George RR Martin Had a Cameo in Game of Thrones's Original Pilot
The original Game of Thrones pilot episode was filmed in 2009, but was apparently so unusable it had to be trashed. In the process, a handful of the series' original cast members were recast, including Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen and Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark. Another familiar face was also included in the unaired pilot: A Song of Ice and Fire author George RR Martin himself.
According to SYFY, Martin—who wrote the book series that inspired the HBO show—revealed he had a tiny role in the series' very first episode. "I made a cameo in the original pilot, which was filmed in Morocco," he 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 acclaimed author also shared the plans he almost went through with to get another cameo, explaining how series co-creators David Benioff and D.B. 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. 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!"
According to Variety, the budget for the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones came in at a whopping $15 million per episode, which doesn't sound so "tight" to us. So maybe Martin did finally get his close-up. We highly doubt it, but that doesn't mean we won't keep an eye out anytime we spot a severed head on a spike (which, as fans know, happens more often than you'd probably imagine).