With HBO's monster hit wrapping up its second season next Sunday, its producers are already deep into planning the third season. And they've already decided which characters from George R.R. Martin's third Song of Ice and Fire book, A Storm of Swords, will get added to the already-sprawling ensemble.
Entertainment Weekly sat down with Game of Thrones' showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, to talk about their plans for adapting A Storm of Swords (which will be split into two seasons, it's so hefty a tome) and introducing more characters to the drama. As Benioff put it:
"It's important to point out that that we have the largest cast on television right now. We introduced dozens of new characters in season two. 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."
But these are among the names that'll make the cut:
Mance Rayder: A former member of the Night's Watch who became the "King Beyond the Wall," the leader of the Wildlings.
Daario Naharis: A confident and seductive warrior.
Jojen Reed; Meera Reed: A teenage brother and sister duo with special insights.
Edmure Tully: A brash young member of the Tully family.
Ser Brynden Tully (The Blackfish): Catelyn Stark's uncle.
Lady Selyse Florent: Stannis Baratheon's wife.
Shireen: Stannis' daughter.
Olenna Redwyne (The Queen of Thorns): Margaery Tyrell's sharp-witted grandmother.
Beric Dondarrion: A skilled knight who is the leader of the outlaw group Brotherhood Without Banners.
Thoros of Myr: A red priest who follows the same religion as Melisandre.
Tormund Giantsbane: A Wildling raider.
The producers also made it clear that this list isn't the sum total of new faces, but they've got to save some surprises for later, don't they? So, does this roster please you, Thrones fans?