JJ Murphy was one of the many additions to be introduced in season 5 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” airing next year, as he was cast as Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night’s Watch. Just days after shooting his first appearance, the veteran stage actor has died.
His publicist confirms the news for The Belfast Telegraph: Murphy collapsed at his home and died on Friday. He was 86 years old.
Still, the stage actor had been “absolutely delighted” to be cast in “one of the biggest productions in the world at this stage in his career,” and was looking forward to shooting on location. He had just one day of complete production when he passed away.
In a statement to E! News, executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff address speculation that the show would recast the role, hinting that Ser Mallister would either be making a very short cameo or none at all. Chances are it will be the latter.
“We will not be recasting JJ Murphy. He was a lovely man, and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for. And now his watch is ended,” Weiss and Benioff say.
Season 5 of the hit series, based on the “Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels by George R.R. Martin, will introduce many other new faces, as the action expands to the Kingdom of Dorne and fans will be shown the impact of Red Viper’s death on his people. All the names were announced at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, where “GoT” is a regular presence by now.