The TV series Game of Thrones is finally coming to an end. Most of us are extremely sad to be watching the final season of the series. You have to admit that Game of Thrones was a great show – enticing and intense. Almost every episode made you gasp in disbelief and many of the characters were fascinating.
Some of the characters were fascinating in a good way – they were kind, courageous and loyal. Other characters were fascinating for different reasons – they were selfish, cold-blooded and calculating. Some of the characters we loved, others we hated. Of course, with some characters we had a change of heart – we hated them at the beginning and grew to love them at the end, or vice versa.
It is always fascinating to see how the different characters changed throughout the series. Some characters underwent incredible changes. A lot of the characters no longer look the same – they grew older and in some cases, they have become more handsome than before.
Below we look at how twenty Game of Thrones characters (and the actors who play them) have changed throughout the series. Some of the changes are impressive!
20 Bran Stark
We first met Bran Stark, played by Isaac Hempstead Wright, in season one of Game of Thrones. Back then Bran was a curious young boy but his innocence wasn’t going to last. In season one he went off exploring and witnessed Cersei and Jaime making love in a decrepit tower. Jaime pushed Bran out of the tower window, causing Bran to become a cripple.
Throughout the series Bran became a bit of a psychic as he started seeing things –“I need to learn to see better. When the long night comes again... I need to be ready”. At the end of the series Bran becomes the three-eyed raven.
19 Cersei Lannister
We were first introduced to Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey, in season one of Game of Thrones. Most of us probably hated her from the very beginning. But Cersei has not had an easy life. She always wanted to be a queen but was extremely disappointed with her husband – the king – Robert Baratheon.
Robert Baratheon did not care for Cersei at all and as a result she found love elsewhere. Of course, this meant that Cersei did not care when Robert died. One might have thought that Cersei was heartless but when her children died she was heartbroken. It was after the death of her children and her “walk of shame” that her appearance changed drastically - Cersei went from a long-haired beauty to a short-haired warrior.
18 Jaime Lannister
Just like other major Game of Thrones characters, we first met Jaime Lannister, played by Nikolaj-Coster-Waldau, in season one. Back then he resembled Prince Charming and was rather arrogant and ruthless – “Ser Jaime Lannister. Knighted and named to the Kingsguard in his sixteenth year. At the Sack of King’s Landing, murdered his King, Aerys the second. Pardoned by Robert Baratheon; thereafter known as the Kingslayer.”
However, over the series Jaime becomes rather rugged looking. His personality changes also – he becomes much kinder and more realistic, unlike his sister Cersei. Of course, his bizarre love for Cersei never ceases, and if anything, becomes stronger.
We first see the former slave Missandei, played by Nathalie Emmanuel, in season three of Game of Thrones. Over the course of the series, Missandei started serving Daenerys. Missandei is a rather serious character but Daenerys did bring her more playful side out in her.
Over the course of the series, Missandei opened up to Grey Worm – “I am from an island called Naath... when did they take me? I was five years old. I remember when they rowed us away from shore. How white the beaches were, how tall the trees. And I remember my village burning, smoke rising into the sky.”
16 Jon Snow
Jon Snow, played by Kit Harington, first appeared in season one of Game of Thrones. For the longest time we all believed that he was the bastard son of Lord Eddard Stark. So it was quite a shock when it was finally revealed to us that he is in actual fact the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen (the brother of Daenerys Targaryen).
Out of all the Game of Thrones characters, Jon Snow has probably changed the least, both in his appearance and his personality. He was always courageous, reckless and kind, and has remained so throughout the series. He hasn’t changed much in his appearance either, although it does appear that he has lost a tiny bit of weight and has become fitter.
15 Tyrion Lannister
Most of us probably hated Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage, when we first met him in season one of Game of Thrones. Tyrion is the younger brother of Cersei and Jamie Lannister. He is also a dwarf. It was Tyrion’s size that drove his father, Lord Tywin Lannister, crazy. Lord Tywin Lannister hated Tyrion.
Back in season one Tyrion loved drinking and making love. He also loved to talk. Over the series, Tyrion has changed quite a lot – he grew apart from his family and became the Hand of Daenerys Targaryen. He also stopped drinking so much. Of course, he has not stopped talking excessively, but it is his wit that we love the most. Over the series, Tyrion has also really grown into his looks and has become much more handsome than he was in season one.
14 Arya Stark
We first saw Aria Stark, played Maisie Williams, in season one of Game of Thrones. Back then she was a real tomboy. Unlike her sister Sansa, she did not care for pretty dresses or other girly things. All she wanted to do was participate in sword fights and shoot arrows.
Throughout the series, Aria did not change very much. In fact, she became even more of a tomboy (if that is possible) and learned how to fight really well. She also became really tough - in season seven she has no qualms about killing those who killed her family “My name is Arya Stark. I want you to know that. The last thing you’re ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.”
13 Daenerys Targaryen
We first met Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke, in season one of Game of Thrones. Back then Daenerys was controlled by her brother Viserys Targaryen, who later sold her to Khal Drogo of the Dothraki.
Daenerys was sexually abused by countless men, including her own brother who fondled her under the pretext of seeing her grow up. Despite being targeted by men many times, Daenerys grew up to be a strong, independent woman determined to sit on the iron throne.
Daenerys has said – “I spent my life in foreign lands. So many men have tried to kill me, I don’t remember all their names. I have been sold like a broodmare. I’ve been chained and betrayed, raped and defiled. Do you know what kept me standing through all those years in exile? Faith. Not in any gods, not in myths and legends. In myself. In Daenerys Targaryen. The world hadn’t seen a dragon in centuries until my children were born. The Dothraki hadn’t crossed the sea, any sea. They did for me. I was born to rule the Seven Kingdoms, and I will.”
12 Samwell Tarly
Samwell Tarly, played by John Bradley-West, first appeared in season one of Game of Thrones. Samwell was a chubby young man who is terrible at fighting. At the start of the series he is a steward in the Night’s Watch. It is there that he met Jon Snow and became his best friend.
Throughout the series Samwell, better known as Sam, doesn’t change much in appearance although he does look much more mature in season seven than he did in season one.
However, Samwell’s personality changes quite a lot in that he becomes much less cowardly. In fact, after he saves Gilly from the dead walker’s, Gilly says about Sam – “I saw it with my own eyes on our way down to Castle Black. He drove a dagger into the walker’s heart. He risked his own life to save mine more than once. He’s a greater warrior than either of you will ever be.”
11 Sansa Stark
We first met Sansa Stark, played by Sophie Turner, in season one of Game of Thrones. Back then, Sansa was a spoiled little girl and wanted nothing more than pretty dresses, admiration and to be married to the future King, Joffrey Baratheon.
Of course, life turned out to be far more complicated. Sansa never married Joffrey. Instead, she ended up marrying Tyrion Lannister and then later Ramsay Bolton. Sansa witnessed her father’s beheading and lost almost all of her family. She was raped and tortured by Ramsay.
As a result, in season 7 we see Sansa far more skeptical and mature than before. She is no longer the spoiled little girl she used to be.
10 Podrick Payne
We first saw Podrick Payne, played by Daniel Portman, in season two of Game of Thrones. Back then Podrick was Tyrion’s squire. Even though Podrick appeared harmless, he managed to save Tyrion’s life at the Battle of the Blackwater. Tyrion said of Podrick – “There has never lived a more loyal squire.”
Podrick was also very successful with the ladies and according to the prostitutes he’s been with, the best lover they’ve ever had. Over the course of the series, Podrick, also known as Pod, came to serve Brienne of Tarth, and in consequence, the House of Stark. Podrick’s appearance doesn’t change much but he does mature and gain confidence over the series.
9 Ellaria Sand
The beautiful and exotic Ellaria Sand, played by Indira Varma, first appeared on Game of Thrones in season four. She was the lover of Prince Oberyn Martell. When the latter was killed in a trial by combat, she promised to revenge him and end up killing Cersei’s daughter, Marcella – “Oberyn is dead, and this Lannister girl skips around the Water Gardens, eating our food, breathing our air.”
Throughout the series Ellaria changes quite a lot, especially in her appearance. She has her long, beautiful hair trimmed and towards the end of the series she looks more like a ruthless warrior than a lady.
8 Theon Greyjoy
Theon Greyjoy, played by Alfie Allen, is another Game of Thrones character that most of us hated in season one. Back then Theon was mean and arrogant. He was taken as a ward to Lord Eddard Stark after his father’s failed rebellion. Theon had sworn his loyalty to Rob Stark but eventually betrayed him.
Later on in the series Theon was captured by Ramsay Snow. The latter tortured him and cut off his penis, thus breaking Theon’s spirit and turning him into a weak, pathetic man. The Theon we meet later on in the series is but a shadow of his former self and we can’t help but feel pity for him even if we hated him in season 1.
Peter Baelish, played by Aidan Gillen, is probably best known as Littlefinger. We first saw Littlefinger in season one of Game of Thrones and were probably instantly struck by his sleaziness.
It was obvious from the very beginning that Littlefinger is a cunning, sly man who looks out only for himself – “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love... illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”
Littlefinger is a bit of a creep and he doesn’t become any less creepy as the series progresses. His looks don’t change that much either. In fact , he barely ages throughout the seven seasons.
6 Yara Greyjoy
We don’t meet Yara Greyjoy, played by Gemma Whelan, until season two of Game of Thrones. Yara is Theon’s older sister. She is ruthless, strong and fearless and she doesn’t change much in appearance or personality throughout the series.
When Theon was captured by Ramsay, Yara said – “I’m going to pick the fastest ship in our fleet. I’m going to choose the 50 best killers on the Iron Islands. I’m going to sail up the Narrow Sea all the way to the Weeping Water. I’m going to march on the Dreadport. I’m going to find my little brother and I’m going to bring him home.”
5 Jorah Mormont
Jorah Mormong, played by Iain Glen, was a likeable character from the very beginning. We first met him in season one when he was working as a spy for Varys, sending information to the capital about Targaryen exiles. However, over time he came to admire Daenerys and started serving her earnestly.
Jorah's appearance doesn’t change much over the series although in season 6 he contracted the deadly greyscale disease and left Daenerys in search of a cure. His health deteriorated quickly and it looked like he was going to die. However, he was saved by Samwell Tarly and returned to Daenerys.
4 Brienne Of Tarth
Brienne of Tarth, who is played by Gwendoline Christie, is a highborn lady who, just like Aria Stark, would much rather be a knight. She is a powerful woman who knows how to fight and who has beaten many men in battle – “All my life men like you’ve sneered at me, and all my life I’ve been knocking men like you into the dust.”
Over the course of the series Brienne doesn’t change much, neither in her appearance nor her personality. Brienne is very serious but she does become slightly more open-minded throughout the series.
Brienne is a giant of a woman and it is clear she doesn’t expect to find the love of her life. However, she does charm the wildling Tormund – “I have a beauty waiting for me back at Winterfell, if I ever get back there. Yellow hair, blue eyes, tallest woman you’ve ever seen, almost as tall as you.”
3 Davos Seaworth
We first met Davos Seaworth, played by Liam Cunningham, in season two of Game of Thrones. Davos is also known as the Onion King. He is a knight and a former smuggler. Eventually, Davos came to serve Jon Snow.
Davos is a kind and wise old man and he values life above everything else– “If we don’t put aside our enmities and band together, we will die. And then it doesn’t matter whose skeleton sits on the Iron Throne.”
Neither Davos’ appearance nor personality change much throughout the series, although we do notice him aging slightly. Other than that, he remains exactly the same.
2 Tormund Giantsbane
Tormund Giantsbane, played by Kristofer Hivju, is a wildling leader. We first saw him in season three of Game of Thrones. Back then, most of us didn’t really know what to think of Tormund but over the course of the series most of us we grew to like him very much.
Tormund is fair and courageous warrior – “Plenty of men tried to put their swords through my heart. And there’s plenty of little skeletons buried in the woods.” In the final season of the series, Tormund falls for Brienne of Tarth – “I want to make babies with her. Think of it – great big monsters. They will conquer the world!”
Varys, played by Conleth Hill, is a eunuch. When we first met him in season one of Game of Thrones he was the Master of Whisperers, serving on the King’s Small Council. However, over the course of the series he was forced to flee King’s Landing and came to serve Daenerys.
Just like Littlefinger, Varys is a cunning, wise man – “Power is a curious thing... Three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man. Between them stands a common sellsword. Each great man bids the sellsword kill the other two. Who lives, who dies?... Power resides where men believe it resides; it’s a trick, a shadow on the wall, and a very small man can cast a very large shadow.”