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SYFY WIRE Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer reveals first look at Sean Bean's Mr. Wilford in S2; showrunner explains big twist

By Jacob Oller
Snowpiercer Sean Bean

Sean Bean is coming back to the snow and ice of genre TV after making his Game of Thrones exit all those years ago. The former Stark is headed aboard Snowpiercer during the TNT show's second season, and he looks to continue his meme-inspiring trend of playing characters either doomed to die, presumed dead, or otherwise headed toward the great beyond.

While fans knew Bean was lending his beloved presence to the trainbound sci-fi show, they didn't know he'd be playing Mr. Wilford, the man who created the perpetually moving locomotive — which the first teaser for Season 2 reveals. Snowpiercer aired its finale last night, which showed off a second (that's right, second!) train circling the globe. But on board was perhaps the bigger twist: Mr. Wilford, alive and well, after a season was spent with various train employees playing the role. Everyone thought he was dead!

But not so, as the below footage reveals:

Move over, Ed Harris, there's a new Wilford in town. Harris played the role in the film version of the story, but Bean looks to bring back the North's fur collar as he returns. "I'm back and I've come to take what's mine," says the dapper Wilford as his creation weathers a class revolt on top of the actual weather.

Speaking to The Hollywood ReporterSnowpiercer showrunner Graeme Manson explained that this twist — the second train and Bean's Wilford — was a long time coming.

"That was an earlier idea, something we decided we wanted to work towards. It felt like a great door opening on the series, something unexpected," Manson said. "And to set ourselves up at the top of Season 2 with two trains was unexpected. It gave us the opportunity to meet the reason for all of these machinations — Melanie’s nemesis, great Mr. Wilford, assuming he is on that train. It's fun to pull back that curtain, be it Oz or Willy Wonka or whatever kind of psychopath might be behind that door."

And there's also the situation with Melanie's (Jennifer Connelly) daughter (Rowan Blanchard), which came about "in the middle of the season." These two aspects combine to create "one of those cliffhangers that really demands to be picked up in the same moment in the second season, rather than to have some sort of break or realignment," according to Manson.

If the first season's tumultous production was anything to go by, fans may be expecting to have to wait a while to see Sean Bean on the second season of Snowpiercer, but thankfully the production was able to shoot much of S2 during the first season's production — so they might be getting a good look at what Wilford will do sooner than they think.