Some of the most familiar faces in Westeros have changed a lot during the course of Game of Thrones’ run on HBO. Over the course of the series, several of the show’s key actors have ended up being replaced – leading fans to wonder just what really happened.
Throughout the entire series, Emilia Clarke has shined as Daenerys Targaryen. From a mild young bride to the fierce and ruthless warrior she is today, Daenerys has been through one of the show’s most exciting arcs, and without Clarke’s portrayal, far fewer viewers would have fallen in love with the character the way that they have. Hailed as a feminist icon, fans have been gripped by Daenerys’ finest moments, and Clarke herself has achieved international recognition for the role – as well as nominations for several awards.
With that in mind, it might seem difficult to believe that anyone else could ever have played Daenerys, but in the initially troubled pilot for Game of Thrones, Daenerys was originally played by Tamzin Merchant – best known for her role as Henry VIII’s fifth wife Catherine Howard on The Tudors. Creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have been open about their disdain for the original pilot, but neither the two showrunners nor casting director Nina Gould have fully discussed the reason for Merchant’s exit. Today, fans are left to wonder just how different the series might have been with a different Daenerys riding those dragons.
Watch the video for more about The Real Reason These Game of Thrones Roles Were Recast!
Daenerys Targaryen | 0:15
Daario Naharis | 1:20
Tommen Baratheon | 2:07
Myrcella Baratheon | 3:23
The Mountain | 4:10
Dickon Tarly | 5:16
Selyse Baratheon | 6:15
The Three-Eyed Raven | 7:22
The Night King | 8:17
Beric Dondarrion | 9:17
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