Based on the (still uncompleted) series of epic fantasy novels by George RR Martin, Game of Thrones was one of the most popular and acclaimed TV shows of recent years. Many viewers were unhappy with how the show ended in 2019, but this hasn’t stopped devotees from hailing the series as a TV milestone. Here are some interesting facts you might not have known about Game of Thrones, and its illustrious cast. (Caution: huge spoilers ahead.)

33. Iwan Rheon was very nearly cast as Jon Snow


Ramsay Bolton was arguably the most awful human being in Westeros, even managing to beat Cersei and Joffrey to the title of GoT’s most-hated villain.

He was memorably brought to life by Welsh actor Iwan Rheon, but in a parallel universe things could have been very different indeed. In fact, Rheon was nearly cast as the King in the North, Jon Snow.

Rheon made it down to the last two auditions before he was eventually beaten to the role by Kit Harington. However, producers loved Rheon so much that they asked him to portray the sadistic Bastard of the Dreadfort instead.


Rather than uniting Wildlings and Northerners, Rheon found himself hunting human beings and lopping off penises instead.


In fact, the Welsh actor has confessed that he really struggled to film a lot of his scenes in Game of Thrones thanks to the horrific cruelty of his on-screen counterpart.

Since Game of Thrones, Rheon has appeared in Netflix movie The Dirt, plus TV shows Inhumans and American Gods.

32. Charles Dance learned his character was going to die from a fan


The esteemed, prolific British actor Charles Dance played the scheming patriarch Tywin Lannister to perfection.

Showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff reportedly wanted Dance to play the role from the start.

The producers set about persuading Dance to appear as Tywin whilst he was working on another project.


However, Dance hadn’t had time to familiarise himself with the books before arriving on set and ended up getting a nasty surprise.


He was told midway through filming that his character was going to die by an anonymous Game of Thrones fan.

Yes, for a long time Dance had no idea that one day he would be sat on a toilet with his own son Tyrion pointing a crossbow at him.

31. Emilia Clarke and Michelle Fairley weren’t in the original pilot


Most people don’t realise that there was actually an ill-fated GoT pilot created years before the first episode aired on HBO.

Some of the characters looked very different indeed: neither Emilia Clarke (who plays Daenerys Targaryen) or Michelle Fairley (aka Catelyn Stark) appear in the pilot.

Instead, Tamzin Merchant originally played Daenerys, whilst Catelyn was portrayed by Jennifer Ehle (best known for the 90s TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice).


Things just didn’t work out and the two actors had to be replaced. Ehle had just had a baby at the time and begged producers to let her out of the seven year contract she had signed in order to raise her daughter Talulah.


The producers agreed, and instead Michelle Fairley came on board to play the ferocious and protective Stark matriarch.

Meanwhile, Clarke replaced Merchant as the Mother of Dragons and she made the role her own from day one. In fact, Clarke has received a grand total of four Emmy nominations for her work on the show.

30. Sophie Turner had a twin who died before birth


Sophie Turner appeared in Game of Thrones as Sansa Stark, one of the most long-suffering characters in a story that’s never short on misery.

Taking on such an emotionally intensive role would be a challenge for any actor – but Turner has her own personal tragedies to draw on.

In fact, the actress had a twin who died before birth. As a result, Turner has always jumped at the chance to act in movies about twins or doubles, such as The Thirteenth Tale (2013) and Another Me (2013).


She once revealed that she draws on the loss of her twin sister to try and help her act better during emotional scenes.


Turner said, “My mum had a miscarriage – my twin died and I lived. I have two older brothers who are close in age and I always felt as though I needed someone or should have had someone there.”

“I guess there’s a sense of loss there that I have used to conjure emotions onscreen, such as when it came to Sean (Bean, her on-screen father) dying.”

29. Rory McCann broke several bones in a serious rock-climbing accident


The Hound is known as one of the greatest fighters in Westeros. He was definitely a tough guy, and it turns out actor Rory McCann is a survivor too.

Apparently the Scottish actor was rock-climbing in Yorkshire in 1990 when he somehow managed to cheat death by falling 70ft from a cliff face.

McCann recalls, “I was on my own and I didn’t have any ropes. I had 15 feet to go, but I didn’t have any strength left and couldn’t do the last move.


“For 10 minutes I held on, then went ‘f*** it’ and aimed for a patch of green. I just saw green, green, green and then ‘bang’. I thought I was going to die.”


Luckily a friend managed to get him to hospital in time and the actor recovered from the accident, although he suffered broken arms, wrists and a fractured skull.

Since Game of Thrones, McCann has appeared in such movies as Jumanji: The Next Level and XXX: The Return of Xander Cage.

28. Sean Bean once played football with Ned Stark’s severed head


Sean Bean is a massive football fan, so it’s no surprise he tried to get in some of his favourite hobby whilst hard at work on the set of Game of Thrones.

Bean only starred in season one but the legacy of his character, Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark, has cast a long shadow over the rest of the series.

In a heart-wrenching scene towards the end of the first season, fans will remember that the sadistic boy king Joffrey sentenced Ned to death for ‘treason.’


Luckily Bean managed to make light of the situation between takes, as apparently he and some of the cast and crew played football with Ned’s head!


Years before Game of Thrones, Bean played a footballer in 1996 drama When Saturday Comes.

He’s also such a massive fan of Sheffield United that the actor actually has a ‘100% BLADE’ tattoo on his left shoulder in honour of United aka ‘The Blades’.

27. Emilia Clarke was once covered in so much fake blood she got stuck to a toilet seat


Emilia Clarke is definitely not afraid to suffer for her art. The actress was once covered in so much fake blood during filming that she accidentally got stuck to a toilet seat and had to get someone to help her off!

She told Jimmy Kimmel: “The fake blood is really really sticky. So I was covered head to toe in the fake blood and I’m continually sticking myself to myself, or to other things. Then there was a moment when we were filming it that I disappeared, and I was stuck to the toilet.”

Apparently the incident occurred whilst she was filming the scene in which Daenerys is forced to eat a raw horse heart in front of her fellow Dothraki.


In between getting stuck to the toilet, poor Emilia was trying not to throw up from eating the fake ‘stallion heart’.


Apparently it was made out of a giant gummy bear injected with sugary syrup, whilst dried pasta for the arteries and a small amount of bleach(!) were added to make the fake heart taste absolutely disgusting.

And it worked – Clarke later stated: “It was very helpful to be given something so truly disgusting to eat, so there wasn’t much acting required. I ate roughly 28 hearts throughout the days we filmed that scene.”

26. Kit Harington and his GoT bride Rose Leslie both have noble ancestors


Believe it or not, Kit Harington doesn’t just play the King in the North; he’s got royal lineage himself. And it turns out his wildling wife Rose Leslie does too!

Harington’s full name is Christopher Catesby Harington, and he’s the son of the 15th Baronet, Sir David Harington.

One day Kit will become the 16th Baronet – but in the meantime, he’s had to settle for being the 998th Commander of the Night’s Watch. The Jon Snow actor is also directly related to Robert Catesby, one of the men responsible for the Gunpowder Plot.


Rose Leslie, meanwhile, is a direct descendant of King Charles II and grew up in Lickleyhead Castle, Aberdeen (north of the Wall).


Rose Leslie played Ygritte in the early seasons of GoT, and her character struck up a romance with Jon Snow. At the same time, the two actors quickly fell in love away from the cameras.

The couple married in 2018 in a lavish ceremony at the castle, joined by several cast mates including Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams.

25. Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey are really close friends in real life


To say that Cersei Lannister hates her younger brother Tyrion is probably the world’s biggest understatement.

Actors Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey have done a fine job conveying this animosity, that you wouldn’t necessarily think they’d be close friends in reality.

However, the two have a long-lasting friendship. In fact, it was Dinklage who recommended Headey for the role of Cersei in the first place.


Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

Apparently Dinklage and Headey are so close that during filming, they shared an apartment and travelled to work together. They can often be seen on behind-the-scenes footage mucking about, and the two actors were regularly interviewed as a pair too.


Their fellow castmate Aimee Richardson, who played Myrcella in the first two seasons, remembers the two actors were constantly joking around in between takes.

It really helped to create a laidback atmosphere and allowed Richardson to relax in her first major role.

24. Natalie Dormer is an excellent fencer


Known to Game of Thrones fans as Margaery Tyrell, actress Natalie Dormer is a woman of many talents.

As well as acting, Dormer is also an excellent fencer and was once a member of the prestigious London Fencing Academy.

Sadly her character didn’t get to put her fighting prowess to the test in GoT, but the actress has been spotted with a sword in hand plenty of other times. Apparently she’s also a keen squash player.


Dormer isn’t just a sports fan, she’s also got brains to match. After completing her A-levels, she came close to studying at the prestigious Cambridge University.


Instead, Dormer attended the Webb Douglas drama school and was a classmate of Rupert Friend (who went on to appear on TV’s Homeland).

The actress says she was always getting told off by professors for ‘overthinking’ her performances.

23. Carice Van Houten nearly played Cersei instead of Melisandre


Things could have ended up very differently for Lena Headey if Carice van Houten had taken the role of Cersei.

Fans of the show will know that van Houten plays the enchanting ‘Red Woman’ Melisandre, a high priestess of the Lord of Light.

However, she was originally asked to audition for the role of Cersei, but didn’t manage to make the audition because she was busy with another project at the time.


Luckily van Houten was able to appear in the fantasy series as Melisandre, the seductive priestess who mistakenly believes that Stannis Baratheon is the one true King.


Apart from acting, van Houten is a popular singer and has had a number one hit in her home country of the Netherlands with Dutch rock band Kane.

She has continued to record music and released her second album in 2012 to critical acclaim. She’s also in a relationship with actor Guy Pearce.

22. Grand Maester Pycelle actor Julian Glover has appeared in some of the biggest movies ever


Seasoned actor Julian Glover appeared on Game of Thrones as the elderly Grand Maester Pycelle.

A classically trained stage actor whose career dates back to the 1950s, Glover isn’t necessarily a household name.

Even so, he’s made appearances in a number of the most popular screen franchises of all time.


Glover appeared in Star Wars sequel The Empire Strikes Back, James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only, and played the villainous Walter Donovan in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


Years later, Glover also provided the voice of the giant spider Aragog in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

On top of all that, the actor has also appeared in such small screen hits as Doctor Who, The Saint, The Avengers, Remington Steele and Magnum, P.I.

21. Olenna Tyrell actress Diana Rigg was a huge sex symbol in the 1960s


The frail but sharp-tongued Olenna Tyrell was a big favourite of many Game of Thrones viewers, thanks in no small part to the casting of Dame Diana Rigg.

The British actress was almost 80 when she appeared on the show – so younger viewers might not realise she was once an international sex symbol.

A classically trained Shakespearean actress, Rigg became a pin-up after starring in TV’s The Avengers as Emma Peel, a spy and expert in martial arts.


Rigg was also a Bond girl; she starred in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service opposite George Lazenby, the only actor to play 007 a single time.


Game of Thrones proved to be one of the beloved actress’s last roles, and she received multiple Emmy nominations for her work.

Sadly, Rigg passed away in September 2020. Her very last role was in director Edgar Wright’s film Last Night in Soho, which is set for release in October 2021.

20. Richard Madden used to be really overweight


Scottish actor Richard Madden played Robb Stark, the principled young king infamous for attending the worst wedding reception ever.

His role on Game of Thrones made him a major heartthrob, but the actor has admitted he wasn’t always as buff as he is today.

Madden says he was overweight for most of his teenage years, and it wasn’t until drama school that he motivated himself to shed some pounds.


The role in question required Madden to be naked onstage, at which point the actor decided that he ‘didn’t want to be fat and naked on stage’.


Since Game of Thrones, Madden has acquired a whole new female fanbase with his role in Bodyguard.

He’ll soon be seen in Marvel movie Eternals, and has long been rumoured as a contender for the next James Bond.

19. Jerome Flynn and Lena Headey despise each other in real life


Lena Headey may get on well with her screen brother Peter Dinklage, but the same can’t be said of Dinklage’s frequent co-star Jerome Flynn.

Headey and Flynn have quite the history. They first worked together in an episode of TV series Soldier, Soldier in the early 90s.

They soon struck up a romantic relationship, but things must have ended very badly because now the two are no longer on speaking terms.


For this reason, a stipulation was written into both Headey and Flynn’s contracts that they couldn’t appear in the same scene together – which sometimes proved awkward, given that Flynn’s character Bronn was a close ally of the Lannisters.


Fans got wind of the contractual terms during a bizarre scene in season seven, when Bronn awkwardly left the dragon pit to go and have a drink with Podrick.

The moment had no relevance to the rest of the episode and was only included so that Flynn could leave the set before Headey appeared.

18. Jack Gleeson quit acting after playing Joffrey


The brutal young king Joffrey Baratheon is one of the most memorable villains in TV history.

The role made an instant star out of young Irish actor Jack Gleeson – but it may well end up being literally the only role he’s famous for.

After completing his run on Game of Thrones, Gleeson announced that he was retiring as a screen actor.


Credit: Anna Webber/Getty Images

Gleeson studied at Trinity College in Dublin between 2010 and 2015, and stated at the time he intended to pursue an academic career.


However, Gleeson later said he had “gone off that idea,” and returned to acting through small scale theatre productions.

We may say him return to TV soon, as in early 2020 it was announced he was joining the cast of TV comedy Out Of Her Mind.

17. Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson aka The Mountain is a record-breaking strongman


Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson appeared on Game of Thrones as Gregor ‘The Mountain That Rides’ Clegane, better known simply as The Mountain.

Two actors had portrayed the role prior to Björnsson: Conan Stevens in season one, and Ian Whyte in season two.

Björnsson proved to be a particularly inspired choice for the fighter known for his brute strength, as he’s literally one of the strongest men alive.


The professional strongman is the only person to ever simultaneously hold the titles of World’s Strongest Man, Europe’s Strongest Man, and winner of the Arnold Strongman Classic, all in 2018.


The Icelandic hulk (who stands at almost 6ft9 and weighs around 440 pounds) has since won the Arnold Strongman Classic twice more in 2019 and 2020.

He’s also the unofficial holder of the world record deadlift (501kg!), which only isn’t counted as a record as it wasn’t performed under competition conditions.

16. Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke have both played Terminator’s Sarah Connor


Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke portray two strong, powerful women in Game of Thrones – but did you know they share a role outside the series?

Both the British actresses have played the character of Sarah Connor, the heroine originally portrayed by Linda Hamilton in the Terminator movies.

Headey took over in the role in TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which ran for two seasons from 2008 to 2009.


Clarke, meanwhile, played the role in 2015’s big screen semi-reboot Terminator: Genisys, opposite franchise icon Arnold Schwarzenegger.


Neither the show nor the movie were particularly well received, and it doesn’t look likely either actress will play Sarah Connor again.

Heady has gone on to appear in such films as Dredd, Fighting with My Family and Gunpowder Milkshake, whilst Clarke took the lead in Last Christmas.

15. Sophie Turner is allergic to horses


As the land of Westeros is still a way off discovering electricity or combustion engines, the main means of transportation is horseback.

Unfortunately for Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner, being around horses is somewhat hazardous for her health.

Turner suffers from a severe allergic reaction to horses, and as such had to take special precautions whenever she had to work with the animals.


The actress explains, “I’m asthmatic anyway, and just swell up when I am near horses, so I have to have an inhaler in my pocket all the time. Most of the time I am just desperately trying to breathe!”


Unfortunately Turner simply had to suffer through it, as she was required to be around horses on numerous occasions throughout the series.

Since Game of Thrones, Turner played the role of young Jean Grey in two of the X-Men movies, which were happily horse-free.

14. Carice Van Houten has appeared in films alongside three of her fellow GoT actors


Given the size of the Game of Thrones ensemble, it’s inevitable that many of them crossed paths before, and since.

Take Carice van Houten, who has appeared in a grand total of three movies alongside her fellow GoT cast members.

In a curious synchronicity, all three of the films in question contain the world ‘black’ in the title.


First, van Houten appeared in director Paul Verhoeven’s 2006 film Black Book alongside everyone’s second-favourite sellsword, Michiel Huisman.


Later, she co-starred with future Ned Stark actor Sean Bean in 2010 medieval horror Black Death.

Finally, 2011 saw van Houten appear in Black Butterflies opposite future Davos actor Liam Cunningham.

13. Charles Dance has something very important in common with his character Tywin Lannister


Sometimes art imitates life (and the other way around) in the most bizarre ways imaginable.

For example, actor Charles Dance has something quite notable in common with the fictional Tywin Lannister.

Both the actor and his character on Game of Thrones were married to a woman named Joanna, with whom they had three children.


In the books and the series, Joanna Lannister died whilst giving birth to third son Tyrion.


In Dance’s case, he married Joanna Haythorn in 1970, but they wound up divorcing in 2004.

In the years since, Dance has been in a number of relationships; he’s been seeing Alessandra Masi since 2018.

12. All of the actors find it difficult being mean to Peter Dinklage on camera


Apparently all of the GoT cast members had a really difficult time filming with Peter Dinklage.

Don’t worry, it’s not because Dinklage is a diva. Quite the contrary, the actor is said to be simply too nice.

Dinklage was so amiable to everyone on set that most of his co-stars struggled to get into the right frame of mind when filming scenes in which they have to mistreat Tyrion.


Charles Dance has admitted that he despised the way his character treated Tyrion, and hated having to act it out on screen.


Dinklage had been acting since the mid-90s, and struggling to avoid typecasting as a dwarf actor throughout that time.

Game of Thrones massively raised his profile, and he’s since taken roles in such major films as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Avengers: Infinity War.

11. Arya Stark was Maisie Williams’ first ever acting role


Maisie Williams was 12 years old and had never acted professionally before when she auditioned for Game of Thrones.

The Bristol-born actress beat out a reported 300 contenders for the part of the feisty young Arya Stark.

Prior to this, Williams’ main love had been dancing, which must have proved handy when it came to her character learning swordplay.


Amusingly, Williams hadn’t been too concerned with what Game of Thrones would do for her career; she just wanted some extra cash to get herself a laptop.


The actress told The Guardian, “The thing I was really obsessed about was whether I would earn enough money to buy myself a laptop. My stepdad, Gary, just looked at me and said: ‘I think there’ll be enough for a couple of laptops, Maisie.’”

Since Game of Thrones, Williams has also taken roles in TV’s Doctor Who and superhero movie The New Mutants.

10. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau struggled to adapt to Jamie’s life as a cripple


Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was thrown an absolute curve ball when he realised that his character would lose an arm.

The Danish actor has revealed that he really struggled to get round the disability at first, especially when it came to hiding Jamie’s missing arm.

Coster-Waldau says, “physically, it was a nightmare at the beginning because I had to have my arm down my left leg and my stump up here.”


However, despite having to stand around for hours on end with his arm tied to his leg, the actor has really enjoyed watching Jamie’s transformation.


“It’s great. As an actor you have a character who’s defined by his skills as a swordsman, and then you take away that one thing… it creates this huge obstacle. It’s difficult for him to deal with as a person, but as an actor you live for those moments.”

Coster-Waldau was twice nominated for the Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy for his work on Game of Thrones – but on both occasions lost out to his screen brother Peter Dinklage (who’d won the award twice before).

9. Stephen Dillane didn’t enjoy playing Stannis


You might think that starring in one of the biggest TV shows of all time would be any actor’s dream come true.

However, Stannis Baratheon actor Stephen Dillane didn’t find his time on Game of Thrones to be that great an experience.

The British actor has admitted that he hated working on the show and only did it for the money.


The actor also told The Times that he relied heavily on his co-star Liam Cunningham (aka Davos Seaworth) to tell him what was going on in each scene.


Dillane recalls, “Cunningham is so passionate about the show. He invests in it in a way I think is quite moving, but it wasn’t my experience.”

“I was entirely dependent on Liam to tell me what the scenes were about. I didn’t know what I was doing until we’d finished filming and it was too late.”

8. Ciarán Hinds aka Mance Rayder has a very impressive CV


Ciarán Hinds is best remembered by GoT fans for his performance as the King-Beyond-The-Wall, Mance Rayder.

However, the Northern Irish actor has enjoyed a long and illustrious career with plenty of other high profile roles.

Originally a Shakespearean stage actor, Hinds made his film debut in 1981 Arthurian epic Excalibur.


Hinds has also appeared in Calendar Girls, Munich, There Will Be Blood and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.


On top of all this, Hinds has also done some high profile work as a voice actor.

He voiced Grand Pabbie Troll in the Frozen movies, and the villain Steppenwolf in Justice League.

7. Podrick and Rodrik are related in real life


Have you ever noticed a physical resemblance between Podrick Payne and Rodrik Cassel?

It turns out the characters have more in common than similar-sounding names, as they’re actually portrayed by father and son.

Ron Donachie (who plays Rodrik, loyal servant of the Starks) is the real-life father of Daniel Portman (who plays Brienne of Tarth’s devoted squire Podrick).


Portman opted not to take his father’s name professionally in order to establish himself independently, and has been keen to make it clear that he didn’t get the role of Podrick thanks to his actor father.


The younger actor says, “My dad played a good part in the show and he was in it for a fair whack, but, no, I didn’t get the job because of him I got the job because of me.”

“When I met the writers and producers they liked what I did. These people don’t do favours. The only way they’re going to pull family favours is if somebody like Al Pacino is on the show and he asks them to give his daughter a go!”

6. Isaac Hempstead-Wright has gone on to study neuroscience


Nobody could have predicted how powerful little Bran Stark would become at the start of season one (unless you read the books, that is).

Actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright landed the role of Bran aged just 11, and like his co-star Maisie Williams he’d never acted professionally before.

Not unlike Jack Gleeson (aka Joffrey Baratheon), Hempstead-Wright has spoken of stepping away from acting in favour of academic pursuits.


Credit: Gareth Cattermole via Getty

The young actor attended the University of Birmingham in 2017, but wound up dropping out to concentrate on his career.


Since Game of Thrones ended, Hempstead-Wright enrolled at University College London to study neuroscience.

He hasn’t stopped acting, however, and recently took a role in science fiction drama Voyagers.

5. Nathalie Emmanuel aka Missandei used to be a soap star


After appearing as Daenerys’ trusted adviser Missandei, Nathalie Emmanuel has become one of the break-out stars of GoT.

This role paved the way to Emmanuel joining the cast of blockbuster movie series Fast & Furious, in which she plays computer hacker Ramsey.

However, the actress already looked very familiar to UK audiences, who had seen her acting in a range of different soaps including Northern drama Hollyoaks.


Emmanuel appeared in the soap as Sasha Valentine. Unlike some, the actress is proud of her soap roots and has previously defended the work being done by actors on such shows.


“I won’t have anyone slag off soap actors, not on my watch. Everyone talked down about Hollyoaks, especially within casting – there’s a stigma that actors aren’t very good or they’re just hired for their appearance, and that gives you a fire to prove something.”

Earlier, Emmanuel also played young Nala in the original London stage production of The Lion King.

4. Peter Vaughan was actually blind in real life


Actor Peter Vaughan gave an endearing performance as the Maester on the Wall, Aemon Targaryan.

One of the most striking features of the character is the fact that he is completely blind.

Vaughan’s performance is all the more poignant when you learn the actor himself was partially blind in real life.


His loss of sight began to occur as he got older and was evident during his time on Game of Thrones.


A seasoned actor, Vaughan was best known to British audiences for his roles in beloved sitcoms Porridge and Citizen Smith.

Sadly, he passed away in 2016, at the age of 93 years old. He had completed his role on GoT only a year before that.

3. Thomas Brodie-Sangster was far older than his character Jojen Reed


Thomas Brodie-Sangster has made the successful leap from child actor to fully-fledged star.

The young actor won the hearts of audiences everywhere with his breakthrough performance in 2003’s Love Actually.

Brodie-Sangster joined the cast of Game of Thrones a full decade later in 2013 – by which time he was 22.


This was a matter of some concern for diehard fans of the series, as Brodie-Sangster’s character Jojen Reed was written as a 13-year-old boy.


Nonetheless, the actor made a huge impression during his ten episodes and quickly became a fan favourite.

Since Game of Thrones, Brodie-Sangster has appeared in the Maze Runner movies and acclaimed Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit.

2. Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis) is also a singer and guitarist


Michiel Huisman is a Dutch actor and heartthrob who plays the over-confident sellsword Daario Naharis.

Observant viewers may recall that Huisman was actually the second actor to play Naharis, after Ed Skrein.

Skrein (since seen in Deadpool) appeared in three episodes of GoT before leaving the show due to ‘politics’. (Your guess is as good as ours!)


You might not have known that Skrein’s replacement Michiel Huisman has another career outside of acting.


Huisman is also a singer and guitarist, who has released music with popular Dutch band Fontane, as well as solo work.

Nor is Huisman the only famed musician to appear in Game of Thrones: English rocker Wilko Johnson portrayed Ser Ilyn Paynein the first two seasons, whilst Ed Sheeran made a cameo appearance as a knight in the season seven premiere.

1. The Night King killed Batman’s parents


Arguably the single most iconic bad guy in Game of Thrones is the infamous Night King.

Actor Richard Brake portrays the cold-blooded leader of the White Walkers – and this isn’t Brake’s only high profile bad guy role.

Brake previously appeared in Batman Begins as the man who murdered Bruce Wayne’s parents, Joe Chill (an appropriately cold name).


By all accounts, the Welsh actor is a nice guy in real life – but as he told Wales Online, “I just love playing baddies and for some reason I do it so well.”

Nor does he resent the fact that playing The Night King required such heavy make-up, explaining, “one of the advantages of six hour make-up sessions is no one recognises you.”