Before the wildly popular Game of Thrones, they were not royalty, recognizable, or even sporting the same color hair (or beard!) You’ve come to know them as ruthless, calculating, and vengeful.
Onscreen, they kill each other, sleep with each other, and plot against one another. They have white-blonde hair, ullonstrous beards, and sport costumes sprung right from medieval times. In real life, they look completely different than you’d expect. They look like actual…humans!
Take a look at these Game of Thrones household names in their regular ol’ human forms.
Arya is the daughter of Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell. She hates girly stuff, choosing a life of battle and exploration — which is good because she flees from her home of King’s Landing to escape being killed, and must live as a boy to hide her true royal identity.
After much turmoil, she eventually learns how to survive on her own – only to be struck blind at the end of season 5. Thems the breaks…
This is the first role for the English-born actor, whose full name is Margaret Constance Williams. She was only 12 when she was cast as Arya.
Born in 1997, she has also appeared in the tv show, “Doctor Who” and the British drama, “The Falling”.
This creepy guy is the leader of the White Walkers, that league of humanoid ice creatures that are feared by all. He is believed to be the creator and first White Walker. Not a force to mess with.
How can we forget the episode where Night King raises the dead of Hardhome?
Raised in America, Richard Brake is a Welsh actor who, under all that makeup, is actually quite normal looking. You may remember him in his first big role in “Batman Begins”. (He brutally murders Bruce Wayne’s parents.) He’s appeared in several movies and tv shows, as well as a music video! If you’re into zombies, he’s in the movie “Halloween 2” as Doom-Head.
Brake has two sons and lives in the US…somewhere.
Brothel owner Petyr Baelish (or Littlefinger) is house Baelish’s last living member. He may be a lord, but has none of the nobility that comes along with the title.
He’s creepy and evil, but for some reason, there’s something about him that you like, right?
Aidan Gillen has an extensive career as an actor. Born as Aidan Murphy in a Dublin, Ireland suburb, Gillen has been playing in movies, tv shows, stage plays, and audio books since 1985. But he only got big when he played in the tv show, “Queer as Folk”. He played Stuart Jones, remember? From there, he moved on to playing a politician on the tv show, “The Wire” for a four years and Bill Wilson on the movie, “The Dark Knight Rises” as well.
Gillen has two kids and is not a lord in real life.
Queen Daenerys I Targaryen is the only daughter of Kking Aerys II Targaryen and Rhaella. She is also the aunt of Jon Snow. Also known as Dany and “Mother of Dragons,” Daenerys can be found with her loyal companion, the dragon Drogon.
She is left in a perilous situation with Dothraki Bloodriders and a khalasar.
The second Game of Thrones cast member to portray Sarah Connor in “Terminator”, Emilia is from England. Her work as Daenerys has been recognized by her peers, having earned her three Emmy Award nominations. She’s also appeared in “Spike Island”, “Dom Hemingway”, “Me Before You” and the cartoon “Futurama”.
If you’re looking out for her, remember: Clarke’s hair is actually shorter and brown. Betcha wouldn’t even recognize her if you crossed paths.
Makes babies with his sister (secretly). This “Kingslayer” is Lord Commander of the Kingsguard.
This poor guy, once he finally gets a moment with his secret daughter, she dies in his arms. The ups and downs of royal life, we guess.
While he’s not busy making babies and fighting, you can probably find Jaime Lannister enjoying a quieter life in Denmark. That’s because he’s played by the Danish actor, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Also a producer and screenwriter, Coster-Waldau is married and has two kids (who aren’t from his sister).
You might recognize him from from the movie “Black Hawk Down”.
Another secret love child of Queen Cersei Lannister and (her brother!) Sir Jaime Lannister. He’s another child that is assumed is fathered by King Robert Baratheon.
He’s been referred to as an idiot, bully, and one of the “greatest villains of all time”, according to Rolling Stone magazine. No wonder he was poisoned in A Storm of Swords and dies. Good riddance!
Another Irish actor from Cork, Jack began acting at the age of 7 and appeared in “Batman Begins” as well as lesser known films, “A Shine of Rainbows” and “Shrooms”.
Once he was murdered off of Game of Thrones, he decided to retire from acting. He just decided it wasn’t something that he wanted to continue doing. Instead, Gleeson decided to pursue a degree in philosophy and theology at Trinity College in Dublin.
Not much is known about the mysterious uncle of Theon, Euron Greyly, but we do know that he’s also known as Crow’s Eye and Euron Crow’s Eye. He’s a bit on the vicious side, having ripped out all of his ship crew’s tongues out just so that they wouldn’t be able to speak.
Actually, cutting out tongues is pretty much his schtick.
Pilot Asbæk is relatively unknown in the U.S. but now that he’s in Game of Thrones, we know that’ll change. Asbæk got his start on tv, appearing on a few shows in his native Denmark. Look out for Asbæk in this year’s remake of “Ben-Hur”.
Asbæk is married with one child.
Once arrogant and proud, Theon, lone heir of Balon Greyjoy, becomes weak after being kidnapped and tortured by Ramsay Snow. Ramsay emasculates him to the point that he no longer believes he is Theon, and renames him Reek. Only in season 5 does he finally snap out of it, then escapes Ramsay’s imprisonment with Sansa.
Run, Theon, run!
Alfie Allen is a London-born actor who started his career in 1998 on British tv. He landed a number of small roles on movies and tv, including “Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London” (a movie that his uncle directed), “The Other Boleyn Girl” and “Soulboy”.
Allen is the younger brother of singer Lily Allen. If you’re a fan of Lily Allen, listen to her song, Alfie. The song is about you know who.
It is believed that the White Walkers are merely creatures of legend, but they sure are scary nonetheless. The story goes that during “The Long Night” the White Walkers came to Westeros and murdered everyone they encountered, then made the dead join them in their evil ways.
Oddly, the men of the Night’s Watch that protect the town are starting to hear grumblings that the White Walkers are returning after seeing their leader. Hmmm…
It’s fitting that most of the White Walkers are played by one guy: Canadian Ross Mullan. That’s because he’s not only an actor, but also a puppeteer who has trained extensively in mask and puppet movement theatre. He joined the cast in season two.
In addition to playing many of the White Walkers, Mullan has played mythical, odd creatures in several other productions — including the blind witch in “Clash of the Titans”.
Khal Drogo is the khal (warlord) of the Dothraki people, a tribe of vicious warriors who ride horses. Among them, Drogo remains undefeated…until something happens.
With such high regard and power, he takes the beautiful Daenerys as his wife and defends her honor as the kind and loving husband he proves to be.
Joseph Jason Namakaeha Momoa was raised with his mother in Iowa, but was actually born in Hawaii in 1979. He started his career as a model but then moved on to acting, with his first role being on the short-lived tv show, “Baywatch Hawaii”. Similar to his “Game of Thrones” role, he was also cast as the lead in a remake of “Conan the Barbarian”. In 2014, he cowrote and directed the movie, “Road to Paloma”.
He has two children with actress Lisa Bonet. You’ve probably seen him in other manly roles, like as Ronon Dex on “Stargate Atlantis” and Aquaman on “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”.
Right now we’re on the cliffhanger, wondering if this Night’s Watch member is dead. Rejected by his father, Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell in the kingdom of Westeros, he is accepted among his peers, while still dodging enemies.
What will happen next?
Kit Harrington started out in British theatre, appearing in a couple of plays before making his way to tv, then film. You might recognize his voice in the animated movies, “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Pompeii”, and even in the video game, “Game of Thrones” and “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare”.
Unfortunately, ladies, Kit is taken. He’s seeing his Thrones co-star, Rose Leslie.
A member of the willing Free Folk army assembled by Mance Rayder, Dongo is a giant who meets an unfortunate death in season 4, during the Battle of Castle Black.
Too bad. We kind of liked this gentle giant.
No wonder they cast Welsh actor, Ian Whyte, in the role of Dongo. He’s a 7′ tall stuntman who was once a professional basketball player! He’s played other roles in the Game of Thrones roles, but you may also know him as an engineer alien in the movie, “Prometheus”.
Whyte is marred with one child. Look out for him in Dallas, Texas, where he now calls home.
Sandor Clean is the younger brother of The Mountain, or who knows as Gregor Clegane (whom he absolutely hates because of a nasty incident from their childhood).
Sandor carries the nickname “The Hound” because he’s just that obedient. Plus, he’s savage to boot, his claim to fame being the most skilled fighter in Westeros.
Before this gig, McCann was a jack-of-all-trades, having tried his hand at a variety of jobs including bouncing at pubs, painting bridges, rockclimbing and singing (he was once the frontman for the band, Thundersoup, for which he played guitar, piano and mandolin). This Scottish actor, born in Glasgow, may be famous now, but he prefers being off on his own, living a solitary, minimalistic life.
You may have seen McCann on such movies as “Hot Fuzz”, “The Crew” and “Season of the Witch”.
Remember The Hound? Meet his much hated older brother, Gregor Clegane. You can call him The Mountain because he’s just that big. You can only get a name like that for being a large and fierce warrior.
Gregor is a landed knight and the largest man in the land of Westeros.
HAFÞÓR JÚLÍUS BJÖRNSSON
Only a man like Hafþór Júlíus Bjornsson could play the role of the Mountain. After all, he stands at 6’9″ and was Iceland’s Strongest Man 5 times, as well as a serious contender in the World’s Strongest Man competition. He has been in a couple of movies but he is most well known for playing Gregor Clegane.
Watch out for Bjornsson in 2017, with the release of “Kickboxer: Retaliation”. He’ll be playing Mongkut.
You’ve already been introduced to Queen Cersei Lannister, who has been having children with her twin brother Jamie – unbeknownst to her husband, the late King Robert Baratheon. She loves power and will do whatever she needs to keep it.
Unfortunately, as the story progresses, Cersei becomes more paranoid and spirals down into self destruction. You’ll see.
Friend and co-star, Peter Dinklage gets credit for Headey’s appearance on Game of Thrones. He was the one who suggested the audition to her, so kudos to him. But it wasn’t because of their friendship that he made the suggestion — he did it because she’s been acting since she was 17 years old! Headey has been in a number of movies and tv shows. You may remember seeing her in “The Brothers Grimm”, “300”, and “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”. Since getting the role of Cersei on Game of Thrones, Headey has been nominated for two Emmy Awards.
Headey is a mother of two. She loves tattoos, and has a few of them.
Despite being born a slave and made into a eunuch, Varys becomes one of the most feared characters in Thrones because of his incomparable wealth of knowledge.
Varys knows where all the secret passages are in the royal castle and oversees a large spy network, and uses both to his advantage.
Conleth Hill’s claim to fame, before Game of Thrones, is his long list of stage credits and his countless appearances in movies. He’s even been on radio productions. Having been nominated for two Tony Awards, he won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in 2001.
He is from Northern Ireland and is currently single. But if you’re looking for him on the streets of his hometown, Ballycastle, ignore all the bald guys. He lets his hair grow out when he’s not filming.
Osha is a Free Folk, or Wildling, who escapes to the south in order find safety from the White Walkers. Unfortunately, her escape is halted when she is taken prisoner by Robb Stark. Eventually she is able to escape again, this time with company.
Something happens in season 6 that you won’t believe. We won’t tell you what it is, but it’s BIG for Osha.
Natalia Tena is best known by fans as Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter series of movies. Born in London, England, Tena began her career in 2002 in the movie, “About a Boy”. Since then, she’s been in a number of movies and tv shows, while at the same time pursuing her second job as the lead singer for “Molotov Jukebox.”
The multi-talented Tena speaks Spanish and Basque and also plays the accordion!
Melisandre of Asshai is nicknamed “The Red Woman”, all because of her hair and the clothes that she wears. As a priestess to the Lord of Light and a shadowbinder, she came to Westeros from Essos.
Melisandre possess mystical powers that are to be feared.
CARICE VAN HOUTEN
Carice Van Houtem is a Dutch celebrity who is popular in the Netherlands for singing with the band Kane. Van Houten has appeared in several movies and tv shows, with her first being back in 1997.
Van Houten is expecting her first child with boyfriend, actor Guy Pearce. She has mentioned in interviews that she does not like working or living in Hollywood, as “it’s not my kind of life.”
As the only daughter of Lord of Highgarden and Alerie Hightower, Margery Tyrell has a lust for power, which has driven her to pursue and marry several men, including King Joffrey, King Renly Baratheon, and King Tommen.
Margaery is eventually imprisoned by Cersei Lannister and placed under house arrest.
Natalie Dormer is from Berkshire, UK. After failing to achieve A grade in history which would have put her into the history program at Cambridge, Dormer decided to pursue drama. Her first role was Victoria in the 2005 movie, “Casanova”.
Most recently, besides Game of Thrones, Dormer has appeared in “The Hunger Games” as Cressida. She was also cast as Anne Boleyn in “The Tudors”, and it was filming this series that she met her current fiancé, Anthony Byrne.
From the portal city of Qart hails Pyat Pree, a warlock with mystical powers. He lives in the House of Undying, which explains his appearance. Pyat Pree meets Daenerys whom he imprisons, with the intention of keeping her forever as a way to keep him powerful.
Unfortunately, things don’t work out that way and we all know what happened to Pyat Pree, who only appeared in season 2 of the series.
Ian Hanmore is from Scotland, his first job as Tom Reid in “The Butterfly Man” back in 1996. Since then, Reid has had many TV and movie roles, though his most well-known role in which you would remember him, is as Albert Flood in The Awakening.
To be honest, he’d be pretty easy to spot. He doesn’t look too much different from Pyat Pree. Don’t you agree?
As a member of the controversial Lannister family, Tyrion Lannister is a dwarf who is witty and self-indulgent, mainly because it’s his way of dealing with being a dwarf. Tyrion leads a life fraught with problems, one being a death threat. Does he escape death?
You know the answer.
Peter Dinklage is an Emmy and Golden Globe award winning actor from New Jersey. Married to director, Erica Schmidt, he’s been acting for over 20 years. He has a long list of film and television credits. He got into acting after playing in “The Velveteen Rabbit” back in fifth grade. Some more famous film appearances have been in “Elf”, “X-men”, and “Pixels”.
Dinklage is a devout vegan who has been since 16 years old.
Although Bronn isn’t a main character, he’s still admired for his sarcasm and skill in battle. He makes a living by fighting, in a role known as a sellsword, and begins the story by serving under Catelyn Stark.
At one point, Bronn seems to give it all up for marriage, but ends up breaking the engagement to rescue Myrcella Baratheon.
Jerome Flynn is a British actor from London who has been acting since 1985, when he made an appearance in the tv show, “American Playhouse”. He comes from a long line of family entertainers.
Flynn is a vegetarian, like his co-star, Peter Dinklage. He was dating Lena Headey, but they have long since ended their relationship.
It was only in season 5 when this White Walker appeared…then was rapidly killed off by King Jon Snow in an attack on Harthome.
While many of the White Walkers are all normally played by Ross Mullan, Tim Loane joined the cast briefly for season 5. He is a British actor, but it was his role as writer that earned him fame the British TV series “Teachers”.
Loane was also nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 70th Academy Awards for his work on “Dance Lexie Dance.
From the kingdom of Westeros is Stannis Baratheon, a man who believes in fighting for and defending justice. Stannis is respected for being a skilled military commander.
Married to Lady Selyse of House Florent, Stannis is Lord of Dragonstone.. They have one daughter. Though he is aided by a priestess and even sacrificed his daughter, he was still being defeated by the Boltons.
Stephen Dillane has appeared in countless movies and tv shows since he played Bradford Galt in “Remington Steele”. Dillane can be seen in the Oscar nominated “The Hours” and as Thomas Jefferson in “John Adams”.
Born in London, Dillane is a father of two with Naomi Wirthner, and actress and director.
BRIENNE OF TARTH
Brienne is a tough female character who is a warrior, yearning to become a knight. Her biggest job is protecting the daughters of Lady Catelyn Stark, and with her tall and muscular stature as well as fighting skill, it seems they may be in good hands.
Brienne is an admiral woman and one of the lead characters on the show, but would you recognize her in real life?
Being 6’3” is a good qualification for the role of Brienne of Tarth. In order to prepare for the role, she vigorously trained in martial arts, sword fighting and horse riding. But she only got into acting because she suffered a spine injury, which kept Christie out of her first love – gymnastics. You may remember her in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and the final “Hunger Games”.
Christie loves her role as Brienne, as it fulfills her hope to challenge gender stereotypes.
True love sure is confusing. Especially for Sansa Stark, whose fiancé has her father executed in front of her.
Lady Catelyn and Lord Eddard Stark are Sansa’s parents, who raise her in Winterfell. She’s girly, unlike her sister Arya.
Born in 1996, Sophie Turner hails from England. She began her career in the public eye as a model, but became an actress in 2011, Game of Thrones being her first acting role. A natural blonde, Turner dyed her hair red for this role and has kept it like that ever since.
Turner has appeared in “Another Me”, “Barely Lethal” and will be the young Jean Grey in “X-Men: Apocalypse”.
Princess Shireen Baratheon is daughter of Stannis Baratheon, head of House Baratheon of Dragonstone. She is the heir to the throne, since she is the only surviving child (all of her siblings were stillborns). Shireen almost got killed by Greyscale, and the scar on her face is what is left after all the healers in the land attempted to save her life.
Her mother, Selyse, dislikes Shireen because she hoped for a son instead. In season 5, you’ll see what happens to her.
Kerry Ingram has been in acting since she was 9, starting out in musical theatre. Suffering from a rare brittle bone disease called Osteogenesis imperfecta, she has had many broken bones and has stunted growth. She feels very close to her character in that they share medical maladies.
Ingram calls Warfield, England, her home.
Hodor! Hodor! A simple-minded servant that escapes Winterfell when it is destroyed with a few other guys, and ends up following a raven.
All Hodor says is Hodor, because that’s all he’s intellectually capable of. At least he’ll never forget his lines.
Kristian Nairn is a world renowned DJ; however, this is his first acting gig. He is from Northern Ireland and is a big man. He’s almost 7′ tall!
That means he has to hunch over those tables when he’s DJing, which he regularly does when he’s not acting as Hodor.
One more character that is no more, after being killed off by King Jon Snow with a hammer to the head. Ouch! Styr was a wildling with a fierce tribe called the Magnar of Thenn. What’s creepy about this tribe? They feast on their victims from battle, and also participate in self-scarification.
And, Styr is the leader.
Yuri Kolokolnikov was born in 1980 in Moscow, Russia. Though an actor and producer from Moscow, this is his first American role. He has since been cast in other U.S. movies and tv shows, 30 to date.
Kolokolnikov stands at 6’5″. A good height to play Styr.
Though not the best of the Night’s Watch physically, Samwell Tarly, who’s more commonly known as Sam, is the insightful elder son of Lord Randyll Tarly.
Although he’s a self-professed coward, Sam is very smart and loyal, which is good news for Jon Snow, who is one of his closest friends.
John Bradley-West ended up on the Game of Thrones through his school’s website – Manchester Metropolitan University – where he graduated with honors. You may have seen him in “Borgia”, in which he played Cardinal Giovanni de’ Medici. He currently filming two movies: “Patient Zero” and “American Satan”.
When he’s not acting, look out for him in the clubs. He’s a killer drummer and funny stand-up comedian.
Known as the most ruthless and meanest characters in the series, Ramsay Bolton, known also as Ramsay Snow, is hated with a passion. He is a true sadist and loves to torture people. Ramsay is the newest heir to Winterfell – so fans should beware!
Why not call him by his nickname: The Bastard of Bolton!
This Welsh actor and musician has had many creative roles before Game of Thrones, appearing in a few movies, tv shows, video games, radio shows and stage productions. You may remember him fro the British show, “Misfits”, in which he played the invisible Simon Bellamy.
Though he left his band The Convictions, he is slated to record several solo projects in London soon. Hopefully they’ll be in English, but he may be singing in Welsh, too, since that’s his native language.
This second son of Lord Stark is always with is companion, Summer, a direwolf. More familiarly known as Bran, he loves to climb walls, until he’s left crippled by an attempt on his life.
The up side: he can control the minds of animals.
ISAAC HEMPSTEAD WRIGHT
Another child actor, Isaac Hempstead Wright got his start at age 11 in his homeland of England, playing in commercials and a few small rolls on tv. To avoid playing football (soccer) through the winter, Wright joined the drama club where he learned to love acting.
If you want to see Wright in real life, try visiting his town of Kent. You might run into him at the university, where he hopes to pursue a PhD.