Game of Thrones, as I’m sure you ALL know by now, returns on Sunday night. I actually watched the first four episodes of the season over the weekend, but I’m not going to say a damn thing about them because I’m not a jackass. You should experience it all for yourself, and we’ll leave all discussion of the series to the post-episode recaps. I will only say that I wish I had not watched them because now I don’t have a new episode of Game of Thrones to look forward to on Sunday. In fact, I have to wait five weeks for a new episode, and I feel a little empty about that.
In the meantime, I’m pitifully trying to extract anything from the Game of Thrones stone that will give me the tiniest of thrills, something — ANYTHING — to make me feel alive while I await new episodes. So, to ward off this feeling, I dedicated some time to compiling several fun, obscure facts about the Game of Thrones cast. Some of these you may already know. Some you may have seen on this very site. But you can consider this a comprehensive collection of fun, obscure facts on the cast. Hopefully, some of these still have the ability to surprise (I know that a few of them knocked me on my ass), while some others may only be of interest to those coming into the show relatively recently.
1. Richard Madden (Robb Stark) is dating the new companion on “Doctor Who,” Jenna Louise Coleman, which makes them the coolest geek couple ON THE PLANET.
2. Tamzin Merchant was originally cast as Daenerys Targaryen. You may know her from “The Tudors.” For whatever reason, it just didn’t work out, and the virtually unknown Emilia Clarke was brought in.
3. Alfie Allon (Theon Greyjoy) is the brother of pop singer Lily Allen.
4. Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) is a natural blonde. She dyes her hair for the show. Also, her family adopted Zunni, who plays a Direwolf on “Game of Thrones.” I honestly wouldn’t recognize her as a blonde.
5. Jack Gleeson, who plays Joffrey, was also slapped in Batman Begins.
6. This is the commercial helped Rory McCann (who plays The Hound) break out. It was apparently rather famous in Britain.
If you saw that and didn’t recognize The Hound from the commercial, THAT guy is THIS guy.
7. Like Tom Hardy, Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Brian Van Holt (Bobby Cobb in Cougar Town) and Orlando Bloom, one of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister’s) first American roles was in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down, which is like the Dazed and Confused of the aughts.
8. You may also know Julian Glover (Grand Maester Pycelle) from his role in Empire Strikes Back. Also, Indiana Jones (if I’m late on this, sue me. It shocked the hell out of me.)
9. Lena Headey is super good friends with Anna Torv and Piper Perabo, the latter of whom she made out in Imagine Me and You. You’re welcome for the image.
10. Peter Dinklage was Wake-Up Guy on “Seinfeld.”
11. I dunno how I missed it, but Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) was Hermione’s Mom in Harry Potter.
12. This is what Kristian Narn (Hodor) looks like without a beard and out of character. I’m sorry you have to know this. (This is what the rest of the male cast looks like without beards).
13. Jerome Flynn (Bronn) was a pop singer, a British one-hit wonder in a boy band.
14. Like Jerome Flynn, Natalia Tena (Osha), who also played Tonks in Harry Potter, is also a singer. She’s in the band Molotov Jukebox. She’s like some kind of poor woman’s Gwen Stefani, only considerably cooler.
15. Jason Momoa has two children with his long-time girlfriend Lisa Bonet.
16. This may freak some parents out, but Thomas Brodie-Sangster — who you haven’t seen any of in Game of Thrones yet, but who has a major role in season three as Jojen Reed — is not only the cousin of Hugh Grant, but he’s the voice of Ferb in Phineas and Ferb, so you can think about that when you see him in Sunday night’s episode. He was also the little kid in Love, Actually.
17. You didn’t see much of him in Harry Potter, although his name is very famliar, but Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon) is the real-life father of Frank Dillane, who played Tom Riddle.
18. It is so weird, but Mark Addy — who plays Robert Baratheon — is most recognizable outside of Game of Thrones as the fat guy in The Full Monty.
19. Oona Chaplin, who plays Robb Stark’s new bride, Talisa Maegyr, is the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin. CRAZY.
20. Also crazy, Harry Lloyd — who plays Viserys Targaryen — is the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.
21. Ian Whyte — who played Gregor Clegan — was also the stunt double for Madame Maxine in Harry Potter. Seriously.