Wilko Johnson, Musician and Game of Thrones' Ilyn Payne, Dead at 75

Musician Wilko Johnson, known to TV viewers as Ser Ilyn Payne on HBO’s Game of Thrones, died on Nov. 21. He was 75.

“This is the announcement we never wanted to make, and we do so with a very heavy heart: Wilko Johnson has died,” reads a message published to Johnson’s Twitter account on Wednesday. “He passed away at home on Monday 21st November. Thank you for respecting the family’s privacy at this very sad time. RIP Wilko Johnson.”

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A cause of death was not given. Johnson was previously diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013, but recovered after undergoing extensive surgery.

Johnson appeared in four Game of Thrones episodes as Ser Ilyn Payne, a mute knight who had had his tongue removed. Ilyn Payne also executed the beloved Ned Stark in Season 1, earning him a spot on Arya Stark’s vengeful death list.

Aside from his stint on Thrones, Johnson had a robust musical career and was best known as a guitarist for the English pub rock band Dr. Feelgood.

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