In a world filled with sword fights, dragons, poison, and passion, the once unknown Game of Thrones cast has had its acting chops put to the ultimate physical and emotional tests. This is particularly true for the actors who grew up with their characters for nearly a decade and now have to say goodbye to the world of Westeros and all seven realms.
Even great actors have people step in for them, whether it’s because of a dangerous stunt or a scene that shows more skin than an actor is comfortable with. Be warned, this article is filled with plenty of plot spoilers if you haven’t caught the end of the series!
Let’s find out who on the set of Game of Thrones used a body double, and who didn’t.
20 Body Double: No Walk Of Atonement For Lena Headey
Lena Headey didn’t use her own body during her famous walk of atonement in season five. Headey was pregnant and instead wanted to focus her attention on the emotion of the infamous scene.
Body double Rebecca Van Cleave became famous by walking in her place. She says, "It was one of the scariest, most wonderful, most gratifying experiences I could have imagined."
19 No Body Double: Maisie Williams Has A Moment In Season Eight
Maisie Williams grew up on set, and season eight gave her the opportunity to show everyone Arya Stark had become a woman. Declining a body double, she shared a tender moment with Gendry.
Williams told Entertainment Weekly she was informed, “'You can show as much or as little as you want. So, I kept myself pretty private. I don’t think it’s important for Arya to flash.”
18 Body Double: Kit Harington & The Season Three Body Doubles
Back in season three, Kit Harington broke his foot when he locked himself out of his apartment and tried to get in through a window.
What this meant for Jon Snow was there were a whole lot of body doubles posing as Jon from a distance (essentially whenever he had to stand).
17 No Body Double: Jason Momoa Lightens Things Up In Scenes Without Stand-Ins
The scenes between Khal Drogo and Dani were intense. Jason Momoa lightened the mood as best as he could.
Clarke says, “He’s a funny man and you kinda try to lighten the mood… so he decided for one of the scenes which [the camera] was on his back and my face, and he decided to use not a modesty sock, but a beautiful, pink, fluffy sock.”
16 Body Double: The Man Who Fills Brienne Of Tarth's Shoes
An appropriate name for a stunt double, a guy named Mark Slaughter dressed as a woman quite often to portray female knight Brienne of Tarth. It took nine days of fighting in Iceland to perfectly capture Brienne’s fight against the Hound.
I think we can all agree he did a good job. Slaughter has also worked on Outlander and in The Legend of Tarzan.
15 No Body Double: Jon Snow & The Buns Of Steel
It’s no longer a secret that the stress of playing Jon Snow took a toll on Kit Harington. His body became important for scenes in GOT and Pompei.
His personal trainer stepped in when he was going too far when it came to fitness, at the expense of his health, as Kit was exhausting himself by over-training three times a day.
14 Body Double: The Mystery Man Who Stunts For Tyrion Lannister
Tyrion Lannister isn’t the most physical character on GOT, however, he has several scenes that were best left to others. While many of the other body doubles from the shown are known, there is very little information about this man available.
In this case, it’s not ‘a girl who has no name,’ it’s a stunt actor who looks a heck of a lot like Peter Dinklage.
13 Body Double: The Gymnast Who Fought As Arya Stark
While Maisie Williams has learned a thing or two about fighting since the early days of GOT, her fighter is former University of Utah gymnast Kristina Baskett.
Baskett says of her experiences, “I have many philosophies I try to incorporate in my life, but one of my favorites is ‘feel the fear and do it anyway'.”
12 No Body Double: Emilia Clarke Goes Natural
Throughout the show, Clarke wasn’t afraid to skip the body double.
Clarke said of a later season scene, “I’d like to remind people the last time I took my clothes off was season 3. That was a while ago. It’s now season 6. But this is all me, all proud, all strong. I’m just feeling genuinely happy I said ‘Yes.’ There ain’t no body double!”
11 Body Double: Special Forces Stunts The Hound
There are two stuntmen said to fight in place of The Hound. Both Reg Wayment and Paul Heasman have worked on the show.
People paying particularly close attention to fighting scenes involving the hound believe it’s Wayment, who has 12 years of special forces experience under his belt, making him a highly skilled fighter.
10 No Body Doubles: Real Romance In Intimate Moments With Ygritte & Jon
Before they were a couple, Rose Leslie felt a real connection with Kit Harington.
Leslie said of Kit during body double-free scenes, “he was very considerate and made sure as much as possible that I didn’t feel awkward standing in front of people with. So, it’s always going to be an awkward one, but he and the rest of the crew were incredibly considerate.”
9 Body Double: Michiel Huisman Has Someone Fight For Him & The Mother Of Dragons
Stunt man Jimenez Blanco wielded a sword for actor Michiel Huisman (Daario).
He told Buzzfeed, “It’s a lot of fun, but kind of stressful sometimes. You get up around 5 a.m. Then a van picks you up and takes you to the set where people are waiting to put your makeup and dress on,” and this takes an hour before it’s really time to get to work.
8 No Body Double: Red Witch Warms Up With Hot Water Bottles Between Key Scenes
Dutch actor Carice van Houten did all her own scenes, and says of Melisandre, “With my character, I use [my body] as a weapon,” knowing that her choice to bare it all was a part of who the Red Witch was.
Van Houten admits, “I’m cold in summer, every time I’m shooting, if you don’t see a part of me, there are hot water bottles there.”
7 Body Double: Daenerys Targaryen Won't Fight Her Own Battles
Dani’s double Rosie Mac has become famous in her own way for performing amazing stunts and for being just as beautiful as Clarke (who she stands in for). She even has her own fan page nowadays thanks to GOT fans.
It takes a lot of work though; Mac needs to go through all the same hair and makeup as Clarke.
6 No Body Double: Sophie Turner Bares All In Emotional Performance
Unfortunately for Sansa, her most tolerable romantic moments were with Tyrion Lannister, who she didn’t have feelings for.
Turner had no one stand in when she gave a raw and real performance of the scene that happened when she was captured and forced to marry Ramsay Bolton. Turner says that this scene has inspired her to become an activist, standing up for women everywhere.
5 Body Double: Jon Snow's Stunt Double Fights Like A Champ
Harington has liked to be very involved in his role of Jon Snow, and this means handling a lot of the stunts and intimate scenes himself.
Stunt Coordinator Rowley Irlam says, “He’s doing all the fighting, he moves really well. He’s great.” For other scenes, they leave it to the professionals, like stunt man Marc Redmon, who has been confirmed to play Jon Snow.
4 No Body Double: The Real Scoop Behind That Season 8 Scene With Jaime & Brienne
There were many text messages going back and forth between Christie (Brienne) and Coser-Waldau (Jaime) when they realized they’d be spending the night together in season eight.
Christie told Entertainment Weekly, “I sent back a being-sick emoji.” She says, “I care for the character so deeply, so it was important to me that it was taken care of well and I believe it was.”
3 Body Double: Missandei & The Stunt Double
While some of Nathalie Emmanuel’s more physical scenes require a stunt double, other more vulnerable ones, like the love scene between her and Greyworm, she chose to handle herself.
Of the love scene she says, “Whether you’ve done it many times, or none at all, it’s a big deal. You feel like you’re giving something quite vulnerable and, yes, it’s hard.”
2 No Body Double: Hot Tub Moments With Jaime Lannister
Since the actors who play Brienne and Jaime have such a good relationship IRL, they were able to tackle vulnerable moments for their characters, even if they were vulnerable themselves, like in the hot tub scene.
Christie told Access Online, “She’s naked and so he gets to make her feel totally uncomfortable. “The actors themselves handled it well.
1 Body Double: Sansa & Ygritte Double Turned Show Character
Megan Parkinson started out as a body double on Game of Thrones. First, she played the body double for Sansa and Ygritte.
In 2016, they decided to make her a part of the cast, not just a stand-in for other characters, and she was awarded the small role of Alys Karstak for the last three seasons.
Sources: Refinery 29, Glamour, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, The Sun