There are lots of rumors floating around about the original pilot episode for Game of Thrones. Apparently it was a disaster, with poor story telling and some questionable acting performances. Seeing no other option, producers scrapped the whole thing, recast some new characters (most notably Daenerys Targaryen) and basically re-wrote and re-filmed the entire episode, saving very little from the original.
HBO has never released footage of this abandoned pilot, so hardcore GoT fans are left to guess about what they missed out on. But now one actor has revealed details about a now-deleted scene. If the name Sir John Standing doesn’t sound familiar to you, don’t worry. His only role in Game of Thrones was the play the corpse of Jon Arryn, former Hand to King Robert Baratheon. However, he recently revealed to Los Siete Reinos that they actually filmed a scene where he was still alive.
He said “I want you to get out of your bed and I want you to crawl across the room and I want you to put your hand up and there’s a bottle of ink on the table. And I want you to take it as though you’re going to write something. The bottle of ink will come crashing down, you’ll be covered in ink. And then the queen will come in and she’ll stamp on your fingers and you’ll die.
And I said “Got it, okay. Whatever.”
So I did this and it was just lunatic, I can only tell you. And then this woman came in who was adorable, it was Lena [Hedley], she was just the best. And she came in and did her bit and everything. And the scene inevitably got cut. To nothing!
But the other part of the scene was when I’m actually dead lying on a table with stones on my eyes with eyes painted on the stones. And I still get fan mail for my part in Game of Thrones, ‘Oh wonderful performance in Game of Thrones!’ The only performance I’ve got is a corpse lying there dead with stones on my eyes. And I get fan mail for it! Which goes to show the lunacy of Game of Thrones, to me, anyways.
For those that need a refresher, Jon Arryn was the one who originally discovered that Robert Baratheon’s children were actually the product of the incestuous relationship between his wife Cersei and her brother Jamie Lannister. He passed away before he could reveal the scandal, perhaps under suspicious circumstances (especially if the above deleted scene were to have aired).
That led to Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell becoming the new Hand of the King and discovering the secret for himself, which ultimately caused his death at the hands of King Joffery’s executioner (after King Robert had died due to a hunting accident).
If you go back far enough, Jon Arryn’s digging around the Baratheon lineage is probably the one event that kicked off the entire Game of Thrones series and the multiple tragedies that followed.