The HBO series Game of Thrones not only featured a number of acclaimed and established actors, but also elevated fresh faces to spotlight their talents, though star of HBO's Succession Brian Cox recently recalled in his memoir that he turned down the role of Robert Baratheon in the series' debut season. A new excerpt from his book Putting the Rabbit in the Hat shared by GQ confirms that, in addition to the pay being less than what we wanted, he wasn't as interested in the role when he knew that his character wasn't going to survive past the first season. Mark Addy would ultimately take on the role of Robert Baratheon.
"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 continued, "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 roles in period pieces like Rob Roy, Braveheart, and Troy, Cox had already established himself as an impressive performer capable of channeling regal qualities, making it easy to see how Cox would have been approached for the role. While fans might surely wonder what the series would have looked like had Cox played Baratheon, Succession debuted towards the end of Game of Thrones' run and has brought him immense praise and acclaim, arguably becoming his career-defining role.
Season 3 of Succession recently wrapped up and HBO is currently developing multiple other projects set in the world of Game of Thrones.
Would you have liked to see Cox play Baratheon? Let us know in the comments below!