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"Game of Thrones" Locks Former "Whale Rider" Star For Sand Snakes Role

Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes joins the HBO fantasy drama, along with Jonathan Price, Alexander Siddig, and six others. Season 5 just got a lot more real.

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With HBO announcing that Season 5 of Game of Thrones would shift much of the action to Dorne — the region of the Seven Kingdoms ruled by House Martell — in the aftermath of the death of Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), casting rumors for the various Martell family members have been omnipresent.

At today's Game of Thrones panel at San Diego Comic-Con, HBO put the rumors to rest and announced the three actresses who would be playing Oberyn's daughters, aka the Sand Snakes.

Oscar nominee Keisha Castle-Hughes, who starred in Whale Rider when she was 13, has landed the role of Obara Sand, Oberyn's eldest daughter, described in the press release as "a fearsome warrior" in her own right. Jessica Henwick (Silk) will play Nymeria ("Nym") Sand, the second eldest daughter — who is described as being "cultured, graceful, and deadly with a whip." Rounding out the trio of young warrior women is Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (The Family) as Tyene Sand, whose mother is Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), who watched in horror as The Mountain crushed Oberyn's skull in Season 4.

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The casting announcements didn't end there, however, as six other actors will also be joining the fifth season:

Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow


"A devout and pious man," per HBO, "the High Sparrow came to King’s Landing to serve those forgotten by much of the world – the poor, the downtrodden, and the infirm – and quickly amassed a large following. His fellow believers have swarmed over the city, ministering to the lowest, and decrying the corruption of the highest."

Alexander Siddig as Doran Martell


The former 24 star will play Doran Martell, "the ruling lord of Dorne and the older brother to the late Red Viper, Prince Oberyn Martell," per HBO. Expect many scenes with blood oranges, though it's unclear whether producers will have Doran be the gouty, pensive character he is in George R.R. Martin's books.

Also in Dorne...

Toby Sebastian


DeObia Oparei

Toby Sebastian (After the Dark) will play Trystane Martell, Prince Doran's son and heir to Dorne. DeObia Oparei (Dredd) joins the cast as Areo Hotah, "the long-serving captain of Doran Martell's palace guard."

Nell Tiger Free as Myrcella Baratheon

Twitter: @freenelltiger

In a bit of recasting, Nell Tiger Free (Endeavour) will take over the role of Myrcella Baratheon, a role originally played by Aimee Richardson. Myrcella is the eldest child of Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and is betrothed to Trystane Martell. Her character was last seen in Season 2 of Game of Thrones, when she was sent to Dorne against the wishes of Cersei.

And finally...


Enzo Cilenti will play Yezzan, whose life as "an extremely wealthy slave trader was affected when Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) outlawed the slave trade," per HBO.

Watch all the new actors introduce themselves.

View this video on YouTube


Season 5 of Game of Thrones will premiere in 2015 on HBO.

This post has been updated to change language originally taken from a press release.