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Gemma Elizabeth Whelan (born 23 April 1981) is an English actor and comedian, best known for playing Yara Greyjoy in the HBO fantasy-drama series Game of Thrones.[2]

Gemma Whelan
Gemma Whelan (cropped).jpg
Whelan at Antwerp Convention 2014
Gemma Elizabeth Whelan

(1981-04-23) 23 April 1981 (age 38)
Leeds, England
OccupationActor, comedian
Years active2005–present
Height5 ft 6 in (168 cm)[1]


Personal lifeEdit

Whelan attended The King's High School for Girls in Warwick.[3] In addition to being an actor and comedian, Whelan is also a professional dancer specialising in the tap and jazz dance styles. She is a member of the dance troupe the Beaux Belles, based in London.[4] She is also trained in musical theatre and has a mezzo-soprano singing voice. Whelan can speak conversational Spanish.[5] She lives in London. In July 2017, she was expecting her first child with husband Gerry.[6] She gave birth to their daughter a few months later.[7][8]

Whelan is vegetarian but had eaten meat on the sets of Game of Thrones.[9]


Gemma Whelan at EOTR 2013 in Tollard Royal, United Kingdom

As a comedian, Whelan won the Funny Women Variety Award for stand-up comedy in 2010.[10] She often performs stand-up in character as Chastity Butterworth and in 2014 she recorded a pilot chat show for BBC Radio 4 called The Chastity Butterworth Show.

On screen, she has played supporting roles in several films and TV shows, including in the 2010 films Gulliver's Travels and The Wolfman.[11][1] She has had roles in comedies including Upstart Crow, Uncle and The Agency.

In August 2011, she was cast as Yara Greyjoy in the HBO fantasy-drama television series Game of Thrones, and appeared as a recurring cast member from the second season onward.[12] Whelan appears as Marian Lister on Gentleman Jack.



Year Title Role Notes
2006 Madness of the Dance Sister Grace Short film
2007 Frites Marie-Anne Short film
2008 Shortbread and Tea Mildred
2009 Ding Dong Dr. Pretty Short film
2010 The Wolfman Gwen's Maid
2010 Gulliver's Travels Lilliputian Rose
2016 Prevenge Len
TBA Emma Mrs. Weston Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2006 The Enforcers Holly
2009 10 Minute Tales Pretty Nurse 1 episode
2010 The Persuasionists Josephine 2 episodes
2011 Threesome Wendy 1 episode
2011 Living Doll Moaning Mona
2011 For the Win Various Pilot
2012 Ruddy Hell! It's Harry & Paul Daughter 1 episode
2012 Cardinal Burns Claire
2012–14, 2016–19 Game of Thrones Yara Greyjoy Recurring, 16 episodes
2013 The Day They Came to Suck Out Our Brains! Unknown Miniseries, 1 episode
2013 Nick Helm's Heavy Entertainment Various
2013 Claudia O'Doherty Comedy Blaps Sarah Miniseries, 3 episodes
2014 Live at the Electric Chastity Butterworth 3 episodes
2014 Siblings Ruth
2014 Badults Juliet Series 2, 1 episode: "Neighbours"
2014 Mapp and Lucia Quaint Irene Coles
2014–present Almost Royal Narrator
2015 Uncle Veronica 2 episodes
2015 Not Safe for Work Davina 1 episode
2015 Murder in Successville Nurse Adele Series 1, 1 episode
2016–present Upstart Crow Kate Series regular
2016–2017 Hetty Feather Ida Battersea
2016–present Horrible Histories[13] Various
2016 Morgana Robinson's The Agency Kat Cassidy 4 episodes
2017 Decline and Fall Diane Fagan 2 episodes
2017 The Moorside Karen Matthews Two-part drama
2017 The Crown Patricia Campbell 1 episode
2017 Queers Bobby
2017 The End of the F***ing World Eunice
2017 Eat Your Heart with Nick Helm Herself 1 episode
2019 Gentleman Jack Marian Lister
2019 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Solaria Butterfly (voice) 1 episode[14]


Year Title Role Notes
2005 Newsrevue Various Edinburgh Festival
2006 Shakespeare for Breakfast Petruchio C Venues
Celebrity Love Panto Island Various Canal Cafe Theatre
2008 Red Death Lates Unknown Gideon Reeling
Improvathon Bunny Valentine The Sticking Place
2009 Infinite Variety Various Whoopee Productions New Players Theatre
2010 Stephen & the Sexy Partridge Chanel Trafalgar Studios
2013 One Man, Two Guvnors Rachel Crabbe Royal National Theatre
Dark Vanilla Jungle Andrea Supporting Wall & Pleasance Theatre
Chastity Butterworth & the Spanish Hamster Chastity Butterworth Pajama Men Productions
2014 Dark Vanilla Jungle Andrea Supporting Wall
2015 Radiant Vermin Jill and others

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2014 Dragon Age: Inquisition Threnn/Maryden/Winterwatch Tower Cultist/Redcliffe Soldier/Redcliffe Villager/Emerald Graves Civilian (voices)
2015 Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Igeyorhm (voice)
2017 Mass Effect: Andromeda Zevin Raeka (voice)
TBA Squadron 42 Becca Farneway voice and motion capture

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2010 Funny Women Awards Best Variety Herself Won
2016 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Game of Thrones Nominated
2017 WFTV Awards The MAC Best Performance Herself Won [15]


  1. ^ a b "Spotlight: Gemma Whelan". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  2. ^ "The Spotlight on ... Gemma Whelan". Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  3. ^ "From King's High to Hollywood". Independent Education. 31 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  4. ^ "The Beaux Belles". Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Gemma Whelan female voiceover artist". Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  6. ^ Aftab, Kaleem (6 July 2017). "Game of Thrones season 7's Gemma Whelan interview: 'I don't mind playing a little part in a big series, but to become a main character is great'". The Independent. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Gemma Whelan on Instagram: "👂🏻❤️😊"". Instagram. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  8. ^ "Gemma Whelan: 'I'm out pushing my buggy around and I truly look like a bag lady... but it's fine'". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Game of Thrones' Gemma Whelan: To become a main character is great". The Independent. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Funny Women Award Winners". Archived from the original on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Gemma Whelan". PBJ and JBJ Management. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Game of Thrones' Gemma Whelan on Yara's Sexuality and Freezing on Set". 6 July 2016. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  13. ^ "HorribleHistories TV on Twitter". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  14. ^ Swift, Andy (7 February 2019). "Disney's Star vs. the Forces of Evil Ending With Season 4". TVLine.
  15. ^ "Meet the 2017 Women in Film and Television Award Winners". WFTV. 2 December 2017. Retrieved 17 May 2018.

External linksEdit