When Game of Thrones first premiered in 2011, the series already had a huge following due to the incredible success of the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin. Yet, it was still a bit of a question as to whether or not the storyline would be able to successfully transition onto the small screen. The original Game of Thrones pilot went unaired due to incredibly negative initial reviews. Audience members couldn't understand certain key aspects of the series and there were different actors portraying the characters. After a few tweaks, show runners came up with a winning recipe that has helped to propel the series into one of the most successful HBO shows of all time.
Each new episode came with a huge amount of anticipation from fans of both the book and television series and it has propelled its stars further in the acting world. Younger characters on the show have basically grown up in front of the cameras and some have gone on to make a name for themselves on the big screen, as well. Yet, the popularity of the series will definitely have a lasting effect on the minds of the public since the characters are so memorable.
With the show coming up on its final season, it's interesting to look at some of the behind-the-scenes photos of the cast when the cameras weren't rolling. Check out our list of the 25 onset pictures of Game of Thrones and get a little insight on this favorite HBO series.
24 Jon Snow & Cersei in Croatia
With fans of the Game of Thrones series waiting with bated breath for the final season to finally premiere, it's not a surprise that they were completely elated to see a batch of photos that were leaked from the set in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
From previous seasons, this is the location that is used to depict King's Landing in the Game of Thrones series.
This particular photo showcased Kit Harington and Lena Headey, who play the characters of Jon Snow and Cersei Lannister. This was a great hint for fans of the series because it shows that something must be afoot to see the King of the North back in talks with Cersei Lannister.
23 Emilia And Kit - Daenerys is back IN WESTEROS
There was quite a bit of time within the Game of Thrones' series that showcased separate storylines, with none of the characters ever interacting with one another. Once Daenerys Targaryen was able to cross the Black Sea, fans couldn't help but get excited to see her return to Westeros.
This allowed for the opportunity for her to start interacting with some of the other prominent members of the cast.
This particular photo of her with Kit Harington really seemed to warm hearts and it even gave a tease to the fans when she captioned it, “Wait… did I NOT tell you guys?! Um yeah. Now if he’d only bend the bloody knee there’ll be no problems. #modragonsmoproblems."
22 Northern Ireland - Ned Stark Getting Sparring Lessons
There have been a number of stunt coordinators and instructors that have helped the cast during some of the more action-packed scenes. Paul Herbert was nominated for an Emmy for his work on Game of Thrones and Rowley Irlam became the new stunt coordinator for the series in Season 5. He ultimately took home Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series, Limited Series Or Movie at the Emmy Awards.
Fans often become enthralled during some of the more active parts of the series and this particular photo shows how much each action is thought through in order to create the best effect.
Ryan Gosling comes to the set!
This is a funny one because Emilia Clarke, apparently, has a bit of a crush on Ryan Gosling. We can't really blame her can we?
On her instagram she wrote about how excited Ryan Gosling was for Season 6 to start. We get it Ryan, so were we.
One of the greatest things about the show was seeing just how many celebs were 'just like us' and super anxious for the new episodes to come out, and were also counting down the days. These behind-the-scenes images really help emphasize how much these actors are really just normal folks, just like us, obsessed with the characters and their TV shows.
21 Arya In Braavos (Split, Croatia)
While people often highlight the storyline of Daenerys Targaryen in her role from being a pawn that was being used by her brother and then ultimately rising to become the Mother of Dragons, Arya Stark's character seemed to have an equal number of fans.
Her journey from the Red Keep has taken her to all different areas of the Seven Kingdoms, facing hardships along the way.
Yet, the real hardship came when she arrived in Braavos and trained with the Faceless Man. This particular behind-the-scenes photo showed Maisie Williams getting her signature look on for a Braavos scene, filmed in Split, Croatia.
20 Spotted: Jon Snow At King’s Landing (Croatia)
When photos of the characters of Game of Thrones were leaked during the shooting of the final season of the show, people couldn't help but make a few assumptions about what they might all mean.
This photo was leaked from the set in Dubrovnik, Croatia and it made people wonder about the circumstance that the Jon Snow character would be in King's Landing, seemingly having a covert conversation with Cersei Lannister, the reigning woman seated on the Iron Throne.
This King's Landing photo has put Game of Thrones' fans into a frenzy thinking about what might be going on for the upcoming season.
19 Ed Sheeran On Game Of Thrones
Remember when Ed Sheeran made an appearance on the hit TV show? We all do. It's not unheard of for celebs to make a special appearance on a show. With all the talent behind the cast for this great show, we aren't surprised that it has attracted some celeb super fans.
Some people, and even some actors in the show, thought it was a bit odd to have special appearances from famous non-actors. The show doesn't need any more publicity stunts to rise it up, it does all of that pretty well on its own.
We weren't surprised to see Ed singing in the episode either.
In Season 7, episode 1, when we should have been buzzing about the show coming back, we were so distracted by the red-headed singer that the episode was a bit stale.
18 Emilia And Cast Holding Umbrellas in Morocco
When Daenerys Targaryen began freeing the cities in Slaver's Bay, the episodes began to feature some truly distinct landscapes and structures.
When traveling to Yunkai and Astapor, the cast was actually shooting in two locations in Morocco.
With some of the shoots consisting of incredibly long hours standing in the hot sun, it's not surprising that the actors would need a bit of relief in between shots. This particular photo shows Emilia Clarke, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michiel Huisman, and (part of) Iain Glen waiting to film their next shot. The umbrellas look a bit odd in juxtapose to the landscape but it seems to have helped.
17 Tywin And Maester Pycelle relaxing outside the Sept (In Spain)
When Tywin Lannister's character was first introduced in the Game of Thrones series, it was instantly apparent that he was a man that was highly intelligent and revered throughout the Seven Kingdoms.
Charles Dance portrayed the Tywin Lannister character and he was always depicted as being quite cold in his portrayal.
Yet, this particular photo showcased Charles Dance alongside the actor that played Maester Pycelle while filming Season 3 of the series. They could be seen sharing a bit of a break and it was interesting for fans to see these two sharing some alone time together, they are also filming in Spain so it could just be 'siesta time'.
16 Carice Van Houten Braving The Elements in Iceland
Carice Van Houten is the actress that portrays the Game of Thrones' character, Melisandre. The Red Woman's character started off in the series shrouded in mystery and there were definitely some ups and downs in how audience took her character.
This behind-the-scenes photo shows that the real actress didn't have the same magical powers of her character since she's seen shivering while braving the elements.
Her interpretations of the visions didn't exactly turn out like she had hoped and she performed some pretty bad acts during her rise to power. Yet, audience members were able to forgive her a bit when she brought Jon Snow back through the use of dark magic.
15 SEASON 8 SHOOTING HAS STARTED: Lena Headey Confirmation Post
When Season 7 came to an end for Game of Thrones, fans couldn't help but wonder when the next season would start. Yet, it took a great deal of time for people to wrap their heads around having to deal with waiting until 2019.
On top of the disappointment of the show being on break for so long, news of the series coming to an end seemed like a hardship people could hardly endure.
Yet, all of those feelings of disappointment seemed to disappear once Lena Headey took to Instagram and let the world know that filming for Season 8 had begun. She captioned the photo by saying, "Season 8... Hair and Teeth... HAIR AND TEETH!!!"
14 Kit And Emilia In the north (Iceland)
At the end of Season 7 of Game of Thrones, viewers learned the truth about the true nature of Jon Snow's lineage and there was a romantic union between him and Daenerys Targaryen.
The plan was for the two of them to travel together back to Winterfell and fans are extremely excited to see what the future will hold for them.
Winter Is Coming seemed to fuel the excitement when it leaked a photo of Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke on the set of Game of Thrones in Iceland. With Iceland being a great location for filming in the North, fans were excited to see these two cuddling up in the snow.
13 Emilia Clarke With Show Runners
While there seems to be an incredible amount of attention on George R. R. Martin for being the writer of the hugely successful book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, it's the Show Runners of the HBO adaptation that should actually be receiving far more attention. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have famously worked in collaboration with George R. R. Martin for the storyline of the series but there are some definite tweaks to the narrative from the book series.
This particular photo was a great behind-the-scenes look of Emilia Clarke on set with the Show Runners and it showed that their presence on set didn't hinder the cast from having a bit of fun.
12 Bran & The Night King (on pedestals)
Anyone familiar with the Game of Thrones series knows that the Bran Stark character is the Three-Eyed Raven, which comes with a host of its own issues. On top of that, he is also physically crippled and is no longer able to walk or stand on his own.
Yet all of that changes when he's inside his visions and one of the most memorable one featured an encounter with The Night King.
This particular behind-the-scenes picture features the young actor, Isaac Hempstead Wright, filming this famous scene. The most interesting thing about the picture is the fact that The Night King is standing on pedestals, perhaps to appear taller.
11 Daenerys flying over Slaver's Bay (Morocco)
One of the biggest draws to the Game of Thrones series is how the special effects of the show help to bring the world of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire to the small screen.Most of the scenes of Daenerys flying over Slaver's Bay were filmed in Morocco. Later on in the show, however, they made due with the Croatian landscape and just filmed the scenes in Mereen in select areas there.
The special effects are used in a number of different ways in each episode but people are hugely aware of the dragon imagery that is implemented in the series.
This behind-the-scenes picture shows Emilia Clarke riding on a giant green prop, which allows the dragon to be planted into the scene through computer imagery.
10 Emilia Clarke’s Sneak Peek Intro (to season 8)
With fans of the Game of Thrones series impatiently waiting on the arrival of the final season of the show, it's not surprising that Omaze offered a fun video to make light of the anxiety.
Emilia Clarke was in her full Daenerys Targaryen look, complete with blonde wig.
She teamed up with Omaze and released a video of her giving fans a sneak peek at the set of the final season of the show. The video started off with Clarke looking quite happy to let the fans see what they've been up to but it started to go downhill afterward.
9 Spotted: Cersei With Guards still ruling King's Landing
When Cersei Lannister did her trick with the wildfire in King's Landing, there wasn't anyone there to oppose her from assuming the throne. She instantaneously became known as Cersei of the House Lannister, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, and Protector of the Seven Kingdoms. This transformation was depicted in more than just her actions since her look also changed.
While she was once seen wearing flowing gowns and bright colors to showcase her golden hair, her look as the Protector of the Seven Kingdoms was decidedly different.
This leaked photo from shooting Season 8 shows that Cersei is still rocking the dark look and the guards look a bit different as well.
8 Seeing Double - They travel with them everywhere!
No, these aren't the actors themselves, they are however, their stunt doubles. A show as action-packed as Game Of Thrones is expected to have some kick-butt stunt doubles so the actors don't get injured.
Here, we see them taking a moment, and just enjoying the calm in between the scenes. We are sure that the bumps and bruises all belong to them, while the fame goes to those they are representing.
The photo clearly shows who plays which role, and who doubles for each actor. We wonder if Jon and Daenerys' stunt double have the same chemistry as Kit and Emilia. They need to travel with them wherever they go, so they are on every set, around the world.
7 Emilia’s Jason Momoa Pics
When it was revealed that Emilia Clarke had teamed up with Omaze in order to showcase the set of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, it's not surprising that millions of fans around the world were clamoring to see the video.
Yet, it wasn't exactly what they might have hoped it would be since it was more of a comedy skit that showed her unable to get access to anywhere on the set.
However, there was a shot that featured Emilia Clarke in her actual trailer that she was using while shooting. The hilarious part came when the camera pulled away and showed that she had a number of Jason Momoa pictures pinned up.
6 Kit & Daenerys Skit
When Emilia Clarke teamed up with Omaze to give a teaser to Game of Thrones' fans on the filming of Season 8, it turned out to be more of a comedy skit. Clarke couldn't seem to access any of the areas that she wanted to feature in the video clip but she did run into a fellow cast member.
Kit Harington wound up getting in on the comedy act when he approached her to tell her that she needed to shut down her video production.
This was all in good fun but fans still loved seeing Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen together again.
5 Maisie Williams And Sophie Turner together in the north
When Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams were first depicted in Season 1 of Game of Thrones, they were little more than children. Their characters fought like typical siblings but there was still a bond there that audiences rooted for until they could be reunited.
When Arya finally made it back to Winterfell, she was reunited with Sansa and there was definitely a time where audience members didn't quite know what to think about the tension between them.
Yet, this behind-the-scenes photo of the two of them striking a pose definitely showed how much fun they must have when the cameras aren't rolling.
4 Cast Having A Laugh shooting at The Wall (In Iceland)
When Sansa Stark and Jon Snow were ultimately reunited at The Wall, fans of the Game of Thrones' series were thrilled to see different storylines collide. From Brienne and Tormund to Melisandre and The Onion Knight, this reunion really allowed fans to see far more interaction with some of their favorite characters.
While there was often a bit of tension during some of their scenes, that doesn't mean that it remained like that once the cameras stopped rolling.
This particular photo was posted by Carice van Houten (the actress that plays the role of Melisandre). It really showcased the fun they had on set and she captioned it, "Haha."
3 Kristofer Hivju With A Yellow Umbrella
Kristofer Hivju has really made a name for himself with the role of Tormund Giantsbane in the HBO series, Game of Thrones. He may have started out as a Wildling but he has certainly garnered a huge fan base through his ultra-loyal connection with Jon Snow.
The series depicts him as a fierce warrior and someone that can always be called on when it comes to a fight. Yet, this behind-the-scenes photo might peel back the curtain a bit. Hivju posted this photo on his Instagram account and captioned it, "Even warriors need a yellow umbrella once in a while! (Even if the snow is fake) This #behindscene pic by #helensloan is from season 5. The well-dressed gentleman is the eminent #DOP (director of photography)."
2 Kristofer Hivju And Bella Ramsey
One of the most interesting aspects within the Game of Thrones' storyline is the way the female characters are portrayed. While some parts of society within the Seven Kingdoms may seem like the women were used as pawns to elevate their House, there have always been incredibly strong female characters that have dominated in the overall plot.
When Lyanna Mormont was introduced into the series, fans really enjoyed seeing the Lady of Bear Island become a force to be reckoned with as the head of House Mormont. Kristofer Hivju took to Instagram to sing the praises of Bella Ramsey and he also went on to plug her BBC/Netflix show called, The Worst Witch!
1 Tyrion & Cersei Fooling With A Phone
When Tyrion and Cersei Lannister had been separated for quite some time, their reunion at King's Landing was definitely something that fans worried over. This particular photo was shot in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which is the set location that is used to depict King's Landing. Season 7 featured their reunion in the former dragon pits and the situation was quite tense.
This photo shows that it wasn't always all that serious once the cameras stopped rolling. While it's interesting to see Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage in full Game of Thrones' attire but holding a smartphone, the real intrigue lies over what they may have been amusing them with while waiting for the next shot to be filled.
Sources: Watchers On The Wall, InStyle, Marie Claire, Fanpop, Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, Vulture