Things get even darker in 17 stunning new Game of Thrones S2 photos

We're less than two months away from the season-two premiere of HBO's kickass fantasy series Game of Thrones. The clash of kings will be in full swing this year, and the show will be even bigger than the epic scale put forth in season one. We can't wait for winter to come, and here to heighten our anticipation are 17 powerful new pics, including some new faces.

After the epic events of season one, war is in full swing this year, with no less than five claimants battling for the Iron Throne. Some of them we've already met. Young Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) now sits on the Iron Throne, supported by his grandfather Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) and his mother and regent Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). Robb Stark (Richard Madden) is after revenge and a crown of his own after declaring himself King in the North, and Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) is out to prove he's his late brother Robert's rightful heir.

But two other kings in waiting are also out for blood. Robert Baratheon's other brother Stannis (Stephen Dillane) is also claiming the Iron Throne, backed by his loyal knight Davos (Liam Cunningham) and the mysterious Red Lady Melisandre (Carice van Houten). And on the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahide) wants a crown of his own.

All these characters and more are present in this gallery, and if the looks on their faces are any indication, season two is going to be one grim and bloody affair. But this is Game of Thrones, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Don't miss the premiere of season two of Game of Thrones April 1 on HBO.

(via EW)

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