Can you believe that Game of Thrones will be airing its final season next year? It's hard to imagine a world where this gripping fantasy drama isn't on our screens! Fans are in the strange situation of wanting the final season to air as soon as possible, but simultaneously not wanting it to end. Thrones has certainly taken us on a rollercoaster ride over the past seven years. Who knows what its conclusion will have in store!
Things have certainly changed quite considerably since the first ever episode of Game of Thrones. A terrifyingly large number of the main characters have ended up dead (even if one particularly prominent figure got resurrected shortly afterward), and they've all been through some pretty horrific things. They've all changed, both mentally and physically. As is the way with the passage of time, the characters have also aged - as have their actors.
Question is, who's fared best looks-wise over the past seven years? Which child actors will now make you feel really, really old when you see their adult selves? Which actors haven't visibly aged a day, and which are looking pretty rough? You might well be shocked and surprised by what time has done to this cast...
15 Kit Harington Is As Handsome As Ever
Kit Harington has barely changed since the first season of Game of Thrones aired. He's still youthful, still got his dark curls and thick beard, and is still as handsome as ever. No wonder he's arguably the show's biggest heartthrob! He somehow hasn't aged at all despite being in his early 20s when the show started and his early thirties now. It's pretty impressive!
On a personal and professional level, Harington's life has changed considerably since he first starred in Game of Thrones. His career has skyrocketed: he's one of the most in-demand young British actors in the business. He's been nominated for various awards, and has even won a couple of them! Romantically, Harington is also doing pretty well. After meeting co-star Rose Leslie on the set of Thrones in 2012, the two fell in love and are now engaged to be married. How sweet!
14 Sophie Turner Has Blossomed Into A Gorgeous Young Women
Sophie Turner's character Sansa Stark has indisputably had one of the most impressive character developments out of any of Game of Thrones' main players. She's gone from being a spoiled and naive young girl to ruling Winterfell and standing up to her enemies. After enduring years of hardship, Sansa is now a powerful and strong young woman.
Turner herself has changed a bit since the Game of Thrones' first season, too! When filming began, she was a mere teen of 15. Now, she's most definitely grown up: she's a stunning young woman of 21. Turner is one of the most beautiful young actresses out there, but unfortunately, she's already taken. She became engaged to musician Joe Jonas in October 2017, just a month after co-star Kit Harington revealed that he was marrying! Turner undoubtedly has a happy life and successful career ahead of her.
13 Maisie Williams Isn't A Little Girl Anymore
Arya Stark actress Maisie Williams spent the entirety of her teenage years on the Game of Thrones set. She was just thirteen when filming began and has grown up alongside her character. Arya has gone from being an adorable tomboy to a cold-blooded killer bent on avenging the death of her parents and brother. She memorably baked twisted Walder Frey's sons into a pie and is now set on murdering evil queen Cersei Lannister. Arya definitely isn't a little girl anymore!
While Williams' real-life transformation isn't quite as severe (or violent), she's still most definitely changed. She's now a young woman in her twenties who hangs out with the likes of Stranger Things actors Natalia Dyer and Charlie Heaton. She's also BFFs with co-star Sophie Turner! Williams is successfully managing to build a career outside of Thrones and has exciting times ahead of her once the show finally ends.
12 Emilia Clarke Has Ditched The Long Platinum-Blonde Hair
Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen has changed a fair bit over the past few seasons. She's gone from being an innocent exiled princess to a Khaleesi, a fearful young woman to a powerful and battle-hardened warrior, and an obscure heir to a genuine contender for the throne of Westeros. Throughout her journey, just one thing has remained constant: her long, silver-blonde hair.
However, this iconic hairdo is one thing that actress Emilia Clarke hasn't kept in real life. Clarke is as stunning and youthful now as she was in her very first episode, but until recently sported a short brown bob rather than flowing platinum locks. While she has now gone blonde, she's still got way shorter locks than her on-screen counterpart. Maybe Dany is going to go shorter this season, and Clarke can finally use her real hair for the role rather than donning a wig? We'll have to wait and see!
11 Peter Dinklage's Age Is Showing... In His Beard!
Jaime isn't the only Lannister character who's gained a beard over the course of Game of Thrones' run. Fan-favorite Tyrion has also let his facial hair run free in recent series, and it also kinda suits him. Tyrion has been through quite the journey over Thrones' seven seasons to date, both physically and emotionally. He's ended up visibly weathered, gaining scars and age lines, and has abandoned his cruel family to support their enemy Daenerys. He's left his fun-loving life behind to fight for the future of his realm.
Tyrion's noticeable aging isn't entirely fictional. Actor Peter Dinklage is also looking a bit less youthful these days, but that's not necessarily a bad thing! He's still pretty handsome and has a really cool sense of style outside of the show. However, one place where his age is pretty obvious is in his beard. It's starting to get some grey strands in that impressive facial hair of his! It happens to every man, I guess - at least, every man who's able to grow a beard in the first place. Not all are blessed with this ability.
10 Lena Headey Does NOT Look Her Age
Can you believe that Cersei Lannister actress Lena Heady is in her mid-forties? She looks at least a decade younger! In fact, she's barely aged a day in the seven years since her first Game of Thrones episode was aired. What's her secret? She needs to share it with the world! If I look that good at 44, I'll be one happy lady.
Headey's character certainly looks a bit different now to in Season One. Cersei had her long, golden locks chopped off when she undertook a penance walk back in Season Five. She's now kept the short look, pairing it with black gowns to give her regal presence a bit of an edge. However, Headey herself has kept her dark locks fairly consistent over the years. She always wears a wig on the Thrones set so that her off-screen appearance isn't affected by her character's changing look.
9 Natalie Dormer Still Looks As Gorgeous As Ever
We were all more than a little bit gutted when Natalie Dormer's character Margaery Tyrell was killed off at the end of Game of Thrones' sixth season. Aside from the obvious fact that the actress is totally gorgeous, her character was also a total badass. We really, really wanted to see her snatch power from within Cersei's grasp and rule Westeros for the rest of her life. Unfortunately, this wasn't to be, and Margaery was blown up along with everyone else in the Great Sept of Baelor.
It's been a fair few years since Dormer's first Game of Thrones appearance, but she's still just as stunning now as she was then. She's ditched her character's brunette locks for a beautiful blonde look - it really suits her! As is often the case with Thrones alum, Dormer hasn't aged a day. Seriously. Is there something in the water on that set that has anti-aging properties?!
8 Carice Van Houten Has Lost Weight - And Her Red Hair
Red Witch Melisandre has divided fans throughout her time on Game of Thrones. Sure, she gave birth to the shadow demon thing that killed Renly Baratheon. Admittedly, she did burn poor little Shireen Baratheon to death. But she did resurrect Jon Snow after he was stabbed to death! Not everything she's done has been totally evil, and she does seem to majorly regret her previous actions! We've yet to find out whether Melisandre will be returning in Thrones' final season, but she'd better avoid Davos Seaworthy if she does show up.
In real life, actress Carice Van Houten looks strikingly different to her character's early look. For one, she doesn't have Melisandre's famous bright red hair! She instead goes for a more natural brunette look. She's also visibly lost weight since she started the show, looking far slimmer in the face. One thing's for sure: she doesn't look a day over thirty, despite being 41 years old.
7 Isaac Hempstead-Wright Is An Adult Now - Feel Old Yet?
Yep, you read that right: Bran Stark actor Isaac Hempstead-Wright is technically an adult now. He turned 18 last year and is currently studying at the University of Birmingham. Crazy, right? It seems like only yesterday that he was a baby-faced twelve-year-old making his debut as Bran. It's making me feel seriously old!
Just as Bran had his world turned upside down by his paralysis and discovery of his warging abilities, Hempstead-Wright is apparently looking to make a major change in his life once filming on Game of Thrones wraps. He's been saving all of his hard-earned cash to pay for a series of university courses, possibly culminating in a PhD. He could well go down the route of Joffrey actor Jack Gleeson and quit acting for good when his time on Thrones is up. Fair play to him!
6 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Looks Better With A Beard
While Jaime Lannister actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has always been a bit of a dreamboat, his good looks have only improved with age. The addition of a beard to his day-to-day look has definitely been a positive step - it really suits him! Likewise, the actor looks far better now that he's ditched Jaime's original long-haired look. All it did was make him look like creepy Prince Charming from the Shrek series!
The fact that Coster-Waldau's character has leaned a bit more towards the good side in recent seasons has made it a lot easier to swoon over him. You don't get that guilty feeling anymore! Sure, Jaime did still push a child out of a window and did keep up his incestuous relationship with Cersei for far too long, but at least he's now come to his senses. On a separate note, Coster-Waldau is looking seriously good for a guy who's nearly 50. Do the adult actors of Game of Thrones all have a mysterious anti-aging power? They all look amazing!
5 A Mystery Illness Has Aged Iain Glen
Outside of Houses Stark, Lannister, and Targaryen, Dany's on-again, off-again bestie Jorah Mormont is one of the only characters who's appeared in every season of Game of Thrones. He's been quite severely friend zoned for the entirety of that time, but Jorah hasn't let that affect his love for Dany. Physically he's suffered a fair bit in the shows more recent series - he contracted the serious disease Greyscale and had to have the offending scales scraped off his body by general good egg Samwell Tarly. While Jorah is now back to full health, he's been left scarred both physically and mentally.
In real life, Jorah actor Iain Glen has also recently been afflicted with illness. The exact ailment is unknown, but it was serious enough for Glen to pull out of his role in London stage play Fortune's Fool after just one month. The experience has taken its toll on the actor who looks older and weakened due to his troubles. However, he's luckily back in full health now!
4 Theon Actor Alfie Allen Is A Bit Of A Wild Child
Love him or hate him, treacherous former Stark family adoptee Theon Greyjoy has had a pretty rough time of it throughout Game of Thrones' seven seasons so far. Sure, he betrayed the Starks, but he's also been tortured, maimed, and deeply psychologically traumatized by the evil Ramsey Bolton. Bolton even went as far as to chop off Theon's manhood! Even since escaping Ramsay's clutches, Theon hasn't exactly had an easy ride. He's been ridiculed by his peers and has now lost his one supporter, his sister Yara. You can't help but pity the poor guy. Hopefully, things look up for him in the show's final season!
In contrast, actor Alfie Allen hasn't changed much since Season One. He's still got his cheeky good looks and is still a fun-loving guy. He's known for his wild partying with his famous sister Lily Allen even writing a song about his antics. While his lifestyle is starting to take a bit of a toll on his looks, Allen still has a little while to go before he looks noticeably worse.
3 Rory McCann Is Barely Recognizable Out of Character
Sandor Clegane - otherwise known as The Hound - is one of the most distinctive-looking characters in the Game of Thrones universe. His facial scarring has led to him being an object of both fear and pity amongst the people of Westeros. While The Hound has started to show his softer side in recent seasons, especially with Arya and Sansa Stark, he still cuts a pretty imposing figure.
Actor Rory McGann, on the other hand, is totally unscarred and a pretty regular-looking bloke. He's practically unrecognizable out of character, in fact! Although he's aged a bit over the past seven years, it doesn't really matter in the context of the show - it just makes The Hound look even more rugged. McGann hasn't adopted his character's long-haired look in real life, which is probably for the best, to be honest. He should probably keep his off-set appearance as distinct from his on-set one as possible!
2 Robb Stark Actor Richard Madden Has A New Look - And It's Pretty Unflattering
Whatever happened to Richard Madden's dashing good looks? When he portrayed King in the North Robb Stark in Game of Thrones' first three seasons, his dark, handsome looks made him something of a heartthrob among fans. Pretty much everyone was shocked and horrified when the character was killed off in the "Red Wedding" episode. Not only did it totally mess up the Starks' chances against the Lannisters, it meant that beautiful Robb would no longer be gracing our screens.
Since he left the show, Madden has made some pretty poor choices when it comes to his appearance. What's that hairstyle about? It looks like a bleached monstrosity that should have stayed in the early 2000s! Maybe Madden needed to reinvent himself after his breakup with Victoria and Doctor Who star Jenna Coleman. However, this definitely wasn't the best way to do it. If only he could go back to his Cinderella Prince Charming days.
1 Short-Lived Sean Bean Is Looking Rough These Days
Tough-guy Sean Bean is famous for both his rugged good looks and his excessive on-screen deaths. The poor guy survives a very small proportion of TV shows and films he stars in. If I were Sean, I'd be kind of offended at this point. Due to the actor's reputation, it wasn't surprising even for non-book readers when his character Ned Stark was killed off at the end of Game of Thrones' first season. Sure, it was tragic, but it was also just Sean Bean being Sean Bean.
Six years on from his exit from the show, Bean is looking considerably worse for wear. Admittedly, he is nearly 60 - aging gets us all eventually! However, the decline in his looks has been surprisingly swift and severe. He's put on weight, looks tired, and is even more rugged than before. He's been through a lot, to be fair - he's been through four divorces, domestic abuse accusations, and was once stabbed in a pub. That's enough to age anyone!