Unaired Game of Thrones Pilot Showed Jon Arryn’s Murder & Brandon Stark’s Execution

Jon_Arryn_funeralGame of Thrones, throughout its five season run, has featured some memorably gruesome death scenes. But it seems the unaired pilot, showed 2 more deaths- of Jon Arryn and Ned Stark’s brother Brandon, which unfortunately didn’t make the final cut.

In Season 1, Jon Arryn was the first one to learn of Jaime and Cersei’s incestuous relationship and his death led to appointment of Ned Stark as the hand of the king by Robert Baratheon. Arryn’s death was never shown and we only saw his corpse but Sir John Standing, who played the role, recently revealed that they actually filmed his ‘lunatic’ death scene, which also involved Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey).

The scene featured Cersei stomping Jon Arryn to death, as he tries to crawl over to a table and reach for the bottle of ink to write a final note, presumably about Cersei and Jaime’s relationship. You can listen to Standing’s version of the scene below.

The unaired pilot apparently had another death scene. An image was leaked to the internet which shows Brandon Stark being strangled in front of the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen. This matches the description of the death of Ned Stark’s brother in the books.

brandon-stark sean beanBrandon and his father Rickard Stark were charged with plotting the murder of Rhaegar Targaryen by The Mad King. Rickard was cooked alive in his own armor as Brandon, bound with a leather cord around his neck, was forced to watch. With a longsword just out of reach, he strangled himself to death while trying to get to the sword to save his father.

These two scenes seem quite badass and it’s a shame that these never made the final cut. We can only hope that HBO, to the delight of the fans, will release these scenes (through Bran’s visions?) or the entire unaired pilot sometime in future.


  1. “Sean Bean being strangled in front of the Mad King Aerys II Targaryen. This matches the description of the death of Brandon Stark which also means that some other actor played the role of Ned Stark in the original pilot.” Nope, that’s not Sean Bean

      1. ye, ure probably right.. it’s ok though, mistakes happen from time to time 😀

    1. not to enjoy the brutality, obviously…. it’s a huge part of the story of game of thrones, that, among a few other things, is what started a rebellion against the targeryans..

    2. Because it is extremely pivotal to what happens later on. We hear stories of how the Mad King would cry out “Burn them all!” and how the men and women of the court were silent as two brave men of the North were executed. It’s not about the gore.. it’s about the power of that scene. To want to see what happened with no bias from any of the characters who told the story, to want to see the very depths of the madness that took hold of Aerys Targaryen II, known as the Mad King.

      At least that is how I feel about it

    1. As far as I know Jon Arryn raised Robert and Ned as his wards. Jon was like a father to both. It’s similar to Theons relationship to Ned. When he starts to regrets his deeds, he says his true father lost his head in King’s Landing.

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