The actor who almost played Illyrio from Game of Thrones (why he left)


Here’s the actor who turned down the role of Illyrio Mopatis from Game of Thrones, and why. Despite their popularity among readers, fantasy novels rarely enjoyed much respect from major studios before the release of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings films. This trilogy has shown that it is possible to bring these fantastic worlds and creatures to life, and at the same time the audience will be fully involved in the story and characters. George R. R. Martin’s epic books “A Song of Fire and Ice” debuted in the 90s, but given the huge amount of material they contained, a film adaptation seemed impossible. Even fans of the books were skeptical that the series could do justice to the source material, but they quickly proved wrong when it appeared in 2011.

In Game of Thrones, iconic characters, shocking turns of events and the carnage from Martin’s world have come to life. It soon became one of the biggest television series in history, and later series often featured fight scenes that put blockbusters to shame. Unfortunately, part of the “Game of Thrones” story is that once she caught up with Martin’s books and was forced to create original storylines, the quality plummeted. In the last two seasons, it also felt like he was racing to the end, and long-overdue character arcs were truncated or completely discarded. The finale of “Game of Thrones” also disappointed many viewers.

Time will tell whether the prequel series “House of the Dragon”, which details the fall of House Targaryen, will help restore the reputation of the franchise. Another well-established piece of knowledge about Game of Thrones is that the pilot episode was poorly received and has not been released to date. Thanks to extensive reshoots and alterations, the first episode was saved and ensured the success of Game of Thrones. He also introduced the character Illyrio Mopatis, who played a small but vital role throughout the series. Illyrio is the master of Pentos, where Daenerys Targaryen and her brother Viserys live. He is also responsible for arranging the marriage of the first with Khal Drogo and for giving her three dragon eggs. Illyrio is played by the famous British character actor Roger Allam, but in the untested pilot he was played by Ian McNeice.

From Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” before the British comedy drama “Doc Martin” or the TV series “Rome”, McNeice appeared in a variety of projects. He also played Illyrio in the original pilot of the Game of Thrones series, but when it came time to reshoot, the actor had to leave due to an obligation to appear in Doctor Who as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in several episodes. Given that Daenerys has also been remade— with Tamzin Merchant playing the role in the pilot series before Emilia Clarke took over — any original footage of McNeice could be reused.

Allam did a great job playing Illyrio in Game of Thrones, although it would be interesting to see the footage in which McNeice — especially the scene where George R.R. Martin shot his cameo role as the pilot — played this role. Unfortunately, Illyrio appeared in only two episodes and practically disappeared from the narrative, with the exception of a few mentions in later episodes. It’s a pity that Ian McNeice didn’t appear in later seasons of Game of Thrones as another character, but he’s one of those actors who rarely stay out of work.