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Miranda Richardson joins Game of Thrones prequel series

HBO's prelude to Game of Thrones has scored another talented veteran.

Academy Award-nominated actress Miranda Richardson has joined the cast of the as-yet untitled prequel series, which will take place millennia before the events of the iconic original. (via Variety)

Richardson will appear in an undisclosed role in the series' pilot, which simply can't get to the small screen fast enough for fans of GoT, which is wrapping up its epic run with a six-episode eighth and final season debuting on April 14. The titanic GoT-sized hole in HBO's programming slate shouldn't remain unfilled for too terribly long, as the prequel offering from George R.R. Martin and showrunner Jane Goldman appears to be making a strong push toward filling out its cast.

Richardson made her big-screen debut in 1985, appearing in no fewer than three features that year: Dance with a Stranger, The Innocent, and the Clive Barker-penned Underworld (not to be confused with the long-running action/horror film series of the same name). She's appeared in such high-minded classics as The Crying GameDamage (which earned her the Oscar nom for Best Supporting Actress), and Terms of Endearment sequel The Evening Star, while also finding time to appear in genre fare like Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, Richard Kelly's completely bonkers Donnie Darko follow-up Southland Tales, and — in perhaps her most well-known role — the Harry Potter series, as ethics-free Quibbler reporter Rita Skeeter. Her most recent big-screen appearance was in 2017's Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Stronger, a biopic chronicling the life of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman.

She joins a cast which includes lead Naomi Watts (The Ring), Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), Denise Gough (The Kid Who Would Be King), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Black Mirror), Georgie Henley (the Chronicles of Narnia series), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), Josh Whitehouse (The Receptionist), and Jamie Campbell Bower and Toby Regbo (who appeared as young Grindelwald and young Dumbledore, respectively, in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald). 

That's some pretty stellar talent, but Thrones-heads should be even more excited about the involvement of Goldman, who has quietly penned a slew of amazing genre films over the last decade. Her big-screen screenwriting debut, the 2007 period fantasy Stardust, didn't exactly set the world on fire, but she began a truly kickass run with (appropriately enough) 2010's comic book adaptation Kick-Ass. She went on to script the big-budget superhero features X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, as well as the underrated horror flick The Woman in Black and the first two films in the Kingsman series. She continued her contributions to that world by penning the script for prequel Kingsman: The Great Game (currently before the cameras), and she also wrote the upcoming Disney live-action remake The Little Mermaid. In the director's chair for the series' pilot will be S.J. Clarkson, who has directed episodes of a ridiculous number of high-profile, acclaimed TV series. Her credits include HouseUgly Betty, Dexter, Bates Motel, and Marvel's Jessica Jones.

Very little is known about the prequel series outside of HBO's synopsis, which reads: "Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world's descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros's history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It's not the story we think we know."

In other words, expect the unexpected — par for the course for the world of GoT. Although the series has not officially been greenlit, it seems like a no-brainer for HBO, which has seen its subscriber base positively explode since it began offering online access to its content — an explosion which was no doubt fueled by GoT's widespread popularity. We'll be here to report the news if (when) the prequel gets its official series order, and of course we'll also keep an eye out for any additional details.