The first episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ was complete chaos. But not the one that we ended up seeing and gave birth to the most famous series of the decade, of course, but the one that was shot, presented to HBO… And it was put away in a drawer never to be seen. The episode had completely different scenes than the ones we saw, a credits sequence that instead of the one we know followed a raven along the map and featured several different actors who would have changed the series (and your life) forever.
That horse that comes from Winterfell
Daenerys Targaryen was the character that shot Emilia Clarke’s career, who since his debut in ‘Game of Thrones’ has participated in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, ‘Terminator Genisys’ and, shortly, ‘Secret Invasion’. But originally the person who was to marry Khal Drogo was none other than Tamzin Merchant, whose scenes with Jason Momoa did not work and ended up leaving without opposition, without anyone understanding why… until now.
In 2021, Merchant wrote his first children’s book, ‘The hatmakers’, and took the opportunity to give an interview to Entertainment Weekly in which he stated that “Shooting that pilot was a great lesson. It was an affirmation in favor of listening to my instincts and following them, because I tried to go back from that situation and, during the process indicated in the contract, I did, but I came back after talking to persuasive people. Then I found myself naked and scared in Morocco and leading a horse that was clearly more excited to be there than I was.“.
If my gut is telling me that I’m not excited about telling a story, then I shouldn’t try to be just because other people tell me I should. I have no training as an actress, just my instincts. And what excites and drives me is an engaging story and character. And for me, ‘Game of Thrones’ was never that.
Merchant hasn’t done badly after ‘Game of Thrones’, of course: he participated in ‘The Tudors’ and ‘Salem’ before landing a lead role in ‘Carnival row’. And without the need to broadcast the horse scene.