See What Game of Thrones Cast Look Like Off Screen!


Kit Harington as Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen on ‘Game of Thrones.’ Macall B. Polay/HBO


Winter is here! The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is fast approaching and, believe it or not, many of the leading characters who starred on the HBO series from the beginning have made it to the end.

Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister — despite the fate of most of their family members (R.I.P. Ned Stark, Khal Drogo, Tywin Lannister, etc.), you’ll get to see them on the small screen for at least part of the remaining six episodes.

“The last season of Thrones seemed to be designed to break us,” Kit Harington, who’s portrayed Jon Snow since the show’s inception in 2011, told GQ Australia in January 2019. “Everyone was broken at the end. I don’t know if we were crying because we were sad it was ending or if we were crying because it was so f–king tiring. We were sleep deprived.”

Emilia Clarke, who plays Harington’s love interest, Daenerys, also opened up about the show’s conclusion while speaking to Us Weekly and other reporters at HBO’s Emmys afterparty in September 2018: “Everybody has done a lot of crying filming the last season, so we’re all feeling very bittersweet and existential crisis-y, the usual.”

Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, shared a similar sentiment during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the most recent Emmy Awards. “I had my last day on set back in July of [2018] … and it was very sad,” he told reporters during his Emmys acceptance speech for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in September 2018. “This is not only a great TV show to be a part of, but it was an enormous family to be a part of.”

The Game of Thrones season 8 premiere airs on HBO Sunday, April 14, at 9 p.m. ET. Until the time comes when you’ll be forced to start saying your goodbye to the series, scroll down to take a look at what your favorites (from the beginning, as well as those who came later in the “game”) look like — on and off screen.

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Kit Harington

Jon Snow, the bastard brother of the Stark clan, spent all of season 2 in the frigid hinterlands defending The Wall — which means that Harington had to shoot in, well, frigid places … like Iceland! “It’s a big show over there. So all the background artists are keen to be [on it]. They grew their beards for months so they could be part of the Wall crew,” he told Us Weekly at The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ An Evening With Game of Thrones in March 2013. Nowadays, Harington is a newly married man; he tied the knot with former Game of Thrones costar Rose Leslie, who played Wildling Ygritte, in June 2018.

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; Mike Coppola/Getty Images

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Emilia Clarke

On Game of Thrones, Clarke dons a long platinum wig that gives her an otherworldly look, which is perfect since she portrays a queen (a.k.a. Khaleesi) and the Mother of Dragons. When the cameras aren’t rolling on the set of the HBO drama, the actress goes back to her brunette roots.

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

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Peter Dinklage

Dinklage’s character outwits and outsmarts anyone in his path on the hit HBO fantasy. But Tyrion Lannister saves much of his disdain for his royal family — particularly sister Cersei. Off screen, though, according to Entertainment Weekly, Dinklage and Lena Headey, who plays Cersei, share a strong bond that belies their on-screen rivalry.

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

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Lena Headey

As Cersei Lannister, the ruthless queen who is in love with her twin brother, Headey is at once terrifying and terrifyingly relatable. She’s that good. She told Us Weekly in March 2013 that fans generally tell her, “‘You’re a real f–king bitch.’ And I take that as a compliment.”

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

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Sophie Turner

Sansa Stark once had to endure late former fiancé Joffrey’s verbal lashings and the constant threat of violence. Seasons later, she had to face the wrath of now-late husband Ramsay Bolton. Not much fun — but the actress did manage to find joy on the set: For instance, she adopted Zunni, the dog who played her direwolf, Lady. “I want to paint her nails, but my mom said that’s animal cruelty,” she told Us Weekly at the show’s season 3 premiere.

And the star’s real love life is going much more smoothly, as she is currently engaged to Joe Jonas. She even starred alongside him, as well as his brothers Kevin and Nick, and their respective spouses, Danielle and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, in the Jonas Brothers’ “Sucker” music video, which was released in March 2019.

Credit: Helen Sloane/HBO; Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images

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Maisie Williams

As Arya Stark, Williams gives her tomboy character charm, moxie and, as Entertainment Weekly calls it, “a devastating dead stare.” How does she do it? “I’m really good at convincing myself somebody’s killed my dad and sometimes I get myself really annoyed,” she revealed. When she’s not changing faces on the small screen, she still finds herself hanging out with Turner. “Sophie and I are the tightest of friends when sitting across from anyone,” the actress told EW in an interview published in March 2019.

Credit: Helen Sloane/HBO; Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

A person doesn’t get much more messed in the head than Jaime Lannister, the blood-thirsty, incestuous twin brother of Cersei — which is why it’s astonishing that the actor who portrays him so convincingly is actually a well-rounded, balanced, normal dude. The actor is a father of two who enjoys downward dogging with his yoga enthusiast wife and cyclo-cross biking during his downtime.

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

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Isaac Hempstead-Wright

As young Bran Stark, Hempstead-Wright barely cracks a smile. Why would he? He’s paralyzed, more than half of his family is dead, including his parents, and his other siblings are planning to fight in a war. Nowadays, one of the show’s youngest-ever stars is feeling sentimental about the series coming to an end.

“I think it’s difficult with a show as massive … as Game of Thrones to make everybody happy with the ending, but in my opinion, and I think the opinion of everybody on the show, we’ve wrapped up in the most satisfactory way,” Wright explained to Us at Emmys 2018. “It’s bittersweet. There’s lot of layers to the ending.”

Credit: Helen Sloane/HBO; Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images

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Rory McCann

Is he good, is he bad, does the scary scar exist in real life? Sandor Clegane, nicknamed The Hound on the hit series, is known for his brutality in service to the Lannisters. Off screen, though, the Scottish actor sports well-groomed facial hair, shorter hair than his character, and even a nice smile!

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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Gwendoline Christie

Two sentences Christie must hear all the time: “You’re so tall!” and “You’re so much prettier in real life!” The 6-foot-3 actress, who plays the sword-wielding woman warrior Brienne of Tarth, told Digital Spy that her agent had reservations about her taking the unattractive (and stereotypically masculine) role. But Christie herself had no such hesitations. Having been bullied for her height when she was a teen, she hoped the role would “challenge some prejudices.”

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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John Bradley

Bradley plays the intelligent and sensitive member of the Night’s Watch and Jon Snow’s best friend, Samwell Tarly, on the series, but, in real life, he is no cowardly lion. The actor boasts many actings credits, which include TV series Borgia and the big-screen adaptation of Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley.

Credit: Neil Davidson/HBO; Ray Tamarra/GC Images

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Gemma Whelan

She’s a long way from the Iron Islands! Whelan, who plays Princess Asha Yara Greyjoy on the show, typically looks and acts rough and tough as the commander of her own longship. Off screen, Whelan is actually a comedian and actress who’s starred on other series such as Horrible HistoriesThe End of the F***ing WorldUpstart Crow and Gentleman Jack.

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO; Ian Gavan/Getty Images

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Carice van Houten

Van Houten will forever be remembered for this scene: As the mysterious pregnant priestess Melisandre, she lies down on the floor of a cave, completely nude, and proceeds to push out a “baby” of smoke and shadows. It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role, but it turns out that the Dutch actress had to be convinced of the show’s merits. “I called my friend Seth Meyers,” she told The Los Angeles Times. “I asked him, ‘What is this? Is it good?’ He said, ‘Are you crazy? Say yes!’” The actress is currently in the process of filming a mini-series called Temple

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