Game Of Thrones: New Cast Members Announced

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HBO has announced a slew of actors who have joined "Game of Thrones" Season 3, including a cast member from the original UK version of "The Office" - Mackenzie Crook.

Mackenzie, also a member of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, will be playing the wildling Orell, a "warg" or "skinchanger," who has the ability to enter an animal's mind and control its actions.

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Speculation on his casting hit the Internet earlier this month when a fan spotted the British actor standing outside of a Belfast, Ireland hotel alongside castmembers Joe Dempsie (Gendry), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne), Finn Jones (Ser Loras Tyrell) and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark). Click HERE to see the photo.

Also joining the GOT cast is veteran actress Dame Diana Rigg, who will step into the role of Olenna Tyrell - aka, the Queen of Thorns. She is the grandmother of Margaery and Loras Tyrell and is considered the true leader of their powerful family.

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Rigg is best known for her roles as the lovely Emma Peel in the 1960s TV series "The Avengers" and as Countess Teresa di Vicenzo in the 1969 James Bond movie "On Her Majesty's Secret Service."

HBO also announced that Season 3 of "Game of Thrones" will debut on March 31, 2013.

Other casting announcements, per HBO's press release sent out on Friday afternoon:

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- Clive Russell as Bryndon "The Blackfish" Tully. Known far and wide as "The Blackfish," Brynden is a famous knight and the uncle of Catelyn Stark. He quarreled bitterly with his brother, Lord Hoster Tully, and the two were estranged for many years.

- Nathalie Emannuel as Missandei. Originally from the peaceful island of Naath, Missandei was sold into slavery as a child, along with her brother. She received education in various languages and became a translator to the slave trader Kraznys in Astapor.

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- Kerry Ingram as Shireen Baratheon, the only child of Stannis Baratheon. An avid reader, she escapes her lonely life through myths and stories - her books are her most treasured possessions.

- Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr. A key member of the outlaw band known as the Brotherhood Without Banners, he is a Red Priest, in service of the Lord of Light, and originally hails from the Free City of Myr, in Essos.

- Thomas Brodie-Sangster as Jojen Reed, a mysterious and enigmatic young man who becomes an important ally to Bran Stark.

- Ellie Kendirck as Meera Reed. The eldest daughter of Howland Reed and a staunch Stark loyalist, Meera and her younger brother Jojen seek out Bran Stark to protect him on his hard journey north.

- Richard Dormer as Beric Dondarrion. Once the lord of Blackhaven and a celebrated warrior, Lord Beric has now become the leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners, a band of vigilante outlaws.

- Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane. A famed wildling warrior and chief lieutenant of the "King Beyond the Wall," Mance Rayder, Tormund is fearsome and strong, with a large build and a beard to match.

- Philip McGinley as Anguy, an extremely skilled archer and key member of the outlaw band known as the Brotherhood Without Banners.

- Tara Fitzgerald as Selyse Baratheon. The wife of Stannis Baratheon, Selyse spends much of her life in seclusion, shut away in a gloomy tower.

- Tobias Menzies as Edmure Tully. The younger brother of Catelyn Stark, Edmure has recently become Lord of Riverrun in the wake of his father's death.

- Anton Lesser as Qyburn, a former maester of the Citadel, who was stripped of his chain many years ago.

Back in April, HBO announced "Game of Thrones" had been picked up for a third season.

"Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season - and then surpassed them," HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo said in a release at the time. "We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we've received for the series, and can't wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season."

Shortly thereafter, "GOT" author George R.R. Martin noted that Season 3 would be based on "the first half or thereabouts" of his book, "A Storm of Swords." He also noted he would be writing the seventh episode of Season 3, tentatively titled "Autumn Storms."

Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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