Game of Thrones is finally back this month, and it’s safe to say excitement is building for latest series. In anticipation of that, we’ve taken a look at the stars and the surprising places you’ve seen them before.
GoT is littered with numerous characters who have come and gone, and been killed along the way, and there have been plenty of times we’ve watched the show scratching our heads wondering where we’ve seen them before.
These are the surprising roles of the Game of Thrones stars.
Peter Dinklage might just play one of the series’ most-loved characters, Tyrion Lannister, but before that he had multiple roles in Hollywood. The one that always takes us by surprise, he was in Elf. He played a very angry businessman who has a meeting with Will Ferrel’s Elf and it’s safe to say things get a little rowdy.
Every Christmas since Game of Thrones started we watch this film always a little surprised to see Tyrion in a business suit.
Charles Dance has been working in film and TV since the seventies, so he’s definitely a face we recognise instantly. But what might shock you is that he appeared in 2002’s Ali G Indahouse in a leopard crop top and bright red miniskirt alongside Sacha Baron Cohen.
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Nathalie Emmanuelle might now play Missandei, Daenerys Targaryen’s right-hand woman, but she started out on Hollyoaks playing Sasha Valentine. If you remember rightly, she’s not the only Hollyoaks star to appear on GoT, but she lasted much longer than Roxanne McKee’s character.
Nikolaj Coster is another actor who’s been in loads over the years, but one of the first major appearances of his was Black Hawk Down.
Before Natalie Dormer played Margery Tyrell, she appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger as Pvt. Lorraine, she also had a recurring role on The Tudors.
Before he played Khaleesi’s advisor Ser Jorah Mormont, Iain Glen had a recurring role in the Resident Evil series as the calculating scientist Dr. Sam Isaacs. Glen also appeared on Downton Abbey in 2011 as Sir Richard Carlisle, a tabloid publisher who was once betrothed to Lady Mary.
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Years before he was Reek (Theon Greyjoy) on Game of Thrones, Alfie Allen made his first onscreen appearance in 1998’s Elizabeth and had a small part in Joe Wright’s Atonement. A year later, he slipped into a sixteenth century–style robe for his role as the king’s messenger in The Other Boleyn Girl.
For the first four seasons, Jack Gleeson played King Joffrey, one of the most hated characters in Westeros. But the actor got his start as an adorable, innocent young boy in the first film of the Dark Knight trilogy: Batman Begins.
Game of Thrones isn’t the first acclaimed HBO series to star Aidan Gillen. In 2004, he joined the cast of The Wire, playing Tommy Carcetti, the ambitious politician who rises up the gubernatorial ladder in Baltimore. Gillen also had a memorable role in the opening sequence of The Dark Knight Rises.
This has to be our favourite surprise role. Remember the singing duo Robson and Jerome? Well, yes. That’s Jerome.
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Another much-hated character is that of Ramsay Snow, it’s such a shame because we instantly recognised him as the super quiet, handsome Simon Bellamy from Misfits.
Before McCann was hacking enemies to pieces in Westeros, he was . . . attempting to murder Simon Pegg in Hot Fuzz. McCann starred as the laconic henchmen Michael Armstrong in the 2007 satirical action film. His Hot Fuzz character was a man of few words, much like The Hound.
Natalia Tena debuted in season one as Osha, a wild woman eventually charged with protecting the youngest Stark child. Years earlier, she was the similarly strong-willed Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter film series.
Another actress to have first appeared in Harry Potter was Michele Fairley who played Caitlyn Stark in GoT. In Potter, she appeared briefly as Hermoine Granger’s mother.
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Before he played the leader of the Free Folk, Ciarán Hinds had starred in many big-name films including 2005’s Munich, There Will Be Blood in 2007, and he even did some vocals for 2013’s animated juggernaut Frozen. Most notably, however, Hinds played Albus Dumbledore’s estranged brother, Aberforth, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
This one was a real head-scratcher, we knew we’d seen the High Sparrow before. Jonathan Pryce starred as the powdered-wig wearing Governor Weatherby Swann in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
Before he played the loyal and laconic Grey Worm, Jacob Anderson had an arc on Showtime’s Episodes and most recently appeared on ITV’s miniseries Broadchurch as Dean Thomas. But Anderson isn’t just a character actor, he is also a musician who performs under the stage name Raleigh Ritchie.
All the way back in the first season, Mark Addy starred as Robert Baratheon, he’s another actor with plenty of credits. One of the funniest has to be as Dave in The Full Monty.
Of course, we all remember the cute kid from Love Actually who ran through the airport, amazingly without being stopped, and we couldn’t actually believe our eyes when he turned up in Game of Thrones as Jojen Reed. Could we really be that old?!