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Age Lift / Game of Thrones

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A lot of characters in Game of Thrones, the TV adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire have had their ages altered from the novels:

  • At the start of the books, the Ned/Catelyn/Robert/Cersei/Jaime generation are in their early to mid-30s. In the show, they're roughly a decade older (Cersei and Jaime are explicitly 40 in Season 4) and Tyrion is aged from being about 25 years old to a 30-something (who looks even older).
  • All of the Stark kids are aged up by a few years from their book counterparts. Word of God says this was to avoid the drama of "kid" actors, downplay their aging over time, and avoid the legal hurdles and Deliberate Values Dissonance of underage actors in sexual situations. note 
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  • Although Hodor isn't assigned an exact age, it seems that the show aged him dramatically. He seems to be in his teens or early twenties in the book (his still having a living great-grandparent supports this). In flashback scenes of the show, he was somewhere in the general age range of Ned Stark. Given their own Age Lift|s mentioned above, the Hodor of the shows is likely well into his forties.
  • Daenerys begins the books at 13 and becomes pregnant at 14. In the series, she is initially 17, though played by an actress in her 20s.
  • The sickly Robert Arryn is still breastfeeding in both versions, but this is even creepier in the show, where he looks nine or 10 as opposed to the book series' six.
  • Joffrey is explicitly stated to be 17 in Season 2, when he's 13 in the corresponding book. Strangely, it remains a plot point that he needs a regent because he's not yet of legal age (which is 16 in the books and never established as different in the show).
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  • Tommen and Myrcella are eight and nine years old in the books but two or three years older at the start of the series and teens of marrying age by Season 5. The related decision to sexualize Tommen's marriage with the much older Margaery (who herself was Age Lifted) has sparked disagreement even among the cast over his exact age and how it affects the squickiness of their relationship. Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen) approximates his character to be 12, which matches the semi-official one-year-per-season timeline since Loras calls him eight in Season 1. However, Natalie Dormer (Margaery) insists she wouldn't have played the scene if she believed the character was younger than 17.
  • Tywin is stated to be 67 in the Season 4 episode "The Laws of Gods and Men", a full decade older than in the books.
  • What with Aerys being Aegon V's son (rather than grandson, from the books), this is inevitable. More specifically, Aerys is close in age to Tywin Lannister, who in the books was 57 when he was killed (in the show he was stated to be 67 at that time). Aerys was a bit younger, barely 40 when he died (Tywin was 41); given that his Childhood Friends backstory with Tywin has been retained in the series, Aerys in the show would have likely been in his mid-to-late 40s when he died. No specific age has been given as yet, however.
  • Missandei has the most dramatic age-up in the entire series. In the show, she's a grown woman in her early 20s, but in the books, she's only around 10 years old when she first encounters Danaerys and has no romantic relationship with adult Grey Worm. Contrary to popular belief, her age lift wasn't so she could have a romantic and sexual storyline.
  • Podrick is 12 in the books, but in late adolescence as seen in the shows. (With a very adolescent-esque proclivity for not being able to keep it in his pants... Not that the local ladies of the evening are complaining about this.)
  • Doran's son Trystane is aged up to stay of an age with Myrcella.
  • The Three-eyed Raven mentions waiting 1,000 years for Bran in the show, while in the books he himself is only 125 years old.
  • Cley Cerwyn is played by a grown man. In the books he's just 14.
  • Like the other older teenagers, Gendry is fully grown at 17/18, rather than 14/15 as in the books.
  • A number of characters' ages aren't given in the show, but the actors are older than the ages given for their characters in the books, implying that the characters are supposed to be older.
    • Sandor Clegane, aka The Hound, is only 27 in the books. His actor, Rory McCann, was 42 when he first started playing him. This is older than all of the actors playing his character's older brother Gregor, so there's some Dawson Casting going on here as well.
    • Littlefinger is only 30 in the books (although Sansa's POV notes that he looks older than his age due to going prematurely grey) , while Aidan Gillen was in his mid-40s, and given that his character is implicitly close to Catelyn in age, it could be reasonably assumed that Littlefinger, too, was aged into his forties.
    • Edmure Tully is in his late 20s in the book. Tobias Menzies is around 40.
    • Shae is only 18 in the books. Her actress, Sibel Kikeli, was around her mid-to-late-20s.
    • Brienne goes from 18 to somewhere in her mid 20s to 30s, judging by Gwendoline Christie's appearance.
    • Margaery is quite a bit older than 16 in the show and Mace Tyrell's eldest child instead of his youngest.
    • Beric Dondarrion is in his early 20s in the books, but Richard Dormer is clearly much older. Although, to be fair, his original actor (as seen in the Season 1 scene where Ned dispatches him to capture Gregor Clegane) could be seen to pass for being a relatively young man near 30, and by the time he's seen again a couple of seasons later, he's been killed and resurrected at least a handful of times and is mentioned as looking 'like a scarecrow' in the books where he was initially young and very handsome.
    • Jojen has a lesser one to keep up with all the rest of the characters. He looks older than 13, his age in the books, though he is described as looking and acting more mature than his actual age.
    • Meera also has a lesser one to keep up with all the rest of the characters. In the show, she's implied to be closer in age to Bran and Jojen, but even in the books she looks younger than her actual age due to her being a Crannogman, who are small people in general.
    • In the books, Ser Addam Marbrand is the same age as Jaime Lannister, whereas in the series, he looks older (for reference, his actor was about 55 when filming Season 1)... Unless, that is, his role from the books was replaced by that of his father, Damon (who never appeared in person and would thus qualify as a minor case of ascended extra).
    • In the first novel, Renly is 20 years old, but in Season 1, the character looks like he's around his mid-to-late 20s. The actor who plays him was 27 years old at the time of filming. This would appear to be an effort to preserve the age gap - explicitly about 15 years in the books - with his brothers, who, like Ned Stark, go from mid-30s to approximately mid-40s.
    • Aeron Greyjoy. Michael Feast is 70. Aeron in the books is in his late 20s.


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