“The Wire” star Dominic West turned down the opportunity to play Mance Rayder in “Game of Thrones,” so HBO has instead hired another former HBO star to play The King Beyond The Wall.
Ciaran Hinds, who played Julius Caesar in “Rome,” will embody Rayder, the former Night’s Watchman who went all Colonel/Mistah Kurtz on Ned Stark and ended up ruling the wildlings.
Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand chatted about the unseen Rayder all last season, much as the Starks and the Lannisters spoke of Stannis Baratheon during season one.
Hinds is not the first "Rome" player to be repurposed for season three of "Thrones." Tobias Menzies, who played Caesar's assassin Brutus, will play Catelyn Stark's kid brother Edmure Tully, newly ascended to the role of Lord of Riverrun.
Find all of James Hibberd’s Entertainment Weekly exclusive on the matter here.