Max von Sydow joins 'Game of Thrones' cast: Who is he playing?

Von Sydow is also starring in the upcoming 'Star Wars' film. He's the newest acclaimed actor to sign on to a fantasy or sci-fi series following Alec Guinness, Ian McKellan, and Michael Gambon, among others.

Matt Sayles/AP
Max von Sydow attends the 2012 Oscars.

A famous actor has been cast in the HBO smash hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones.” 

Max von Sydow of “The Exorcist” will reportedly star on the TV show and will take over the “Thrones” character known as the Three-Eyed Raven. “Thrones” character Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) encountered the Three-Eyed Raven in the fourth season finale of the show (Bran did not appear in the most recent season, the show’s fifth) and viewers briefly saw actor Struan Rodger play the character. However, von Sydow has now reportedly taken over the role. While little is known about the future of the Three-Eyed Raven character, as the show has reached the end of the “Thrones” books published by George R.R. Martin, it appears from what viewers have seen so far that he will serve as a kind of mentor for Bran.

Von Sydow is now appearing in two very high-profile fantasy and sci-fi franchises. In addition to “Thrones,” the actor is appearing in the next “Star Wars” film, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which is being released this December. Because of the secrecy surrounding that film, we don’t know yet officially what role von Sydow is taking on in the “Star Wars” universe.

Von Sydow has also appeared in the films “The Greatest Story Ever Told,” “Never Say Never Again,” “Hannah and Her Sisters,” and “Shutter Island.” He has been nominated for an Oscar twice, for Best Actor for the 1987 movie “Pelle erobreren” and for Best Supporting Actor for the 2011 movie “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” 

Von Sydow’s new role follows a tradition of casting acclaimed actors in mentor roles in fantasy, sci-fi, and comic book TV or movie series. It stretches back to Alec Guinness appearing in the “Star Wars” films as Luke Skywalker’s mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi – Guinness was an actor previously best known for his Oscar-winning role in “The Bridge on the River Kwai” and appearances in movies such as “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago” as well as his stage work in Shakespeare productions. 

It continued with bringing in actor Ian McKellen, a Laurence Olivier and Tony award-winning actor, as wizard Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” films and both Richard Harris, who has been nominated for Academy Awards, and Michael Gambon, a Laurence Olivier Award winner and Tony-nominated actor, as the wizard Dumbledore in the “Harry Potter” movies. In the “X-Men” films, the role of Professor Xavier, a mentor to many of the “X-Men” characters, is played by Patrick Stewart, who also has won Laurence Olivier Awards and been nominated for a Tony Award.

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