The Rules: We picked the best non-GoT movie or tv show that each actor has appeared in (the best thing they were in, not necessarily their best performance), but we did take into account the size of their role when counting it. Opinions are a combination of my own + general public/critical consensus. And we cut off the GoT cast at only major-enough characters with 18+ episodes. Feel free to leave any arguments in the comments. Here we go!
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)
BEST THING: Elf
RUNNER-UP: The Station Agent, X-Men: Days of Future Past, 30 Rock episode "El Macho Solo", brief Seinfeld cameo
- There's lots to choose from in Peter Dinklage's ever-growing repertoire (politely glossing over Pixels), but few movies have the ultra-rewatchability and universal appeal of Elf, and Dinklage teases some aspects of his future Tyrion in his side role as a total-dick superstar children's author. His lead role in the also-excellent Station Agent is just as deserving on here, but we'll give the nod to Elf since it's on tv approximately every half hour between October 1st and Christmas, and it's got that animated narwhal, aka 'The Ultimate Tiebreaker'.
Kit Harrington (Jon Snow)
BEST THING: 7 Days In Hell
RUNNER-UP: This Dinner Party Sketch with Seth Meyers
- Kit Harrington's career is just getting started (or is it dead... or is it not REALLY dead....???), but the HBO faux-Documentary 7 Days In Hell is really funny, and Harrington is excellent as the coddled, incincerely 'proper' tennis phenom Charles Poole. It's truly Harrington's greatest comic role since that one weird part on GoT where Jon Snow and Ygritte instantly find some warm seculed sex-cave to disappear off to. Why aren't all the wildlings just living in that cave ALL the time? I digress. Yeah, see 7 Days In Hell.
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister)
Best Thing: Dredd (2012)
- The 2012 Judge Dredd re-adaptation received more "holy shit, you know what movie's actually GOOD..." compliments than any expected-to-be-bad films in recent history, and is a worthy big-screen redemption of the series for anyone who's not still too scarred by watching the Stallone / Rob Schneider version. 300 comes second here only because it kind of feels like a parody of Zack Snyder's style if you rewatch it now, but the initial adrenaline-splash when it first hit theaters is still worth recognizing.
Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy)
BEST THING: John Wick
RUNNER-UP: As a puppet in the music video for "Alfie" by Lily Allen (his sister)
- John Wick is just straight-up kickass action fun (though I would've just as happily watched an entire 90-minute movie of Keanu Reeves playing with that puppy), and the cast is a veritable supergroup of HBO actors, featuring not only Theon here, but also Daniels & Freamon from The Wire, Al Swearengen from Deadwood (and soon GoT), and O'Reilly from Oz (aka, Dennis from 30 Rock). And even Tyra from Friday Night Lights, for good measure. GOOD PERSON CHOOSING, movie makers!
Aiden Gillen (Petyr Baelish)
BEST THING: The Wire
RUNNER-UP: The Dark Knight Rises
- Apparently Littlefinger is such a master manipulator, he successfully talked himself from one essential HBO series straight onto another. He's basically television's Robert Horry, jumping straight from the early-2000s Lakers to the late-2000s Spurs.