‘Game Of Thrones’ Casting News Sets Up Flashbacks, Retribution, And Return To Castle Black

Warning: This article contains spoilers about Game of Thrones Season 5, and theories about Game of Thrones Season 6.

Ravens bearing more casting news and delightful spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 6 have arrived. Die-hard viewers will recall that the fifth season opened with a flashback in which viewers heard a prophecy delivered to the woman everyone loves to hate, Cersei Lannister. Young Cersei learned that she would one day marry the king, but that while he had many children, she would have only three, all of whom she would outlive. King Joffery was the first of Cersei Lannister’s children to die back in Season 4. Myrcella presumably met her end at the hands of the Sand Snakes at the end of Season 5. If the prophecy holds, King Tommen’s days on the Iron Throne are numbered.

With that single flashback having such far-reaching effect on the plot of Game of Thrones, today’s news if particularly interesting. Watchers on the Wall reports that 13-year-old English actor Sebastian Croft has just been cast as young Ned Stark. There is very little information on what information Ned Stark’s flashback will reveal, beyond a mention in the casting call that young Ned will spar with an older boy. Both Brandon Stark and Robert Baratheon were older than Ned, which means we could see a happier moment between the two friends or finally meet Brandon Stark, whose death helped launch Robert’s Rebellion.

Game of Thrones seems poised to spend a lot of time looking back in the coming seasons. Croft’s casting comes on the heels of news that veteran actor Max von Sydow will portray the Three-Eyed Raven in Season 6. The mythical Three-Eyed Raven first contacted Bran Stark in Season 1 and will continue to tutor him as he develops his magical abilities in Season 6. David Bradley, who portrays Walder Frey, has confirmed that he will reprise his role on Game of Thrones, though he wouldn’t say when.

The most interesting and potentially devastating news revolves around Castle Black. Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington has been spotted in Belfast several times, leading to theories that Jon Snow survived the assassination attempt or that viewers will see how the brothers of the Night’s Watch dispose of Jon’s body early in Season 6. Another, more chilling theory has arrived from Winter is Coming. The rumor began with a source who reportedly told Highlight Hollywood that the White Walker sequence in Season 6 will top Season 5’s “Hardhome.”

Fans know that Westeros isn’t prepared for the White Walkers, but the Wall has always provided a stop-gap measure against the worst. As Winter is Coming pointed out, that safety came with a price.

“He’s some dead thing. The monsters cannot pass so long as the Wall stands and the men of the Night’s Watch stay true, that’s what Old Nan used to say. He came to meet us at the Wall, but he could not pass. He sent Sam instead, with that wildling girl.”

Remember, the men of the Night’s Watch presumably just murdered their Lord Commander. If that counts as a failure to “stay true,” then the spell which keep the Wall protected may fail and set the stage for the White Walkers’ entrance into Westeros and the end of the watch.

Game of Thrones Season 6 is currently in production and is expected to air in 2016.

[Image via Game of Thrones/HBO]