It's fair to say that the Game of Thrones casting bosses have upped their game; both Ian McShane and Max von Sydow have signed on to star next season.
McShane – perhaps still best known to UK audiences as roguish antiques dealer Lovejoy – is no stranger to HBO, having played Al Swearengen in their short-lived but brilliant Deadwood back in 2004, a role for which he won a much-deserved Golden Globe in 2005.
Who exactly he'll be playing is still under wraps but, whoever it is, we've high hopes the character will own some kind of redneck saloon in Braavos.
Sydow, however, will be appearing as the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran's mystical tutor who was first seen in the season four finale being portrayed by a different actor.
While it'll be great to see an Oscar-nominated thespian (Best Supporting Actor for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close in 2012) on screen, the real reason we're excited about Sydow's addition is that it might breathe some life into the Bran storyline. Might.