Northern Irish actor Ciarán Hinds has been confirmed to play Mance Rayder in HBO hit ‘Game of Thrones’.
The Belfast-born actor will play the King beyond The Wall in the third season of the fantasy adventure which is currently shooting in Northern Ireland.
Fans of the series have eagerly awaited the announcement of who will play the role of the Wildling leader, as the character plans to attack The Wall. Once a ranger of the Knights Watch who turned his cloak to become King, Rayder is initially feared by those inside The Wall close. Although audiences had not been introduced to the character in seasons one or two, he is frequently mentioned.
Hinds, best known for his role in Oscar-winning short ‘The Shore’, directed by Terry George and set in Northern Ireland, joins fellow Northern Irish actors Richard Dormer (Good Vibrations), Conleth Hill (Perrier’s Bounty) Ian McElhinney (The Fall), and Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody who filmed a scene earlier this year.
Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harrington and Peter Dinklage all reprise their roles, with ‘The Office’ actor Mackenzie Crook and ‘Waking the Dead’ actress Tara Fitzgerald added to the line-up this year.
The third season of the fantasy drama has been filming in various Northern Ireland locations since June. Based on George RR Martin’s series of novels, this season focuses on the third book ‘A Storm of Swords’. Creators David Benioff and David B Weiss are back to bring the third season to life, with both visionaries also on board to direct an episode for the first time.
Directors on board include Daniel Minihan, Alex Graves, Michelle MacLaren, David Nutter and Alik Sakharov. George RR Martin will write at least one episode of every series, putting his penmanship to episode seven of season three. Writers returning for this season include Bryan Cogman and Vanessa Taylor.
Frank Doelger is executive producer, with Robert Boake and Naomi Liston the locations managers.
Production has thus far took place at Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, The Linen Mill Film and TV Studio, Shane’s Castle Estate and Redhall Estate in Antrim, Audleys Tower in Down and Tollymore Forest. When production on season three wraps, HBO will have used locations for North and South of the Wall in every county in Northern Ireland. Production will move from Northern Ireland to Iceland in November, after which Down-based post house Yellow Moon will contribute to the post production.
'Game of Thrones' season three is expected to air on Sky Atlantic on March 31 2013.
‘Game of Thrones’ has received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen fund supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.