What Your Favorite Game Of Thrones Cast Members Look Like In Real Life

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8.

Remember the scene in Mean Girls where Janis Ian sees Ms. Norbury in the mall, and says that encountering a teacher outside of school is more unnerving than seeing a dog walk on its hind legs? That’s kind of how we feel when we see a Game of Thrones cast member in the real world. No actor is ever really their character, of course — but after almost 10 years with the ensemble cast who create the fantasy world of Westeros, it’s difficult to separate fiction from reality.


Unfortunately, we really don’t have a choice because the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones came and went. Now, we're forced to bid farewell to the alternate universe we’ve called home for a decade, as well as the characters who occupied it, like Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). So we better get used to their real-life counterparts sooner rather than later, especially because most of the actors behind these iconic roles look nothing like their on-screen characters — and that rude awakening may cut deeper than watching Viserion speared down by the Night King.

Check out what the cast of Game of Thrones looks when they’re not flying on dragons or battling bastards, ahead.

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Robin Arryn

When we first meet Robin, he's a total brat who's way too old to be breastfeeding. It takes the Lord of the Eyrie and head of House Arryn a while to get his shit together even after his weirdo mother, Lysa, plunges through the Moon Door — as we learn in season 6, he can't even hold a sword properly. In short, he had a lot of growing up to do... and grow up, he did.

Lino Facioli

After witnessing Facioli's impressive glow-up during his unexpected reappearance in the show's series finale, we think he's earned the right to graduate from being known as the Weirdo of the Vale.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Cersei Lannister

Leave it to Cersei to turn a bad situation around: Her hair was chopped off in one of the show's most difficult-to-watch moments, but she's flipped the script post-shame walk. As much as we love to hate her, she's one Lannister who never backs down, and the hair growth seen in season eight proves it. Then again, this longer pixie looks a lot more like her late son Joffrey — and that's not a good thing.
Photo: Venturelli/WireImage.

Lena Headey

Luckily, Headey probably went to a professional salon for her ombré highlights and shaggy lob. Even so, we bet Cersei would approve.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys may have spent most of the show going after the Iron Throne — and, by association, Cersei — but she never looked to steal her haircut in the process. For the last eight seasons, the Targaryen heir rocked belly-length platinum waves, often twisted into braids that have everything to do with her late husband Khal Drogo.
Photo: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage.

Emilia Clarke

As serious as Dany is on-screen, Clarke is never without a cheeky smile on the red carpet. Although she once tried to copy her character's icy-white hair color, she's since gone back to her dark roots with a brunette bob.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Arya Stark

Armed with the belief that she is the master of her own fate, Arya shreds the status quo of what it means to be a girl in GoT world. After posing as a boy for most of the series, she's finally landed on a look that truly suits her — and one that's eerily similar to her late father Eddard "Ned" Stark.
Photo: Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images.

Maisie Williams

While both women are determined and steadfast, Maisie does it with longer, freshly dyed hair. Two years ago, she switched to a badass midnight-blue shade, complete with black roots and slightly icier ends. Now, she's toggling between a deep lilac and blush pink.

Williams only recently revealed that the drastic transformation was for a reason much deeper than a fun change. "I dyed it because I didn’t want to work,” Williams told Rolling Stone. “It’s a pretty good way of stopping that. And it just feels so good, so me. I’ve battled my whole adolescence with trying to put a stamp on my appearance, but also be a blank canvas as an actor.” Why the pink? It's simply her favorite color.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Jon Snow

Jon has gone through an impressive hair evolution over the last decade — from season one's fake beard to a full-grown man bun. And for the last season, it seems Jon and Arya are perfectly aligned on that Ned Stark hair inspo.
Photo: Marc Piasecki/WireImage.

Kit Harington

For a long time, Harington basically was Jon Snow IRL — even he's admitted it's hard to separate the two. However, he's since chopped off that curly bob for a textured crop and shorter beard. Ditching Jon's recognizable look after the finale was his plan all along.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Tyrion Lannister

In a show filled with violence and gore, Tyrion is our glimmer of comedic relief. We know everyone says his brother Jaime Lannister is the realm's sexiest bachelor, but we'll argue that Tyrion beats him — though perhaps not in a duel.
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.

Peter Dinklage

If you've ever wondered why Tyrion's hair gets darker and darker as the seasons go on, you might be able to blame it on the fact that Dinklage is a natural brunette.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Sansa Stark

Sansa has been through it. After marrying Ramsay Bolton, we'd look as severe as she does in season eight, too. Still, her stoic stare isn't what you should be paying attention to — it's her hair. The real question we need answered: Is Sansa's half-up hairstyle inspired by her late mother Catelyn Stark or Cersei? (Let's hope it's not the latter.)
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/WireImage.

Sophie Turner

Although Turner had to dye her hair red to play Sansa for most of the seasons, she's finally back to her natural blonde. For the sake of her hair health, she plans on keeping it, too.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Robb Stark

Though he's gone, we still haven't forgotten what it was like for Robb to grace our screens. After all, he was our northern King, even if only for a little while. He — and those curls — were good, but perhaps too good for Westeros.
Photo: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage.

Richard Madden

These days, Robb Richard is our bodyguard — not our king. Even so, we'd definitely pledge allegiance to his silver-fox hair.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.


Even as Daenerys' trusted advisor, Missandei and her coiled bob are the most underrated part of GoT.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Nathalie Emmanuel

Missandei may not have any piercings on the show, but we think the Dragon Queen's right hand would approve of Emmanuel's nose ring IRL.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.


High Priestess Melisandre's real age was eventually revealed in season six — and it made her flaming red hair, porcelain skin, and rosy complexion even more striking once we knew it was all an illusion.
Photo: Gary Gershoff/Getty Images.

Carice van Houten

Not unlike her character, van Houten often opts for a mahogany hair color and soft waves. However, this is a much chicer look for 2019 than, well, looking like a Red Witch.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.

Lord Varys

How Lord Varys has a network of informants spread across Westeros, we'll probably never now. But no matter who's whispering in his ear, you'll never catch "The Spider" with one single hair on his head or his hands outside of that muff (seriously, do we ever see his hands?).
Photo: Mike Coppola/FilmMagic.

Conleth Hill

Varys is bald and vaguely menacing; Hill, and his thick head of hair, is anything but.
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