Game of Thrones: Then and now! What Are Your Favorite Characters Up To?

On April 2011, the world witnessed the first episode of Game of Thrones, possibly one of the best shows to ever grace television. It is only fitting then that the countdown to its end starts on the same month on 2019, eight years after its premier. Showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss led the television adaptation of G.R.R. Martin’s legendary book saga to soaring heights, and with such complex twists and turns the show is bound to have a number of memorable characters.

If there is one thing that the show taught us, it is that nothing is ever sure with fate. To quote Cersei’s famous line to the good old Ned Stark: “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.”. The only question left to ask is this, is your favorite character still alive and kicking, or did he/she die somewhere along the story already? This Top 40 list helps you find out!

HONORABLE MENTIONS

There are so many characters in the show that all played vital and memorable roles, but they cannot all be in the Top 40. And so to honor them, here are some of our honorable mentions.

Viserys Targaryen
Maester Aemon
Podrick Payne
Mance Rayder
Catelyn Stark

Now let’s get to the Top 40!

Ygritte

Photo credit to Independent.co.uk

First Appearance: Season 2’s sixth episode, The Old Gods and the New

Quick-witted, iron-willed, kissed by fire, these are just some of the many things that made Jon Snow kneel in front of this Wildling wonder girl and perform the legendary Lord’s Kiss. A great archer and a loyal fighter under the command of Mance Rayder, Ygritte refused the idea of kneeling to a king that she did not choose. Her presence has undoubtedly helped shaped the person Jon became, and her death by Olly’s arrow is something that Jon deeply mourned.

Last Appearance: (death) Season 4’s ninth episode, The Watchers on the Wall

Status: Dead

Hodor

Photo credit to Esquire.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Simple-minded is how people described Hodor. Despite this, he was a loyal helper to the stables of House Stark. Through countless adventures and mishaps, Hodor carried Bran on his back, proving his worth in times of need. In what is probably  his best moment in the series, the episode aptly titled The Door showed how Hodor got his nickname (and signature phrase) from the warging mishap that Bran initiated by accident. Up to his death, Hodor remained a loyal friend to the young Stark.

Last Appearance: Season 6’s fifth episode, The Door

Status: Dead

Greyworm

Photo credit to Nerdist.com

First Appearance: Season 3’s fifth episode, Kissed by Fire

Grey Worm, or Torgo Nudho if you speak fluent Valyrian, is the current Commander of the Unsullied. Chosen as leader by his warrior brethren themselves, his skill in combat is absolute. As a military tactician, he has earned his place in the Khaleesi’s inner circle, acting as one of her advisers. He has participated in many battles for his Khaleesi, but still finds the time to woo the handmaiden Missandei in his spare time.

Last Appearance: (death)  Season 7’s seventh episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Khal Drogo

Photo credit to MensHealth.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

From the nomadic horse-lord tribes of the Dothraki, Khal Drogo has certainly made his presence known during his time in the series. Skilled and unrelenting in battle, it did not take much action for him to show the people his savagery and bloodlust in a fight when he ripped the throat of his disloyal underling. The first lover of Daenerys, his death fueled the life of the dragons that Daenerys has since then cared for.

Last Appearance: (death) Season 1’s tenth episode, Fire and Blood

Status: Dead

Tormund Giantsbane

Photo credit to TVGuide.com

First Appearance: Season 3’s first episode, Valar Dohaeris

Tormund Giantsbane, often called by just his first name among his friends, was one of Mance Rayder’s fiercest warband leaders and undoubtedly one of the King Beyond the Wall’s most capable fighters. After the death of Rayder, the man who he thought was to lead them through the Long Night, he has put his faith on Jon Snow to fulfill the role. As of the moment, he is seemingly attracted to the towering figure that is Brienne of Tarth.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Jorah Mormont

Photo credit to HBO.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Son of the late great Night’s Watch Commander Jeor Mormont, Jorah was an exiled Northern lord who at first acted as a spy for Varys, the spymaster. His main job was to inform Varys about the whereabouts of the Targaryen siblings, however he fell in love with Daenerys bit by bit until he forewent of his supposed duties and helped her transition into being the Khaleesi we know now. His relationship with Daenerys has certainly been tested, but now that he has regained the Khaleesi’s trust and is now cured of the greyscale affliction, he will certainly come back stronger than before.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Jaqen H’ghar

Photo credit to Vanityfair.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s final episode, Fire and Blood

First introduced as a criminal, we gradually see the real value Jaqen brings to the table as the show progressed. A master assassin from the fearsome order called the Faceless Men of Braavos, he saw the potential in a young Arya Stark and trained her to be the great assassin that she is today. Whether Jaqen H’ghar is his real name, no one knows.

Last Appearance: Season 6’s eighth episode, No One

Status: Alive

Gendry

Photo credit to Thrillist.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s fourth episode, Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

Gendry is the last known living descendant of the Baratheon bloodline. The reason for this is that he escaped from King’s Landing after learning of the massacres of the other Baratheon bastards in the area. After a rollercoaster ride from Harrenhal to Dragonstone, he was reunited with Ser Davos and has helped Jon in capturing a wight successfully.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s sixth episode, Beyond the Wall

Status: Alive

Euron Greyjoy

Photo Credit to Express.co.uk

First Appearance: Season 6’s second episode, Home

Cunning and unpredictable, Euron Greyjoy is comparable to a sea storm that rages unsuspecting ships. He is currently the King of the Iron Islands, after taking the Salt Throne forcibly from his brother, Balon. Although an uncle to both Yarra and Theon, he seeks to capture and kill both after branding them as traitors to their land. Right now he has allied with Cersei, who has made him the Commander of the Lannister fleet, defeating the Khaleesi’s allies in the battle of Blackwater Bay.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Bronn

Photo credit to Popculture.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s fourth episode, Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

Bronn started from the bottom, and now he’s here. From a simple sellsword to becoming Tyrion Lannister’s champion during his trial by combat at the Eyrie, Bronn’s fortune could not get any better. For his services (mainly from the Battle of Blackwater Bay, among others), he was awarded knighthood and dubbed “Ser Bronn of Blackwater”. If this man does not get the castle that he has often dreamed about, the show will lose its meaning.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Gregor Clegane

Photo credit to Vox.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s fourth episode, Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

Due to his massive size and towering stature, Gregor Clegane from the knightly House Clegane was dubbed as “The Mountain that Rides” or quite simply, “The Mountain”. His brute force is known all throughout the kingdom, and his violence puts fear into the hearts of many warriors and enemies. Oberyn’s poison ultimately killed him off after their combat, but now that he’s reanimated as Ser Robert Strong, he proves to be of more help to Cersei.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive-ish

Sandor Clegane

Photo credit to AVClub.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

A skilled fighter under the House Lannister, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane is brother to The Mountain, and was King Joffrey’s personal bodyguard. After leaving his post at the Battle of Blackwater Bay, he has travelled with Arya Stark, fought against Beric Dondarrion (and Brienne of Tharth), was left for dead, and saw a newfound purpose as he fought alongside Snow and others in order to stop the Long Night from happening.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Stannis Baratheon

Photo credit to Inverse.com

First Appearance: Season 2’s first episode, The North Remembers

Stannis Baratheon’s claim to the throne is supported by two reasons: (1) that Joffrey was a product of incest between Cersei and Jaime, and therefore is not eligible for the crown, and (2) being that he is the next Baratheon in line he should ascend to kingship. However, he lost many battles, the last of which resulted in his death by the avenging hands of Brienne of Tarth.

Last Appearance: (death) Season 5’s final episode, Mother’s Mercy

Status: Dead

Theon Greyjoy

Photo credit to Bustle.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Theon Greyjoy grew up with the Stark siblings, being that he was brought to Winterfell as a ward to Eddard Stark after the Iron Island’s failed rebellion. After Ned’s beheading, Theon swears his loyalty to childhood friend Robb Stark, which he ultimately betrayed in order to redeem his father’s lost respect towards him. Now on the run from the hands of his uncle, Euron, Theon seeks to solidify a strong alliance between his house and that of Daenerys.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

The High Sparrow

Photo credit to Telegraph.co.uk

First Appearance: Season 5’s third episode, High Sparrow

Although his appearance is that of an old, greying man, The High Sparrow is as ruthless as a young warrior in a battlefield. His position as the High Septon of the religious organization known as the Sparrows,  gave him great power and sway over King Tommen’s throne. It was under him that the Faith Militant was established, and it was through him that we see the significant influence the religious sect holds.

Last Appearance: (death) Season 6’s final episode, The Winds of Winter

Status: Dead

Missandei

Photos credit to HBO.com

First Appearance: Season 3’s first episode, Valar Dohaeris

Under the masters of Astapor she was just a slave interpreter, but Missandei’s fate completely changed when Daenerys took her from their abusive clutches and into freedom. Now, she serves as an adviser in the Khaleesi’s inner circle, together with Unsullied Commander Grey Worm and Hand of the Queen, Tyrion Lannister.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Ser Davos Seaworth

Photo credit to HollywoodReporter.com

First Appearance: Season 2’s first episode, The North Remembers

Once a former smuggler who found a nobler way, the Onion Knight served as Hand of the King under Stannis Baratheon. After the Lord’s death, he was caught in the middle of a heated mutiny at the Wall which resulted in Jon Snow’s death. Among the ones who convinced Melissandre to resurrect Snow, he now serves as Jon’s right hand man and has pronounced him The King in the North.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Oberyn Martell

Photo credit to TheDissolve.com

First Appearance: Season 4’s first episode, Two Swords

Oberyn Martell, also known as the Red Viper of Dorne, is a warrior of elite class. He got his nickname from his quick and deadly fighting skills, as well as his knowledge of poisons which he employs in combat. He has shown exemplary fighting skills, all of which is demonstrated in his battle  with the Mountain, having a visible advantage until the Mountain recovered enough strength to yank him down and blow his mind, so to speak, with his brute force.

Last Appearance: (death) Season 4’s eighth episode, The Mountain and the Viper

Status: Dead

Robert Baratheon

Photo credit to Nerdist.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Robert Baratheon was known by many names. The Whoremonger King, the Stag King, but most notably he was known as Robert the Usurper for the uprising he lead against the Targaryens which was later on called Robert’s Rebellion. After defeating the Targaryens, he married into the Lannister family to solidify the kingdom. Unknown to him, the children that Cersei bore were not his own, but were rather from Jaime’s seed. He died of wounds from a boar-hunting “accident” later in his life.

Last Appearance: Season 1’s seventh episode, You Win or You Die

Status: Dead

Melisandre

Photo credit to HBO.com

First Appearance: Season 2’s first episode, The North Remembers

Also known as the Red Woman, this powerful Lord of the Light’s Red Priestess served as counsel to the late Stannis Baratheon. Believing him to be the Prince That Was Promised, she kept close to Stannis all throughout his war. When the Lord met his death at the Battle of Winterfell, she shifted her support and revived Lord Commander Snow. After being banished from the North due to her misgivings, she ultimately plays a critical role in the unity of Jon Snow and Daenerys.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s third episode, The Queen’s Justice

Status: Alive

Brienne of Tarth

Photo credit to HollywoodReporter.com

First Appearance: Season 2’s third episode, What is Dead May Never Die

Brienne of Tarth is an incredible warrior and the sole heir to the House Tarth. She earned Renly Baratheon’s favor by winning an all-male tournament under the guise of armor, thus becoming allies with the would-be King in The War of the Five Kings. So far she has beaten The Hound in a cliff-side combat, avenged the death of Renly, and now resides with the Starks of the North to keep an oath to their mother.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Varys

Photo credit to Winteriscoming.net

First Appearance: Season 1’s third episode, Lord Snow

Varys the Spider was the spymaster to King Robert, holding the title Master of Whisperers. A skilled manipulator and tactician, he holds a vast network of spies and informants across continents. After fleeing King’s Landing with Tyrion Lannister, he has visibly showed support to the side of Daenerys Targaryen, believing in her own brand of ruling. Today, he serves as her Master of Whisperers.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Robb Stark

Photo credit to Time.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

The Young Wolf, as he was called during the War of the Five Kings, was the eldest son of parents Eddard and Catelyn Stark. He led an uprising after his father was executed at King’s Landing alongside allied houses and his direwolf, Grey Wind. A skilled tactician and fighter, he was able to inspire his troops to win numerous victories until he found himself on the  receiving end of a betrayal for the centuries known as the  The Red Wedding.

Last Appearance: (death) Season 3’s ninth episode, The Rains of Castamere

Status: Dead

Samwell Tarly

Photo credit to MakingGameofThrones.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s fourth episode, Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things

Samwell Tarly, affectionately called Sam by his companions, comes from the knightly House Tarly. Forced to join the Night’s Watch under the threat of death, it was there that he met and became close friends with Jon Snow. Although not particularly strong in combat, he makes up for it in knowledge and understanding. He was the one who cured Jorah Mormont’s greyscale during his time at the Citadel, and the one who discovered the secret of Lyanna and Rhaegar.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Margaery Tyrell

Photo credit to Vox.com

First Appearance: Season 2’s third episode, What is Dead May Never Die

Granddaughter to Olenna Tyrell and sister to Loras (the Knight of the Flowers), Margaery Tyrell is a cunning and vicious royal that specializes in manipulation. She became Queen Consort when she married King Joffrey, and then to King Tommen after his brother’s death. She was ultimately outwitted by Cersei Lannister and perished in the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor.

Last Appearance: Season 6’s final episode, The Winds of Winter

Status: Dead

Ser Jaime Lannister

Photo credit to Maxim.com

First Appearance:  Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Known to many as Kingslayer for backstabbing the king he served, Jaime Lannister is the middle child of Tywin Lannister and brother to both Cersei and Tyrion. After a wild ride that involved him losing his swordhand, becoming a prisoner, and ascending again as the Commander of the Lannister army, Jaime is currently caught between Cersei’s plot to destroy Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen’s armies,  and fighting off the White Walkers in the north.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Olenna Tyrell

Photo credit to TheRinger.com

First Appearance: Season 3’s second episode, Dark Wings, Dark Words

Particularly skilled in manipulation, plotting, and politics, Olenna Tyrell was the de-facto matriarch of House Tyrell. Because of her ruthlessness and scathing words, she was dubbed as The Queen of Thorns (in reference to the sigil of her house). After learning that her family was killed off by the Lannisters, she allied herself with Daenerys Targaryen which ultimately led to her demise. However, not before revealing to Jaime himself that she was the one who had Joffrey killed.

Last Appearance: (death) Season 7’s third episode, The Queen’s Justice

Status: Dead

Tywin Lannister

Photo credit to Wired.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s seventh episode, You Win or You Die

Aptly called the Lion of Lannister, he was the head of House Lannister for a great period of time. He served as Hand of the King for three different kings, thus earning him much experience in politics and even battle tactics. Once known as one of the richest and most powerful men in the whole kingdom, he met his end by the hands of his own son, Tyrion.

Last Appearance: (death) Season 4’s final episode, The Children

Status: Dead

Ramsay Bolton

Photo credit to Deadline.com

First Appearance: Season 3’s second episode, Dark Wings, Dark Words

Born as a bastard by the name of Ramsay Snow, Ramsay Bolton was able to legitimize himself through the use of his father’s influence. A skilled leader, fighter, and tactician, he was able to sack Winterfell during the War of the Five Kings in an elaborate betrayal scheme. Famous for his brutality, he heavily tortured Theon to the brink of his sanity, and demoralized the hostaged Sansa Stark time and time again. He met his end when Jon Snow defeated him at The Battle of the Bastards, where he was ultimately imprisoned and fed alive to the dogs.

Last Appearance: Season 6’s ninth episode, Battle of the Bastards

Status: Dead

The Night King

Photo credit to DigitalSpy.com

First Appearance: Season 4’s second episode, The Lion and the Rose

Quite literally a man of no words, The Night King is a former human from the First Men who was captured and transformed by the Children of the Forest into what he is today. He is seemingly the master of the White Walkers and the leader of their undead army. Currently, he holds the strongest force among the powers scattered throughout the kingdom.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Undead

Petyr Baelish

Photo credit to Geek.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s third episode, Lord Snow

Under the rule of King Robert, Petyr Baelish served as the cunning and mischievous Master of the Coin. Specializing in manipulation and espionage, “Littlefinger” was among the best thinkers of the kingdom, outwitting multiple people with multiple strategies. His merciless ways came to an end when one of his victims, Sansa Stark, gave him the punishment of death inside the walls of Winterfell.

Last Appearance:  Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Dead

Arya Stark

Photo credit to Metro.co.uk

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Ever since she was a child, Arya Stark dreaded the qualities of a “proper lady” but instead excelled in fighting. After her father’s execution at King’s Landing, Arya has travelled far and wide with numerous companions until she arrived at her destination in Braavos, where she trained to become one of the fearsome Faceless Men. On her way to the north to reunite with her family, she has killed off everyone who wronged her and her family.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Eddard Stark

Photo credit to Forbes.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Ned Stark is the Quiet Wolf, named Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North by King Robert. Later on, he served as the Hand of the King. Due to the secrets that he uncovered about the bloodline of Cersei’s children, he was ordered to be executed at King’s Landing, sparking the War of the Five Kings. He also kept one of the show’s best kept secrets: the truth about Jon Snow’s parents.

Last Appearance: Season 1’s ninth episode, Baelor

Status: Dead

Joffrey Baratheon

Photo credit to Glamour.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Vicious and ruthless, King Joffrey was the 18th king to sit on the Iron Throne. Unknown to him, his real father is the one he knew as Uncle Jaime. His merciless rulings and bratty attitude met its appropriate end at his own wedding feast, but not before having countless people hurt or killed, including Ned Stark and the prostitute Ros.

Last Appearance: Season 4’s second episode, The Lion and the Rose

Status: Dead

Cersei Lannister

Photo credit to Bustle.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Dubbed as one of the most beautiful women in the kingdom, Cersei is sister to both Jaime and Tyrion. After many deaths in her  family causing the whole house to crumble, Cersei ascends to the throne as the Queen, a position where she is able to deal much damage from. After gaining the trust of the allied Targaryen and Snow, she plots to destroy the two if and when the opportunity arises.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Sansa Stark

Photo credit to Inverse.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

After all the suffering she went through – from King’s Landing back to Winterfell – Sansa Stark showed true Stark spirit by hanging on and never giving up. She has learned much since her days as a naive lady who dreamed of becoming wife to the King. With a newfound strength and powerful allies, Sansa Stark is ready to take the world by snow storm.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Tyrion Lannister

Photo credit to TheVerge.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Nicknamed ‘the Imp’ growing up because of his physical deformity (dwarfism), Tyrion Lannister shows a true lion’s spirit despite what his family says. Calculating, smart, and eloquent, what he lacked in size and strength he made up in smarts and drinking strength. After numerous attempts at his life, Tyrion has found his way to the Khaleesi’s side, serving as the Hand of the Queen under Daenerys Targaryen.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Brandon Stark

Photo credit to Cosmopolitan.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Bran, one of the remaining Stark children, was always a curious kid. In his pursuit of knowledge, he stumbled upon a deadly Lannister secret, which resulted to his partial paralysis. However, it was in this state that he was able to discover the unique skills that he had inside him. From struggling to warg, now Bran is the Three-Eyed Raven, and his true purpose is yet to be revealed.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Jon Snow

Photo credit to HBO.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Before his true lineage was revealed, Jon Snow grew  up as a bastard alongside all the Stark children. Possessing great swordsmanship skills and having no place in House Stark, he joined the Night’s Watch in order to fulfill a purpose. Through his adventures and battles from Beyond the Wall up to the Wall itself, Snow has proven himself to be quite the fighter and  leader. Because he is the rightful king to the Iron Throne, he would have been number one in this list, had he not bowed down to…

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

Daenerys Targaryen

Photo credit to HBO.com

First Appearance: Season 1’s first episode, Winter is Coming

Daenerys has been a survivor all throughout her life. From such a young age, numerous people have tried to take her and her brother’s life in order to end the House Targaryen. However, she survived all of these threats which only made her stronger. Now, The Mother of Dragons seeks to seize the Iron Throne and take for herself what she believes is rightfully hers.

Last Appearance: Season 7’s final episode, The Dragon and the Wolf

Status: Alive

These are just some of the best characters in the TV show Game of Thrones. With such a rich and unique story, surely there are bound to be a number of characters who are simply just above the rest. The countdown for the final season draws near each day, so take this list with you and start binge watching the series again! And remember, the night is dark and full of terror!

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