Get ready for a major “Game of Thrones” information dump, because showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss will appear at a panel during the SXSW -- or South by Southwest -- conference in Austin this Sunday. (SXSW is a major annual conference for film and interactive media buffs).
But some of that significant news about the forthcoming seventh season has already arrived: Esteemed character actor Jim Broadbent, who months ago was confirmed as a seventh season regular, told website ScreenCrush Tuesday that, “I’m a maester, an archmaester. I’m an old professor character,” adding that “I did five episodes (and) did sort of one major scene in each episode” with the character Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West).
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Major League Baseball -- which announced a cross-promotion campaign with “GoT” – said Mets ace Noah Syndergaard had taped a cameo as an extra for an episode in the season seven, which some fans expect will arrive in July. (HBO has said nothing about a launchdate).
The MLB announcement could offer both confirmation of the July launch and maybe even hint at a date. The All-Star Game -- baseball’s singular midsummer event -- will take place July 11. Could this then mean “GoT” will launch the following Sunday, July 16?
(Another question: Do they even play baseball in Westeros?)
However, as far as “GoT” wall-watchers are concerned, baseball isn’t the big news here, but instead Broadbent’s seemingly innocuous comments. “GoT’s” cast members seldom disclose details about roles or plot-threads. Moreover, after weeks of “GoT” radio silence, fans have been waiting to pounce on any details about the next (and shortened) seventh. Broadbent gave them the bait.
ScreenCrush’s writer, Erin Whitney -- who interviewed Broadbent about his new movie “The Sense of An Ending” -- speculated that the character will likely be Maester Marwyn, who is not a particularly major figure in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” but could be in the series.
A Wiki of Ice and Fire -- AWOIAF -- identifies him as Marwyn the Mage, who first appears in “A Feast for Crows.” He’s a traveling man, and expert in the occult, having wandered throughout Westeros and across the Narrow Sea to Essos, also above the Wall, where he encountered the dreaded White Walkers. He also wrote (per AWOIAF) a so-called “Book of Lost Books.”
That’s possibly significant because the book has ties to one Daenys Targaryen -- not to be confused with Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys Targaryen -- who had prophecies which she wrote down and which are contained in this mysterious book.
Could this book, now believed missing, just happen to be in the vast library at the Citadel in Oldtown -- where Sam just happened to be when the sixth season ended? And will Sam read it and learn about these prophecies and will those be a big part of the next season and...?
And ... is all of this nonsense? Could be that, too. Indeed, just to prove how tricky -- or futile -- such “GoT” speculation can be, the closely studied website Watchers on the Wall speculates that the Broadbent character will be someone named Ebrose, who is a maester of the healing arts. That’s reasonable, too, because there are many “maesters” -- scholars, doctors, expects in the occult, and such -- at the Citadel, a fewer “archmaesters” (like Marwyn, who’s an occultist).
At least these could be questions for the SXSW “GOT” conference this Sunday afternoon at the Austin Convention Center Ballroom. Here’s one prophecy that’s certain to prove accurate: It will be packed.