There are a number of reasons Game of Thrones has become the biggest show on TV this past decade: its complex, sprawling story; the political manoeuvring and machinations; the epic battles; the insanely high production values; a moral maze and blurring of the lines between good and bad; and a large dose of sex and violence.
It'd be nothing, however, without its incredible cast. The likes of Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, and Sean Bean brought the characters from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire to life in better fashion than almost anyone could've expected, and it's impossible to imagine anyone else playing Tyrion, Cersei, or Ned.
But some roles were almost completely different. Not just because of the infamous unaired pilot, which starred Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen and Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark, rather than Emilia Clarke and Michelle Fairley, but because some actors who actually ended up on the show auditioned for other roles first.
We could've had a very different type of bastard, lost two great royal performances, and a whole lot more had these actors nailed their original auditions.
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.