Over the weekend, HBO released four names of new cast members and their roles to fan sites—we reported our pair , veteran actors Dan Hildebrand and Ramon Tikaram in the roles of Kraznys and Prendahl, last weekend, and now Winter Is Coming has added their pair of actors, both playing Eastern characters as well: MC-turned-actor Ed Skrein in the role of Daario Naharis, a skilled, untrustworthy sellsword who’ll Dany will meet along the way, and Jacob Anderson will play the role of Gray Worm, one of the eunuch slave-soldier called the Unsullied that the Ghiscari slaver, Kraznys, trades in.
Of the two, Anderson has a good deal more acting experience and credits, having been in a number of British TV series and mini-series, as well as in a number of episodes of Episodes. Skrein has only recently gotten into acting, though apparently he has a role in the Ray Winstone action film, The Sweeney.
Given the lack of credits, it’s hard to say much about what Skrein’s performance will be like, but one trusts Nina Gold and her casting associates have picked the right man for the job. As far as looks go, he seems to match fairly well the description in the novels in terms of fairness, but we’re going to guess he’s going to keep his hair as short as he does in his publicity photos rather than Daario’s longer, dyed curls… and, for that matter, we’re dubious that he’s going to be dyeing his hair or beard!
Here’s Skrein featured in a rap video about a running group, Run Dem Crew, that he’s a part of:
Anderson’s more of a known quantity, and seems like a solid choice for the part. It’ll be very interesting to see how the Unsullied come out on screen this season—they actually had a very small appearance in the background of the series’ first season, as can just be glimpsed here on the left side of the screen, with the spiked helmets as described in the books. Part of the training of the Unsullied involves dehumanizing them by not giving them set names—occasionally they take new names by lottery, always involving a color and some sort of lowly creature or vermin to remind them of their place.
Here’s a short behind-the-scenes video featuring a very personable Anderson: