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

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Tyrion Lannister

Though Peter Dinklage himself hasn’t aged noticeably since beginning his role as Tyrion Lannister, his character has definitely matured since the series’ pilot episode. When Tyrion is first introduced, he’s carefree and has quite a penchant for debauchery. He spends most of his time drinking and whoring, and everything he does is purely for the purpose of entertainment.

But when his father pushes him into the role of Hand of the King during the second season, Tyrion is forced to adapt a more serious attitude—and this is when his true cunning is put to the test. Tyrion manages to ward off Stannis’ armies when they attack King’s Landing, and he even attempts to forge outside political alliances through betrothals.

Sadly, when Tywin returns to claim his place as Hand of the King, it quickly becomes clear to Tyrion that his family doesn’t acknowledge his true value. Though he continues to make sacrifices for them, they refuse to accept him. They even accuse him of murdering his nephew during the show’s fourth season, an allegation that would have ended with Tyrion’s execution had Varys not stepped in.

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

When Tyrion takes his own father’s life and runs off to find Daenerys, he demonstrates a newfound independence from his family—the people who have influenced the majority of his decisions for years. Taking this step pains him, but it also enables him to finally make decisions based on what he feels is right.

Tyrion’s character matures even further in Daenerys’ service, and he becomes a character who actually believes in fighting for a better future. Tyrion from earlier seasons had all but given up on a better world, but season 7 Tyrion is more than ready to work toward one.

Of course, Tyrion’s still drinking. But that’s what he does: He drinks and he knows things.