Millie Bobby Brown Wanted To Quit Acting After ‘Game of Thrones’ Rejection


The Big Picture

  • Millie Bobby Brown’s audition for the role of Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones didn’t work out, leading her to feel disheartened and question her acting career.
  • Bella Ramsey ultimately played Lyanna and delivered a memorable performance, stealing scenes with her cutting dialogue and infamous facial expressions.
  • Both Brown and Ramsey went on to score bigger roles in other projects, with Brown becoming a major part of Stranger Things and launching a film franchise with Netflix’s Enola Holmes, while Ramsey gained the role of Ellie in The Last of Us.

Your favorite TV show more than likely went through a plethora of changes on its way to the small screen. Maybe the showrunners decided one character would be better as a villain instead of a hero. Maybe a now iconic character was almost played by a completely different actor. Or maybe, in the worst of cases, the show was unceremoniously canceled before it even saw the light of day. In the case of Stranger Things, one of its biggest actors could have quit the profession entirely — and it stems from losing out on an audition for another major TV show.

Millie Bobby Brown rose to superstardom thanks to her role as the psychic Eleven on Stranger Things — but prior to that, she had auditioned for a major role in Game of Thrones. That role was none other than Lyanna Mormont, the young head of Bear Island. During an interview on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, Brown discussed how her audition for Lyanna didn’t work out in her favor — and how it almost put a pin in her acting career. “I think I was just very disheartened by the rejection, which is something I tell everyone, it’s like, this industry is just full of rejection 24/7,” Brown said. “I then auditioned for Game of Thrones, and I got a no for that, then that’s kind of when I was like, ‘Oh, this is really difficult.’ I guess I really wanted that role.” Bella Ramsey would ultimately play Lyanna — which may have been for the best for both actors.

Game Of Thrones

Nine noble families fight for control over the lands of Westeros, while an ancient enemy returns after being dormant for a millennia.

Release Date
April 17, 2011

David Benioff, D.B. Weiss




Who Is Lyanna Mormont in ‘Game of Thrones’?

Lyanna’s role in Game of Thrones was a small but crucial one, as she and the other heads of the North were sought by Jon Snow, (Kit Harington) who wanted to take back Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Once Bolton was defeated by Snow, Lyanna and the other heads started preparing for the battle against the White Walkers, who had finally managed to break past the wall that kept Winterfell safe from outside threats. Though she was killed by a White Walker giant, Lyanna delivered a fatal blow by stabbing the giant in its eye — serving as one of the most badass ways to go out in Game of Thrones.


Millie Bobby Brown-Led ‘Damsel’ Comes to the Rescue With Long-Awaited Release Date

The fantasy adventure movie also stars Angela Bassett, Robin Wright, and Nick Robinson.

Ramsey showed up in a total of nine episodes, but managed to steal each and every scene they were in as the headstrong leader of House Mormont. Part of that came from her cutting dialogue — Lyanna isn’t one to suffer fools gladly — as well as her infamous facial expressions which became fodder for memes. But even though the character was a dynamo, it didn’t change the fact that the final season of Game of Thrones was plagued by a number of issues (including a stray coffee cup that was left on set, serving as a microcosm of the behind-the-scenes issues that led to the series’ lackluster ending). Though Brown lamented losing out on the role, she may have dodged a bullet.

Millie Bobby Brown and Bella Ramsey Scored Bigger Roles in Other Projects

The role of Lyanna led to Ramsey eventually gaining the role of Ellie in The Last of Us, which saw them uniting with another Game of Thrones alum in Pedro Pascal. Not only was The Last of Us one of HBO’s biggest hits, but it also showed that adaptations of video games could actually be done with love and care. It also gave Ramsey the chance to show off even more of their acting chops, especially in the episode “Left Behind.” That episode put the spotlight fully on Ellie, showcasing the moments that led her to become the survivor she is in the future — especially her relationship with her friend Riley (Storm Reid).

As for Brown, her career has taken off like a rocket. Not only is she an integral part of Stranger Things, but she’s also provided Netflix with a bonafide film franchise in the form of the Enola Holmes films. Her partnership with the streamer will also continue with The Electric State, which sees her teaming up with Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and Netflix’s fantasy action feature Damsel, which hits the streaming service on March 8. These roles not only show off Brown’s range, but prove that she made the right choice to continue with her acting career.

Game of Thrones is available to stream on Max.

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