GAME OF THRONES is a pretty big deal. You might have heard about it.
And though it may have come away empty handed from the Emmys this year, it remains one of the world’s biggest – and most pirated – shows. Naturally then, season 4 is well underway, set to be aired in Spring of next year.
With a new series comes new cast members, and considering how A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE – the book series from which GAME OF THRONES is birthed – boasts over 1000 named characters, it’s hardly surprising that a big bunch of lovely new chappies are set to join the party.
In no particular (spoiler free) order, here they are:
Pedro Pascal is… Prince Oberyn Martell!
Otherwise known as the Red Viper, the younger prince of Dorne is one of the most popular characters among fans of the book, being equal parts dangerous, witty, enigmatic and shag-happy. He journeys to King’s Landing as part of the Dornish contingent for Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding.
Mark Gatiss is… Tycho Nestoris!
An interesting one. Tycho Nestoris is a messenger from the Iron Bank of Braavos, a powerful company with a penchant for causing severe ball-ache to anyone who doesn’t pay them their due which, as you might remember, was giving Tyrion jitters last season… His role in the books isn’t too telling just yet, so his early appearance in the series clearly marks some fiddling by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. But either way, Mark Gatiss is a quality actor (perhaps best known as Mycroft in the BBC’s SHERLOCK HOLMES) so let’s rejoice in that.
Indira Varma is… Ellaria Sand!
Much like Snow in the north, Sand is the bastard name for anybody from Dorne. Ellaria is Oberyn’s paramour and travels with him to King’s Landing. Her inclusion in the show is another surprising one, with the role in the book being a relatively minor one. You know what this is gonna be, right… sexy scenes.
Roger-Ashton Griffiths is… Mace Tyrell!
The Lord of Highgarden and the father to Loras and Margaery, he’s another one schlepping off to the capital for that big ol’ wedding. His appearance is late in the show (he helps out in the Battle of the Blackwater in the books) so it’ll be good to have him at last. The Dornish and the Tyrells have never been the most amicable of housemates…
Joel Fry is… Hizdar Zo-Loraq!
Beware fans of the series, the dynasty of bafflingly similar Meereenese names is almost upon ye! Meereen is the next city in Danaerys’ conquest of the Eastern world and Hizdar becomes a go-to contact for her there. For fans of the book, Hizdar being cast is exciting news indeed, for everyone else, satiate yourselves with the fact that Joel Fry is a handsome son-of-a-gun.
Joseph Gatt is… nobody knows!
Well, not for definite anyway, though it’s all but official that he’ll be playing Styr, Magnar of Thenn. Just look at him… he’s perfect for it. Styr is one of Mance Rayder’s golden boys, a brutal battle-commander revered as a god by his people. Sweet deal really. Tormund Giantsbane took over the character’s role in season 3, but George R. R. Martin himself has confirmed the appearance of the earless wonder is season 4.
In slightly less exciting, but still interesting, casting news, Paula Dionisotti and Rupert Vansittart have been cast as Lady Waynwood and Bronze Yohn Royce (whose son, Weymar, was White Walker-ed in the pilot) respectively. Both are Lordly figures in the Vale, which you’ll remember is where Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish went galumphing off to at the end of last season.
As well as all the new faces for new characters, a couple of pre-existing characters are going all FACE-OFF and forcefully changing their faces with somebody else in a bloody and brutal exchange. Or, y’know, they’ve been recast.
Principally, we’ve got Dean-Charles Chapman taking over the role of Tommen Baratheon, Joffrey’s little brother, who in season 3 played Martyn Lannister before he got all stabbed-up. Weird one. Also, Daario Naharis – the hairy pretty boy who joined Danaerys’ posse towards the end of season 3 – has been recast, with Michael Huissman taking over from Ed Skrien.
Oh, and what’s proving to be a hopelessly cursed role is getting the re-cast treatment too, with Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane being cast for the third (!) time. Icelandic strongman competitor Hafþór “Thor” Björnsson is taking over the role. He’s had no acting experience which may not bode well… but he is built like a brick shithouse, so it’s all good.
Finally, we can look forward to the return of the World’s Biggest Knob Ser Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) – who was a thorn (geddit?) in John Snow’s side in season 1 - and jowly frogman Janos Slynt (Dominic Carter, most famous for turning traitor on Ned Stark).
There’s a whole lot of small, bit-part roles cast too, from Roose Bolton’s wife Fat Walda (Elizabeth Webster) to, um, Innkeeper’s Daughter… but instead of turning this article into an essay, just click here for a list.
GAME OF THRONES returns to ours screens April 2014.
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