Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has been lucky enough to stay extremely close to the HBO series based on his epic fantasy saga. He writes one episode per season and serves as an executive producer. Martin even had a cameo in the show all lined up, but even though it was filmed, you'll never see it.
In a recent web chat, Martin fielded fan questions on everything from his writing process to his favorite sandwich, and he also addressed the possibility of a cameo in the hit HBO series. Turns out it already happened way, way back in the days of the Game of Thrones pilot, but thanks to a casting change, Martin's appearance never made it to broadcast.
"Actually, I made a cameo in the original pilot, which was filmed in Morocco," Martin said. "I was a Pentoshi nobleman, and one of the guests at Dany's wedding to Khal Drogo. However, subsequently we recast the part of Dany, so the entire Morocco wedding sequence was cut, and my brilliant cameo was left on the cutting room floor."
The role of Daenerys Targaryen was originally filled by Tamzin Merchant (who you might remember as Catherine Howard from The Tudors), but before the series was set to air the show's creative team made a number of changes to the pilot, including recasting the role with Emilia Clarke. Alas, Martin was no longer in Morocco, so the cameo was no more.
But that might not be the end of Martin's Game of Thrones screen time. He already has an idea as to how he might pop up again.
"I also had investigated the idea of being a head on a spike, and (series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss) were going to put my severed head on a spike at one point, but then they got the quote for what that would cost," he said. "Those severed heads are expensive and our budget is tight! So unless I provide my own I don't get to be a severed head! But one of my fans who does that sort of thing has offered me the chance to make one next time I go out to LA. How could I resist? I could have my own severed head and carry it around in a bowling bag."
So the next time Game of Thrones has a rash of beheadings, be on the lookout for Martin's mug atop a spike.