The Belfast-born actor JJ Murphy, 86, has died just four days into filming scenes for HBO's 'Game of Thrones'. Murphy was to play Ser Denys Mallister, the oldest member of the Night's Watch in the fifth season of the show, however, he collapsed and died on Friday August 8.

Game of Thrones

According to the Guardian, Murphy's agent Philip Young, Murphy was "absolutely delighted" to be cast "in one of the biggest productions in the world at this stage in his career."

Murphy had worked in the Northern Irish theatre scene in the late 1940s before landing numerous movie roles in later life, including in Angela's Ashes. He plays a village elder in Gary Shore's big-budget horror Dracula Untold, set for release in October later this year. It is currently unclear whether Game of Thrones producers are to recast Murphy's part or to rewrite scenes in the fifth season.

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Recently, Game of Thrones novelist and creator George R.R Martin opted against getting too involved with the fifth season of the show to focus on completing his upcoming novel Winds of Winter.

"I'm not actually writing an episode for Season 5 ... It takes me roughly a month to do an episode, so I decided, given the realities, I'd better skip this one this season and just concentrate on finishing the book," Martin said in a Zap2it interview after the 2014 Comic-con event in San Diego.

Game of Thrones season 5 was formally announced in April 2014 and will premiere in April 2015.