Out of Westeros and into the real world: as the new season of Game of Thrones creeps ever closer, we're checking out what some of our favourite actors have been up to when they're not violently murdering people.
1. Tyrion Lannister
Everyone’s favourite character (and mathematically speaking, the main character) is played by American actor Peter Dinklage.
Although many people had not heard of Peter before the series kicked off on HBO, especially in the UK, he was already a successful actor with a string of screen and stage credits to his name.
George R.R. Martin, the author of the series, knew he wanted Peter to play Tyrion from the beginning and offered him the role without even asking him to audition.
Since GoT, Peter has also appeared in a number of feature films including the X-Men prequel/sequel Days of Future Past. Since then he has appeared in the movie Pixels and will be appearing in 2016 in The Angry Birds Movie as The Mighty Eagle. He has also recently hosted Saturday Night Live to great acclaim.
2. Arya Stark
The feisty daughter of the (late) Lord of the North, Eddard Stark, is played by British actor Maisie Williams.
Maisie was only 12 when she first started on the show and has spoken publicly of the difficulties of growing up in the fevered limelight of a show like Game of Thrones. However she has not let that hold her back and has appeared in a range of roles on the small screen.
Her Doctor Who co-star Peter Capaldi (alongside whom she played Ashieldr, an immortal Viking) praised her professionalism and talent.
The GoT showrunners told Vulture magazine: “The fact that [Maisie]’s developed into an actress of astounding subtlety, range, humour and intensity is entirely due to her work ethic.”
In addition to her Doctor Who appearances, Maisie’s Channel 4 drama Cyberbully was nominated for best single drama at this year's RTS Programme Awards.
She will also be appearing on the big screen alongside Jessica Biel in The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea later this year.
3. Joffrey Baratheon
Jack Gleeson, who played King Joffrey in the series, had an established acting career even before he started on Game of Thrones, having appeared in on the big and small screens, including an appearance in 2005’s Batman Begins.
He appeared in Game of Thrones for three years between 2011-2014, before his character was poisoned at his own wedding.
Gleeson then announced that GoT would be his last gig in the acting world and that he wanted to go back to school, saying that “when you make a living from something, it really changes your relationship with it.”
He has, however, launched a theatre company with friends and recently put on a play titled Bears in Space, a surreal comedy about two bears on an intergalactic spaceship who have just thawed from a cryogenic state. The show debuted at the Soho Theatre in London.
4. Rob Stark
Rob Stark, played by Scottish actor Richard Madden, lasted two-and-a-half seasons in the show before his messy death at the Red Wedding.
After getting into acting to overcome his shyness, Madden first appeared on screen in 1999 in children’s comedy series Barmy Aunt Boomerang. He went on to graduate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2007 and quickly began appearing in a number of stage roles around the country.
He was cast in Game of Thrones in 2011 and since then he has been going from strength to strength, taking a leading role in 2015’s Cinderella and appearing later this year in Bastille Day alongside Luther star Idris Elba.
He is also reuniting with his Cinderella co-star Lily James on the London stage in Romeo and Juliet which the film's director, Sir Kenneth Branagh, will be also be directing.
5. Jon Snow
Quite aside from dodging GoT fans howling ‘You know nothing, Jon Snow!’, actor Kit Harington has a successful career beyond the franchise.
As the new season approaches, no one knows if that is it for Kit’s character who appeared to die at the end of the last season. However suggestions that he has been seen on the set of the new series suggest that maybe the game is not up for Jon Snow.
Kit denied that Jon Snow will be in the new season in a recent interview with Time Out, saying that he had filmed a few scenes, but only as a corpse.
He is currently starring in a revival of Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and has appeared in a number of silver screen movies since his first appearance in GoT.
In 2015 he appeared in the big screen adaptation of hit BBC show Spooks, voiced a character in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and appeared in big budget Hollywood epic Pompeii.
Check out the Game of Thrones season 6 trailer here. The show makes its glorious return on 25th April on Sky Atlantic