While production was under way on Game of Thrones Season 6 last year, HBO didn't confirm any new cast members, although there were numerous rumors, casting reports and set photos that gave fans some idea of who might be joining the show. It seems the network is following the same path for Game of Thrones Season 7, which makes sense, since the show has gone far beyond the George R.R. Martin books, as fans are still waiting for the sixth and seventh books in the series to arrive. Today we have a new rumor which claims that the popular UFC champion Conor McGregor has agreed to appear in one of the final two seasons of Game of Thrones.
The Belfast Telegraph's Sunday Life section reports that the UFC fighter has agreed to come aboard for a role in the show, although no details about his character were given. The news does make sense since series creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are both huge UFC fans, even confirming that production on Season 7 will be delayed for winter weather on a UFC podcast. Here's what the Belfast Telegraph's "well-placed source" had to say about Conor McGregor joining Game of Thrones.
"It's been agreed that McGregor will appear in one of the remaining two seasons of Game of Thrones. He was headhunted as it were by HBO, as one of the Game of Thrones directors is a huge UFC fan. They believed that he would be a perfect fit for the show."
Even before this casting rumor surfaced, Conor McGregor did have another connection to Game of Thrones. Last October, a video surfaced of Conor McGregor, who recently became the first fighter to ever hold two titles in different UFC divisions, sparring with Hafthór Julíus Bjornsson, who plays Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. The Mountain, on the hit HBO series. If this report is true, it would mark his TV acting debut, although he has previously provided his voice for two different video games, EA Sports UFC 2 and this year's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which, oddly enough, featured Game of Thrones star Kit Harington voicing the game's primary villain.
Production began back in September on Game of Thrones Season 7 in Northern Ireland, with this season debuting next summer, although an official premiere date has not been lined up yet. This season will span just seven episodes, three fewer than the 10-episode runs of the first six seasons, with the eighth and final season reportedly spanning just six episodes, bringing the series to a close. There has already been talk of spin-offs that HBO is reportedly planning, although series creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have already said they won't be involved in the spin-offs.
There were previously rumors that 90-year-old Angela Lansbury has been cast in Game of Thrones Season 7, but those reports were debunked by her representatives. There have also been reports that this season will bring back characters who haven't been seen in quite some time, such as Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). There have also been reports that Jim Broadbent has joined the cast, along with Joseph Quinn and Paul Ward, two young actors from England and Ireland, respectively. While we wait for more on Conor McGregor's Game of Thrones casting, take a look at the video from his sparring session with The Mountain that surfaced last year.