(Featured image from Independent Agency Belfast)
J.J. Murphy, the veteran stage actor who joined S5 of “Game of Thrones” as Ser Denys Mallister of the Night’s Watch, has died. Just a few days into filming the HBO show. He was 86 years old.
Murphy was cast last month as Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night’s Watch. His character plays an important role in Jon Snow’s storyline, as he is one of the top contenders for the position of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, following the murder of the previous Lord Commander, Jeor Mormont.
However, he had shot enough footage that showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff intend to include his performance in S5, saying in a statement via HBO that the role of Ser Denys Mallister would not fall to another actor. “We will not be recasting J.J. Murphy. He was a lovely man, and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for. And now his watch is ended,” they said.
Murphy’s agent, Phillip Young, told the Guardian that his client had been “absolutely delighted” to have been cast in HBO’s hit.
The upcoming season will visit Dorne, the homeland of the Red Viper, Oberyn Martell. Most of the Dorne scenes will be shot in Spain, a new location for the series. S5 will also feature a handful of new cast members, making it perhaps one of the strongest seasons ever.
“Game of Thrones” S5 is set to be premiered in early 2015.