Home Entertainment ‘Game of Thrones’ Stars: From Their First ‘GoT’ Premiere to Their Last

‘Game of Thrones’ Stars: From Their First ‘GoT’ Premiere to Their Last

The end is near for HBO’s record-breaking series Game of Thrones. The eighth and final season begins on Sunday, April 14!

For eight years, fans across the world watched the Starks, the Lannisters, the Targaryens and more fictional families wage war on the television adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire. You know what that means? A lot of red carpet premieres.

The first big cast premiere was held at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on March 18, 2013, ahead of season 3. Though not everyone in the cast could make it to California for the event, fan favorites such as Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage all flew in to grace the red carpet.

With days left before the airing of the first episode of season 8, many of the series’ stars — past and present — hit up the red carpet at Radio City Music Hall in New York City on April 3, 2019, marking one of the very last times such a large portion of the cast would be together.

Noticeably absent was Lena Headey, who’s played one of the fantasy drama’s leading ladies Cersei Lannister since the pilot episode.

“Gutted. Heartbroken and f–ked off, still doesn’t cover my disappointment at not being able to travel to NYC for our final prem tonight,” Headey explained of her absence in an emotional Instagram post at the time. “I f–king hate being sick and the timing of this is a sh-t bag.”

Still, sans Headey, more than 20 of the award-winning production’s stars made it to the premieres in both 2013 and 2019. Scroll down to see the cast on the red carpet, then and now!

Game of Thrones season 8 airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

Kit Harington (Jon Snow)

When the first episode of Game of Thrones aired on April 17, 2011, Harington was a 24-year-old with luxurious locks and no other professional acting credits to his name. Since the show wrapped filming, however, the hunky actor, who’s now in his thirties, cut his long, curly mane and has gone on to star in movies such as Pompeii, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan and even lent his voice to the animated How to Train Your Dragon franchise.

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Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister)

The New Jersey-born actor stole the spotlight from the inception of the fantasy drama. (Watch when he makes his entrance at any Comic-Con and you’ll see.) And something tells Us that Dinklage will continue to make waves in the industry sans GoT. He’s got blockbusters such as Avengers: Infinity War and acclaimed films such as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri on his résumé, so he’s already off to an amazing start.

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Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark)

The then-redheaded Sophie Turner was 15 years old the day Game of Thrones first aired, which means she was still a teen when she walked the carpet at the season 3 premiere. At the latest event, though, the stunning starlet, who’s now in her twenties, is a blonde beauty with an impressive slate of movies in the works, including the latest X-Men flick, Dark Phoenix.

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Maisie Williams (Arya Stark)

Maisie Williams had just turned 14 when GoT premiered, so she was unaware of the phenomenon that the series would become. All she wanted out of the gig was to be able to afford a new computer. “The thing I was really obsessed about was whether I would earn enough money to buy myself a laptop,” Williams told The Guardian in 2016. “My stepdad, Gary, just looked at me and said: ‘I think there’ll be enough for a couple of laptops, Maisie.’”

The young twentysomething is worth a few million now — thanks in large part to the HBO show that made her famous, plus future projects such as the final installment in the X-Men franchise, The New Mutants — meaning she could afford all the laptops she ever wants.

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Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)

Headey (a.k.a. Cersei) may’ve not made it out to the latest promotional event, but her onscreen brother/lover certainly did. From seasons 1 through 3, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau sported a nearly shoulder-length ‘do both on and off screen, as you can see on the 2013 carpet. From season 4 onward, however, the 6-foot-2 star donned a cleaner cut, as seen at the 2019 occasion.

The fact that the drama is ending doesn’t seem to be slowing down the actor’s career — he’s already got four movies in the works, including Domino with fellow GoT star Carice van Houten.

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Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark)

The youngest of the living Stark siblings (R.I.P. Rickon) was only 12 years old when the first episode aired. Now, he’s part of the twentysomething club! Look out for him appearing opposite the likes of Anthony Mackie, Elodie Yung and John Rhys-Davies in the upcoming The Blue Mauritius.

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Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy)

Surprisingly, Theon Greyjoy managed to outlive some of the greats, including Ned, Catelyn and Robb Stark. So it’s no surprise that the man who portrays him, Alfie Allen, made an appearance at both events. He’s set to hit the big screen alongside Emma Thompson, Jameela Jamil and Beanie Feldstein in the upcoming comedy How to Build a Girl.

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Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth)

Brienne was a force to be reckoned with ever since Gwendoline Christie signed on for season 2 of the franchise. From then to the beginning of season 8 (and, hopefully, until the last episode), she’s wielded a sword like nobody’s business. That skill has proven to be useful, especially during the actress’ fight scenes as Captain Phasma in another successful franchise: Star Wars.

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John Bradley (Samwell Tarly)

Jon Snow’s BFF has been a beloved by fans since the series’ fourth episode. While his style has basically stayed the same, his face has certainly matured.

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Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane)

You don’t need to tell Us how different McCann looks when he’s not portraying The Hound. He’s unrecognizable, with or without facial hair!

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Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei)

Daenerys’ righthand woman has been doing well for herself since she joined the GoT cast in 2013, appearing in the Maze Runner and the Fast and the Furious franchises in the midst of filming the HBO production. She also has two new TV series in the works: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance and the Four Weddings and a Funeral remake.

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Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth)

There’s something about the Irish actor that fans have loved since day one. Whether Ser Davos makes it to the very end remains to be seen, but at least Cunningham has a few projects planned, such as TV mini-series The Hot Zone.

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Carice van Houten (Melisandre)

Melisandre (a.k.a. The Red Woman) wasn’t exactly a hit from the get-go, but she proved her worth when she brought Jon Snow back from the dead on season 6. Fans can’t wait to see what she brings to the table on the mini-series Temple.

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Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo)

Khal Drogo’s death at the end of season 1 tugged at the heartstrings of everyone who stanned him and Daenerys. Never fear, though, ’cause Jason Momoa‘s offscreen relationship with Clarke is still super sweet to this very day. The Aquaman actor even gave his onscreen love a shoutout on his Instagram Stories at the final season premiere.

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Aidan Gillen (Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish)

If you’re being completely honest with yourself, you know that you thrived off of Littlefinger’s death on the season 7 finale. “Thank you for your many lessons, Lord Baelish. I will never forget them,” Sansa tells him moments before Arya slits his throat. Oh, darn. … At least he still had the Maze Runner franchise post-GoT … which he also died in.

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Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell)

Who could forget when Margaery, along with her brother, father, the High Sparrow and many others, disintegrated in the Great Sept of Baelor when it was destroyed with wildfire on season 6? It was iconic!

Since then, Natalie Dormer‘s been keeping busy, starring on Picnic at Hanging Rock, Penny Dreadful and The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance with Emmanuel.

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Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister)

Dance has been keeping busy, adding over 20 acting credits to his name since his character’s death at the hands of his onscreen son Tyrion in 2015. One of those projects included Me Before You, opposite Emilia Clarke!

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Rose Leslie (Ygritte)

If “you know nothin'” about Rose Leslie outside of Game of Thrones, we’ll fill in some of the blanks for you. After Ygritte was killed off in 2014, the redhead has been working hard on shows such as The Good Fight, the spinoff of The Good Wife. Oh, and she married Kit Harington in 2018!

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Sibel Kekilli (Shae)

After her death at the hands of her former love Tyrion in 2014, Kekilli went back to her roots in German television, starring on series such as Tatort and Bruder: Schwarze Macht.

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Esmé Bianco (Ros)

Bianco’s turn on the show ended in 2013 after Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) shot her to death with a crossbow, but the actress has been doing just fine. The Magicians, Supergirl and Star vs. the Forces of Evil are just some of the TV shows she’s gotten under her belt since Ros’ demise.

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