Game of Thrones kills off so many of its characters in gruesome, grisly and generally bloodthirsty ways, it’s a good job we get an influx of new faces at the beginning of each series.
It’s time to finally forget about Robb, Catelyn, Talisa, Craster, Orell, Ros (the list goes on…) and welcome some new blood (which will probably soon be spilt). To give you a head-start, here’s our handy guide to some of the key players to look out for in the new series of Game of Thrones.
Just don’t get too attached to any of them…
Warning: includes spoilers about series three
Prince Oberyn Martell aka The Red Viper
Played by Pedro Pascal
Prince Oberyn travels from his home of Sunspear in Dorne and comes to King’s Landing in series four. He is a skilled fighter, who is rumoured to poison his weapons, and has eight bastard daughters known as the Sand Snakes. Game of Thrones’ showrunners said: “The Red Viper is sexy and charming, yet believably dangerous; intensely likable, yet driven by hate. The boys love him, the girls love him, and he loves them all back. Unless your last name is Lannister.”
You might recognise Pedro Pascal from… Homeland, Graceland, The Adjustment Bureau and The Good Wife.
Played by Indira Varma
Ellaria is Prince Oberyn’s paramour, the mother of four of his bastard daughters the Sand Snakes, and herself the illegitimate offspring of Lord Harmen Uller, a nobleman of Dorne. She travels to Kings Landing with Oberyn in series four.
You might recognise Indira Varma from… Luther, Silk, What Remains and Rome.
Played by Yuri Kolokolnikov
Styr is a leader of a Wilding clan known as the most warlike tribe north of the Wall. He is a deadly fighter, described as being bald with no ears and grey eyes.
The Iron Bank
Played by Mark Gatiss
Nestoris is a representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos, an organisation notorious in the Seven Kingdoms for always getting back the money it’s owed. The character is described in the books as tall and gaunt with a beard as thin as a rope.
You might recognise Mark Gatiss from… Sherlock, The League of Gentlemen, Nighty Night and Being Human.
Played by Roger Ashton-Griffiths
The father of Lady Margaery, Mace makes his appearance in series four as the wedding of his daughter and King Joffery draws ever closer. Formally a supporter of Renly Baratheon, he is described as “a ponderous oaf” by his mother, Oleanna Tyrell (played by Diana Rigg.)
You might recognise Roger Ashton-Griffiths from… The Tudors, Gangs of New York, A Knight’s Tale and The Brothers Grimm.
Played by Paola Dionisotti
Lady Anya Waynwood is the head of her house and the Lady of Ironoaks, a castle in the Vale of Arryn. In the books she is a grizzled widow and the mother of Donnel, Morton and Wallace Waynwood.
You might recognise Paola Dionisotti from… Midsomer Murders, Poirot, Harbour Lights and Forever Green.
Fat Walda Frey
Played by Elizabeth Webster
Fat Walda Frey is the 15-year-old grand-daughter of Lord Walter Frey. She is married to Lord Roose Bolton, who chose her, the largest girl of House Frey, because her grandfather offered him his prospective bride’s weight in silver. Described in the books as large and watery eyed, she travels with her husband in the aftermath of the Red Wedding.
You might recognise Elizabeth Webster from… The Spa, Call the Midwife and Cockneys vs Zombies.
Played by Hafthor Julius Bjornsson
Yes, you’re not wrong. We have met Gregor Clegnane before, he just didn’t look quite like this… Bjornsson is taking over from Ian Whyte, who himself took over from the character’s original actor Conan Stevens in series one. Gregor Clegnane is better known as The Mountain, the brutish brother of Sandor Clegane, better known as The Hound. We didn’t see him at all in series three, but he’ll be back in series four.
Hizdahr zo Loraq
Played by Joel Fry
Hizdahr zo Loraq is a weathly, handsome Ghiscari nobel who “crosses paths with Daenerys Targaryen” in the upcoming series. Hizdahr is from the city of Meereen, the largest of the Slaver Cities of Slaver’s Bay. The other two, Astapor and Yunkai, are where the mother of dragons acquired her slave army and the city her army liberated in the series three finale.
You might recogise Joel Fry from Plebs, Trollied and Tamara Drewe.
Played by Michiel Huisman
Huisman is taking over the role of Naharis from Ed Skrein, who starred in series three. In case you don’t remember, Naharis was a lieutenant in the Second Sons, who took over the company by killing his superiors, and then pledged allegiance (and more flirting) to Daenerys. The role has been promoted to series regular, so it looks as though we’ll be seeing a lot more of Naharis in season four…
You might recognise Michiel Huisman from Treme, Nashville and World War Z.
Game of Thrones series four starts on Monday 7 April at 9:00pm on Sky Atlantic
Ellie is an entertainment, TV and film journalist writing news and (hopefully incredibly witty) comment for RadioTimes.com. She loves light-hearted dramas and glossy US series - and is more than a little bit obsessed with Downton Abbey. Foodie, sun-seeker and aspiring novelist in her own time. Likes the fact that her name rhymes with telly.