There are huge pros and cons to playing a role on an iconic show like Game of Thrones. Acting isn't one of the most stable professions to pursue, so having a regular, well-paying gig for nine years is definitely like hitting the jackpot. However, once a show of that caliber ends, the stars can struggle to find their next project. Either casting directors can't "unsee them" as their popular characters or the actors find they're pigeonholed into similar roles.
Though it's not a foolproof strategy, one way an actor can shed the skin of their old character is to change up their look. That seems to be the strategy a lot of Game of Thrones stars went with. Take a look at how the stars of the HBO hit series have transformed since they wrapped the show.
Kit was never a huge fan of Jon's messy mop of hair and bushy beard, though they were obviously integral to the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch. We have to imagine if felt pretty good to shave and chop off his mane. "I’d like to step away and enjoy the obscurity, cut my hair, make myself less recognizable as the character, and go do and some other things with a completely new look and tone," he explained in an Entertainment Weekly interview.
As difficult as it is for fans to imagine, Sophie is naturally blonde, and actually resorted to wearing wigs toward the end of her tenure because the excessive dyeing was ruining her hair. Now that she's doing press for her next role, Dark Phoenix, Sophie's been sporting lighter locks and sleek red carpet looks that vibe with the superhero-turned-villain story of Jean Grey.
Maisie grew up before our eyes on Game of Thrones and we're accustomed to seeing her in tomboyish looks with brown hair. She's been having a lot of fun shedding that persona for fun and feminine dresses and quirky rose-gold hair. It's possible this rebellious new look is also part of her next role, as she's currently filming a movie about a group of friends plotting a burglary.
Gwen has always been glamorous on the red carpet, but her post-Game of Thrones looks have been softer and more feminine than ever before with romantic waves in her hair and pink tones instead of the vampier lip color she often sports in photocalls.
Though he didn't completely lose the facial hair, Peter Dinklage has also shed quite a big of his mane and beard since wrapping filming. Also, remember when Tyrion was blond? Dinks has a few irons in the fire right now, but we may see him sporting a very similar look to his Lannister one soon. It was recently announced he would play the title role in The Dwarf, adapted from a Swedish novel by the same title that takes place in the Italian Renaissance.
While Kit and Peter were eager to get a haircut, we're guessing Conleth Hill was relieved to let his grow in again. He shaved his head for his role as Varys, so even if he's not happy about how The Spider went out, at least now he can let those silver locks flow — and show off his healthy complexion instead of that pasty Game of Thrones skin tone.
Emilia is a natural brunette, but she's been sporting blonde hair until recently — albeit a darker hue than Dany's silvery tresses. But since wrapping the show, she's sported a sleek dark brown bob and looks eager to play a strong woman who maybe doesn't go mad and commit countless war crimes.
Jerome's red carpet look since leaving behind Ser Bronn has been super fun, with sharp suits and sneakers, a cleaner face, and his natural blond hair. He looks ready to leave behind the amoral murderer gigs like Game of Thrones and John Wick and take on a romantic lead.