The filming of Game of Thrones season seven began in Belfast earlier this week, and with it comes the exciting news that Jim Broadbent will be joining the Emmy award-winning cast, but who will he be playing?
According to EW, the Hot Fuzz actor's role will be a "significant" one, leading fans of the hit fantasy show to speculate on his role, with some suggesting that he could be playing Marwyn the Mage, an Archmaester in the Citadel - where Samwell Tarly found himself in the season six finale - while others believe he could be a new character created specifically for the show, rather than one pre-existing in George R.R. Martin's novels.
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Jim's character has yet to be revealed
Although the show usually premieres around April time, US network HBO revealed that the premiere of season seventh will take place later in the year since the show is now in winter, and so it is necessary that they film later in the year. HBO's president of production, Casey Bloys, said: "Now that winter has arrived on Game of Thrones, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing.
"Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule."
Despite the long wait for the new series, actress Maisie Williams who plays Arya Stark in the show has already sent fans into a frenzy after posting a series of tweets commenting on the season seven script. She wrote: "just finished reading season 7…I'd start preparing yourselves now…scratch that, nothing will prepare you for this."
Season seven of the show will premiere in 2017
Season seven will only consist of seven episodes rather than the usual run of ten, while the show's story will finish after a six-episode season eight. However, it has been reported that HBO could be considering a spin-off of the incredibly popular show, as Casey told EW: "We've talked about [a spin-off]. It's something I'm not opposed to, but of course it has to make sense creatively.
"I'm not sure that [Benioff and Weiss] could really wrap their heads around it when they're just about to start production [on season 7]."