Season 4 of Game of Thrones was epic, to say the least, and with the introduction of more characters from the south of Westeros, Season 5 promises to explore this vast region of the fictional land even further.
Dorne, the stubborn and rebellious – yet powerful – kingdom of the south, was introduced to fans of the show this last season with Prince Oberyn Martell as a guest in King’s Landing. He oft praised the progressive ways of his homeland: its fair and equal treatment of women, children, and the old, and the recognition of bastards. The Prince himself has produced a gaggle of children with his lovers, known as the “Sand Snakes” in the book, and the new cast list contains a picture of what that varied group might look like in this new season. Nymeria ‘Nym’, Tyene, and Obara Sand have all been cast: they will be played by Jessica Henwick, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, and Keisha Castle-Hughes, respectively.
These aren’t the only new faces of Dorne, however. Alexander Siddig, will play Doran Martell, the Prince of Dorne and Lord of Sunspear. DeObia Oparei will play the captain of Doran Martell’s guard, Areo Hotah. Toby Sebastian will play Trystane Martell, the betrothed of Myrcella Baratheon and heir to the throne of Sunspear. This is where the casting controversy begins. The original heir to the throne of Dorne is Trystane’s sister, Arianne; because, as Oberyn espoused last season, Dorne sees women as equals, and she is the first born. Her character has yet to be cast, if she will be cast at all – HBO has said casting for season 5 is not yet finished.
Some fans of George R. R. Martin’s books are pledging to stop watching the show all together due to differences such as this. According to this article at Nerdist, they prodded Martin to make some inflammatory comment against the show, but could not rile him, and when asked if they thought themselves superior to other Game of Thrones fans, a few shouts of, “YES,” rang around the room.
The conversation continues, but for now, we can move our eyes from the Dornishmen to the new cast of the North, and elsewhere. Myrcella Baratheon – who actually now resides in Dorne, with her betrothed’s family – has been recast. She will be played by Nell Tiger Free. In King’s Landing, the new High Septon, High Sparrow, will be played by Johnathan Pryce.
Across the Narrow Sea, Yezzan will be played by Enzo Cilenti.
If all these names gave you a bit of a headache, don’t worry, there is a video you can watch, too. And the Game of Thrones panel wasn’t all business. A gag reel from Season 4 was also released, and it is thoroughly irreverent.