Before she was Scarlet Witch or even Martha Marcy May Marlene, Elizabeth Olsen had a chance to be Daenerys Targaryen. “When I first started working, I just auditioned for everything, because I like auditioning. And I auditioned for Khaleesi. I forgot that,” she told Vulture. “It was the most awkward audition I’d ever had.”
As part of the tryout, she was asked to perform a monologue that takes place at the end of the first season “[from] after she just burned. And she’s making this speech to thousands of people about how she’s their queen. They didn’t know if they wanted a British accent or not. So you did it in both. It was terrible. Anytime someone says, ‘Bad audition story.’ That’s one I remember.”
As fate would have it, Emilia Clarke didn’t originally get the role either. Tamzin Merchant played Dany in the original pilot, which was so poorly received that HBO demanded extensive re-shoots (said to be nearly 90% of the episode). It wasn’t the only role that ended up being recast, as Michelle Fairley replaced Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark.
And though best known for her film work, Olsen did eventually make her way to television with the Facebook Watch series “Sorry for Your Loss,” which has her in contention for an Emmy.
Fortunately, her bad experience hasn’t prevented the actress from being as obsessed with the show as everyone else. “I’m just so deep in ‘Game of Thrones’ that all I can think about is Kit Harington,” she said. “I mean, he’s just brainwashed me.” (Maybe she should have played Khaleesi.)
After eight seasons, “Game of Thrones” will air its series finale tomorrow night on HBO.