As of the end of the sixth season of Game of Thrones, 196 characters (excluding extras) have died. The seventh season has brought us to over 200 deaths already, and that was just the first three episodes. The HBO original series has never hesitated when it comes to killing major characters, let alone minor characters, but some have been immensely lucky to have survived so far, whether by sheer skill or luck. Here’s a throwback to some of these survivors’ origins as opposed to what they have evolved into as of season 7.
Other than growing into a fantastically beautiful woman, Sansa Stark has grown into a terrifyingly powerful figure with great political skill. Sansa grew up surrounded by the best politicians of Westeros—everyone from Littlefinger to Tyrion—and was molded from a naive child to, quite possibly, Queen in the North.
I think everyone’s had it in for Cersei Lannister since season 1, and with good reason. There is literally nothing she wouldn’t do to advance her station. With the patented Lannister ruthlessness, she has grown from a spoiled, entitled noblewoman and landed on the path to becoming the Mad Queen of Westeros.
In season 1, Brandon Stark was just another child, and now, in season 7, he might be influential on the fate of humanity itself. From the disobedient Lordling at Westeros to the greatest greenseer, Bran Stark’s story has been rocky to say the least. For a long while, it wasn’t as interesting as many other storylines, but now he’s constantly spitting fire like the Three-Eyed Jaden he is.
Tyrion himself hasn’t changed much as a character; he’s still the sly little drunkard with a heart of gold that we know and love, just older and wiser. He has also found the one thing that has been severely lacking in his life: purpose. In season 1, he was an outcast of the great game, and now, he’s one of its biggest players.
Arya Stark has had what is probably the most surprising narrative. Many of the main characters started out as children, but not all of them have evolved into a swashbuckling Faceless Assassin with the magical ability to assume the identity of anyone she’s killed. Arya was a child who knew nothing but killing, and was in the danger of losing herself entirely, but by the will of the Many-Faced God, she has thrived, staying true to her roots as Arya Stark of Winterfell.
In season 1, Jaime was just another Lannister to hate, and it was made even more easy by his devotion to his incestuous relationship with his twin sister, Cersei. But as the show went on, we learned that there was much more to the Kingslayer. Despite everything, there was goodness in Jaime Lannister, and whether we’ll see that side win is a mystery.
The Stormborn has come so far from what she was in season 1. Who could have imagined that from being sold and enslaved, betrayed and raped, that she would command what is perhaps the greatest army, not only in the Seven Kingdoms, but the world? Daenerys has come from scared child to humanity's last hope for peace.
From the brooding bastard of Winterfell to the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch to King in the North, Jon Snow has carved his name into the history of the Seven Kingdoms in ways he never even dreamt possible. He has grown into a complex and immensely interesting character by his own hand and no one else's.