Game of Thrones is getting some fresh blood for preexisting roles for season 4. It’s a recasting frenzy!
The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the casting of Michiel Huisman in a mysterious role, only to later update the story with confirmation that the former Nashville and Treme star had been cast as the new Daario Naharis, replacing Ed Skrein in the role. Naharis was built up in season 3 as a potential love interest for Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who sacked the city of Meereen with the help of the “sellsword” and his band of mercenaries.
Unfortunately for fans of continuity, this is not the only recasting on tap for the fourth season.
HBO has confirmed through fansite WinterIsComing.net that Icelandic strongman Hafþór “Thor” Björnsson will be taking over the role of the Mountain, Ser Gregor Clegane.
The 6’9?-tall performer has no formal acting experience, but his body has won him an impressive amount of accolades. At only 24 years old, Thor won the title of “Iceland’s Strongest Man” for the past three years in a row, and placed third in the 2012 “World’s Strongest Man” competition.
The Mountain’s role is expected to expand in season 4, which is easy enough to do since the character was completely absent for season 3. Of course, some will argue that the effectiveness of this casting is undermined by the fact that Björnsson is twenty years younger than Rory McCann, the actor who plays Gregor’s younger brother, Sandor Clegane.
This marks the second time the role has been recast: The Mountain of season 1, played with brooding menace by Conan Stevens, was received well by book readers. However, scheduling and behind-the-scenes conflicts forced the role to be recast. Enter Ian Whyte, who took over the role in season 2. Whyte was considerably less popular than his forebear, as fans derided him for simply being a man who’s tall, without a whole lot of menace underneath it all. This second recasting continues the search for the right actor, a person who is not only big but menacing. Yet, once again, this is still not the only recasting for season 4.
WinterIsComing.net reports that the role of Prince Tommen Baratheon has been recast for season 4 and will now be played by Dean-Charles Chapman. The character, the younger brother of King Joffrey Baratheon, is expected to have more of a speaking role in the upcoming season, necessitating the casting of a more seasoned youth actor. However, the casting could be puzzling for fans, as Chapman was previously seen on the show as Martyn Lannister, one of the imprisoned squires killed by the Karstarks in season 3.
Of course, not all the new actors joining Thrones‘ this season will be filling old roles: Joseph Gatt has been cast in a role that many are speculating to be that of Styr, Magnar of Thenn, the wildling leader known for his muscular build and hairless body. In addition, Roger Ashton-Griffiths has been cast as Mace Tyrell (father of Margaery and Loras), and Pedro Pascal has been cast as “The Red Viper” Oberyn Martell (a noble with a vendetta against the Lannisters). Also joining the cast are Rome vet Indira Varma as The Red Viper’s love interest, Ellaria Sand; and Sherlock‘s Mark Gatiss, whose role is being kept tightly under wraps.