Whenever there was a relationship that seemed happy and almost, dare we say, normal on the award-winning fantasy series Game of Thrones, it was only a matter of time before one, if not both, of the partners would suffer some horrific death. Although the hit HBO series’ cast members lead significantly less dramatic love lives than their onscreen counterparts (thank goodness for that), they all do seem to at least share the pattern of having colorful and interesting real-life partners, many of whom are also creative types of some kind. While some of their significant others are generally far less well-known in the public eye than they are, there exist a few exceptions.
With all the tragedy that inevitably surrounds just about every romance on the show, we thought it might be nice to take a moment to list and cherish some of the Game of Thrones actors‘ ongoing real love stories. Hey, who wouldn’t want to hear about members of this cast finding their happily ever after — especially when so many of their characters weren’t exactly given a delightful ending.
Sophie Turner’s relationship is all over Instagram
It’s hard to say which is the more famous partner: Sophie Turner or musician husband Joe Jonas. The DNCE frontman who rose to superstardom with his brothers as part of the Jonas Brothers first "met" the actor who played Sansa Stark on Instagram when he literally slid into her DMs. "We had a lot of mutual friends," Turner reminisced to Harper’s Bazaar in 2019, "and they’d been trying to introduce us for a long time. He direct-messaged me one fine day, out of the blue." The two first went public with an Instagram post in 2017 and then announced their engagement later that year with a photo of Turner’s ring on the social media platform.
Jonas and Turner tied the knot in a surprise May 2019 ceremony in Las Vegas immediately following that year’s Billboard Music Awards, with Diplo documenting their vows on Instagram (sensing a pattern with this relationship here) and quipping that he was "gonna hit this wedding real quick" (via BBC). A second, more lavish ceremony was held in June that year in southern France. Before that ceremony, the pop singer celebrated with a wild bachelor’s weekend in Ibiza, which, as Nick Jonas revealed on The Tonight Show, "had the cops, on the first night, called on us three times." The married pair welcomed their first child, daughter Willa, in July 2020, reported TMZ.
Kit Harington and Rose Leslie clicked while filming
Kit Harington told Vogue Italia in 2016 that his favorite memory from shooting the series was "the three weeks in Iceland when we were shooting the second season." Why, you wonder? "Because the country is beautiful, because the Northern Lights are magical, and because it was there that I fell in love." He admitted to the outlet that "it becomes very easy to fall in love" when you have feelings for the person who has been cast as your significant other on a television program. Harginton and Rose Leslie, who played love interests Jon Snow and Ygritte, connected while working on the second season of the show in 2011.
The couple became engaged in July 2017. As People reported, their 2018 Scottish wedding ceremony was heavily attended by their Game of Thrones co-stars, including Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Peter Dinklage.
Warning: GoT spoiler ahead. After Leslie’s Wildling character was killed off in season four of the show in 2014, the actor went on to star in the CBS legal drama The Good Fight, which debuted in February 2017. After she parted ways with the series, she asked Harington to keep Game of Thrones spoilers to himself. "I for sure ask Kit not to show me his excitement after he has read an episode, simply because I don’t want to read anything in his eyes," Leslie told Entertainment Weekly in 2018.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s wife didn’t watch Game of Thrones
"I think it took longer for her," Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Game of Thrones‘ resident bad boy-turned-antihero Jaime Lannister, told InStyle in 2014 of his wife since 1997, Nukâka Coster-Waldau. "I wore her down. I was just crazy in love." Nukâka, who is also from Nikolaj’s native Greenland, was 1990’s Miss Greenland, placing 19th in the Miss Universe pageant, a record-high for the island. Nukâka went on to become an actor and singer, and she even shared the screen with her husband in the 2008 Danish film Himmerland. In 2020, she joined the cast of Vild med Dans, Denmark’s version of Dancing with the Stars.
You might assume Nukâka was a loyal Game of Thrones viewer, but that was not the case. According to Nikolaj, his significant other did not watch his massively popular show. "I dragged her to the premiere of the first [episode], and then since then, no. She keeps promising that she’ll sit down with a friend and watch it," the actor told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show in 2017.
The pair share two daughters, Filippa and Safina Coster-Waldau. According to Nikolaj, he and his fellow entertainer of a partner enjoy showboating in front of their children. "When their friends are over, we just start to dance," he told InStyle. "No music necessary. It really embarrasses them."
Gwendoline Christie’s boyfriend is an acclaimed designer
Gwendoline Christie, who played the butt-kicking Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones, and her boyfriend, award-winning fashion designer Giles Deacon, have been involved since New Year’s Eve in 2012, according to Grazia Daily (via Daily Mail). Deacon told Grazia (via MSN) in 2018 that he was "instantly smitten" and "thought she was extraordinary" from the moment they met. "The way she carries herself, it was not like anything I’d seen before," he shared.
Outside of dating Christie, he is, as Elle pointed out, perhaps best known for designing Pippa Middleton’s wedding gown. According to GQ, he started his own label, GILES, in 2003 and was named British Fashion Designer Of The Year in 2006 by the British Fashion Council. Other accolades on his trophy case include the 2006 French Ministry of Culture’s International Grand Prix, which earned him a money prize of $177,000 (the largest winning in fashion competitions), and the Designer of the Year award at the annual World Fashion Awards in 2012.
Deacon often designs girlfriend Christie’s red carpet appearance looks. At the 2015 Emmys, Christie premiered a pastel pink gown from his yet-to-debut Spring/Summer 2016 collection. "He’s one of my favorite designers, and he has an exquisite artistic vision with a brilliant and highly developed discipline," the actor told InStyle. "That kind of artist is rare, and I think it should be celebrated."
Peter Dinklage says his wife is the ‘artist’ in the family
Game of Thrones fan favorite Tyrion Lannister may have had several lovers who turned out to be foes over the years, but actor Peter Dinklage eloped in 2005 with theater director Erica Schmidt and has never looked back. Schmidt has directed several off-Broadway plays, including 2015’s production of Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country, starring Dinklage and Orange Is the New Black‘s Taylor Schilling. When speaking with The Guardian in 2015, Dinklage opened up about his wife’s connection to theater. "Unlike a lot of other people in our profession where film is the ultimate goal, theater is sacred to her," he said. "It’s not entertainment; it’s art… She’s definitely the artist of the family. I am just the TV actor who pays the bills."
The privacy-craving couple relocated from the crowded New York City neighborhood of the West Village to the idyllic countryside of upstate New York in 2012, Rolling Stone reported. "I can’t be anonymous because of my size," the four foot five actor said. His wife noted that even when people don’t know who he is, "they think he’s Wee Man from Jackass or they think he’s the guy from In Bruges. So there’s a constant assault." The couple share two daughters, although neither’s name is known. Intriguingly, someone had updated Dinklage’s Wikipedia to state that their oldest is called Zelig. "Her name is not Zelig," Dinklage, amused, told The Guardian.
Lena Headey reportedly connected with an Ozark star
Lena Headey, whose serpentine character Cersei was involved in a less-than-conventional relationship (to say the least) on Game of Thrones, has been married to her husband, filmmaker Dan Cadan, since 2018. According to The New York Times, the two first actually met when they were childhood friends. Headey first alluded to her romantic entanglement with Cadan via a mysterious 2015 tweet that simply read, "Hello peeps. All good. Just fallen in unconditional heartbreaking divine love for the second time."
Headey divorced her previous husband of six years, Irish musician Peter Loughran, in 2013 and has been embroiled in nasty legal battles with him since. The two share a son, Wylie, according to Daily Mail. Cadan proposed in the spring of 2017 despite Headey telling The New York Times later that year, "I always said to him, ‘Don’t ever ask me to marry you, it’s a disaster,’ but it actually feels really wonderful." They share one daughter.
Alas, in 2019, The Guardian reported Headey and Cadan separated. In October 2020, The Sun linked Headey to Ozark actor Marc Menchaca. According to the outlet, Headey plans to settle in the United States because that’s "where the parts are for her and she’s got a blossoming relationship with Marc so she sees no point in her living in the UK."
Sean Bean almost gave up on marriage
Game of Thrones‘ Ned Stark, among the closest the show came to a wholesome family man, was portrayed by Sean Bean. In real life, Bean has been married five times, and he has three daughters: two daughters second wife, actor Melanie Hill, and the third with actor Abigail Cruttenden.
Following his fourth divorce, Bean told Croatian magazine Gloria (via Daily Mail) that while he believes in love, he wasn’t so sure about the matrimony thing anymore. "But marriage — that fits some people but obviously not me," he said. Well, that apparently went out the window when Bean married Ashley Moore in 2017 after dating for five years. According to the Daily Mail, he first encountered Moore during "a chance meeting" at his favorite drinking haunt in North London.
Bean has pondered whether age and experience have helped his perspective on matters of the heart. "You know, you look back on things and think, ‘maybe I should have done that in a different way. Maybe I wouldn’t have done that. I’d do that differently now,’" Bean told Gloria. "But then again, you’re a lot younger, they’re different times and you think, ‘Would I have done that? Would I really do it any differently?"’ On the question of whether he would welcome a fourth child, he told The Times in 2019, "Possibly, yes. With Ashley, yeah. That would be nice, that."
Maisie Williams shares a love of fashion with her boyfriend
Maisie Williams, whose portrayal of the youngest member of the Stark clan catapulted her to stardom, has lived her love life in the public eye. Ever since she was spotted holding hands with designer and entrepreneur Reuben Selby on the streets of New York City in 2019, the two have been a fashion show front row staple. The couple often attend in coordinated looks, such as the Thom Browne Spring 2020 show, when they wore not just matching plaid suits, but identical, boldly applied coral eye shadow.
Selby co-founded a modeling agency called Contact Agency. "I take pictures myself as well, so I was always doing a similar thing and tried to find interesting subjects. I’ve gone down a bit more of a fashion route, because I’ve worked with designers casting for shows and for magazine editorials and my own editorials too," he explained to Dazed of his start getting into the casting business.
At Paris Fashion Week 2020, Selby debuted his own fashion line. According to Vogue, his collection, which was a collaboration with Williams, comprises of "genderless clothes with a sustainable focus." Speaking with Vogue, Selby described Williams’ input on the project as helping to inform clothes for "a type of woman who wants to wear more comfortable clothes, and clothes that are potentially more suited to a man." Given that Arya Stark is a bit of a tomboy, this seems like a case of life imitating art.
Alfie Allen has been spotted with an established artist
In May 2019, Mirror reported Alfie Allen, little brother to musician Lily Allen, was first spotted canoodling in public with painter Antonia Showering at the All Points East Festival. This news came only seven months after his ex-girlfriend, DJ Allie Teilz, gave birth to their daughter. When the actor who portrayed Theon Greyjoy posted about the arrival of the baby, the caption initially read, "With full hearts and overwhelming joy @allieteilz and I introduce you to the newest member of our family." Evidently, he removed any mention of Teilz from the post.
Alfie and Showering are relatively private, but the two did appear together at the British Vogue and Tiffany Fashion and Film afterparty in February 2020. Showering earned a B.A. with honors from City and Guilds of London Art School in 2016 and an M.A. in Fine Art from Slade School of Fine Art in 2018. According to art gallery Timothy Taylor’s website, her paintings were featured in a handful of group exhibitions in London in 2018 and received numerous contemporary artist accolades.
"My family always encouraged my love of art," she told Assemblage in 2017. "I recently watched some old home-videos where my older brother was filming me (aged seven) in a Blue Peter style documentary: I was explaining the ingredients to the perfect artwork." With over 23,000 followers on her artwork-heavy Instagram account, the painter is definitely a rising star in her own right.
Aidan Gillen’s partner sure can carry a tune
Although he played one of the most despicable villains on Game of Thrones, Aidan Gillen is described by his partner, singer Camille O’Sullivan, as a thorough gentleman. The actor who played Littlefinger and O’Sullivan have been publicly involved since displaying PDA at a U2 concert in Belfast in November 2015, according to Independent.ie. "I don’t think that man would have to work hard to win anyone over," O’Sullivan told Independent.ie in 2018. "We clicked, but there was a gentlemanly patience."
According to Independent.ie., O’Sullivan has a daughter with her ex-boyfriend, The Waterboys’ lead singer. As for Gillen, he himself has two children with his ex-wife, Olivia O’Flanagan, with whom he has been separated since 2014, according to The Guardian.
O’Sullivan’s journey from being an architect to a cabaret singer is winding, according to Independent. "I liked architecture but I loved performing," she told the outlet. "[In university], though, I hadn’t found my own voice. So I took a year out and went to work in an architects’ practice in Berlin." In 1999, however, she was hospitalized for nearly a year after a near-fatal car accident. The ordeal convinced her to change career course. "I had to learn to walk and use my hands again," she recalled. "But it was a turning point. I stopped thinking ‘What if?’ and decided to leave architecture to dedicate myself to cabaret."