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See the Cast of ‘Game of Thrones’ Before Westeros

game of thrones

The calendar may say we just entered spring, but for fans of ‘Game of Thrones‘ winter is just around the corner with the first episode of season 3 scheduled for March 31 on HBO.

There is something about serialized television, in particular, that makes it hard to imagine its actors playing any other roles than the one you wait patiently for every week. For some ‘Game of Thrones’ actors this is their first major part. But others have had pretty substantial screen resumes before making it to Westeros.

See your favorite season 3 Lannisters, Starks and Baratheons before they were on ‘Game of Thrones’ below.

Peter Dinklage, Tyrion Lannister



Peter Dinklage

Dinklage plays Tyrion, the one Lannister you can unabashedly get behind. The accomplished actor made his screen debut in 1995’s ‘Living in Oblivion,’ but he really made a name for himself as Finbar McBride in the 2003 indie hit ‘The Station Agent.’ And of course you’ll remember him as a hotheaded author in ‘Elf.’

Lena Headey, Cersei Lannister



Lena Headey

If you don’t recognize Headey from ‘300’ or ‘Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,’ it’s probably because she has dark hair. It’s hard to imagine Cersei as a brunette, although it could further accentuate her famously striking cheek bones.

Michelle Fairley, Catelyn Stark



Michelle Fairley
HBO/Warner Bros.

This isn’t Fairley’s first time in a popular fantasy series. In fact, before becoming the matriarch of the suddenly scattered Stark clan she was Mrs. Granger, mom to the witch Hermione, in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.’ While she does most of her acting in Great Britain, you may also remember her from the 2001 Nicole Kidman thriller ‘The Others.’

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jaime Lannister



Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

Thanks to his portrayal of smart-mouthed and nihilistic knight Jaime Lannister, Coster-Waldau seems headed for stardom, and recently played one of the leads in the horror flick ‘Mama.’ The Danish-born actor almost became a hard-to-pronounce household name in 2008 when he starred in the time travel/police drama hybrid ‘New Amsterdam’ on Fox. However, despite early buzz and good reviews, the series only lasted eight episodes.

Alfie Allen, Theon Greyjoy



Alfie Allen
HBO/Claire Greenway, Getty Images

The little brother of English pop star Lily Allen, Alfie made his film debut as an 11-year-old in 1998’s ‘Elizabeth.’ He’s also been in ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ and ‘Atonement,’ but none of his acting experience will prepare him for Season 3, which probably won’t be the best time Theon has had.

Jack Gleeson, Joffrey Baratheon



jack gleeson
HBO/Warner bros

It’s testament to Gleeson’s acting skills that you want to throw something at the screen every time the cruel and cowardly King Joffrey appears. However, it wasn’t always that way for Gleeson. Television’s most punchable monster made his film debut in 2005’s ‘Batman Begins’ as a sweet little boy who lost his mother.

Aidan Gillen, Petyr Baelish



Aidan Gillen

Before playing the slithery and ambitious Master of Coin Petyr Baelish, Gillen played the slithery and ambitious Maryland politician Tommy Carcetti on ‘The Wire.’ So, whichever HBO series you choose as “the greatest show in TV history,’ Gillen is a there to reap the benefits.

Iain Glen, Ser Jorah Mormont



Iain Glen
HBO/Kevin Winter, Getty Images

That’s Iain Glen as disgraced knight and Targaryen confidante Ser Jorah Mormont. Ever the swashbuckling type, Glen is probably best known for playing Manfred Powell in the 2001 blockbuster ‘Lara Craft: Tomb Raider.’ You may also remember the classically trained actor as Sir Richard Carlisle on the second season of ‘Downton Abbey.’

Stephen Dillane, Stannis Baratheon



Stephen Dillane
HBO/Robert Mora, Getty Images

Dillane has made an impression as Stannis Baratheon, a contender for the Iron Throne and, as Tyrion puts it, a “serious man.” Dillane has a pretty serious acting career, too. In 1997, he starred in the war film ‘Welcome To Sarajevo’ and since then he’s been in ‘Spy Games,’ ‘The Hours’ and ‘King Arthur.’ More recently he played Thomas Jefferson in the HBO miniseries ‘John Adams.’

Ciaran Hinds, Mance Rayder



Ciarán Hinds
HBO/Bruno Vincent, Getty Images

Mance Rayder was an unseen character for the first two seasons of ‘Game of Thrones.’ But the King Beyond the Wall, who is played by Ciaran Hinds, will be big part of season 3. Hinds is known for his roles in ‘Road to Perdition’ and ‘There Will Be Blood’ and for playing Julius Caesar on the television series ‘Rome.’

Thomas Sangster, Jojen Reed



Thomas Sangster

Jojen Reed is another character who will be introduced in season 3. And if you recognize actor Thomas Sangster it’s probably because he still has the same elfin baby-face he did back in 2002 when he starred, as an 11-year-old, in ‘Love Actually.’

Emilia Clarke, Daenerys Targaryen



Emilia Clarke
HBO/Jason Merritt, Getty Images

While it isn’t quite her screen debut, playing Daenerys Targaryen on ‘Game of Thrones’ is by far Clarke’s biggest role. However, we couldn’t help but include a picture of the mother of dragons (and ex-girlfriend of Seth MacFarlane) looking quite different without her blond Targaryen locks.

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