JJ Murphyby Aly Runke, contributing writer

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, books or television series, you are used to death being a constant in your fandom life. The storyline is filled with dramatic tragedies of epic proportions; does the “Red Wedding” ring any bells? However all this death has been fictional, until recently that is.

Actor J.J. Murphy who was cast as Ser Denys Mallister has died. It wasn’t as dramatic as any of the characters’ death scenes, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking. He had started filming four days ago and, according to friends, was deeply exciting to be part of the cast. However on Friday, August 8, 2014, he collapsed and died. He had only filmed a few of his scenes for Season 5 of Game of Thrones, but according to HBO’s official Twitter statement they will not be replacing him in the role, “He was a lovely man, and the best Denys Mallister we could have hoped for. And now his watch is ended.” (D.B. Weiss and David Benioff).

Murphy also has the Dracula Untold movie coming out, and he also appeared in BBC series The Sparticle Mystery. He was best known for his on-stage theatrical career with Ulster Group Theater School in 1948. Many friends and colleagues from the school mourn him deeply, citing him as lovely, amazing, and joyful man. Belfast has lost a great actor, and we American audiences seem to only get a taste of his presence. Murphy was 86 when he died and to his friends, colleagues, and fans, he will live on always.

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