‘Game Of Thrones’ Season Three Cast And Premiere Date Announced

Game of Thrones” might not have had any new footage to show at San Diego Comic-Con this year, but they did come with two massive announcements. Season three introduces many, many new characters, and showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff came with an (almost) entire listing of the new cast members, as well as the third season release date.

The quick news first: “Game of Thrones” returns to HBO on March 31, 2013. That’s pretty much in keeping with the previous two seasons, so there’s not much of a surprise there. Still, it’s nice to mark a date on the calendar and start our countdowns early.

Now what we’ve all been waiting for: the casting. We’ve been dying to know who will be playing new characters like Jojen and Meera, Beric Dondarrion and Brydon Tully, and now we have found out. Read on after the jump to find out who almost all the new actors and actresses will be.

We’ve said “almost” twice now, and it’s about time we explain that. There’s no sign of Mance Rayder or Strong Belwas on this list, and it’s actually pretty surprising. Belwas we can understand (maybe he’s just cut for time reasons), but Mance Rayder is a major, major player in future “Game of Thrones” storylines. Our only explanation is that the folks behind the show are waiting for some big name to portray one of the most interesting and intriguing characters in the story.

Without further ado, here are the actors who will be joining the cast this season in order of how excited we are about them.

Clive Russell will be playing Bryndon “The Blackfish” Tully, Richard Dormer will be playing Beric Dondarrion, Paul Jaye will be Thoros of Myr, Thomas Brodie-Sangster will be Jojen Reed, Ellie Kendirck will be Meera Reed, Diana Rigg will play Lady Olenna Tyrell aka the Queen of Thorns and Tobias Menzies will be Edmure Tully.

Mackenzie Crook will play Orell, Nathalie Emmanuel is Missandei, Kerry Ingram is Shireen Baratheon, Kristofer Hivju is Tormund Giantsbane, Philip McGinley is Anguy, Tara Fitzgerald is Selyse Baratheon and Anton Lesser as Qyburn.

Can it be March 31 already?

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Are you as excited about the third season as we are? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!