The most exciting casting development in Season 3 of HBO's Game of Thrones is the addition of Ciarán Hinds as Mance Rayder. As the King Beyond The Wall, Mance will come face to face with Kit Harington's Jon Snow as the man of the Night's Watch infiltrates the Wildling camp.
Spinoff Online caught up with Harington at New York Comic Con while he was promoting Silent Hill: Revelation 3D and asked him about working with Hinds, known for his roles in Road to Perdition, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and HBO's Rome.
"Ciarán Hinds is one of the most lovely men you will ever meet, and also one of the most fantastically fantastic actors," Harington said. "I'm so privileged with the people I've worked with, the other older actors I've worked with, and he's now another addition to that list that I can say I've worked with. It was fantastic."
It took showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss longer to cast Mance Rayder than it did the other new characters for this season because they had a difficult time finding the right actor for the part. We asked Harington what made Hinds the right choice.
"He just is. He just is," he said. "There were a few people that I kind of wanted it to be, but then when they came up with him I hadn't even thought of him, and then I thought, 'That's perfect.'"
Harington added that Hinds wasn't the actor he would have originally chosen, but now he's seen for himself that Hinds is a great Mance.
"I was kind of going Ian McShane would work for this, and then they came up with Ciaran Hinds and it was just perfect," he said.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on March 31.