A lot of characters die on Game of Thrones. That’s kind of the ‘thing’ about Game of Thrones – you never know whether your favorite character is going to survive the episode. There is absolutely no hesitation in killing off a crowd pleaser or a major character. No matter how much you love them, what Game of Thrones gives, Game of Thrones can take away.
In researching this article it came to my attention that there have been at least 100 great characters who have been sliced, poisoned, shot or burned to death that I could have written about in this list. I had to restrict myself to 16. 16 characters who I think showed the most interesting and memorable actors.
Once an actor has been on Game of Thrones where is there to go after that? Is there an ‘up’? After appearing on arguably the most successful and loved TV series of all time what other heights are there?
Well let’s have a look at Where Are They Now, Game of Thrones style.
Because we all want to know what happened to our fave Game of Thrones actors, right? We all deserve to know, because we bled, burned, and cried with them. We mourned them. We threw things at the television. We shook our fists impotently – ok maybe that’s just me.
I did all these things, and we all know how fandom can affect your brain.
Except you, Jon Snow – you know nothing.
Except that you know nothing.
16 Joffrey Baratheon – Jack Gleeson
When That Little Rat Joffrey (who we all hated until we hated Ramsey) was poisoned at the purple wedding, his death spawned a thousand memes – dying Joffrey clutching melodramatically at this throat was a definite hit.
Meanwhile, Irish Jack Gleeson, who played the evil boy king, is absolutely charming and nothing like Joffrey whatsoever!
25 year old Jack was a child actor and was even in Batman Begins. He founded a theater company in Dublin called Collapsing Horse Theater Company and has a good many movies to his name.
However, after playing Joffrey he officially retired from acting and now just works with his theater company. He has university degrees in Philosophy and Theology and says he just doesn’t know why he doesn’t want to pursue the big leagues in acting, but he would rather write and produce and be a part of theater.
15 Khal Drogo – Jason Momoa
Khal Drogo was left in a vegetative state and was euthanized by his loving wife Daenerys. Drogo was played by His Royal Hotness, Jason Momoa.
We first probably met 37 year old Jason Momoa in Stargate Atlantis where he played Ronon Dex. He has more recently played the title role in Conan the Barbarian and in the DC Extended Universe as Aquaman – indeed he is having his own Aquaman movie to be released this year.
Jason is a writer and a producer as well as an actor and model, and is married to Lisa Bonet. Together they parent three children.
Jason is very close to his Game of Thrones wife, Emilia Clarke, and often shouts out to her on social media, much to the delight of fans.
So who is looking forward to Aquaman? I am sure that Jason Momoa is ready for a long and successful movie career.
14 Catelyn Stark – Michelle Farley
When Catelyn Stark’s throat was slit in Red Wedding, hearts broke all over the world and also presumably, in Westeros. Littlefinger was always carrying a bit of a torch for the Stark matriarch.
Michelle Farley is a seasoned actress from Northern Ireland who has appeared in a LOT of TV shows and movies from Harry Potter as Hermione’s mother and more recently in Suits.
Michelle is going to take on the theater next, playing Cassius in a gender-blind performance of Julius Caesar.
We can all watch Michelle in a more Game of Thrones-type role in the upcoming miniseries The White Princess in which she will play the role of Lady Margaret Beaufort, the grandmother of King Henry VII (that’s the one who beheaded some wives). I can totally see her in this role, being a legitimate Queen with regal bearing. It will be almost like, sniff, seeing Catelyn again.
13 The Mountain – Conan Stevens, Ian Whyte and Hafbor “Thor” Bjornsson
The Mountain died from a poisoned sword, which sucked so much because he was a super cool character.
Conan Stevens is a 7 foot tall Australian actor, writer, stuntman and wrestler. You can see him in the Filipino TV series Encantadia.
Ian Whyte is a 45 year old stuntman, actor and former basketballer from Wales. He is 7’1'' and the tallest Mountain. You can most recently see this tall father of one as the character Moroff in Rogue One.
Hafbor “Thor” Bjornsson, who I am going to just call Thor because if anyone can be called Thor it is him, is a 28 year old Icelandic actor who also is, wait for it, a basketball player and competition strongman. Dude is seriously strong. You can next see him in the 2017 movie Kickboxer: Retaliation in which he will no doubt both kickbox and retaliate.
12 Ygritte – Rose Leslie
Ygritte was killed by an arrow while I screamed and threw things at the television.
Rose Leslie is a 30 year old Scottish actress who reminds me of a super hot mashup between Florence Welch and Shirley Manson. Would I date her? Yes. Would I fight you for her? Also yes.
But Kit Harrington beat me to it so I have to concede that probably the better man won, despite that he is an ignorant fool who knows nothing. Nothing!
We may have first seen Rose in Downton Abby, where she played a chambermaid, though for most of us we first witnessed her red headed hotness on Game of Thrones.
Rose can most recently be seen in The Good Fight, a spin-off of The Good Wife without any Floreks, which I think is all to the good.
She is in a committed relationship with Kit Harrington and they live together and I seriously wonder what they say to each other in bed.
11 Shae – Sibel Kekilli
Shae was the prostitute who stole Tyrion’s heart and then broke it, Tyrion strangled her to death after finding that she was frolicking with his own father. Then for some reason Tyrion got a pass for murdering a woman with his bare hands and is one of the good guys. Hmm.
37 year old Sibel Kekilli is a German actress who has seen a lot of critical success in German movies, winning awards for her performances in Head-On and When We Leave. She is an activist for ending violence against women, which is something that Shae would have benefited from, no doubt.
Sibel is of Turkish descent and was cut off by her family after it was released to the media that she had acted in adult films before becoming a star with Head-On.
Sibel does not seem to be doing any acting at the moment, but is concentrating on her political activism and doing her bit to raise awareness of cultural based violence against women. Go Sibel!
10 Shireen Baratheon – Kerry Ingram
In one of the most harrowing deaths of Game of Thrones, which says a lot, Shireen was sacrificed by her father and burned alive. I cried. Don’t tell me you didn’t.
Everyone loved sweet Shireen and that was the problem. IF YOU LOVE THEM THEY GET TAKEN AWAY! Especially the vulnerable ones. Even Arya is dead inside now.
Kerry is an 18 year old (omg, I’m so old) English actor who first started acting in the theater. She has played the title role in Matilda the Musical and appearing in Les Miserables.
Kerry is currently appearing in Free Reign, a children’s series on Netflix, so you can see her there to make sure she is still ok if you are still traumatized.
Kerry suffers from osteogeneisis imperfecta, a disease that makes her bones break easily, but despite this she seems to have a bright and active future, which is wonderful.
9 Ros - Esmé Bianco
Ros was a prostitute who was shot by Joffrey Baratheon with a crossbow. Esmé Bianco is an exceptionally beautiful actress who played Ros as an intelligent and literate woman.
Esmé Bianco is a 35 year old English actress who is also a neo-burlesque performer and model. She recently appeared in the TV movie Ominous, the TV show The Magicians and this year’s release Living Among Us – a vampire movie that seems a long way from Game of Thrones.
Esmé seems to be a rather underrated actress, and hopefully she will soon have a role worthy of her talent so that we can all be mesmerized by her beauty and acting ability again.
Hopefully this time no-one will be tying her up and shooting her dead with a crossbow like horrid little Joffrey did for his own pleasure!
8 Myrcella Baratheon – Aimee Richardson and Nell Tiger Free
Myrcella was the sweet and darling daughter of Cersei and Jamie Lannister, who died – poisoned by a kiss as her father tried to save her in Dorne. I wept a little.
Aimee Richardson was the first Myrcella, and gained some notoriety on the internet by posting a video of her holding ‘Princess For Hire’ sign on a cold city street. The 19 year old actress from Northern Ireland does not seem to have had much luck after Game of Thrones, but she is both beautiful and funny so I shan’t feel sorry for her at all.
Nell Tiger Free is a 17 year old English actress who played the princess, and she also hasn’t done anything after BUT she is dating the guy who plays her brother Tommen, and if that is not the closest thing to Cersei and Jamie in real life, then what is. Nothing that I want to see anyway.
7 Tommen Baratheon – Callum Wharry and Dean-Charles Chapman
Tommen, the youngest Baratheon and the King at the time of his death, when he jumped to his death after realizing his mother had killed his beloved wife Margaery.
Originally young Tommen was played by the cherubic Callum Wharry, who was not a professional actor. Callum has not been seen on screen before or since, his role going to an actor who had previously played the role of Tommen’s cousin, Martyn Lannister.
Dean-Charles Chapman was a significantly older actor, and aged Tommen from child to teen in a change of season. Dean is a seriously experienced actor, playing Billy Elliot in the musical of the same name in the West End and having a few TV creds under his belt. As well as dating Nell Tiger Free who plays his sister Myrcella, 19 year old Dean-Charles has a new series coming out called Will and a new movie called Breathe.
6 Hodor – Kristian Nairn
Hodor was the beloved ‘Hodor’ saying oaf who was killed by wights while holding the door.
I think the name was a stretch, but what do I know – I write listicles.
41 year old Kristian Nairn is from Northern Ireland (which seems to produce a lot of Game of Thrones actors) and he spends most of his time as a DJ, travelling as far as Australia to play house music while fans dance and yell words to each other that no-one can hear.
A proud gay man, you will see Kristian most recently in Mythica: The Godslayer as the god Tek. Kristian has some serious DJ cred and has been making a lot of money playing tunes since he got brutally killed on Game of Thrones.
Hodor will always be remembered for being Hodor. Hold the door, man.
Hold the door.
5 Rickon Stark – Art Parkinson
Rickon Stark was killed because he WOULDN’T ZIG ZAG
Art Parkinson is a 15 year old Irish actor who started acting at 7. He has not watched Game of Thrones and, in fact, was not allowed to do so by his parents except for watching a few of the scenes he was in. You may have heard Art’s voice in Kubo and the Two Strings in 2016.
Art is very keen on football, but when he hasn’t been at school or playing he has been working on a historical drama called Zoo in Belfast.
I really hate to nag, but if you are in a WARZONE and people are SHOOTING AT YOU – for the love of Dire Wolves ZIG ZAG! It isn’t hard, just go one way and then the other. You had thousands, if not millions of people screaming at you to zig zag.
Please listen to the feedback.
4 Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun (Wun Wun) - Ian Whyte
Wun Wun the Giant was shot through the eye by Ramsay Bolton because he is an absolute twat.
Ian Whyte has done a lot with Game of Thrones. The 45 year old Welshman played a White Walker, then The Mountain, then an unnamed giant, then Drongo the giant, then Wun Wun.
I have to say, I’m a bit jealous. It would be brilliant to be so many characters and be a part of so much of Game of Thrones.
Ian is hoping that there will be more work for him on Game of Thrones – not as a giant because now they are all dead, but perhaps as a White Walker, as he really loves working on the series. And who can blame him.
3 Ramsay Bolton – Iwan Rheon
Ramsay Bolton was eaten by his own dogs and if anyone ever deserved that it was him.
32 year old Iwan is, in real life, a very likeable Welshman who is great friends with his on-screen victim Theon Greyjoy – the real life actor Alfie Allen. Iwan is going to play Maximus in the Marvel series Inhumans, and is by all accounts a lovely, non-psychopathic guy.
Funnily enough, Iwan originally read for the part of his friend Kit Harrington. See, Kit likes him!
Iwan is also a singer songwriter and has released music, some of which was produced by Kevin Bacon, which surprises me somewhat.
Iwan didn’t like his character Ramsay, and was very careful not to get too psychologically close to such a ‘nutter’. He sometimes felt uncomfortable with the things that Ramsay did, and had to remember it was all just play-acting.
It is probably a testament to his good ‘play acting’ that he came across as such a bastard.
2 Loras Tyrell – Finn Jones
Loras Tyrell was the beloved brother of Queen Margaery, the Knight of the Flowers. He was killed by Cersei’s wildfire.
Finn Jones is a 29 year old English actor who made his start in such British shows as The Bill and the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Finn has been cast as the titular character in the Marvel Universe series Iron Fist on Netflix – so if you want to see more of Finn Jones you can look out for that. In order to get ready for the role Finn had to undergo rather rushed training in order to try to pull of the extreme Kung-Fu moves needed to play the character of the Iron Fist.
There seems to be some controversy over the casting of Finn as Iron Fist, so we shall have to wait to see what happens in the future with this series. In the meantime, I just love the Knight of the Flowers as one of the nicest Game of Thrones characters.
1 Margaery Tyrell – Natalie Dormer
Margaery was killed by Cersei’s wildfire, along with her brother. Her death compelled her husband Tommen to leap to his own.
Natalie Dormer is one of the standout beauties of the show. She is stunning, with exotic green eyes and a delightfully crooked smile. 35 year old Natalie, the English Rose who played the beautiful Margaery, began her acting career in Shakespearean theater in The Comedy of Errors, but you may have first seen her as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors. Natalie has also been in Elementary, The Hunger Games movies and even playing twins in the 2016 thriller The Forest.
Natalie has a few movie projects coming up, and I think there is very little fear that she will drop into obscurity, which I for one am delighted about, as she was definitely one of the stand-out talents in Game of Thrones.