10 Game of Thrones Characters Who Look Totally Different in Real Life

by Sarah Aswell
Jul 17, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. ET

Over the last six seasons, we have gotten to know the (what feels like 8,000) characters on Game of Thrones so well. We’ve seen then murder and get murdered, fall in love, fall off buildings, lose limbs and ride on dragons. But do we know what they look like in real life? Strap in, because we are about to take a look at how different 10 GoT cast members look like in real life. You might be surprised to find that they are much less dirty, much less covered in armor, and (in some cases) much less evil than they are on screen. In some cases, they look totally different altogether. It’s amazing what a wig, a costume and a lot of acting can do to one’s appearance. 

When you turn on Season 7 of Game of Thrones in just a few nights, you’ll never look at your favorite characters the same way again. 

1 /10: Arya Stark vs. Maisie Williams

1/10 :Arya Stark vs. Maisie Williams

It’s not Arya’s fault that she’s spent much of the last six seasons of Game of Thrones homeless, covered in dirt, wearing the same outfit and likely without a hairbrush. In real life, it’s great to see Maisie Williams smiling, at ease and without sticks and moss in her hair — although we think she'd look even more fabulous if she carried Needle everywhere she went. Does Williams have a list of murder names that she whispers to herself each night? Probably not. But does she have a strong eye shadow game? You bet she does. 

2 /10: Brienne of Tarth vs. Gwendoline Christie

2/10 :Brienne of Tarth vs. Gwendoline Christie

Brienne of Tarth and Gwendoline Christie might be the same height, but that’s pretty much where the resemblance ends. Brienne is an armor-clad sword-swinging bear-fighting warrior who would rather not wear a dress, thank you very much. Gwendoline is an accomplished actor and model who doesn’t mind putting on a sheath dress and lipstick for an opening or red carpet. We love both! 

3 /10: Cersei Lannister vs. Lena Headey

3/10 :Cersei Lannister vs. Lena Headey

It is just strange to see the actress who plays Cersei smiling and laughing, but it's definitely a nice change. We don’t think we’ve ever seen the lady on the Iron Throne express glee like that before... except maybe when she blew up that place of worship filled with droves of the innocent. Also, in real life, she has a lot of tattoos

4 /10: Daenerys Targaryen vs. Emilia Clarke

4/10 :Daenerys Targaryen vs. Emilia Clarke

When it comes to appearance, the only thing that Daenerys seems to have in common with Emilia Clarke is that they are both really good-looking. The big difference comes down to the hair: Daenerys sports a thick head of white-blonde hair (surprise — it’s a wig!) while Clarke has luxurious dark locks. Daenerys also always seems to have a look of power-hungry determination on her face, while Clarke seems more chill. 

5 /10: Davos Seaworth vs. Liam Cunningham

5/10 :Davos Seaworth vs. Liam Cunningham

Huh, who knew that Davos wore contacts? While our favorite fingerless hero always looks a bit pale and bleak as he tries to do good, he looks much cheerier in real life, even when he sports the same beard and haircut. We like what happens when he trades his floor-length cloak for a sports jacket and V-neck tee. 

6 /10: Khal Drogo vs. Jason Momoa

6/10 :Khal Drogo vs. Jason Momoa

These before/after shots of Khal Drogo are just about the best advertisement for eyeliner that we have ever seen. Or perhaps the best argument against odd hats. We (and Dany) loved Drogo for exactly what he was: a tanned, man-bun-wearing horse-lover who didn’t shy away from eye shadow or bells in his hair (and who also didn’t own a single shirt). But we also love Jason Momoa. For being a hot, talented actor. We wish you hadn't died so early in the series, Drogo! Why?

7 /10: Jon Snow vs. Kit Harington

7/10 :Jon Snow vs. Kit Harington

You know nothing about what Jon Snow looks like in real life. Kit Harington has a cute pair of glasses and a cute haircut. More importantly, he doesn’t look like he was brought back from the dead, lost most of his family and is very, very cold all the time. It's not tough to admit we have crushes on both Jon Snow and Kit Harington, but they are, like, different crushes. You get it. 

8 /10: Melisandre vs. Carice Van Houten

8/10 :Melisandre vs. Carice Van Houten

The Red Witch always looks pretty burdened by prophecies from the Lord of Light. She is also pretty defined by her long red locks. The real Melisandre, Carice Van Houten, looks much more relaxed, and with a lighter, cuter shoulder-length hairstyle. She’s also missing that magic necklace that ensures her agelessness. 

9 /10: Lord Varys vs. Conleth Hill

9/10 :Lord Varys vs. Conleth Hill

OK, this one is stunning. We get that when you cover someone in robes and shave their head, they look a lot different. But the Spider, who is so cunning and weird in the series, looks like a friendly, affable uncle at the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere. Conleth Hill doesn’t even look like he’s scheming to take over a nation! 

10 /10: Yara Greyjoy vs. Gemma Whelan

10/10 :Yara Greyjoy vs. Gemma Whelan

Yara Greyjoy, of the Iron Islands, always looks a little bit... windblown, to put it as nicely as we can. The brave, badass seafarer doesn’t ever go for more than a messy ponytail and lots of leather, which we still find very awesome. Gemma Whelan, on the other hand, is absolutely glowing in all of her pictures. Not to mention that she’s pregnant! And not to mention that she’s a comedian! No matter which way you slice it, both of these women are badasses.