The Best of the 'Game of Thrones' Cast Elsewhere

With the end of Game of Thrones finally within sight, we recommend the cast's best work elsewhere, plus where to find it

Game Of Thrones Cast

Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark): The Boxtrolls

Isaac Hempstead Wright Boxtrolls

Playing a considerably more animated character than the dispassionate one Bran Stark became in season seven, Isaac Hempstead Wright earned his most substantial non-Thrones role yet in Laika’s stop-motion The Boxtrolls. Set in a cheese-obsessed Victorian town, Boxtrolls carries forward the narrative eccentricity and morbid visual splendor of Laika’s better-known offerings (Coraline, ParaNorman). Hempstead Wright voices Eggs, an intrepid human boy being raised by a community of Boxtrolls: subterranean-dwelling scavengers with a knack for designing machines out of the bits of junk they collect from the streets above at night. Paired up with Elle Fanning’s Winnie, the two weirdos fight to foil the evil plans of Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley), a would-be usurper whose scheme involves exterminating the Boxtrolls in return for greater social status. Hempstead Wright is delightful here, especially during the film’s imaginative high point: a ballroom scene that sees Eggs managing to offend the entirety of Cheesebridge’s aristocracy in one fell swoop.

Where to watch: available for rent on iTunes 

Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth): Hunger

Liam Cunningham Hunger

Thanks to compelling supporting turns in childhood favorite A Little Princess and auteurist works like Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley, Liam Cunningham was already a familiar face long before Davos Seaworth’s introduction to the GoT universe in season two. It’s not easy to pick a standout in a career as long and varied as his, but perhaps Cunningham’s most striking performance yet has come by way of his role in Steve McQueen’s Hunger as a priest who gives shrewd counsel (not unlike Davos). Cunningham only appears in one scene, but it’s not one easily forgotten: a twenty-four minute long tête-à-tête with Michael Fassbender’s Bobby Sands, a seventeen-minute chunk of which was largely shot in one long take and took five days of round-the-clock rehearsal to nail. That effort paid off: the scene is perhaps the most extraordinary one in a film full of them, Cunningham and Fassbender’s fluid performances making the conversation (which runs for around a quarter of the film’s length) feel far shorter than it actually is.

Where to watch: available for rent on iTunes 

Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth): Top of the Lake: China Girl

Gwendoline Christie Top Of The Lake

As the clownish side-kick to Elisabeth Moss’s stern detective, Gwendoline Christie is more Podrick than Brienne in season two of Jane Campion’s kooky police drama. An eager rookie none of the misogynistic detectives at this Sydney precinct are keen to work with, Miranda is paired up with the equally less-than-enthusiastic Robin (Moss) on a thankless case investigating a suitcase containing a Jane Doe that has washed up on Bondi Beach. As their work on the “China Girl” case dovetails with Miranda’s troubled personal life – she drinks and smokes despite an apparent pregnancy, and plays the other woman to a married colleague – Christie’s faculties for melodrama and physical comedy come to the fore in ways her Game of Thrones role precludes. This tonally unconventional follow-up to Campion’s first season can be watched as a stand-alone, and probably should be, too, being the better of the pair. As the perfect comic counterbalance to Moss’s stony-faced Robin, Christie’s performance is largely to thank for that.

Where to watch: Hulu

John Bradley (Samwell Tarly): Traders

Traders John Bradley

So far, there have been few roles of substance outside of Thrones for fan favorite John Bradley, but his part as a scheming loner in Irish indie Traders is certainly worthy of note. Bradley plays Vernon, the inventor of an online portal that pairs up money-hungry strangers who are prepared to fight to the death in order to pocket the other’s net worth. Traders isn’t as polished as it might be, but it’s buoyed by a compelling Black Mirror-esque premise that blends capitalist-critical notions with a dystopian sense of social sterility. Bradley’s character is considerably less likable here than in Thrones, so be warned: Traders might corrupt the way you see Samwell in future.

Where to watch: Prime Video

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