It’s hard to picture Game of Thrones without the image of a blonde-haired Emilia Clarke coming into mind. Being one of the most popular fan favorites in HBO’s fantasy drama series, the 29-year-old English actress became a worldwide phenomenon with famous quotable quotes and countless viral memes attributed to the major character she portrays. Anywhere she goes, she’s known as Daenerys of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons, among many others (because it’s a really long title, TBH).
All things considered, would you believe us if we told you that Emilia wasn’t even the first choice to play the role of our favorite Khaleesi? No kidding! The name of the first chosen Dany is Tamzin Merchant.
(Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)
Also a 29-year-old English beauty, she may look familiar to you if you’ve seen the film Pride & Prejudice or the historical TV drama series The Tudors where she’s best known for.
You see, as shocking as it may seem for GoT fans, this actress was originally cast to take on the vital role of Daenerys—and she starred in the original pilot episode which never aired. The first pilot was reportedly so bad that they had to redo the entire thing with a lot of major tweaks, like script alterations and actor replacements, that of which included getting a new mother of dragons.
Can you imagine what GoT would have been like if the change hadn't been made?