House of the Dragon finale review: The War of the Dragons beginsOct 26 | 5 min read
Game of Thrones cast: Where are the stars of the big-budget HBO fantasy series now?
As the Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon continues on Sky Atlantic and NOW, we catch up with the GoT cast now - from Maisie Williams to Kit Harington.
Stream every episode of Game of Thrones, plus behind the scenes extras on Sky Atlantic with NOW. House of the Dragon continues Mondays at 9pm
But cast your minds back to more than a decade ago, and the stars of Game of Thrones - the first big-budget adaptation of George RR Martin’s fantasy novels - were relatively unknown.
Indeed, the release of the series - which broadcast a whopping 73 episodes over eight seasons - launched the careers of its young, largely British, cast, who found international fame and recognition during and after appearing in the show.
Many of the budding Hollywood stars - some of whom had never been on TV before - were nominated for prestigious acting awards, including Golden Globes and Emmy awards (the show itself won 59 in total over its run).
And since then, the cast, including Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Kit Harington and Richard Madden, have gone on to be known for other movie and TV projects - but have any of them been as big as Game of Thrones, and will they ever be known for anything else?
Read on to discover what became of the original stars of the show, and where they are now - including a surprise Game of Thrones marriage!
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
English actress Emilia Clarke was relatively unknown before her breakthrough role as the fearless Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, in Game of Thrones, for which she was nominated for four Emmy awards for Best Actress.
Since then, Clarke has starred in movies including Terminator Genisys, Me Before You, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Last Christmas. Her next major TV role is in the Disney+ series Secret Invasion, which is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Off-screen, she recently performed in the play The Seagull at London's Harold Pinter Theatre, which had its opening delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The actress has also been outspoken about her health conditions, revealing in an essay for The New Yorker in 2019 that she has survived two brain aneurysms. She later launched her own charity, SameYou, which aims to broaden neuro-rehabilitation access for young people who have had a brain injury or stroke.
Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark)
Sophie Turner (whose married name is Sophie Jonas) made her acting debut at the age of 14 playing Sansa Stark, daughter of Ned Stark, between 2011-2019. She received an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of the character.
Since then, the English actress’ biggest role is that of a young Jean Grey/Phoenix in the X-Men film franchise.
More recently, she starred in the HBO series The Staircase, portraying Margaret Ratliff, the adopted daughter of Michael Peterson. In an interview with ELLE, she revealed that she moved her whole family to Atlanta for nine months to film the mini-series with Colin Firth and Toni Collette.
Coming up, she has a cameo in the Netflix Original film, Do Revenge, starring Maya Hawke and Camila Mendes. The movie lands on the streamer in September 2022.
The actress’ personal life has become a hot topic in recent years, after she married pop star Joe Jonas - one third of the Jonas Brothers - in 2019. The couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Willa, in July 2020, and had another daughter in July 2022. They have yet to reveal her name.
Kit Harington (Jon Snow)
English actor Kit Harington had his breakthrough acting role in Game of Thrones, playing Jon Snow, the illegitimate son of Ned Stark. Harington was nominated for two Emmy awards and a Golden Globe during his run on the show.
The actor - born Christopher Harington - started his career on the West End stage, playing the lead role in War Horse. He's since performed in plays including Posh, The Vote and Henry V, the latter of which he delivered a "stand-out" performance in early 2022.
He's also starred in the films Pompeii, Testament of Youth, and Marvel's Eternals. He had a voice role as Eret in the How to Train Your Dragon film series, as well as Sir Gadabout in Julia Donaldson's Zog adaptation.
TV-wise, he starred in the BBC miniseries Gunpowder - which he also created - and Criminal: UK on Netflix. In 2021, he starred in Amazon's Modern Love anthology series, in the episode titled Strangers on a (Dublin) Train.
In his personal life, Harington married his former Game of Thrones co-star Rose Leslie in 2018, after meeting while filming season 2 of the show in 2011. The couple welcomed their first child - a son - in February 2021.
The couple famously portrayed star-crossed lovers Jon Snow and Ygritte on the Emmy-winning HBO series.
Rose Leslie (Ygritte)
Scottish actress Rose Leslie was known by period drama fans for her role as housemaid Gwen in Downton Abbey, before making her mark in Game of Thrones playing strong-willed, quick-witted wild woman Ygritte
Since then, she's starred in the TV legal drama The Good Fight - the spin-off of The Good Wife - and submarine thriller Vigil, starring as the girlfriend of Suranne Jones’ character. Earlier in 2022, she played the lead role in The Time Traveler's Wife alongside Theo James.
On the film front, she appeared in Death on The Nile, Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel also starring Gal Gadot.
As described above, Leslie married her GoT co-star Kit Harington in 2018 after a seven-year romance which started when they met on the set of Game of Thrones in 2011. The couple welcomed their first child, a son, in February 2021.
In a 2020 interview with Make Magazine, Leslie revealed that the pair bought a Tudor manor house in East Anglia, England, where she hopes to raise her young family.
“What a glorious thing to be able to run to the countryside and recoup,” she said. “It’s a great privilege to be surrounded by greenery, birdsong and hedgerows, and our delightful neighbours. It’s so peaceful.”
Maisie Williams (Arya Stark)
Maisie Williams made her acting debut at the age of 12 playing Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, the feisty young tomboy daughter of Ned Stark.
The English actress received critical acclaim, and global recognition, for the role, and was nominated for two Emmy awards for Best Supporting Actress.
Since then, she's starred in films including The Falling, Mary Shelley, Early Man, Then Came You, The New Mutants and The Owners.
She starred alongside Fleabag's Sian Clifford in the Sky Original series, Two Weeks to Live, and in the mini-series Pistol, about the Sex Pistols.
She’s attached to two upcoming TV projects; Sinner V. Saints, based on the real-life story of an eccentric Mensa beauty queen who abducted a Mormon missionary, and The New Look, about the rise of fashion designer Christian Dior.
Aside from acting, she co-developed a social media app for creatives called Daisie in 2018, and in 2019, she presented a TEDx talk on the topic "Don't strive to be famous, strive to be talented".
Williams has been dating fashion designer Reuben Selby since 2019, with the pair often collaborating on her red carpet looks.
Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell)
English actress Natalie Dormer played the canny and cunning Margaery Tyrell (the only daughter of Mace Tyrell) in Game of Thrones from 2012 until 2016.
TV-wise, Dormer's breakthrough role was as Anne Boleyn on the Showtime series The Tudors in 2007. She also starred as Irene Adler/Jamie Moriarty in the TV series, Elementary.
In 2020, Dormer played the lead role in the Penny Dreadful TV spin-off, City of Angels. She’s also voiced Onica in the Netflix series, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.
Film fans will recognise her from her role as Cressida in the final two movies in The Hunger Games film franchise; Mockingjay Part 1 and Mockingjay Part 2. She also played a small part in Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011, as Private Lorraine, who attempts to seduce Captain America/Steve Rogers (played by Chris Evans).
In her personal life, Domer became a mum in January 2021 after giving birth to a baby girl - her first with her partner, actor David Oakes - during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown. The baby’s name has yet to be revealed.
Dormer doesn't have any film or TV projects in the pipeline, but in an interview with PEOPLE after having her first child, she implied that she would prefer to work in London's West End theatre scene, as it means she can see more of her family.
Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei)
Nathalie Emmanuel was known to British soap fans for playing Sasha Valentine in Hollywood, but her big break was playing Missandei, one of Daenerys Targaryen's most trusted counsellors, in Game of Thrones.
Since then, she's starred in the rom-com series Four Weddings and a Funeral and voiced the character of Deet in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Netflix series.
Movie-wise, she’s appeared in Hollywood film franchises including The Maze Runner and Fast & Furious.
Her new horror film, The Invitation, is out now, and she's signed up to star in Francis Ford Coppola's upcoming project Megapolis.
Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth)
English actress Gwendoline Christie had her big break in Game of Thrones, playing Brienne of Tarth, one of the most honorable and skilled warriors in Westeros. The English actress was nominated for an Emmy award for Best Supporting Actress for the role.
TV-wise, Christie has appeared in the CBBC series Wizards vs Aliens, the Australian series Top of the Lake, alongside Elisabeth Moss, and most recently, as Lucifer Morningstar in Netflix's adaptation of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman.
She's appeared in Hollywood film franchises, including the final film in The Hunger Games franchise, Mockingjay Part 2, as Commander Lyme. She also played the First Order stormtrooper Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
She's also an accomplished theatre actress, with roles in Breakfast at Tiffany's and A Midsummer Night's Dream in London's West End.
Richard Madden (Robb Stark)
Scottish actor Richard Madden rose to fame with his portrayal of Robb Stark in Game of Thrones, and he's had a glittering TV and movie career ever since.
British drama fans will instantly recognise him from his lead role in TV thriller Bodyguard, penned by Line of Duty creator Jed Mercurio. The actor won a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of fictional Police Sergeant and war veteran, David Budd, alongside Keeley Hawes.
Elsewhere in the world of TV, Madden played Italian banker Cosimo de' Medici in the first season of the historical drama, Medici.
In the world of Hollywood, Madden starred alongside Lily Allen in Kenneth Branagh's live-action Cinderella adaptation. He later reunited with both James and Branagh when he starred in Romeo and Juliet in the West End.
Madden appeared as music manager John Reid in the Elton John biopic Rocketman and as a soldier in Sam Mendes' World War I epic 1917.
In 2021, he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his role as Ikaris in Eternals, alongside Angelina Jolie. He's next set to appear in the Amazon Original series Citadel, from the Russo brothers.
Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy)
Alfie Allen had minor TV, movie and theatre roles prior to his appearance in Game of Thrones, which catapulted him onto the global stage. The English actor - the son of film producer Alison Owen and actor Keith Allen, and younger brother of singer Lily Allen - plays Theon Greyjoy, who was taken in as a hostage and ward by Ned Stark.
Since finding fame in Game of Thrones - of which he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor - he's appeared in films including John Wick, The Predator, How To Build a Girl and Jojo Rabbit.
On the TV front, he starred as Isaac Pincher in period drama Harlots, and Brett Collins in crime drama White House Farm.
In his personal life, he became a father in October 2018, after his ex-girlfriend Allie Teilz, gave birth to his first child, a daughter called Arrow.
Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton)
Prior to being cast in Game of Thrones, Welsh actor Iwan Rheon was known for his role as Simon Bellamy in E4's sci-fi series Misfits.
Needless to say, he received global recognition after playing the role of villainous psychopath Ramsay Bolton in Game of Thrones.
Since then, he's starred in TV shows including Our Girl, Riviera, Inhumans, American Gods, and animated series The Prince. He also played Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars in the film The Dirt, and appeared in the festive film, A Christmas Number One.
Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark)
English actor Isaac Hempstead Wright had his big break in Game of Thrones, playing Bran Stark - Ned Stark’s son - in a mammoth 40 episodes.
Since his long-running role in the fantasy series ended, he's balanced his acting work with his studies. He enrolled at University College London in 2019 to study neuroscience, and has had minor film and TV roles since, including voice roles in Family Guy, Revolting Rhymes and The Boxtrolls.
Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon)
Irish actor Jack Gleeson played Joffrey Baratheon in 26 episodes of Game of Thrones, but took a hiatus from acting after the show's conclusion.
He's since taken part in independent theatre, and returned to TV in 2020 in Sara Pascoe's BBC miniseries, Out of Her Mind.
Stream every episode of Game of Thrones, plus behind the scenes extras on Sky Atlantic with NOW
House of the Dragon continues Mondays at 9pm
Images: Game of Thrones © 2019 Home Box Office, Inc. All rights reserved. HBO® and all related programs are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.
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