Game of Thrones: George RR Martin shares unseen peek at unaired HBO pilot

As Game of Thrones fans wait for The Winds of Winter, the next book in the thrilling fantasy franchise, author George R. R. Martin has been keeping fans updated with his personal blog. A recent post revealed the first ever look at the unaired HBO pilot for the series.

Infamous for taking years and years to finish his gigantic tomes, George R. R. Martin is still hard at work on the upcoming instalment of A Song of Ice and Fire, The Winds of Winter.

In a surprising twist of fate, the unfortunate coronavirus pandemic has forced the author into self-isolation, indirectly forcing his writing to become much more productive than usual.

With devoted fans worldwide eager for any new information of the book’s impending publication, followers of his own personal blog were treated to a previously unseen insight into the unaired pilot HBO produced for the series.

The pilot was the first ever adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, and featured the wedding between Daenerys Targaryen (played by Emilia Clarke) and Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa).


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Unfortunately, thanks to the cast not being quite right and some annoying budgetary restraints, the first go round was scrapped, including George’s cameo.

On his blog, he revealed: “I also filmed a Game of Thrones cameo in the pilot, as a guest at Dany’s wedding to Khal Drogo. They gave me an enormous hat and really big balls, which might have been some sort of commentary.”

Alongside his post, he revealed a behind-the-scenes look at his character in a flamboyant outfit that no Thrones fans would have been able to miss.

Although some of the footage from the pilot was kept for the series, Dany’s entire wedding scene needed to be reshot, meaning Martin’s cameo was left on the cutting room floor.

The series could have looked a lot different, as the pilot included several cast members that didn’t make the final cut when it came time for HBO to reshoot the first episode.

Dany was originally played by Carnival Row star Tamzin Merchant, while Ned Stark’s wife, Catelyn, was portrayed by Jennifer Ehle.

Martin continued to intimate that, despite his scene being cut, the author is no stranger to cameos for film and television.

He added: “I played a zombie version of myself in Z NATION (still signing books), and had my head bitten off by a shark in SHARKNADO 3 (though they cut all my lines, pfui).”

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The Thrones writer continued to provide scriptwriting and consulting duties for some episodes of the acclaimed series, but he revealed his dream was to eventually make it in front of the camera.

Martin said: “I wanted to be a severed head on the walls of the Red Keep next to Ned Stark (and David [Benioff] & Dan [Weiss], ideally), but our budget was not so robust first season, and those severed heads are damned expensive.”

The first season still boasted a budget of $60 million, but this was nothing compared to the reported $90 million set aside for the shorter final season.

He continued: “I also campaigned to die horribly at the Red Wedding, which seemed only fair since I was responsible for it.”


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The Red Wedding became infamous amongst even the most resilient Game of Thrones fans for killing off several beloved characters.

However, Martin added: “But it was felt that my presence in that powerful, wrenching, bloody scene might have taken the viewers out of the moment. Fair enough. And not wrong.”

Although the announced spin-off House of the Dragon is not based on existing works, there’s always a chance George R. R. Martin could make a surprise appearance as part of Westeros’ history.

Game of Thrones seasons 1-8 are available on NOW TV.

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