JJ Murphy, Game of Thrones

Youcef Boubetnikh

The Game of Thrones family has lost one of its Watchers. 

J.J. Murphy died on Friday at the age of 86, E! News has confirmed. While the Irish actor had yet to make his debut on the HBO hit series, he was set to take on the role of Knights Watch member Ser Denys Mallister in the upcoming fifth season and died just four days after filming his first scenes for the show, The Belfast Telegraph reports.

"I am heartbroken to pass on the news that the wonderful J.J. Murphy passed away this morning 8th August 2014," Murphy's agent said in a statement to E! News. "I had the pleasure and honour to be his Agent for the last 18 months and have never encountered a man with more spirit, passion and love for his craft. At this time our thoughts are with his family."

In George R.R. Martin's series, Ser Denys was a member of the Night's Watch and the commander of the Shadow Tower for 33 years, who was up for the position of Lord Commander. And the role of Ser Denys Mallister will not be recast for the TV series after Murphy's death. 

Game of Thrones' executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff issued a statement on Murphy's passing, saying, "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."

In addition to Game of Thrones, Murphy has a part in the upcoming film Dracula Untold, and appeared in films such as Angela's Ashes, Cal and MickyBo and Me.

Season five of Game of Thrones will have nine new cast members, including Toby Sebastian as Trystane Martell, Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara Sand and Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow.

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