What these Game of Thrones characters look like in real life

Since Game of Thrones does so many things so well—award-winning performances, beautiful cinematography, perfect original score, and heartbreaking plot twists—it's easy for its visual effects department to go overlooked. The show utilizes some of the best makeup and CG in the industry to create fantastic, sometimes otherworldly characters. Here's a peek at the equally fantastic human actors who bring them to life. Also, spoilers. Just tons of spoilers in here.

Wun Wun - Ian Whyte

Ian Whyte plays Wun Wun, whose full name is abbreviated, for obvious reasons, from Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun. Wun Wun is thought to be the last of the giants, but he's not the only character Whyte has played. He started as what he thought would be a one-off role as the first White Walker in the pilot episode, "Winter Is Coming," before being asked to play Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane. He portrayed the monstrous knight for three episodes before finding his permanent spot as the giant beyond the Wall. In real life, Whyte stands at an incredible 7'1", so there's probably little chance of him being recast once again as Tyrion's long-lost twin brother.

Night's King - Richard Brake

The Night's King is the leader of the White Walkers and one of the scariest-looking creatures ever conceived. So far, Richard Brake has had a pretty easy gig portraying the nightmarish doom of Westeros—as there's not a lot of lines for him to memorize—but there is that whole "seven hours in the makeup chair" thing to consider. Brake told MTV that it takes five hours to put it on and two hours to take it off, which is interesting, because that's also the exact amount of time it would take to irritate us to into becoming a homicidal wight-making hellbeast as well.

Ross Mullan - White Walker

Another actor who has spent countless hours in the makeup chair for GoT is Ross Mullan. He plays a sort of White Walker Lieutenant who's appeared in several episodes, most notably in "Valar Morghulis," where he rides a zombie horse and doesn't kill Sam for unexplained reasons. Talking about what it's like to portray a White Walker, Mullan told The Verge, "Body language, arm and leg movements, the way you tilt your head or move it back and forward. It all comes together to tell a story, like a dance," which is probably the most eloquent way of describing monsters who tear people limb from limb.

Leaf - Kae Alexander

Leaf seems to be the leader of the Children of the Forest—or she was until she took one for the team to give Bran and Meera a few precious moments to escape the cave. The actress Kae Alexander also sacrifices something for the role: approximately ten hours of her time, which is what it takes for "a full body prosthetic" to be applied, according to Tech Insider. That's longer than it takes for even the White Walkers or Night's King to get made up, so maybe it's some sort of penalty for the fact that Leaf inadvertently created them?

Pyat Pree - Ian Hanmore

We don't know how Ian Hanmore should take this, but apparently the GoT makeup department felt the only thing necessary to transform him into the murderous warlock was some dark eye shadow and weird bluish lipstick. Although to their credit, he does look insanely creepy to the point where we don't know if we'd rather be stuck in the House of the Undying with him or eaten alive by wights beyond the Wall.

Varys - Conleth Hill

Varys' face isn't obscured in any way, so there's no big reveal here by showing actor Conleth Hill's face. Until you see him with hair. Is it just us, or does he totally have a Newt Gingrich vibe going on? Anybody else seeing that? Nope, just us? Fine, moving on.

Lord of Bones/Rattleshirt - Ross O'Hennessy

Rattleshirt, a.k.a., the Lord of Bones, is the constantly smack-talking wildling who never warmed up to Jon Snow. The character has been played by two actors, the first of which was Edward Dogliani, who actually removed the skull mask and briefly showed his face in episode one of season three, "Valar Dohaeris." The other actor is Ross O'Hennessy, who never made it past his single performance in the "Hardhome" episode after Tormund Giantsbane opened up a can on him with his own staff.

Quaithe - Laura Pradelska

Like Pyat Pree, Quaithe is another mysterious character from the city of Quarth, only instead of stealing Daenerys' dragons, she doles out vague and cryptic advice that characters like Jorah Mormont should probably have heeded. Luckily for the actress who plays her, Laura Pradelska, she only had to put on a mask that sort of looks like a reject Tiffany lampshade instead of spending hours having fake tree branches glued to her face.

Septa Unella - Hannah Waddingham

It's kind of strange that even though Septa Unella's face is completely visible, nobody in their right mind would ever confuse her for the bright-eyed and broad-smiled actress Hannah Waddingham. Maybe it's the platinum blonde hair, or maybe it's the lack of Unella's characteristically dour and sadistic grimace from Waddingham's everyday face that makes for such an unbelievable transformation.

Styr - Yuri Kolokolnikov

Styr is the Magnar of Thenn, which is arguably one of the most terrifying clans of the wildlings. In a memorable scene, he tells Ollie he's going to eat his parents, and we don't doubt it for a second. But without the bald head, crazy eyes, and thick scars running all over his face, actor Yuri Kolokolnikov doesn't look at all like a cannibalistic tribal lord—not much of a compliment, we know, but most of his IMDb credits are in Russian, so we doubt he'll ever notice.

Beric Dondarrion - Richard Dormer

Apparently being resurrected from multiple violent and gory deaths really does a number on one's body, because at this point, Beric Dondarrion looks more like a cross between the Mummy and Frankenstein's monster than anything you'd expect from someone known as the Lightning Lord. The Lord of Light can bring you back, but he doesn't restore you to showroom condition, that's for sure. Richard Dormer is the second actor to assume the role of the tattered Lord, and he better hope the next time Dondarrion bites the dust, it isn't by an axe to the face, or he might find himself spending some real quality time in that makeup chair.