“Game of Thrones” is arguably the biggest show on TV right now, but what would it have looked like if any of these actors were cast as the characters we’ve grown to love?
Courtesy of HBO
“The Wire” alum revealed back in 2012 that he had turned down a role in “Game of Thrones” because he didn’t want to commit to six months of shooting in Reykjavik — where the show films north of the Wall. Although he couldn’t remember the name of the character he turned down, most believe it was the Wildling king Mance Rayder as it was the only major role not filled in Season 3.
Gillian Anderson told the Daily Mail in 2013 that she had turned down a role in “Game of Thrones” — as well as PBS’ “Downton Abbey.” She didn’t reveal which character she was approached to play, but most fans speculate it was either Cersei Lannister or Melisandre.
Isobel Meikle-Small and Sophie Turner were the last two competing for the role of Sansa Stark before the part eventually went to Turner. At a screening of the film “The Big Wedding” in 2013, Meikle-Small said she was initially upset, but soon realized the character wasn’t what she was looking for.
“I was a bit sad, because the show’s massive, but I’m not that unhappy, because they all show a lot of flesh, don’t they,” she told The Telegraph. “I don’t think my parents would be happy.”
While talking to Vulture, Jared Harris revealed that he had been up for the role of the High Sparrow before the gig eventually went to Jonathan Pryce. In the same interview, he also said he had auditioned for the role that went to Anthony Hopkins in “Westworld.”
Harris will still get to work with HBO, however, on their upcoming mini-series “Chernobyl.”
Jennifer Ehle was originally cast and appeared in the unaired pilot of “Game of Thrones” as Catelyn Stark. She left the show in March of 2010 and was replaced by Michelle Fairley, who had to reshoot Ehle’s scenes before the April 2011 series premiere.
Oscar winner Mahershala Ali told Jimmy Kimmel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” that he lost out on the chance to play Xaro Xhoan Daxos — a merchant from Qarth who appeared in Season 2.
“I think my audition guaranteed that I wasn’t almost on ‘Game of Thrones,'” he told Kimmel. “That was one of the worst auditions of my life.”
“Game of Thrones” casting director Nina Gold said in July that she regretted not casting Ali.
Perdita Weeks told the Daily Mail that she turned down a small role as Roslin Frey — Walder Frey’s daughter who was married to Edmure Tully — but turned it down for a role in “The Heretics.” When that series was postponed, she said she called the “Thrones” producers to see if she could still accept the part, but it had already been cast.
During an interview with Cinema Blend in 2016, Sam Claflin said he had auditioned for two roles in the very first season of “Game of Thrones”: Jon Snow and Viserys Targaryen. Although he was passed over for those parts, Claflin was later cast in “The Hunger Games” films as Finnick Odair and appeared opposite “Thrones” star Emilia Clarke — who plays Daenerys Targaryen — in 2016’s “Me Before You.”
Sam Heughan auditioned for numerous roles on “Game of Thrones” — including Loras Tyrell, aka the Knight of Flowers, and Renly Baratheon — but didn’t land any of the parts. He was eventually cast in another period drama — as Jamie Fraser in Starz’s hit series “Outlander.”
Tamzin Merchant was originally cast as Daenerys Targaryen, and like Ehle, appeared in the unaired pilot. That pilot was reportedly a disaster, and most of it was reshot, along with recasting Clarke as the Mother of Dragons we all know and love.
e Ehle, appeared in the unaired pilot. That unaired pilot was reportedly a disaster, and most of it was reshot along with recasting Clarke as the Mother of Dragons we all know and love.