The first episode of Game of Thrones, the one that aired on April 17, 2011, is not the original pilot. That has never seen the light of the day, due to it being a “piece of sh*t” and a “deeply humiliating [and] painful experience.” (After co-showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss showed the episode to their friend Craig Mazin, his first note was, “You guys have a massive problem.”) There is evidence of the pilot’s existence, though: it’s housed at Texas A&M’s Cushing Memorial Library, where author George R.R. Martin donated his manuscripts. The Huffington Post recently tracked down the production draft of the pilot and noted the major differences between the “piece of sh*t” episode (directed by Academy Award-winner Tom McCarthy!) and the one that premiered on HBO.
Let’s break it down by character, beginning with Daenerys:
In the Cushing script, Dany has a lot more control [during her sex scene with Khal Drogo]. She smiles when she realizes Drogo can say only the word “no” in her language, she helps him take rings out of his hair and, most important, she ultimately consents to sex… This is far from the scene that aired on HBO, in which she cries as he undresses her, then has sex with her from behind.