This Sunday, July 16, marks the beginning of a new season of Game of Thrones. For the next 7 weeks, you’re either in TV fandom heaven, or you’re sulking about how overrated the show is.
Regardless of how you feel about it, this HBO series is a worldwide phenomenon. In 2016, it became the most pirated show in history (which makes sense for an HBO show: not everyone around the world can pay for a subscription). It also became the network’s most-watched TV show after The Sopranos.
On top of that, each episode of the show costs more to make than some blockbuster movies. Each episode of season six cost $10 million to make. That’s a total of $100 million for just one season!
Now that you’re clear on just how massive Game of Thrones really is these days, let’s jump into a breakdown of the characters. If you’ve read the books, you know the show doesn’t exactly portray them accurately. Here’s what they should look like:
1. Jon Snow. When he’s first introduced as the bastard son of Eddard Stark, the 14-year-old and future Lord Commander of The Night’s Watch is described as having a lean build, long face, dark brown hair and gray eyes.
2. Daenerys Targaryen. Everyone’s favourite mother of dragons was meant to look slightly different than Emilia Clarke’s version on the TV show. She’s described as having purple eyes and silver-white blond hair.
3. Cersei Lannister. It seems that the blond characters in the show didn’t get to have the “fantasy” world shade of platinum silver blond hair from the books. Cersei was also meant to have this hair, along with “emerald green eyes.”
4. Tyrion Lannister. No one dares doubt the work of Peter Dinklage as the show’s wittiest character, but one thing was glaringly missing. After the Battle of Blackwater, Tyrion was meant to lose his entire nose.
5. Ramsay Bolton. The bastard we all love to hate wasn’t meant to be as pretty as Iwan Rheon. He’s described as big-boned, with sloped shoulders, pink blotchy skin, and long dry hair.
6. The Mountain. Personally, I’m glad they didn’t go for the book version. In the books, he’s 8 feet tall, weighs 240 lb, and has “massive shoulders and arms thick as the trunk of small trees.”
7. Jaime Lannister. Cersei’s twin brother and certified dreamy knight in shining armour were meant to look more rugged and scruffy in the later seasons. He’s supposed to have long curly hair the color of “beaten gold.”
8. Eddard Stark. The late patriarch of the Stark house has gray eyes, dark hair, and a long graying beard that makes him look older than he really is. The TV show decided to go for shorter, lighter hair.
9. Petyr Baelish. The most sketchy character in the books (whose side is he even on besides his own?) has sharp, rat-like features and a pointy beard in the books.
10. Samwell Tarly. In the books, he’s described as being “very fat” (Jon Snow estimates his weight to be about 280 lbs when he first meets him), with dark hair and a completely round face.
11. Missandei. We’ve all fallen in love with Nathalie Emmanuel’s rendition, but the character was meant to look a lot different. Firstly, she’s meant to be 10 years old. In the books, she has a flat face, golden eyes and a dusky complexion.
12. Daario Naharis. Most Game of Thrones fans agrees that the book version of Daario is too fantasy-esque to properly translate on the screen. In the books, he has blue hair, beard, and eyes. He also dyes his mustache gold and wears extremely colourful clothes.
13. Bran Stark. Another fan favourite, Bran is the second son of Eddard and Catelyn. In the books, Bran inherits her mother’s deep auburn hair and deep blue eyes, which are typical traits among the Tully family members.
14. Yara Greyjoy. She’s named Asha Greyjoy in the books (her name was changed in the show so she wouldn’t get confused with Osha). She’s meant to be lanky, with short black curly hair and a face full of pimples.
15. Euron Greyjoy. The hated uncle of Asha and Theon, Euron is nicknamed “Crow’s Eye” in the books. He has black hair and a black beard, blue lips from drinking too much “shade” in the evening and a big eye patch.
16. Jorah Mormont. In the books, Dany’s most loyal knight is described as middle-aged, very hairy except for his bald head, and with a strong and fit build. At some point in the story, he receives a demon tattoo on his face (also missing from the show).
17. Roose Bolton. The feared patriarch of House Bolton was meant to look less like a knight and more like a vampire. In the books, he has pasty skin that he treats with leeches. He has white-pale eyes “one shade darker than milk.”
18. Tywin Lannister. It’s hard to criticize anything about Charles Dance as Tywin since his portrayal is perfect. But the book version of his character is very different. He’s completely bald, with golden mutton chops and green-gold eyes.
19. Robb Stark. Like his younger brother Bran, Robb inherited his mother’s traits. He has deep red auburn hair and blue eyes. He’s also supposed to be very young (he was only 16 when he was killed in the books)
20. Lysa Arryn. Kate Dickie’s portrayal was unsettling and unnerving in its own way, but very different from the books. By the time she’s in her 30s, her body changed into a stocky and bigger build, with a pale and puffy face that she tries to enhance with paint.