What happened to Game of Thrones’ original Daenerys Targaryen Tamzin Merchant?

Game of Thrones' Mother of Dragons was nearly very different.

Daenerys Targaryen
Daenerys Targaryen What happened to the first Daenerys Targaryen Tamzin Merchant? Image HBO/Getty Images

It’s difficult to picture anyone but Emilia Clarke playing Daenerys Targaryen, but things were nearly very different for Game of Thrones’ Mother of Dragons.

Millions of TV fans know and love Emilia’s performance in the HBO drama, but did you know English actress Tamzin Merchant was originally cast as Khaleesi back in 2009?

Tamzin came extremely close to starring in the series, and even shot a pilot for the fantasy drama.

Unfortunately for her though, HBO weren’t happy with the results, and she was cut from the show.

Tamzin Merchant
Tamzin Merchant This is the Daenerys Targaryen we could have had Image Getty Images

The actress was in the frame for the role until the very last minute though, and it’s easy to see why.

She’d already racked up a few impressive TV and Film appearances by 2009, including The Tudors and Pride and Prejudice, and she has Daenerys’s characteristic blonde hair too of course.

Since the series began back in 2010, Emilia has gone on to become a genuine A-lister thanks to the role, but what about Tamzin?

A year after losing the role, Tamzin starred alongside Michael Fassbender in the well-received Jane Eyre.

Since then, the 29-year-old has appeared in indie movies Copenhagen, The Dancer and The Messenger, and she’s currently starring in supernatural US series Salem.

She’s also appeared in music videos for Jamie T and Belle & Sebastian in her career.

As well as acting, Tamzin has written several poems, and has also given speeches at International Women’s Day supporting feminism.

Tamzin Merchant is carving out a good career for herself, and her next starring role could be just around the corner.

Emilia Clarke might have landed one of the most iconic TV roles of all time with Daenerys Targaryen, but things could have been very different. 

Game of Thrones season 7 arrives in Summer 2017. Watch the teaser trailer below:

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