Harry Potter and Game of Thrones are both fantasy franchises, but that’s about where the similarities end. Harry Potter is mainly geared towards kids and young adults, while Game of Thrones is a straight-out gorefest some of the time. A crossover between the two seems like the most unlikely thing in the world – but small crossovers have already happened! Several actors have appeared in both franchises, and in doing so they’ve brought the Wizarding World and the land of Westeros just that little bit closer together…
10. Michelle Fairley
For a while, Michelle Fairley’s Catelyn Stark was one of the strongest characters in Game of Thrones. As a devoted mother, a political powerhouse and a flawed human being, Fairley’s performance was universally praised. But, alas, neither character nor actor got to stick around as, come the Red Wedding, Catelyn was done for.
Luckily, Fairley’s character in Harry Potter had a kinder fate. In Deathly Hallows Part 1, the actress portrays Hermione’s mother, whose mind is wiped by her daughter to prevent her from the coming danger. Fairley has played a number of moms during her career – and she’ll be playing one again in 2019’s The Feed, alongside fellow Potter actor David Thewlis.
9. Julian Glover
Julian Glover has a very familiar face. You may recognize him from The Empire Strikes Back, Indiana Jones, For Your Eyes Only, or any number of popular franchises. And of course Game of Thrones fans know him as Pycelle, the craven and cowardly Grand Maester who eventually meets a grisly end.
But you don’t see Glover’s face in Harry Potter – it’s hidden behind a giant spider. For Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Glover provided the voice of the monstrous eight-legged Aragog. Ironically, Glover is actually so scared of spiders he could never bring himself to watch his scenes!
8. Freddie Stroma
Freddie Stroma had a small role in Game of Thrones as Dickon Tarly, Samwell Tarly’s pretty-boy brother. However, although Dickon became a returning character, Storma couldn’t continue to play him into 2017, as he had to go film the show Time After Time.
Stroma has played another small-but-memorable role – that of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’s Cormac McLaggen, the smirking Quidditch jock who utterly fails to win Hermione’s affection. At the time, audiences ignored his character’s bad behavior and swooned over his good looks. And nothing’s changed in that department…
7. Nicholas Blane
Nicholas Blane’s Spice King (the character never reveals his real name) pops up a few times during the second season of Game of Thrones. British audiences may have had a few “Hey! It’s that guy” moments then, as Blane has appeared in numerous British TV shows and soap operas.
Those same audiences might have had a “Hey! It’s that guy” moment in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix too. Blane showed up in the Ministry of Magic scene playing an employee simply named “Bob.” But Bob was pretty memorable for a one-line character – he was holding a box with mysterious fire coming out of it.
6. Ralph Ineson
Ralph Ineson has carved out a niche for himself acting-wise… he often plays a bullying, vicious type. Game of Thrones was no exception, as he played the nasty and violent (and, of course, doomed to die horribly) Dagmer Cleftjaw throughout the second season. At least audiences didn’t actually have to see him be flayed alive…
Meanwhile, Ineson’s character in Harry Potter bore no small resemblance to Dagmer Cleftjaw. He played Amycus Carrow, a gruesomely cruel Death Eater known for torturing Hogwarts students. Sadly, this time scenes the audience did want to see ended up being cut: Carrow has a larger and more memorable presence in the book.
5. Ian Whyte
The giant Wun Wun is one (wun?) of Game of Thrones’ most memorable characters, but his actor spends most of his time with his face buried under prosthetics. That actor is Ian Whyte, who’s 7’1 tall. The Thrones producers took gleeful advantage of his impressive height: after Wun Wun was killed off, Whyte returned as a different, undead giant.
Whyte was even more unrecognizable in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. He was the body double for the giantess Madame Maxime, played by Frances de la Tour. “The reason Frances needed a body double for long shots was that Madame Maxine is eight feet tall – my territory,” Whyte said in a 2005 interview.
4. Ciarán Hinds
Ciarán Hinds is another actor who was granted a spectacular Game of Thrones death scene. His character, Mance Rayder, was burnt alive at the stake. His advice for acting out such a thing? “Make sure they’ve doused you in nonflammable liquid,” he told Esquire in 2015.
Luckily, his character in Harry Potter survived, and no burning-alive acting was needed. Hands played Aberforth Dumbledore, the brother of the famous Hogwarts headmaster, in Deathly Hallows Part 2. Though his role was a pretty small one, he told Movieweb in 2010 that he was “thrilled to be a part of it.”
3. David Bradley
Game of Thrones is full of horrible, slimy, backstabbing villains, but David Bradley played arguably the worst one of all. He portrayed Walder Frey, the man responsible for the gruesome Red Wedding. And afterwards, Bradley would have fans sob at him in the street. “I should have known better, having been in Harry Potter, how into this the fans get,” he told Vulture in 2014.
Yep, Harry Potter fans know Bradley as the mean old Hogwarts caretaker, Argus Filch. It was an incredibly memorable role for him, and fans love to hear Bradley recreate his meanest Filch lines on them. “I usually oblige. Why not?” Bradley told Vulture. “I appreciate the fact that they watch the stuff. Without them, I wouldn’t be working!”
2. Natalia Tena
Natalia Tena’s good looks were toned down for her role as Osha in Game of Thrones. She had her hair backcombed to make it look wild, she was splattered in dirt, and she was given an unflattering raggedy outfit – but it paid off. Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin was so impressed by her performance he promised to give Osha a bigger role in the books.
Tena’s role as Nymphadora Tonks in Harry Potter was closer to how she is in real life – Tonks can change her hair colour by magic, but Tena likes to dye hers. Alas, though, Tonks and her awesome hair were a casualty of the Battle of Hogwarts, and the young witch died alongside her husband Remus Lupin. It’s not just Game of Thrones that likes to kill characters off…
1. Jim Broadbent
When Jim Broadbent was cast as Archmaester Ebrose in the seventh season of Thrones, it seemed the writers couldn’t resist hiding a Harry Potter Easter egg in there. In the premiere episode, Ebrose makes a reference to the “restricted” section of a library – something that has plenty to do with his Potter character Professor Slughorn.
In Harry Potter, Slughorn is haunted by the time he was teacher to Lord Voldemort, aka Tom Riddle. He helped Riddle find information about the dark magic Horcruxes – information that could only be found in the Restricted Section of Hogwarts library. Perhaps it was a coincidence that that same phrase appeared in Game of Thrones – but surely not!