There were many actors that refused roles on Game of Thrones for various reasons. Others were beat out for the parts.
Ray Stevenson was offered some sort of role in the earliest stages of Game of Thrones but ended up declining. Perdita weeks from The Tudors and Penny Dreadful was almost cast as Roslin Frey but declined so she could work on her show The Heretics. Jared Harris was almost cast as the High Sparrow but it went to Jonathan Pryce. Dominic West was possibly up for the role of Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall, but declined because of the long time away from his family. Brian Cox was offered a role on Thrones but declined because they weren’t offering him a lot of money. Now that the show is a hit, he wants back in if the money’s right. Izzy Meikle-Small was eventually beat out by Sophie Turner for the role of Sansa Stark. She was sad at first but then realized the part wasn’t right for her. Jennifer Ehle turned down the role of Catelyn Stark because she didn’t want to be away from her newborn daughter. Gillian Anderson was originally up for the role of Cersei Lannister but declined because she wanted to be close to her family and wasn’t ready for the commitment. Sam Claflin who portrayed Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games movies originally auditioned for the roles of Jon Snow and Viserys Targaryen. Tamzin Merchant was the original choice for Daenerys Targaryen and was in the original unaired pilot before leaving the show. Well, what did you think of this list?