9 Actors Who Were Almost Cast In ‘Game Of Thrones’

We’ve been eagerly anticipating every episode of Game of Thrones since it first debuted on HBO six seasons ago. However, you might not realize all of the amazing actors that narrowly missed out on bringing the iconic characters of Westeros to life. From some icky feelings about incest to a disastrous original un-aired pilot. Here are 9 actors who were almost cast in Game of Thrones.

Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark
Michelle Fairley, Game Of Thrones, HBO, 053116
If you know the history of Game of Thrones, you know that the original un-aired pilot of the series was a hot ass mess, requiring rewrites, recasts, and reshoots. Pride and Prejudice actress Jennifer Ehle was originally cast as Catelyn Stark, however after the first pilot she was swiped out in favor of Michelle Fairley. Ehele seems unbothered about the whole ordeal. She's since been in everything from NBC's The Blacklist to Fifty Shades of Grey.
Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen
Emilia Clarke, Game Of Thrones, HBO, Tamzin Merchant, WENN, 053116
Tudors actress Tamzin Merchant was another victim of the original GoT pilot. Though it's hard to imagine anyone other than Emilia Clarke as the Mother of Dragons, Marchant originally had the role. All of that changed when the entire pilot was redone. Since then, Merchant has gone on to slay on WGN America's Salem.
Dominic West as Mance Rayder
Ciaran Hinds, Game Of Thrones, Dominic West, WENN, 053116
When it came time to cast the Wildlings beyond the Wall, who better to embody Mance Rayder than The Wire alum Dominic West? West told Digital Spy that he had been offered a part in Game Of Thrones (rumored to be the part of Wildling Chief Mance Rayder). However, West turned down the role because he was not too enthused about filming in Reykjavik, Iceland for six-months. He stated, "My problem is, I've got four kids, and at the moment, I'm reluctant to be away from home for a long time." All worked out in the end, West is now on Showtime's smash success The Affair and Ciarán Hinds snagged the role of Mance.
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Sam Heughan as Loras Tyrell
Finn Jones, Game Of Thrones, HBO, Sam Heughan, WENN, 053116
Can you imagine Outlander hottie, Sam Heughan as poor Loras Tyrell? When GoT was casting, Heughan auditioned for the roles of Loras and Renly Baratheon an exhausting seven times. However, the roles ultimately went to Finn Jones and Gethin Anthony respectively. This all worked in our favor, because Heughan now stars in another major show, STARZ's Outlander as the hunky Scottish dreamboat Jamie Fraser. We must say, we're much happier with him in this particular role.
Lily Allen as Yara Greyjoy
Gemma Whelan, Game Of Thrones, HBO, Lily Allen, WENN, 053116
Lily Allen's real-life brother Alfie Allen plays Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones, so it seemed only natural for the GoT showrunners to consider casting Lily Allen in the role of Theon's sister, Yara Greyjoy. However, after reading the scene where Theon feels up Yara on horseback, Lily was horrified. She went on to say there was just way too much incest going on for her to feel comfortable accepting the role. We don't blame her at all if this really was the case. However, Alfie went on to tell Vulture, that his big sis made the whole thing up. We're just not sure what to think about all of this.
Danny Dyer as Pyper
Josef Altin, Game Of Thrones, HBO, Danny Dyer, WENN, 053116
EastEnders (UK) actor Danny Dyer claims to have been rejected for roles on Game of Thrones several times. Apparently, Dyer was going out for the role of the ill-fate Nights Watchmen, Pyper. It looks like Dyer landed the right gig at the right time.
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Sam Claflin as Jon Snow
Kit Harington, Game Of Thrones, HBO, Sam Caflin, WENN, 053116
Literally no one else could play the former Lord Commander Jon Snow like the delicious Kit Harington. However, Me Before You hunk Sam Claflin actually tried out for both the Bastard of Winterfell, and Daenerys's evil ass brother Viserys Targaryen, Though Claflin failed to get either role, he did grab the role of The Hunger Games champion Finnick Odair; not too shabby if you ask us.
Gillian Anderson as Cersei Lannister
Lena Headey, Game Of Thrones, Gillian Anderson, WENN, 053116-
Can you imagine The X-Files alum, Gillian Anderson in the role of fallen queen Cersei Lannister? After all, Lena Headey is literal perfection in the role. Still, we have to admit that Anderson would have certainly added her own flair to the iconic character.
Izzy Meikle-Small as Sansa Stark
Sophie Turne, Game Of Thrones, HBO, Izzy Meikle-Small, WENN, 053116
English actress Izzy Meikle-Small is best known for her roles in the film Never Let Me Go and for the television series Ripper Street. However, when it came down for HBO to cast the role of Sansa Stark for Game of Thrones, Meikle-Small and Sophie Turner were neck in neck. Ultimately, Turner booked the role and we've known her as the eldest Stark daughter ever since.