Game Of Thrones’ Rory McCann on his adventures filming in Iceland and what it’s like to be The Hound

SOURCE: Daily Record
AUTHOR: Steve Hendry
DATE: 08 July 2017
ORIGINAL: Click here
ARCHIVE: Click here
NOTE: The story he tells of how he got into acting is about The Book Group, not Ratcatcher. He had a little bit part in the latter and no director is going to write a script specially for an actor in a little bit part. But we know Annie Griffin did write a script for him and he did take her climbing before that. I don’t know how Daily Record managed to fuck this up. Ratcatcher was his first mainstream acting job, at least according to IMDB, sure. But I don’t think he was credited in that role, and he wasn’t credited in several others until The Book Group came along.

Also, I think this is what that other story was referring to when it said he was “tired” of being in GOT and was swearing at fans. Assholes. But I can’t say for sure.


The Glaswegian actor reveals he stays true to his character by telling fans to “f*** off” when they shout after him in the street.

Throughout his time on Game of Thrones, Scots star Rory McCann has picked up several injuries – but the worst was from throwing snowballs.

Storylines for the seventh series, which starts on July 17 on Sky Atlantic, are being closely guarded.

But the rumour mill about the Glaswegian’s character The Hound has gone into overdrive – with one claim that he captures a White Walker and another that he will fight his burnt brother “The Mountain”.

If they’re true, there’s plenty of scope for rough and tumble for the imposing Scotsman. The 48-year-old laughed: “I’ve been limping for two or three months to be honest.

“But the main injury was my shoulder over-stretching throwing too many snowballs in between takes in Iceland and I’m not getting any sympathy for that.”

The 6ft 6in giant – who became famous for the Scott’s Porage Oats adverts dressed in a vest and kilt – has to be careful when he is taking on physical challenges after he was almost killed in a rock climbing accident in 1990.

But he always seems to hurt or break something during filming of Game of Thrones.

He said: “I used to solo rock climb, which I don’t recommend because when you find out you can’t do the climb … yeah it didn’t work out but I’m still alive.

“I mean, I have a few bumps. I’m in plaster nearly every year. I’m a bit like that.”

Rory is one of the best-known characters in the hit TV show.

His character Sandor “The Hound” Clegane became a firm favourite with fans after his journey with Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) in the fourth series in 2014.

While he ended up being left for dead at the end of that series, he appeared again in series six.

It means Rory is internationally recognised – even though half his face is badly disfigured in the show.

He said: “I’m tall, I get recognised all over the place so I just try and keep my head down.

“I mean you just get people shouting out, ‘Hey you’re the Hound’ and I tell them to ‘f*** off’ and they seem happy and I carry on.”

To escape being hounded, the Hound spends much of his free time on a boat and, this year, was sailing around the west coast of Scotland – where he’s noticed similarities to the names of places in the show.

He said: “I sail a lot in Wester Ross.

“George (writer George R.R. Martin) is a big fan of Scotland and he’s picked up a lot of Scottish names. (Most of the action in Game of Thrones takes place in Westeros.)

“I could see me having a place there actually. There was an island for sale there but it was a bit too much money.”

The Hound’s scenes this year include lots of snow – which is something he loves, even though he shouldn’t be throwing snowballs.

Rory said filming in Iceland has always been his favourite because he lived there for a year, working as a carpenter after acting roles dried up.

The volcanic rock in Iceland has been used as the backdrop for scenes in the Riverlands and the Vale, for much of Arya and The Hound’s road trip and the big fight between The Hound and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), one of Rory’s most memorable scenes.

He added: “I had a real gas doing that. I love Gwen and we had fun and ended up in my beloved Iceland so that was just a joy. It was really good fun.”

But there are certain downsides to filming in such cold climes.

He added: “It’s not very nice when you’re wearing a prosthetic head and the sweat that has been accumulating during the morning has literally frozen. There were some horrible times.”

Fortunately, there were plenty of good times, too. During filming this year, Rory, who is a
multi-instrumentalist, formed a band with other actors called The Brotherhood Without Banjos.

He said: “It was really great. We had five or six of the actors all playing. We brought musical instruments with us, yeah it was good, good fun.

“I had to sing for my supper a few times in Seville (where the show also filmed), playing piano and stuff.”

Looking ahead to the new series, Rory understands why fans can’t wait to find out how it unfolds.

But with everyone poring over the new trailer trying desperately to make sense of what is going to happen, the actor is being very careful to make sure he won’t be the one that spills the beans.

He said: “I can feel your frustration already because we can’t tell too much but I’m sore from killing things – or was it just chopping wood?”

From the trailer, there is a lot of fighting and the White Walkers – undead characters brought back to life by the Night’s King – move ever closer to The Wall.

And there are rumours that it will be The Hound who will save Westeros from the White Walkers.

“Really? Rory said. “Nah.” That’s one conspiracy theory put to the sword.

Series seven is the penultimate series – with the final run appearing on screen next year.

But there is hope of spin-off shows and Rory believes something based on The Hound would work.

But he said: “I’d like to carry on with Arya, to be honest, I had a great time working with her and that was a bit of a road trip. That was fun.”

The plotlines involving Rory’s screen character tend to be fairly dramatic, but the story of how he became an actor is arguably more incredible.

He said: “I’d never done any acting but I took a director up a mountain rock climbing one time and then started telling stories about that and she got me six months later, found me cutting down a tree in Glasgow and said, ‘I’ve written something for you.’

“And I remember thinking, ‘This sounds a load of rubbish’.

“But she convinced me to do it and that was my first job.” That was Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher in 1999.

He’s never looked back but with only two series in Game of Thrones, what does he see when he looks forward to the show’s finale?

One thing’s for sure – he doesn’t want it to fade to black like the ending of The Sopranos.

Laughing, he said: “I’ve only just got through The Sopranos and, please God, don’t make it end like that.

“I don’t know. Maybe it will end on, ‘Boom!’ Everybody dies.”