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GAME OF THRONES Announces New Characters and a Recast for Season 5

Turn away lest ye wish to be spoiled fair Game of Thrones fans! Because hoo boy did the cast and creators unleash a bevy of new faces for us to obsess over in the upcoming fifth season. Or, you know, restock your fantasy fantasy league — because lord knows some of those are likely a bit barren after season four. All in all, nine newbies are joining the Realm. And it turns out they’re all very, very excited, regardless of all that valar morghulis nonsense.

During the HBO series’ San Diego Comic-Con International panel (perhaps one of if not THE most anticipated panel of the convention), fans were treated to not just an announcement of the characters we’ll see as we head down to Dorne and explore more of the world across the water in Essos, but introductions to the actors playing the roles in a fun series of homemade videos.

Hands down, the most excited announcement to fans at the panel was that of Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean) who will tackle the High Sparrow of King’s Landing. But man oh man, did people get excited to meet Oberyn Martell’s badass bastard daughters (I mean would you expect anything less from the Red Viper?), the Sand Snakes. In addition to confirming Keisha Castle-Hughes in the role of Obara Sand, we were also introduced to Jessica Henwick as Nymeria “Nym” Sand, and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand.

Elsewhere in Dorne, House Martell has found itself a Doran in Alexander Siddig (alert, alert, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and 24 fans!), and newcomer — who may just be the Jon Snow of the South if the crowd reaction was any indication — Toby Sebastian has been tapped to tackle Trystane Martell, Doran’s heir.

He also just so happens to be betrothed to Myrcella Baratheon, whom Tyrion sent packing to Dorne in a marriage arrangement back in season three. Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have decided to age Myrcella up a bit, swapping out Aimee Richardson for yet another newcomer, Nell Tiger Free, who may just have the coolest real-life name of anyone else on Game of Thrones (sorry, Lena Headey, but hey: at least we’re keeping it in the family, Lannister style).

Rounding out Dorne is Areo Hotah, Doran Martell’s long serving, crazy longaxe wielding (seriously: the thing is six feet long) servant, who is set to be played by DeObia Oparei (another Pirates of the Caribbean alum, this time from On Stranger Tides) — OK we take back what we said before about Nell: DeObia officially wins the coolest name contest. Hands down.

But if you thought that was it, you’re just kidding, because we’ve also got the character Yezzan over in Meereen. Mr. Richie McSlaveTrader will be tackled by Rome actor Enzo Cilenti. This confirms many of the roles that were previously speculated on, casting-wise.

What do you think of the casting announcement? How excited are you for season five now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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