They’re famous now for being in Game of Thrones, but what did the cast of HBO’s swords-and-boobs smash do before George RR Martin’s books were adapted? Well, a whole bunch of stuff, some of it terrible, some of it hilarious.

This isn’t going to be some IMDB-ish resource; below you’ll simply find one example of a standout/hilarious role that some of the main actors played before Game of Thrones. One role that, for the most part, is nowhere near as cool as the one they’re playing now.

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Not every big star is here! The younger kids, for example, haven’t had the time to embarrass themselves in cheap British TV series. Yet.

And no, Joffrey isn’t here. Everyone knows he was in Batman. Ditto for Alexander Siddig (Doran Martell) and Star Trek. As for Sean Bean, well, his reputation precedes him.

CHARLES DANCE (Tywin Lannister)

Played the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera (1990)


JULIAN GLOVER (Grand Maester Pycelle)

Played General Veers in The Empire Strikes Back (1980)


RORY MCANN (The Hound)

Played Michael “Lurch” Armstrong in Hot Fuzz (2007)


LENA HEADLEY (Cersei Lannister)

Played Katherine in The Jungle Book (1995)


CIARAN HINDS (Mance Rayder)

Played King Lot in Excalibur (1981)


IAIN GLEN (Jorah Mormont)

Played Brendan in Gorillas in the Mist (1988)


STEPHEN DILLANE (Stannis Baratheon)

Played Glen Foy in the Goal trilogy (2005-09), three of the worst films ever made.


NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU (Jaime Lannister)

Played Gary Gordon in Black Hawk Down (2001)


MARK ADDY (Robert Baratheon)

Played Dave Horsefall in The Full Monty (1997)


JEROME FLYNN (Ser Bronn of the Blackwater)

Played Paddy Garvey in Soldier Soldier (1991-97). This cover was released and went to number one in the UK. Really.


LIAM CUNNINGHAM (Davos Seaworth)

Played Captain Ryan in Dog Soldiers (2002)


PETER DINKLAGE (Tyrion Lannister)

Played Miles Finch in Elf (2003)


PEDRO PASCAL (Oberyn Martell)

Played Eddie in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (S4E01 1999)


SIBEL KEKILLI (Shae)

Played Sibel Güner in Head-On, an award-winning German film (2004).


AIDAN GILLEN (Littlefinger)

Played Lord Nelson Rathbone in Shanghai Knights (2003)


DIANA RIGG (Olenna Tyrell)

Played Emma Peel in The Avengers (1965-68)