Now that 'Game of Thrones' season 3 has premiered, gobbling up the ratings with a fourth season imminent next year, it's hard to imagine just how differently things might have looked had HBO's original pilot for the series dictated the episodes to come. New reports of the original 'Game of Thrones' pilot highlight a number of major story changes, as well as a majorly different title credits sequence than the current, iconic version, so check out the 'Game of Thrones' that almost was inside!

The very title sequence of 'Game of Thrones' served to establish the realm literally and figuratively, winding up one of the more memorable aspects of the series that helped propel the George R.R. Martin-adapted drama to today's dizzying heights. However, according to new descriptions of the original pilot episode from io9, quite a few aspects could have ended up very differently.

Perhaps foremost would have been the beloved title sequence, which io9 described thusly:

Instead of the beautiful "orrery" theme that the show eventually chose, there's a sequence where an old man, whose face we don't see, writes a message on a parchment scroll, which he ties to the leg of a raven. The raven flies away from Castle Black and the Wall and across the landscape of Westeros, which becomes a map. The major destinations are labeled, including Winterfell, the Kingsroad, Moat Cailin, the Riverlands and the Vale of Arryn. A few times, the bird dips down enough that the map "resolves into reality" to show us the towers of Winterfell or the Eyrie atop the Vale.

At last, the bird reaches King's Landing and flies through the open gates of the Red Keep, landing on the Iron Throne itself. You can see why this might have sounded like a good idea, what with the books' emphasis on ravens as messengers.

Not only that, but the report from the pilot script suggests the Stark family was handled in a very different manner, with differing character dynamics and much less screen time. One particular note of interest is that of the White Walkers (Others), who were fully visible in the pilot as opposed to the season 2 finale reveal we actually ended up with.

The 'Game of Thrones' pilot report offers up a fascinating read, but what say you? Do you think the series made any missteps in the version we saw? How have you been enjoying the current season?

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