Game of Thrones, HBO’s sprawling fantasy series, is often described as “cinematic” in its use of exotic locations, its well-choreographed action, and its very talented cast. It makes sense, then, that the show’s most recognizable stars are now getting very close attention from Hollywood’s top studios. Even those who entered Game of Thrones with busy careers have seen their dance cards grow yet more full as the show gained popularity, while those who had done relatively little beforehand have experienced a rapid rise to the top of the game of moviemaking.
Here are the six stars who’ve gotten the most career lift from their adventures in Westeros.
Daenerys is perhaps the show’s signature character, cut off from the crowded main action in Westeros and thus better able to own each and every one of her scenes. She’s going to bring her charisma and surprising power to bear upon the Terminator universe as iconic heroine Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys, due out July 1. But Clarke will also show off her more emotive side in Me Before You, an adaptation of Jojo Moyes’s romantic novel currently in development.
One of Game of Thrones’s most eye-catching supporting characters, Margaery Tyrell approaches the world with a keen sense of strategy. The actress who plays her is as sophisticated when it comes to climbing to the top of Hollywood’s heap: She got attention for her drastic haircut for the the third installment of The Hunger Games franchise, and will return as propaganda videographer Cressida in this fall’s concluding film. She’s also signed on for the promising zombie flick Patient Zero, from Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky, whose The Counterfeiters won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Dormer has a nose for great collaborators: Recent projects of hers have included Ridley Scott’s The Counselor and Ron Howard’s Rush.
Headey’s pre-Game of Thrones résumé was impressive: Like Clarke, she played Skynet’s adversary (in Fox’s TV series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), and had been the female lead in 300. But Headey’s role in the long-gestating Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, in which she’ll be joined by TV dad Charles Dance, might be the project to push her to a new level of fan adulation.
Like Headey, Dinklage had a long career before he joined George R. R. Martin’s universe. But the recognition he’s obtained for his performance as Tyrion Lannister surely helped drive fans to see his villainous turn in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. He presently has six projects in various stages of development, including this year’s Adam Sandler would-be summer smash Pixels and the animated adaptation of the game Angry Birds.
Like her TV husband Tyrion, the actress who plays Sansa Stark is joining the X-Men cinematic universe; she’ll be playing the young Jean Grey in 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse. She’s also been announced as the titular Frankenstein novelist in the gothic drama Mary Shelley’s Monster.
Standing over six feet tall, Christie has attracted much praise since she entered the Game of Thrones fray as the fearsome Brienne of Tarth. Her next moves are as likely to garner attention, and as action-packed: She’s to appear as a rebellion leader in the final Hunger Games film, and as an unspecified character in the newest installment of Star Wars. Both are due out this holiday season.