While death is a frequent occurrence on "Game of Thrones," the hit fantasy series was rocked last week by the off-screen passing of a member of the cast. Eighty-six-year-old actor JJ Murphy died four days into filming his scenes for the upcoming fifth season of the show, the Belfast Telegraph reported.
The Northern Irish theater vet, who was tapped as Ser Denys Mallister, the most senior member of the Night's Watch, died Friday after just having filmed his first few scenes for "Game of Thrones." He had been due to shoot more scenes.
"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," "Game of Thrones" executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff said in a statement to the Daily News.
Born in Belfast, Murphy trained with the Ulster Group Theatre School in 1948. He had tread the boards in his hometown ever since, and worked alongside budding stars like Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds at Belfast's Lyric Theatre.
Murphy had recently wrapped a role as a village elder in the upcoming horror film "Dracula Untold," which was shot in Northern Ireland. American audiences may also have recognized him from a part in the 1999 film "Angela's Ashes."