Among Game of Thrones fans, it’s common knowledge that the first episode of the series — “Winter is Coming” — isn’t really the first episode of the series. As the story goes, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss reshot a great deal of the pilot after they showed it to people who couldn’t make heads or tails of the plot. Part of that reshoot involved casting new actors in the roles of Daenerys Targaryen and Catelyn Stark (who in the pilot were played by Tamzin Merchant and Jennifer Ehle respectively). That meant reshooting the scene where Daenerys is married to Khal Drogo outside Pentos. A lot was cut from the sequence, including a cameo by A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin as a merchant.
We may never have gotten to see Martin in costume on screen, but thanks to Elio M. García Jr. and Linda Antonsson, the proprietors of Westeros.org, we now have a photo of him from behind the scenes. Behold!
Oh, what could have been!
Elio and Linda came across this photo at the Winterfell Festival, held last weekend at Castle Ward in Northern Ireland, which on the show has stood in for Winterfell, among other places. Boyd Rankin, an armorer who worked on the show for years and who played Mikken in season 1, took the photo, and for that he has our eternal thanks.