Ian McShane, AKA "The Man Previously Known as TV's Lovejoy", is heading to Westeros for season six of Game of Thrones. The veteran British actor has been signed up for a most-mysterious role in the hit fantasy TV series, as the show prepares to venture into completely uncharted territory, with no further novels from franchise creator George R.R. Martin to work from.
Though best known as the swarthy antiques dealer Lovejoy in the UK, McShane is no stranger to swashbuckling tales, either. He's previously starred in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as the fearsome pirate Blackbeard, and won both a Golden Globe and Emmy for his run in cowboy show Deadwood. Compared to many members of Game of Thrones cast, McShane therefore already has star status.
Though little is known of McShane's role, insiders speaking to Entertainment Weekly suggest that, despite having little season six screen time, his character will have a pivotal role in proceedings.
As for a kick-off date, a 10-episode season six run for Game of Thrones is expected to begin next spring, where we'll hopefully learn definitively what became of Jon Snow, and hopefully see a little more considered story-telling and a lot less needless shock-content as was shoehorned into season five.
Just last week however, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo defended the show's sexual and violent content.
"I can’t speak to any single person’s particular taste," he told The Hollywood Reporter.
"I think there are no two showrunners [David Benioff and Dan Weiss] who are more careful about not overstepping what they think the line is — and everyone has their own line, I understand — but doing things that are critical for the storytelling and I support them fully artistically."
Lombardo also hinted that there would be at least another three seasons of Game of Thrones. More than enough time for Lovejoy to get into his groove then, providing he doesn't get his head chopped off. [Entertainment Weekly]