British actress cast as Septa Unella

Hannah-WaddinghamWith all the discussion surrounding the Faith this year on Game of Thrones, there is one notable new casting for the storyline fans have been wondering about and WatchersOnTheWall can now confirm that the role has been filled with British actress Hannah Waddingham.

HBO has officially confirmed to us that Waddingham will be playing Septa Unella, described as “a septa serving the Faith of the Seven. As a member of the Most Devout, the highest ranking clergy, she enforces strict adherence to her religion’s laws.”

The actress appeared this year on the ITV sitcom Benidorm, and has several roles on British TV to her credit. She is well known for her roles in musical theatre, starring in A Little Night Music, Into the Woods, The Wizard of Oz and playing the Lady of the Lake in the original London production of Spamalot.

Sue the Fury: It’s fantastic to finally know who’s playing the harsh septa. I can’t wait to see what she does with her. There’s a lot of potential in the part.

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

32 Comments

  1. Good stuff. I was hoping for some casting news to trickle in.

    Did anyone guess it was her when the WoS set pics came out? The name’s familiar but I can’t recall seeing her in anything, so maybe I remember her name from that thread…

  2. Greenjones: id anyone guess it was her when the WoS set pics came out? The name’s familiar but I can’t recall seeing her in anything, so maybe I remember her name from that thread…

    That’s not her in that pic with Jonathan Pryce. It’s one of the other septas. We’ll cover that in the post we have coming up next. We’ll get that posted in a little bit. Just needed to get this news out there. 🙂

  3. Yeah, nice to get some confirmation of this role. Still want some more though….

    Funnily enough, I was watching the Not Going Out episode in which she is in just the other day. She played a pornstar in it though so a slightly different role here.

  4. Sue the Fury,

    Aha. So if HBO confirmed this to you all, what made you suspect that this particular actress was in the show?

    Also this next post sounds promising…

  5. Sue the Fury,

    We are getting more than one? Hmm

    jjp,

    If there are other Septas, maybe one of them wont be pretty. Anyway, this is TV. This happens in TV and it will continue to happen. GOT is no exception.

  6. jentario,

    I know. It’s not a problem for me in the least (neither are Tyrion, Jorah, Ygritte, etc). But it might be a problem for a handful of others, and if it is, I’ll laugh.

  7. jjp,

    If you had to look her up in the wiki to get a description, I don’t her book description really matters.

    Anyway, when I got the casting call leak earlier this year, it said that Unella “appears a lot” so I assume they’ll stick with her

    as the main confessor/tormentor for Cersei (and Margaery?).
  8. I don’t think her book description matters at all; I was looking her up to remember what it was she does in the story. But then I read that, and thought it was funny because there are probably a few people that will think her book description matters to the show.

    to put it another way, that was an attempt at some end-of-the-workday snark that failed. Fortunately it’s time to go home!

  9. This is one of those recurrent but relatively minor roles I always enjoy a lot in Game of Thrones. In this case, I imagine we’ll see her a lot, considering what Sue has said. Great find!


    Greenjones,

    She’s pretty tall and could easily be made to look hulky.

  10. Well, well, well…who are you gonna get to crack first, Septa?

    Will it be Margaery or Cersei? You and the High Sparrow should be quite a team!

    Welcome to the madness, Ms. Waddingham!

    Edit: Thanks, Jentario. Got caught up in the fun. We must protect the innocent! 🙂

  11. They went younger than I expected. She’s had bit parts in a lot of shows over here in Britain. Has always been steady if not spectacular. Can’t pretend the character excites me much but sure she’ll be at the very least compotent.

  12. I wonder if I forced HBO’s hand with my previously wrong (I admit) observation on the actress playing her, probably not though.
    A Spamalot vet too, can’t get any better than that except (see below).

    Anyway, kudos to the actress for being admitted into the elite GoT world.

  13. jjp:
    http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Unella

    I had to look her up, I couldn’t remember her offhand. Per AWOIAF she has ” a scowling homely face” in the books. This woman is quite pretty. Will a character this minor receive the same complaints that some had about Tyrion, Jorah, Ygritte, etc? Let’s find out.

    Probably not, because she’s a minor character. Nobody complained that Kraznys was not fat.

    Few people even complain about Roose or Ramsay being more attractive in the show, because their looks have no bearing on their storyline or characterization. Tyrion’s ugliness, however, is really important to his characterization, same with Brienne, although it’s obvious why it would be difficult to find actors who fit the descriptions perfectly. I have a problem with Jorah being handsome because that affects the perception of his relationship with Dany, but I have even more of a problem with the changes to Jorah’s personality in the show, which also affect the perception of his relationship with Dany. (Simply put: the Unsullied can’t understand why Dany isn’t into this Jorah, and the show does it best to make the viewers “root” for Jorah as a romantic prospect for Dany.)

  14. Have to give some credit to the casting directors here, they see/hear things from actors during auditions which we don’t and they’ve done an ace job so far with a couple of small exceptions maybe. Who’d have thought Jack Gleeson ( being such a lovely young fellow [/manlove]) could have made such a perfect Joffrey or that Pedro Pascal would have nailed Oberyn based on previous roles ( remember him as a bit of a dork/dweeb in Buffy?)?

  15. Annara Snow:Probably not, because she’s a minor character. Nobody complained that Kraznys was not fat.

    Fair enough, but I wonder if the same would be true if they cast a thin guy as Lord Manderly!

    (….well at this point I guess people would just be psyched that he’s included at all.)

  16. Thank the god they didn’t bring the 3 of them , I really hated those women have nothing to do with their life at all but

    catching quenns and undress them
  17. Annara Snow: (Simply put: the Unsullied can’t understand why Dany isn’t into this Jorah, and the show does it best to make the viewers “root” for Jorah as a romantic prospect for Dany.)

    While I agree with you that the show does try and make viewers root of Jorah as a romantic prospect for Dany, I don’t agree Unsullied viewers can’t understand why Dany isn’t interested. She’s young, beautiful, and a Queen. He’s significantly older, has no real power (was disgraced and stripped of his Lordship, even), and while he’s nice enough looking for a significantly older man, not exactly one who comes off as irresistible. Furthermore, at least in my opinion, and this is before I had read the books, his romantic interest in her comes off as a bit creepy.

    Anyway, I see this lady who’s been cast as Unella as someone who, despite her prettiness, could certainly come off as formidable, especially if one takes her height into consideration.

  18. Welcome to the cast, welcome to “Game Of Thrones” and I wish you all the best on the show! Hopefully you will find the experience of acting on this show as rewarding as possible!

    FYI, don’t be alarmed by it but never understimate the apparent brain trauma some of the fucknuts in this fandom seem to suffer from, in that they will disect your looks down to the construct of your head…

    Why is it that almost always female actresses are scrutinized for their looks, and how those looks can somehow inhibit their ability to blend in the cast, and/or adversely afffect the portrayal of their assigned characters?!

  19. loco73,

    Hi, not sure if this was meant for me, but if it was: my original comment, while it obviously failed miserably, was meant to lampoon the extreme detail with which some fans compare the book and show versions of characters (this happens with both male and female characters, with both physical and non-physical traits, though obviously it’s only possible to compare the physical traits before we see them perform).

    I do not believe that this woman’s looks (nor those of any cast member, male or female) will “somehow inhibit their ability to blend in the cast, and/or adversely affect the portrayal of their assigned characters?!”

    That said, I do think she’s very pretty, and there’s nothing wrong with commenting to that effect. It’s certainly a nicer thing to say about someone than to say they’re a fucknut.

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