‘It wasn’t in my heart’, Tamzin Merchant Regrets Losing Game of Throne Dragons to Emilia Clarke!

  • AUTHOR: admin
  • POSTED ON: January 29, 2021

Every true fan of Game of Thrones knows that the original pilot of the series was a massive flop, after which the showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had to reshoot the entire episode and make serious recasting decisions. Naturally, it was all incredibly expensive but worth the risk.

The most infamous recasting that was ever made in the last decade has to be of Tamzin Merchant. Previously known for her role as Catherine Howard in The Tudors, Tamzin was the first choice to play the role of Daenerys Targaryen – the character that went on to become not just the Queen, but also the Mother of Dragons.

Merchant was replaced by a somewhat new face – Emilia Clarke – who eventually blew everyone’s mind with her fantastic performance. She earned several Emmy nominations throughout her eight-season run.

Merchant, on the other hand, has shown her talent in Amazon’s Carnival Row and CW’s Supergirl. She is also all set to publish her first novel, The Hatmakers – something her fans are really excited about!

Now we haven’t been this close to playing and then losing the most iconic character in television history but we can tell that it sucks. And in Merchant’s case, she had already booked the series and played the character in the pilot episode which also almost went on air.

Any normal person in this position would feel crushed and demotivated to another level. So, it’s interesting to discover how Tamzin actually feels.

Merchant broke her silence in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. She spoke candidly about her lost opportunity and the failed Game of Thrones pilot. And we’re kind of taken aback by her generosity and optimism, because she had nothing but positive things to say about her experience.

She recalled the entire experience and said that it was, in fact, a good call from the casting directors and some kind of an affirmation that she needed to listen to her instincts more than she did. She made a shocking revelation and said that she was not comfortable shooting the nude sequences and had backed out a couple of times during the contract process.

This is what she said:"Shooting that pilot was a really great lesson. It was an affirmation about listening to my instincts and following them, because I tried to back out of that situation and, during the contract process, I did back out. I was talked back into it by some persuasive people. Then I found myself naked and afraid in Morocco and riding a horse that was clearly much more excited to be there than I was"

She further said, "It was a lesson that if my guts are telling me a story isn't something I'm excited to tell, then I shouldn't try to be excited just because other people are telling me that I should be excited. I didn't have any training as an actor, I only have my instincts. And what excites me and what drives me is a compelling story and a compelling character. So for me, Game of Thrones was never that. I think it's a testament to Emilia Clarke for making that role iconic — she was obviously excited to tell that story, and she was epic and excellent. But for me, it wasn't in my heart to tell it."

Here’s a lesson for you, kids: always rely on your gut when making important life decisions because, sometimes, your heart is not in the decision your brain comes up with.

And Merchant views this lost opportunity as a silver lining by admitting that if she had given her time to the Game of Thrones series, she may not have been able to write her new book The Hatmaker.

Merchant funnily recalled her experience back in the days, sharing that whenever she used to travel on buses, she’d see Emilia Clarke’s face on it. This has to be a bit annoying, don’t you feel? Imagine your past keep coming back to haunt you.

Anyway, she took it well and said, "It was kind of funny riding to auditions on buses with Emilia Clarke's face on it. Like, 'oh my mode of transport is quite interesting today!' It's been a thing I felt like I watched unfold and it's been fantastic for the film industry in Northern Ireland and Croatia, and that has been really great."

We hope to see the lost pilot someday (somebody leak it online!) but we can re-watch the entire series which is available on HBO Max now.

Also, to find out more about the behind-the-scenes stories, like our page on Facebook!

We can say that not all characters are suited for some actors. This is why actress Tamzin Merchant couldn’t better portray the role of Daenerys Targaryen – mother of dragons to Emilia Clarke in Game of Throne Dragons.

Lesson for all of us: If you don’t feel it in your heart don’t do it otherwise you’ll be saying what Tamzin said that “It wasn’t in my heart.”  


Updated January 29, 2021
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