While this may be old news for some, we haven’t reported it up until now because we’ve had no official confirmation of any kind regarding it. We had contacted HBO about this immediately after the rumors based on Showfax’s new casting sides (pages of dialogue for use in auditions) had gone up. From our discussion with HBO, all we can say is that officially, HBO’s policy is to never discuss recasting or even rumors of recasting, and they’re unable to offer any information either confirming or denying recasting.
However, as we saw on Twitter, more than one actress has allegedly confirmed via Twitter that they are pursuing the role of Daenerys. So, we’ll take this as its being highly likely that casting is taking place for the role. However, we caution that we know nothing yet as to the reasons or the end results. Having read around a bit, there are possibilities that suggest that Tamzin Merchant remains the primary choice for the role, but additional casting is taking place as insurance against her departure for reasons unknown. While we agree that the likeliest supposition is that Merchant is no longer in the role, we’ll caution against taking this as an absolute certainty.
But if Merchant is out of the role, what does this mean? Well, it seems they’ll be forced to go back to Morocco—or build fresh sets in Belfast to represent it—to reshoot all the scenes there. As some may recall, GRRM indicated that a return to Morocco was a possibility but not a certainty. Starting the renewed production with major reshoots—on top of any new reshoots needed now that Michelle Fairley is in the role of Catelyn Stark—is not the greatest way to start a production, and may lead to a tight shooting schedule to begin with, but should be entirely manageable. Recasting is more the rule than the exception when it comes to pilots, and consequent reshooting goes hand in hand with that.
We’ll provide more information when we can.