7 Ways Game Of Thrones' Unaired Pilot Episode Was Completely Different

Yeah, you can see why HBO insisted on reshooting it.

Game Of Thrones White Walkers

It's crazy to think now that it's the biggest TV show in the world, but Game of Thrones couldn't have got off to a worse start. That's not to say its pilot episode, Winter Is Coming, is bad - far from it, in fact - but that only came about after extensive rewrites and reshoots.

Before that, there was an original pilot that never made it to air. It's become infamous for how bad it was supposed to be, and has grown over time like the stuff of Westerosi legend. Show creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff gave a version of the script to their friend and screenwriter Craig Martin, whose only note was 'MASSIVE PROBLEM'.

Some elements have become known, such as Jennifer Ehle and Tamzin Merchant in the roles of Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen respectively. Few others have been made available though, but The Huffington Post have now got their hands on the version of the script that was almost certainly the one shot way back in 2009, and it's very different to the one that eventually made it to air.

Some of these are relatively minor - Joffrey has an extra scene with Robb that makes him even more loathsome, and Ned makes a joke about the Hand wiping that we'd hear a few episodes later - but others have some major differences, whether it's in how characters would be viewed, or what the scenes might've meant later on.


NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.