Ian McShane

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Ian McShane’s character in Game of Thrones season 6, but the actor has been dropping some juicy hints as to what he’ll be seen doing in the upcoming run.

The actor gave Pop Goes the News that he will only appear in one episode and: “I am responsible for bringing somebody back that you think you’re never going to see again. I’ll leave it at that.” That’s a pretty thrilling reveal, all things considered.

So, what could his cryptic hint possibly mean?

Well, between Jon Snow and The Hound, characters presumed dead could be seen popping up all over on Game of Thrones Season 6. This isn’t the first hint we’ve gotten that The Hound be appearing once again on the HBO series. Actor Rory McCann was spotted hanging around the Season 6 set and, like Kit Harington before him, prompted plenty of chatter that he might not just be visiting his old Game of Thrones mates.

If you put McCann’s set visit together with McShane’s hint, you appear to get the confirmation of a pretty strong book theory. In the novels Brienne, while looking for Sansa on a place called the Quiet Isle, meets the Elder Brother character. He tells her that The Hound is dead and that he buried the corpse himself.

Many book readers have noted that there’s a gravedigger in that scene who is an enormous man with a scarf over his face and injuries similar to The Hound’s. There are other clues (which you can read about here) that make the Gravedigger=The Hound theory one of the sounder book reader guesses out there. It’s unconfirmed, but McShane just made it a lot firmer.

It’s possible, given that McShane is only in one episode, that Rory McCann will only cameo in the background as the Hound-turned-Gravedigger.

Here’s what Watchers on the Wall had to make of it all:

“Bringing someone back that we thought was gone? Either the Hound or Lady Stoneheart. I’m more inclined to go with the Hound, given that Stoneheart seems less likely in general and Rory McCann was spotted in Belfast at a hotel used by the show frequently, by one of our sources in August. Michelle Fairley has been rumored to be in Belfast at various points over the last few months, but it’s remained unconfirmed and no one has spotted her on set. Stoneheart hype is eternal though.”