For those of you who are fannish, yet have somehow missed the news, HBO have released the next update on casting for the pilot of A Game of Thrones.

Cersei Lannister is yet to be cast, but we now have Jaime (the suitably sexy Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. I have seen him as Puck in Enigma; I can’t claim to have seen anything else he’s done, but I can certainly imagine him as our master swordsman who has it all to lose.

Ser Jorah Mormont, disgraced knight-exile and would-be protector of the true heir to the Seven Kingdoms, will be played by fabulous British stalwart Iain Glen. Now Iain is far sexier than Ser Jorah, but I can’t really complain about that, can I? He is an amazing actor, a true stage heavyweight and a slippery screen villain as required. I suspect he will redefine Ser Jorah, which I am rather looking forward to.

In a crucial addition to the piece, the object of his attentions – Daenerys, last of the Targaryen line (allegedly; I have other suspicions) – has also been cast. She will be played by Tamzin Merchant, who you may have seen as Katherine Howard in The Tudors (I didn’t, but she looks suitably willowy). Daenerys has been re-written slightly to make her a little older than in the books, in order to get away with keeping the sex scenes in. Her youth was never a particularly necessary plot element and always carried a hint of shock value, so I suspect most people will be more comfortable with this anyway.

3 more Starks have been lined up, so our Kings in the North now stack as follows:

Ned Stark – Sean Bean
Catelyn Stark – Jennifer Ehle
Robb Stark – Richard Madden, a Scottish stage actor.
Sansa Stark – Sophie Turner, an unknown
Arya Stark – Maisie Williams, also unknown

Their ungrateful “house guest” Theon Greyjoy will be played by Lily Allen’s little brother Alfie, just proving that Keith Allen’s dynasty really will take over British broadcasting one way or another. That said, if he’s as comfortable being larger-than-life villainous as his Dad, this could be fun.

All in all, this all looks far more promising than the execrable Legend of the Seeker effort from Syfy, doesn’t it?