Stephen Dillane and Carice van Houten Play The ‘Game of Thrones’

The pair will portray Stannis Baratheon and his sorceress, Melisandre in the second season of HBO's hit series.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Near the end of the first season of "Game of Thrones," Stannis Baratheon was often mentioned as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne after the death of his brother, King Robert (Mark Addy). As the story advances into the events depicted in George R.R. Martin's "A Clash of Kings," Stannis will become a much more prominent character in the second season.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Stephen Dillane has been cast in the pivotal role as Stannis. The report describes Stannis as "humorless and authoritative, with a strict moral code" but notes that Stannis is also slowly being changed by his newfound faith in a religion that casts him as a messianic figure as he attempts to reclaim his family's throne.

Although Dillane has an extensive theater background, he also has a number of films to his credit including Mel Gibson's "Hamlet," "Two If by Sea," "The Hours," "King Arthur," and the "Goal!" films. He also had a memorable turn as Thomas Jefferson in the HBO miniseries, "John Adams."

Entertainment Weekly is also reporting that Dutch actress, Carice van Houten will play Stannis' adviser, Melisandre; who seems to have real powers that she uses in the service of her king. Melisandre is also determined to spread her religion throughout the world through any means she deems necessary.

Van Houten is primarily known in the U.S. from her roles in "Valkyrie" and "Repo Men."

Gwendoline Christie and Natalie Dormer have previously been announced as playing Brienne of Tarth and Margaery Tyrell in the second season of "Game of Thrones;" which is expected to begin filming later this month.

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