The popular HBO series Game of Thrones did not only feature a number of acclaimed actors but also elevated some fresh faces to spotlight through their talents, although the star of HBO’s Succession Brian Cox has recalled in his memoir that he actually turned down the role of Robert Baratheon in Game of Thrones’ debut season. A new excerpt from his book Putting the Rabbit in the Hat was shared by GQ confirming that the pay was less than what we wanted, and in addition to this, he wasn’t really interested in the role when he came to know that his character will never be going to make it past the first season. Ultimately, Mark Addy would take on the role of Robert Baratheon.

Brian Cox
Brian Cox

“I’m often asked if I was offered a role in Game of Thrones  — reason being that every other bugger was — and the answer is, yes, I was supposed to be a king called Robert Baratheon, who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season,” Cox shared in the book. “I know very little about Game of Thrones so I can’t tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I’m not going to Google it just in case he was, because I turned it down.”

He went on, “Why? Well, Game of Thrones went on to be a huge success and everybody involved earned an absolute fortune, of course. But when it was originally offered the money was not all that great, shall we say. Plus I was going to be killed off fairly early on, so I wouldn’t have had any of the benefits of the long-term effects of a successful series where your wages go up with each passing season. So I passed on it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead.”

Thanks to these roles in period pieces like Braveheart, Rob Roy, and Troy, Cox has already established himself as an incredible performer, who is more than capable of channeling regal qualities, which makes it easy to see how Cox would have eventually approached for the role. While many fans might wonder what the Game of Thrones series would have looked like if Cox had played Baratheon, Succession went on to debut towards the climax of Game of Thrones‘ run, bringing him immense praise from both fans and critics, arguably becoming his career-defining role.

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