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.
Jaime and Cersei’s sex scene was also framed differently (one of the biggest criticisms of the original pilot is that no one realized they were brother and sister), with Cersei objecting to Jaime after she sees Bran in the window in the version that made it to air, while in the original script, “she protests much sooner.” Meanwhile, in the Cushing draft, Jon Snow gets drunk (he “loses his balance and and lurches into the Serving Girl, sending a flagon of wine crashing to the floor”), and Joffrey, who we don’t learn is an insufferable twat until episode two, is immediately a whiny jerk, complaining that he’s “tired of swatting at Starks with a play sword.” Also, the White Walkers wouldn’t shut the heck up:
“I came up with basically some dialogue” [said Game of Thrones language creator David Peterson]. “I recorded it, and then I suggested to them, ‘Here’s how you might modify it digitally to give it a unique sound. It didn’t get used for the pilot, and then there was discussion they were thinking about using it in season two. They said they tried it, and it just wasn’t working out, so they abandoned the idea.”)
For more on the original pilot — which starred Jennifer Ehle and Tamzin Merchant, not Michelle Fairley and Emilia Clarke, as Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen (oops) — head here.
(Via the Huffington Post)