Game of Thrones has cast its first new season 7 role.
The fantasy hit has signed Oscar winner Jim Broadbent for the eagerly anticipated penultimate season, EW has learned exclusively.
The veteran British performer’s credits range from the films Time Bandits, Brazil and Bridget Jones’s Diary, to his Emmy-nominated title role on the series Longford, to a recurring role in the Harry Potter franchise (he played Horace Slughorn). Broadbent also won the best supporting actor Oscar for his role in the 2001 film Iris.
So who does Broadbent play on Game of Thrones?
That’s where our news stops and your speculation begins. We only know that Broadbent’s role is “significant.” The spoiler-averse GoT team doesn’t want to say anything yet about who the actor is playing on the series. Some vague casting descriptions have leaked in recent weeks, but oftentimes such character rundowns sent to casting agents are deliberately inaccurate because producers assume the notices will wind up online.
Season 7 of Thrones will film in Northern Ireland, Spain and Iceland. The show premieres next summer and will consist of seven episodes, reduced from the show’s usual 10. Directors on board include returning names Alan Taylor and Jeremy Podeswa, among others. Star Maisie Williams, who’s nominated for an Emmy this year, tweeted after reading her scripts that “nothing will prepare you for” the new season along with other superlatitives. Thrones is also leading the Emmy nominations for its ratings record-setting sixth season, with 23 prime-time Emmy awards.
Broadbent marks the latest actor to shift from the wizarding world of Harry Potter over to Westeros (and Essos) — Natalia Tena played Tonks in the films as well as Osha in the HBO series; David Bradley played Filch and Walder Frey; Ciarán Hinds played Aberforth Dumbledore (Albus’ brother) and Mance Rayder, among other examples.