Game of Thrones Cast and Characters
Like the novels it adapts, Game of Thrones has a sprawling ensemble cast, estimated to be the largest on television. During the production of the third season, 257 cast names were recorded. In 2014, several of the actors’ contracts were renegotiated to include the option for a seventh season, and included raises that reportedly made the cast among the best-paid on cable TV. The following overview reduces the list of characters in Game of Thrones to those played by the actors credited as part of the main cast.
Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (Sean Bean) is the head of the Stark family whose members are involved in most of the series’s intertwined plot lines. He and his wife Catelyn Tully (Michelle Fairley) have five children: the eldest, Robb (Richard Madden), the dainty Sansa (Sophie Turner), the tomboy Arya (Maisie Williams), the adventurous Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and the youngest, Rickon (Art Parkinson). Ned’s bastard son Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his friend Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) serve in the Night’s Watch under Lord Commander Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo). The red-haired Ygritte (Rose Leslie), one of the Wildlings led by Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), is Jon Snow’s romantic interest, and Sam cares for the young Wildling Gilly (Hannah Murray).
People associated with the Starks include Ned’s hostage and ward Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), as well as Ned’s vassal (“bannerman”) Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) and his sadistic bastard Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon). Robb falls in love with the healer Talisa Maegyr (Oona Chaplin), and Arya befriends the blacksmith’s apprentice Gendry (Joe Dempsie) and the assassin Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha). Catelyn is served by the tall warrior Brienne of Tarth(Gwendoline Christie).
In the capital of King’s Landing, Ned’s old friend King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) shares a loveless marriage with Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), who has taken her twin, the “Kingslayer” Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as her secret lover. She loathes her younger brother, the clever dwarf Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who is attended by his mistress Shae (Sibel Kekilli) and the sellsword Bronn (Jerome Flynn). Cersei’s father is the fabulously wealthy Lord Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), and she has two sons, the cruel Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and the kind Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman). Joffrey is guarded by the scar-faced warrior Sandor “the Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann).
The king’s “Small Council” of advisors includes the crafty Master of Coin, Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen) and the eunuch spymaster Lord Varys (Conleth Hill). Robert’s brother Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) is advised by the foreign priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and the former smuggler Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham). The wealthy Tyrell family is represented at court by the ambitious Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and her grandmother Olenna (Diana Rigg).
Across the Narrow Sea, siblings Viserys (Harry Lloyd) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) – the exiled children of the king overthrown by Robert Baratheon – are on the run for their lives, trying to win back the throne. Daenerys has been married to Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), the leader of the nomadic Dothraki, and her retinue includes the exiled knight Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), her aide Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and the sellsword Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman). In the southern realm of Dorne, Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) seeks vengeance against the Lannisters.