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Even though winter is coming, HBO's Game of Thrones still doesn't start until the spring. In the meantime, while the fantasy drama is busy shooting the highly anticipated third season, the series has managed to make a few waves in the interim. Based on the bestselling "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels by George R.R. Martin, the show not only walked away with a prestigious award but there are also a couple of casting updates for Season 3.
The first season of Game of Thrones finally became eligible for The Hugo Awards, which recognize the best in science fiction (as well as fantasy and horror if the WorldCon members deem something worthy), and it took home Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form beating out a bunch of acclaimed feature films, including Academy Award Best Picture nominee Hugo and the final installment in the Harry Potter film franchise in Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Individual episodes of Thrones were also nominated in the 'Short Form' category but were deemed ineligible because of the 'Long' nomination and win. No worries, even the highest voted episode, "Baelor" (the ninth of Season 1 where Ned, well, you know) still would have been second to the winning Dramatic Presentation, Doctor Who's "The Doctor's Wife" written by Neil Gaiman.
As for the aforementioned casting additions, Winter Is Coming reports that Stephanie Blacker has joined Game of Thrones in an "unspecified role." However, that doesn't stop the site from speculating that the very blonde English actress will probably play one of two important fair-haired maidens, sorry, wildlings, from North of the Wall. Blacker could play Dalla, the wife of Wildling King Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds), or, and more likely in my opinion, her sister Val. Blacker has received high praise for her work int he short film Lab Rats and as a regular on the British series The Cut.
And thanks to reddit and some serious digging, it seems that Michael Shelford has been cast in Thrones as 'Lord Torturer.' Hm, that's obviously not someone specific from the series but does sound like a character who might be hanging out with recently cast Ramsay Snow, the Bastard of Bolton. We'll hopefully know more after confirmation from the network or we'll just have to ensure the long winter and see for ourselves. Game of Thrones Season 3 airs April, 2013.