The eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” aired on April 14, 2019, and by the time it ends, millions of fans around the world will have watched 73 episodes of the hit fantasy-drama.
Actors like Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) are now huge names thanks to the show, but many other famous faces have also popped up in the “Game of Thrones” kingdoms over the years. Did you spot them?
Warning: If you aren’t caught up on your GOT, there are spoilers ahead!
“Deadwood” star Ian McShane played Brother Ray, appearing in season six, episode seven, called “The Broken Man.” Brother Ray is a peace-loving reformed killer who teaches the Hound (Rory McCann) about pacifism. Of one scene, in which Brother Ray delivers a lengthy monologue in front of people in the countryside, McShane said to Entertainment Weekly, “It’s like he’s holding an improvised meeting — not Alcoholics Anonymous, but Murderer’s Anonymous.”
Best known for his role as Dr. Julian Bashir in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” Alexander Siddig appeared in six episodes during seasons five and six of “Game of Thrones” as Doran Martell, the head of House Martell and the ruler of Dorne. Fans of the show had a hand in Siddig’s casting — Siddig told SYFY one of the producers said that in an online forum where fans suggest who they would like to play characters, fans had requested Siddig. He was thrilled to find out that he was one of the names on the list for Doran. “It was exciting, but then terrifying, because I had to play the guy right because so many people expect me to!” Siddig said. “I was really honored they even thought of me.”
Joel Fry, the lead singer of London band Animal Circus, appeared in seasons four and five of the show. He played Hizdahr zo Loraq, a former slave trader of Meereen who caught the eye of Daenerys Targaryen. Before “Game of Thrones” Fry had roles in “10,000 B.C.” and “Tamara Drewe,” and his 2019 projects include the feature film “Yesterday,” a musical comedy directed by Danny Boyle and written by Richard Curtis.
Sean Bean appeared in the first season of “Game of Thrones” as Ned Stark, whose shocking execution in episode nine remains one of the show’s most memorable deaths in a series that’s had a lot of them. As well as being an all-around decent guy, Stark was responsible for the iconic phrase, “Winter is coming.” Bean’s earlier film roles include “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “GoldenEye,” “Troy” and “Ronin.”
The episode “The Lion and the Rose” in season four features Joffrey Lannister’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell (aka the Purple Wedding), with Icelandic chart-toppers Sigur Ros appearing as minstrels performing one of the show’s recurring songs, “Rains of Castamere” — and possibly the most depressing wedding song ever. Members of the Grammy-nominated avant-rock band are huge fans of the show, so they were happy to take the cameo role. “It was a great experience for us and fun to meet the cast of the show that we have all been following for a long time,” said the band’s bassist Georg Holm in a statement.
You may have enjoyed the Braavosi Troupe playing Ned Stark in season four’s “The Bloody Hand” without realizing you were watching one of the heroes of British comedy. Kevin Eldon, who played Camello — the character who portrayed the exaggerated Ned Stark to entertain the crowds — has appeared in iconic British shows like “Spaced,” “I’m Alan Partridge,” “Black Books” and “Green Wing.” He told Vice that his brief stint on “Game of Thrones” was “most enjoyable” and described the writers as “astonishingly humble, approachable guys.”
Richard E. Grant
Another British acting veteran, Richard E. Grant, appeared in three episodes of season six as Izembaro, The Bloody Hand’s master playwright. The “Withnail and I” and “Downton Abbey” star told the Belfast Telegraph that appearing on the show had been a “fantastic” experience. “I wish I’d been in more of it because it’s so great,” he said.
Oona Chaplin (the granddaughter of English filmmaker and actor Charlie Chaplin, and the great-granddaughter of American playwright Eugene O’Neill) played Robb Stark’s wife Talisa in the second season of “Game Of Thrones.” In an interview with “Game of Thrones” fan site Winter is Coming, Chaplin said joining the cast on such a hit show was “daunting for about five minutes and then the wonderful cast and crew made me forget all about it. … It’s a very loving family we’ve created up there, I’ve made some friends for life.”
You may remember him as Sam in 2003’s “Love Actually,” but Thomas Brodie-Sangster is all grown up and played Jojen Reed, the son of Howland Reed, the Lord of Greywater Watch, in seasons three and four of “Game of Thrones.” Jojen’s death at the end of season four was as much a shock to Brodie-Sangster as anyone else; he first learned of it as he was reading the script for that episode on his way to start filming.
He recently appeared alongside Glenn Close in “The Wife” and counts the “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Evita” and “Tomorrow Never Dies” among his previous projects, but “Game of Thrones” fans know Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce best as the High Sparrow in seasons five and six. His character may not have been the most popular, but Pryce himself is a fan. “I hadn’t for one minute thought he was the bad guy,” he told news.com.au. “He was the ultimate socialist. He works for the poor, he washed people’s feet, he didn’t go so far as healing the sick, but he was a socialist.”
British actress and musician Natalia Tena played Osha in “Game of Thrones,” appearing as a guest star in the first season, returning for some episodes in the second, third and sixth seasons. Osha’s final appearance was in “Book of the Stranger,” in which she was killed by Ramsay Bolton. Tena also played Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter film series, alongside several of her “Game of Thrones” castmates, including David Bradley and Jim Broadbent.
As Walder Frey, Olivier Award-winning actor David Bradley played one of the greatest villains of “Game of Thrones,” causing a bloodbath when he killed Robb, Catelyn and Talisa Stark during season three’s Red Wedding. Bradley skipped seasons four and five, but returned in season six for Arya Stark to get her revenge. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Bradley revealed that despite his character’s death, viewers couldn’t forget his wrongdoings: “I’ve had taxi drivers wind down their window and say ‘I can’t forgive you for what you did!'” he said.
Many musicians have bagged themselves cameos on “Game of Thrones,” including Snow Patrol’s lead vocalist Gary Lightbody. After filming his scene for season four, in which he plays a troubadour who sings “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” on horseback, Lightbody posted a picture of himself in his medieval costume on Facebook with the caption, “So I did my scene this morning for Game Of Thrones. I looked like this. Can’t say much just it’s no pivotal role. Fun!”
As far as musicians go, you don’t get much bigger than Ed Sheeran. The award-winning songwriter of “Perfect” and “Shape of You” was asked to guest star in “Game of Thrones” after creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff found out that Maisie Williams was a huge Sheeran fan. Of his cameo in season seven, episode one as a Lannister soldier, Sheeran said, “I just do a scene with Maisie. I sing a song and then she goes, oh, that’s a nice song.”
“Harry Potter” alum and Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent played Archmaester Ebrose, one of the governing members of the Order of Maesters, in season seven. The British actor, who also appeared in “Paddington” and “Moulin Rouge,” told Edinburgh Festivals Magazine that the “it was extraordinary to be part of that production — several episodes being shot at the same time with different directors.” However, he remained tight-lipped on whether his character will return in season eight, saying only, “he isn’t dead — so he may.”
Playing Olenna Tyrell in seasons three, four, five, six and seven of “Game of Thrones” earned Diana Rigg (full title Dame Enid Diana Elizabeth Rigg, DBE) two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series nominations. Her character was killed off in season seven, but her co-stars won’t forget the experience of acting alongside her. “It was truly an honor to be there because she’s given so much to the show with the character,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister. “Just amazing. And of course, both on and off set, she’s wonderful, and she’s so smart and so clever, and she’s just a brilliant actress.”
Royd Allan Reuel Tolkien is a great-grandson of J. R. R. Tolkien, author of “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. In addition to his cameo appearances in the film adaptations of his great-grandfather’s novels “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Tolkien played a wildling in “Hardhome,” episode eight of “Game of Thrones” season five.
Best known for her role as Niobe of the Voreni in HBO’s “Rome,” which also starred “Game of Thrones” cast members Ciaran Hinds and Tobias Menzies, Indira Varma was a guest star in season four, then promoted to a starring cast member in season five. Her character, Ellaria Sand, is the paramour of Prince Oberyn Martell and the mother of Oberyn’s four youngest Sand Snakes.
New Zealand actress Keisha Castle-Hughes played Obara Sand, the eldest of Oberyn Martell’s eight bastard daughters, in the fifth, sixth, and seventh seasons of the show. Castle-Hughes has also starred in “Whale Rider” (for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress), “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith,” “Piece of My Heart” and “The Nativity Story.”
Neil Fingleton was equally famous for his height as for his acting roles — he starred in “X-Men” as well as season four and season seven of “Game of Thrones,” in which he played Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg, a member of Mance Rayder’s army more commonly known to the wildlings as Mag the Mighty. Sadly, the U.K.’s tallest man died of heart failure in February 2017.
The first big death of season five was of wildling leader Mance Rayder, played by Irish actor Ciaran Hinds. Hinds, who joined the show in season three, also had roles in “Road to Perdition,” “Munich,” “There Will Be Blood” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.” He told Esquire that he was “grateful to be involved in such an amazing project.”
Max von Sydow
Swedish-born French actor Max von Sydow has been appearing in film and on TV since the 1940s and is still going strong. In “Game of Thrones” seasons six, he played the Three-Eyed Raven, the supernatural mentor of Brann Stark and the last of the greenseers, the magical humans living with the Children of the Forest who have the ability to see events happening in the past, the present, and perhaps even the future — all at once.
As Westeros’ mute royal executioner Ser Ilyn Payne (his tongue was removed years ago by the Mad King), Wilko Johnson has no lines, but he certainly has the deathly stare down pat. His character appeared in seasons one, two and four. An English guitarist, singer and songwriter, Johnson was in the rock/rhythm and blues band Dr. Feelgood in the 1970s, helping to pave the way for the English punk movement.
As a huge fan of “Game of Thrones,” The Mets “Thor” pitcher Noah Syndergaard jumped at the chance to cameo in season seven. He played an unnamed Lannister soldier who is involved in the Lannister/Targaryen battle sequence. The fandom was unlikely to have been all one-sided; “Game of Thrones” co-creator George R.R. Martin is a huge Mets fan, so it’s probably safe to say he was delighted to have Syndergaard on his show.
Will Champion took a brief break from touring the world with Coldplay to have a cameo appearance in the third season of “Game of Thrones.” He didn’t have to stretch his acting skills; he played a drummer hired by Lothar Frey for the infamous Red Wedding. For his blink-and-you’ll-miss-it performance in the intimate wedding hall, Champion wore a hat and cloak.