Often times, we'll never understand what leads our favorite actors to turn down roles, especially ones that would put them so high in the public consciousness.  As fans eagerly await the arrival of 'Game of Thrones' season 3, there are still several key roles that need to be cast before shooting takes place.  Former 'The Wire' and '300' star Dominic West recently revealed that he'd been offered a role in the epic George R.R. Martin fantasy series, but had to decline.  Why would he say no, and what was the part?

The Huffington Post is reporting that 'The Wire' star Dominic West has turned down a key role in the forthcoming third season of HBO's 'Game of Thrones.'  Though not familiar with the series, West expressed regret that he couldn't take the part, given the long period of time it would take him from his family.  West prefers working closer to London, as in subject of the interview, series 2 of 'The Hour.'

So then, what role did West turn down?  The one-time '300' star didn't recall the character's name, citing his unfamiliarity with the novels, but did offer that it would have been of similar stature and prominence to Sean Bean's 'Game of Thrones' season 1 character Ned Stark.  West also specified that filming would have put him "in Reykjavik for six months, " the Iceland location which stands in for Jon Snow's trek north of the wall.

Could it be then, that West was offered the role of "The King Beyond The Wall" Mance Rayder, the only major role not yet announced to be cast?  Though not confirmed, the evidence certainly supports it.  The series has alluded to and mentioned Mance Rayder several times throughout the second season, though the character was never seen.

Had he accepted the role, West would have joined the ranks of Diana Rigg, Mackenzie Crook, Clive Russell, Nathalie Emannuel, Iwan Rheon, Kerry Ingram, Tara Fitzgerald, Paul Kaye, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ellie Kendirck, Richard Dormer, Kristofer Hivju, Philip McGinley, Tobias Menzies and Anton Lesser, all of whom new additions for 'Game of Thrones' season 3.

What say you?  Would West have made the perfect Mance Rayder, or would he be best for another role?  What are you most excited about for 'Game of Thrones' season 3?  Give us your picks in the comments below!

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