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How GoT Characters Are Supposed to Look

Game of Thrones has given us yet another twist. The Song of Fire and Ice Illustrated Edition shows more accurate descriptions of how the characters should look based on the book. Even though the character’s look may not be THAT important, it is still nice to get that extra level of intedned detail.

One of the biggest differences, and probably the most discussed, is how different Tyrion Lannister looks in the show. The book describes him as ugly “like a gargoyle” with mismatched eyes and lank hair, and his face is basically cut in half during the battle of Blackwater Bay. But the show never attempts to show the real damage Tyrion takes, probably because it would cost the make-up department no small fortune. 


The relationship between Jon Snow and Arya Stark never got much attention in the show. And coincidentally, their similarity in appearance wasn’t addressed either. Jon Snow takes after Ned Stark who has black hair and a long face with a “solemn” look. Arya inherited this long face of her father, and Snow, and is often made fun of for having a “horse face.”

Despite the fact that Daenerys Targaryen should be a teenager, she has been portrayed pretty accurately by the show – except for the fact that she should be bald! After throwing herself on Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre, she loses all of her clothes, and her hair. However, this is not a major point of departure because the story takes places over many years – she ends up growing it back fairly quickly!

Probably one of the most hatest characters in GoT. Joffrey Lannister is taller than both John Snow and Robb. His Lannister features and curly blonde hair give him away immediatly as the true son of Jamie and Cersei Lannister.

Poor Sam Tarley, he was never cut out to be a man of the Night’s Watch. The only real difference between the book version of Sam is his lack of beard and longer black hair. 

Khal Drogo is almost perfectly represented in the show. The knotted hair, pointed beard, and constant state of shirtlessness are well established in the show. Viserys is accurately depicted also, but, who really cares about Viserys anyway.

Here we see a younger Hodor with quite a bit more hair. HODOR!

The Hound and Lady Sansa. All the younger characters in the show are all much younger in the book. Sansa looks much younger, despite her royal outfit, being comforted by one of the scariest charaters in the show, The Hound. The Hound himself shows more scarring then he has in the show. It reachs over his entire face all the way down to his shoulder.

The Whitewalkers appear just as badass in the show as they do the book. The only difference is the glass/ice armor they wear in the book. Incorporating that into the show probably would have been a CGI nightmare.

And of course, the most infamous couple in all of Westeros. Jamie and Cersei Lannister are meant to be mirror images of each other. Thus giving narcassism a whole new meaning. 

Despite the differences pointed out above, let’s not delve into the tired old “the book is better than the show” debate. Each story telling medium is different and requires a different thought process. The amount of effort put into casting, and make-up would be too much of a financial burden for the creators of the show. The reality is, especially for book readers, our imagination will always be the best interpreters of the text, and that’s all that really matters.

Enjoy the show and enjoy the books!  

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