The Game of Thrones Cast That Almost Was

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Another whirlwind Season of Game of Thrones has passed, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the next installment. While we wait for news on Season seven, let's take a moment to explore a different aspect of the...

Another whirlwind Season of Game of Thrones has passed, leaving fans eagerly anticipating the next installment. While we wait for news on Season seven, let's take a moment to explore a different aspect of the show. The extensive casting process for Game of Thrones has seen many actors come and go, resulting in a cast that could have looked radically different. From changes after the pilot episode to actors who almost made the cut, the show's favorite characters could have been portrayed by other talented individuals.

Jon Snow - Sam Claflin

One of the stars of The Hunger Games films, Sam Claflin reportedly auditioned for the roles of Jon Snow and Viserys Targaryen. While the role of Jon Snow ultimately went to Kit Harington, Iwan Rheon, who auditioned for Jon Snow, ended up landing the role of Ramsay Bolton.

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Mance Rayder - Dominic West

Dominic West, known for his role in The Wire, turned down the opportunity to play Mance Rayder. The role eventually went to Ciarán Hinds, renowned for his portrayal of Gaius Julius Caesar in HBO's Rome. James Purefoy, another actor from Rome, was also considered for the role of Mance Rayder.

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Cersei Lannister - Gillian Anderson

Lena Headey's portrayal of Cersei Lannister is iconic, but it's interesting to note that Gillian Anderson, known for her role in The X-Files, may have turned down the opportunity to play the character. Anderson, with her experience in long-running TV series, could have brought a different dynamic to the cold and calculating Queen.

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Daenerys Targaryen - Tamzin Merchant

Emilia Clarke may be synonymous with the role of Daenerys Targaryen, but she was not the first choice. British actress Tamzin Merchant, best known for her role in The Tudors, was initially present during pilot test footage but had to leave the show due to unforeseen circumstances.

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Catelyn Stark - Jennifer Ehle

In the pilot episode, Jennifer Ehle, known for her role in Pride and Prejudice, portrayed Catelyn Stark. However, she was later replaced by Michelle Fairley in the actual series. This change brought a new dynamic to the character of Catelyn Stark.

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Other Casting Changes and Rumors

Several other actors were considered or rumored for various roles in Game of Thrones:

  • Brian Cox (acting legend) expressed regret for not starring in the show.
  • Ray Stevenson (Rome actor) was also rumored to have been linked to a role.
  • Sam Heughan (Outlander) was considered for Renly Baratheon or Loras Tyrell.
  • Izzy Meikle-Small (rumored) was potentially in the running for Sansa Stark.
  • Ian McNeice (Rome) initially played Illyrio Mopatis in the pilot episode.
  • And many more changes and rumors circulated throughout the series.

While Game of Thrones has captured the hearts of millions, it's fascinating to imagine how the show could have turned out with a different cast. Is there anyone else you would have liked to see in these iconic roles? The world of Westeros is full of possibilities, and the casting choices are just one part of its charm.

Game of Thrones fans will have to wait a little longer for Season seven, which is now set to premiere later in 2017.

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Caption for the first image: The original cast members being considered for Game of Thrones

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