'Game of Thrones' season 6 news, spoilers: Ian McShane reveals the fate of a major character

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Following the announcement that HBO will not, for the first time, be releasing screeners for the much-anticipated sixth season of award-winning fantasy drama series “Game of Thrones,” actor Ian McShane, who joins the new season’s cast in an as-yet-undisclosed role, has dropped a major bombshell about the fate of a character who may or may not have died in a previous season.

In an appearance on “BBC Breakfast” on Thursday, McShane revealed a major spoiler about the character. It echoes a storyline familiar to readers of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga on which “Game of Thrones” is based. The “Deadwood” alum admitted that he is not at liberty to talk about the show’s upcoming season before letting fly some telling details about who this resurrected character is.

“I can give you one hint: My character is an ex-warrior who’s become a peacenik … I bring back a much-loved character everybody thinks is dead,” the actor said.

In another interview later in the day, McShane revealed even more, saying, “I have nursed a much-loved character back to life.” He then asked the host to guess which character this is. When the host answered that it could only be The Hound (Rory McCann) or Jon Snow (Kit Harington), McShane teased, “It’s not the latter, it might be the former.”

As “A Song of Ice and Fire” fans know, the actor could be playing the role of the Elder Brother, the knight-turned-monk who, in the books, leads a monastery on the Quiet Isle. He is supposedly a healer and may or may not have resurrected The Hound, although he tells Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) that Arya Stark’s (Maisie Williams) former travel companion is dead and that he buried The Hound himself.

Before McShane’s remarks were made, HBO announced that it will not be releasing press copies of season 6 ahead of its premiere in April. This is an unprecedented move for the network, which appears to be keeping the upcoming season under wraps as best as it can. HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told Entertainment Weekly, “When you have press copies, inevitably friends ask, ‘Can I see your copy?’ There are things that happen.”

“We talked about the upsides and downsides,” he added. “Some of the press are fans who might be disappointed, but they’ll understand.”

“Game of Thrones” returns to HBO on April 24.