HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones is best known as a show that brilliantly incorporates violence and drama into a complex plot line – and for killing off everyone’s favorite characters when they least expect it. But amid the chaos that consumes Westeros in this medieval fiction, there are some notable love stories: Jon Snow and Ygritte; Ned and Catelyn Stark; Jaime and Cersei Lannister – and more recently, Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. But have you ever considered who the stars that play these characters are dating in real life? We’ve compiled a list, and you might find some of the pairings surprising.
1. Sophie Turner And Joe Jonas
Sophie Turner’s character on Game of Thrones, Sansa Stark, isn’t the greatest at picking her men. First she is engaged to the evil incestuous spawn and illegitimate king, Joffrey Baratheon, who torments her daily and holds her against her will. Then she ends up with the psychopathic – and also illegitimate Warden of the North – Ramsay Bolton.
In fairness, she doesn’t exactly pick either of them. But Turner’s dating life in the real world is a little peachier, praise the gods! She is happily married to Jonas bro Joe Jonas. It’s a cute story, actually. Believe it or not, the two met on Instagram after Jonas smoothly slid in her DMs.
2. Sean Bean And Ashley Moore
Sean Bean may have lasted only one season as Lord Eddard Stark, but his character’s spirit lives on throughout the rest of the show through his kin, including his nephew, Jon Snow. Indeed, the Stark patriarch was even mentioned during one of the most iconic scenes of season eight so far.
Bean’s character is known for being happily married to one woman, Catelyn Stark, in Game of Thrones. But Bean himself married his fifth wife, Ashley Moore, in 2015. The two met at Bean’s favorite North London pub by chance and hit it off instantly. A former actress herself, Moore is 26 years Bean’s junior.
3. Hafthor Julius Bjornsson And Kelsey Henson
Ser Gregor Clegane, better known as The Mountain, isn’t associated for anything that has to do with love. His thing is pillaging, destroying and killing. He was a monster even before Cersei Lannister officially turned him into a Westerosi version of Frankenstein.
The man who plays him is Icelandic strongman and actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who has been named the world’s strongest man. Standing at a towering 6’9”, Björnsson is dating Canadian Instagram influencer Kelsey Henson, who is only 5’2”. If you didn’t have the measurements in front of you, you’d think she were half his size! They met at a restaurant after Henson, a server, asked for the actor’s autograph.
4. Gwendoline Christie And Giles Deacon
Lady – er, sorry, Ser – Brienne of Tarth seems to be head over heels for the man who knighted her, Ser Jaime Lannister. It was a giant plot twist when fans started to suspect the two were crushing on each other, considering they hated each other when Brienne was first tasked by Catelyn Stark to escort the Kingslayer safely back to King’s Landing.
In real life, Gwendoline Christie dates someone who couldn’t be more different from Ser Jaime – that’s fashion designer Giles Deacon. The two started dating in 2012 and serve as each other’s biggest fans. Giles has said Christie serves as his muse, and Christie has referred to her lover as her favorite designer – a true match made in heaven.
5. Pilou Asbæk And Anna Bro
Known for playing the role of a troubled spin doctor in the Danish political drama Borgen, Pilou Asbæk was thrust into the international spotlight for his role as the sleazy Euron Greyjoy in Game of Thrones. The borderline psychopathic Ironborn menace kills his brother and does everything in his power to romance the evil Queen Cersei Lannister.
Watching Euron flirt with Cersei is enough to make anyone cringe, and that’s because Pilou plays the role so well. In the real world, he is happily married to fellow Dane Anna Bro, a playwright. It’s a refreshing reminder that he and Cersei aren’t actually a real couple.
6. Jason Momoa And Lisa Bonet
Jason Momoa famously played Dothraki leader Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones. Although he only lasted through the show’s first season, his influence on main character Daenerys Targaryen is almost unparalleled. And to influence the mother of dragons, the unburnt, the breaker of chains, etc. is no simple feat.
In stark contrast to his primitive character (he literally buys Dany on the show), Momoa has actually proven to be a hopeless romantic in real life. He actually spotted Lisa Bonet, his future wife, on television when he was 8 and pledged to stalk her “for the rest of his life” until he got her.
7. Alfie Allen And DJ Allie Teilz
For those that didn’t know, Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, is the brother of English singer Lily Allen. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, a dive into Alfie’s dating life seems appropriate, considering he hasn’t had one in Game of Thrones since he was captured by the Boltons.
In real life, Alfie has been dating Allie Teilborg, an American DJ eight years his junior who goes by the stage name “Allie Teilz.” The two welcomed their first child in 2018 after a whirlwind romance and have made their relationship public for all to see on Instagram.
8. Emilia Clarke And Charlie McDowell
All hail her grace, Queen Daenerys of House Targaryen, the first of her name, queen of the Andals and the First Men, lady of the seven kingdoms and protector of the realm. The woman who can have any man she desires, both on the screen and off.
Up until early 2019, Emilia Clarke was dating – no, not Kit Harrington – a man named Charlie McDowell. He is a film director and writer, and the son of Hollywood actors Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen. It’s unclear why the Dragon Queen ended things with McDowell, but who are we to question her grace?
9. Iain Glen And Charlotte Emmerson
One of the few characters to last all eight seasons of Game of Thrones, Ser Jorah Mormont won fans over with his unwavering commitment and loyalty to his queen with whom he was deeply in love, even after she made clear their relationship would remain platonic.
The actor who plays Mormont, Iain Glen, is married to British actress Charlotte Emmerson. A touching moment took place on set while Glen was filming his last episode of the show, “The Battle of Winterfell,” when his wife suffered a brain hemorrhage. Emilia Clarke, who plays Mormont’s object of desire in the show, urged Glen to get on a flight to go see his wife. He did, and she recovered.
10. Natalie Dormer And Anthony Byrne
Until November 2018, Natalie Dormer aka Lady Margaery Tyrell was engaged to writer and director Anthony Byrne, from Dublin. The two met on the set of The Tudors and began to fall for each other. Dormer and Byrne split partially because it was hard for them to separate their work from their romantic relationship, they said.
It’s a relief to hear Dormer isn’t falling in the footsteps of her character in Game of Thrones, who drew the short straw when she became engaged to the psychopathic King Joffrey Baratheon, and died at the hands of his conniving mother, Cersei Lannister. Whatever their differences, Byrne couldn’t have been that bad.
11. Kit Harrington And Rose Leslie
Ah, the beloved Jon Snow – or should we say, Aegon Targaryen. This is the bastard boy who rises through the ranks of the Night’s Watch, unites wildlings with northmen, becomes King in the North and most recently rides on the back of a dragon into battle. In his journey, he falls in love with a literal queen.
His real life love story is quite different. Jon Snow aka Kit Harrington is happily married to a woman he met earlier on in the series, before his epic come-up. He and Rose Leslie, who plays the fierce but charming wildling Yygritte, famously fell in love on set as their characters did. They married in 2018.
12. Aidan Gillen And Camille O’Sullivan
Lord Petyr Baelish, otherwise known as “Littlefinger,” is just about as sleazy as they come. The schemer spends his time lurking behind shadows, discovering people’s secrets, and using them against whomever he can to inch his way closer to the Iron Throne.
Minus the characteristics mentioned, Aidan Gillen, who plays Baelish in Game of Thrones, is quite mysterious himself. The actor mostly keeps to himself and keeps his private life away from the public eye, and that includes his relationship with Irish singer and actress Camille O’Sullivan. The actress has opened up about how even though it took her a while to let Gillen into her life, the two eventually just clicked.
13. Iwan Rheon And Zoe Grisedale
Before reading this one, take a moment to distinguish between the actor and his role. Everyone hates the late Ramsay Bolton and agrees he doesn’t deserve to be with any woman – and yes, his demise was as satisfying as anything else on Game of Thrones.
But the man who plays him is quite a different story. Welsh actor Iwan Rheon, also known for his role as Simon Bellamy in Misfits, has been in a relationship with actress Zoe Grisedale for at least several years. The two allegedly met in Dinard, France, and Iwan, also a musician, named his debut album after the city!
14. Nikolaj And Nukaaka Coster-Waldau
Everyone cringes at the thought of Ser Jaime Lannister’s on-screen incestuous relationship with his evil twin sister. Like, really, most of the awful events that have taken place on Game of Thrones wouldn’t have if it weren’t for their unholy romance.
Off-screen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has a loving and supporting wife in the talented Greenlandic singer Nukaaka Coster-Waldau. Nikolaj and the singer, who is also an actress and a former Miss Greenland, have been married for over 20 years and live together in a small town near Copenhagen. Nukaaka admitted in 2017 that she has yet to watch a single episode of Game of Thrones.
15. Carice Van Houten And Guy Pearce
One of Game of Thrones’ more mysterious characters, Lady Melisandre is often referred to as the Red Woman due to her position as a Red Priestess in the religion of R’hllor, the Lord of Light. In the show, Melisandre’s love life only exists as a means for bringing about what she believes to be religious prophesies.
She only successfully romances Stannis Baratheon, as Jon Snow refuses her advances. Neither of them know she’s actually several centuries old, as revealed in the first episode of season six. In real life, the magnificent Dutch actress who plays Melisandre, Carice Can Houten, is actually dating Australian actor Guy Pearce, who she said has forced her to practice her English.
16. Lena Headey And Dan Cadan
Lena Headey plays the role of Cersei Lannister so well that it might be tough for a Game of Thrones fan to imagine her having a life outside the role. Like, really, does she do things other than blowing up the sept and ruthlessly defending her grip over the iron throne?
It turns out Headey is just as busy off-screen as her character is in the show. The actress tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend, filmmaker Dan Cadan. The two have a history together, having been childhood friends and Heady having appeared in his short films. They have a daughter together, too.
17. Kristofer Hivju And Gry Molvær Hivju
Tormund Giantsbane exemplifies what it means to be a wildling in Game of Thrones: massive, unruly beard, wild eyes and a penchant for telling stories about drinking breast milk from giants. You can say he’s not the kind of guy you want to mess with.
Despite the frightening appearance of his character, though, actor Kristofer Hivju is quite the devoted family man. He married his longtime girlfriend Gry Molvær Hivju in 2015, and has been known to take his wife and daughters on sets, as he did for Fast and Furious 8: Fate of the Furious. It’s unclear what his wife thinks of Tormund’s obsession with Brienne.
18. Richard Madden And A Slew Of Models?
Richard Madden’s breakout role was playing Robb Stark in Game of Thrones, a character that was named the first King in the North in 300 years after his father, Ned, was executed by the King Joffrey Baratheon. More recently, Madden starred in the immensely popular BBC drama Bodyguard.
Madden seems to have acquired a taste for dating famous women, including actress Jenna Coleman, television presenter Laura Whitmore, model Suki Waterhouse, and actress/model Ellie Bamber. These days he’s rumored to be spending his time with someone else — American actor Brandon Flynn. The two have been living together in L.A., and while he won’t comment on his love life, they look awfully fond of each other.
19. Peter Dinklage And Erica Schmidt
She may not have the name recognition of her Game of Thrones star husband, but Peter Dinklage’s wife Erica Schmidt does incredibly well for herself in show business as a playwright and theater director. The two share a passion for performing arts, only Dinklage prefers to be in front of the camera.
Dinklage and Schmidt have been married since 2005, a stark contrast from the love life of Dinklage’s character on the show, the beloved Tyrion Lannister. The half man’s short-lived marriage to Sansa Stark, which was far from romantic, was preceded by a penchant for dating around. Although Lannister did fall in love once, with a woman named Shae, it ended in her betraying him and opting for his father instead.
20. Stephen Dillane And Naomi Wirthner
Stannis Baratheon was last seen on Game of Thrones in the last episode of season five, after what was left of his hopeless army was slaughtered by the forces of Ramsay Bolton outside of Winterfell. While he was married to Selyse Baratheon, he engaged in an affair with the Red Priestess Melisandre.
Lord Stannis is known for being a socially conservative, straight-edge kind of guy in Thrones lore. But the man who plays him, Stephen Dillane, is about as bohemian as they get, dating fellow actress and director Naomi Wirthner since 1988. They have two children, one of whom is an actor himself and played the young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
21. Jacob Anderson and Aisling Loftus
Jacob Anderson’s portrayal of one of Khaleesi’s top lieutenants is spot on: monotone, guarded and fierce – with a soft side. Greyworm is a man who was born into slavery and developed into a mighty military leader, all the while falling in love with the elegant Missandei along the way.
And it appears Anderson’s love life isn’t lacking in real life either, though he seems to go for a different look in the real world. The actor has been dating War and Peace actress Aisling Loftus, though the two prefer to keep the details of their relationship private. What’s clear is it’s going well!
22. Michiel Huisman And Tara Elders
Daario Naharis burst onto the Game of Thrones scene as Khaleesi’s first lover since Khal Drogo, her first husband. Naharis won over the dragon queen with his wits, bold approach, combat ability and, yes, his looks. The love didn’t last between the two, but his ability to enter an affair with Daenerys Targaryen is in impressive feat.
Ser Jorah Mormont, Dani’s most trusted adviser, would have killed for that kind of intimate access to the queen. The man who plays Daario for most of the the character’s time on the show is successful Dutch actor and musician Michiel Huisman, who dates fellow Dutch actress Tara Elders.
23. Jonathan Pryce And Kate Fahy
The High Sparrow, played by Jonathan Pryce in Game of Thrones fifth and sixth seasons, doesn’t have much of a love life throughout the show – in fact, the religious leader is banned from having one. The Sparrow is much more concerned with amassing power in King’s Landing and imposing his dogmatic interpretation of the Faith of the Seven on everyone else.
By contrast, Pryce himself has had an interesting love life. He and his wife, actress Kate Fahy, met in the seventies while working together at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre. Both were married at the time but fell in love. They broke off their marriages just two weeks later to be together.
24. Nathalie Emmanuel And Alex Lanipekun
Missandei goes from slave in Meereen to the trusted handmade of Queen Daenerys Targaryen, remaining loyal to her and even sticking by her side during the dreaded Long Night. In the process, she fell in love with Greyworm, one of Targaryen’s top lieutenants.
Nathalie Emmanuel, the captivating actress who plays Missandei, is dating fellow actor Alex Lanipekun outside of Game of Thrones world. A British actor known best for his role as Journalist and spy Ben Kaplan in BBC drama Spooks. Just don’t tell Greyworm about this, as he is sure to be raging with jealously. And frankly, who isn’t?
25. Rory McCann And… Himself
The brutish, crude and enormous Sandor Clegane, better known as The Hound, enjoyed one of the richest character developments in Game of Thrones, going from guard dog to Joffrey Baratheon, to Arya Stark’s protector, to warrior in Jon Snow’s coalition against the army of the dead.
But The Mountain’s little brother never engaged in any kind of romance in the show. In many ways, Scottish actor Rory McCann is similar to his character in that he, too, lives a solitary, transient lifestyle. He doesn’t date often, he has said, because he moves around too much for work. If he were to, though, he would prefer a “quiet woman” who likes to cuddle. He also like Icelandic women because “they wear the trousers.”
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