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Game of Thrones: Season 4 Castings and Re-Castings Galore!

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Game of Thrones' 4th season is going to look a little different...

Since the end of last season, HBO has made several announcements pertaining to the cast of their epic drama Game of Thrones. Some of that news is simply the casting of new characters, while other bits involve the replacement of a few characters we already know.

Perhaps one of the biggest news items, at least to those who follow and enjoy British television -specifically the brilliant Sherlock - is the addition of Mark Gatiss to the Game of Thrones cast.

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While the actor’s involvement in the show isn’t very surprising, the role he is taking on may be. Gatiss has been cast as Tycho Nestoris, an Iron Bank of Braavos representative. Why is this surprising? Well not only is it a somewhat small role (one has to imagine Gatiss’ busy schedule plays a large part in the size of a role in the show) but those who have read the novels know that this is a bit early in the timeline for Nestoris’ appearance. This obviously wouldn’t be the first time the HBO show departed a bit from the books and hopefully the writers of the show will treat this change as well as they have other differences that we’ve already seen. 

For quite awhile after Mark Gatiss’ casting was announced, there was plenty of speculation that the actor would be Mace Tyrell. George R.R. Martin put that rumor to rest himself on his blog saying, “Yes, it’s the fine British character actor Roger Ashton-Griffiths, who has been cast in the role of Mace Tyrell, son to the Queen of Thorns, and father of Loras and Margaery.” Ashton-Griffiths is the type of actor that when you hear his name it sort of rings a bell, but you then see his face and that light of recognition clicks on. A perfect fit for Westeros.

Mace Tyrell might not be the sex symbol draw that some cast members are (Kit Harrington and his lovely abs) but another new member is coming to town that will surely ignite many loins. Pedro Pascal, most recently seen in USA’s Graceland (below), has been cast as Oberyn Martell, aka the Red Viper.

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Of course it wouldn’t be Game of Thrones or even television if there wasn’t a bit of outrage involving some off-season action. It seems that many fans were a bit confused as to why Red Viper was not black. Once again, George R.R. Martin took to his blog to quell the increasingly loud crowds.

I wasn’t present for Pedro Pascal’s audition, but I understand that he really killed it with his reading. And since his casting was announced, the producer of another TV show on which he appeared recently has written me to say how terrific Pascal is, and to congratulate us on the casting. So I suspect that he will turn out to be a wonderful Red Viper.

I do know that David and Dan and HBO do favor having a racially and ethnically diverse cast on the series. It is true that we’ve lost several black characters who appear in the novels (Chataya and Alayaya, Jalabhar Xho, Strong Belwas), but to balance that, characters like Salladhor Saan and Xaro Xhoan Daxos, both white in the books, have been played by black actors. Missandei as well, though in the books the Naathi are golden-skinned, not white.

Of course the guys aren’t grabbing all the Game of Thrones headlines.

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Surely Luther fans will rejoice when they hear that the troubled lawman’s wife will be returning to our televisions as Red Viper’s lover and mother to four of his children, Ellaria Sand. That’s right, Indira Varma has signed on for the role and amazingly enough brings the number of former Rome stars in Westeros to three including Ciarán Hinds as Mance Rayder and Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully.

One of the fun things about actors being rumored to be joining a show is the wild speculation that ensues afterwards. When it comes to HafÞór ‘Thor’ Björnsson (World’s Strongest Man) and Michiel Huisman (HBO’s Treme), fans could have continued to guess for months and likely would not have come up with the right answer. That is because the two actors are not being cast in new roles, but rather are stepping into roles vacated by others recently. Björnsson is the third actor (Conan Stevens in season 1 and Ian Whyte in season 2) to take on the role of the larger than life ‘Mountain’, Ser Gregor Clegane. Huisman will be replacing Ed Skrein as Tyroshi captain, Daario Naharis.

So these two…

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have been replaced with these two.

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One role that will be returning, but not recast, is that of Karl of the Night’s Watch. Burn Gorman confirmed his return at this year’s Dragon*Con.

Rounding out this batch of Game of Thrones casting updates is the news that young Octavia Alexandru has been cast in an ‘as of now’ unknown role. Of course, once again, this has not stopped speculation. Will she join Bran’s storyline as Leaf? We’ll have to wait to see.

As usual, stay tuned here to GEEK for all your TV news, including this upcoming Game of Thrones season 4!

Photos: Twitter, TNT, HBO, and the BBC

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