Spoiler Warning: We’re going to discuss pretty much every significant death from Game of Thrones in this article.
Death is a natural part of life, but Game of Thrones takes it to extremes by repeatedly peeling off characters from the show. Where do these actors go when they leave the seven kingdoms? Some go to college, some become superheroes, and others go star in a direct-to-DVD (or maybe video) Scorpion King movie, but almost all of the bigger names seem to get a nice bump, so let’s take a look at what some fan favorites and also Joffrey have been up to.
Jack Gleeson (King Joffrey)
Be honest, you smiled when King Joffrey turned 50 shades of purple before his eyes almost popped like zits, didn’t you? He was a monster on screen, so gaining satisfaction from his demise is permissible. The actor who will forever get sideways glances thanks to his skillful portrayal of golden haired evil, though? He seems like a swell and level-headed fellow who has — for the time being — abandoned all actorly pursuits in favor of focusing on his school work and wherever that takes him.
Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell)
The producers of Game of Thrones are slowly unraveling a vast story with a formidable cast, so it’s hard for someone new to rise above the machine, but Pedro Pascal felt like a burst of energy last season before his character’s brutal end. Luckily, such a display comes with a reward, and for the veteran actor, that means a serious level-jump in the quality of the roles that he’s being offered. Up next for Pascal is the co-lead in Narcos, Netflix’s Pablo Escobar/drug trade drama, and after that he’ll co-star with Matt Damon in The Great Wall.
Getin Anthony (Renly Baratheon)
Renly Baratheon was younger and less insane than his brother Stannis, and less boorish than his brother Robert, but he got stabbed through the heart by a vagina smoke monster before we could see him rule over The Seven Kingdoms.
Since leaving Game of Thrones, Anthony has stayed busy, but his most notable stateside work is on the horizon — he’ll play Charles “Chuckles” Manson beside David Duchovny in NBC’s Aquarius summer event series. Hopefully the marker isn’t permanent.
Richard Madden (Robb Stark)
Madden went from the battlefields and hazardous wedding receptions of Game of Thrones to the gold rush with Klondike, a six-part Discovery Channel mini-series. He then co-starred as the prince in Cinderella and he’ll play opposite Idris Elba in Bastille Day next year.
Rose Leslie (Ygritte)
Leslie starred in Honeymoon last year, which looked altogether unsettling, and she will soon co-star with Vin Diesel and Elijah Wood in Breck Eisner’s The Last Witch Hunter. She’s also set to appear with Idris Elba in the latest chapter of Luther.
Jason Mamoa (Khal Drogo)
Mamoa wrote, directed, and starred in Road to Paloma before booking a regular gig as the star of The Sundance Channel’s Red Road. Oh yeah, and he’s also going to play Aquaman. Sorry Vinnie Chase.
Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark)
Fairley played The Yorkshire Widow in 24: Live Another Day and one of the many who have come back from the dead on Resurrection. She’s playing a supporting role in Ron Howard’s big damn whale movie, In the Heart of the Sea, which will be out next winter.
Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen)
Before Joffrey, Viserys Targaryen stood as the most hated spoiled brat in all of the land. And when it came time for him to bite it, his was an even more delectable death, coming at the hands of Khal Drogo and a cauldron of boiling liquid gold. Thud.
Lloyd — who also played an effectively annoying villain in the “Human Nature”/”The Family of Blood” Doctor Who two-parter prior to Game of Thrones — co-starred as Paul Crossley in WGN’s Manhattan and he had a supporting role in The Theory of Everything as Hawking’s roommate.
Esmé Bianco (Ros)
With Ros, we followed a young girl’s strange, erotic journey from Winterfell to King’s Landing… and then Joffrey used her for his twisted delight before turning his crossbow on her. Poor thing.
Next up for Bianco is a supporting role in The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power, which stars Lou Ferrigno and Barry Bostwick. No sh*t.
Burn Gorman (Karl Tanner)
Gorman was a known commodity when he joined the cast in season three thanks to his work on Torchwood and The Dark Knight Rises. Unsurprisingly, he’s continued to book notable work since leaving the show after getting Jon Snow’s sword through the back of his skull. Gorman can be seen on AMC’s Turn as Major Hewlett and he has a role Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak, which follows Gorman’s work with del Toro in Pacific Rim.
Mark Addy (King Robert Baratheon)
At his worst, Robert resembled Mr. Cresote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life with his gluttonous appetite and his lacking people skills, but his death set this whole damn game in motion and he was a comparatively good King.
Since his character’s unfortunate encounter with a wild boar/shifty wine steward, Mark Addy has found steady work as Hercules in Atlantis for BBC One and BBC America.
Sean Bean (Eddard Stark)
The hand of the King lost his head in what may have been the first real gut punch of many delivered by Game of Thrones producers to those of us who weren’t hardened to the realities of George R. R. Martin’s world by his books. Bean continued to court TV work after exiting the realm, striking out with Missing before finding some stability with TNT’s Legend, which will launch its second season in the summer. On the big screen, Bean co-starred in Jupiter Ascending and can next be seen in Ridley Scott’s The Martian and beside Adam Sandler in Pixels.