Now that the final season of Game of Thrones is almost here, and the cast and crew have said their official on-set goodbyes, we can't help but feel a little sentimental along with the actors who have brought us some of our favorite characters—and most exciting moments—in television history. So we’re looking back to the very beginning, before the stars were even cast (or even stars), and watching some of their audition tapes.
Despite feeling heartbroken over the end of Game of Thrones, it’s amazing to see these actors connecting with the parts you already know they landed—and watch as they make them their own.
The best moments might be frequent scene-stealer Kristofer Hivju’s audition for Tormund Giantsbane, who stares intently into the camera and looks terrifying while eating—then spitting out—a carrot. Also: Natalie Dormer’s take on Margaery Tyrell was (unsurprisingly) pitch-perfect from the beginning.
We’ll see the remaining characters one last time when Game of Thrones returns for its final season on April 14.