See how the stars of the hit series have changed since season one. (Warning: This gallery contains spoilers!)
Facioli may only have appeared on nine episodes of Game of Thrones as Robin Arryn, Lord of the Eyrie, Protector of the Vale, but his surprise cameo in the series’s finale quickly made headlines for his notable physical tranformation à la Harry Potter‘s Neville Longbottom.
Facioli was 11 when we were first introducted to his character “Sweet Robin,” who, until now, was best remembered for being breastfed well into his childhood.
Fans joked that perhaps that was the secret behind the character’s glow-up; the finale saw Robin’s long, shaggy hair coiffed into luscious Prince Charming locks, and the actor was pleasantly surprised to wake up to fans freaking out over his transformation on Twitter.
He retweeted an article from TV Guide about his new heartthrob status, adding, “Definitely didn’t expect my morning to start off like this.
Reflecting on his time working on the show, Facioli tweeted, “9 years ago I had the honour of being invited to work in this incredible series. It’s been a wonderful adventure and I’m so, so thankful for having been able to be a part of it!”
Growing up on the set of GoT has to be a very unique experience, as the actor admits. “Looking back retrospectively, I can just see how f—ing weird my childhood’s been,” Wright told Rollacoaster Magazine. “It’s literally my adolescence! I’ve become a man on Thrones.” The actor was only 12 when he started the show as Bran Stark and now at 19, he’s ready for something new. (It doesn’t hurt that he’s going out as the new king of Westeros.)
“It feels like I’ve just lived an entire career and an entire life, but I’ve literally just started my life,” he told GQ. After taking on one of the show’s most powerful characters, Wright has plans to “just relax and have fun, get some acting jobs here and there” and finish college, where he plans to pursue neuroscience. Just like any other 19-year-old, he’s just going to go with the flow. “That’s what [my character] Bran and I did for the past nine years, and I haven’t done so badly,” he added.
Clarke, 32, joined the series as a relative newcomer to acting, but has certainly gained a mass following since. As badass heir-to-the-Iron-Throne Daenerys Targaryen, the actress has supplied some of GoT‘s most jaw-droppingly empowering moments.
However, Clarke’s career trajectory leaves little room for revisiting her GoT role after the show’s end. “I have no doubt there’ll be prequels and sequels and who knows what else,” she recently told Rolling Stone. “But I am doing one more season. And then that’ll be it.”
Not only has GoT made Harington, 32, part of the most talked-about cliffhanger in television history, but the show also brought him a significant other. Harington translated his on-screen romance with costar Rose Leslie, 32, off camera. The two got married in Scotland on June 23, 2018, in front of their castmates, family and friends. After soon-to-be eight seasons of playing Jon Snow, Harington had this to say about the show and how it helped shape his future.
“It gave me my future family and my life from here on in,” Harington told reporters in the 2018 Emmys press room. “That’s the main thing it did for me, and it’s changed it completely.”
Game of Thrones‘ first season premiered in 2011, two days after Williams turned 14. Aside from killing it (literally) as fan favorite Arya Stark — her first-ever role — Williams, 21, also found a friend for life in costar Sophie Turner. The two achieved best friend goals when they wore matching Halloween costumes last fall, and even got identical tattoos. Williams will also be Turner’s maid of honor at her upcoming wedding to Joe Jonas.
As for life post-Thrones, Williams is very optimistic. “It’s quite exciting that the show’s coming to an end,” she told TIME. “It’s a time to look quite positively at the future and really try to shape my career without being tied to anything.”
Turner, 23, has cultivated a second family out of her GoT castmates. “I feel like I have the world’s biggest family,” she told PEOPLE. “The support system has been the greatest thing for me.” The X-Men star, who is engaged to Joe Jonas, says growing up on the graphic HBO series was her “sex education.”
“The first time I ever found out about oral sex was from reading the script,” she told the U.K.’s Sunday Times. “I was like … ‘Wow! People do that? That’s fascinating!'”
Dinklage was nominated for Emmys seven times for his role as ridiculed royal Tyrion Lannister, and he nabbed three wins. His iconic GoT role also inspired an uncanny wax figure of the star, and some hilariously quotable memes.
When asked about his final days as his character, Dinklage told Vulture: “As anticlimactic as it was, my last day was also beautifully bittersweet. … I know Game of Thrones is just a TV show, la-di-da, but it was our life.” Fans can hear more of Dinklage in his upcoming roles in the animated movies The Croods 2, as the voice of Phil Betterman, and The Angry Birds Movie 2, as the voice of Mighty Eagle.
King Joffrey Baratheon was the character fans loved to hate. Gleeson, who was only 17 when he auditioned for the show, spent four seasons playing the vicious young king who eventually got poisoned at his own wedding. The death of his character also marked another type of ending that many did not expect.
The actor surprised fans by announcing his retirement from acting at age 21. “I’ve been acting since age 8,” he told EW. “I just stopped enjoying it as much as I used to … When you make a living from something, it changes your relationship with it. It’s not like I hate it, it’s just not what I want to do.” Now at 26, Geelson has gone to Trinity College in Dublin and is acclimating back to life before Thrones.
Christie’s brilliant portrayal of Brienne of Tarth took the actress from playing minor roles in movies and television to launching her into blockbuster territory, with films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. Now that the show is nearing the end, Christie is available and ready for her next role.
“I am open to offers,” Christie said on Good Morning America. “I love cash!” she added, jokingly. “Cash is king.” Fans don’t have to wait too long to see the star on screen again: Christie will appear in films The Personal History of David Copperfield in 2019 and The Friend in 2020.
Danish actor Coster-Waldau refuses to let his two daughters, Philippa and Safina, watch the show. His decision makes sense since his character, Jaime Lannister, is an incestuous back-stabber. “Work is work. It’s not something we sit down and enjoy,” he told the New York Post. “For my kids, it’s just weird to see your father make out with another woman. It’s not cool.”
The actor had an impressive résumé prior to landing his role as Lannister, including films like Black Hawk Down and Headhunters, and his future roles look just as promising. You can catch him in the crime thriller Domino and drama mystery Suicide Tourist, which are both slated to be released later this year.
The actress behind one of the cruelest villains on the show revealed she suffered from postpartum depression while filming the first season of GoT. “I did the first year [on GoT] in that space, figuring out motherhood and going through a weird time personally,” she told The EDIT. “It was tricky.”
Since the show, the star has pivoted from her cold-hearted character Cersei Lannister to take on wrestling mom Julia Knight in Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s film Fighting with My Family.