HBO Has Found Its King Beyond the Wall
The third season premiere of Game of Thrones is still many months away, but big casting news has been breaking recently. The jewel in the crown for the upcoming season is Entertainment Weekly‘s recent confirmation that Ciaran Hinds has been cast as Mance Rayder, Wildling leader and proclaimed “King Beyond the Wall.” The character of Mance Rayder has been alluded to multiple times throughout the run of the show up to this point. The second season came to a close with Jon Snow overlooking the wildling army that Mance leads.
The casting of Ciaran Hinds, who is likely best known by TV viewers as Julius Caesar on HBO’s Rome, will be the second Rome star added to the series this hiatus. News of Tobias Menzies‘ casting on the show came about several weeks ago. Menzies, Brutus on Rome, will be playing Edmure Tully, Catelyn Stark’s younger brother and heir to Riverrun.
Although I was initially very pleased to hear about Hinds’ casting, I have become more and more dissatisfied with the choice. I imagined Mance Rayder as a much younger and more fit and energetic character than I believe Hinds will be able to realistically portray. There is nothing to show that he is a subpar actor, I just feel that his Mance Rayder will in essence be much different than the one depicted in the novels. To add more salt to my wound was the fairly recent acknowledgement by Dominic West that he had been approached for a part that many believe was that of Mance Rayder. In my mind West’s age, physique, and disposition would have led to a more accurate portrayal of the character. Since the casting choice has been made and my personal views have zero effect on the outcomes, I have now begun hoping that Ciaran Hinds’ Mance Rayder will be a different, yet equal, leader to his counterpart in the novels.
Hinds was most recently employed on the just finished USA network series Political Animals where he played a Bill Clinton facsimile.