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Sam Claflin Was Almost Jon Snow & 12 Other Stars Almost Cast in 'GoT'

#1/14:

These actors almost made the cut

HBO
#1/14:

These actors almost made the cut

The Game of Thrones cast is arguably one of the most perfect acting ensembles in television today. From Peter Dinklage to Lena Headey to Emilia Clarke, all of the actors play their characters like they were born for these roles. And thanks to their dedication to the story, the character and the actors who play them will live on as icons.
 
But some of the stars of the show weren't even initially cast because, as luck would have it, HBO shot an alternative never-aired pilot that initially starred a different Daenerys and Catelyn Stark. Not only were some of the roles originally cast with different actors, but some of the other audition races had pretty stiff competition. Kit Harington and Sophie Turner had to work hard to nudge out the competition and secure their now-iconic roles; they definitely weren't just handed them from the HBO powers that be.
 
So, who were the other actors who gave the Game of Thrones cast such a run for their money? Click through our slideshow to find out.
#3/14:

Dominic West

WENN
#3/14:

Dominic West

Dominic West almost had an unknown role in GoT but said he chose to commit his time to his kids instead.

#4/14:

Sam Heughan

Andres Otero/WENN
#4/14:

Sam Heughan

Sam Heughan auditioned for GoT a staggering seven times for roles like Loras Tyrell and Renly Baratheon but was never cast.

#5/14:

Jennifer Ehle

Joseph Marzullo/WENN
#5/14:

Jennifer Ehle

Ehle starred in GoT's unaired pilot as Catelyn Stark, but the role was recast when it went to series.

#6/14:

Tamzin Merchant

WENN
#6/14:

Tamzin Merchant

Merchant was cast as Daenerys in the GoT unaired pilot, but Emilia Clarke snagged the role when it went to series.

#7/14:

Jamie Campbell Bower

Joseph Marzullo/WENN
#7/14:

Jamie Campbell Bower

Bower played Ser Waymar Royce in the unaired pilot but did not reprise the role for the series. 

#8/14:

Izzy Meikle-Small

WENN
#8/14:

Izzy Meikle-Small

Izzy Meikle-Small was the runner-up — behind Sophie Turner — to play Sansa Stark.

#9/14:

Elena Satine

FayesVision/WENN
#9/14:

Elena Satine

Satine was the runner-up to play Daenerys. She lost the part to Emile Clarke. 

#10/14:

Jamie Bamber

WENN
#10/14:

Jamie Bamber

Bamber admitted he read for Jaime Lannister but didn't ever say how close he was to booking the part.

#11/14:

Tricia Helfer

Eugene Powers/WENN
#11/14:

Tricia Helfer

Helfer vied against Lena Headey for the part of Cersei Lannister. 

#12/14:

Danny Dyer

WENN
#12/14:

Danny Dyer

Dyer reportedly auditioned three times for Pyp but ultimately lost the role.

#13/14:

Ian McNeice

WENN
#13/14:

Ian McNeice

McNeice was cast as Illyrio Mopatis but had to back out due to his role as Winston Churchill on Doctor Who.

#14/14:

Gillian Anderson

Andres Otero/WENN
#14/14:

Gillian Anderson

Anderson admitted she turned down a role in Game of Thrones but didn't disclose the specific character.

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