Judging by the fact that you clicked on this post, I think it's safe in assuming that you — much like the rest of the world — have become a diehard Game of Thrones fan. And while a great deal of that credit goes to the writers, directors, and, of course, George R.R. Martin himself, your love of this particular show also stems from the fact that the actors are downright fantastic. Seriously, it's hard to believe that so much talent can be found within one cast. And yet, here we are. But before they ever set foot in Westeros, many of these Game of Thrones actors have starred in other notable roles on both the big and small screen. So even though you may not have realized it at the time, you've definitely seen some of these stars before they started dominating your Sunday evenings.
Now granted, a few of you Thrones super sleuthers may already be aware of some of these by now. (Don't be ashamed of your celeb stalking, my friends. Embrace it.) However, there are a couple that may throw even the most dedicated IMDB researchers for a loop. So if you're looking to get a GoT fix during this all-too-long hiatus, here are some definite must-see roles that your favorite Westeros actors portrayed before becoming the ultimate HBO superstars they are today.
1. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) as Miles Finch in Elf
Remember that brief, but hilarious altercation between Will Ferrell's Buddy the Elf and a certain children's book author? Well, that character just so happened to be played by the great Peter Dinklage himself, who proved even back then that he had the heart (and right hook) of a Lannister Lion.
2. Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors
While many famous stars came and went on the Showtime historical drama, Dormer (who was a relatively unknown actress at the time) immediately captivated viewers' attention in her portrayal of the beautiful and strong-willed second wife of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn. Her talents are undeniable and those who think otherwise should have their heads cut off. (Too soon?)
3. Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) as Sarah Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
If you think she's a protective mother now, that's nothing compared to the level of devotion Headey demonstrated throughout this Terminator-based series. And all without the help of red wine.
4. Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon) as the Little Boy in Batman Begins
Believe it or not, that sweet innocent face on the right belongs to one of the most hated characters in Westeros. I guess the Scarecrow's hallucinogenic drug had worse side effects than we ever realized.
5. Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) as Arundel's Son in Elizabeth
I mean, just look at how adorable he is! In 1998, the young actor starred alongside the likes of Cate Blanchett in this period film, which followed the journey of Elizabeth I of England throughout her early reign. And did I mention how adorable he is?
6. Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) as Claus in For Your Eyes Only
Proving that he was always destined to play villainous roles, Dance made a great evil henchmen in this James Bond classic.
7. Julian Glover (Grand Maester Pycelle) as Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Yep, this Grand Maester sure has made his way throughout some great Hollywood classics. Bonus facts: he also portrayed General Veers in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and donned the voice of Hagrid's creepy, crawly spider friend, Aragog, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
8. Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder) as Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
I bet you didn't expecto patronum that. (Sorry, my Harry Potter humor got the best of me for a second there.) He may have been the leader of the Wildlings in GoT, but over at Hogwarts, he was busy living in his brother Albus' shadow and participating in an entirely different army. Dumbledore's Army, to be exact.
9. Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger) as Tommy Carcetti in The Wire
Political ambition has always been this actor's forte, which was more than proven even back during his councilman-turned-mayor days on The Wire. Petyr Baelish would be proud.
10. Sean Bean (Ned Stark) as Boromir in the The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Man, this actor sure does have a tendency to get killed off of things fairly early on.
11. Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) as Mrs. Granger in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The Stark matriarch made a brief, but heartbreaking cameo as Hermione Granger's mother in the Harry Potter franchise, right before getting her memories wiped clean of her daughter's existence.
12. Rose Leslie (Ygritte) as Gwen Dawson on Downton Abbey
Before she was a member of the Free Folk, Leslie served as a maid of Downton in Season 1. Viewers were told that she left to become a secretary, but us GoT fans know the real truth. She had a date with Jon Snow in her very near future.
13. Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) as Jason Ioane on Baywatch
Further proof that the Dothraki warlord has always been a major heartthrob.
14. Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) as Captain Crewe in A Little Princess
It turns out that this actor has always been great with children, which is more than demonstrated throughout this beautiful father-daughter dynamic. Be careful, though — there are scenes that'll definitely rip your heartstrings right out of your chest.
15. Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) as Emma Peel on The Avengers
From playing a fictional spy to the ruling Dowager of Highgarden, this lady has proven to be a badass in pretty much everything she stars in.
16. Natalia Tena (Osha) as Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter Series
When she's not looking after little lords, she's busy protecting The Boy Who Lived.
17. Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed) as Sam in Love Actually
Venturing beyond The Wall seems like nothing in comparison to the total agony of being in love.
18. Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon) as Dave in The Full Monty
Because before there was Magic Mike, there was… King Robert?
You'll never think of these stars the same way again.
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