Fantasy series cast grows with new thesp

“Game of Thrones” fans, rejoice: you have a new cast member to stalk. Gemma Whelan has been cast in HBO’s hit fantasy series as Yara Greyjoy.

Readers of the books will recognize the character of Asha Greyjoy, intact save the first name: daughter of Balon Greyjoy (not yet announced), older sister of Theon (Alfie Allen), Yara is fierce and proud, and defies traditional Ironborn (think Viking/pirate) expectations by commanding her own ship and leading men into battle (the name change to Yara prevents confusion with another character, Osha).

Whelan has been in “The Wolfman” and “Gulliver’s Travels;” the role is a very large one in the George R. R. Martin’s complex novels, on which the series is based, and gets progressively bigger as the series goes forward. Like many of the “Thrones” thesps, Whelan is fairly young and has recently graduated from drama school in the U.K.

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