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‘Game of Thrones’: Ian McShane Reveals Why He Was Cast In His Dramatic & Pivotal Role

"It’s kind of like 'Deadwood' when we started off, but they've managed to go another three seasons."

Ian McShane

Ian McShane in “Game of Thrones”

Helen Sloan/HBO

On last night’s episode of “Game of Thrones,” Ian McShane made his first (and last) appearance as Brother Ray, a former warrior turned spiritual advisor to Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), aka the Hound, who was left to die at the end of the fourth season. Brother Ray found the Hound on the verge of death and helped nurse him back to health; when he recovers, he helps Ray and his followers build a sept by the forest. Though Ray nurtures the Hound into a potentially more peaceful way of life, he and his people are murdered at the hands of the Brotherhood, and now it’s up to the Hound to seek revenge. In an interview with EW, McShane spoke about his role, why he took it, and his upcoming projects.

READ MORE: ‘Deadwood’ Movie: Ian McShane Would ‘Love To Reprise’ His Role As Al Swearengen

McShane says he took the role because it was “one episode, for a start,” and that they needed to get somebody who could do a two-page speech. He says that he appreciated Brother Ray because “he’s an ex warrior who’s grown tired of the murdering life and trying to lead another kind of life,” and that he helped provide the Hound with some humanity going forward. McShane also describes “Game of Thrones” as “like ‘Deadwood’ when we started off, but they’ve managed to go another three seasons” and says that HBO loved his “tits and dragons” comment. Finally, McShane comments yet again that he’d love to reprise the iconic Swearengen in a potential “Deadwood” film; he says that creator David Milch is working on the script now, but “they haven’t done the deal yet.”

“Game of Thrones” airs at 9pm Eastern on HBO. Episodes are available to watch on HBO Go and HBO Now.

READ MORE: Ian McShane And Max Von Sydow Join ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 6

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