Prepare To Be Shook By How Old These 'GoT' Characters Are In The Books

by Lauren Sharkey
Helen Sloan/HBO

If you're an avid reader of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series, you may have noticed quite a few differences between the novels and the HBO TV adaptation. Namely, the ages of some of the key characters. With the final season hitting screens this month, it's time to finally work out how old the Game of Thrones characters are actually supposed to be.

Thanks to Martin, some ages are incredibly easy to work out. But, just to make things a little more confusing, the author's chosen ages only apply to the books. As the Telegraph explains, Martin wanted "to create a more authentic Medieval-style world." In order to do that, he decided to make quite a few of his characters incredibly young. However, due to the graphic nature of some of the storylines, HBO had to change some of the TV characters to be older.

As Vogue reports, in the books, the Stark children are some of the youngest. In the first book, Bran is only seven, Arya is nine, and Sansa a mere 11. In the first season of the series, Bran was deemed to be 10 years old, Arya 11, and Sansa 13. Robb Stark and Jon Snow are the same age as one another. In the book, they're both 14. In the HBO series, two years were added, making them both 16 year olds on the cusp of adulthood.

Helen Sloane/HBO

At just 13, Daenerys Targaryen is also exceedingly young in the books. Seeing as she's swiftly married off to Khal Drogo and is at the centre of a few sexually explicit scenes, the Game of Thrones bosses at HBO decided to make her 17, as Metro reports. For those wondering how Daenerys' age was determined, Metro also notes that the first season of the series was set 17 years after Robert Baratheon's rebellion.

And now, let's turn to those who are no longer with us. Joffrey Baratheon — may he not rest in peace — is but a 12-year-old boy at the start of the book series, the Guardian reports. In keeping with his vicious and violent personality, the show cranked up his age to 16. Margaery Tyrell, meanwhile, is 14 in the books and 16 in the TV series. (I haven't included adult characters here as no one is entirely sure of their ages.)

Helen Sloane/HBO

So what age does that make everyone now? Again, quite a tricky question to answer. Reddit fans estimate that the gap between season one and season seven is around six years. As GQ reports, the upcoming final season is expected to take place straight after the seventh season. In theory, the characters should be the same age as when you last saw them.

That means that Sansa is around 19, Arya approximately 17, and Bran 16. Jon is estimated to now be 22 while Daenerys is thought to be around 23. There is quite a big age gap between some of the actors and the characters they play. For example, Kit Harington (Jon) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) are both 32 in real life.

Some of the series' ages may be less shocking than the books, but all of the aforementioned characters have had to go through both horrific experiences as a child. Sansa was still a teen when she was raped by Ramsay Bolton, Arya had killed more than 50 people before reaching adulthood, and Jon was murdered by his own men before most people graduate from uni.

No wonder ages are barely mentioned in this thing.