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Umm, HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Almost Never Happened Because the Pilot Was Such a Disaster

If HBO’s Game of Thrones remains one of your all-time favorite TV shows, we highly recommend you brace yourself for this shocking news.

Entertainment Weekly just obtained an excerpt from Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Untold Story of the Epic Series. The book offers a rare glimpse at the show’s pilot episode, which very few people have seen (no, not even you). According to the cast, the first episode was such a disaster, it almost never came to fruition.

“Nobody knew what they were doing or what the hell this was,” said Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who played Jaime Lannister on GoT. “During King Robert’s arrival I remember finding the whole thing ridiculous. The absurdity of doing this parallel universe with these very noble men. It’s a very fine balance between being serious and believing it and just being cosplayers. There was certainly not a sense that this was going to be some gamechanger for anyone. But we had a lot of fun.”

Lena Headey, who played Cersei Lannister, confirmed that the costumes weren’t up to Westeros standards, adding, “I looked like a Vegas showgirl in the [original] pilot — furs and massive hair, like a medieval Dolly Parton. Not that I’m complaining, I loved it. My hair devolved.”

Cersei wasn’t the only character who received a last-minute makeover. GoT producer Christopher Newman also described the changes that Joffrey (played by Jack Gleeson) underwent.

“Joffrey had a different haircut,” he said. “In the original pilot, it was more pageboy cut, slightly pudding bowl-ish, like Henry V. It wasn’t that it didn’t suit him being a little s***, but it softened the edge. The modern cut in the version that aired gave him more spitefulness.”

They could have fooled us.

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