Ian McShane Discusses His ‘Game Of Thrones’ Role

The following article contains major spoilers for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.

The latest episode of Game of Thrones, titled The Broken Man, introduced us to a character named Brother Ray, who was played by Deadwood star Ian McShane. While the character met his fate at the hands of the Brotherhood Without Banners by the end of the episode, he also brought back a fan favorite character as it was revealed that he stumbled upon The Hound in the Riverlands and saved him from certain death.

Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, McShane explained how he ended up getting a role in the series and what drew him to this particular character, who is definitely a deviation from the kind of roles that we’re so used to seeing him in:

“Well, they wrote a two-page speech – so that’s why they invited me. It’s a big soliloquy, like in Deadwood, and they needed to get somebody who could do that. It was really well written. Rory was a delight to work with, and so was the director. The whole experience was five days in Belfast, and I enjoyed it a lot.

“It was one episode, for a start, which is why I wanted to do it. Obviously he’s going to die. But when I read it, it’s nice. It’s like he’s holding an improvised meeting – not Alcoholics Anonymous, but Murderer’s Anonymous. He’s an ex warrior who’s grown tired of the murdering life and trying to lead another kind of life. But I think my main use was to re-introduce a character people thought was long gone and who needed some humanity. The Hound has not been shown much humanity in his life, and he gets a little from Brother Ray and carries that forward into his character, which makes it more interesting for those who watch him. Also, my daughter, who’s an avid watcher of the show, was like, ‘Oh, The Hound! That will be good!'”

The actor then made it clear that he hasn’t read any scripts other than the one for his episode, but he does think that The Hound will want to avenge his death:

“I don’t know what happens in the next episodes. But if they’re following the Western code, he’ll seek to avenge me, then continue his life in a different way. You have to have revenge, and expedient revenge. I don’t believe in the death penalty, but I understand personal vengeance. How do you reconcile those in real life? In film, you can do it very easily. You show somebody has been wronged and therefore their morality is in the right place.”

As for how he filmed his disturbing death scene, the actor had to say the following:

“It’s very easy. You just have to hold your breath for 10 seconds and look sufficiently dead for them to get it.”

Many fans of the book series were certain that McShane had been cast in the role of a character named Septon Meribald, but that obviously didn’t turn out to be the case. It’s clear, however, that certain elements of that character made it into Brother Ray, something which was confirmed by co-executive producer Bryan Cogman.

What do you guys think? Did you enjoy McShane’s brief role in the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Sound-off your thoughts in the comment section below.

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Michael Bezanidis

Michael Bezanidis

Michael is the Managing Editor of Heroic Hollywood. When he's not playing video games, he's usually writing about film and television.