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For any Game of Thrones fans currently upset with Ian McShane for revealing a plot point about the show, the erstwhile Al Swearengen has some advice: “Get a f—ing life.”
In an interview with The Telegraph, McShane addressed the interviews he gave in early March about his participation in season six of Thrones, which heavily indicated that he’s playing a character called the Elder Brother, responsible for bringing Sandor “The Hound” Clegane back onto the show. Responding to the reactions, McShane channeled his inner Deadwood antihero with a foul-mouthed summation of Thrones.
“You say the slightest thing and the internet goes ape,” he said. “I was accused of giving the plot away, but I just think get a f—ing life. It’s only tits and dragons.”
Aside from uttering a classic line that’s sure to wind up on a T-shirt by the end of the week, McShane also talked about what drew him to Thrones. The big selling point? The short-lived duration of his character.
“They asked me if I wanted to do Game of Thrones,” he said, “and I said, ‘Sure, I’ll be able to see my old pals Charlie Dance and Stephen Dillane’ and they said, ‘No, we’ve killed them off.’ I wasn’t sure whether I could commit, but then they said it would only be for one episode, so I said, ‘So that means I must die at the end of it. Great, I’m in.'”
Some are taking McShane’s comment as yet another spoiler, suggesting that his character dies at the end of his one episode. But the books provide a simpler explanation. The Elder Brother, leader of a sanctuary for reformed warriors called the Quiet Isle, only appears in one chapter of A Feast for Crows, memorably engaging Brienne of Tarth in philosophical talks about peace and war. He does not die in that chapter; instead, the story meanders away from the Quiet Isle, effectively ending the Elder Brother’s role in the plot, and perhaps The Hound’s as well.
Will the show take a different, bloodier approach to McShane’s character? Perhaps, perhaps not. We’ll learn one way or the other once Game of Thrones returns on April 24. Until then, keep up with all the Game of Thrones coverage at THR.com/GameOfThrones.
McShane, meanwhile, has already booked a full-time follow-up role: starring in Starz’s Neil Gaiman adaptation of American Gods.
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