By Jethro Nededog
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - HBO will be bringing on a new character from George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels to its fantasy series' fourth season.
Pedro Pascal will join as Prince Oberyn Nymeros Martell AKA The Red Viper. He first appears in the third book of the series, "A Storm of Swords."
"This was a tough one," showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly about the casting.
"The Red Viper is sexy and charming, yet believably dangerous; intensely likable, yet driven by hate. The boys love him, the girls love him, and he loves them all back. Unless your last name is Lannister. We found a fellow who can handle the job description and make it seem effortless. He wasn't easy to find and he won't be easy to stop.":
Oberyn is described as a "brash, charming, cunning prince of Dorne (part of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros). His sister Elia was brutally murdered by the Lannister knight Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane when Mad King Aerys was overthrown by Robert Baratheon and the Lannisters. In season four, Oberyn comes to King's Landing with revenge on his mind."
The first major casting of the upcoming season, Pascal has held recurring roles on USA's "Graceland," ABC's "The Red Widow" and CBS's "The Good Wife."
"Game of Thrones," which just won Best Drama from The Critics Choice Awards, ended Season 3 on a high note with 5.4 million total viewers - a 28 percent increase over the Season 2 finale.
Pascal is represented by Innovative Artists and managed by Authentic Talent and Literary Management.