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Game of Thrones: See how the characters have changed since Season 1

by Brandon Russell | July 10, 2016July 10, 2016 11:00 am PDT

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Game of Thrones ended its sixth season last month and there are, at most, only 15 more episodes left in the entire series. That means we have precious little time to wrap up the remaining storylines; Winter has arrived, Daenerys is on her way to Westeros, Jon Snow isn’t a bastard, etc.

Since airing its first episode in 2011, Game of Thrones has gone on to become a bonafide phenomenon, and it’s only getting more popular. Season 6 had some of the best episodes the show has ever aired, punctuated by a thrilling and devastating penultimate episode, “Battle of the Bastards,” which displayed one of the most violent battles ever seen on TV or film.

If you’ve made it this far, chances are you feel pretty attached to the different characters. Despite the show’s lust for death, many of the main characters are still alive, including Jon Snow, Cersei, Jaime, Arya, Sansa, and others. (Luckily, that son of a gun Ramsay is now dead.)

Because we’ve gotten to know these characters so well, we thought it would be fun to see how they’ve changed over the years. After all, some of the actors were young children when they first signed on. Isaac Hempstead Wright, for example, wasn’t even a teenager; he’s now 17. Maisie Williams was only 14 when the first season began.

Many of the older characters, such as Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), have undergone transformations of their own, too. In the beginning, he was a confident warrior known for killing the Mad King. But as the show has gone on, he’s gone through both a physical and emotional transformation; he’s much more nuanced and pragmatic. Cersei has undergone a transformation of her own but in the opposite direction.

You can see for yourself in the galleries below. Obviously, the younger actors look different simply because they’ve grown up. But it’s fun to see how over the span over six seasons these characters have changed (for better or worse).

Arya

Arya has always been a tough cookie but she really came into her own in season six. Sure, she made plenty of baffling decisions, especially when she was being hunted by the Waif. But she eventually outsmarted the Terminator-like assassin and shunned the House of Black and White. Having slit the throat of Walder Frey, Arya still has a lot of names on her kill list. Will season 7 see her complete it?

Cersei

Cersei has always been evil but something that kept her from going full super villain was her children. However, with Cersei’s three children now dead, she’s completely devolved into a lifeless, unfeeling psychopath. Season 6 ended with her using Wildfire on her enemies, and now that she sits on the Iron Throne, my guess is she’s not done.

Bran

It’s been a long journey for the young man but he’s finally taken over as the Three-Eyed Raven. Now, the question remains: How will his visions affect the past and present? We already saw what his tampering with the past can do—i.e. Hodor turned into a simpleton—so how else will he influence the outcome of the show? He knows a pretty big secret about Jon Snow. What else is he going to learn about the past?

Jaime

He went from a Kingslayer to just another pawn. But his fall from grace has humbled the former Lord Commander—I’m sure getting his right hand chopped off had a lot to do with that. There’s a prophecy that says he might be the one to kill Cersei, the love of his life and his sister. Will the prophecy come true? Things sure didn’t look good when season 6 ended, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him faced with the most important decision of his life as the show comes to an end.

Sansa

Has anyone been through more hardships than Sansa? Early on, she was a prissy princess, but her life basically went to hell once her father, Ned Stark, died. After a few seasons of complete and utter torture, things got even worse when she was given to Ramsay Bolton. But she escaped (with the help of Theon Greyjoy), found her way to Jon Snow, helped take back Winterfell, and essentially told Littlefinger to piss off. It will be fun to see if she continues to evolve as a leader.

Jon

The bastard of Winterfell is a bastard no more. Technically he doesn’t know that but the audience does. After getting brought back to life, he disavowed his position as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and immediately set about retaking Winterfell back from the Boltons. Now, as the King in the North, Jon has bigger responsibilities to attend to, not least of which is rebuilding the relationship between him and Sansa.

Daenerys

She has an army, three dragons, and no fear. Now that Daenerys is on her way to Westeros, the battle for the Iron Throne is going to get a lot more interesting. We had a feeling Cersei’s reign on the throne wouldn’t last long, but with Daenerys on the way, it might be even more short-lived than we thought. It’ll just be a matter of whether Daenerys can rule without repeating the mistakes of her father.

Tyrion

Not all of his decisions in season 6 went as planned but he still became the Hand of the Queen, joining Daenerys on the way to Westeros. There has been a popular theory claiming Tyrion might actually be a Targaryen, not a Lannister, which means he might be one of the three dragon riders (Daenerys being one and the other still unknown). Season 7 looks primed to be his breakout.

HBO

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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