HBO’s opening the floodgates (well, cracking them open a wee bit, in any case!) with casting news. Hot on the heels of EW getting the confirmation on Asha Greyjoy (renamed “Yara” for the show), HBO’s given us wee scoop: the indentity of Qartheen merchant-prince Xaro Xhoan Daxos, who will provide Daenerys shelter and support in the ancient, decadent city of Qarth…
For a price.
Cast in the role is British actor Nonso Anozie (Facebook page), a noted theatre actor who set a record for the youngest actor to play the part of “King Lear” in a professional production (at the age of 22 or 23), and won the Ian Charleson Award in 2005 for his performance in the titular role in the Cheek by Jowl production of “Othello”. The first Charleson award winner? Jennifer Ehle, who played the part of Catelyn Stark in the pilot. Fine company! And for that matter, we see over at IMDB that Anozie has also appeared in the forthcoming Conan the Barbarian 3D film with Jason Momoa, aka Khal Drogo. I wonder if he had a chance to talk with Momoa about the show?
Below, see Anozie in a trailer for the film Cass, in which he plays the title role, and an interview with the actor:
Of course, some fans will note the fact that the Qartheen of the novels are described as being “pale as milk”, and Nonso is anything but. It’s a change, but we trust that Nonso was the best actor for the part, and for my part that’s all that really matters when we’re looking out to the exotic East. Although, I do hope that all the other Qartheen will be of similar ethnicity, to avoid the multi-ethnic mishmash of last season’s Dothraki (which, I’ll note, did not strain my credulity that much, but that’s because historical steppe tribes were often multi-ethnic). But it’s a small issue. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing Anozie in the part, regardless of how the rest of the Qartheen are cast.