The wait for the next season of Game of Thrones has been the longest endurance period for fans of the series between seasons, it has been approximately 20 months since the last new episode aired.
So it’s hardly surprising that some seriously devoted viewers have gone to great lengths to dig up whatever information they can about how the series will shake out.
When the runtimes for each of the upcoming season’s six episodes were leaked in January, it was the result of one enterprising viewer digging up live (but unpromoted) URLs on HBO’s website. It’s that same sort of resourceful methodology that allowed viewers to access details about season 8’s premiere episode, including its cast list, which includes a couple of returning characters. Several people alerted fansite Watchers on the Wall of their findings.
#GameOfThrones season 8 episode 1 cast, some returningn characters:
Tobis Mennzies (Edmure Tully)
Lino Facioli (Robyn Arryn)
Richard Dormer (Beric Dondarrion)
Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane)
— Yan® (@Ako_Si_Yan) February 14, 2019
In addition to all the expected names, including Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, and Kit Harington, two surprising names showed up at the bottom of the list. The two last actors listed are Tobias Menzies, who plays Edmure Tully (Catelyn Stark’s younger brother), and Lino Facioli, who plays creepy mama’s boy Robin Arryn (cousin of Sansa and Arya Stark).
While it wouldn’t be completely shocking to see these two pop up again in the final season they are, after all, two of the few characters who have yet to be killed off some fans are scratching their heads as to why they’d be in the first episode.
At the end of season 7, we hadn’t seen either character in quite a while (some people even presumed both of them were dead). Last we heard of Edmure, he was said to be rotting away in Walder Frey’s dungeon, and Robin hasn’t been around since season 6 (though Littlefinger did mention him from time to time).
The possible inclusion of these two characters in the first new episode in close to two years will no doubt now fuel many more fan theories (whether the cast list is authentic or not).
We’ll know soon enough if their returns will be significant, or just in flashbacks. Game of Thrones returns on April 14, 2019.