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.