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'Game of Thrones:' Melisandre and Stannis

GAME OF THRONES (HBO) No contest. This hyper-realized

GAME OF THRONES (HBO)

No contest. This hyper-realized mythic / historic fantasy epic based on the first book ("A Game of Thrones") in the George R.R. Martin series "A Song of Ice and Fire" was stunning in scope and ambition.

(Credit: Handout)

"Game of Thrones" returns Sunday, and fans are about to meet a whole range of new characters. The new season is extraordinary, by the way, and my review is here...

One of the newcomers is a priestess by the name of Melisandre -- you'll meet her on a desolate beach as she guides Stannis Baracheon (brother of Robert, deceased) to his desired goal -- the Iron Throne. He's played by Stephen Dillane, a wonderful actor from "The Hours" (who also appeared in HBO's "John Adams.") Melisandre is quite the exotic character, played by Dutch actress Carice van Houten, who is largely unknown to U.S. viewers. So let's meet Melisandre, shall we? (And Stannis, too.) HBO has been filling the YouTube pipeline with all sorts of clips; here's one...

Tags: carice van houton , stephen dillane , game of thrones , hbo

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