See How the Game of Thrones Cast Changed From Season 1 to 8

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As characters, everyone on Game of Thrones went through some real rough stuff. From beheadings (multiple), to wars, to death and back—a lot happened during the eight action-packed seasons. Thankfully, despite less-than-ideal filming conditions, the real world was much easier for these actors—some of whom have gone from fresh faces to bona fide stars in the years since. In anticipation of the show’s upcoming prequel, House of the Dragon, let’s take a look back at where it all began in 2011, with these photos of cast members whose characters changed Westeros forever.

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Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, in 2011.

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Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, in 2019.

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Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, in 2012.

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Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, in 2019.

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Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, in 2011.

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Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, in 2019.

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Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, in 2011.

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Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, in 2018.

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Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, in 2012.

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Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, in 2019.

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Lena Heady, who plays Cersei Lannister, in 2011.

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Lena Heady, who plays Cersei Lannister, in 2018.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, in 2011.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, in 2018.

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Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, in 2012.

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Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, in 2018.

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Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, in 2011.

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Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, in 2018.

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Carice van Houten, who plays Melisandre, in 2013.

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Carice van Houten, who plays Melisandre, in 2018.

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Conleth Hill, who plays Varys, in 2014.

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Conleth Hill, who plays Varys, in 2017.

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Daniel Portman, who plays Podrick Payne, in 2014.

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Daniel Portman, who plays Podrick Payne, in 2016.

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Gemma Whelan, who plays Yara Greyjoy, in 2013.

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Gemma Whelan, who plays Yara Greyjoy, in 2018.

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Hannah Murray, who plays Gilly, in 2013.

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Hannah Murray, who plays Gilly, in 2018.

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Iain Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont, in 2011.

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Iain Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont, in 2019.

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