The Game of Thrones cast has come a long way since the show's premiere back in 2011 and the show has quickly become one of the most watched television dramas on HBO.

 

When Season 1 premiered, it received high praises from critics for its production and cast. That year, the show won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage) and Outstanding Main Title Design. "Game of Thrones" was also nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series in 2012,  but fell short to Showtime's "Homeland."

 

Standout stars like Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage became fan favorites as the show grew in popularity.

 

When the "Game of Thrones" pilot episode aired in 2011, approximately 2.2 million people tuned in, according to the Wikipedia "Game of Thrones" fan page. Around 3.04 million people watched the Game Season 1 finale.  

 

These numbers increased significantly throughout the years.

 

In 2016, the Game of Thrones Season 6 premiere, pulled in 7.9 million viewers and 8.9 million people watched the Season 6 finale.

For the season premiere of Season 7, 10.1 million people watched the live broadcast of the first episode of Season 7, making it the show’s most watched episode. We can only imagine how many will watch the season finale of this season. 

Aside from the show's steady growth in viewership through each season, the cast is also pulling in bigger paychecks. 

"Game of Thrones" stars Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey will reportedly make $2.5 million per episode during Season 7. According to Variety, these actors made $500,000 per episode in 2016. 

As we all have our eyes glued to HBO for Season 7, here's a look back at the cast of "Game of Thrones" from their Season 1 DVD premiere event in 2012 and a look the cast during their Season 7 premiere. A lot can change in five years.