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10 New Game Of Thrones Characters We Want To See In The Hedge Knight (& Who Should Play Them)

With the announcement of a new "Game of Thrones" spinoff comes speculation about how George R. R. Martin's source material will be adapted and who will play the main roles. The planned "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight" series will draw from 1998's "The Hedge Knight," the first of Martin's "Tales of Dunk and Egg" novellas. So far, two other installments have been written (2003's "The Sworn Sword" and 2010's "The Mystery Knight"), so it seems likely that, if all goes well, a three-season arc is in the pipeline.

In some ways, the Dunk and Egg stories should prove easier to translate to the screen than much of the rest of Martin's expansive body of work. Each novella is told from Dunk's perspective and focuses on one primary location and plot. That means that, though there will still be dozens of characters and tons of lore to keep track of, the show won't be quite as sprawling as its predecessors. It also takes place in between the events of "House of the Dragon" and "Game of Thrones" at a time when dragons can no longer be seen in the skies above Westeros. That might be a drawback for some audiences, but it's an upside as far as the production budget is concerned.

Casting "The Hedge Knight" will, however, pose an unusual challenge. Three of the story's main characters are remarkably tall, with two of them measuring at nearly seven feet. Returning to Westeros also means adding new branches to the Targaryen family tree. This is who audiences should expect to meet in "The Hedge Knight" and which actors are well-suited to play them.

Ser Duncan the Tall: Joonas Suotamo

Ser Duncan the Tall is the point-of-view protagonist of "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" and a hugely popular character with book readers. This Flea Bottom orphan eventually rises up to become Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, but is humble, honorable, and somewhat insecure. Dunk is towering, strong, and a skilled fighter. He's also a loyal and protective companion to his traveling partner Egg, a romantic whose exploits Martin hasn't entirely divulged. We're used to "Game of Thrones" characters who are noble, arrogant, and sharp-witted. Dunk is a commoner who struggles with self-doubt, especially when it comes to his intelligence (though he has no reason to).

Joonas Suotamo would make an ideal Dunk — and, at least in one important area, he doesn't have a lot of competition. He isn't a household name (yet), but chances are most moviegoers have already seen one of his performances: The Finnish actor and former basketball player replaced Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy. An athlete-turned-actor with a Wookiee-heavy resume might seem like a risky choice to lead a highly anticipated, prestige TV series, but Suotamo has a lot going for him if he wants the role. For one thing, he stands at 6' 11” — exactly the height Dunk is said to be in the books. He also resembles Ser Duncan, who is said to have shaggy, sun-streaked hair and who is large but not necessarily bulky. Finally, his background might actually help. Dunk is extremely athletic, and since he often feels something like imposter syndrome, Suotamo's relative lack of experience could read like awkwardness in a just-right way.

Ser Arlan of Pennytree: Robert Carlyle

It's Ser Arlan of Pennytree who lifts Dunk out of unimaginable poverty in Flea Bottom when he offers to make him his squire. Everything we know about Ser Arlan is filtered through Dunk, who is forever indebted to the man and who's opinion might be a little rose-colored. The Hedge Knight who becomes Dunk's benefactor is slight in build and becomes sickly. He isn't an especially attractive or wealthy man, and it's curious that he never takes Dunk to his homeland of Pennytree. But he's generous with his squire and trains him to the best of his abilities in both combat and chivalry. Dunk mentions that Ser Arlan didn't hit him much, and — except for once — only when he deserved it.

Most fan casting for Ser Arlan skews older, but according to the text, he's between 50 and 60 when "The Hedge Knight" starts. That's old for the world of "Game of Thrones," though not necessarily elderly for an actor. Robert Carlyle, who's probably best known for his roles in "Trainspotting" and "The Full Monty," fits both the physical description and the given age of Ser Arlan of Pennytree. The Scottish actor is 5' 8" and 62 years old, and is known for playing both characters who have a scrappiness and a darkness to them, as well as working class blokes with good hearts. He also tends to gravitate toward comedies, and "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight" should be funnier than the average "Game of Thrones" or "House of the Dragon" episode.

Egg: Billy Jenkins

Casting directors will have trouble filling the three roles that call for extraordinarily tall actors, but they'll have just as much trouble finding the co-lead of the show. When Dunk meets Egg (think the Grogu to his Mando or the Ellie to his Joel), he's only about eight or nine years old. And, more to the point, he's extremely tiny and totally bald. Egg is naked and covered in filth when he crosses paths with Dunk, who is by then trying to pass as a hedge knight himself. The boy indirectly helps him come up with his knightly name — Ser Duncan the Tall — and begs him to take him on as his squire. Dunk agrees, as he has a soft spot for orphans. But the kid isn't who he claims to be, which is the catalyst that sets the hedge knight and his newfound squire off on their future adventures.

It's notoriously difficult to cast children in starring roles. Whoever plays Egg will have to age up with the character through probable second and third seasons. Billy Jenkins is already 15, but he's only 5' 4" and let's just say he bears a resemblance to the "Game of Thrones" family to which Egg actually belongs. Jenkins has a history of playing lovable urchins in period pieces like "Dodger," "Cursed," "Peaky Blinders," and "Holmes & Watson." But vitally (since whoever plays Egg will have to do both), he can also play members of the highest ranks of society: He was young Prince Charles in the first two seasons of Netflix's "The Crown."

Tanselle: Adrianne Palicki

Compared to other "Game of Thrones" properties, there aren't a great deal of women in "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," and there are even fewer in the first volume, "The Hedge Knight." In fact, there's only one who factors into the plot in any real way, and that's Tanselle, a Dornish puppeteer whom Ser Duncan becomes acquainted with when he journeys to Ashford to enter a tournament. She's there with her uncle, who carves the puppets. She paints them, and their troupe performs the stories of legends, like that of Nymeria and her 10,000 ships. Dunk is immediately taken with Tanselle, whose nickname is Tanselle Too-Tall. Martin describes her as between 6 and 7 feet, and only about half a head shorter than Ser Duncan. She's thin, with long dark hair and olive skin. When she passes on sharing an ale with Dunk, he commissions her to paint a new coat of arms on his shield.

Very few women in Hollywood measure up to Tanselle in real life, but one who comes close is Adrianne Palicki, who stands 5' 11" and has an imposing air about her. She will be familiar to audiences as Tyra from "Friday Night Lights" and as Bobbi Morse in "Agents of SHIELD." She played Wonder Woman in a 2011 TV movie of the same name. Her other credits include the films "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and "John Wick." As an actor and model, Palicki is something of a chameleon, but her track record proves that she could definitely embody the beautiful and talented object of Dunk's affection.

Daeron Targaryen: Tom Felton

Prince Daeron Targaryen is the first member of the famous family with whom Dunk comes into contact. He finds himself at a tavern where only one other patron is drowning himself in drink. That man happens to be Daeron the Drunk, as he's known throughout Westeros. But the oldest son of Prince Maekar doesn't just have loose morals. He's plagued by prophetic dreams, and he is triggered when he lays eyes on Ser Duncan, about whom he's had such visions. He foresees that the hedge knight will bring calamity to his family unless he stays away. Daeron isn't as awful as some Targaryens, though he's prone to drink (obviously), dishonesty, and philandering. He's ultimately a tragic figure who sees himself as lesser than his father, uncle, and brothers in most respects, despite the fact that his powers of prophecy and his keen sense of humor are finely tuned.

"Harry Potter" alum Tom Felton would make a good Daeron, now that he's all grown up. It's easy to imagine Felton with Daeron's sandy hair and beard, which aren't as white-blonde as other Targaryens, and with skin sallow from hangovers, as is described in "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms." As Draco Malfoy, Felton took a petulant, miserable character who often made poor choices and turned him into a person that audiences sympathized with more than they might've expected to. As Daeron, he could play the adult version of someone haunted by the sins of his family.

Aerion Targaryen: Jamie Campbell Bower

Prince Aerion Targaryen — or Aerion Brightflame, as he calls himself — is the younger brother of Daeron the Drunk, and a much more villainous character. Of all the mad Targaryens that HBO and George R. R. Martin might bring to the screen someday, Aerion is amongst the most mad and the most monstrous. He's described as slim with piercing violet eyes, high, chiseled cheekbones, a long, slender nose, pale skin, and silver-gold curls. This devious prince is a charmer in front of his father, Maekar, but a menace to everyone else when dad isn't around. He's cruel to animals, women, his younger brother, and anyone who's station is beneath him. Aerion is also deeply interested in the dark arts and is so obsessed with his family's relationship to dragons that he actually believed himself to be one.

Not only does Jamie Campbell Bower — one of the breakout stars of "Stranger Things" Season 4 — perfectly look the part of Aerion Brightflame, he's already proven that he can play terrifying madness as Henry Creel/Vecna. Aerion will likely be the main antagonist of "The Hedge Knight." The role would give Bower a chance to be even more evil, and in fancier costumes. He prefers ornate dress with red and gold embellishments, designed his own version of the Targaryen coat of arms, owns an unhatched dragon egg, and is handy with a lance. Interestingly, this wouldn't be the first time Bower was cast in a "Game of Thrones" spinoff. He was previously slated to appear on the canceled "Game of Thrones" prequel alongside Naomi Watts.

Baelor Targaryen: Gerard Butler

There's more than one generation of the Targaryen clan present at the Ashford Tourney that will serve as the setting for most of "The Hedge Knight." While Daeron and Aerion are young men at the time, their uncle and father are both closer to middle age (for Westeros), but are no less formidable in a fight. Prince Baelor Targaryen — better known as Baelor Breakspear — is their uncle and the Hand of the King, as well as the next in line to the Iron Throne. Baelor doesn't style or carry himself like most Targaryens. He takes after his mother, Myriah Martell, with dark hair that he keeps short and neat. He has a strong jaw, a nose that's been broken twice, and a kind and just temperament to his friends and foes alike. He's a veteran of the first Blackfyre Rebellion, and becomes an ally of Ser Duncan the Tall. 

Gerard Butler is at home in sword and sandal epics, and he would be a great choice for Prince Baelor. The Scottish movie star could shine as Breakspear, both in courtly conversations and on the field of battle. The Paisley native has done it before, as Attila the Hun in the TV series "Attila" and in movies like "Beowulf & Grendel," "300," and "Gods of Egypt." Butler also provided the vocals for Stoick the Vast in the "How to Train Your Dragon" franchise. Speaking of which, his physique and persona capture Baelor's stoic vibe, which isn't quite Targaryen enough for some in the family.

Maekar Targaryen: Daniel Craig

Prince Baelor's more traditionally Targaryen brother is Prince Maekar, father to Daeron the Drunk, Aerion Brightflame, and two other Targlets. As is often the case with "Game of Thrones" siblings, Maekar and Baelor aren't very much alike, except for the fact that they're both seen as great warriors and potentially great kings. Maekar lacks his brother's gregariousness and patience, and is said to be harsh and unforgiving, most of all with his children. He wears black armor studded with dragon teeth and wields a large mace with oversized spikes. He's muscular with a serious, pockmarked face, intense violet eyes, and straight white-blonde hair. Maekar is depicted as generally unhappy and sulks at his palace in Summerhall most of the time.

Daniel Craig is an even bigger celebrity than Gerard Butler, so producers would have to do some convincing to encourage the former 007 to take on this role. As of late, Craig has been busy playing detective Benoit Blanc in Rian Johnson's "Knives Out" films, where he gets to flex his comedic chops. But the British A-lister has starred in action movies and character-driven dramas more often than not, and should he want a juicy part that's less of a commitment than Bond or Blanc, Prince Maekar could be just the thing. Craig can make himself look as icy and intimidating as anyone, and he could believably be Gerard Butler's brother, as well as Tom Felton and Jamie Campbell Bower's disapproving dad.

Ser Steffon Fossoway: Jack Lowden

The Tournament at Ashford that's the centerpiece of "The Hedge Knight" is attended by many of the Seven Kingdoms' most famous families. In the background, there will be Beesburys, Hightowers, Lannisters, Tullys, and Tyrells. In the foreground will be a lesser-known family, the Fossoways. The Fossoways are an ancient house who hold Cider Hall in the Reach and have an apple as their sigil. Knight Steffon Fossoway and his squire and cousin Raymun Fossoway are at Ashford, where the ambitious and physically fit Steffon hopes to become a champion. Without giving too much away, Steffon and Raymun play minor but game-changing roles in the climax of "The Hedge Knight." Steffon is a classically self-interested Martin character who attempts to use the ladder that is chaos to his advantage. 

Jack Lowden has brought to life such men before. The 32-year-old British actor played Henry Darnley, the dashing and duplicitous husband of Mary, Queen of Scots, in the 2018 biopic about the doomed ruler. He's a star in the making, both at the movies and on TV, having recently appeared in the film "Fighting with my Family," as well as the TV shows "Slow Horses" and "Small Axe." As for his young cousin and squire, Samuel Joslin (of "Paddington" and "Paddington 2") could definitely pass for a Fossoway knight in training. 

Ser Lyonel Baratheon: Nicholas Braun

Another knight who will get more screen time than others (and who will pop back up in Dunk's story later on) is Ser Lyonel Baratheon. Known throughout Westeros as the Laughing Storm because of his family's house seat (Storm's End) and his habit of loudly cackling at his opponents in mockery, Ser Lyonel is the third very tall character in this tale. He's described as almost as tall as Dunk himself, so is likely somewhere between 6' 6" and 6' 10". He's a lumbering man who walks around with a swagger and makes a show of his appearance in tournaments, which usually earns him the love of the crowd. Lyonel has long, dark hair and proudly wears a helm fitted with antlers (the House Baratheon sigil is a stag), similar to Prince Daemon Targaryen's dragon-winged headgear. 

Unless "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" wants to get creative with special effects, they'll have to find an actor who can stand toe-to-toe with whoever plays Ser Duncan. Nicholas Braun is best known for playing Cousin Greg on another HBO series, "Succession." Greg starts out as a bumbling fish out of water, but over the course of the series, gains the confidence and the ability to keep up with his dog-eat-dog extended family. His other credits include "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," "The Year of Spectacular Men," "The Big Ugly," and "Sky High." Braun is 6' 7", so he's absolutely in the right ballpark physically. The role of Lyonel Baratheon would give the actor (who is American, unlike most "Game of Thrones" cast members) the chance to portray someone with Roy family confidence from the get go.