Fans of the ‘Game of Thrones’ television series have entered the long winter between seasons, but a few characters seemingly integral to upcoming plotlines haven’t gotten any screen time since way back in season one. Four actors are confirmed to be reprising their roles in season 4 — some unsurprising and others… a bit odd. This article will be free of book spoilers, so plot points should be safe for anyone who’s completed season three of ‘Game of Thrones,’ but if learning that a character still exists is a spoiler to you, then read no more!
First on the list is Lysa Arryn, creepy breastfeeding widow of children old enough to know better, who we expected would at least show up in the future after Littlefinger announced his plan to set sail to the Eyrie with a marriage proposal for her. But with a setting as vast as the realm, things can happen in lands far away that are only mentioned later, so we weren’t sure if she’d be creeping us out for seasons to come. Luckily, the representation for actress Kate Dickie has confirmed her reprisal of her role in season 4. Unconfirmed but assumed to show up alongside her is Lino Facioli playing young lord Robin Arryn — aforementioned creepy breastfeedee.
Next, guest star Andy Beckwith returns to continue playing Rorge, one of the three disturbed criminals originally locked up by Yoren and carted off to join the Night’s Watch — that is, until the Gold Cloaks attacked the travelers looking for young Baratheon bastard Gendry. In the resulting fire and chaos, Arya takes pity on the prisoners about to perish in the blaze and sets them free. This turned out to work in her favor when face-changer Jaqen H’ghar granted her three deaths for the three lives she saved, but the two remaining criminals — Rorge and Biter — probably aren’t equally known for their gratitude and justice. Rorge was last seen having joined under the Lannister banner at Harrenhal, but what’s in store for his character next remains to be seen.
If you’re like me, Janos Slynt is a name mentioned often in the series, and you sort of feel like you should remember who he is, and vaguely feel that he’s evil, but you can’t quite put a face to the name. I’ll save you a rewatch of the series — although that’s always worth your time — and remind that Janos was the commander of King’s Landing’s Gold Cloaks. He was one of the more cheerful executors of Robert Baratheon’s bastard children, so no one but Joffrey would contest for the throne. (Joke’s on him, eh, “War of the Five Kings”?) Assuming goodness in everyone, Ned Stark ordered Janos to imprison Cersei and her children, but the tables turned and Janos ordered an attack on the Stark guards, imprisoning Eddard instead. His loyalty to the Lannisters won him Harrenhal. In season 2, fearing mindless and evil followers to his sister’s every wish, Tyrion sent Janos north to the Night’s Watch, and Littlefinger inherited Harrenhal. Janos is likely not thrilled with his new lot in life.
Finally, if you thought we were rid of Ser Alliser Thorne, played by Owen Teale, you were very wrong. Allister was former foil to Jon Snow’s insubordinate antics at the Night’s Watch, such as saving Samwell Tarly from being beaten to death. Last we saw, Thorne was on his way south to King’s Landing with the disembodied hand of the White Walker slayed by Jon Snow, and what is it with people sending body parts as gifts to the various corners of Westeros? Assumedly, this particular body part was a harbinger representing the greater threat of wights invading beyond the Wall, but knowing grumpy Ser Alliser, he probably underplayed it and left the kings to their little wars.
With these four confirmed, it brings to mind the fact that other characters have drifted away, possibly to be seen again, but also possibly not in this cast of hundreds. Gregor Clegane, proclaimed the worst of the Cleganes by his brother Sandor, has been talked about enough that it seems he’s bound to show up again at some point. But whatever has happened to lesser-known incest-lover young Lancel Lannister? Will we ever truly learn Benjen Stark’s fate? Will Hot Pie turn out to be the one true king of the realm?
Leave your favorite mysteriously missing character in the comments, and maybe the writers will hear your plea! Hot Pie, King in the North! King in the North! Aw. I’ve made myself sad.