When you play the “Game of Thrones,” you win or you die. Honestly, more often than not, you pretty much just die.
A whole bunch of new players are entering the “Thrones” arena with season five, and almost all of them are sure to die. Whether their intentions are pure or twisted, their very presence in the realms of Westeros and Essos all but assures that they will meet cruel, bloody ends.
But before their gruesome demises, we’ll get to know each of these new cast members, and maybe fall in love with a few of them. Ahead of their season five debuts, here’s what you need to know about each of the new “Game of Thrones” characters announced by HBO at San Diego Comic-Con.
Who Is He?: He’s the Prince of Dorne, and the brother of the deceased Red Viper. Until now, Dorne has played a relatively quiet role in the wars of “Game of Thrones.” But given Oberyn’s death, you can count on Doran and his people having a few thoughts on the matter. But don’t expect to see Doran dancing around wielding spears like his brother; in the books, he’s afflicted with gout, and is confined to a wheelchair.
Who Plays Him?: Alexander Siddig, perhaps best known for playing Doctor Julian Bashir on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.” He’s had memorable roles in “Syriana,” “Kingdom of Heaven,” “24” and more.
Will He Win or Will He Die?: Almost certainly die. He’s a Martell, and things don’t seem to work out well for these people. Plus, it’s “Game of Thrones.” Everybody dies.
Who Is He?: The youngest son of Doran Martell, Trystane is engaged to marry Myrcella Baratheon one day. In the books, he’s an innocent young boy that we rarely see or hear much from; on the show, it’s likely that he’ll have an increased profile, given the greater focus on the Dorne storyline.
Who Plays Him?: Toby Sebastian, a relative unknown who appeared in the 2013 film “After the Dark.”
Will He Win or Will He Die?: If he’s marrying into the Lannister-infused Baratheon family, then he’s probably going to lose — nobody wins in that broken household. Plus, again, “Game of Thrones.” Likely to die.
Who Is She?: You know who she is! At least, you should. She’s the daughter of Cersei and Jaime Lannister (publicly recognized as the daughter of the late king Robert Baratheon), and sister to the late Joffrey and current king Tommen. She’s been in Dorne since season two, betrothed to Trystane as part of Tyrion’s plans to make peace with the Dornish.
Who Plays Her?: The role has been recast for season five, and will be played by the awesomely named newcomer Nell Tiger Free. Previously, she was played by actress Aimee Richardson.
Will She Win or Will She Die?: She’s already a loser because she’s part of the Lannister clan, but that misfortune aside, Myrcella’s actually a pretty sweet kid. Still won’t stop her from dying, because, you know, “Game of Thrones.”
Who Is He?: Areo is one of Prince Doran’s personal bodyguards. He says little, and sees and hears all. The weirdest and most badass thing about him is that he’s literally married to his axe, a fact that should make it perfectly clear that Areo Hotah is not a man to be messed with.
Who Plays Him?: DeObia Oparei, who recently starred in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” as well as James Franco and Danny McBride’s “Your Highness.”
Will He Win or Will He Die?: It won’t be easy to get between Areo Hotah and his axe, but someone will pull it off eventually. This man is destined for a glorious demise, and we are sure to see it, because this is “Game of Thrones,” where death comes to all.
Who Is He?: He is Yezzan zo Qaggaz, a slave-trader who helps rule over Yunkai now that Daenerys Targaryen has moved onto Meereen. In the books, Yezzan is morbidly obese, sick with a jungle disease, and constantly reeks of urine, because he can’t hold his bladder. Sounds healthy.
Who Plays Him?: Stepping into the role of Yezzan is actor Enzo Cilenti, a man who is very much not morbidly obese and probably does not smell of urine. He has a small role in this weekend’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Will He Win or Will He Die?: I mean, come on.
The Sand Snakes
Who Are They?: They are Nymeria, Tyene and Obara Sand, the bastard daughters of the late, great Oberyn Martell. Unlike Prince Doran, who appears more timid, thoughtful and tactical, these so-called “Sand Snakes” have much more in common with their father. Expect some Red Viper levels of badassery from Nym, Tyene and Obara.
Who Plays Them?: Jessica Henwick is Nymeria, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers is Tyene, and Keisha Castle-Hughes (pictured) is Obara; of the three, Castle-Hughes is the best known, for her lead role as Kahu Paikea Apirana in “Whale Rider.”
Will They Win or Will They Die?: They’re the Red Viper’s children, so they’re bound to make some reckless choices. At least one will die, as a result. Probably all of them, really, because this is a show called “Game of Thrones,” and no one ever survives.
Who Is He?: Don’t let the name fool you: This is not a stoned Captain Jack Sparrow. This man could not be more different from that. In “Game of Thrones,” High Sparrow is the High Septon of the Faith of the Seven, whose real name is unknown, as it’s abandoned upon appointment to the high-up position. High Sparrow is a pious man with holy intent and grand plans. He might seem like little more than a religious nut on the surface, but there’s a very dangerous man deep within.
Who Plays Him?: Jonathan Pryce, who actually crossed paths with Captain Jack Sparrow as Governor Weatherby Swann in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies, among countless other credits.
Will He Win or Will He Die?: If old age doesn’t get to him first, some bloodthirsty character will. Because, as has been mentioned before and will be mentioned again, this is “Game of Thrones,” the show where everyone comes to die.
“Game of Thrones” returns in the spring of 2015.