Games of Thrones Season 5 will see the permanent departure of character Ser Denys Mallister, played by deceased actor J.J. Murphy.
Murphy died on Friday, Aug. 8, just four days into filming for the popular HBO-series. The following Monday, Games of Thrones producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff said that they will not be seeking another actor to play Murphy's character.
"We will not be recasting J.J. Murphy," D.B. Weiss and Benioff explained in a joint-statement to the press.""He was a lovely man, and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for. And now his watch is ended."
According to the original A Song of Ice and Fire novels that inspired the TV show, Ser Mallister is the seasoned commander of the Night's Watch garrison at Shadow Tower. The character also happens to be the oldest member of the Night's Watch.
In real life, J.J. Murphy participated in a number of films that included Cal and Angela's Ashes. More recently, he had a role in Dracula Untold, which is scheduled for release this fall. Even so, the veteran actor was better known for his stage performances at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.
For now, no official cause of death has been established for the 86-year-old actor, whose funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Last month, HBO announced nine new characters, of which six are from the House of Martell. The cable network confirmed that it is expanding the storyline for the Martell clan, which lords over the Kingdom of Dorne. Scenes pertaining to Dorne will be filmed in Spain. However, the majority of Games of Thrones Season 5 will be filmed in Northern Ireland.
HBO has not confirmed exactly when 'Game of Thrones' Season Five will premiere, even though it has been widely reported by various media that the show is returning in spring 2015.