Game of Thrones fans finally got a look at Horn Hill in Season 6. Sam Tarly mentioned his ancestral home many times over the years, but it wasn't until he dropped by on his way to the Citadel that we saw the family that had driven him to the Night's Watch. We now know that one Tarly relative would look very different for any appearances in Season 7, as actor Freddie Stroma's time as Thrones' Dickon Tarly has been officially cut short by his casting as the lead of ABC's Time After Time. He said this in reference to the upcoming broadcast drama.
I was shooting this, so my character, I wouldn't be able to go back now. It was still fun. I got to be in that world. I've watched all of it. It's just an incredible TV show.
It seems Freddie Stroma was too busy with Time After Time to film for Game of Thrones Season 7, which gives him the bragging rights that he managed to leave the world of Westeros without his character dying a horrible death. Of course, he only appeared in one episode for a matter of minutes, but Dickon felt like somebody who would be around for at least a few more episodes in later seasons. Sam committed a major offense against both Randyll and Dickon Tarly when he made off in the middle of the night with the family sword, and we already knew that James Faulkner was set to return as Randyll, so Freddie Stroma's return as Dickon felt practically guaranteed.
It was at the TCA press panel for Time After Time (via IGN) that Freddie Stroma revealed he wouldn't be back on Game of Thrones, and the news will undoubtedly be a bummer for folks who were already attached to him as Dickon. As it turns out, however, Game of Thrones may bring back Dickon without that particular actor. Black Sails alum Tom Hopper signed on for Game of Thrones Season 7, and Watchers on the Wall reported in November that he was spotted filming with James Faulkner. So while nobody has confirmed Hopper as the new face of Dickon Tarly, all signs available point in the general direction of Sam's little brother making a comeback.
Game of Thrones has recast characters before, so a new face for an old character isn't unprecedented. Beric Dondarrion, Daario Naharis, and both Tommen and Myrcella Baratheon all went through recasts, and Gregor Clegane has been played by three different actors in six seasons. Dickon didn't play a huge part in the grand scheme of Season 6, so many viewers may not actually notice if Tom Hopper replaces Freddie Stroma. Given Hopper's experience in period and fantasy series thanks to roles on Merlin, Black Sails, and Barbarians Rising, he should fit right in.
Unfortunately, we still have a while to wait until we see any of the Tarlys back on the small screen. The seventh season isn't set to debut until the summer of 2017. Take a look at our breakdown of what we know so far about Game of Thrones Season 7 for a peek ahead, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what you can watch while you wait for more Thrones.