Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead! Do not read if you haven’t had a chance, but plan to watch the show! Unless you don’t mind spoilers of course 🙂
From unknown to world renown, actors and characters on Game of Thrones changed dramatically in their own lives, as well as on the show. With season six just around the corner (April 24, 2016), let’s go through the transition of some key characters on screen of the critically acclaimed show by HBO.
Daughter of Lady Alerie Tyrell of house Highgarden and Lord Mace Tyrell of house Tyrell. She is also the sister of Loras, mentioned in Part 2. In introducing her character, we immediately realize this is a woman with ambitions, compounded by her mother’s (Alerie Tyrell) behavior and sharp instincts and intuition.
After a very short-lived marriage to Renly Baratheon (killed by Stannis’ and Melisandre’s shadow), she was pushed to marry king Jeoffry Baratheon, to cement the Tyrell name in Kings Landing, and among the seven kingdoms. However, she was subject to constant abuse from her second spouse, and thankfully escaped a full life of torture and torment after Jeoffry was poisoned.
It was only sensible that house Tyrell then pushed for Margaery to be wedded to Joeffry’s younger brother, and third husband, Tommen, who was now king. The marriage indeed happened, but now Margaery finds herself in prison, awaiting trial for lying about her brother’s (Loras) actions.
One used to usually having her way, it will will be interesting to see how, or if, she manages to get out of her current predicament.
One of the most interesting characters of the show, Ramsay is the bastard son (hence Snow) of Roose Bolton, head of house Bolton and lord of the Dreadfort. Aside from being a sadistic bastard, he also serves as Roose’s right hand man, and carries out various missions in his father’s favor.
Apparent replacement character of Jeoffry as the story’s most psychotic figure, he was responsible for the emasculation of Theon Greyjoy, stripping his identity, and transforming him into Reek. After an arranged political marriage that sees Sansa become his betrothed, he also receives a boost from his sweet father who now gave him his last name, Bolton, meaning he views him as a possible heir.
His abuse of Sansa causes her to want to escape at all costs, and it appears she manages just that, with the help of another wrecked-by-ramsay soul, Reek. In season six, we anticipate his reaction to his captives/servants/wife/friend getaway won’t just fly by him.
In season one, Varys starts as a cunning and witty member of Robert Baratheon’s counsel. Also known as “The Spider”, unassumingly able to learn of everything that happens in the seven kingdoms thanks to help from his endless “little birds”, Varys is not to be trifled with. After all, knowledge is power.
When Varys learns that Tyrion, a prisoner due to his supposed involvement in Jeoffry’s death, killed his own father, Tywin, he helps him escape across the Narrow Sea.
As Master of Whisperers on the king’s small council, Varys knew everything that went on in the Seven Kingdoms as well as across the Narrow Sea. They are now fully behind Daenerys Targaryen, in her quest to conquer the Iron Throne.
A man of many talents, Petyr Baelish aka “Littlefinger” also serves in the king’s counsel in early seasons, while he also owned a brothel, and was Master of Coin in King’s Landing. A man of information, much like Varys, Petyr’s methods were quite different.
He and Varys often debated which of the two had access to more information. A lover of Lady Catelyn Stark, and other Stark women in general, he ends up using Sansa to further drive his personal ambitions, and has a big part in her ending up with the sadistic Ramsay Snow.
Having things not work out as well as he’d hoped, he will have to reassess and conjure a new plan to his endgame, if there ever was one.
Ser Jorah Mormont debuts in the series premiere. Ser Jorah is an exiled Northern lord living in Essos. He has sworn fealty to his fellow exile Daenerys Targaryen and helps her adapt to life as a Khaleesi of the Dothraki.
Originally, Jorah was working as a spy for Varys, King Robert’s spymaster in King’s Landing, sending Varys information about the Targaryen exiles. But he grows to respect and admire Daenerys, and begins serving her in earnest. He saves her from an assassination attempt, stops sending reports to Varys and ignores an official royal pardon which would allow him to return home to Westeros. He develops strong and unrequited feelings for her.
When Daenerys learns of his past spying, he is dismissed from her service and ordered to leave her presence, but has recently given her the gift of Tyrion Lannister in a hope to earn her trust once more.
Bronn is a skilled and dangerous sellsword who comes to prominence when he champions for Tyrion Lannister in his trial by combat in the Eyrie. Bronn subsequently enters Tyrion’s service as his bodyguard and enforcer.
While Bronn begins as a common and obscure mercenary, over the course of the narrative his fortunes continue to gradually rise. Bronn is briefly appointed Commander of the City Watch in King’s Landing when Tyrion is acting Hand of the King in Season Two. He is then rewarded with a knighthood for the vital role he performed during the Battle of the Blackwater, taking on the formal name “Ser Bronn of the Blackwater“.
Bronn and Jaime took a major detour from the book narrative by journeying to Dorne together to in an attempt (failed) to save Jaime’s daughter, Myrcella. Since Jaime is still getting used to combat with only one hand, Bronn had the opportunity to show what he is capable of in combat once more.
One of the series’ favorites, Daenerys, also referred to as Mother of Dragons starts as a pawn in her brother’s (Viserys) game to return to King’s Landing to rule the seven kingdoms, after their father Aerys “The Mad King” had be murdered (by Jaime Lannister) and dethroned (by Robert Baratheon). She is sold to the Dothraki leader, Khal Drogo, in exchange for an army of men, but events soon see Viserys die, and leave her the only Targaryen standing.
Her brother deceased, she then realizes that it is her that holds the key to uniting the kingdom, but it will be a long and winding road before her plan materializes. Now across the narrow see, and having ruled several cities with the aid of her unsullied and three precious dragons, she finds herself in an unusual situation. She rides off on one of her dragons, Drogon, and is then surrounded by those who appear like Dothraki.
Ser Jorah Mormont sums her up pretty well:
“You have a good claim: a title, a birthright. But you have something more than that: you may cover it up and deny it, but you have a gentle heart. You would be not only respected and feared, you would be loved. Someone who can rule and should rule. Centuries come and go without a person like that coming into the world. There are times that I look at you, and I still can’t believe you’re real.“―Ser Jorah Mormont to Daenerys Targaryen
Will she finally return to Westeros? Will she find allies in her homeland? Season Six of Game of Thrones may finally give us some answers.
The last surviving dragons in the world were possessed by House Targaryen, who used them to conquer and unify the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros three hundred years before the War of the Five Kings. The Targaryen dragons eventually died out about a century and a half later, however, after which the species was considered to be extinct throughout the world.
At the same time that the War of the Five Kings began in Westeros, Daenerys Targaryen – last scion of the deposed House Targaryen – miraculously hatched three new dragons from their eggs, and for the first time in generations, filling the skies of the world with the music of dragons once again.
Still unclear if the Mother of Dragons feels entirely comfortable around her children 🙂
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