It may be almost over according to the calendar, but winter is coming again with Game of Thrones‘ Sunday-night return to HBO. To whet your appetite for Season 4 of George R. R. Martin’s epic about power, cold weather, flowing hair, dragons, and “sexposition,” we rounded up 25 of the best and weirdest movies featuring the Game of Thrones cast in slightly more modern-day situations.
One thing learned while putting this list together: GoT was the big break for much of the younger cast members, who don’t have much of a feature resume besides this show and roles in classic TV shows like the UK-original Skins. So the results lean towards the hard-working character actors who populate the show — it’s gotten to be a sort of Law and Order for the jobbing Euro actor — plus a bonus classic from the pen of one of the creators, David Benioff. Here’s a collection of 25 films with the finest actors from GoT that you can watch tonight; or in the case of two upcoming releases, very, very soon.
Spike Lee’s 2002 adaptation of Game of Thrones co-creator David Benioff’s debut novel is often cited as one of the best films of the 2000s and one of the best movies about New York ever, and credit must be given to Benioff’s story and his screenplay.
Peter Dinklage (Tyron Lannister) was sharp and sexy in this charming and depth-filled Tom McCarthy work about lonely people (including Michelle Williams, Patricia Clarkson, and Bobby Cannavale) coming together around an abandoned train depot.
Sibel Kekilli (Shae) made a blazing debut in this powerful German-Turkish film about an impossible love between two people who meet in a psyche ward. Unforgettable.
A total Hey, it’s that guy!, Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baraethon) has been supporting marquee actors for years, but in Welcome to Sarajevo he gets a lead role as a journalist — alongside Woody Harrelson and Marisa Tomei — shedding light on the situation in Sarajevo, the “14th worst crisis in the world.”
Dame Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) is probably best known as the original British TV Avenger, but she was also a Bond girl in this flick, and the only gal to lock it down with our favorite spy.
Lena Headey (Cerscei Lannister) is a lesbian florist in this romantic comedy with a twist that’s about what happens when Headey is your hot florist and you’re getting married to a man but you’re curious. (Answer: you go to her, obviously.) Recommended if you like that Notting Hill/cozy British romance feeling.
Like most of GOT‘s younger cast (Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Jack Gleeson), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) didn’t have an extensive resume before becoming the dragon queen. But she does have a role in this upcoming Jude Law-starring comedy directed by Richard Shepard, who’s had a hand in some of Girls‘ cringiest and wisest moments.
Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) has a small role in this elegant Nicole Kidman spook-out, and Fairley’s role is opposite Keith Allen, father of pop star Lily and GOT star Alfie. The U.K. is very small.
See dreadfully handsome Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) speak Norwegian and play a thrilling game of cat and mouse and businessman in the first film adaptation of one of very popular writer Jo Nesbo‘s (The Harry Hole series, Dr. Proctor’s Fart Powder) novels.
Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) has been a silkily-accented villain and bureaucrat in many a film, but perhaps his greatest role is in this maybe-hasn’t-aged-that-well Eddie Murphy epic where the comedian has to save Tibet’s “golden child.”
In this film from 2000, Iain Glenn (Jorah Mormont) is a bad boyfriend in this Scottish crime dramedy, which is mostly about Rachel Weisz going on the run in a big Marilyn Monroe bouffant.
Julian Glover (Grand Maester Pycelle) has dominated with big villainous roles in big ’80s-era films, but his role as Imperial General Maximilian Veers, leading the attack on Hoth, is his best one.
Harry Lloyd (Viseris Targaryen) is young Denis Thatcher in this Oscar-winning Meryl Streep tour-de-force, and he gets to fall in love with young Maggie Thatcher. Naturally, there are several GOT alums in this film.
Rose Leslie (Ygritte) has a small role in this English film featuring Dakota Fanning trying an accent on as a young girl who wants to get her bucket list finished up, losing her virginity in particular, before she passes from leukemia. Good thing she knows a model!
Remember Ewan McGregor’s befuddled father trying to help him get clean? Perhaps it was James Cosmo’s (Jeor Mormont) bad luck to be so near the scene with the baby on the ceiling, but he’s Mr. Renton in this youth classic about days of heroin and roses; probably needed now more than ever.
Oona Chaplin (Talisa Maegyr/Stark) has made an impression in TV like The Hour, and she has a small role in this birdwatching odyssey about love and finding the right chick.
Daniel Day Lewis made a movie where a boxer and IRA member returns home from prison; Ian McElhinney (Ser Barristan Selmy) is part of his welcoming committee.
Sure, Natalia Tena (Osha) is best known for playing Tonks in the Harry Potter series, but she also had this weird role and showed off her Molotov Jukebox musical talent in this made-at-T-in-the-Park curio about feuding rockstars who find love after being handcuffed to each other all day. As you do.
Don’t Say a Word
We could make whole list of things that Sean Bean (Eddard Stark) has died in, or we could mention this spooky thriller, which gave the world the Brittany Murphy early days meme, “I’ll never tell.”
The late Heath Ledger plays the titular lover, and a fresh-out-of-school Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) makes an appearance. Dormer also has a role in the final two Hunger Games films, currently shooting.
Paul Verhoeven’s WWII movie about a Jewish girl spying for the resistance introduced Carice van Houten (Melisandre of Assai) to the world.
For a certain group, Hannah Murray (Gilly) will always be known as Cassie from Skins, but she’s been appearing in more things since getting a degree from Cambridge University. God Help the Girl is the Belle and Sebastian musical that premiered at Sundance, it’ll probably be released sometime this year.
Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon) did Magic Mike before Magic Mike was a thing, in this goofy, likable film about unemployed steelworkers who decide to start stripping. It ended up as a Broadway musical, too.
Get ready to swoon over Jane Campion’s perfection in detailing the romance between John Keats (Ben Wishaw) and Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish). Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed) appears as Fanny’s little brother.
Noah Taylor (Locke) made his name by playing a dorky Australian boy coming-of-age in John Duigan’s films. Flirting features Taylor falling in forbidden love, with baby Nicole Kidman as a bitchy head girl.
Conleth Hill (Lord Varys) is a lecherous civil servant in this Ewan McGregor-starrer which is about a shy fisheries expert bringing salmon fishing to Yemen and falling in love with Emily Blunt in the process.