Game of Thrones: See how much the cast has changed since the first season

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Jon Snow

Played by Kit Harington, Jon Snow is introduced during the pilot episode of Game of Thrones. At the very beginning of the series, Jon is a sulky teenager looking for a way to prove his worth. As Ned Stark’s bastard, he knows that he’ll be unable to become a lord or marry for land like his siblings. Instead, he seeks a place in the Night’s Watch.

As the series continues, Jon quickly adapts to life in the Night’s Watch. He becomes a leader that his friends at the wall look up to, and he attracts some negative attention from rivals who envy the advantages his upbringing brought him. Perhaps most importantly, he serves as Lord Commander Mormont’s steward, a role that eventually leads him beyond the wall.

But time beyond the wall also opens Jon’s eyes to the prejudices he grew up with. After spending time with the wildlings—and even falling in love with one—Jon realizes that the outsiders he’d been taught to hate and fear aren’t so different from the people he’s grown up around. When he returns and eventually takes over as Lord Commander of the Night Watch, Jon tries to forge peace between the Northerners and the wildlings.

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

His first attempt to bridge the generations-long hatred between the Wildlings and the Northerners results in a fatal betrayal by other members of the Night’s Watch. But, thanks to Melisandre, Jon returns to the world of the living and leaves the Night’s Watch, heading back to Winterfell. There, the remnants of Robb’s army name him King in the North.

And though leadership suits Jon, he eventually befriends Daenerys Targaryen, trusting her enough to bend the knee to her during the most recent season of the show. Jon knows that they’ll need to band together to defeat the Night King, and he’s mature enough to realize that power isn’t the most important thing at stake.

Of course, fans know a bit more about Jon’s character than he does at this point. Whether Jon will be so content to relinquish power once he discovers his Targaryen heritage remains to be seen…though we hope he’s grown enough to reach some kind of compromise with Daenerys.