By James Hibberd
Updated July 19, 2011 at 05:58 PM EDT
Credit: Geraint Lewis/Rex/Rex USA

Huge Game of Thrones casting news! Producers have filled the two biggest new roles of the show’s second season — a mysterious sorceress and a powerful contender for the Iron Throne.

These two major roles are paired together in the story: Melisandre is powerful woman who counsels the late King Robert’s eldest younger brother, Stannis Baratheon, in his quest to claim the Iron Throne. She’s described as a seductive force possessing prophetic powers who’s willing to impose her religion on the world by any means necessary. Stannis, meanwhile, believes himself to be the Iron Throne’s rightful heir and is described as humorless and authoritative, with a strict moral code (his younger brother Renly, who also wants to be king, memorably described Stannis in the first season as having “the personality of a lobster”). But Stannis is gradually succumbing to the power of his newfound religion.

Melisandre will be played by Carice van Houten, a Dutch stage and film actress. She’s appeared in the movies Valkyrie and Repo Men. I think you’ll agree she looks just about perfect for Melisandre.

And Stannis will be played by…

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

British actor Stephen Dillane, best known to U.S. audiences by playing Thomas Jefferson in HBO’s John Adams.

Houten and Dillane join two previously revealed Thrones season 2 cast members. Click here to see who was cast for Margaery Tyrell and here for Brienne.

The news comes as Thrones producers and cast prepare to invade Comic-Con this week. EW will report the show’s first San Diego panel, which will include George R.R. Martin as moderator.

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Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series 'A Song of Ice and Fire.'

  • TV Show
  • 8
  • 73
  • TV-MA
  • David Benioff
  • D.B. Weiss
  • HBO
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