Everyone should have a decent grasp of the fact that the majority of the actors in Game of Thrones were actors before the show began. Sure, there were some pretty young ones who were basically still doing community theatre before getting the biggest break of their lives on this greatest of all HBO shows, but they are certainly the exception to the rule here.
So, we thought it would be fun to dig up the past a little and take a look at 20 different Game of Thrones cast members from way back before they were superstars. Well, Sean Bean has always been a star, but that's not the point. He also gets offed in everything he's in as well...
20 Kit Harrington
Here's the thing. This is obviously Kit Harrington but it's not like there were any roles that we could get photos of from before GoT. His first credited film role was as Jon Snow for GoT. How lucky is he!? Either way, what a headshot he's got going on here from his days before being a superstar. We wonder if he always knew that he would make it big.
19 Alfie Allen
Alfie Allen actually had his first role when he was only 2-years old back in 1988. That being said, he didn't come back to acting for TV and film until 1998 and he didn't hit his role as the King's messenger in The Other Boleyn Girl until 2008. Not like that was a fantastically huge role, but that's what this photo is from. Flashier outfit than any Greyjoy attire, for sure.
18 Jason Momoa
Who actually remembers Jason Momoa from his days on Bay Watch? There were real days indeed. He might have been smaller than his Khal Drogo future but he certainly was cut either way. And there's no mistaking those eyebrows even though this is over ten years earlier. And now he's one of the most underrated superheroes in the world!
17 Sophie Turner
Wow. Has she ever changed an awful lot! Sophie Turner, even in the process of filming GoT went from a rather annoying little girl to a stunning and vivacious woman. Here is just a little comparison from way back in the day to now. The change is unreal...mainly thanks to Photoshop.
16 Carice Van Houten
Carice Van Houten is certainly more of a name in Europe than in the U.S. but she certainly made a name for herself with the role of Melisandre. Before that, though, she was in a production with Sean Bean called Black Death. Surely everyone can guess what that film was about...but there is something pretty special about that film. Check it out.
15 Diana Rigg
For those who don't recognize the name of the actor nor the face of this actor, this is the woman who played Olenna Tyrell in GoT. That old lady who (spoilers from a few years ago) poisoned Joffrey Baratheon (Lannister). Yeah, old lady Tyrell was smokin' back in the day, for sure. She was one of the cast members of The Avengers (not the Marvel series).
14 Charles Dance
Charles Dance has had a long list of roles, for sure and he used to be quite the looker way back in the day. And he was dashing in his own way in GoT as well, but there was a bit of a middle section to his life as an actor where he wasn't all that taking. Like his role as Clemens in Alien 3!
13 Emilia Clarke
Let's be honest here, Clarke essentially looks the same with this outfit as she did in GoT, it just so happens that she's a few years younger here in her role as Savannah in the not-such-a-hit film Triassic Attack (if anyone has ever heard of that film in the first place). TV movies don't typically get much traction after their release, to be fair.
12 Gwendoline Christie
Considering here Game of Thrones run as the brutish woman who everyone mistakes for a man, it is something else to see her as "Classy Shopper 2" in 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'. She actually is quite striking when she's not playing Brienne of Tarth. It is amazing to see just how she can transform herself...and we know which role had better pay!
11 Jack Gleeson
Poor kid. How many other films has anyone seen Jack Gleeson in? Sure, he's done other work, sure, but after GoT, he pretty much walked away from the business. Understandable since people didn't just want his character to burn, they couldn't tell the difference between the character and the actor. That's scary. This shot is from Batman Begins. He's the little kid on the rooftop.
10 Jerome Flynn
For those who don't recognize Jerome Flynn here, this is the actor who played Bronn. Did anyone here know that he is also an accomplished musician and made a big name for himself in the Tv show Soldier Soldier? Not that anyone who watches GoT really cares because they likely couldn't imagine him in anything other than the role of Bronn.
9 John Bradley
Who can even picture Sam Tarly as a cardinal on his way to becoming a pope? Well, for those who caught the Borgia series (not the one with Jeremy Irons), they will know this all too well. We still find it strange to think of this innocent and mild-mannered Tarly playing the role of a Medici. That's just how good John Bradley is.
8 Lena Headey
Let's not forget that the nutty queen from GoT was once the queen in 300 opposite Gerrard Butler. But more importantly than that (now with the 20th Terminator film out), she has played the powerful role of Sarah Connor. Sure, she only played the role for a year, but then she picked up Cersei Lannister about a year after that so...
7 Liam Cunningham
A very accomplished actor from Ireland, Liam Cunningham had the joy of playing Ser Davos Seaworth in GoT. But his roles have carried more weight and importance than that in the past. Take his role in The Wind That Shakes The Barley. A lot of people may not know the film, but it is a critical film based on real events that took place in his home country.
6 Michelle Fairley
Well, it doesn't really matter to anyone what else Michelle Fairley has done, she's been in two epic series now and that is more than enough for most people. In case anyone missed her role in the Harry Potter series, she played Hermione Granger's mother. She's got a knack for the mother figure, it seems.
5 Natalie Dormer
Oh, Natalie Dormer. Everyone loved her in...everything she's been in. She is a splendid and stunning and incredibly talented actor. She's been in all sorts of productions (she even had a cameo in an episode of House MD) and was most famous for her role of Anne Boleyn in The Tudors back in the day.
4 Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage has been involved in TV and film since the Oingo Boingo was still singing about little girls and pretty much everything that he has been in (whether a good production or not) featured a very skilled man in Dinklage. The above photo is from a hilarious comedy from England called Death At A Funeral.
3 Rory McCann
Can anyone spot him? In case people didn't know, Rory McCann is the man who played The Hound, Sandor Clegane in GoT. Here, he just looks like a normal guy with a head of hair and no burns. He looks quite pleasant, actually. This is taken from an early 00s show called The Boog Group.
2 Sean Bean
Well, who really needs any introduction to Sean Bean? He's been around for a while now and while he does typically get offed in one way or another in almost every show or film he's in, the photo above comes from a series he played the hero for and he lived through the whole thing! Sharpe was an amazing series!
1 Stephen Dillane
As everyone knows, Coronation Street has been around forever and our very own Stannis Baratheon was a character on the show back in the 80s. He was actually quite dashing, we must say. The above photo is of his role as Evan Marsh in Two If By Sea. What a handsome man...what happened?