peeled to the horizon -- and your army of child spies on the streets -- to spot any possible clues of what's to come. Here's a tip: ask any older English cast member you see.