Fans are (somewhat) patiently awaiting the next season of the massively popular HBO series, “Game of Thrones.” As the plot thickens and being heating up, season 3 is promising to be, well, amazing. What is great about the series, besides the overall story, is the large cast with many impressive actors attached, and with each new season we get a plethora of new faces to grow to like before they (most likely) bite the dust. The main cast currently includes Richard Madden, Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Alfie Allen, Lena Headey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Peter Dinklage, Jack Gleeson, Rory McCann, Aidan Gillen and Iian Glen.
With the premiere of season 3, however, we see an addition of 14 new cast members to the ensemble.
Dame Diana Rigg as Olenna Redwyne, The Queen of Thorns
You might recognize her as the cat-suited secret agent Emma Peel in the British TV series “The Avengers” (a role later taken by Uma Thurman in the disastrous 1998 film version). She also played the only woman James Bond ever loved, killed just after their wedding, in “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Her most recent movie appearance being in 2006’s “The Painted Veil.”
The Character: Olenna Tyrell (née Redwyne), is the grandmother of season two addition Margaery Tyrell, described as a cunning, manipulative matriarch who comes to King’s Landing to oversee her granddaughter’s wedding to King Joffrey.
Clive Russell as Brynden Tully, The Blackfish
The Scottish actor Clive Russell is already relatively well-known since he starred in Neil Gaiman’s TV series “Neverwhere” as villain Mr. Vandemaar and also had a recurring role as sinister comics boss Damien Knox in Edgar Wright’s “Spaced. He’s got over a hundred credits to his name, but the most recognizable one of late is as Captain Tanner in both Guy Ritchie “Sherlock Holmes” films.
The Character: Brynden is the uncle of Catelyn Stark (née Tully), a famous knight who now fights alongside Robb, becoming one of his most trusted advisers and comrades.
Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully
A RADA grad best known at first for playing Brutus in another HBO epic, “Rome,” before being M’s right-hand man in “Casino Royale.” Most recently, he starred in “The Recruiting Officer” at the Donmar Warehouse in London.
The Character: Catelyn’s younger brother, Edmure, is a whoring, hot-headed figure, but good at heart.**Spoiler** He becomes the lord of Riverrun after his father, Hoster Tully, dies.
Mackenzie Crook as Orell
Crook came to fame as Gareth on the original BBC version of “The Office,” before going on to appear in the original “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy. However, he has begun adding more serious roles to his credits, appearing first in “The Seagull” withKristin Scott Thomas, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Carey Mulligan, then the award-winning “Jerusalem,” and most recently “The Recruiting Officer” alongside Menzies.
The Character: Orell is one of the lieutenants of Mance Rayder (the biggest part yet to be cast), the so-called King of the North. He’s a skinchanger, which means he’s able to shift his consciousness inside an animal, in his case an eagle.
Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion
The Northern Irish actor starred as troubled snooker player Alex Higgins in stage hit “Hurricane,” which he also wrote. He also appeared in films like “Mrs. Henderson Presents” and “Five Minutes Of Heaven” and TV series like “My Boy Jack” and “Hidden,” but recently got a lead role — later in the year, he’ll star as Belfast punk legend Terri Hooley in “Good Vibrations” from the producers of “24 Hour Party People.”
The Character: Beric Of Dondarrion is a former soldier for Ned Stark, who is now the leader of the outlaw group the Brotherhood Without Banners, and may or may not be unkillable.
Nathalie Emmannuel as Missandei
Emmanuel appeared on the British teen soap “Hollyoaks,” in which she played Sasha Valentine, who became a prostitute and a heroin addict. Since leaving the show in 2010, she’s starred as Nala in “The Lion King” on stage and appeared in the most recent season of cult superhero drama “Misfits.”
The Character: Daenerys is a little lacking in followers after the events in Qarth, but Missandei, an interpreter in the slave city of Astapor, looks to fill the gap. Eleven in the books, clearly a little older here.
Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon
At 13 years old, she has already had her fair share of success, sharing the Olivier Award(the British equivalent of the Tonys) for Best Actress in a Musical for playing the title character in smash-hit musical “Matilda.”
The Character: Shireen Baratheon is the young daughter of Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), who nearly died of a disease called ‘greyscale’ as a child, and is left with flaky, grey dead skin on her left cheek and neck as a result.
Tara Fitzgerald as Selyse Baratheon
She played Ophelia to Ralph Fiennes’ Hamlet in 1995, winning a Drama Desk Award for her trouble, and starred in films like “Sirens,” “The Englishmen Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain” and “Brassed Off.” Currently she’s been a regular on long-running BBC procedural “Waking The Dead,” and its spin-off, “The Body Farm.”
The Character: Selyse Baratheon (née Florent) is Stannis’ wife, and the mariage has never been a happy one. And yet Selyse is a fervent supporter of his priestess Melisandre and her new religion.
Paul Kaye as Thoros Of Myr
Another actor from the series “Spaced. Kaye came to fame playing obnoxious red-carpet interviewer Dennis Pennis on a BBC comedy show. After the character was killed off, he starred in British films like “Blackball” and “It’s All Gone Pete Tong.” Also has a memorable role on TV show “Pulling,” and as Ingram’s stage father in “Matilda.”
The Character: Thoros is a red priest, affiliated to the same religion as Melisandre. He’s also a formidable warrior, and co-founds the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed
Sangster first appeared as Liam Neeson’s son in “Love Actually” before going on to star in films like “Nanny McPhee,” “The Last Legion,” “Bright Star” and as Paul McCartney in “Nowhere Boy.” TV roles have included a classic two-part “Doctor Who” and the voice of Ferb in long-running Disney Channel animation “Phineas and Ferb.”
The Character: Jojeen Reed is the son of another aristocratic family who has “greensight,” the power of prophetic dreams. He accompanies Bran, Osha and Hodor as they flee from Winterfell.
Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed
A young actress who played Juliet at the Globe Theater at 19, Kendrick is probably best known as Carey Mulligan’s best friend in “An Education.” She also played the title role in a BBC version of “The Diary Of Anne Frank,” and has more recently appeared in TV series “Upstairs Downstairs” and “Being Human.”
The Character: The older sister of Jojen, Meera is a skilled huntress who, with her brother, assists and accompanies Bran on his flight from Winterfell.
Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane
Hivju played Jonas, a nervous scientist, in last year’s remake/prequel of “The Thing.” Since then, he’s been shooting a role in M. Night Shyamalan’s “After Earth” alongside Will Smith.
The Character: Tormund is a giant-slaying wildling raider, one of Mance Rayder’s most trusted men, with the impressive title “Tall-talker, Horn-blower and Breaker of Ice, Husband to Bears, the Mead-king of Ruddy Hall, Speaker to Gods and Father of Hosts.” Not sure what “husband to bears” means but I’m interested in finding out.
Philip McGinley as Anguy
McGinley is best known for playing Tom Kerrigan on long-running soap “Coronation Street” between 2008 and 2009. More recently, he had a tiny role in “Prometheus.”
The Character: A talented archer, Anguy is another member of the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Anton Lesser as Qyburn
A veteran Shakespearean actor, 60-year-old Lesser has long been associated with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has been a prolific TV actor in Britain. Most recently, he cropped up in the fourth “Pirates of the Caribbean” and stole the show in excellent BBC program “The Hour.”
The Character: A former maester and skilled physician, Qyburn was stripped of his position after performing experiments on living people. Since then, he’s joined the mercenary band The Brave Companions.
The third season will consist of ten episodes. It will be based roughly on the first half of A Storm of Swords, the third of the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin, of which the series is an adaptation.Production began in July 2012 and the series will premiere on March 31, 2013.