New Faces Next Season On “Game of Thrones”

With the second season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” wrapping up this coming weekend and production slated to kick off shortly on the third season, EW has scored a list of a dozen characters from the books that will be making their screen debuts next season.

Showrunner David Benioff says “it’s important to point out that that we have the largest cast on television right now… if you hurl 300 characters at an audience, the story collapses under the weight of too many faces, too many names, and too many subplots. We need to be just as mindful of the audience members who have never read the books as we are of the readers; the series will fail if we only appeal to those who already know the characters. So we try to be parsimonious about how many new roles we introduce to the story and when we introduce them.”

The most high profile new face is Mance Rayder, a former member of the Night’s Watch and now the leader of the Wildlings. Rayder has been mentioned several times throughout this past season by his other name – ‘the King Beyond the Wall’.

Several warrior characters will be introduced including Daario Naharis, the Wildling raider Tormund Giantsbane, and the outlaw gang leader Beric Dondarrion.

Also scheduled to appear are:

– Stannis Baratheon’s wife Lady Selyse Florent and their daughter Shireen Baratheon.

– Catelyn Stark’s uncle Ser Brynden Tully (aka. The Blackfish) and her brother Edmure Tully.

– Margaery Tyrell’s sharp-witted grandmother Olenna Redwyne (aka. The Queen of Thorns).

– Thoros of Myr, a red priest who follows the Lord of Light.

– Jojen & Meera Reed, teen siblings with special powers of insight.

Benioff adds that these aren’t the only new additions, several further ones he hasn’t reveal are also set to be included (though likely in smaller capacities).