Game of Thrones is known to show the brutal and harsh realities of the world in which it is set, so it’s safe to say that the actors who play these beloved characters do not get a glam squad to make them look picture perfect every day.
Sure, there are certainly characters within this world that are supposed to be attractive. Much has been made of the beauty of Sansa Stark, played by Sophie Turner. Because her character is renowned for her beauty, Turner looks as gorgeous on the screen as she does off. Likewise, Daenerys Targaryen is known for her beauty, and yeah, Emilia Clarke, who was named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive in 2015, is sexy as hell on and off screen.
There’s also the men of Game of Thrones. Jon Snow isn’t just loved by fans because he’s the bastard underdog in this story. He’s also pretty hunky, even when he’s lying on a table dead or when he’s sporting a bloodied face after The Battle of the Bastards.
Besides the very few characters who are known for their looks, most of the characters in Game of Thrones are less than attractive. I mean, they certainly don’t have the luxuries that we have today – like blow dryers, teeth whitening or even advanced plumbing for a nice hot shower. Seeing these unkempt characters on the screen may be misleading to some extent, because they are actually played by very attractive actors.
So, without further ado, below are fifteen hot actors, both men and women, who may appear unattractive on Game of Thrones, but are quite attractive in real life. Also, spoilers below. Beware, friends.
15. Maisie Williams
I’m actually not all that positive if Arya Stark is an attractive character on Game of Thrones or not. She is said to look much like her aunt Lyanna Stark, who was such a great beauty that a rebellion was waged for her. Arya, on the other hand, has not been known for her beauty. This is probably because she never cared for dresses and was always more interested in Needle.
This disregard for all the feminine fineries left Arya pretending to be a boy after her father was beheaded, and she kind of pulled off the whole boy thing pretty well. Since season one, she’s been wandering from one situation into another and it seems she hasn’t showered since she left King’s Landing.
All that aside, Arya is still adorable in her own way because she’s played by Maisie Williams, who couldn’t look ugly if she tried to. She has big, sparkling eyes, defined eyebrows and a kind face. Seeing a photo of Williams is a kind reminder of just how beautiful the actress who plays Arya Stark really is.
14. Meena Rayann
Meena Rayann plays a minor but important character on Game of Thrones. She plays Vala, the prostitute who helped the Sons of the Harpy in their attack in season five. Her character was brought back in season six, when she answered some questions for Lord Varys.
While her character doesn’t seem to be of all that much importance to the show in the grand scheme of things, Rayann is certainly a hottie, even if her character is not. Of course, as a prostitute, her character is attractive to some extent. That is for sure. When playing the character, Rayann appears to be made up to look a bit used and tried – as one would assume a prostitute during this time would definitely look. Rayann, though, is bright and lovely looking in real life. In the side by side photos, it is easy to see how Rayann looks much more lively in real life.
13. Rory McCann
Rory McCann plays The Hound, who is literally nicknamed The Hound because he looks like a dog. The Hound’s face was burned severely by his brother, The Mountain, when he was younger, leaving him to bear awful scars his whole life. These scars have plagued him and left people to either fear him or mock him.
The Hound actually begins the series as a character who most people don’t really get down with. He seems to kill without question when he’s commanded by The Lannisters, and even executed Arya’s friend, the butcher’s boy. Throughout the series, though, audiences have gotten to see that there is much more to The Hound. He’s even become a bit of a crowd favorite.
McCann, who plays The Hound, is really attractive in real life. Without the prosthetics for his scars and the awful wig he has to rock as The Hound, he’s pretty good looking. One would never know just from watching Game of Thrones how well Rory McCann can clean himself up.
12. Gemma Whelan
Yara Greyjoy is the sister of Theon, but she’s not the most feminine character on Game of Thrones. After her brothers were all killed in battle or taken prisoner, her father raised her to be the rightful heir to his rule. This didn’t leave Yara with much time to braid her hair or worry about what dress to wear, and understandably so.
In the show, though, she still gets some attention. When she first meets Theon, he makes a move on Yara, not knowing she was his sister. However, it should be pointed out that at this point in the show, Theon would hit on basically anything. In season six, it was revealed that Yara is a lesbian and she didn’t seem to have trouble attracting attention from the ladies. All that aside though, Yara Greyjoy isn’t exactly a prize.
Gemma Whelan, the actress who plays Yara, is much more attractive in real life. She looks much softer and feminine. Seeing a photo of Whelan in real life makes you realize just how much she must have to scowl in order to play Yara.
11. Faye Marsay
Playing The Waif didn’t give Faye Marsay much time to smile on screen, which is a shame because she has the whole Natalie Dormer smirking thing going on when she smiles. In fact, I think the only time The Waif smiled was when she was beating up poor, blind Arya. Anyone who smiles while beating up an ugly person is not attractive. Ever.
Unlike some of the other characters included on this list, The Waif wasn’t just unattractive but also mostly disliked by the show’s audience. Luckily for the audience, Marsay’s character met her end during season six, when Arya and The Waif had their final showdown. It’s a shame we weren’t able to see a little more of what Marsay could bring to the table looks wise. The Waif may have had a few more fans – well, actually, probably not.
10. Lena Headey
Lena Headey plays Cersei Lannister, who throughout the course of the series has been something of an anti-hero. However, after orchestrating the murder of several characters (I still miss you, Marg!) which resulted in her last son’s suicide, Cersei may have officially crossed over to villain territory. Also, one has to point out that when she torched several characters, she was rocking a really bad hairstyle.
In the first few seasons of the show, Cersei Lannister is beautiful. She is perhaps not really desirable to many men because of two reasons: one, she’s scary as hell and two, she saves all of her sexual energies for her brother, Jamie. In season five, she performed the walk of atonement and in doing so, lost all of her pretty, golden hair. Man, it’s really a shocker to see how much difference a hairstyle can make it someone’s appearance. Since losing her long hair, Cersei has not been nearly as attractive as she once was, though Lena Headey is still just as gorgeous off screen.
9. Amrita Acharia
If you don’t exactly remember Amrita Acharia from her time on Game of Thrones, that’s understandable. She played Irri, a recurring character during seasons one and two. She is given to Daenerys as a handmaiden and goes on to teach her the Dothraki language and traditions. Throughout her time on the show, she’s very loyal to Daenerys and a bit mousey if we’re being honest.
While she isn’t ugly, she is most certainly overlooked. In almost every scene, she shared screen time with Dany, who everyone knows is the sexy Queen of Dragons, and with Doreah, the former prostitute who taught Dany how to have sex. Yeah, I mean with those two, it’s hard to really get the attention you deserve, and Acharia definitely deserved some attention. In the photo above of her in real life, it’s easy to see what a beauty she is.
8. Rose Leslie
Ygritte is an odd case, as I’m not sure if she was supposed to be attractive on the show or not. She had that wildling thing going for herself – you know, looking like she’s never showered once in her life. Besides that, she was still pretty cute for a wildling, and even had Jon Snow falling head over heels for her. Rose Leslie, who played Ygritte, has Kit Harington, the real life Jon Snow, head over heels for her as well. The two started dating when she guest-starred on the show.
I’d say Ygritte’s beauty is up for debate, as she is certainly not one of the least attractive people on the show. She still makes the list though because Rose Leslie is just so damn beautiful in real life. We had no idea that the wildling cleaned up so nice.
7. Iwan Rheon
Iwan Rheon played one of the most hated characters in the history of Game of Thrones – Ramsay Snow. To be one of the most hated characters on a show that featured Joffery requires some muscle, and Ramsay sure had that awful muscle.
The sadistic character liked to torture prisoners, skin them alive and let his dogs finally eat them limb by limb. That’s not to even mention the fact that he abused and raped Sansa Stark, a character who the audience saw grow from being a young girl to being a woman. Ramsay’s treatment of Sansa was something that just didn’t sit right with the audience and, thankfully, she got her revenge in the end.
Ramsay Snow is dead and gone from the world of Game of Thrones, but Iwan Rheon lives on… and he’s kind of hot. I know, guys, I feel weird about it too, but look at that picture! When he’s not doing his whole Ramsay-sneer, he’s pretty cute. Though, even if he didn’t sneer and bug his eyes out of his head in every scene, I still doubt viewers would really find his character attractive because it is Ramsay after all.
6. Diana Rigg
So, this is a bit of a bonus entry, as Olenna Tyrell is not ugly by any means. She’s just, well, older, which is cool. In fact, from the stories Olenna tells, it sounds like she was a dime back in her day. These days, we only see her character covered up head to toe.
Well, Diana Rigg, who plays Olenna, was a dime piece back in her day too. The above photo is of Rigg back in the 1960s. She was a total fox and even looks a bit like Natalie Dormer, who plays her granddaughter. Let this all remind you of a few things. First, Olenna Tyrell is the queen of everything. Do not forget that. Second, your grandmother may have been a smoke show back in her day. Third, no matter how hot you are, you still get old. Everyone gets old.
5. Natalie Dormer
Natalie Dormer played Margaery Tyrell, who is arguably the most talented seductress in Westeros. She convinced three kings to marry her. First, there was Renly Baratheon, who really never stood a chance at taking the throne but it was still a solid move on her part. Second, she snuggled up to Joffery, but was lucky that he was poisoned at their wedding because marrying him would have sucked hard for her. After that, she married Tommen and finally succeeded in becoming the queen.
Unfortunately, she pushed her luck too hard and upset momma lion Cersei, who gave the High Sparrow the authority to imprison Margaery. This is why Marg makes the list because when she’s imprisoned, well, let’s just say girlfriend had seen some better days. After that, Marg never really gets her groove back completely and, unfortunately, meets an early end. That’s what happens when you poke Cersei with a stick. At least, Natalie Dormer is a smoke show forever though.
4. Natalia Tena
Osha is yet another wildling making this list. It’s easy to see why so many wildlings make this list. They are generally pretty unkempt and messy, leading them to look less attractive than their real life counterpart.
Natalia Tena, who played Osha, is no exception. In the show, she looked pretty rough, with her hair and eyebrows all over the place. She did manage to seduce Theon, but, like I said earlier, it wasn’t all that difficult to seduce Theon. He was DTF all day, err day. When Osha tried to seduce Ramsay in order to save Rickon, Ramsay stabbed her. You had to at least give that to Ramsay – he was smarter than Theon. She’s no longer on the show, be we’ll always remember that Osha was actually played by a smokin’ hot actress, even if she didn’t look all that hot on the show.
3. Gwendoline Christie
Who doesn’t love Brienne of Tarth? Even the dudes on the show are warming up to her. I mean, at this point, she may the object of two men’s affections and effectively creating the only real love triangle we’ve seen on Game of Thrones.
Jamie and Brienne have had some weird chemistry ever since she took him back to King’s Landing for Catelyn Stark. In that time, Jamie had his hand chopped off but still managed to save Brienne from being raped and being eaten by a huge bear. Since then, Jamie gifted Brienne a Valyrian steel sword as a gift. Considering that there are very few Valyrian steel swords in the Game of Thrones world, this was a huge gesture. Adding the third element into the love triangle, in season six, Brienne arrived at Castle Black to a Tormund, who seems to be really into her. Can anyone forget all of the wild looks Tormund shot Brienne?
Despite the attention she seems to be getting now, she was tormented in her youth for being so unattractive. In fact, her father invited all of the highborn boys over to their castle so Brienne could find a mate, and it just resulted in all of them mocking her. In real life, Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne, is a knockout. Her legs seem to literally go on forever. Of course, she clocks in at 6’3” so men may be a bit intimidated by a woman of such stature. Either way, it’s hard to deny that she’s indeed a beauty.
2. Aidan Gillen
So, Aidan Gillen still has the same basic face as Petyr Baelish, but he’s certainly more attractive than the slimy Littlefinger. It may be something about the faces Littlefinger makes or his way of delivering lines or perhaps the fact that he owns all of the brothels in Westeros, but there is definitely something very unsexy about him.
Oh, perhaps the least attractive thing about Littlefinger is that he was obsessed with Catelyn Stark and after she died, he just transferred that obsession right down to her daughter. That’s not a thing that normal people do. When Littlefinger leans in to kiss Sansa in the finale of season six and she pushed him away, she was all of us. No one wants to mack on Littlefinger. He’s a creep and he looks like a creep, too. However, without the facial hair and the creepy expression, Aidan Gillen is pretty attractive. Okay, that makes me feel just as weird as thinking Iwan Rheon is hot.
1. Hannah Murray
Samwell Tarly got himself a babe. Of course, on the show she isn’t much of a babe. She joins the ranks of all the other wildlings on this list. Gilly is pretty gross looking on the show, though Sam seems to like her just the way she is. The thing is, of course, there aren’t many women around the men of the Night’s Watch so Sam would probably think Ghost dressed as a woman is hot.
Gilly, though, does get her Cinderella moment. This season, Sam brought her to his parent’s house and apparently Sam is loaded. In a scene straight out of romantic comedies almost everywhere, Gilly emerges wearing a gown and looking like the hottie she is in real life. Seeing Hannah Murray in real life looking like such such a total babe, makes one realize the lengths they must go to in order to make her look like the wildling that Gilly is.