It’s been a ‘Lannistarkified’ 8 long years for the stars of Game of Thrones. While the epic TV show was a career launch break for most of the characters, some of who even reached puberty on set; a few others already had an impressive list of acting experience on their resume before GOT. Nevertheless, GOT undeniably added a lot to the lives of these actors who brilliantly played the roles they were ascribed—from a cash/career boost to finding love. GOT was exposure on a grand scale for them and because of that, GOT’s finale won’t mark an end of the road for them.
Fans of the hit HBO TV series are usually excited when they discover that a cast from GOT would be starring in an upcoming movie. And even as their progress interests us (honestly, what we care about is the performance they bring to the table and seeing them in a different ‘un-Westeros light) we can’t help checking out their ‘before and after’ profile.
GOT stars will move on and we will too. But in the meantime, this finale has been a long drawn-out breakup. And you know how you can’t stop going backward in your mind, thinking about how your ex used to be and all that—that’s exactly what’s happening between GOT and its fans now. It’s a ‘thronely’ binge in the past times.
And here, you get to indulge yourself on this expose of what your favorite Game of Thrones stars was doing before landing a role on this award-winning show.
The dwarf with swag! Game of Thrones was not the first movie Peter Dinklage starred in. Before he got the role for Tyrion Lannister in GOT, 49 years old Dinklage was well known for appearing in Living in Oblivion and The Station Agent. But thanks to GOT; the talented actor now has a Golden Globe Award and three Primetime Emmy Awards sitting on his shelf.
Kit Harrington who played the strong but sometimes dumb Jon Snow on GOT has only acted on stage once before GOT. Game of Thrones was his first TV role. Back in his drama school, he acted as Albert in an adaptation of War Horse by the National Theatre. However, after the international recognition (plus love in the form of Rose Leslie as Ygritte) that GOT brought him, Harrington was featured in Silent Hill: Revelation, How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.
Emilia Clarke was not absolutely unknown before Game of Thrones. She already starred in two TV roles (one of which was Triassic Attack) before going all white hair to play Daenerys Targaryen in GOT. However, GOT brought her wider acclaim—plus an upward net worth spiral.
Lena Headey has been in the acting business as far back as 1992 before becoming the face of Cersei Lannister, the ‘baddest’ woman in the game. Her first break into the movie world was in Waterland. You will also see Headey in the popular “300” and in “The Sarah Connor Chronicles.” Want to see if there’s a remnant of Cersei in her? Check her out in Dwayne Johnson’s 2019 movie Fighting With My Family.
What won’t Jaimie Lannister (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) do for Cersei, the woman he loves? Waldau became one of the most talked about (in a bad light) actors in GOT after his character (Jaimie) shoved young Bran from a tower because Bran caught him and his twin sister, Cersei doing the incestuous deed.
However, before landing the role that brought him worldwide popularity, Waldau was already a familiar face in numerous Danish movies including Nightwatch.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright landed the role of young Bran Stark who soon grew to become the most powerful cripple in the whole of Westeros. Game of Thrones was the first film Bran has ‘warged’ in. When he joined the cast in 2011, Bran was just a 12 years old boy. He, along with his two on-screen sisters, Sansa and Arya, went through all stages of puberty and became adults on set.
Speaking to GQ, Wright said
“It feels like I’ve just lived an entire career and an entire life, but I’ve literally just started my life.”
Yes, exactly, he has just started because already lined up for him are thrillers he will be starring in like The Blue Mauritius and Voyagers.
Maisie Williams like Hempstead-Wright also had no movie or TV series to her name before GOT. She celebrated her 14th birthday two days before the premiere of Game of Thrones Season 1 in 2011. Maisie whose feisty character in GOT earned her a special place in the hearts of fans also has something to say about growing up on set.
Speaking with Time, Maisie said “It’s quite exciting that the show’s coming to an end. It’s a time to look quite positively at the future and really try to shape my career without being tied to anything.” Surely, if Maisie Williams gives her career half the dedication and zest Arya gave killing off those on her list, she’d be unstoppable.
Game of Thrones was Sophie Turner’s (Sansa Stark) professional acting debut. Turner was 15 years old when she landed the role of the naïve Sansa Stark. However, since appearing in GOT, the newly married star has been very busy. So far, she’s starred in more than eight movies including the blockbuster X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: Dark Phoenix. And she’s not only grateful for how GOT is helping her pay her bills, but she’s also grateful for how her castmates have become a second family to her. Turner told People that she feels like
“I have the world’s biggest family…the support system has been the greatest thing for me.”