The name Mark Gatiss might not immediately jump out to you upon hearing, but he's a creative force behind two of the most popular shows to come out of the UK over the past decade, as well as a familiar face to Game of Thrones fans.
The co-creator of and actor behind Mycroft Holmes in the BBC's Sherlock, Gatiss is also a frequent writer (and sometime actor) on fellow Sherlock creator's Steven Moffat's Doctor Who.
Not content just with these two Gatiss has been a recurring character over seasons four and five of Game of Thrones as Tycho Nestoris, a representative from the Iron Bank of Braavos. First appearing mid-way through season four, Tycho met with Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) and Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) in Braavos, who requested that the Iron Bank assist in the funding of Stannis' military efforts back in Westeros.
A cold, dignified and dismissive man, Tycho initially criticises the weak position of Stannis' army, but is eventually won over by Ser Davos who persuades him to fund them as a means of retrieving the gold lent by the bank to the eldery Tywin Lannister. He reappears in season five in a meeting with Mace Tyrell (Roger Ashton-Griffiths) whom he expresses a keen dislike towards, rejecting his offer of wine and scowling when he sings.
In the books Tycho doesn't appear until A Dance With Dragons where he basically spends the whole book trying to track down Stannis Baratheon. He's sent to the Wall to negotiate the debt of the Iron Throne with Stannis but the King has already buggered off, so Jon Snow bargains with him for the use of his ships in exchange for a guide to reach Stannis. He travels across Westeros, meets Theon Greyjoy and Jeyne Poole (who is posing as Arya Stark) after they've escaped Winterfell and takes them along with him to Stannis' camp.
He's set to appear again in George RR Martin's upcoming book Winds of Winter, which is currently unfinished (though excerpts are available online), but he's not appearing in Game of Thrones Season 6, as Gatiss told EW:
"I have hopes. I had dinner with [showrunners] Dan [B. Weiss] and David [Benioff] when we were in Croatia filming last year and I made what I thought was a very cogent pitch to be the last character alive in the whole saga. There should be a crane shot, everybody’s dead except me. Because, clearly, the only person who can survive is the bank."
Perhaps this doesn't come as a massive surprise given that there's so many characters floating about that it's hard to keep track of them, never mind one who only appeared in two episodes.
Looking at the parallels with the book it would likely have been Tycho who picked up Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) after their escape from Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon)'s clutches at the conclusion of Season 5; but this wouldn't have made a whole lot of sense in the TV show as, as far as we're aware, Tycho is currently still sitting cosy in Braavos and not trekking across the land trying to find Stannis.
This change means that, as it stands, Gatiss doesn't actually know what the future holds for his Tycho even if he would like to be last man standing. But he'd better be careful to stay on the right side of the co-creators, as when asked how D.B. Weiss and David Benioff responded to his suggestion he said:
"They smiled knowingly and probably made a note to organize my imminent death."
Valar morghulis Tycho, we barely knew ye.