For nearly as long as fans have been obsessed with HBO’s Game of Thrones, we’ve heard stories about the failed unaired pilot. From George RR Martin’s cameo to Daenerys and Catelyn being played by different actors, I’ve personally been intrigued with this original episode for a while now. Especially because it’s a known fact at this point that it was flat-out bad. Kit Harington even revealed the series’ current showrunners, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have jokingly threatened to use his pilot footage as blackmail if need be.
And finally, we now have some insight into just how different the unaired pilot was. The Huffington Post took a visit to Texas A&M’s Cushing Memorial Library, and got ahold of a box containing a production draft for the original Thrones pilot. Thankfully for us, they’ve detailed some of the strange events which took place. Here are four of the most shocking.
4. Catelyn Wanted Sansa to Marry Joffrey
Right from the start of the aired Thrones pilot, Catelyn Stark became a fan-favorite. She stood up for her family and for what was right, and although Robert Baratheon was threatening, she wanted Ned Stark to stay in the North. However, in the unaired episode, Catelyn actually urged Ned to allow their daughter Sansa to be married to Joffrey Baratheon. The script goes as follows:
Ned: “I’ll refuse him. I’m a northman. I belong here, not down south in that rats’ nest they call a capital.”
Catelyn: “He would make our daughter Queen.”
3. The White Walkers Spoke
Probably the most peculiar difference from the aired pilot to the unaired one is that originally, the White Walkers were supposed to speak in a type of “ice language.” The unaired pilot script opened similarly to what aired, when men of the Night’s Watch encountered the humanoid creatures. The script then reads:
The crackling is coming from multiple sources now. There are not the noises of mindless predators. This is a language, and whatever is speaking it is getting closer ... Will closes his eyes against the icy voices beneath him, muttering silent prayers.
While many will know the White Walkers also speak in the books, fans of just the TV series might wonder how exactly these creatures would sound. In a 2017 interview with The Huffington Post, Thrones language creator David Peterson explained he wanted it to be similar to what’s in the books, which sounds like “the cracking of ice on a winter lake.”
2. Daenerys and Khal Drogo Had Consensual Sex
Although Khal Drogo eventually turned into a favorite character of sorts in the aired episodes of Thrones, he was initially introduced as brute Daenerys Targaryen should be afraid of. He then went on to rape her, but in the unaired pilot, their romance was actually far more innocent, and they had consensual sex. The script goes:
He pulls her down into his lap. Dany is flushed and breathless. He cups her face in his huge hands and she looks into his eyes.
Khal Drogo: “No?”
She takes his hand and moves it between her thighs.
The rape scene in the aired episode has understandably become very controversial, but as The Huffington Post points out, actress Emilia Clarke has been adamant on why it’s so important. “At the heart of it, we’re telling a story; you need that part of the story to feel empathy for Daenerys,” she told Glamour in 2016. You see her attacked by her brother, raped by her husband, and then going, ‘F―k all of you, I’m gonna rule the world.’ That’s where we are now.”
1. Cersei Objected to Having Sex With Jaime
Arguably the craziest scene in the aired first episode of Thrones is when Bran, while climbing up the tower, accidentally saw siblings Cersei and Jaime Lannister engaging in sexual activity. Without much hesitation, Jaime pushed him out the window, leading him to be paralyzed for the rest of the series. However, in the unaired pilot, something even worse occurred first.
In the original episode, viewers did not know Jaime and Cersei were related yet, and saw Jaime having his way with his sister by force. When Bran peeked into the room, he saw as follows:
The naked man grabs her by the hair and forces her to rise to all fours. She gasps with pain.
He does not stop. Keeping one hand on her hair, he pushes himself himself to his knees. He seizes her hip with his free hand and pulls toward him, thrusting deep into her.
Woman (Cont’d): (Moaning) “Stop it… stop it… please…”
Her voice is low and she does not push him away; the harder he pull she hair, the more she moans.
As bad as some of these plot points were in the unaired episode, I would still totally watch it.
This article also appears on Mental Floss.