April 8, 2019
The Best of the ‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Elsewhere
In this series…
- Before season 8 starts, read our guide to where every character left off.
- The most beautiful shots of Game of Thrones, curated by One Perfect Shot.
- Every episode of Game of Thrones, ranked by our own resident Maester.
- Read our in-depth breakdown of the Game of Thrones season 8 trailer.
- We rank the best duels in Game of Thrones.
- Explore our guide to the best Game of Thrones scenes by season.
- We rank the 50 most important props from Game of Thrones.
- Gather your tunics and explore Game of Thrones in 50 Costumes.
- We also ranked the villains on Game of Thrones.
- Brush up on who’s left on Arya’s kill list.
- We try to answer the unanswered questions of Game of Thrones season 8.
- The unlikely victors of Game of Thrones and how they might win.
It’s here. It’s happening. The end of Game of Thrones is finally within sight. Yes, there is a prequel series to come, but that’s due to take place millennia before the events of Thrones, so there’s no getting around it: before long, we’ll be saying our final goodbyes to the show’s much-adored heroes and its many, many devils (equally as beloved).
That doesn’t mean we have to bid farewell to the show’s myriad cast members, however. Whether GoT launched their careers (as it did for Maisie Williams) or merely spread the gospel on the artistry of veteran actors like Liam Cunningham, Thrones’ most familiar faces all enjoy healthy careers outside of Westeros, meaning there will be plenty of options for soothing those withdrawal symptoms you might get – for, say, Davos – come May 19. To better facilitate the filling of those dragon-shaped holes in our hearts, then, we’ve put together a handy list of recommendations, telling you what to watch and where for each main cast member when that post-Thrones ache inevitably hits.
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister): The Station Agent
His central role on Thrones is, without a doubt, Peter Dinklage’s most well-known, but the actor had already experienced something of a breakthrough eight years prior, as the lead in Tom McCarthy’s Sundance favorite The Station Agent. There are shades of late-season Tyrion in Dinklage’s performance as lonely train enthusiast Fin, whose life-long commitment to misanthropy is compromised by the unlikely friendships and quiet romance he finds upon inheriting a disused rail depot out in the New Jersey sticks. Dinklage’s is a deeply nuanced role in an equally understated character study, and he’s in excellent company with a cast that includes Bobby Cannavale, Patricia Clarkson, Michelle Williams, and a young Raven Goodwin of SMILF fame.
Where to watch: available for rent on Amazon
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister): Headhunters
No less than sixty-seven episodes after his remorseless attempted murder of Bran, the latter half of season seven finally confirmed there were some things Jaime Lannister wouldn’t do for love. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s character’s journey has proved one of Game of Thrones’ most compelling and rewarding, mostly because it’s been so hard to shake off that early impression of a ruthless, single-minded villain. Headhunters, which was released the same year Game of Thrones premiered, provides another chance to see Coster-Waldau in that steely, antagonistic vein. Based on the bestselling book by Jo Nesbø (the Scandinavian noir superstar who also wrote The Snowman), this bleakly comic thriller is vastly superior to the frigid adaptation of the latter. Coster-Waldau plays a former special forces operative turned CEO – a sort of 21st-century approximation of Jaime Lannister’s career path – who flips an art heist on its head, igniting a thrilling (and suitably merciless) chase between hunter and hunted in the process.
Where to watch: available for rent on Amazon
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister): Aberdeen
Lena Headey’s filmography offers Thrones fans plenty of opportunities to see her in similarly historical and/or fantasy settings – 300, The Brothers Grimm, Dredd – but if you want a change of scenery, then the contrast doesn’t get much more stark than with the bleakly realist Aberdeen. In this underseen gem from Cold Pursuit director Hans Petter Moland, Headey plays Kaisa, a high-functioning coke addict tasked with escorting her estranged, alcoholic father (Stellan Skarsgård) to her mother’s (Charlotte Rampling) deathbed. There’s a little of Cersei’s fiery disposition recognizable in her character here, but Aberdeen offers a longer, deeper glimpse at Headey’s capacity for raw vulnerability than GoT provides, as father and daughter struggle through their respective traumas on the long road trip from Norway to Scotland.
Where to watch: Prime Video or Kanopy