All the Actors Who Auditioned to Play Jon Snow on Game of Thrones

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Before Game of Thrones was one of the most popular shows on television, it was just another on-screen development based on a popular book series. That being said, when producers were casting the HBO hit, tons of actors and actors went in to audition without really thinking much of it. Boy were they in for a surprise…

But even though numerous British stars attempted to be a part of the series in any way they could, there was one role in particular that was specifically sought after — Jon Snow. While fans of the show will most likely have a hard time picturing someone other than their beloved Kit Harington playing the King of the North, it was once a very real possibility. Here are all the actors who auditioned to play the curly haired cutie.

1. Sam Claflin — Although the Hunger Games star’s brother Joe appeared on one episode of Game of Thrones, the 30 year old wasn’t quite as lucky. “I think I speak on behalf of every British actor when I say, we all auditioned for [GoT],” he told CinemaBlend about a year ago. Sam revealed that in addition to Jon Snow, he also read for Viserys Targaryen, but “sort of went quiet basically” because he was already committed to Snow White and the Huntsman. But even though the British actor didn’t get a chance to be on the HBO hit, there are no hard feelings and he still considers it one of his favorite shows. “I’m such a big fan,” he tweeted in May. “I constantly try getting spoilers out of Emilia [Clarke].”

2. Iwan Rheon — The 31-year-old actor is known for being one of the worst characters on Game of Thrones, but he almost played one of the best. “I auditioned for the pilot of Game of Thrones and was down to the last two for Jon Snow, so I guess they knew me,” he told The Telegraph about how he eventually landed the role of Ramsay Bolton.

3. Alfie Allen — You know this John Wick star as Theon Greyjoy on the HBO series, but he originally pictured himself playing Kit Harington’s role. “The odd thing is, Alfie [Allen] originally came in to read for Jon Snow,” GoT producer David Benioff said in an episode commentary. “And we thought, ‘Well, he’s great…he’s not quite Jon Snow. And then we thought wait a second, Theon! And he read for Theon and he was just incredible.”

4. Joe Dempsie — We’re still waiting to see if Gendry is still busy rowing on Game of Thrones, and while we don’t know the fate of the character, we can offer you a fun fact. According to the GoT Wiki page, the actor was one of the people who came in to read for Jon Snow in the beginning before Kit ultimately was cast.


Jon Snow wasn’t the only Game of Thrones character many actors tried and failed to land. Here are other stars who auditioned for roles on the HBO hit: