Brian Cox Reveals He Turned Down A Role On Game Of Thrones (And Now Regrets It)

Who would he have played?

Brian Cox X2 Thrones
20th Century Fox/HBO

Game of Thrones is now the biggest TV show in the world, and one of the reasons for its success is the incredible cast its boasted over the last six seasons.

From emerging talent to renowned stars, Thrones has showcasted the best of the best, including a number of thesps such as Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Iain Glen, and Sean Bean. One man who seems to fit right in with that is Brian Cox (no, not that one), known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Club, and in films such as X2 and the Bourne films.

Now, speaking with Vodzilla, Cox has revealed that he was offered a role in the show a few years ago, but ended up turning it down...a decision he now regrets:

“Stupidly, I turned it down in the early days because they didn’t pay enough money. Now they have more money. And I was silly. I was silly, it was silly, because I’m a complete addict now. But I don’t know what I could play.
“I just watched my friend Ian McShane and I thought, ‘Ooh, Ian’s in it’, so I settled down to watch him. And I thought, ‘Ian did that?’ and immediately I thought, ‘God, they must have paid him well’, because I know Ian!
“And there was Max von Sydow doing that character that he did, so in a way, it’s attracting certain people who do film, and, of course, I’ve got friends like Clive Russell and Liam Cunningham and Charlie Dance is an old pal, being in it, and they had a great time in it.”

As mentioned, he's an actor who you could easily see slotting straight into Westeros, though he doesn't elaborate on which character he was offered. Based on age and appearance I'd say that Lord Commander Jeor Mormont seems the most likely bet, but it could also have been someone like Tywin Lannister or Robert Baratheon.

Cox then went on to speak about one of the most recent episodes, the spectacular Battle of the Bastards, and how the action sequences compare to those in movies:

“Now I know what they spend on it, in terms of the visual aspect of it… [Battle of the Bastards] was phenomenal… If you think of The Hobbit or you think of The Lord of the Rings, the battle sequence in Game of Thrones was a lot more modest, but much more brilliant than any of the battle sequences in any of those movies and all those kind of CGI characters doing their bit, whereas this was real people, I mean, the CGI was just brilliantly done and clearly there was a bit of green screen, but it’s astonishing. For television, it is truly astonishing.”

He finished up by saying that he's still waiting for a call, and "if they’ve got more decent money, I’ll be there!”

If Season 7 decides to introduce Marwyn the Mage, Brian Cox could just be the man to play him.


Who would you have liked to see Cox playing? Let us know in the comments.


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.