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Dame Diana Rigg Joins Season 3 Of HBO's 'Game Of Thrones'

by Oliver Lyttelton
July 13, 2012 1:26 PM
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The cult of "Game Of Thrones" grows ever stronger. Initially anticipated principally by fans of George R.R. Martin's books, the HBO series has won over more and more viewers since debuting last April, including many who would never have dreamed that they'd become hopelessly addicted to a fantasy series. And in part, it's thanks to the terrific cast, featuring a mix of veteran character actors (including the Emmy-winning Peter Dinklage), and bright new talent; every role has seemingly been cast impeccably, with a depth to its ensemble that few shows since "The Wire" can match.

Today at Comic-Con sees the show's panel as one of the main attractions in Hall H, and there's a good chance that some new cast members for Season 3 will be announced, but just ahead of it, the first addition to the next installment of the show has been revealed, in the shape of a true-blue geek icon. Baz Bamigboye reports that Dame Diana Rigg, who came to fame as the catsuited Emma Peel in cult spy series "The Avengers," before playing James Bond's ill-fated wife in "On Her Majesty's Secret Service," has joined the show in the role of Olenna Redwyne, the so-called Queen of Thorns.

Olenna is the grandmother of Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), a manipulative, powerful figure who's long been an expert of playing the game, and will arrive in King's Landing ahead of her granddaughter's wedding to the monstrous King Joffrey. Rigg's perhaps not been the most familiar face to U.S. audiences of late -- her last major film role was in 2006's "The Painted Veil" -- but her credits over the years have included "Theatre Of Blood," "A Little Night Music" and "The Great Muppet Caper," and she's remained active in British TV and theater.

Perhaps more importantly, she's a real geek icon thanks to her original role in "The Avengers," and she'll shore that up later in the year by starring alongside her daughter, Rachael Sterling, in an episode of "Doctor Who," so there'll be plenty who'll be thrilled with the casting. And it sounds like, in the broadest strokes, she's a perfect match for the part, although we're trying to avoid too much information about the character, having not read the book. Filming gets underway on Season 3 very shortly, and "Game Of Thrones" will return to screens next spring on HBO.

The image above, incidentally, is one of a series of new Comic-Con posters commissioned from collectible art supremos Mondo -- head over to EW to look at more.

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  • abz | July 13, 2012 4:38 PMReply

    "Queen of Thorns" yo..!

  • Lane | July 13, 2012 1:30 PMReply

    I can't believe you just compared this dragon shit (and yes, I do watch it) to The Wire.

  • JAmes | July 13, 2012 2:07 PM

    I watch it too. Game of Thrones is one of HBO's best story driven shows since the Sopranos.

    I meet a lot of people like you, who are driven away from the show or belittle it because of it's fantasy elements. Game of Thrones is a brilliant, complex character study filled with subtext. This show is going to go down in history as one of the greatest things on television. Just you wait and see. Sure, there will be people like you who call it a shitty show, but that's alright. The majority of the people get it.

    So yeah. Can't wait for future seasons when you're eating that dragon shit. In massive quantities.

  • Oliver Lyttelton | July 13, 2012 2:05 PM

    Sigh. I didn't say it was as good as The Wire, did I? I said there's "a depth to its ensemble that few shows since "The Wire" can match." Which means it, like The Wire, has lots and lots of actors, and that they're really good.

  • PapushiSun | July 13, 2012 1:47 PM

    Exactly. I like GoT but c'mon the Wire is just something else entirely.

  • Zack | July 13, 2012 1:29 PMReply

    She's PERFECT. I was hoping for Maggie Smith or Judi Dench, but this is still great. One thing I love about this show is its ability to not cast someone fans necessarily had in mind (or were even familiar with), and yet make all your doubts vanish by the end of their first appearance. (For instance, I pictured Mark Strong as Stannis, but Stephen Dillane's performance took him from a character I was pretty "meh" on in print to one of my favorites in the series.)

  • Zack | July 13, 2012 1:33 PM

    Winter comin'!
    (Shit, I accidentally responded to my own comment instead of yours and now I look like a plow company's spambot.)

  • Zack | July 13, 2012 1:32 PM

    Winter' comin!

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