Joe Dempsie (Gendry) could have played Jon Snow? Let us explain


Joe Dempsie has made his mark on Game of Thrones as Gendry, the bastard son of Robert Baratheon, the newly appointed Lord of Storm’s End. After rowing away from Dragonstone in season 3, Gendry made an epic return in the series’ penultimate season.

Game of Thrones is now coming to a close for fans, but Joe Dempsie and the rest of the cast bid farewell quite a long time ago. Between the emotional goodbyes, gifted storyboards, and all the press/premieres the cast has been attending, it’s been quite the long road to closing out an unbelievable chapter in their lives.


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Dempsie spoke to Esquire the morning after the season eight premiere in New York City and had a lot to say about Gendry’s character arc and how he got through the awkwardness of the Gendry/Arya relationship. But more importantly, he shared a fan-made video where fans declare their love for the Game of Thrones heartthrob:

Take as long to process that as you need.

Game of Thrones most recent episode, “The Last of the Starks” was crucial for Gendry, who was legitimized by Daenerys Targaryen. His spirits were so lifted that he immediately proceeded to propose to Arya, but he didn’t quite get the response he was looking for. Sorry, Gendry.

"Gendry just got a bit excited, didn’t he? He’d just been made a lord—he’d known for a while now where he’s come from but the recognition of that by someone in authority has given him an ability to find a place in the world that I think he’s been searching for his entire life. And he just got a bit gassed and asked someone to marry him. And she quite rightly told him where to go. What a stupid question! I think he knows deep down in his heart of hearts there is no way Arya will ever be anyone’s lady."

Yah, we can’t imagine seeing Arya be the Lady of Storm’s End. Even the thought of it seems off. Speaking to The New York Times, Dempsie opined that Arya, given everything she’s done and the path she’s on, just isn’t up for that kind of relationship, “at least not now.”

"Gendry’s hurt, but he doesn’t have to think about it for too long to realize that Arya’s absolutely right. He got a bit carried away. He just let his mind and his heart race away a little bit. If he sits down for half an hour and thinks about it, he’ll understand. It’s not going to be something he’s hung up on for too long."

So while Arya and Gendry may not rule over Storm’s End together, at least they’ll always have that one night in the courtyard.

Fans had long wanted Arya and Gendry to get together, although Dempsie could have done with fewer questions about it:

"The most common thing Thrones fans have wanted to talk to me about over the years was this suggested relationship with Arya. I was always found that conversation quite uncomfortable at the time, particularly in the early years. I was a 25-year-old man being asked whether I would like my character to get together with an at-the-time 14-year-old actress. It was always something I thought wasn’t fair to ask me personally … I felt there needed to be an understanding that even though what we’re making is fantasy, actual execution of that had to take place in reality. It was never really something I gave much thought to."

Putting it that way, I can definitely see how weird that would have been for him. Not exactly the type of thing you can casually talk about, is it?

But beyond Arya, Gendry is still a lord now. In fact, as the Times points out, by legitimizing him Daenerys maaay have technically made him the best candidate for the throne, since he was Robert Baratheon’s son. “I think by recognizing the potential threat he causes, Dany’s attempting to neutralize it,”  Dempsie said. It’s a risk, but probably not a huge one, since Gendry has never seemed the type to crave power.

"Gendry’s been searching for his place in the world, and he had this innate feeling that he was destined to be a part of something bigger or more important. He wanted his life to have meaning. He found that when Davos found him in King’s Landing in Season 7. He was like, “This is it. I didn’t know what it was that I’ve been waiting for, but I’ve been getting ready for it.” His part in the Battle of Winterfell fulfilled that desire for his life to have some meaning. Being legitimized solidified that for him. I don’t know that there’s a craving for greater power, but we’ll have to wait and see. It all depends on what kind of a character Gendry really is."

Finally, Dempsie revealed something not many fans may know: he auditioned for the role of Jon Snow! Can you imagine what that might have looked like? I actually can’t.

"I auditioned for the pilot. I had no idea what Game of Thrones was. Didn’t get it. Kind of forgot about it. Nobody knew it was going to become the biggest TV show on the planet at that point. It was just another audition."

It suffices to say we are all very happy that Dempsie went on to get the role of Gendry, because there’s simply no one else who could have done it justice

Not anymore, you’re not, you Lord of Storm’s End. Not anymore.

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