Game of Thrones superfans may remember there was a disastrous unseen pilot episode which ended up costing HBO millions of pounds and resulted in a number of recast roles. However, the cast wasn’t the only thing showrunners changed as they also reshot a number of scenes. Since the botched pilot, it has been revealed that there could have been a huge Stark death scene to rival Rob (Richard Madden) and Ned Stark’s (Sean Bean) in the HBO hit.
The unseen pilot episode saw Ned’s father and brother killed in a flashback scene.
This was done under the orders of the Mad King King Aerys II Targaryen (played by David Rintoul).
Fans often discuss the scene in terms of what could have been if it had made it into the final cut.
However, a small cut of the scene made it into two of the early promo videos and trailers for Game of Thrones released by HBO.
The scene barely lasts a second, but is of huge significance in terms of background information for those who want to know more about the Stark family.
In the footage, a man who has a striking resemblance to Ned Stark is struggling against a rope tied around his neck.
The character is covered in blood and clearly in pain, but in the blurred background of the shot we can see the Iron Throne and the Mad King upon it.
Fans of the original George R.R Martin books will know this is Brandon Stark (Ned’s older brother).
However, the scene never made it into the final first episode because writers David Benioff and DB Weiss decided to stay clear of flashback scenes or dreams to carry a storyline.
Writer Bryan Cogman commented on this decision in an interview with MTV, revealing it was the budget that held them back.
“The decision to not include flashbacks was made right off the bat, the principle reason for that is a logistical and budgetary one… We already had the biggest cast in, maybe, TV history.”
He added: ”The other reason is, that’s a perfect example of what works in a book that doesn’t work on TV,”
“The book does brilliantly flash back through memory, and through people telling stories of the past.
“If you were to just take those passages from the book and do them onscreen, you would be doing a flashback every five minutes!
“It would be very jarring, and very difficult to sustain the momentum that you want to sustain.”
Instead showrunners took the decision to play out the complicated history of the Starks and Lannisters through dialogue.