Recently, in the constant search for new content that is also somehow not TOO new, I watched The Murders at White House Farm on HBO and found an engaging drama, although overall I agreed with Dustin that it dragged the point out longer than necessary. One of the things it did offer was a chance to see an awful lot of actors from Game of Thrones. This isn’t a huge surprise, Game of Thrones employed an incredible number of actors over the years, most of them British, and it’s natural to see them pop up in other things. While I have a very long list of frustrations with how Game of Thrones ended, I have a lot of goodwill for basically everyone in that cast. Here’s who I picked out:
Mark Addy, formerly Robert Baratheon, as DS Stan Jones
Mark Addy was only on Game of Thrones for a grand total of seven episodes in the first season but he left a huge impression. He did an excellent job portraying a former warrior gone to seed, a man of action grown frustrated and sulky by his current life of inactive diplomacy, a natural-born charmer struggling with the loss of his shine. He was not a good king and clearly did not want to be, but Addy gave him enough depth that you understood why he would have made a good leader in battle and what a mistake it was to hand him a kingdom. As DS Stan Jones, Addy occasionally displayed a similar resignation at a life that somehow went awry, but still had the energy and courage to seize his moment when it came.
Gemma Whelan, formerly Yara Greyjoy, as Ann Eaton
Gemma Whelan was in a total of 16 episodes of Game of Thrones as Yara Greyjoy, Theon’s better-loved and more accomplished sister. Yara was a fierce pirate and warrior with her own ambitions, a zest for life, and a taste for the ladies equal to and frequently greater than many of her male counterparts. By contrast, Whelan’s work in White House Farm shows off a softer side of her as a woman grieving her family members while trying to seek justice for them. While she brings some steel to confrontations she has with the police officers on the case and with other family members, the character of Ann is not as well-developed as Yara.
Alfie Allen, formerly Theon Greyjoy, as Brett Collins
I could probably write an entire essay about the work Alfie Allen did as Theon Greyjoy. Over the many years of the show his work as Theon may have been the widest range of emotional expression of any of the characters. He was cocky, he was a monster, he was a son struggling to impress his father, he was a captive enduring horrendous torture, he was a broken man, he was a reluctant hero, he was his sister’s second in command, and finally he was a warrior at the end. I’m sure I’m missing a few, but as I said I could so much more about the progression of Theon in Allen’s extremely capable hands. He was the most prominent Game of Thrones cast member to show up in White House Farm, but somehow ended up with the absolute least to do. Brett Collins mostly exists to be a morally shifty friend, and the waste of Allen’s abilities was frustrating to see. Although I suppose he got to put on a Kiwi accent for a bit.
Mark Stanley, formerly Grenn of the Night’s Watch, as Colin Caffell
Mark Stanley featured as Grenn on Game of Thrones for 22 episodes, accompanying Jon Snow through his training in Night’s Watch, beyond the Wall, confronting the army of the dead, and finally had his last stand against a literal giant in the tunnel below the Wall. He was a shield that guarded the realms of men, and he served his bravely. In White House Farm he played Colin Caffell, the ex-husband of Shiela Caffell and father of her twin boys. A grieving father, at first struggling with the idea that his sons may have been murdered by his mother, he goes through a great deal of emotional turmoil through the course of the series as new evidence comes to light and makes him second-guess his initial impressions.
BONUS! Stephen Graham, formerly Tommy with the minerals from Snatch, as DCI Taff Jones
While Stephen Graham never appeared on Game of Thrones (I did double-check, there have been A LOT of people on Game of Thrones) I dearly love Snatch and wouldn’t pass up the chance to mention it here. Tommy with the minerals has come a long way since his days trying to escape the machinations of Bricktop, and is now on the opposite side of the law as pompous and self-sure DCI Taff Jones.
Header Image Source: HBO