Eight years and seventy-three episodes later, the struggle for the Iron Throne is finally over. Seventy-plus hours of ice and fire came to a head in the Game of Thrones season eight finale, “The Iron Throne,” drawing the curtain on David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ game-changing adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic saga of murder, love, power, and morality. Whether they won, lost, or forfeited their claim, we finally know exactly where the chips have fallen for all of Game of Thrones’ characters, but what’s next for the actors who made them so real?
A vacation, surely. But beyond that, we can expect to see Westeros’ finest crop up in a whole host of future movies and TV shows, their post-Thrones career prospects being forever boosted in much the same way Thrones has transformed the TV landscape. In an effort to fill the Davos-shaped hole in our hearts, then, we’ve put together a list of all the places you can expect to see all of season eight’s leading players in the future.
Warning: This article contains spoilers up to and including the events of “The Bells,” though if you haven’t yet seen the finale, you’re still good:
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)
Next seen in The Angry Birds Movie 2 (August 16, 2019), The Croods 2 (December 23, 2020), The Thicket (release TBA), The Dwarf (release TBA), Last Sons of America (release TBA), and Brothers (release TBA).
Of all Thrones’ many, many breakouts, it’s undoubtedly Peter Dinklage whose star has risen highest as a result of the show’s enormous success. Tyrion’s sharp wit, ribald humor, and political shrewdness have placed him at the center of many a standout scene, but his appeal rests on more than just drinking and knowing things: as an underdog from the outset, he’s also responsible for some of Thrones’ most profoundly emotional and complex moments (see his season four trial monologue as an example).
It’s inevitable that Dinklage would find himself in high demand post-finale, but even so, his calendar is unbelievably crowded: no fewer than thirteen future projects are listed on Dinklage’s IMDb, several of which are for dual actor-producer roles. The most concrete and immediate of those suggests a stark tonal shift from Dinklage’s brooding work in GoT, with starring voice roles already locked down for two family-friendly animations: The Angry Birds Movie sequel, in which he’ll reprise his role as the Mighty Eagle, and The Croods 2, in which he’ll debut the part of Phil Betterman, the evolutionarily advanced rival patriarch to Nicolas Cage’s Grug.
For decidedly less family-friendly fare, there’s the promise of a starring role in Elliott Lester’s dark period thriller The Thicket, in which Dinklage will play a bounty hunter reluctantly recruited to rescue a kidnapped girl in oil boom-era Texas. Dinklage is both star and producer on that project (which is currently in pre-production), a dual role he also takes for The Dwarf, the long-gestating adaptation of Nobel Prize-winning author Pär Lagerkvist’s novel. Updates on The Dwarf’s production have been scarce since 2017 when The Machinist helmer Brad Anderson was hired to direct Dinklage and co-star Alexander Skarsgård in this Renaissance Italy-set project.
Beyond that, Dinklage has set more starring roles as one of two unlikely siblings in Etan Cohen’s comedy Brothers, as well as the dystopian graphic novel-adaptation Last Sons of America, which will see him play an adoption officer working to facilitate adoptions in Colombia for Americans who can no longer conceive as a result of a biological terrorist attack.
And all of that is to say nothing of Dinklage’s rumored attachments, which include Sony’s Rumpelstiltskin adaptation and a part alongside Michael Fassbender and Jamie Foxx in a modern remake of The Wild Bunch that is, unfortunately, set to be directed by Mel Gibson. Whether anything comes of that or not, one thing is certain: Dinklage will remain booked and busy for a very, very long time.
Kit Harington (Jon Snow)
Next seen in The Death and Life of John F. Donovan (release TBA).
In interviews, Kit Harington has spoken openly about the pressures brought on by playing Jon Snow for eight years, so it’s almost no wonder his post-Thrones diary is currently empty. Harington did play a closeted actor in Xavier Dolan’s English-language debut The Death and Life of John F. Donovan last year, although that film has yet to receive a release date outside of Europe since it was widely panned after premiering at TIFF in 2018. Beyond that, we know nothing about Harington’s future career plans, although he did drop some hints in a recent interview, telling Variety that he isn’t interested in playing heroes anymore and that Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s “darker…more characterful” career is one he’d like to emulate post-Thrones.
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
Next seen in Last Christmas (November 8, 2019) and Let Me Count the Ways (release TBA).
Fire, blood, doom, gloom; Daenerys has never exactly been a jolly presence on Thrones. That’s why Emilia Clarke’s next project – Paul Feig’s holiday rom-com Last Christmas – really feels like something to look forward to. From the outset, there’s an absurd appeal in Clarke’s character Kate, an aspiring singer and hapless slacker who works as a department store elf year-round. And then there’s the fact that Last Christmas is co-written by Emma Thompson, whose previous screenwriting credits (Bridget Jones’s Baby, Nanny McPhee) attest to her status as a talented screenwriter and comedy legend.
Thompson’s involvement also inevitably invokes the idea of Love Actually potential in this Wham!-inspired romantic comedy, especially since Last Christmas is set in London during prime tinsel season – but intriguingly, it doesn’t sound like Feig’s film is resting on its rom-com laurels. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Thompson hinted at a darker underbelly to the film, explaining that, because Last Christmas is explicitly set during 2016, Brexit and Donald Trump will feature as the political backdrop to the romance that plays out between Kate and Henry Golding’s Tom. That context is particularly relevant as Thompson is playing Kate’s mother, an ex-pat from the former Yugoslavia who grows increasingly uneasy at the prevailing hostile discourse around migration.
Clarke’s other upcoming project isn’t quite as contemporary, although it is a romance; as recently as May 2019, she has been attached to Björn Runge’s period drama Let Me Count the Ways, which will chronicle the secret relationship between English poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning in 19th century London. Clarke will star as Elizabeth, a successful poet whose fragile health effectively renders her a recluse until she meets and begins a secret romance with fellow poet Robert under the nose of her overbearing father. Available plot information suggests that that father-daughter conflict will take center-stage in Let Me Count the Ways, making for a compelling thematic link with Runge’s last movie, The Wife.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)
Next seen in Domino (May 31, 2019), Notat (November 14, 2019, Denmark), Suicide Tourist (2019), and The Silencing (release TBA).
Seven seasons ago, hardly anyone (at least, those who hadn’t read the books) could have guessed that Jaime Lannister – the sister-loving, child-defenestrating soldier – would emerge as something of an unlikely hero by the show’s final season. While it’s true that “The Bells” may have ultimately scuppered his chances at a glowing obituary, it’s a testament to Jaime’s unexpected, enormous popularity that his demise has prompted such widespread protest. Whatever your position on whether that rocky death was deserved or not, it’s hard to argue that Jaime’s journey hasn’t been crucial to the show’s essence: its moral ambiguity.
It’s interesting to note, then, that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s non-Thrones work reflects a similar pre-occupation with moral gray areas. In movies and shows like A Second Chance, Headhunters, Shot Caller, 3 Things, and New Amsterdam, he’s played cops and criminals alike, and, in projects like Small Crimes, Coster-Waldau has even been both at the same time. His post-Thrones career, which begins with Brian de Palma’s revenge thriller Domino, will see him dive right back into exploring that dichotomy. In Domino (which also stars Thrones‘ Red Woman Carice van Houten), Coster-Waldau plays a Danish police officer seeking revenge on the IS member who murdered his patrol partner, a premise shared in part by another of the actor’s next projects. Danish-language feature Notat will see Coster-Waldau play another Danish cop, his character here based on one of the real police officers who tracked down the IS-affiliated gunman behind the 2015 Copenhagen shootings.
It’s another of Coster-Waldau’s upcoming projects, though, that looks to offer the actor the best opportunity to play up to his darker impulses. According to Deadline, The Silencing will see Coster-Waldau play a “reformed hunter” turned head of an animal sanctuary “who becomes involved in a deadly game of cat and mouse when he and the local sheriff Alice Gustafson set out to track a vicious killer who may have kidnapped his daughter years ago.”
If that logline is anything to go by, The Silencing looks set to operate in a similarly vengeful vein as Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River. That puts it in stark tonal contrast with Coster-Waldau’s remaining project: a romantic mystery from When Animals Dream director Jonas Alexander Arnby. In Suicide Tourist, Coster-Waldau will put in a turn as an insurance claim handler who locates a suspicious client in a mysterious hotel designed to help its guests realize their dream suicides. The job triggers an existential crisis in Coster-Waldau’s character, one that we assume may be assuaged, a la The Lobster, by the film’s apparent romantic elements.