Now in its seventh season, Game of Thrones has been a launching pad for the careers of many of the actors and actresses on the HBO series. While fans have become accustomed to seeing the stars of the show in their respective roles, the beloved drama almost looked entirely different.
There are a number of Hollywood stars that turned down roles or auditioned for GOT but it never worked out for one reason or another. For example, characters such as Sansa Stark and Cersei Lannister nearly were played by other famous stars.
Possibly in some cases, fans might have preferred the actors that weren't actually cast. Keep scrolling to see the list of actors who almost starred in Game of Thrones.
First up...Dominic West
Back in 2012, The Wire alum Dominic West revealed that he turned down a role in Game of Thrones because he didn't want to commit to filming for six months in Iceland.
In Reykjavik, Iceland is where GOT films the scenes beyond the wall. While the 40-year-old actor claims he does not remember the name of the character that he auditioned for, many believe that he could possibly have played Mance Rayder.
"I was offered something on Game of Thrones and unfortunately, I hadn't seen it, but my nephew and his father said, 'Gosh, Game of Thrones is the only great show on!' And I felt terrible because I'd just turned them down," West said during an interview with Huffington Post.
Gillian Anderson, who starred on The X-Files, spilled back in 2013 that she not only turned down roles on Game of Thrones and on PBS' Downton Abbey. Instead, the 49-year-old actress chose to star in a BBC thriller titled The Fall.
While Anderson seemed confident of her decision, she explained that her children didn't understand why she would turn it down.
"My 18-year-old cannot believe that I would turn down Game of Thrones or Downton – things she loves to watch," she said while talking with Daily Mail. "But if I am going to be spending that amount of time working on something I would rather be working with a director like Martin Scorsese."
Fans have speculated that Anderson likely would have portrayed either Cersei Lannister, or Melisandre.prevnext
Mad Men alum Jared Harris almost portrayed the High Sparrow on Game of Thrones before the gig went to Jonathan Pryce.
Harris, 55, opened up about how he lost out roles on not just one but two HBO shows, GOT and Westworld.
"I lose parts to the weirdest people. It's kind of confusing," he said, according to Vulture. "I mean, it changes a lot. In the beginning, I didn't lose parts but I'd get stuff that either Gary Oldman wasn't interested in, or Phillip Seymour Hoffman wasn't interested in. It's kind of a weird range. It's a very odd thing to find out who ends up doing stuff that you [auditioned for]. I went in for Westworld for Anthony Hopkin's part. Yeah, it's weird. Game of Thrones, the part that Jonathan Pryce did. It's kind of a strange thing."prevnext
Oscar winner Mahershala Ali auditioned for the role of Xaro Xhoan Daxos, a merchant from Qarth who appeared in Season 2. The 43-year-old actor says that he knows exactly why he was not cast in GOT.
"I think my audition guaranteed that I wasn't almost on Game of Thrones," he said during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. "That was one of the worst auditions of my life."
Nina Gold, the GOT casting director, has stated that she regretted not casting Ali for the part. The role of Xaro Xhoan Daxos would eventually be played by Nonso Anozie.prevnext
Ehle, 47, was originally set to take on the role of Catelyn Stark. However, she left the show in March of 2010.
Prior to the April 2011 series premiere, Ehle was replaced by Michelle Fairley, who had to reshoot all of Ehle's scenes.
The GOT showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, explained that after watching the original pilot, they were told to change everything. One of those changes was to get Fairley to replace Ehle, according to Vanity Fair.
After watching the original pilot, Benioff said: "I was taking notes, and I had this yellow legal pad, and I just remembered writing in all caps, 'MASSIVE PROBLEM,' and it's all I could think about the rest of the night."prevnext
While Sophie Turner has skyrocketed to fame as Sansa Stark on Thrones, the role almost went to Isobel Meikle-Small. The Never Let Me Go actress was one of the last two contenders for the part of Sansa.0comments
Meikle-Small doesn't totally regret not getting the role on GOT. In fact, she is a bit relieved.
"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 said, according to The Telegraph. "I don't think my parents would be happy."prev