Following actor JJ Murphy’s death on Monday, his character in Game of Thrones is still in question. The actor had just started filming as Ser Denys Mallister in the HBO series, when he collapsed and died on Friday. Mr. Murphy was 84.

Game of Thrones
JJ Murphy's role will not be re-cast for season 5.

With his theater background, Murphy was a great choice for the role calm, kind and courteous Ser Mallister. Murphy had been working on the Northern Irish theatre scene since the 1940s and was an active member of Equity, the British actors’ union and had worked for years at Belfast’s Lyric Theatre. Murphy also played a village elder in the upcoming feature Dracula Untold and appeared in the CBBC series The Sparticle Mystery.

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Understandably, producers have chosen not to re-cast the role of Ser Mallister. Instead, his role will likely be either seriously reduced with some of his finished scenes still making the cut or his character will be cut completely. Ser Mallister plays a relatively minor part in the books, but fans generally like to see the adaptation stay as faithful as possible to George R. R. Martin’s original story. However, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss’ explanation makes a lot of sense and demonstrates respect for Murphy’s memory.

“We will not be recasting J.J. Murphy. He was a lovely man, and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for. And now his watch is ended,” the Thrones executive producers said in a statement, released by Deadline.

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