HBO's Game of Thrones boasts one of the biggest and most talented casts on television — and when the cameras are rolling in Westeros, there's no place they'd rather be. (Well, except the Night's Watchmen and Wildlings who are permanently stuck shooting in Belfast. They might rather be in the Bahamas.)
But the award-winning HBO fantasy series also doesn't film all year round, which means that many of the show's stars, both current and former, have had to find ways to fill the hours between stints in the Seven Kingdoms. And while most folks in the hard-working cast can be found acting elsewhere during the Game of Thrones off-season, some also prefer to diversify their time with creative side gigs that go beyond Hollywood — into the worlds of advertising, activism, or philanthropy... And sometimes, even into your bedroom. Here are our favorite outside-the-box projects from the show's busiest actors.
Rose Leslie, Scottish noblewoman
It's not exactly a project, per se, but Rose Leslie pulls double duty as both an actress and a de facto representative of one of Scotland's ancestral families; her dad is the chieftain of the Aberdeenshire clan Leslie, and Rose grew up in a castle that's been her family's ancestral home since the 15th century.
Kristofer Hivju, hotel rewards wizard
You know him best as Tormund Gianstbane, but Hivju and his magnificent ginger beard enjoy a delightful side gig as the enthusiastic spokesguy for Wyndham Rewards.
Kristian Nairn, DJ extraordinaire
When he's not holding the door, he's owning the floor! That is, the dance floor. Hodor is an in-demand house DJ who wasted no time leveraging his newfound fame for a special tour called "Rave of Thrones."
Nicolaj Coster-Waldau, United Nations ambassador
When Coster-Waldau isn't lending his chiseled jawline to a screen project, he's an avid supporter of international gender equality as a Goodwill ambassador for the UNDP (swoon), who writes heartfelt op-eds about wanting to create a stable, generous, egalitarian world for his daughters to grow up in (double swoon.)
Kit Harington, car spokesman
Despite his reputation, Jon Snow apparently does know how to a) drive a car and b) recite William Blake's poetry at the same time.
Aidan Gillen, audiobook narrator
Gillen is one of the Game of Thrones regulars who stays pretty busy onscreen in the off season — but the smoothest talker in Westeros can also be found narrating audiobooks on the side. If you've ever wondered what it would sound like for the smarmy, scheming Littlefinger to read The Art of War aloud, you're in luck.
Sophie Turner, activist
Despite carrying the weight of major roles in both Game of Thrones and the new X-Men franchise, Turner spends her spare time working with rape survivors in Rwanda — a project she credits Sansa's suffering as inspiring her to get involved with.
Jerome Flynn, human lullaby
There's no cure for being a... well, y'know. But for insomnia, look no further than Bronn! When he's not hacking men to pieces onscreen, Jerome Flynn lends his voice to mindfully meditative sleep stories. Who would've thought that the most violent mercenary in the Seven Kingdoms was such a softie for a good snooze?