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On one hand you've got some very seasoned actors like Sean Bean, Lena Headey and Natalia Tena who have been in other TV series as well as some big Hollywood films.

And on the other hand you've got some actors who have done almost nothing before. Such as Emilia Clarke (in one of the biggest parts in the series) and Sophie Turner.

Is there a reason for such a massive discrepancy in experience among the cast?

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Many of the actors in the show have stage experience. Which probably explains why they're so good with little known past experiences. –  System Down Aug 3 '13 at 14:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Actors are usually hired if they fit the role they are supposed to play.

In case of GOT, some of the characters can be visualized with existing actors. As you can notice, none of the star or lead characters (Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Daenerys etc.) are known faces.

Senior actors are roped in because they either fit the role or lend some good acting in the scenes. Sometimes, when the character is important, mature actors are often cast as they have a better knowledge to face the challenges required in the role.

In case of GOT, the number of characters and roles is phenomenal. The costs alone for more known actors would have increased the budget several times. Also, the actors that play the character are definitely good in their roles.

Having new faces in the series also makes it more immersing for the fans as they can visualize the characters with the actors. Most fans might not recognize the previous works these actors have done, and hence recognize them only by their GOT persona.

Hence, the producers and directors many a times go for newer faces and fresher talent.

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I suppose it's also a factor that some of the bigger names are killed they only have to sign the contracts for a few seasons... –  Liath Jul 31 '13 at 19:12

Don't know this as fact (no references) in this case, but many productions use some high paid actors as the draw, then fill in the rest of the characters with lesser known actors as a means of limiting production costs. It comes down to economics.

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