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'Game of Thrones' casts 'Rome' actress for season 4

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Indira Varma

Another fan-favorite Rome veteran is joining HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Actress Indira Varma has been cast in season four. Varma will play Ellaria Sand on the show, the sexually adventurous paramour of a key new character, Prince Oberyn Martell “The Red Viper” (played by Pedro Pascal).

Since playing Niobe on HBO’s Rome, Varma has had roles on Fox’s Human Target along with UK dramas Silk and Hunted. Last year, the production added fellow Rome actor Ciarán Hinds.

Varma joins fellow season 4 new hires Pascal and Sherlock writer-actor Mark Gatiss. Coming off the show’s highest-rated and most-Emmy-nominated season yet, last week at Comic-Con, Thrones producers and cast told EW they expect season 4 will be the show’s best.

“We got more action, which is obviously more time consuming,” says showrunner David Benioff. “It’s a brutal shooting season ahead. But if we can make it through, yeah, I think it’s going to surpass season three. The last 3 episodes, there’s so many scenes we’ve been waiting for so long to do. And it just gets more and more fun to write for these characters. After three years of doing it, we have that much more comfort to make everything uncomfortable for them. We’re very excited for it.”

UPDATE: HBO executives tell critics that Thrones can continue “as long as there are stories to tell”