With the gap between the sixth and seventh seasons spanning some 15 months, it’s fair to say patience is something of a necessity for Game of Thrones fans. 10 weeks might seem like a long enough run for any series, but as any fan of Westeros et al will attest, seasons can go by pretty fast leaving behind a television void few shows can fill. Sure, the 12+ months that follow will feature plenty in the way of theorizing about the season ahead but that can only go on for so long, and then what do you do?
Checking out some of the amazing movies your favorite Game of Thrones actors have previously starred in is a great way to go because, as it turns out, some of these fine thespians have been in some equally awesome movies.
From foreign language thrillers to some more familiar blockbuster fare – here are 16 Amazing Movies Starring Game Of Thrones Actors.
16. Lena Headey – Dredd
Think Cersei Lannister represents Lena Headey’s most villainous role to date? Think again. That honor goes to Pete Travis’ painfully unappreciated comic book adaptation Dredd and the part of Madeline “Ma-Ma” Madrigal, a villainous drug lord and the film’s principal antagonist.
A scarred sociopathic former prostitute, Ma-Ma takes revenge on the pimp that scarred her by “feminizing” her attacker mid-fellatio and while he’s under the influence of Slo-Mo – the drug that slows down time for its users, making the experience all the more painful. From there, she rises up to take control of Peachtree block, using the dilapidated housing unit as the base to mass-produce Slo-Mo. Crazed, cunning and excessively violent, only Mega City I’s greatest judge stops Ma-Ma from continuing her bloody reign. She would totally eat Cersei for breakfast.
15. Peter Dinklage – The Station Agent
Forget that memorable early appearance in Will Ferrell’s Elf – the film that really introduced the world to the brilliance of Peter Dinklage was Tom McCarthy’s inspired indie sleeper hit, The Station Agent.
The film sees Dinklage take center stage as Finbar McBride, a withdrawn railway enthusiast who decides to embark on a new life of solitude in an abandoned Newfoundland train station left to him in the will of his deceased friend and employer. Finbar soon finds him new life interrupted by a whole host of characters from the surrounding area. There’s Bobby Cannavale’s roadside snack vendor, Patricia Clarkson’s artist still reeling from the death of her son two years previous, and Michelle Williams’ local librarian — all of whom combine to help Finbar realize that the old adage about no man being an island may actually be true. McCarthy and Clarkson won a raft of awards for their work on the film, but it’s Dinklage’s central performance that acts as the glue, binding this offbeat drama together to create something really special.
14. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Headhunters
Jaime Lannister may be Game of Thrones’ resident king-slayer, but when it comes to truly slaying the competition, he doesn’t hold a torch to Headhunters’ Clas Greve.
The central antagonist in this Norwegian language adaptation of the Jo Nesbo book of the same name, Coster-Waldau’s Greve is a former special forces soldier who used to specialize in tracking people, but now works as a high-level executive for a GPS technology firm.
His life changes the day he meets the Aksel Hennie’s corporate recruiter Roger Brown, who has been busy living a double life as a part-time art thief. Discovering Greve may be in possession of a lost Rubens painting, Brown sets about running his usual scam on the seemingly unsuspecting Greve. It’s only when Brown steals the priceless artwork that he begins to realize that Greve has lost none of his tracking abilities, prompting a game of cat and mouse that keeps viewers guessing to the very end and, in one scene, sees the film’s anti-hero (Brown) hiding in the fecal matter found underneath a cabin’s primitive toilet system. Nice.
13. Aidan Gillen – Calvary
John Michael McDonagh’s second film may be, for all intents and purposes, a tour de force for In Bruges’ Brendan Gleeson, but it also offers a memorable glimpse of Game of Thrones’ Littlefinger, Aidan Gillen.
When Gleeson’s local Irish priest Father James is told, by an unseen parishioner, that he will be executed in one week and has seven days to get his affairs in order, so begins the blackest of black comedy mysteries, with Gillen’s character typifying those themes with aplomb. Gillen plays surgeon Dr Frank Harte, a medical professional not averse to making the occasional off-hand remark about his penchant for widowed women. Crude, unpleasant but unrepentantly hilarious, the Game of Thrones star is in his element in McDonagh’s brilliantly bleak comedy.
12. Carice Van Houten – Black Book
Paul Verhoeven’s 2006 Dutch World War II thriller represented a major return to form for the filmmaker after the mixed bag that is 2000’s Hollow Man, and much of the credit for that should go to Carice van Houten, aka The Red Woman, Melisandre, from Game of Thrones.
Based on real events, Black Book centers on Van Houten’s Rachel Stein, a young Dutch Jewish woman who suffers a family tragedy at the hands of the Nazis before escaping and vowing revenge.
Enlisting in the resistance movement, she soon turns to work as a spy, seducing and infiltrating a Nazi officer’s inner circle with predictably bloody results (this is Verhoeven, after all). The most expensive Dutch film of all-time, Black Book was also a solid box office success in its homeland, where it was eventually voted the best Dutch film of all time.
11. Nathalie Emmanuel – Furious 7
Nathalie Emmanuel’s rise has been meteoric, to say the least. Once a regular on the British teen soap Hollyoaks, the part of Missandei, Daenerys Targaryen’s translator and confidant on Game of Thrones, saw the actress’ career transformed overnight.
Having previously appeared in just one film, a low budget British drama called Twenty8K, Emmanuel soon found herself cast in one of the most financially successful films of all-time, 2015’s Fast & Furious 7.
Playing the role of hacker Ramsey, Emmanuel is a welcome addition to the Furious family, offering up the occasional well-timed wise crack alongside the usual movie computer hacker babble. Returning as part of the team for The Fate of The Furious, Emmanuel also appears to be sticking around for the foreseeable future – and the franchise is all the better for it.
10. Rory McCann – Hot Fuzz
Rory McCann made a name for himself prior to Game of Thrones as something of a character actor known for brief but brilliant performances in some pretty big films. Edgar Wright’s follow-up to Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, is a great example. The 6ft 4in McCann plays supermarket worker Michael “Lurch” Armstrong, a local resident of the quaint English village Simon Pegg’s London cop Nicholas Angel is transferred to.
It doesn’t take long for Angel to suspect something sinister is afoot following a string of bizarre local murders, with McCann’s Armstrong embroiled in a plot involving the close-knit Neighbourhood Watch. Essentially serving as the main villain’s monosyllabic henchman, McCann is hilarious in a film that will have you looking at the Hound in a whole new light.
9. Michiel Huisman – The Invitation
This highly underrated horror thriller sees Logan Marshall-Green’s Will attend a dinner party at his former home — one that’s hosted by his ex-wife and her new husband David, played by Game of Thrones’ very own Michiel Huisman (who plays the recently left behind in Essos Daario Naharis).
What starts as a seemingly ordinary dinner party among friends soon descends into something far more sinister, after Will gradually discovers his ex and her new partner have some very disturbing intentions for their guests.
Tense, understated, and thoroughly compelling, The Invitation also features a fine performance from Huisman, with audiences ultimately never sure whether it’s just Will’s paranoia or something far more disturbing at hand – until it’s almost too late.
8. Alfie Allen – John Wick
Alfie Allen successfully parlayed his innate ability for playing cowardly types, like Theon Greyjoy, into a pivotal role in Keanu Reeves’ action masterpiece John Wick. It’s Allen’s character Iosef Tarasov, the entitled son of gangster Viggo Tarasov, who sets the bloody and brilliant events of the movie in motion. Spotting Wick’s vintage 1969 Boss 429 Mustang, he decides to break into Wick’s home to steal his car and, worse still, kill his puppy. Big mistake. The move sets off a rampage unlike any put to screen before or since, with Allen’s Iosef very much in Wick’s crosshairs.
At turns obnoxious and cowardly, Allen may be back in familiar Theon-like territory, but it’s a part he plays very well. Oh, and fear not – Iosef gets his comeuppance in the end, along with a fair few Russian gangsters for good measure.
7. Iain Glen – Eye In The Sky
Iain Glen boasts a pretty impressive CV of movie appearances, and while it would be easy (and a little harsh) to mention his bizarre continued appearance in the Resident Evil movies, the Game of Thrones star has done better. Much better.
2015’s drone-led war drama, Eye In The Sky, is a great example. Helen Mirren plays Colonel Katherine Powell, a military officer in command of a counter-terrorist operation in Kenya, tasked with deciding whether or not to give the go-ahead when an innocent girl enters the kill zone of a potential drone strike.
Glen appears, all-too-briefly, as the useless UK Foreign Secretary James Willett, a diplomat who suffers a rather embarrassing bit of bowel trouble before flip-flopping on the big decision at hand in the style of any true, modern, politician. Well observed.
6. Gwendoline Christie – The Force Awakens
Gwendoline Christie’s biggest and best moments in the Star Wars universe may be yet to come, but in the meantime, her masked appearance in The Force Awakens represents a pretty good starting point for anyone keen to see a bit more from Brienne of Tarth.
Originally conceived as a male character by JJ Abrams, the role of Captain Phasma, the commander of the First Order’s force of stormtroopers, was actually changed for Christie, who was able to impress despite some extremely limited screen time.
Much like The Force Awakens itself, the film served as an introduction of sorts to much in the refreshed Star Wars universe, with the suspicion being that bigger and better is to come for Christie, and the franchise as a whole, in the next outing.
5. Jonathan Pryce – Brazil
Long before he made a name for himself as the High Sparrow on Game of Thrones, Pryce starred in Terry Gilliam’s dystopian adventure Brazil.
Pryce is Sam Lowry, an ordinary bureaucrat in the retro-future world whose attempts at correcting an administrative error soon forces him to go on the run as an enemy of the state. Visually striking and bursting full of original ideas and standout performances, the film fuses George Orwell’s 1984 with the absurdist vision Gilliam championed throughout much of his work with Monty Python.
Brazil is not simply some far-flung fantasy, though – it makes some very knowing observations about work, society, and life as we know it. Pryce also excels as the film’s protagonist and straight man in an otherwise strange and distorted world. It’s brilliant, if a little bonkers.
4. Sean Bean – Fellowship Of The Ring
Sean Bean dies in all of his films. He even dies in Game of Thrones, and if that’s a spoiler for you, then you only have yourself to blame for not watching season one. Picking out Bean’s most memorable death is a tricky enough prospect – his offing in Goldeneye immediately sticks out in the mind – but when it comes to his best performance, it’s difficult to look beyond Boromir.
A flawed but thoroughly fascinating hero who is almost tempted into corruption by the one ring, Bean’s eventual demise as Boromir packs plenty of emotional punch, and is crucial to the pacing of the Fellowship of the Ring. It also happens to be a totally badass way to go, with Bean’s character shot by multiple arrows but fighting on to his very last breath.
It’s part of a fantastic introduction to the Lord of the Rings story, with Boromir part of the rag-tag bunch of warriors tasked with destroying the ring and defeating Sauron. It’s a perfect companion piece to Game of Thrones, and a must-watch for anyone still pining after Ned Stark.
3. Stephen Dillane – The Hours
Stephen Dillane, the actor behind Stannis Baratheon, has several notable credits to his name. His performance as Thomas Jefferson in the HBO miniseries John Adams is a particular standout, and one that earned the British actor an Emmy nomination, while he also stars in the excellent remake of the Scandinavian series The Tunnel.
Arguably his most notable movie role, however, comes as the tragically oppressive figure of Leonard Woolf, the overbearing husband of Nicole Kidman’s Virginia Woolf in Stephen Daldry’s somber drama, The Hours.
The story of how Woolf’s real-life novel, Mrs. Dalloway, affects three different generations of women, Dillane serves as Virginia’s caring but controlling husband, who lives in constant fear that his wife will one day take her own life. It’s a powerful drama that showcases Dillane’s true talents.
2. Julian Glover – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
British character actor Julian Glover played Grand Master Pycelle on Game of Thrones, but to Indiana Jones fans of a certain age, he’ll always be remembered as Walter Donovan, the American businessman in search of the Holy Grail — and immortality at any cost.
He’s the central antagonist in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, aligning himself with the Nazis against Indiana (Harrison Ford) and his father Henry (Sean Connery) in a cross-country pursuit of the elusive grail.
Cunning, conniving and contemptible, Walter is not all that dissimilar to Pycelle, save for an American accent that Glover is said to be far from happy with, having watched the finished film countless times. And of course, this being an Indiana Jones film, Glover’s character meets a rather unfortunate and grotesque end to rival the face melting of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
1. Max Von Sydow – The Exorcist
As tempting as it might be to suggest you go and revisit Max Von Sydow’s memorable turn as Knight Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, or even his performance as Ming The Merciless in Flash Gordon, his most critically acclaimed and accessible performance to date comes in William Friedkin’s The Exorcist.
Von Sydow plays Father Lankester Merrin, one of the priests enlisted to help tackle the evil spirit that has possessed teenage girl Regan. Upon arrival at Regan’s family home, Father Merrin soon discovers the task at hand is bigger than he first thought.
It’s the perfect part for the former three-eyed crow/raven/Lord Bloodraven, who is entirely believable as the eminent priest, fearful for what this demonic possession means for the fate of mankind. Strong yet fearful, it’s a performance that will live long in the memory, and serves as just one of many examples of why the veteran actor remains in serious demand despite his advancing years.
What’s your favorite movie starring or featuring a Game of Thrones actor? Have your say in the comment section.
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