On August 11, we all learned the sad news that actor J.J. Murphy passed away on Friday at the age of 86, just four days after filming his first scenes for Game of Thrones. Murphy will be appearing in Season 5 as Ser Denys Mallister of the Night’s Watch. He still had several scenes to film, and some wondered if the part would be recast. Answer: Definitely not.
Game of Thrones executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff issued the following statement in the wake of the sad news: "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."
Presumably, instead of recasting the part the writers will instead re-write any as yet unfilmed scenes Ser Denys Mallister was supposed to appear in. We're glad to hear they won’t be attempting to fill his shoes. J.J. Murphy was reportedly very excited to have a part on Game of Thrones, and we think it's only appropriate that the scenes he did film make it to screen with him in the role.
Once again, our condolences to J.J. Murphy's friends and family during this difficult time.
Source: E! Online