In arguably the single highest-profile casting news since Sean Bean, HBO have confirmed that Charles Dance will be playing the role of Tywin Lannister in Game of Thrones.
Hopefully, Charles Dance needs no introduction. He is a highly respected British actor of many years' standing, most recently lauded for his barnstorming performance as Tulkinghorn in the BBC adaptation of Bleak House. His most famous genre roles come from the movies The Golden Child, Alien 3 and Last Action Hero, as well as recently appearing in Merlin as a witchfinder and in the Terry Pratchett mini-series Going Postal, playing Lord Havelock Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork and a similarly iconic role of modern fantasy. In an amusing coincidence, Dance played one of the henchmen to Julian Glover (just announced playing Grand Maester Pycelle) in the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.
In the series he plays Lord Tywin Lannister, the extremely formidable head of the powerful Lannister family, the no-nonsense father of Cersei (Lena Headey), Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Tywin is ruthless to his enemies, loyal to his friends but merciless when he feels the honour of his house and family is being questioned. He is obstinately the villain (or one of them) in A Song of Ice and Fire, but is never really written as such, as all of his actions (even the heinous ones) are driven by clear, if twisted, motivations. It is an absolute gift of a role and I am eager to see what an experienced actor as Dance will do with it.