In the smash-hit TV program Game of Thrones, its not all that uncommon to see actors and actresses get cut from the show (most by losing their heads or other appendages). However, for actress Gemma Whelan, she was almost axed (pun fully intended) from the show before she had even shot one scene.
Whelan, who joined the HBO hit back in its second season in 2012 as the character Yara Greyjoy, did not know that she was supposed to keep quite regarding all things relating to Game of Thrones. After landing the audition, she innocently posted the role to her resume online. Needless to say, the internet went nuts when it found out she would be playing Theon’s (Alfie Allen) sister and the would be queen of the Iron Islands.
Whelan said of the fiasco:
"The first lesson I learnt was when I first got the job. No one told me to keep quiet about it, I just thought it was normal to pop it in my Spotlight entry, so I wrote on my CV, ‘This summer, Gemma will be playing Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones.’ And the internet went nuts. One of the lovely, lovely producers on Thrones called me into his office and said, ‘This is very serious. We almost can’t employ you because of this.'"
It is interesting to look back and see how open the production of Game of Thrones was back then, seeing as how Whelan was not even told that her role was anything different then another television booking. Since that time, producers and cast are required to keep notoriously silent on news to fight as many possible leaks that could spoil the upcoming seasons. Back in its first season even author George R.R. Martin would post info about the show and casting on his live journal — my, how things have changed.
It all had a happy ending for Gemma Whelan, as her character Yara Greyjoy has survived four seasons of the show and will be appearing in Season 7.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on July 16, 2017