Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen): Solo: A Star Wars Story and Leading Lady Parts
Mystifyingly, roles of due caliber have proved hard to come by for Emilia Clarke since Thrones first launched her into the limelight in 2011. Omitting Me Before You – while Clarke proved winning as a romantic lead, the film’s reductive handling of disability issues did not – a supporting turn in 2018’s middling Han Solo origin story is perhaps the best of the bunch, with Clarke getting to hint at a darker, Targaryen-esque side to her character Qi’ra. Still, you’ll probably have to wait until November’s holiday romcom Last Christmas to see Clarke realize her multi-faceted potential. In the meantime, however, you can console yourself with confirmation of her varied abilities in satirical short Leading Lady Parts, in which Clarke teams up with fellow A-list actresses to call out misogyny in the casting room.
Where to watch Solo: Netflix
Where to watch Leading Lady Parts: YouTube
Kit Harington (Jon Snow): Testament of Youth and 7 Days in Hell
Two recommendations for Kit Harington fans, both from 2015: Testament of Youth and 7 Days in Hell. The first, a period drama based on the memoirs of Vera Brittain (whose experiences as a nurse during WW1 moved her to pacifism), sees Harington play the angst-ridden, soldier love interest to Alicia Vikander’s Vera. The part provides another opportunity to see Harington at his Jon Snow-esque, tragi-romantic best, but there is more to his performance than that, as Testament’s cocksure Roland is buoyed by status and privilege – the absence of which has been the single most defining factor of Jon Snow’s life.
That’s a dynamic 7 Days in Hell, HBO’s over-the-top tennis mockumentary, plays off, too. Harington’s arrogant, high-born tennis prodigy Charles Poole is nothing like Jon Snow, although they do share that trademark blank expression – the difference being that here, you’re entirely convinced Harington’s character really does know nothing. For his part, Harington is clearly happy to poke fun at his own brooding image, going along enthusiastically with every absurd twist in this parodical postmortem of Charles’ epic, week-long face-off with rival Aaron Williams (Andy Samberg as the adoptive brother of Serena and Venus). There’s a bonus, too: 7 Days in Hell is just 42 minutes long, meaning anyone who wants to see Harington in an entirely different domain than usual won’t need to commit too much time to do so.
Where to watch Testament of Youth: available for rent on Amazon
Where to watch 7 Days in Hell: HBO
Maisie Williams (Arya Stark): The Falling
Arya’s journey throughout the last few seasons of Thrones has been full of intrigue, but not even the mystery of the Faceless Men can match up to the enigma on offer in The Falling. There are shades of Picnic at Hanging Rock in Carol Morley’s psychosexual mystery, which traces the outbreak of an inexplicable fainting epidemic at a stuffy all-girls’ school in 1969 Britain. While The Falling flirts with suggestions of Suspiria-esque occult, Morley’s style is ultimately rooted in more realism than that, so it’s the deeply unnerving Maisie Williams as Lydia — the closest friend of the film’s patient zero — who emerges to take disconcerting center stage.
Where to watch: Vudu
Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark): Sucker
Despite putting in elevating performances throughout her non-GoT work (Josie, X-Men Apocalypse), Sophie Turner hasn’t been well-served by the overall quality of those projects. This summer’s Dark Phoenix has the potential to change all that, but until then, Sansa fans are best served by her cameo (alongside those of her soon-to-be sisters-in-law) in the music video for the Jonas Brothers’ comeback track Sucker. Directed by Anthony Mandler, who helmed the videos for Taylor Swift’s 22, Rihanna’s Diamonds and Lana del Rey’s biblical short Tropico, Sucker is cinema-adjacent in that it was filmed in the same grand country house as The Favourite. There are plenty of winks to Yorgos Lanthimos’ subversive period drama, too: extravagant costumes, dinner party dances, dusty bookshelves and a shot in which Turner explicitly channels Queen Anne as she lolls on a chaise longue, rabbits hopping away at her feet.