May 16, 2019
Sadly, Angela Lansbury will not get naked and bathe in the blood of her enemies on Game of Thrones
Chances are, if you grew up during The Wonder Years (whether the actual time the series was set in or watching it), then you also remember Murder She Wrote and Sunday nights when the whole family could gather around ye olde television set without embarrassment because this was before Sundays were for mafia kingpins or meth labs or bipolar CIA agents who made bad choices.
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There was no sex or violence happening in Murder She Wrote’s Cabot’s Cove, except for a discreet weekly murder (unless Jessica Fletcher was traveling, in which case the mayhem traveled with her). Our dear Jessica was nice and common-sensical and never had a bad word to say about anyone, which is probably how you think of the woman who portrayed her, Dame Angela Lansbury.
In which case you may be scratching your head of thinning hair (because you are old) and wondering how rumors ever got started that she would be appearing in the cruel, complex world of Game of Thrones next season, especially considering she’s almost as ancient as Betty White.
Or, if you were born closer to the turn of the 21st century, you’re more likely wondering if you’ve seen this very old lady in a commercial for adult diapers or are just confusing her with the one on Better Call Saul that Jimmy puts in his commercials.
In either case, the rumors are definitely not true, and Dame Angela will not deign to visit Westeros or Meereen next season, which is unfortunate, because Angie is awesome and her range includes playing a saucy teenage maid in Gas Light, the other woman stealing Spencer Tracy from Katherine Hepburn in State of the Union, Mrs. Lovett the cannibal pie lady in Sweeney Todd (not in the movie, unfortunately), a talking teapot in some Disney film, and—most relevantly to Thrones—the ruthless Eleanor Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate. Now that’s a woman willing to sacrifice her son to get what she wants: control of the universe (but not in the remake, where even Meryl Streep couldn’t fill those shoes).
Eleanor Shaw on Game of Thrones would have been a treat (as, say, Tywin Lannister’s not-actually-dead mum?), but in lieu of that, please enjoy this clip of Angela giving orders in The Manchurian Candidate. She was 37 when she played this role, and Laurence Harvey, her “son”, was 35, but in Hollywood, women age twice as fast as men, so nothing weird about that.