Game of Thrones season 4 is creeping closer, and we’re here to help prep you for the premiere with a spoiler-free guide to some of the new characters we’ll be meeting!

Game of Thrones is notoriously savage with its impressive cast of characters, killing off a sizeable number each year. If they didn’t introduce a new wave of lords, ladies, and outlaws each season then the show could no longer be called an epic. While we’re thankful for the turnover, it can sometimes be hard to keep up with all of the new characters – especially when so many of them have long-winded and virtually unpronounceable names. Fear not though, as Hypable has a spoiler free guide to the latest additions of the Game of Thrones cast that will help you cut through the confusion! There are some characters we haven’t featured because it’s difficult to say anything about them without giving away certain plot twists – so we’ve picked eight of the new faces that will be drinking, swearing, having sex and fighting when the series returns. Beware – the article does contain spoiler for the first three seasons of the show.

the red viper

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Martell
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Sunspear
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Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken!
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Ellaria Sand (Paramour)

Featured heavily in both season 4 trailers, Oberyn Martell (commonly known as “The Red Viper”) is one of the big new characters. Oberyn will be played by Pedro Pascal, an actor known for his roles in Graceland and The Adjustment Bureau.

redviperimageWe’ve heard a lot about Dornish wine in the first few seasons, but The Red Viper is the first major character from the southern region of Westeros that’s been introduced. And it’s fitting that he’d be a Prince of Sunspear (the region’s capital). What’s more, he’s a deadly and practised warrior who is rumoured to lace the end of his spear with poison in fights, earning him comparisons to snakes, and the title The Red Viper.

Oberyn travels to King’s Landing to celebrate the wedding of King Joffery and Margaery Tyrell, but he has a hidden agenda. His sister Elia was raped and murdered during Robert Baratheon’s sacking of King’s Landing, and the Prince now seeks justice – but as we hear Tyrion say in the most recent trailer, he’s come to the wrong place.

ellariasand

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Bastard of Dorne
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Dorne
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Oberyn Martell (Paramour)

Also popping up a lot in the season 4 trailers, Ellaria Sand will be played by Luther actress Indira Varma.

ellariasandimageThe bastard daughter of Lord Harmen Uller, Ellaria is Oberyn Martell’s paramour and mother of his four youngest children (affectionately dubbed the “Sand Snakes”). Described as a woman who “draws the eye”, Sand worships a Lysene love goddess. She accompanies The Red Viper on his trip to King’s Landing.

styr

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Thenn Clan
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North of the Wall
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Unknown

One of King Beyond the Wall Mance Rayder’s lieutenants, Styr will be played by Russian actor Yuri Kolokolnikov.

styrimageStyr is the Magnar (a Wildling’s version of a Lord) of Thenn, and rules with an iron fist. He is described as being bald with no ears, and grey eyes. Most of his role in season 3 was taken by Tormund Giantsbane, including being mistaken for Rayder by Jon when he first enters the wildling camp. Styr is finally showing up now though, and will prove to be a deadly fighter when Game of Thrones returns.

alliser thorne

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The Night’s Watch
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The Wall
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I am the sword in the darkness
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Brothers of the Night’s Watch

This one’s technically a bit of a cheat, as Alliser Thorne has already appeared in Game of Thrones – but it’s been a long time since we’ve seen him and your memory might be a bit rusty. He is played by Owen Teale.

alliserthorneLast time we saw Alliser, he was making Jon Snow’s life hell on the Wall by putting him through rigorous training and bullying the new crow and his friends. The Night’s Watch’s Master-At-Arms was sent to King’s Landing by Commander Mormont to rally support, following the attack of the undead in the season 1 finale. With the character confirmed as returning this season, we can expect him to have completed his journey and seek an audience with King Joffrey or his small council.

On page 2: Lords, ladies, and bankers