HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series The Long Night has added Harry Potter actress Miranda Richardson to the pilot cast. Based on George R.R. Martin’s sprawling fantasy book series A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones tells the tale of the fictional Seven Kingdoms where various players large and small engage in epic battle in hopes of one day sitting on the Iron Throne.
First debuting on HBO in 2011, Game of Thrones quickly established itself as one of TV’s most talked about series, and over the years it has grown into a genuine phenomenon. Now, the epic show is set to air its last six episodes, which among other things will depict the final battle between the supernaturalWhite Walkers and the human denizens of Westeros. A year after Game of Thrones’ final episode airs, HBO plans to premiere a prequel series that takes place thousands of years before the events of the original. Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse have been named to head up the prequel cast, with the pilot set to be directed by S.J. Clarkson.
With filming on the pilot gearing up to begin this summer, TVLine reports that Watts will be joined in the cast by fellow Oscar nominee Miranda Richardson. No details have been revealed about Richardson’s character, which is perfectly in keeping with the shroud of secrecy currently surrounding the prequel series. One of the few reveals has been that Watts will play a “charming socialite with a dark secret.” Other recent cast additionsinclude Naomi Ackie (Star Wars Episode IX), Denise Gough (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt), Jamie Campbell Bower (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Black Mirror), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Alex Sharp (To the Bone) and Toby Regbo (Reign).
Richardson is of course no stranger to big-budget fantasy, after playing Rita Skeeter in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Long before joining the Harry Potter universe, Richardson scored Oscar nominations for her roles in Tom & Viv and Damage, but not for perhaps her most memorable role of the ’90s, the femme fatale Jude in Neil Jordan’s The Crying Game. A tremendously versatile performer, Richardson is also memorable in comedic roles like Queen Elizabeth on the classic British sitcom Blackadder. Richardson is set to appear later this year alongside Michael Sheen and David Tennant in Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens.
With the addition of the ever-winning Richardson, The Long Night is indeed putting together a solid ensemble to help bring to life the next chapter in the saga of Game of Thrones and its epic fantasy world. It remains to be seen if the new series will kill off its characters with as much abandon as the original.