It's the mid-point of the second season of HBO's Game of Thrones. Five episodes down, five to go and everything is certainly starting to come to a head. As Danaerys said, "The Starks fight the Lannisters and the Baratheons fight each other," all while her dragons continue to grow as she finally finds rest in Qarth. Little did she know that last week's "The Ghost of Harrenhal" resolved one of those wars with our first real taste of magic. However, while we are currently lost in the "Clash of Kings" and looking forward to Sunday's "The Old Gods and the New", HBO is looking ahead to Season 3.

It didn't come as much of a surprise when the premium network made the early announcement that the adaptation of George R.R. Martin's famous series was renewed for Season 3. That's right, after the "Clash of Kings" comes a "Storm of Swords" and a whole slew of more characters that will become minor and major players in the Game of Thrones. I know, even more characters to remember and follow around the ever expanding universe of Westeros, The Free Cities and Beyond the Wall. According to Winter Is Coming auditions and casting calls have gone out for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones and I won't give too much away but if you consider character descriptions spoilers then you should not read on...

The website dedicated to the HBO fantasy series reports that auditions were held yesterday in London but the only actor explicitly mentioned as 'up for an unknown role' is Norwegian Kristofer Hivju (and if you look at the picture above, you can tell he clearly belongs in the cast). Hivju is probably best known for his role in The Thing remake (and also has a part in M. Night Shyamalan's upcoming flick called After Earth) and if I had to guess, judging by the red hair, we might be meeting another member of the Tully family. Hivju could easily play Cat's brother Edmure or even the Blackfish but I also wouldn't be surprised to see him show up as a wildling north of the Wall. He looks pretty wild.

After a few updates, the site also claims that casting for Stannis Baratheon's sickly daughter Shireen is underway, with 'hundreds' of young girls having already auditioned. Yes, Stannis has a daughter, just no sons. Unless you count the shadow. Lastly, Winter Is Coming suggests that the part of Daario Naharis is also currently being cast, and they are looking for “any ethnicity, except Caucasian” to play the part that fits into Dany's story across the Narrow Sea. I would suspect this is just the beginning of a string of casting rumors and reports for the next season of Game of Thrones. We'll certainly keep you posted.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO. It stars Kit Harrington, Emelia Clarke, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. The show was created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, based on the "Song of Ice and Fire" saga by George R.R. Martin.

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