Game of Thrones is moving into it’s seventh season and fans of the show still can’t get enough. George R. R. Martin and HBO have introduced us all to a world of brutality, treachery, power struggles, poisonous love and of course, dragons. With an estimated fan following of 25 million worldwide, it’s considered one of the most successful shows of all time.
Josué Cardona, founder of Geek Therapy online, explains, “The show is super complex, with so many characters and story lines, and it has what I consider some of the best world-building ever done in a TV show. It’s more engaging than most shows on TV.” Which is one reason we love the show but if we’re going to be really honest – the cast members are super hot too.
There’s nothing better than kicking back with the popcorn, putting on the Game of Thrones box set and waiting for the character you most crush on to appear on screen (and hopefully not meet their end early on). Most of the show’s stars have been committed to filming for more than seven years now, so it’s no wonder they like to get a break every now and again. Here are the hottest cast members – sunning it up – without the heavy amour and furs.
15. Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa)
As well as breaking hearts as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones (warrior, leader and all-round hunk), Jason Momoa also takes on the role of Aquaman in Justice League, which requires him to stay in epic shape. With the help of his own personal trainer, Eric Laciste, Momoa’s muscle is packed on through intense 110-rep regimes including squats, shoulder presses, incline bench presses, cable crosses and pull-ups.
Momoa landed the role after he performed the Haka – a traditional war cry of the Maori people – during his audition. He told Den of Geek, “I went into HBO and I said, ‘Don’t be scared or anything, but when you’re in front of a large man doing the Haka, you’re going to feel it.’ These two little white women were like, ‘Holy s**t.’ People were coming out of their doors and wondering what was going on. It really sealed the deal. My heart was racing, and I’m sure theirs were too.”
14. Robb Stark (Richard Madden)
In season three of Game of Thrones, fans suffered an almighty blow when one of the favorite characters, Robb Stark who is played by Richard Madden, was savagely killed off with such little warning that reaction videos showed people falling off their own sofas. The episode titled The Red Wedding pulled in viewing figures of more than 20 million people and Conan O’Brien called it “the most stunning thing any of us have seen on television. Maybe ever”.
Scottish born Madden took his on-screen death to hear too. He told The Guardian, “The logical part of me says, it’s just a job. But the emotional part of me is tied in. And, you know, in a lot of ways it was like a real death. It was a death of a younger part of me. It was a death of a character I’ve played for five years. It was a death, if not of friendships (with cast mates), of being able to see those friends regularly.” We are just as devastated as he is.
13. Lena Heady – Cersei Lannister
Lena Headey, who plays the cold and calculated Cersei Lannister on the show, credits both boxing and yoga for her envious shape. Here she struts casually along the beach and it’s hard to believe she’s a new mother of two, as she looks at her most confident. Foods 4 Better Health reported that she’s now addicted to boxing as both a way to stay in shape and release any built-up aggression.
The British actress has received both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role – although she’s yet to scoop the winning statue, which we believe will only be a matter of time. She told Entertainment Weekly, “(The show) just keeps getting better. It’s so juicy, and it’s so f*****g dark, and so emotionally clever, in this landscape. It sounds so cheesy, but I’m really grateful to be part of something so cherished.”
12. Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel)
Nathalie Emmanuel is not one to shy from playing the role of a strong woman. In Game of Thrones, she plays Missandei who was originally a slave before she was freed by Daenerys Targaryen and became her most trusted advisor. Then she appeared on the big screen for the eighth film from the Fast and Furious franchise as a hacker named Ramsey.
Emmanuel told Refinery 29, “I definitely like to play smart women who have their own agency, and I definitely look for those kinds of roles. But obviously, when you’re looking at any roles, I’m always looking for variety as well. I’m definitely attracted to playing strong, intelligent women.” Look like we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her fierce personality in the future.
11. Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma)
Indira Varma is not shy when it comes to selected her roles and her first big break on screen was a film titled Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love. However, Varma didn’t quite know what she was getting herself into as this wasn’t the original title. She told The Telegraph, “It wasn’t called Kama Sutra when we were filming it. It was untitled. And then it says in the script, ‘They make love’, when you’re young and naive and stupid you don’t process the idea that it will take one day with your kit off to shoot that sentence.” She added, “I remember phoning home crying.”
Since her rocky beginning, Varma landed roles in several British dramas and then the part of Ellaria Sand in Game of Thrones. She has appeared in the regular role since season four but there’s little chance of her ever going nude again, she explained to The Independent, “I’ve done it. I’ve done it so much! (But) at my age, nobody wants me to get my body out!”
10. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Emilia Clarke (a.k.a Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, and Breaker of Chains) revealed on The Graham Norton Show the cringy moment her parents witnessed her topless scene in Game of Thrones. She revealed that her parents enjoyed the show but realized their daughter didn’t have many lines, Clarke then encouraged them to watch the final episode of the first season where her character is more developed. Regrettably, she recalled this was also a scene she appeared nude but it was already too late as her parents had seen it all.
In 2015, Clarke revealed she was offered the lead in the film Fifty Shades of Grey but she passed on the role because she no longer wants to shoot any nude scenes. She explained, “Sex scenes should be more subtle. I’m British, so I cringe at that sort of thing anyway – I can’t stand it.”
9. Queen of the Beach
Emilia Clarke loves the beach so much she splashed out a staggering $4.64 million on an ocean front pad at Venice Beach, California. For that price, the actress now has two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a 30-foot pool and an 80-year-old olive tree to call her own. The property is just a 30-minute drive from Hollywood where we’re sure she will be heading to for regular meetings as one of the hottest actresses of the moment.
Now, with less than two years left on Game of Thrones, Clarke revealed that she’s started to think more about the future. She told Mail Online, “We’ve like had the cushiest job in TV. We’re always working. And now, yeah, we have to pay off some debts.” She added, “I’d like to do more comedy.” We’re not surprised she’s after a much lighter role following some of the dark scenes she’s been handed as the Mother of Dragons.
8. Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy)
Theon Greyjoy has had a tough run on the show – he was tortured both mentally and physically by Ramsey Bolton, lost the closest members of his family, and even had his manhood severed – but in reality, actor Alfie Allen has a much better life. Following the success of the show, he now has the confidence to take on bigger Hollywood roles, as he told the Radio Times, “I’ve had the opportunity to do that whole ‘going out to LA thing’ in the past, but I didn’t feel I had the body of work to justify it. Now, when I go out there, I want people to know who I am.”
To keep in shape, Allen also revealed that he sticks to a diet that his own character, Theon, would have eaten, “Lots of protein. No carbs, no sugar,” he explains, “I wanted to feel like Theon. I wanted to feel like I could kick the crap out of someone.”
7. Osha (Natalia Tena)
Fans of Game of Thrones might also recognize the actress Natalia Tena, who plays Osha, also from her role as Tonks in the Harry Potter films. Despite being in her thirties, Tena is more commonly cast in much younger roles and her Spanish descent has kept her youthful enough to carry it off.
Speaking with Complex magazine about the issue of ageism in Hollywood, she said, “What I’d really love is a big age bracket. I’m 30. Why are you trying to cast younger women for older roles? Why? It’s f*****g unacceptable because obviously then, society thinks that’s what a 35-year-old looks like, and so women in real life feel like shit about themselves. And, basically there needs to be more writing written by ethnic minorities and by women, so we get a broader spectrum of stories. We need more stories that aren’t just by white men.”
6. Sophie Turner – Sansa Stark
Sophie Turner is one of the luckiest girls in the world – she’s got a lead role as Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones, a figure to die for, naturally good looks and to top it all off 0 she has recently made it official with her new boyfriend, Joe Jonas. Earlier this year, after the couple spent time together at the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California, they were then pictured on holiday in Mexico where Turner rocked this bikini.
Proving how truly down-to-earth she is, Turner told Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet, “I think the key to remember is that it’s just like any other relationship and if you’re in Hollywood or if you’re in Africa, it’s all the same. Just love and be loved.” Here’s hoping that Sansa Stark finds her one true love too.
5. Stark Sisters Together – Sansa and Arya (Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams)
The fact that Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams (who plays Arya Stark on the show) are not just on-screen sisters but also BFFs in real-life is enough to melt your heart. The two are so close they even refer to each other as “Mophie” and they both have matching tattoos – the date ‘August 7, 2009’, which is when they found out they had both landed roles on the show.
On the red carpet, Turner explained, “The date was always really significant. With thrones, we were always planning from season one, like if we make it all the way through hopefully we could get a matching wolf or something. We don’t know if we’re going to make it so Maisie and I were like, ‘Okay. Let’s get these ones before anyone kills us.'”
4. Daario Naharis (Michael Huisman)
Michael Huisman, who melts hearts on the show as Daario Naharis, revealed his workout secret and everyone will be pleased to hear it doesn’t involve a grueling workout at the gym. During a dinner at the Tribeca Film Festival, he revealed, “I work out on playgrounds at 6 in the morning. I did work with a trainer for a long time but not anymore. I don’t have time for it, so I just do it wherever I can. (Use my own) body weight.”
As one of the most desired characters on the show, the starring lead in Age of Adeline opposite Blake Lively, and the face of Chanel No.5’s campaign – it’s clear those early morning freestyle workouts are doing him proud. If only he would take off some more of his amour on the show.
3. Natalie Dormer – Margaery Tyrell
Natalie Dormer earned her on-screen bombshell status ever since she starred as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors and Cressida in The Hunger Games. Her character on Game of Thrones, the manipulative Queen Margaery Tyrell, also won over fans and she’s now moving up the ranks to real A-list status.
Fame came later for Dormer than most, she never made big until she was in her early thirties, as she told The Guardian, “I’m really glad now that I didn’t pop earlier, because in my 20s, I wasn’t ready. To get your identity as a woman sorted before you’re questioned about it constantly, and asked in the public sphere to qualify who and what you are – I think most 33-year-old women would say: “I wouldn’t do my 20s again for love nor money.'”
2. Kit Harington – Jon Snow
He’s one of the most admired (and desired) cast members of the show; Kit Harington embodies Jon Snow so well that it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. On set, Harington’s amour and furs weigh a staggering 10kg alone so that’s a workout in itself, but he does keep in shape when the cameras have stopped rolling too.
He told Men’s Health, “The physical stuff is very much a part of who Jon Snow is and over the four years I’ve got into rock climbing, ice climbing, sword fighting and horse riding.” He added, “I was talking to Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) and he said how much he loved the Battle of Blackwater, because he doesn’t usually get to do action bits.” Harington is dating his former co-star Rose Leslie – who was not only lucky enough to share romantic cave scenes with Harington, but also keep hold of him in reality too.
1. The Hottest Cast (Ever)
There is no denying Game of Thrones has the hottest cast but they are also extremely tight and treat each other like family members. The cast is so varied that often they don’t have the opportunity to work with everyone. Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, told Vulture, “I’d love to work with Lena Headey (Cersei), Alfie Allen (Theon), I’d love to work with Peter Dinklage (Tyrion). There is the kind of very obviously visual aspect to that, but I just think he is a really brilliant actor, incredibly skilled, and really funny. And I think he’s loads of fun to work with.”
According to fans of the show, there are 2013 characters that appear in the books and the show itself lists 553 cast members in total. That’s a whole lot of actors who are thanking their lucky stars George R. R. Martin gave them life – no matter how tragically it can end.
Sources: The Telegraph, The Independent
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