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‘Game of Thrones’ Could Have Looked a Lot Different if Ray Stevenson Didn’t Turn Down the Series

Photo Credit: HBO / petbar22 / MovieStillsDB
Photo Credit: HBO / petbar22 / MovieStillsDB

Ray Stevenson was a versatile and accomplished actor whose career spanned both film and television, earning him a devoted fanbase with a taste for historical storylines and action-packed war scenes. His talents scored him roles in over 60 acting projects, and several offers in many more – including one of the biggest television series to air in the 21st century. He chose not to play a part in it, and previously explained why he ultimately turned it down.

Stevenson had a successful career

Headshot of Ray Stevenson
Ray Stevenson at the premiere of Disney and Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok at the El Capitan Theatre on October 10, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo Credit: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic / Getty Images)

Ray Stevenson’s death in May 2023 came as a shock to his fans all over the world, as he was only 58 years old. However, his too-short acting career is filled with impressive film and television credits beginning as early as 1993. Some of his more notable roles included Blackbeard in Black Sails (2016-17), Danny Greene in Kill the Irishman (2011), Volstagg in Thor (2011), and Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone (2008).

Stevenson had a penchant for action projects and period pieces, two genres that have seen an uptick in popularity in recent years, especially when blended together. With this in mind, there are a few shows and films that we think he could’ve been cast in perfectly, including the HBO hit series Game of Thrones, which aired from 2011 to 2019.

He was offered a role on ‘Game of Thrones’

Ray Stevenson in costume for 'The Three Musketeers'
Ray Stevenson in The Three Musketeers, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (Photo Credit: Rolf Konow / Sygma / Sygma / Getty Images)

With his rugged appearance suiting many of his previous roles including features on such shows and films as Rome (2005-07), King Arthur (2004), and The Three Musketeers (2011), Stevenson seemed to be perfect for a role in Game of Thrones. As it turns out, he was offered a role among the Starks and Lannisters while the show was still in production. He turned the opportunity down.

In an interview in 2015, Stevenson revealed that he’d been offered a role but chose not to accept it in favor of pursuing several other parts elsewhere. This included his impressive role as Blackbeard in the STARZ series Black Sails, as well as the major villain in the Disney+ series Ahsoka.

He would’ve had an early role

Ray Stevenson and Kevin McKidd in Roman costume riding on horses
Actors Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson are seen during the filming of Rome on March 15, 2006 in Rome, Italy. (Photo Credit: RAI fiction / Getty Images)

The offer wasn’t given to Stevenson until the show had already produced and aired a couple of seasons. However, he’d been in discussions with people working behind the scenes long before production even started on the series. Why a role was not offered from the get-go is still a mystery.

He turned down the subsequent offer because he would have very much preferred to have been part of the project right from the beginning. “I was offered [a role]. I also saw them before they even started, very early on. I would rather have been [cast] at the beginning. It’s just that coming into a show now…I think it’s wonderful, but it’s not something I would come into at this point. I don’t know if I would add anything to it at this stage. And I’m off doing Blackbeard, so there you go.”

More from us: Peter Dinklage Agrees With Controversial ‘Game Of Thrones’ Ending

Although we don’t know the exact role that was offered to him, he said it would’ve seen him in a “4-6 month stint” on the show. This meant that he would likely have been either a character killed off quickly, the way the series was known to do, or would’ve been a major character for only about a season.

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Samantha Franco

Samantha Franco is a Freelance Content Writer who received her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Guelph, and her Master of Arts degree in history from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focused on Victorian, medical, and epidemiological history with a focus on childhood diseases. Stepping away from her academic career, Samantha previously worked as a Heritage Researcher and now writes content for multiple sites covering an array of historical topics.

In her spare time, Samantha enjoys reading, knitting, and hanging out with her dog, Chowder!