WinterIsComing.net posted details from a casting notice for the next season of Game of Thrones and, though unconfirmed, it has stirred up a lot of speculation, including the introduction of fan favorites the Sand Snakes.
It features a lot of characters from Dorne — home of Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), aka the Red Viper, and the southernmost kingdom of Westeros. That's in line with a report from Entertainment Weekly that says the show is scouting locations in Spain, a country which Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has cited as an influence for the fictional region.
The most interesting of these new characters are the Sand Snakes. With all the time Oberyn Martell spends in brothels, you can bet he's got a lot of illegitimate kids. In fact, he has eight daughters who have inherited his good looks, deadliness, and hatred of the Lannisters. Think a medieval version of Tarantino's Fox Force Five.
Only three of the eight are being cast now. Whether the other five will be cast later, or there will only be three to be less confusing for audiences already struggling with the show's hundreds of faces, remains to be seen.
Obara Sand — The oldest Sand Snake, at around 25. Her mother was a prostitute and her weapons of choice are a spear and whip. It's being reported that she'll have a big fight scene that isn't in the books.
Nymeria Sand — The daughter of a noblewoman. She is the most regal of the Sand Snakes, but she also has a thing for knives...
Tyene Sand — The daughter of a septa, a female priest. Despite her innocent exterior, she is feared for her knowledge of poisons.
Those aren't the only Dornish roles we'll see next season.
Prince Doran Martell — The brother of the Red Viper, Oberyn Martell. He is the devious but level-headed ruler of Dorne. Like Oberyn, he has no love for the Lannisters and he's got enough soldiers to be a threat to the Iron Throne. Also like Oberyn, producers are looking for a Latino actor to play him.
Prince Trystane Martell — The youngest child of Doran. He is betrothed to Cersei's youngest, Myrcella. The match was made to smooth over the Lannisters' rough relationship with the Martells, but it also means that Myrcella will be in the hands of people who know how to hold a grudge.
Areo Hotah — Doran's trusted bodyguard. Producers are looking for a black actor to play him (Martin mentioned Spain's African/Moorish influence in his vision of Dorne).
Not all the new characters are from Dorne, though.
High Sparrow — The leader of the Faith of Seven, one of the many problems the Lannisters will be dealing with as they try to hold Westeros together. Though generally less violent than the priests of R'hllor, the High Sparrow is a firebrand who comes to power on the backs of an axe-wielding mob.
Septa Unella — A priestess of the Seven. Basically, she's the Westeros version of Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Maggy the Frog — A fortuneteller who predicts awful things for Cersei. Of course, predicting awful things in Westeros is about as tough as predicting that the Super Bowl will be won by the team scoring the most points.
Lollys Stokeworth — Tyrion called her "dimwitted." Her betrothed, Bronn, considers her just a stepping stone to a castle (after a few unfortunate accidents). But it definitely means we'll be seeing more of Tyrion's cutthroat friend.
Yezzan — A grotesquely overweight slaver whose path crosses with some familiar faces across the Narrow Sea.
The Waif — It looks like the the priests of the Seven aren't the only ones we'll meet next season. The Waif is a servant of the Many-Faced God of Braavos, and producers are hoping to find an East Asian actor for the part.
Game of Thrones returns Sunday at 9 p.m. on HBO.