Back in June, just after Season 4 of Game of Thrones came to an end, series creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff hinted that several new characters will be popping up in Season 5. While the show normally brings on a slew of fresh faces every year, we haven't had any clue who might be showing up this season, until today, when a new, unconfirmed report revealed that Keisha Castle-Hughes has signed on to play one of the Sand Snakes.
For those unfamiliar with the George R.R. Martin novels, the Sand Snakes are the eight daughters of Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal). New Zealand Herald reports that the 24-year-old actress could be playing Nymeria Sand, described as a beautiful mixed-race woman who is both emotional and strong. The show is expected to only use three of these Sand Snakes, Nymeria, Obara Sand, the eldest, and Tyene Sand, the youngest.
Nothing has been confirmed by HBO at this time, but the actress has recently been visiting Hong Kong, London and Northern Ireland, where the show is filmed.
Keisha Castle-Hughes received a Best Actress Oscar nomination at just 13 years of age for Whale Rider, making her the youngest actress ever to be nominated in that category. Her other film credits include Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and The Nativity Story.
In related Game of Thrones news, the five directors have been selected to direct the 10 Season 5 episodes, four of which are new additions to the series. David Nutter, who directed the infamous "Red Wedding" episode, "The Rains of Castamere", is the only returning director, taking the helm for the last two episodes of the season.
The first two Season 5 episodes will be directed by Michael Slovis (Breaking Bad), followed by Mark Mylod (Shameless), Jeremy Podeswa (Boardwalk Empire) and Miguel Sapochnik (Fringe). Longtime Game of Thrones directors Alex Graves, who directed four Season 4 episodes and Neil Marshall, who landed an Emmy nomination for directing the ninth Season 4 episode "The Watchers on the Wall", will be sitting this season out.