GOT is one of the most popular shows in the world for its content, storyline, ground-breaking cinematography, and of course, acting. Audiences have come to know and love the actors, yet only really know them as the character they play. We thought we’d show you what they look like in real life, along with some fun facts about them, their characters, and what it takes to be a part of Game of Thrones.
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
Looking a bit more put-together in real life, without his battle
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)
When she’s not playing Arya Stark, who slits throats and knocks people off her kill list on Game of Thrones, it looks as if Maisie Williams can be seen wearing pink dresses, jewellery, and a big smile, unlike her rather dark character. Who would have thought that a girl who pulled off playing a little boy for an extended period of time could clean up so well?
Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)
Also, in his picture in real life, it’s nice to see him crack a smile — which isn’t something that happens all that often in the series. It has to be a relief to switch from
Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)
The character she plays is interesting enough, but there are some pretty unique facts about the actress too. Prior to acting, Gwendoline was a semi-professional gymnast and considered becoming a nun. She also doesn’t know how old she is!
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
It’s always interesting to see these characters with real makeup on their face instead of makeup that is supposed to make them look as gaunt and miserable as possible on the show. Turner seems to be doing alright for herself considering that the Lady of Winterfell just recently got engaged to Joe Jonas.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Clarke also goes through numerous costume changes as Daenerys slowly rises to power throughout the series. Even though she rides a mechanical bull-like mechanism in front of a green screen during her dragon riding scenes, it feels as though she really has a special connection with them.
Jon Snow (Kit Harrington)
Potentially the actor with the least transformation to play their character on the show, Kit Harrington has become a heartthrob worldwide. He’s always been an attractive lad, but his heroic deeds and strong character as Jon Snow have brought him global attention by all, Game of Thrones fans or not.
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)
It’s a pleasant reminder that these actors and actresses are actually real people and haven’t suffered the atrocities of their characters. Believe it or not, Allen’s sister is the famous singer-songwriter Lily Allen whose hit song “Alfie” is about him being a lazy, pothead little brother.
Lord Varys (Conleth Hill)
Who would have ever thought we would see the day when the Master of Whisperers and eunuch Lord Vanys has hair! Conleth Hill is another Game of
The Night King (Vladimir Furdik)
He plays the ultimate threat in the Game of Thrones universe and does a great job at it. Surely, his character has given countless people nightmares even though the Night King doesn’t have one word of dialogue in the whole show!
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright)
Clearly, in real life, Isaac Hempstead Wright looks much more like your average teenager than Bran Stark does on Game of Thrones. We all know that must be downright miserable for Wright to wear his hair all matted down to his face like that. Oh, it also must not be the most enjoyable thing to be constantly dragged around in the snow or sitting in a medieval style wheelchair in every scene he is in.
Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham)
Davos Seaworth is one of the noblest and wisest characters
Other than that, he looks exactly the same as his character on the show. His beard is the exact same length and color as well as his hair. So it must not be too much effort for Cunningham to get ready for individual scenes, but that armor has to be heavy.
Thrones Fact: Liam Cunningham is left-handed, so the fingers chopped off by Stannis were taken from his right hand in the tv series.
The Hound (Rory McCann)
From first glance, it’s obvious that the makeup team on Game of Thrones had to put in some serious work on Rory McCann’s face every day of shooting. They did a really good job of making him look as ugly as possible, and you’d never guess what he looks like in real life.
His half-burned prosthetic face takes two hours to put on and a half an hour to get off. McCann noted that the prosthetic would fill up with sweat and would leak every time that he smiled. He’s one of the main characters in the show that actually had to consistently wear such a detailed prosthetic since day one of shooting.
Thrones Fact: Originally, Rory McCann didn’t see the Season 7 finale for quite some time because he doesn’t own a TV and spends most of his time on a boat.
Bronn (Jerome Flynn)
By the looks of his clothes and the smile on his face, Jerome Flynn has a much better attitude than Bronn, the character that he plays on the show. Although the hair is the same, there’s clearly some makeup that goes into making him look older, more sinister, and worn out.
Without all of this makeup, he actually looks like a real person who hasn’t been fighting and killing people since he was a young boy. He also looks a lot more innocent without his broadsword at his side or the knife he also keeps secretly behind his back.
Thrones Fact: Jerome used to date Lena Headey, who plays Cersei.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Heady)
It is no secret that Lena Heady was riding the wave of a very successful acting career years before Game of Thrones even aired. Yet now, she plays one of the most resented people on television. For the character of Cersei, they didn’t need to do much to amplify Heady’s beauty except giver her exceptionally bright Lannister-colored hair.
However, that staple look of her character was eventually cut off after her walk of atonement in the show (and it was cut in real life, too). These days, she’s rocking the short-hair look like nobody’s business. Heady also has to be sure to cover up the various tattoos she has on her back.
Thrones fact: Lena has never been a part of any of the sex scenes on the show and uses a body double. Surprising, considering how many of them her character has!
Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson)
Jacob Anderson plays Grey Worm, the elite fighter and leader of Daenerys’ Unsullied Army. In the novels as well as the show, Grey Worm was castrated when he was a slave during childhood, so in the show they make him appear to have very boyish features for his age.
They do this by keeping him totally clean-shaven except for his head during filming. He also had to keep his body in tip-top shape considering that he wears the most revealing armor in the entire show, with his arms exposed at all times.
Thrones Fact: Anderson has become fed up with people continuously asking him in interviews if he’s actually been castrated
Gilly (Hannah Murray)
In the television series, we see Gilly as a rather distressed new mother still recovering from her previous life north of the wall. She is usually dressed in her old and dirty brown robes that she’s probably worn for the majority of her life, with tangled hair and no makeup.
But have no fear, actress Hannah Murray looks far from the character that she portrays on the show. She clearly has not lived a life of abuse, doesn’t have the stresses of being a new mother, and has the time to keep up with her personal hygiene. It’s probably more time and work to make her look bad than good!
Thrones Fact: She uses multiple babies for all the scenes she is in with baby Sam.
Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West)
Out of costume, it is clear that John Bradley-West has much more confidence than his character of Samwell Tarly in Game of Thrones. Although he’s still wearing black as he does in every scene he’s in on the show, the pea coat is much more fitting. It appears that they need to add extra padding to the interior of his costume in order to make him seem a bit thicker in the belly for the show.
They do this because in both the books and the show, a fundamental aspect of his character is being a bit more overweight than all of the other characters he surrounds himself with.
Thrones Fact: While the rest of the cast was at the Emmys, John was filming his dry-heaving bedpan montage in season 7.
High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce)
In the television series, Jonathan Pryce plays the pious, yet not so innocent, High Sparrow. He is so dedicated to his faith and being “a man of the people” that he does not bathe, change clothes, wear shoes, or take care of any personal hygiene at all. Out of costume, Pryce looks like a respectable human being in comparison to his character’s homeless appearance, as though he grew up on the streets in Flea Bottom.
Although not much can be done about his hair, it’s amazing what a shower and a change of clothes can do for an actor. One of the few makeup transformations appears to be the application of even thicker eyebrows to really emphasize his rather evil facial expressions.
Thrones Fact: Long before Season 5, the creators offered him a position on the show but the mysticism of it all was unappealing to Pryce.
Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa)
Let’s be honest, Jason Momoa was a perfect fit to play the character of Khal Drogo. Even without the tribal tattoos, braided beard, and dark makeup he still has a king-of-the-wild-tribe vibe going on. Still, outside of the costume it’s obvious that Momoa can clean up well. No one expected the Khal to look so good in a pink velvet suit.
HBO/Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Thanks to his unique appearance, Momoa has been able to land a ton of similar roles. He portrayed the character of Conan the Barbarian and in 2014 took on the role of DC’s Aquaman.
Thrones Fact: Momoa landed the role of Khal Drogo by performing a Haka, which is a traditional Maori dance used to challenge an opponent.
Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)
When he’s not dressed in the heavy armor as Jorah Mormont, Iain Glen looks…well he looks pretty much the same. The big difference is that out of character he looks a lot more stress-free. Trying to simultaneously protect and spy on Daenerys is not an easy job and takes a lot out of you.
HBO/Rune Hellestad/Corbis/Getty Images
Now that’s he’s contracted Greyscale though, season eight will show a very different Jorah. It will probably be fun for Glen to actually look like a brand new, unrecognizable character.
Hodor (Kristian Nairn)
I think we can all agree that no one expected Hodor to serve up punk rock hipster vibes in real life. That’s because in real life, he’s a DJ. While he’s gone on to act in other film and television shows, playing the friendly giant was Nairn first acting role ever.
Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson)
Without the crown, evil smirk, and overall sadistic mannerisms Jack Gleeson looks like any other teenager out there. Joffrey Baratheon was one of the most hated characters because he was such an evil, spoiled brat of a king. It might be hard to separate the character from the actor but all of Gleeson’s co-stars insist he’s one of the nicest people on the set.
HBO/Gary Gershoff/WireImage/Getty Images
Don’t expect to see Gleeson take on any other evil characters in the future though. After his time on GoT ended, he retired from acting and now runs a touring theatre company.
Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju)
The leader of the Wildlings certainly has a wild look to him, and the actor who portrays him keeps up that image in real life. Of course, Kristofer Hivju knows how to clean up when he needs to on the red carpet. We can only assume that they didn’t have ponytails back in Westeros.