Game of Thrones was more than just a television show: it was a cultural phenomenon. What began as a George RR Martin fantasy series spawned one of the most popular television shows of all time, with millions watching every episode of political intrigue, dramatic romance, and of course, dragons. The long-awaited series finale aired in May 2019, bringing the eight-year saga to an end.
Working on a TV show like Game of Thrones seems like every actor’s dream, but with so many characters killed off, actors never knew how long they would last. But sometimes, Martin’s plans for the narrative weren’t the only factor dictating an actor’s early departure. Some had only accepted a limited series of episodes.
Others were cast in major roles on other television shows and were unable to balance filming schedules. Some were replaced because casting directors began to question their original decisions. And others just felt that while they loved being on the show, it was time to move on.
If you were hoping to see Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) reappear in season eight, you were probably a little disappointed. Meera, her brother Jojen, and Hodor traveled with Bran for several seasons, keeping him safe while he made his way to meet the Three-Eyed Raven. Along the way, they faced countless dangers, losing Jojen and Hodor to the wraiths commanded by the Night King.
After finally bringing Bran back to Winterfell, he simply said “thank you” for her sacrifices before sending her on her way. It seemed like a lackluster ending for Meera, with fans wondering if she would return for season eight and get a more satisfying conclusion. When she finished filming the seventh season, Ellie Kendrick had no idea whether or not she would be asked to come back. And at the end of 2017, she was still hanging.
“I wait for the phone to ring and then I realize, but it hasn’t, so I don’t know,” he would have explained at the time. “I’ll find out if I am or not at some point, but for now, I haven’t been notified, so I have yet to find out.”
Eventually, the showrunners had to call her and give her the bad news, but she had to wait on hold for quite some time. This eventually upset the Game of Thrones actress who “welcomed” the opportunity anyway, but she “felt the character still had something to bring to the show.” She was not the first nor the last to leave the series when fans expected much more from the character, but it is good to note that these plot twists give some suspense to these great series that have everything to excite you.
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