As they’ve done in years past, the folks at HBO and show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss used the annual Game of Thrones panel at Comic-Con to make a number of casting announcements. As we’ve talked about over the past few weeks, season five of Game of Thrones will spend a lot more time in the kingdom of Dorne, where the late Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) was from. And a lot of the storyline will revolve around the fallout from his death, including the reactions of his older, calmer brother Doran and his significantly less calm and far more aggressive daughters, known as The Sand Snakes.
With casting rumors swirling all summer alongside reports of new shooting locations in Spain, information was bound to be released sooner or later. Today was that day, with the panel showing a video of new cast members. We’ve got the breakdown after the jump, along with a wonderful season 4 gag reel.
First, the casting announcement:
Without getting into any spoilers for now, lets talk about these casting choices:
Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell
Doran is the older, more thoughtful brother to Oberyn. And as much as Oberyn became a fan favorite in season four, Doran isn’t quite as electric. Adding Star Trek: Deep Space Nine‘s Siddig does lend some gravitas to the role, which will no doubt be pivotal as Dorne considers how best to respond for the Lannisters’ killing machine not only confessing to killing Elia at the end of season four, but also killing their prince. He seems like a solid choice.
Toby Sebastian as Trystane Martell
Apparently Doran’s son will be played by one of the members of One Direction. We’ll see how that goes…
Jonathan Pryce as High Sparrow
With Tywin, Tyrion and presumably Varys all out of King’s Landing at the end of season four, will Cersei be left to run completely wild? She might, but she also runs up against a character called the High Sparrow. He’s the religious leader of King’s Landing who comes along in a time when the city is scared and poor, providing an excellent foe for Cersei and her less than moral ways.
Keisha Castle-Hughes as Obara Sand
This one is something I talked about in my most recent spoilers discussion (book readers only). Castle-Hughes will take the role of Oberyn’s eldest and most dangerous daughter. If they can make her look tough (just as they did with Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth), adding the Oscar winner could be another home run for the show.
Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella Baratheon
Remember Joffrey’s sister? She was shipped off to Dorne by (then Hand of the King) Tyrion in season two. She was originally played by Aimee Richardson. The casting of Nell Tiger Free simply means that Myrcella has been aged up, similar to the recasting of Tommen. Too bad for Aimee Richardson, fine for the purposes of the show.
DeObia Oparei as Area Hotah
Doran Martell’s loyal bodyguard. Having read the books, I always imagined him as a quiet, gentle version of The Mountain. Just as formidable, but a real sweetheart.
Enzo Cilenti as Yezzan
A slave trader displaced by Daenerys’ march through Slaver’s Bay. He’s a character that will likely cross paths with a number of displaced characters who have been cast aside by their families and friends.
Jessica Henwick and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Nymeria and Tyene Sand
More of Oberyn’s daughters, this time younger. As you see in the clips, though, both actresses seem very excited about the weapons their characters will get to use in the season. It’s all part of the raging storm that is The Sand Snakes. Remember how mad Oberyn was about the fact that the Lannisters killed his sister? The Lannisters killed these girls’ father. That ought to bring out some emotion.
On the whole, all of this feels right for a number of reasons. Book readers will likely note the lack of certain characters for season five, but rest assured that there is still plenty of time for the show to bring in various story lines. As we march into the uncharted territory (where several story lines, including Bran’s, have already reached their corresponding ends from the books), things are going to get interesting. The good news is that things in King’s Landing and Dorne should be as interesting as ever.
And finally, here is the season four gag reel. It’s delightful: