“Game of Thrones” Season 6 Episode 7 will feature Ian McShane. For the viewers this begs the question, who is he and how will he affect the current situation of Westeros? Can he play Septom Meribald?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, McShane opened up about his character in an interview with BBC Breakfast. He described his character as an ex-warrior who’s become a peacenik.
He now leads a peaceful tribe who behaves more or less like a cult and will be bringing back a beloved character who everyone believes is dead.
Watchers on the Wall also revealed the “Game of Thrones” casting call details looking for someone who can play the role of a priest described as in his 40’s or 50’s. A gruff ex-soldier who found religion. Now a no-nonsense rural priest who ministers to the poor of the countryside. He’s salt-of-the-earth man who has weathered many battles.
Ian McShane and the casting calls’ description closely resembles the Song of Ice and Fire character Septon Meribald. He is an old man, six feet tall and behaves much like the High Sparrow, ministering to the smallfolk barefoot though instead of King’s Landing he travels the countryside of the Riverlands.
In his youth, he fought in the War of Ninepenny Kings where he lost his brothers leaving him a broken man. In his return, he joined the Faith of the Seven and used his position to convince young women to have sex with him.
Disgusted by his actions, he now walks the countryside barefoot as penance for his misdeeds. For nearly forty years, Meribald has wandered the Riverlands ministering to people in exchange for food and shelter.
With such a background, Septon Meribald can easily gather fanatic followers in the same way the High Sparrow gathered his. And here’s the catch, he is always accompanied by a dog on his travels, now which character is known as a dog in ‘Game of Thrones’?
With Cersei Lannister’s trial approaching, she will likely demand a trial by combat with Ser Gregor Clegane as her champion. Ian McShane’s character being a servant of the Faith might be the one to provide a champion for them in the form of Sandor Clegane as he was already shown to match his brother in strength.
Whether McShane’s Meribald-based character Septon Ray facilitates the return of The Hound is still to be seen. Nevertheless, the introduction of another mysterious character in “Game of Thrones” adds another layer of unpredictability that for some reasons many has considered lacking ever since Jon Snow’s death.