It will shock you how young these “Game of Thrones” characters ACTUALLY are in the books

We’ve watched so many of our favorite Game of Thrones characters grow over the last six years from adorable children to the butt-kicking adults. And while a lot of them were young to begin with, it might surprise you to know HOW young they actually were in the books.


Really, the main reason there’s such an age disparity is because the show takes place 17 years after Robert Baratheon’s rebellion, as opposed to 14 years later, like in the books.

So, here’s a look at some of the differences, and a shoutout to The Telegraph for their amazing research on this enlightening subject.


In the first book, A Game of Thrones, Dany is about 13 (her mom fleeing, pregnant with her, from King’s Landing). However, on the TV show, because 17 years have passed since Robert Baratheon’s rebellion (which was just before Daenerys was born) it’s safe to assume she is about 17 when the show starts. Emilia Clarke (Dany IRL) was 23 when the show started.


Missandei first appears in the third book, A Storm of Swords, and is often referred to as “the little scribe.” On the show, no specific age is given for Missandei, however Nathalie Emmanuel, the actress who plays her, was 23 when she first appeared in the role.


When we first meet Jon in the books, he is 14 and about 17 when he’s made Lord Commander of the Night’s watch. On the show, he’s about 17 and 19 when he’s made Lord Commander. Kit Harington was 23 when he started on the show.


Thanks to Thrones forum user nobodysuspectsthebutterfly, we can safely assume that Brienne’s age is 18 in the books. However, on the TV show, her age is never directly stated, though Gwendoline Christie (IRL Brienne) was 34 when we first met her in Season 2.


In the first book, A Game of Thrones, Margaery is mentioned as “a girl of 14, lovely as dawn.” However, in the TV show, though her specific age is not said, Natalie Dormer, the actress who plays her, was 30 when we first met her in Season 3.


In the books, when Jon Snow first sees Gilly at Craster’s Keep he guesses she’s about 15 or 16. In the TV show, we are never told Gilly’s age specifically, but Hannah Murray (IRL Gilly) was 23 when we first met her in Season 2.


In the books, Sansa starts out at 11. In the TV show, she says that she is 13. Sophie Turner (IRL Sansa), however, was 15 when we first met her on the show.


When we first meet Arya in the books, she’s 9, and in the TV show states that she is 11. However, Maisie Williams (IRL Arya) was already 14 (just a year younger than her on-screen sister, Sophie Turner!) when she started on the show.


Theon is introduced as an “arrogant” 19-year-old in the books, and on the TV show, while the arrogance is still there, his age is never specifically given. However, it looks like Theon’s age was probably not that different, given the fact that Alfie Allen (IRL Theon) was 23 at that time.

And there you have it…lots of crazy things happening to crazy-young characters in the Game of Thrones books!

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