Now this is one I wouldn’t have guessed, but I suppose it works.
EW has just reported that Ciarán Hinds will be playing the role of Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall. A wildling raised by the Night’s Watch, he then became a former member of the Night’s Watch himself. Rayder had been injured and then nursed back to health by a wildling woman. She has repaired his black cloak with red fabric and once he’d returned to the Wall, the Night’s Watch told him he had to get rid of it because it wasn’t black. This lack of freedom made him leave the Watch behind and join the Free Folk.
Hinds is actually a bit older than I would have cast for Rayder, but he has the sense of gravitas and rebellion that I think Rayder needs. Hinds is probably best well known for his turn as Julius Caesar on HBO’s Rome. So clearly the man can wield a sword, ride a horse, and lead men.
Add this to the slew of casting news we got around Comic-Con, and I am getting pretty darned excited for season 3 of Game of Thrones.