Game of Thrones was a global sensation and it was the most Emmy-winning drama of all time, but it almost didn’t happen as the show had to completely change after the pilot was an epic fail.
The first attempt to bring George R.R. Martin’s bestselling novels to the screen looked very different than the Game of Thrones we fell in love with.
Entertainment Weekly published an excerpt from Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series, a book written by EW editor at large James Hibberd, which is set for an October 6 release and includes interviews from the show’s cast and crew.
The excerpt tells how actors, hairstyles, and major scenes were reconsidered after the pilot failed to land with HBO executives in the early stages of the show’s development. Among the changes were Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Khal Drogo’s (Jason Momoa) wedding scene with Tamzin Merchant originally playing the role of Daenerys. In the original scene, Daenerys jumped a fire on a horse and the couple consummated the marriage by a brook.
Another huge change was that Rickon Stark was almost written out of the show, “The biggest thing was Dan and David called me up and had the idea of eliminating Rickon, the youngest of the Stark children because he didn’t do much in the first book,” George R.R. Martin said. “I said I had important plans for him, so they kept him.”
Thankfully, the series finally got the green light from HBO, but the pilot had to be shot again.