Although we’re used to seeing characters die in droves both in the A Song of Ice and Fire books and on HBO’s hit Game of Thrones series, it’s always immeasurably sad when someone passes in real life.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that actor J.J. Murphy, who was an 86-year-old veteran stage actor, collapsed and died on Aug. 8, just four days after he had filmed his very first scenes on Game of Thrones.
Murphy, who hailed from Northern Ireland, had been cast in the role of Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night’s Watch, in author George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book saga.
The Irish actor had trained with the Ulster Group Theatre School, and had also worked for many years at Belfast's Lyric Theatre.
Murphy also had a role in Universal's upcoming Dracula Untold (to be released in theatres on Oct. 17), starring Luke Evans, as well as on a CBBC series called The Sparticle Mystery. His other film credits included Mickybo and Me, Cal and Angela's Ashes.
HBO has not yet announced whether the role of Ser Denys Mallister will be recast or if any future scenes will have to be rewritten.
Murphy’s funeral will be held in Belfast on Wednesday (Aug. 13). He is survived by his widow Mary and their adult children.
Rest in peace, sir.