Now that casting and pre-production on Game of Thrones Season 6 have gotten underway (with vigilant fans eying Kit Harington’s hair and movements like a hawk), HBO has already chosen its first director of the new season. Not only that, but more leaked casting reports and audition sides might tease some big Dothraki names, a major Northern presence, and a new scene partner for Tyrion.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, LOST and The Sopranos director Jack Bender has signed on to helm two hours of Game of Thrones Season 6, having been approached in years before, but previously unable to commit to the scheduling. Bender also specified that production has approximately six or seven scripts already completed, for which HBO will eventually release a full list of directors (and hopefully with some female talent this time around).

Elsewhere of Game of Thrones Season 6, WatchersOnTheWall obtained yet another casting list for the 2016 episodes, some of which suggest Dothraki warriors to interact with Daenerys, while a particular call for Irish and Northern Irish actors could spell an extended stay in the Westerosi North this year:

Qhogo and Akrat: They’re seeking mixed ethnicity or other non-white actors for the roles. The successful young warriors need to be tall, confident, with swagger and linguistic bravado. It’s noted that the actors will have to speak in a fictional language. I think it’s safe to say that these are Dothraki.

Bower: He is a powerless servant, numb to the horror he serves. He’s filming around one of the days that below “outlaw band” members are so he may be connected to them. He is required to have a Northern or Midland English accent and appears in one episode.

Lachlan:  He’s the big leader of a group of renegades who have turned on the land that they swore to protect. They’re now extorting the poor and vulnerable.  He appears in 2 episodes in season 6.

Flynn: He’s part of an outlaw band. The group is using religion to justify terrorizing and extorting what they need from the people of the countryside. He appears in 2 episodes in season 6. He appears to be part of Lachlan’s band.

Japeth: Another member of the outlaw band is this lieutenant. He’s a “rough-and-ready type” with a strong physical presence, also appearing two episodes.

Legendary Fighter:  A man in his thirties or forties who is a great swordsman and a paragon of knighthood. He carries a hugely famous sword on his back.  The show is seeking a very impressive swordsman for the role- the best in Europe, for a week of filming fight scenes for a season 6 role. His ethnicity/race isn’t specified, unlike many other roles.

Lord of Noble Northern House: (Casting age anywhere between 25-50) The lord is a savage warrior, and he rules a distinguished house in the very far North, and the role is said to be an impactful one. He’s described as a massive bear of a man with a beard and temper to match, and hatred that run deep, and he can be violent. The show’s looking for someone with a powerful physique who can tower over other cast members, a Northern English Accent and specifies he has to be at least 180 cm tall. The role will be on 2 episodes.

Lord of Northern Stronghold: The show’s looking for an actor in his late thirties or forties to play another lord, one that’s ruthless and calculating. The frightening lord rules a vassal household with a castle stronghold. He’ll be in 3 episodes this year, with 20 days of filming this summer and fall.

Hunter: He’s a rough army officer on the hunt appearing in an action scene with main cast, in one episode.

Submissive Maester: The show’s casting a maester in his twenties- a timid young maester. He’s decent but has trouble standing up to others. He appears in one episode in season 6.

Green Recruit: A young man with one line and one day of filming in August.

Sympathiser 1, 2 & 3:  These are rough military types, with a day of filming.

Housemaid:  She’s the motherly nanny (with a tight whip) to a large household.
The show wants an actress between the ages of 45-65 with a Northern English Accent. She’ll be in 2 episodes.

Father: He’s tough and old, an alpha male patriarch. The show is looking for a man with a Northern English Accent. He appears in one episode and has 2 lines.

WinterisComing goes so far as to suggest that the “Lachlan” group could also take us to the Riverlands, a well-known section of George R.R. Martin’s books that figured into Jaime Lannister’s arc, before HBO subbed in the ill-received Dorne plot. However, that’s not all! A Brazilian Game of Thrones site also managed to transcribe some sides from a leaked audition video for a Red Preistess character named Kinvara. Dialogue and content are subject to change, though the eblow exchange might offer a taste of Tyrion’s trials next year:

Herald: “You stand in the presence of Kinvara, High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, the Flametruth, the light of wisdom, the first servant of the Lord of the Light.”

Tyrion: “Welcome to Meereen. That’s about the extent of my Valyrian. Do you mind if we continue in Common?”

*Kinvara nods*

Tyrion: “Thank you for traveling all this way. I know from personal experience how uncomfortable the journey can be. The truth is, we need your help. Our hope is that we can persuade you to, to …”

Kinvara: “You want my priests to convince the Meereenese that the city’s conqueror is the people’s savior.”

Tyrion/Varys: “We prefer liberator to conqueror.”

Kinvara: “You don’t have to persuade me of anything. I came to help. Daenerys Stormborn is the One Who Was Promised. From the fire, she was reborn…to remake the world.”

Tyrion: “Yes.”

Kinvara: “She freed the slaves from their chains and crucified the Masters for their sins.”

Tyrion/Varys: “She did indeed.”

Kinvara: “Her dragons are fire made flesh. A gift from the Lord of Light. But you’ve heard all of this before, haven’t you? On the Long Bridge of Volantis? The dragons purify nonbelievers by the thousands, burning their sins and flesh away.”

Tyrion/Varys: “Ideally, we’d avoid purifying many non-believers. The Mother of the Dragon has followers from many different faiths.”

Kinvara: “You want your queen to be worshiped and obeyed. And while she’s gone, you want her advisors to be worshiped and obeyed.”

Tyrion: “I’d settle for obeyed.”

Kinvara: “I will summon mummers and appoint priests. They will spread the word. Daenerys has been sent to lead the people against the darkness…for this war, and the Great War yet to come.”

Varys: “That sounds excellent. A man named Stannis Baratheon was appointed as the Chosen One by one of your priestesses. He too had a glorious destiny. He attacked King’s Landing, and was soundly defeated by the man standing beside me. Last I heard, he’d been defeated again. This time at Winterfell…and this time for good.”

*Kinvara turns her head as if responding to a new speaker, implying that Tyrion is the one who speaks the next line*

Tyrion: “We are grateful for any support you can provide the queen during this trying time.”

*Kinvara turns her head back – Varys speaking again?*

Varys: “I suppose it is hard for a fanatic to admit a mistake. Isn’t that the whole point of being a fanatic? You’re always right. Everything is the Lord’s will.”

Kinvara: “Everything is the Lord’s will. Men and women make mistakes…even honest servants of the Lord.”

Varys: “And you? An honest servant of the Lord? Why should I trust you any more than the priestess who counseled Stannis?”

Tyrion: “My friend has a healthy skepticism of religion, but we’re all loyal supporters of the Queen.”

Kinvara: “Everyone is what they are and where they are for a reason. Terrible things happen for a reason. Take what happened to you, Lord [Varys], when you were a child. If not for the mutilation by the second-rate sorcerer, you would not be here, helping the Lord’s Chosen bring light into this world. Knowledge has made you very powerful....but there is still so much you don’t know. Do you remember what you heard, the night the sorcerer tossed your parts into the flames? Should I tell you what the voice said? Should I tell you the name of the one who spoke or where it lives?”

*Kinvara laughs. Clearly, she has successfully unsettled Varys*

Kinvara: “We serve the same queen. If you are a true friend, you have nothing to fear from me.”

*Kinvara turns and departs*

Elsewhere of Game of Thrones Season 6, we know that casting has begun on a number of other new roles, several of which suggest we’ll follow Samwell Tarly on his departure from the Night’s Watch, while others seemingly confirm we’ll pick up with George R.R. Martin’s discarded Iron Islands subplots. Meanwhile, debate continually rages as to whether Kit Harington’s Jon Snow will participate in Season 6, as while cast and crew deny it, story logistics seemingly confirm scenes set at The Wall in Season 6.

Game of Thrones’ sixth year will likely bring more official cast announcements at Comic-Con 2015, but what book and other plots can we expect when Season 6 bows in 2016?