After the much-awaited Game of Thrones season six finale, it’s going to be one painfully long year before we can discuss who lives and who dies in the series. HBO never fails to keep us on the edge of our seats with each shocking episode, and it’s getting more and more exciting that perhaps some of you don’t even realize that it’s already been five years since it first aired on television. Our favorite characters—or at least those who remain alive—have drastically changed since.
Scroll down and see how the major characters have evolved through the years.
Eddard Stark’s bastard son (or is he?) has been through a lot since he left Winterfell to join the Night’s Watch, and although his dark curly locks are still there, his new battle scars are a testament to the hero he’s become. He also looks a lot scruffier now compared to the tamed cutie he was back in season one.
Sophie Turner was only 15 years old when she took on the role of Sansa. Five years, six seasons, and two estranged husbands later, the red-headed Stark girl has evolved not only as a stronger female but also with a natural beauty that befits a highborn lady.
Speaking of the Stark girls, how could we forget about Arya Stark who practically grew up on our TV screens? Maisie Williams, who was only 14 when she made her GoT debut, has transformed right before our eyes—from a doe-eyed kid to a ferocious girl who “has no name.” But hey, at least she has a strong brow game.
The crippled Bran Stark no doubt has the most significant transformation of all. After he took a time off during the entire fifth season, Isaac Hempstead Wright surprised fans when he came back for season six—complete with a new haircut and a post-puberty look. We almost didn’t recognize him, so it's a good thing the North remembers.
Obviously, it wasn’t just Bran who got himself a new haircut. Apart from his missing right hand, the Kingslayer has been through some changes, too—from his mid-parted blonde hair to his current ashen ‘do. And don’t tell us you didn’t notice that dapper new haircut he’s been sporting recently!
Still on the subject of haircuts, here’s one we did not see coming. The left photo was from season one when Cersei was still at the pinnacle of her power, and that power completely went down the drain after her walk of shame, which involved chopping off her long golden locks and leaving her with a sad, disheveled pixie.
Although Tyrion Lannister is a certified fan favorite, the past seasons haven’t exactly been kind to him, which probably explains why he looks like he aged 10 years instead of just five. Other than the brutal scar across his face, which he got after the Battle of the Blackwater, his blonde hair has gone from straight to curly and he’s long bid that clean-shaven look adieu.
Unlike the rest of cast, Emilia Clarke doesn’t look like a day older, although clearly she’s no longer the meek Daenerys Targaryen we once knew from the pilot episode. With her new wardrobe, three dragons, and an army big enough to conquer the Seven Kingdoms, our Khaleesi has become fiercer than ever—with a new braided hairstyle to boot!
Photos from HBO’s Game of Thrones