The casting call for Season 3 of HBO’s resident fantasy-drama (but mostly drama) Game of Thrones was always going to be a big’un, as creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss face the challenge of further expanding George R.R. Martin’s already-unruly world; early word had the cast growing by at least 11. Today at Comic-Con, HBO officially revealed 14 new combatants in the Game of Thrones, with more announcements still to come. While many of them had already leaked out in the days leading up to the event, the biggest news is certainly that Dame Diana Rigg, best known for the 1960s British series The Avengers, has been tapped for the role of fan favorite Olenna Tyrell (aka Olenna Redwyne, aka “The Queen of Thorns”).
Hit the jump for more on Olenna and all the other new faces you’ll be seeing in Westeros next spring, including an introductory video screened at the Con. Also, click over to Matt Goldberg’s recap of the Game of Thrones panel to see what cast and crew had to say about the show.
First off, Olenna is the cunning, sharp-tongued matriarch of the Tyrell clan and grandmother to current Game players Margaery Tyrell and Loras “Knight of the Flowers” Tyrell. I haven’t read the books, as I’m already invested in seeing this story play out in high-def, but this woman comes billed as a major operator…as if we needed another one of those. It’s already puppet masters on top of puppet masters here, people.
The rest of the characters confirmed today are as follows (per THR):
•Clive Russell (Sherlock Holmes) as Catelyn Stark’s dutiful uncle, Bryndon Tully (“The Blackfish”)
•Tobias Menzies (Rome) as Catelyn’s brash brother Edmure Tully
•Mackenzie Crook (BBC’s The Office) as “skinchanging” wildling raider Orell
•Richard Dormer (Jump)as Beric Dondarrion, leader of outlaw group Brothers Without Banners
•Nathalie Emannuel (Hollyoakes) as child slave Missandei
•Kerry Ingram as Stannis Baratheon’s only child, Shireen
•Tara Fitzgerald (Sirens)as Stannis’ estranged wife, Selyse
•Paul Kaye (Match Point)as Thoros of Myr, a red priest of the same order as Stannis’ go-to sorceress Melisandre.
•Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Phineas and Ferb) as Bran Stark’s uniquely gifted friend Jojen Reed, and Ellie Kendrick as his huntress sister Meera
•Kristofer Hivju (The Thing) as Tormund Giantsbane, chief lieutenant of wildling leader Mance Rayder
•Philip McGinley (Prometheus) as archer Anguy
•Anton Lesser (The Hour) as ex-maester Qyburn