This season of Game of Thrones has been keeping audiences at the edge of their seats, proving that the HBO series has ample firepower well into its seventh season. And if you’ve been paying close attention to the characters this year, you might notice something a little different with one in particular.
In last week’s episode, “The Spoils of War,” we got to see Dickon Tarly, brother of Sam, once again — but this time, on the frontlines with Jaime to conquer Highgarden. However, audiences might have noticed something a bit different about him. Namely, the fact that Dickon looks like nothing we remembered at all. In fact, he was recast! Shocker, right?
This wouldn’t be the first time Game of Thrones has recast an actor though. As unforgettable as the characters are to us now, a few actors were switched before their plots got heavier, while others were recast due to scheduling issues.
If you’ve been wondering if there’s a new face on the GoT block, you might be right! We reveal a rundown of the most popular roles recast on the acclaimed HBO series.
Played by: Freddie Stroma (Season 6)
Replaced by: Tom Hopper (Season 7)
If you saw last week’s episode, you would have noticed that Samwell’s little brother, Dickon did not look like anything when Sam returned to Horn Hill with Gilly and their child, Little Sam in Season 6. Audiences might recall Dickon (played by Stroma of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) was the cool, cordial young brother who was nice to Gilly and deep in conversation with Sam about hunting beyond the Wall. However, in “The Spoils of War,” Dickon is now played by Hopper of the series, Black Sails, fighting alongside Ser Jaime Lannister, along with his father, Randyll to forsake the Tyrells and conquer Highgarden.
Played by: Aimee Richardson (Seasons 1-2)
Replaced by: Nell Tiger Free (Seasons 5-6)
In what was a clever excuse for recasting, Myrcella Baratheon was sent off to Dorne to marry Trystane Martell when she came of age in the first two seasons, giving showrunners time to switch up the stars and inject a Hollywood-size dose of puberty — or one of those miracle overseas trips that everyone comes back looking much more recharged. But while Free was a great choice in last season and age-appropriate, Richardson was one we give major props to as she took her termination from the series in a hilariously memorable way, while sporting a crown and a frown with a poster that read, “Princess for Hire.”
Played by: Ed Skrein (Season 3)
Replaced by: Michiel Huisman (Seasons 4-6)
In what might be one of the most obvious casting changes as neither looks or acts alike, Daario became a pretty high-profile character when he was recast. From blue-eyes and long Fabio-like hair, to a He-Man of sorts epitomizing the “tall, dark and handsome” repertoire, who would soon be Daenerys’ lover. while Skrein went on to the Transporter prequel, audiences might remember Huisman in Treme from HBO and Liam in Nashville.
Played by: Struan Rodger (Season 4)
Replaced by: Max von Sydow (Season 6)
If you’re going to cast one of the show’s most significant and important characters, you might as well recast the role with one of the most prolific actors of our time, Max von Sydow. Best known as Father Merrin in The Exorcist, von Sydow encompassed the enigmatic character responsible for teaching Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) about his supernatural gifts, including his ability to transfer himself into the body of other creatures through the process of “warging.”
Played by: Conan Stevens (Season 1), Ian Whyte (Season 2)
Replaced by: Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (Seasons 4-7)
You might not have noticed, but Ser Gregor Clegane, also known as The Mountain, is the only prominent character who has been played by three different actors. While the current actor, Björnsson, has held the title as the longest, Whyte has actually appeared in more seasons of the show, but just as different characters, like a White Walker in Season 1, Dongo the Giant in Seasons 3 and 4, and Wun-Wun the Giant in Seasons 5 and 6.
Played by: Callum Wharry (Seasons 1-2)
Replaced by: Dean-Charles Chapman (Seasons 4-6)
If you assumed Tommen went through an extreme puberty spurt in the series, you were sadly mistaken. Cersei’s youngest son, Tommen was recast in Season 4 and 6 after sadistic, big brother, Joffrey died and his responsibilities became much weightier. With no need for a character to just sit still and look cute, the showrunners recast a more age-appropriate actor, whose duty would include marrying Margaery. Chapman was already cast on Game of Thrones as Martyn Lannister, son of Kevan, in two episodes of Season 3.
Played by: David Michael Scott (Season 1)
Replaced by: Richard Dormer (Seasons 3-7)
Because death really changes people, you might have noticed Beric was recast after the first season and now stars a more dashing gentleman of the woods with Richard Dormer. Beric’s role in the series has definitely grown and shown a pattern with the showrunners that the more significant a character becomes, a recast is on the way.
Played by: Richard Brake (Seasons 4-5)
Replaced by: Vladimir Furdik (Season 6-7)
Okay, no one might be able to really tell the difference with this one, but if you’ve pay really close attention, you would have noticed that The Night King has been recast once. The first version gave us that epic battle in Season 5, Episode 8, “Hardhome,” where the Night King raises the entirety of Hardhome’s erstwhile defenders as wights, and keeps his gaze hard upon Jon Snow (Kit Harington) as the boat slips away. Shivers. The second actor seen in Season 6 and 7 is played by the show’s stunt performer, Furdik, who also got to play the Night King in his pre-deceased human form during one of Bran’s season 6 flashbacks.