MelisandreWinter is coming, albeit not until next spring. Doesn't mean we can't start getting excited about "Game of Thrones" season two right now though, does it?

Casting news has been coming fast and furious on the HBO fantasy series' second season, and now two more roles have been filled out. Alas, our predictions have fallen through with this latest round of casting, but we're happy to be wrong in this case.

Entertainment Weekly reports that two of the season's most crucial characters — two of the most essential roles on the show, really — have found their live-action counterparts: Carice van Houton is Melisandre the red priestess, while Stephen Dillane clashes with kings as the fearsome Stannis Baratheon.

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By Russ Frushtick

Note: The following interview, as well as the video below, contains spoilers about the events of "Haven" season one. If you're looking to remain in the dark, here's a cat eating a piano.

Fans of creepy towns in New England full of cooky inhabitants and supernatural goings-on know the best man for the job is Stephen King. He's been doing this sort of thing for decades, you see. One of his latest novels on the subject matter, 2005's "The Colorado Kid," was picked up by Syfy and turned into "Haven," a full TV series based on the creepy, titular town. The show stars Audrey Parker (Emily Rose), an FBI agent sent to Haven, ME for a routine case. But, as routine cases usually go in Stephen King projects, things get weird, fast. The show's first season aired last year and developed a cult following. On July 15, the show returns for season two. We sat down with Emily Rose to catch us up with the strange goings on up north.

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Gwendoline ChristieSometimes dreams do come true, even in the wicked world of Westeros.

A few weeks ago, we posted our wish list of which actors and actresses we'd like to see playing the new pivotal roles in season two of "Game of Thrones," and today, one of our wishes was granted: just as we hoped and predicted, British actress Gwendoline Christie has joined the cast of the HBO fantasy / political thriller series as Brienne, Maid of Tarth.

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One of the most exciting bits of TV development news to come along in recent months is the announcement that HBO and Playtone are developing Neil Gaiman's beloved "American Gods" to the small screen via an episodic television series.

When MTV News caught up with Playtone head honcho Tom Hanks recently during the press day for "Larry Crowne," which opened on Friday (July 1), we asked him for an "American Gods" update, and how he and Playtone got involved with the project.

"I don't know anything about 'American Gods,'" he admitted. "I have the book. I just now have it and it's on my summer reading list because people at my company came in foaming at the mouth about 'American Gods' and the possibility of being able to do it. So I said, 'Uuh, okay, let's go! Let's go!' So I'm playing catch-up on 'American Gods,' which is going to be a pleasant job."

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Back in April, we got word that Neil Gaiman's award-winning novel "American Gods" was being developed as an HBO television series by Tom Hanks' production studio Playtone — the same production house that developed "Band of Brothers" for the network.

This week marked the ten-year anniversary of "American Gods" hitting shelves, so when Gaiman dropped by the newsroom to talk about the new, "author's preferred text" edition of the book, we also managed to get in a few questions about the much-anticipated HBO series.

"From my perspective, I'm worrying about it one episode at a time, one season at a time," said Gaiman when asked about a recent report that suggested "American Gods" will be a six-season series, with 10-12 hour-long episodes each season and a $35-40 million budget.

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Game of ThronesTitle: "Fire And Blood"

Story: Winter has finally arrived. Picking up immediately from where "Baelor" left off, "Fire and Blood" delivered everything that "Game of Thrones" excels at: political intrigue, a great leap forward on the battlefront, and even the first sincere fantasy outing of the series.

And then there were the dragons.

In the season finale, Dany makes some bold new steps as Khaleesi, Jon Snow takes a long, hard look at his role as a man of the Night's Watch, and Robb Stark becomes the King of the North. Oh, and Sansa and Catelyn actually show some spunk, and Arya is suddenly... a boy?

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Game of Thrones"Game of Thrones" took a serious turn for the unexpected with this week's installment, titled "Baelor." Speaking about last night's shocking events is close to impossible without diving into spoiler territory — which we'll do after the jump — but for now, it's enough to say that bad stuff happened. And make no mistake: bad stuff will continue to happen.

But that doesn't mean bad stuff can't be awesome stuff to behold, right? "Game of Thrones" showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss certainly hope you're still along for the ride (though the results from our "Thrones" poll indicates that you're not all entirely on board with the latest twist), as they explain in this behind-the-scenes video just released on HBO.com. Benioff and Weiss explain the reasoning behind the show's most severe curve ball to date, and discuss their own reactions to reading the scene in George R.R. Martin's novels for the very first time. Definitely worth checking out if (and only if) you already know what happened in the most recent episode of "Thrones."

With that out of the way, it's time to return to spoiler territory. Join us past the jump if you want some additional insight into last night's "Thrones" shocker.

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Game of ThronesEpisode Title: "Baelor"

Story: Big moves are afoot in Westeros and across the Narrow Sea. Robb Stark and his mother Catelyn have to barter with Walder Frey to cross the Trident and continue their march towards the Lannisters, but the cost is more than they bargained for. Khal Drogo's wound suffered in last week's "The Pointy End" begins to fester, and Dany seeks out blood magic to save his life.

Ned Stark, meanwhile, opens up to the idea of declaring himself a traitor against Robert Baratheon to spare his family, but getting off the hook easy isn't what the new King Joffrey has in mind. And as we warned you last night -- SPOILERS ahead!

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Game of ThronesSo… that happened.

Unless you've already read the novels that HBO's "Game of Thrones" is based upon, I'm guessing that a whole bunch of you are rivaling Justin Bieber for Best Jaw-Dropping Moment right now. But pick those jaws up off the floor, folks — it happened. And, believe it or not, it's going to be okay.

If you haven't seen the most recent episode of "Game of Thrones," let me warn you now — watch it before reading the rest of this post, unless you want to ruin the biggest twist of the season for yourself. One last time, louder and clearer now: MAJOR SPOILERS LIE AHEAD. You have been warned.

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Game of ThronesEpisode Title: "You Win Or You Die"

Story: After attacking Ned Stark and killing his men, Jaime Lannister has fled King's Landing for Casterly Rock, the home of his father, Tywin Lannister, who gives him a lesson in getting the job done. Things aren't going very well for his sister Cersei in King's Landing, though, once Ned confronts her about her relationship with her brother. But the situation is even graver for King Robert, who comes back from his hunt with more slaughtered meat than he bargained for -- a grim reality that leaves Ned with some difficult choices to make.

Across the Narrow Sea, Khal Drogo finds himself compelled to win the Iron Throne of Westeros for his wife Daenerys. Up north at the Wall, Jon Snow frets over his uncle's delayed return as well as his disappointing new assignment for the Night's Watch -- until his portly pal Samwell points out a significant silver lining.

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