Pop Culture

Red carpet kinder to 'Thrones' stars than that Red Wedding 

"Game of Thrones" has its dragons, giants and White Walkers that require special effects and prosthetics to transform into small-screen creatures, but often, it's the humans who have the most amazing metamorphoses with little more than a costume change and makeup.

Take the cast when they hit the red carpet in New York the show's fourth season premiere, for example. Wildlings turned into glamazons. A spider turned into a dashing gentleman. A simple giant of a man turned into a ... well, a snazzily dressed giant of a man.

Replace their elaborate costumes, and the cast are sometimes unrecognizable at first glance. See how different these "GoT" stars look from their small-screen characters, and what some had to say about their on-screen action this season.

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth.

Gwendoline Christie, the actress behind the not-very-lady-like Brienne of Tarth, doesn't much look like her tough warrior maiden — save for the height. As for what's in store for Lady Brienne this year, Christie told reporters, "As you can imagine, the idea of King's Landing is a war of words, it's a war of intellect, of treachery and secrets. And Brienne is a woman of action and physicality, and I would imagine it would be quite difficult to see her place in that environment."

Kristian Nairn plays Hodor.

My, Hodor, what nice clothes you have! Bran's lovable simpleton (played by Kristian Nairn) transformed into an intelligent and smartly dressed giant — check out that awesome scorpion pin! — for the red carpet. Yes, the 6'10" actor still towered over reporters, but was kind enough to get down on one knee to chat with shorter folks.

Hannah Murray plays Gilly.

Hot mama! Sam Tarly's lady friend Gilly (Hannah Murray) may be a simple Wildling girl in rags on "Game of Thrones," but the actress herself turned heads more than once.

Conleth Hill as Lord Varys on "Game of Thrones."

The Spider has a lush head full of hair in the off season! "Yes, I shave it off every July," Conleth Hill, the man behind the devious Lord Varys, told TODAY. As for what the eunuch will be up to this year, Hill told us, "He may or may not be faithful to (Tyrion) or loyal to him ... for his own survival, choose not to back up his pal."

Rose Leslie as Ygritte.

The Free Woman who could give "The Walking Dead's" Daryl a run for his money with her marksmanship traded her bow and arrow for a clutch and high heels at the premiere. Rose Leslie told us that this season, Ygritte is "out for blood and vengeance." A woman scorned, Jon Snow. A woman scorned.

Rory McCann as Sandor "The Hound" Clegane on "Game of Thrones."

Woof! Scotsman Rory McCann wiped off his Hound's scars and donned a kilt for the red carpet. While his towering Sandor Clegane is quite the brute, expect a lot more laughs from this bad dog in season four.

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister.

The regal and vicious Queen Cersei is played by the edgy Lena Headey, who bared her tattoos and showed off a trendy short 'do at the "Game of Thrones" shindig. This season sees the royal reunited with brother/lover Jaime Lannister, but Headey teased to us, "There's a lot of questions surrounding their relationship this season. ... Cersei, having relied upon him for so long, I think her strength ... she's found a bit of her own."

Watch the stars get back into character when "Game of Thrones" season four kicks off April 6 at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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