From HBO game of Thrones is known for his extensive roster of actors, but only 12 characters appeared in each season. Based on George RR Martin’s A song of ice and fire novels, the fantasy show debuted in April 2011, with eight seasons before coming to an end in May 2019. The series, created by David Benioff and DB Weiss, consisted of 73 episodes in all. Interestingly, none of the actors in game of Thrones appeared in more than 67 episodes, but there were many whose bows prevailed in all eight installments.
To follow the foundation established by Martin’s epic story, game of Thrones it had a great cast. With a fundamental war taking place in the fictional nation of Westeros, a number of noble families became embroiled in the conflict surrounding the claim to the Iron Throne. In addition to the dozens of notable supporting characters and guest stars, the series had an impressive roster of main figures. Actors front and center for much of the show include Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Lena Headey. Those names, however, only scratch the surface when it comes to game of Thrones‘cast list.
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Based on the number of characters entered in game of Thrones, some viewers would expect the number of regular viewers of the series to be much higher. Figures like Bran Stark, Davos Seaworth, and Brienne de Tarth were integral to the plot, but that trio didn’t appear in every season. With that said, here are all the characters that played a role in all eight seasons.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington)
Jon Snow appeared in a total of 62 episodes in the eight seasons of game of Thrones. Originally introduced as the bastard son of Ned Stark, Jon eventually found out that he was the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. After becoming the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jon focused on restoring Northern control of House Stark while preventing an impending war against the White Walkers. Despite Jon’s romantic involvement and his loyalty to Daenerys Targaryen, he had no choice but to kill her before taking the Iron Throne in season 8. Harington survived the events of the series when he rejoined the Night’s Watch. when he was sent into exile.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Daenerys Targaryen coincidentally starred in the same number of episodes as her eventual lover / killer, Jon Snow. As one of the main female figures, Daenerys started out as the Princess of Dragonstone before becoming the Mother of Dragons and a Queen in the eyes of her followers. Her rise to power began after marrying Khal Drogo, but her three dragons greatly helped her conquer several key locations. By aligning herself with Jon to thwart the Night King’s takeover of power, Daenerys focused on the Iron Throne. Although she briefly became the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, her death in the series finale occurred before she could officially sit atop the throne.
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
Of all the characters that appear in game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister appeared in most of the episodes, totaling 67 out of 73. Lord Tywin Lannister’s youngest son always disagreed with his family, which continued into adulthood. Despite serving his noble house, including his sadistic nephew, Joffrey Baratheon, Tyrion eventually switched allegiance to aid in Daenerys’ endeavors. At the end of the series, Tyrion was the last surviving Lannister when he was named the new Lord of Casterly Rock and Hand of the King.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)
Cersei Lannister was another character who was present for 62 total episodes of the epic fantasy series. Although Cersei was introduced as one of the biggest villains on the show, the figure suffered a lot of trauma on a personal level. She eventually became the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, but it came after all of her children died. Cersei’s secret incestuous relationship with her twin brother, Jaime, never allowed her to live a full life. Although the secrets caught her, her future was already in danger as she was Daenerys’ enemy. Cersei starred in season 8, but did not make it to the end of the series due to her death caused by Daenerys’s attack on King’s Landing.
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)
Like his brothers, Jaime Lannister starred in all eight seasons of game of Thrones, reaching 55 episodes. The “Kingslayer” was not a sadist like his twin sister / lover, but was also loyal to House Lannister despite the trouble they caused in Westeros. Interestingly, Jaime assisted House Stark on several occasions, including the Battle of Winterfell. In the show’s final season, Jaime attempted to return to Cersei while Daenerys sought to dethrone the queen. Jaime and Cersei were killed after being buried in the rubble of the destruction caused by Daenerys’ attack on the city.
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)
Ned and Catelyn Stark’s eldest daughter had possibly the most compelling arc in all game of Thrones‘ to run. Sansa Stark started out as a naive idealist who would have sold her soul to become a noble woman. After being manipulated by House Lannister while more members of the family were killed, Sansa began to recognize the truth. The young woman survived several brutal experiences, but admirably used her difficulties as motivation to keep going. Shortly after returning to Winterfell and fighting for her home, Sansa was named Queen of the North.
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)
Although her path couldn’t have been more different from Sansa’s, Arya Stark also appeared in 59 episodes via game of Thrones‘eight seasons. Unlike her sister, Arya had a tomboyish demeanor, which helped her escape the clutches of House Lannister. During her tumultuous journey, Arya acquired key allies before training as a faceless man. He eventually reunited with some of his family members in Winterfell after marking a few names on his murder list. Arya surprisingly served as the figure that killed the Night King. Following the murder of Westeros, Arya decided to go on a boat trip, ending her arc in the series finale.
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)
Theon Greyjoy was one of the most complicated characters in game of Thrones based on his unpredictable loyalties across the eight seasons. Originally aligned with Robb Stark, Theon betrayed the family to support his father’s invasion of the north. Following his time as Ramsay Bolton’s hostage, Theon attempted to redeem himself by saving Sansa from House Bolton. He also tried to make amends with his sister, Yara, before assisting in the Battle of Winterfell, where he died protecting Bran from the Night King.
Samwell Tarly (John Bradley)
As Jon’s closest friend, Samwell Tarly appeared in all seasons of the series. He originally debuted as a recruit for the Night’s Watch before embarking on the order’s most dangerous missions. Although he was often by Jon’s side, Sam made his own notable accomplishments, including starting a family with Gilly and gaining the experience necessary to become a Grand Master at the end of the series.
Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)
Jorah Mormont might not have been a central figure in game of Thrones, but the character appeared every season. In her 52 total episodes, Jorah primarily served Daenerys. By saving their leader on several occasions, Jorah had briefly abandoned his role when he was infected with grayscale. The man was able to reunite with Daenerys’ force before the Battle of Winterfell, which became the site of Jorah’s tragic death.
Bronn (Jerome Flynn)
Bronn appeared in a handful of episodes in each season of game of Thrones. First introduced as a sword for sale, Bronn emerged as Tyrion’s personal bodyguard before landing more work in King’s Landing. Despite having ties to House Lannister, Bronn was more of a wild card. Due to his agreement with Tyrion, Bronn was named Lord of Highgarden and Master of Coin when Bran was named the new ruler of the Seven Kingdoms.
Lord Varys (Conleth Hill)
Despite not being physically active in the War of the Five Kings, Varys was a key member of the conflict based on his information. While serving as Master of Whispers in Baratheon’s small council, Varys eventually fled King’s Landing as he was active in the cause against House Lannister. He remained a key Daenerys supporter, serving her until the attack on King’s Landing. Due to his concerns regarding Daenerys’s sanity, Varys was executed for treason in game of Thrones‘ Final season.
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