Actress Elizabeth Olsen has reflected on the embarrassing time she auditioned to play Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones. Based on a series of novels by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones was adapted for television by David Benioff and D.B Weiss. The show debuted on HBO in 2011 to critical acclaim. It only grew from there, ultimately becoming one of the most popular and most passionately scrutinized shows on television. Olsen was obviously unsuccessful in landing the role, with Emilia Clarke ultimately going on to play The Mother of Dragons for all eight seasons.
Olsen bounced back with the MCU, however, making her franchise debut as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in the post-credit scene for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Olsen later reprised the superhero character in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War. In the latest MCU film, Avengers: Endgame, Olsen returned, along with numerous others who were previously killed in The Decimation, helping to defeat Thanos once and for all.
Speaking to Vulture, Olsen recounted the details of her admittedly terrible audition. She said, “When I first started working, I just auditioned for everything, because I like auditioning. And I auditioned for Khaleesi. It was the most awkward audition I’d ever had." The material Olsen was given to work with was apparently the monologue from the end of the first season. She added, "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.”
Olsen is unlikely to be experiencing any fear of missing out, however. Having survived Avengers: Endgame, she will continue in her role as Scarlet Witch for WandaVision. The Disney+ show will also feature Paul Bettany, who will reprise his franchise role as the android Vision. On April 16, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige stated that WandaVision will intersect with the MCU movies “in a very big way.”
Game of Thrones is currently experiencing backlash from fans over what they perceive to be a poor final season. Whatever side of the fence one sits on regarding the show's quality - and whether Daenerys' ultimate arc was well executed - the news that Olsen could have been Daenerys will no doubt fuel the ire of certain fans. The degree of frustration with the show is so intense that some fans have started a petition, calling for season 8 to be remade from scratch. As such, some fans will no doubt latch onto any changes as preferable as they continue to lament what could have been.
Then again, there will also be those glad that things unfolded as they did - at least with casting. Olsen's accent in the MCU has tended to be a source of much amusement and derision over the course of the Marvel films. The idea of her with a British accent, therefore, might be hilarious to some. There's no denying her acting ability, but given that even she viewed her audition as terrible, even she understands why she never got the role. Although Clarke is sometimes considered a weak link on the show, most people's issues with the final season have been firmly in the writing, rather than any of the performances. As such, things clearly worked out how they were supposed to - at least behind the scenes, if not, according to some, on the show itself.
Game of Thrones will officially conclude with its last ever episode this Sunday at 9pm EST on HBO.