Here Are All the ‘Game of Thrones’ Actors in ‘3 Body Problem’

Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss brought along some familiar faces

Game of Thrones actors in 3 Body Problem
(Credit: HBO, Netflix)

Netflix’s epic new sci-fi series “3 Body Problem” doesn’t have a lot in common with “Game of Thrones” on the surface. But dig a little deeper and you’ll see they share more than series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who adapt Liu Cixin’s acclaimed trilogy alongside “The Terror” executive producer Alexander Woo.

The two series are both deeply entrenched in politics and power — and how they get in the way of humanity’s ability to deal with a far-off but apocalyptic threat — set in an expansive universe where new cults and faiths spring up in the face of the inexplicable. They both feature a massive international ensemble, are defined by their sprawling genre ambitions and, at one point or another, were considered unadaptable. They also share a handful of actors, both in starring roles and cameo appearances.

So if you’re wondering why you recognize some of those faces, here’s a guide to all the “Game of Thrones” actors in “3 Body Problem.”

John Bradley

A split image of John Bradley as Samwell Tarly in "Game of Thrones" and Jack Rooney in "3 Body Problem"
Samwell Tarly in “Game of Thrones” and Jack Rooney in “3 Body Problem” (Credit: HBO, Netflix)

Undoubtedly the most publicized of the “Game of Thrones” actors in “3 Body Problem,” John Bradley plays Jack Rooney, a loud mouth, ultra-wealthy snacks and soda tycoon who is part of the core friend group dubbed the “Oxford 5.”

In “Game of Thrones,” Bradley played fan-favorite and the rare honest-to-goodness good guy in the series, Samwell Tarly. Bookish and warm, Samwell was Jon Snow’s close friend and right-hand man, who he met in the Night’s Watch, throughout all eight seasons.

At the Hollywood premiere for “3 Body Problem,” Benioff revealed that they got the idea to put Bradley in a snarkier, crasser role after watching the actor flirt with a tourist in a pub.

“He’s nothing like the Samwell that people know from ‘Game of Thrones,’ and we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun someday to work with John and see him play a character kind of closer to the actual John?” the writer said. “Not to say that he is quite as much of a dick as Jack, but he’s just wildly funny and we wanted to see, you know, we wanted to see that.”

Liam Cunningham

A split image of Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth in "Game of Thrones" and Thomas Wade in "3 Body Problem"
Davos Seaworth in “Game of Thrones” and Thomas Wade in “3 Body Problem” (Credit: HBO, Netflix)

Liam Cunningham plays another central character in “3 Body Problem,” intelligence leader Thomas Wade, who’s recruited by world leaders to solve the world’s broken science.

Cunningham played the beloved Davos Seaworth, aka the Onion Knight, who was introduced “Game of Thrones” Season 2. Davos began as Stannis Baratheon’s most loyal knight and ultimately became an essential advisor and supporter of Jon Snow and the Starks.

Weiss spoke about bringing back Cunningham at the “3 Body Problem” premiere, telling the crowd that “Liam is just somebody that we — another one of those people — that we just love being around and his work truly speaks for itself. Just looking at everything, not just what he did on our show, but what he’s done far and wide with many of the greatest directors who’ve ever lived. So we were lucky that he agreed to quit the job that he committed to and come join us instead.”

Jonathan Pryce

A split image of actor Jonathan Pryce in the roles of The High Sparrow in "Game of Thrones" and Mike Evans in "3 Body Problem"
The High Sparrow in “Game of Thrones” and Mike Evans in “3 Body Problem” (Credit: HBO, Netflix)

Jonathan Pryce plays “3 Body Problem” antagonist Mike Evans, an environmentalist turned oil tycoon, who stays tucked away from humanity on his refurbished oil tanker, Judgment Day.

In “Game of Thrones,” Pryce played the much-loathed High Sparrow, the fanatically religious and dangerously clever leader of the Sparrows who established the Faith Militant during young King Tommen’s brief and tragic reign. Introduced in Season 5, he was first recruited by Cersei, who connives to make him the High Septon. Eventually, the High Sparrow turns on her in his piousness and forces her to do the infamous Walk of Atonement (that “shame, shame, shame” scene). A choice he might have come to regret if Cersei gave him the chance.

“If you’re lucky enough to work with Jonathan Pryce once, you live a blessed life in Hollywood,” Benioff said at the “3 Body Problem” premiere. “To get to work with him twice is kind of beyond the pale. So we’re just very fortunate.”

Conleth Hill

Varys in "Game of Thrones" and "Pope Gregory VIII" in "3 Body Problem"
Varys in “Game of Thrones” and Pope Gregory VIII in “3 Body Problem” (Credit: HBO, Netflix)

This is perhaps the most difficult “Game of Thrones” star to spot in “3 Body Problem.” It’s not that Conleth Hill’s cameo is hidden, you’re just probably not used to seeing him with hair. Hill makes an appearance in Episode 3, “Destroyer of Worlds,” as “Pope Gregory VIII” during one of the VR sequences.

Hill’s slippery “Game of Thrones” character Varys was a scene-stealing fan-favorite throughout all eight seasons. The instantly recognizable clean-shaven eunuch was a former slave who became a great spy and tipped the scales of power in Westeros. Initially, he was the Master of Whisperers on Robert Baratheon’s Small Council and a feared, if not always respected, figure in the palace. After he left King’s Landing with Tyrion Lannister, Varys became an essential advisor to Daenerys Targaryen until he fell to her final season bloodlust.

Looks like there’s no bad blood between Benioff and Weiss and the actor, who candidly told The Times he was “inconsolable” when he found out about his character’s fate.

“I thought I’d done something wrong,” Hill said. “Right up until the last two series, I had no complaints at all. I just felt frustrated with the last couple of series because Varys wasn’t the all-knowing character he had been. I think the writers wanted to do one thing to end it and the studio HBO wanted to do another. I felt that last series was a bit rushed.”

Mark Gatiss

Split image of actor Mark Gatiss in the roles of Tycho Nestoris in "Game of Thrones" and "Isaac Newton" in "3 Body Problem"
Tycho Nestoris in “Game of Thrones” and Isaac Newton in “3 Body Problem” (Credit: HBO, Netflix)

Mark Gatiss appears during one of the VR sequences as another “Game of Thrones” cameo in “3 Body Problem.” Gatiss plays a man taking the name of Isaac Newton in the game, who came up with the idea for the human computer seen in Episode 3.

Of the actors on this list, Gatiss had the briefest screen time on “Game of Thrones,” appearing in just four episodes across three seasons. He played Tycho Nestoris, a straight-laced banker at the extremely powerful Iron Bank of Braavos, who acted as a representative for the bank with monarchs and leaders.


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