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

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Arya Stark

Maisie Williams was even younger than Sophie Turner when she joined the cast of Game of Thrones, beginning her role as Arya at the age of 14. Of course, Williams looks even younger at the beginning of the series—a perfect match for the Stark sister who appears young enough to pass as a young boy during the first few seasons.

Arya’s character starts off as feisty and unwilling to accept the feminine role society tries to push onto her, but her anger and determination to become a fighter only increase after her father’s death. Her determination to enact revenge on the Lannisters forms during the second season, though her rage turns into something else entirely after her mother and older brother are killed during season 3.

When Arya winds up at the House of Black and White in Braavos, she learns to fight and kill with discipline. She also loses herself for a while, feeling as though she has no family and even answering to “No one.” But she accepts her rightful place as a Stark by the end of her time with Jaqen H’ghar, declaring that she’s finally going home.

Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

And when Arya does arrive home, it’s clear that she’s changed since the last time she stepped foot in Winterfell. To start, she’s matured enough to place her family before petty grudges, allowing her to develop a trusting relationship with her sister. She also carries herself with a confidence she didn’t have during the earlier seasons—a surety that she can protect herself and will if provoked.

It should be interesting to see how Arya’s confidence and talents play into the final battle for the throne (and of course, the fight against the Night King).