Here’s the thing.
The amount of secrecy surrounding Game of Thrones during filming—especially when it comes to keeping one of its major reveals under wraps—is legendary. Most official information, which is vague at best, is released sporadically. But sometimes information is reported or leaked beforehand.
At least, that’s what some fans believe after seeing a recent Instagram and Twitter post from I See Stars vocalist Devin Oliver that suggests he might be playing one of the most anticipated characters from A Song of Ice and Fire that we haven’t met yet.
Oliver posted a photo to Twitter and Instagram on Sept. 23 that featured him holding a bow and arrow and showed off his white-blond hair. The caption read, “I may or may not have made an appearance in Game Of Thrones season 7.” (We’ve archived the posts in case they are deleted.)
While fans of Oliver immediately reacted to the posts, it took a few days for it to reach Reddit’s r/gameofthrones, and soon sites like Uproxx and Mashable picked it up. Some were immediately convinced that Oliver would be playing Rhaegar Targaryen—Jon Snow’s father and Daenerys Targaryen’s oldest brother who kidnapped or ran away with Lyanna Stark and started Robert’s Rebellion—on the show. Since the character’s dead long before the show began, it would likely be a series of flashbacks, perhaps in the form of Bran’s visions. And since we finally met Lyanna last season, it would make sense if they revealed more about Rhaegar in the upcoming season.
Game of Thrones does have a history of casting musicians, and Oliver’s hair would give him advantage as Rhaegar since he wouldn’t need to wear a wig for the part. However, as much as Oliver might tease he probably doesn’t actually have anything to do with Game of Thrones. It’s more plausible that he’s trolling fans or has a Game of Thrones-esque music video in the works.
Plus, as a matter of semantics, Rhaegar fights with a sword, not a bow and arrow.
Let’s say for a second that Oliver was in the next season of Game of Thrones, whether it’s as Rhaegar or a cameo. If that was the case, it’s highly doubtful that HBO would actually allow him to post about it—and then let it sit on his social media accounts for five days where it can spread and fuel speculation.
Take French actor Elie Haddad, who played a character named Khal Brozho in the season 6 episode “Book of the Stranger.” It’s a minor part, and he’s dead by the end of the episode once Daenerys Targaryen burns him and all of the other khals alive. But he’s known more for what he did well before his Game of Thrones episode aired: He accidentally posted a page of his script to Instagram and in essence “leaking” the page. He deleted the photo and stayed off Instagram for months; Haddad only started posting anything to Instagram again a couple months ago.
Casting Rhaegar would be on the same level of secrecy of casting Lyanna Stark for the “Promise me, Ned” scene, or at the very least, the same level as most of the casting decisions in recent years. Game of Thrones only confirms a handful of actors before a season starts, and even then it won’t name the character: It didn’t do it for Jim Broadbent this season, and it didn’t do so with Ian McShane last season either. (Though McShane himself gave enough hints that fans guessed it easily.) Danish actor Pilou Asbæk got one of the more important roles of last season as Euron Greyjoy, but Game of Thrones was forced to confirm it after a Watchers on the Wall report revealed that Euron had been cast.
But on the off-chance he does have something to do with Game of Thrones? He might have some stern words from HBO in his future.
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