Game of Thrones has been more of a sensation than a mere TV series. The way it picked up its popularity and swept across the charts is nothing short of legendary. And we can’t forget the actors who made the series what it is today. Right from Jon Snow to Daenerys Targaryen, from Cersei Lannister to Tyrion Lannister, all these names and the actors who played them have been etched in the annals of history of cinema.
We remember GoT for its pinchingly crude dialogues, rib-tickling pun and steamy sex, unparalleled CGI and stupendous performances. Understandably, and unequivocally, Game of Thrones is one of the most widely popular series of all time. Period. Believe it or not, everything that happens in GoT makes complete sense because and only because of the actors and nobody and nothing else. Remove all the acting powerhouses – Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke or Kit Harrington and many countless actors and actresses from the equation and Game of Thrones instantly becomes a second-rate medieval era based series with no takers (I am almost about to say ‘Vikings’, but yeah whatever). It will be criminal to try and even think of replacing these artists who have been so perfectly molded and etched in their roles.
Yet, let me commit this unforgivable crime of “thinking” to replace all the GoT star-cast with Indian actors, just this one time. Sounds funny, stupid and crazy, yet, I’ve tried my best to make it sound curious at the least. Here are the actors who could replace the existing GoT star-cast in a hypothetical scenario, if the series were remade again, with an entirely Indian cast. And my apologies for missing out a few of them, as GoT has a bag full of ‘actors’. Also, vice-versa, don’t expect all the Indian actors out there to figure on this list. So, here goes,
Warning: May contain some major spoilers! And do perceive my thoughts out completely before making any negative ones of your own!
62. Sathyaraj as Barristan Selmy
Barristan Selmy, the apparent best swordsman of the seven kingdoms, is a fearsome warrior. We’ve all seen Sathyaraj in the ‘Baahubali’ series and he can very well be our answer to Barristan. And we mustn’t forget the loyalty and servitude that exudes from Kattappa when he plays such characters. Barristan, who was loyal to the throne, didn’t let blind besmirched loyalty get past self-respect and joined the ranks under Khaleesi herself, to prove his allegiance worthy. Well, assume Sathyaraj in his place and nothing changes.
61. Harshali Malhotra as Lyanna Mormont
Well, we adored her more than Nawazuddin in ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’. And Bella Ramsey, who played the furious, no-nonsense heir of the House Mormont of the Bear Island was not known to play such roles prior to this. All she was, was a joyous teenage girl having nothing to do with violence. Yet, she breathed more fire than all the dragons combined, unscathed and unconquered. If Harshali can be as half as furious as Bella was, as Lyanna, we’ve got our money in the right place.
60. Upendra as Benjen Stark
Surprisingly, Benjen Stark shows up when we expect the victim characters to die anyway, so he’s like a blessing in disguise. Like a trump card, a wild-card entry at the most unexpected of moments. Upendra, with his crazy fan-following, thanks to his impeccable record in Sandalwood, coupled with his successful stints in movies like ‘Eega’ has some critically acclaimed movies in his kitty. More than as Benjen Stark, we would adore him as a messiah who comes to aid when no one possibly can. Wish he could’ve rescued Viserion too!
59. Kinshuk Vaidya as Jojen Reed
I am sure many remember the child actor who played Sanju in the famed 90’s TV Serial ‘Shaka Laka Boom Boom’, who wielded a magical pencil (yes, it is less fishy than it sounds). Well, the actor was Kinshuk Vaidya, who’s all grown up and become quite a hunk now. Though not known for many such popular roles nowadays, he’s handsome at the least and a worthy companion for the Three-Eyed Raven Brandon Stark.
58. Nassar as Grand Maester Pycelle
For an actor, more than the character, a perception is seldom formed based on their previously portrayed roles. Nassar as Bijjaladeva in the ‘Baahubali’ series played an extremely important role of instigating the person on the wrong side, as well as showcased a cunning, loathsome and crooked character with ease. Pycelle is beyond loathsome, he’s perverted, over-ambitious and eerily irritating at the same time. Nassar has never disappointed us so far in any of his almost negative portrayals, so we hope things run smoothly here as well.
57. Mithun Chakraborty as Walder Frey
The lewd, forever aspiring father-and-husband to be old man Walder Frey is hated by almost everyone. And the character who’s hated to such levels is also attributed to the actor who plays it. While David Bradley, who played Walder Frey is as seasoned as an old wine, our Indian counterpart Mithun da is no less. We hated him almost equally in ‘Oh! My God’ as we loved him in ‘Golmaal 3’. Watching Mithun da play this murderous conniving old man would be both enjoyable and interesting, until his throat gets slashed by Arya Stark of Winterfell. The North remembers!
56. Sharman Joshi as Viserys Targaryen
Well frankly, this one is more based on looks than the acting part. Harry Lloyd’s features are comparable to that of Sharman’s and Sharman has played some negative shades previously. Calling him a versatile actor won’t be an absurdity. It would be fascinating to see how he reacts to all the embarrassing situations Viserys puts up with, while Khaleesi takes the lead and the Khal puts a “golden crown” on his head.
55. Hrithik Roshan as Rhaegar Targaryen
Now to the most handsome man of Westeros, who we have heard of only in legends until the ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’ episode of GoT. George R.R. Martin’s Rhaegar has dark indigo eyes, is tall and has long silver hair. The rightful heir to the throne after his tyrannical mad-king father Aerys, we all had high hopes for especially Rhaegar’s looks and maybe the duration for which he stayed on screen. While Wilf Scolding was utterly disappointing as Rhaegar and became infamous for improper casting into the series, for he couldn’t fulfill our expectations, Hrithik Roshan could be our next best option for playing the kind, just and beautiful prince Rhaegar.
54. Priyanka Chopra as Lyanna Stark
The long-lost love of a young warrior Robert Baratheon and someone who was allegedly abducted by Rhaegar, leading to the latter’s death, Lyanna Stark can summarily be held responsible for all the wars that followed. Compared with Rhaegar, Lyanna Stark (played by Aisling Franciosi) was sort of well-cast and she was as bewitching as talked about from Season 1. Priyanka Chopra, with her charm and beauty, is the Indian counterpart I am relying upon, for Hrithik and Priyanka are seemingly made for each other on-screen.
53. Naseeruddin Shah as Qyburn
Anton Lesser’s Qyburn portrayal is pretty straightforward and hard-hitting. The Master of Whisperers, who isn’t a Maester officially, for he never wore his chains, rose through ranks and became The Hand of the Queen Cersei. The savior of The Mountain, who was fatally injured after battling with The Viper, Qyburn is a silent perpetrator and the brains behind bringing justice to many of the Queen’s enemies, using his novel, strangely peculiar scientific methods. Naseeruddin Shah, with his impeccable track record for such artistic portrayals, will not only match the levels of performance accomplished by Anton Lesser but might even surpass him.
52. Mahesh Manjrekar as Roose Bolton
Roose Bolton is one of the biggest inside job Lannisters ever had inside the enemy camp and it was him who gave his final ‘regards’ to the Starks at the Red Wedding, thanks to other crime cohorts like Walder Frey. Mahesh Manjrekar has so far restricted himself to serious as well as darker-yet-funny character portrayals in the past, with ‘Wanted’, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ to name a few. Watching him as Roose Bolton would involve a lot of expectations yet we mustn’t rule out the quirk he brings to all of his characters. Fingers crossed. For he’s the father of Ramsay Snow (Bolton).
51. Imran Khan as Renly Baratheon
The bisexual, self-proclaimed heir-to-the-iron-throne Renly is a relatively weak character in the otherwise stronger plot. Though his death came as a surprise, Renly must be given due credit to make the House Baratheon look stronger, until of course, Stannis was killed. Imran Khan, with his chocolatey stereotypes, hasn’t been very successful in manly, action-hero kind of roles. Rather, playing an over-ambitious underachiever suits him well. Imran Khan as Renly or Gethin Anthony as Renly – doesn’t sound like much of a difference to me.
50. R. Madhavan as Euron Greyjoy
Another self-proclaimed King, this time, of the Iron Islands, Euron’s character was introduced in the GoT TV Series as later as Season 6. Pilou Asbæk really nailed in his effort, while playing the unruly, exceedingly confident, self-centered and towering character. Madhavan, who has played almost every kind of role, across all genres – romance, comedy, horror, thriller and what not, could be the only possible replacement of Pilou as Euron, with one eye on his Iron Islands and another on Queen Regent Cersei.
49. Rekha as Lysa Arryn
Lysa is one of the reasons why probably GoT has been stretched beyond seven seasons. Neither she would’ve poisoned her husband Jon Arryn, the then Hand of King Robert, nor would’ve Ned Stark left Winterfell in the first place. The treacherous, promiscuous and delusional Lysa has to be one of the evilest, loathsome yet protective characters of the series. Rekha, who has been a while away from the cinema, could pull off Lysa’s character with ease and who knows, may even exceed our expectations.
48. Suhani Bhatnagar as Shireen Baratheon
Shireen is the dorkiest kid of the Westeros, surrounded by books and apathy, from both her otherwise “busy” father Stannis and her confused, self-loathing mother – all due to her sickness caused by the Greyscale. An innocent who became a victim of the cunning and devout (or rather, confused) Melisandre later on, Shireen is one of the most adorable characters of GoT. Suhani’s work in ‘Dangal’ as a young Babita Phogat was of a lively and jolly little kid, who feels oppressed at the hands of her father, yet realizes her actual purpose soon after. Suhani as Shireen would be very close to Kerry Ingram, who portrayed it so gracefully on-screen.
47. Namit Shah as Rickon Stark
A not so-important character, until being used as a bait by Ramsey in ‘Battle of the Bastards’, Rickon radiated all the bare minimum characteristics of a lost kid who had absolutely no idea what’s going on around him. Namit, as a child actor has done pretty well so far, given his age, and playing Rickon Stark would be a cakewalk for him, as was for the Irish actor Art Parkinson.
46. Waheeda Rehman as Olenna Tyrell
Diana Rigg is a name to reckon with when it comes to legendary English actresses. Playing Olenna Tyrell wouldn’t have been easy for her, being the only leading persona (matriarch) of the House Tyrell, the mother of the benevolent Mace Tyrell, incessantly trying to find the rightful place for her grandchildren Loras and Margaery. Olenna has to put her fingers into the fire to save her children’s and grandchildren’s, and hence the big revelation in the end to Jaime Lannister, prior to her death. Waheeda Rahman is the apt Indian counterpart to Diana Rigg, both in terms of beauty and brains, popularity and experience and would be a precise fit for the role.
45. Tamannaah Bhatia as Meera Reed
Trust me on this, both Ellie Kendrick (who played Meera on-screen) and Tamannaah are of the same age. The pretty girl turned by the circumstances into a fierce apprentice to her brother Jojen and acquaintance Bran and well, Hodor, Meera’s significance in helping Bran safely reach Winterfell (and maybe falling for him subtly, while Bran broods over himself being Three-Eyed Raven) cannot be ignored. Tamannaah has limited herself to romance-comedies and regional cinema mostly, except for a warrior cum rebellious-like stint in ‘Baahubali’ which was hard to miss. Tamannaah as Meera Reed could possibly succeed in wooing Bran all over again. Possibly. But yeah, no songs, please!
44. Arshad Warsi as Podrick Payne
A witty, loyal squire to none other than Tyrion Lannister, Podrick Payne is lucky at the most, with someone or something at his disposal thus saving his ass from getting whupped. Arshad Warsi is mainly known for playing sidekicks and hasn’t been very successful in leading roles. Watching him play Podrick Payne would be a laugh riot and I can’t wait to see the exchange of the words between the trio of Podrick, Bronn, and Tyrion. But I know I’ll have to wait forever to see this happen.
43. Siddharth Nigam as Tommen Baratheon
The aspiring-to-be wise King Tommen was certainly one of the most becoming of Lannisters (Baratheons? I guess), after his commandeering grandpa Tywin. And it won’t be wrong to call Tommen one of the most equitable and kind members and incumbent Kings of the House Baratheon (or Lannister, whatever). Despite Cersei’s incessant prodding and trying to put him in the wrong light, Tommen succeeds in his “vision” before he jumps out of the window, thanks to Cersei again. Siddharth has had some notable contributions to Indian cinema as a child actor, which movies like ‘Dhoom 3’ and TV serials like ‘Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat’ and ‘Chandra Nandini’. Seeing him in the King’s attire won’t be entirely new, for he has played a young Emperor Asoka before.
42. Rajit Kapur as Davos Seaworth
Perhaps the only true admirer and well-wisher of Shireen Baratheon and a die-hard loyal to Stannis, The Onion Knight Ser Davos is a meek, humble and shy warrior and Hand of the King Stannis and yet a great companion on anyone’s side. Before accompanying Jon Snow to Dragonstone, Ser Davos witnessed and survived through many-a-battles with minimal swordfight. Rajit Kapur had his roots in the theatrical form of art and is considered to be a seasoned actor-director. Not only can he bring the necessary maturity and strength to the character, he can also crack a few jokes all the while he’s beside Jon Snow.
41. Mohanlal as Robert Baratheon
Mark Addy’s portrayal of Robert Baratheon was as convincing as he was playing himself. An indulgent, drunkard King of the Andals and the First Men, Robert Baratheon was a fearsome warrior at The Battle of Trident where he killed Rhaegar Targaryen himself. A likable character though, Robert Baratheon’s death, despite being tragic, was a necessary twist in the plot, with Ned Stark taking control of things himself (or at least trying to). Lalettan a.k.a. Mohanlal needs no introduction and he’s the embodiment of characteristic performances in a career spanning four decades. Forget performances, his mere presence in GoT would skyrocket the popularity of the show several notches ahead of what it is today. Adipoli…!
40. Ali Fazal as Loras Tyrell
The secret muse of Renly Baratheon, Ser Loras Tyrell is literally The Knight of the Flowers and practically is the Warden of the South, heir to the Highgarden. After all the Faith Militant mess in the King’s Landing, followed by Loras’ arrest and accusations surrounding his relationship with Renly, Loras is finally about to be atoned of his sins when Cersei’s sinister plot burns everyone. Regardless, Finn Jones was exceptional as Loras and so would Ali Fazal, accredited to his several appearances in many critically acclaimed movies, the recent one being the Hollywood flick ‘Victoria and Abdul’.
39. Alia Bhatt as Gilly
The former-wildling and current associate of Samwell Tarly, along with her half-brother and son Sam, Gilly follows Samwell Tarly through thick and thin. Alia Bhatt has played extremely convincing low-key characters such as Veera in ‘Highway’ and Mary Jane in ‘Udta Punjab’. She has, time and again, proven herself as a wonderful actress and a beautiful one at that. Alia Bhatt’s Gilly would also be more child-like and outgoing, thus adding more depth to the character.
38. Allu Arjun as Robb Stark
The original King in the North, the eldest Ned Stark’s son Robb looked like a powerful character at the beginning of the series. Robb, accompanied by Catelyn and other Northmen would’ve definitely charged at and captured the King’s Landing, only if the Red Wedding wouldn’t have happened. As terrible as it may seem, we were still secretly hoping for Arya and The Hound to come to the rescue of Winterfell’s last hope, well, sadly it was too late by then. Robb’s demise was again a turning point in the overall plot. Allu Arjun, with his sword-wielding in ‘Rudhramadevi’ and his cajoling around with many leading ladies, is a good bet for being the Indian Robb Stark, save the amazing dance steps that he can pull off. Food for thought?
37. Mahesh Babu as Oberyn Martell
The fella who came in briefly, but did manage to have an everlasting impact, Oberyn Martell’s character was like a double-edged sword, with his scathing words and his “venomous” moves with the knives and swords. Oberyn’s death came as a shock and was really devastating, even after evidently being on the verge of killing The Mountain. I was sincerely hoping for some good exchange of words between Oberyn and Tyrion after Gregor Clegane’s death, but yeah, that couldn’t happen. Mahesh Babu, also known for his usage of blunt words and crude dialogues and nail-biting action sequences is a one-to-one match for Oberyn. And yes, the looks also help him stand out when pitched against the brilliant Pedro Pascal. It would be sad to see his skull being crushed with bare hands though.
36. Darsheel Safary as Brandon Stark
Well, who else? An amalgamation of glamour and dexterity, Darsheel needs no introduction. One who can excel beyond his capabilities in the humble ‘Taare Zameen Par’ despite being dyslexic, Darsheel is the right Indian candidate for playing the Three-Eyed Raven. A cripple who goes by the name of The Winged Wolf, Bran is the great revealer of the series. Conversations between him, Sansa, Arya, and Samwell revealed many of deep dark secrets no one knew about. And thanks to him, we all now know who Jon Snow really is.
35. Rajkummar Rao as Grey Worm
He may not speak fluent High Valyrian as of yet, but Rajkummar Rao does have the penchant to accomplish almost everything. From serious roles like ‘Shahid’, ‘Trapped’ to comical, shy characters like those in ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’ and ‘Newton’, Rajkummar has gained immense popularity in a rather short span of time. Grey Worm, the Commander of the Unsullied men, is an able advisor to the queen and a fearsome warrior (the fact that he survived the battle against The Sons of the Harpy which took Ser Barristan Selmy). The love interest of Missandei, Grey Worm still managed to live through all of the Queen’s quests, and envying many others.
34. Ramya Krishnan as Catelyn Stark
Do you see any better Indian choice? Catelyn Stark is of extremely strong grit and character and hates Jon Snow and the Lannisters, to start with. The way Michelle Fairley has carried herself through the series (though shortlived) is commendable. Ramya Krishnan’s eyes speak volumes about her emotional state of mind and pretty much satiates the requirement of this character. And given the commanding role she has portrayed in ‘Baahubali’, Catelyn Stark is no different, albeit a notch lesser than Sivagami in terms of her assuming control of things.
33. Mandira Bedi as Ellaria Sand
For the uninitiated, Indira Varma, who played Ellaria Sand on-screen is a British actress. The Doran Martell’s slayer and a cunning, revengeful adversary of the Lannisters following the death of her lover Oberyn, in a jostle against The Mountain, Ellaria exudes venom both using her words and her actions. After attaining power and pledging her loyalty to Daenerys Targaryen, Ellaria and her daughter Tyene dismally meet a vicious, poisonous end, thanks again to the Queen Regent Cersei. Mandira Bedi has been a part and parcel of many Indian television daily soaps, cricket, and sports shows and off late, she was seen judging a couple of reality TV shows as well. Playing Ellaria Sand can be a good comeback for her from a cinematic standpoint.
32. Chiyaan Vikram as Tormund Giantsbane
Tormund surprisingly turned out to be a Dark Horse of the GoT series, who was initially disliked for being an uncouth wildling, but later adored and respected for he sided with Jon Snow and played a key role in taking out Jon’s adversaries, one at a time. Also, his secret love interest – the Brienne of Tarth is not a secret anymore. Tormund is as funny as he’s savage-like. Vikram, with his pivotal roles in movies like ‘I’, ‘Deiva Thirumagal’, etc. could fill in the shoes of Kristofer Hivju, although the charm is difficult to recreate.
31. Ronit Roy as Stannis Baratheon
Stannis is just another overly ambitious Baratheon, who wants to grab the Iron Throne after the death of his brother Robert, thinking of himself as the righteous heir after knowing the parentage of Cersei’s kids. Robert, who in turn never gave much of importance to his relationship with Stannis and chose to give Storm’s End to Renly, further strained their brotherly relationship. Stannis, who appears almost emotionless, with one and only one ambition in his mind, is misguided (thanks to Melisandre), despised by many and is extremely dependent. I personally hold Ronit Roy in high regard, given his impressive journey from Television to the big screen and he is a seasoned actor himself. Having played many negative shades before, Ronit is the perfect choice for Stannis and he even might put some masala into the role.
30. Manoj Joshi as Varys
Conleth Hill had us almost convinced that he, in fact, is a eunuch, which isn’t the case. Jokes aside, the Master of Whisperers is the super-spy, like the CIA chief of the King’s Landing, until he helps himself and Tyrion abscond from the King’s Landing after Tyrion murders his father Tywin. Lord Varys is humble, conniving and yet funny at times, and ultimately pledges his allegiance to Daenerys as her Master of Whisperers and an advisor in need. Manoj Joshi is a gem of an actor, again with theatrical roots and significant contribution in Hindi and Marathi cinema and hell, he looks like Conleth too, doesn’t he?
29. Saiyami Kher as Missandei
Someone who started as a small-time translator but became one of the most trusted advisors and companions of Daenerys Targaryen and one of the most powerful women in Westeros can be none other than Missandei. Even for Nathalie Emmanuel who played Missandei, it must have been an incredible journey of becoming. While she doesn’t have much of a say in Queen Daenerys’ affairs per se, Missandei still is present in all of Queen’s hearings and any important arbitrations. Saiyami Kher (no, she isn’t Anupam Kher’s daughter or something) is relatively a newcomer and with her recent stint in moderately successful ‘Mirzya’, I think she deserves a fair chance of being in the prospective Queen’s order.
28. Rajat Rawail as Hodor
Frankly, it doesn’t really matter if Hodor is an Indian, Australian or an Irishman. Kristian Nairn, who played Hodor on screen is more than 2 meters in height, almost nearing The Great Khali. Also, we definitely not know of an Indian actor (apart from The Great Khali) who could fit into Hodor’s role as perfectly as Nairn. Moreover, all anybody has to say to be Hodor is, well, Hodor. But more than just being a partially-mute, retarded, extremely salubrious man, Hodor is the essence of sacrifice and servitude – both of which are pretty rare in Westeros. Rajat Rawail, the cute, chubby sidekick could play Hodor’s role well, if given a chance.
27. Krishnudu as Samwell Tarly
Samwell Tarly is another underdog who turned out to be the Einstein of Westeros. Another absconder and reject, he came to The Wall and became one of the elite brothers of the Night’s Watch, even though for a short period of time, before realizing his ambition of becoming a Maester. Without any penchant for being a knight or of the violent kind, Samwell chose the intellectual path. In fact, it was Samwell who led us to almost guess who Jon Snow is, of course, he, later on, collaborated with Brandon Stark. For those who’ve watched Krishna (popularly known as Krishnudu) in his movies like ‘Oye!’, ‘Mr. Perfect’, ‘Arya 2’, ‘Manam’ etc. won’t doubt his selection to be the Indian counterpart who plays Samwell. A perfect supporting actor, along with a lispy accent, Krishnudu can be Samwell Tarly better than Samwell Tarly himself. And a pretty funny one at that.
26. Anupam Kher as High Sparrow
An extremely annoying character, High Sparrow never seemed to have any real purpose than pissing off the Queen Regent Cersei and turning away Lannister brothers one by one or having everyone killed in the end, almost the entire Tyrell family, thanks to the Wildfire. The self-proclaimed High Septon and the person responsible for reincarnating the Faith Militancy, High Sparrow almost took the kingdom down, and also took King Tommen away with him, albeit separately. Anupam Kher is one of the highest rated artists of Indian cinema and has been known to portray both negative and leading characters with an inexplicable ease. Anupam Kher as High Septon would not only be intimidating but could also bring in some shades of an instigating, deplorable adversary to the seven kingdoms.
25. Shruti Hassan as Yara Greyjoy
Yara never ceased to impress us, even in her last on-screen moments, post which her existence remains dubious. Yara is fervent, one of the central women characters and is loyal to The Iron Islands and lacks any deceptive motive, which made her and Theon ultimately assume sides with Daenerys. Shruti Hassan not only has a similar appearance as Gemma Whelan, she has a certain alacrity to herself that she brings to her characters too. Movies like ‘Behen Hogi Teri’, ‘3’ etc. are examples of that.
24. Sonakshi Sinha as Brienne of Tarth
Brienne of Tarth is known for her “towering” persona and she can take down the likes of The Hound single-handedly for that matter. The muse of Tormund Giantsbane, Brienne doesn’t give heed to the former’s advances, which gives a funny angle to the overall premise. Also, Brienne’s moral uprightness and her loyalty towards Catelyn Stark and her daughters are hard to miss. Sonakshi Sinha possesses a warrior-like physique that suits her to play roles like Brienne of Tarth, which can also be testing at times when confronted with the likes of Arya and The Hound.
23. Kriti Sanon as Ygritte
Ygritte is the pretty wildling who caught Jon’s eye and also was officially the first love interest of the most famous bastard in Westeros. And she came with the idiom of “You know nothing, Jon Snow” in her free folk accent (I know you’re mouthing it right now). Both Jon and Ygritte get involved in some steamy romance initially and animosity thereafter. As Ygritte suspects Jon’s loyalty towards the free folk, she ends up paying heavily for being with the free folk. Kriti Sanon has been doing phenomenal work lately, with movies like ‘Bareilly Ki Barfi’, ‘Heropanti’, ‘Raabta’ etc. garnering quite some repute. Her playing Ygritte and teasing Jon Snow would be a fun watch.
22. Ranveer Singh as Theon Greyjoy
Theon, the only legitimate heir to The Iron Islands and an apprentice/hostage to the Stark’s following a failed rebellion by his father Balon Greyjoy, turned out to be a horny, treacherous, and lately coward Iron Born, completely opposite to what he’s supposed to be. Not very long until Ramsey Bolton chops his manhood off and also his ego and his self-respect. We’ve seen a very aroused Ranveer Singh in movies like ‘Befikre’, ‘Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela’ etc. and he needs no introduction or any screening test to prove himself fit for the role of Theon Greyjoy. He’ll just have to dumb it down a little.
21. Akshay Kumar as Jorah Mormont
Jorah Mormont, the spy-turned-loyal-turned-admirer to Khaleesi and then later exiled due to his misdeeds, came a long way in the series. From being a trusted right-hand of Daenerys to being infected with Greyscale, knowing Tyrion and Samwell Tarly on his journey from Essos to Westeros and again back to Essos, Jorah’s ordeal is painful yet rewarding. He’s an able warrior, a loyal Queensguard, and a brilliant knight. Akshay Kumar has time and again won our hearts in his mentoring, action-hero kind of roles and seeing him struggle through Jorah’s tribulations would be priceless, I guess.
20. Sushant Singh Rajput as Daario Naharis
A sellsword who pledges fealty to Daenerys after killing his former hirers is a straightforward, likable character who develops feelings for Daenerys over time. While being extremely skilled with his arakh and stilettos, he’s also pretty sharp with his words. Sushant Singh has done admirably well in ‘Raabta’ to be recognized in a warrior-like role and physique-wise is a perfect fit for the job. He may not get Kriti Sanon this time though.
19. Kabir Bedi as Tywin Lannister
Tywin is an able administrator and being Hand of the King suited him more than for Joffrey or Tommen being the Kings themselves. Moreover, the command of his voice and the directives he pulled off until the time he was alive were absolutely intimidating. As far as Indian actors are concerned, I don’t find many commanding, heavy, masculine voices other than those of Kabir Bedi and Amitabh Bachchan. But this time, I’ll choose Kabir Bedi over Mr. Bachchan for the role of Tywin Lannister.
18. Kangana Ranaut as Margaery Tyrell
The clever and deceptive Margaery couldn’t go a long way though in GoT, yet, her presence raised quite some eyebrows and spawned many enemies. Initially married to Renly, she switches camps post his murder, to Joffrey and then later on to Tommen after Joffrey’s death, Margaery is self-centered and debauched at best. In a quest to save her brother Loras and get things right between herself and Tommen, she ends up losing everyone including herself in Cersei’s wildfire. Kangana Ranaut is a superb actress and she could easily fit in whichever role best suits her. Margaery’s darker side can be put forth aptly only by an actress who’s skilled enough to hide it when its time. “Queen” Kangana can do it with ease.
17. Rajat Bedi as Sandor Clegane
The disrespectful, pyrophobic and fiercely brutal warrior and former Kingsguard Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound is terrifying, insane and daunting at the same time. Not a knight but capable of putting many to death and pulling out guts from a human body with his bare hands, Sandor Clegane doesn’t go well with people and also has his brother’s name on his hit list. Rajat Bedi, having done many negative roles in movies like ‘Koi…Mil Gaya’, ‘International Khiladi’ etc. is the only perfect match in terms of his physique and acting capabilities, and also who can intimidate anyone at the drop of a hat.
16. Randeep Hooda as Bronn
Unequivocally, Bronn is the Westerosi example of ingenuity and insanity in one person. Another sellsword, Bronn befriends Tyrion after the former volunteers to be Tyrion’s champion in the Vale. Bronn cannot be defined on paper and one has to see to believe the craziness he exhibits. And the loyalty he portrays towards the Lannisters, despite realizing they’re on the losing side apparently, of course in exchange for some Lannister Gold. Randeep Hooda is perhaps one of the best Indian actors known for his artistic and realistic portrayals (examples are countless, like ”Sarabjit’, ‘Highway’, ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster’ etc.) and he is near-perfect for playing Bronn, although Jerome Flynn seemingly dove pretty deep into the character, from where there’s no coming back.
15. Vivek Oberoi as Ramsay Bolton
After Joffrey, the most repulsive character of the entire series, Ramsay Bolton (formerly Snow) is single-handedly responsible for Battle of the Bastards and for agonizing and sodomising Theon Greyjoy, the latter who would henceforth be known as Reek. Not just that, he’s also attributed to Sansa Stark’s horrors after their marriage and ultimately, Ramsay ends up murdering his own father Roose Bolton. I am sure the episode which showed Ramsay’s defeat and death, before receiving multiple hits from Jon Snow (Battle of the Bastards) must have been celebrated globally. Vivek Oberoi is better known for his negative, gangster kind of portrayals and there cannot be a better Indian actor who can play Ramsay than Vivek.
14. Rajat Kapoor as Petyr Baelish
“Everything!”, the answer to “What do you want, Lord Baelish”, pretty much summarises the dreamy and delusional, yet ambitious, contriving and manipulating Petyr Baelish. Another edgy character in the series, with his spy network, next best to Varys, his brothels and his good rapport with enemies of his enemies got him going until the end. His death, I am sure, would’ve been another celebrated moment in GoT series. Rajat Kapoor, though known for his sophisticated, often educated, NRI kind-of portrayals, could bring versatility and depth to his career by stepping into the shoes of Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish. How he would fare in the challenging role is something only time could tell.
13. Ayushmann Khurrana as Jaqen H’ghar
To start with, someone has to play the role of the famed “no one” Jaqen H’ghar. Played by German actor Tom Wlaschiha on screen, Jaqen’s appearance, origin, and whereabouts have been riddled with mysteries throughout. Regardless, the emotionless, pragmatic, mysterious and eloquent Jaqen H’ghar did manage to impress us all. The one who shapes and polishes Arya Stark into what she is today, Jaqen’s role in “shaping” Arya’s future is undeniable. Ayushmann Khurana is the latest addition to Indian rom-com heroes and he’s not done many serious, spiteful characters so far, yet I think he deserves a fair chance to venture into such deep, enigmatic roles.
12. Kareena Kapoor Khan as Melisandre
The resemblance between the appearances of Kareena and Carice van Houten who played Melisandre is uncanny. Melisandre, a.k.a. The Red Woman, who initially was a close priestess-advisor to Stannis Baratheon, sides with Jon Snow after reviving him from death, thanks to the Lord of Light. The Red Woman is the reason for Jon Snow’s popularity and she also played a key role in uniting Jon Snow with Daenerys and we all know what happened a few episodes later. Kareena Kapoor Khan is an extremely talented actress and perhaps one of the best Bollywood actresses working today. Kareena’s Melisandre would weigh higher in terms of her expressiveness in negative portrayals and her eerily irritating, loquacious and repetitive references to Lord of Light.
11. The Great Khali as Gregor Clegane
I don’t have much to say on this one. Everything that Gregor Clegane a.k.a. The Mountain has ever done is to lift his heavy sword or weapon or whatever it is and groan and scream around for a while before pulling the guts out of his opponent or smashing his skull like it was equivalent to shattering glass. The Great Khali can do almost the same thing, without giving away too many regional-language expletives. Easy peasy.
10. Kamal Hassan as Eddard Stark
Honestly, this was difficult. Ned Stark’s character is so imposing and important, that his execution led to all the ensuing wars, for the couple of lies he cultivated around Jon Snow and him being Jon’s dad. In the first season, we all secretly hoped for him to rule in King Robert’s stead, in perpetuity, but thanks to the deceptive Cersei and her incestuous secrets and her repugnant child Joffrey, Ned lost his head, literally. Kamal Hassan is not only mature and experienced as an actor, he has done numerous Ned Starks in his career, in one or the other forms, in one of his self-directed movies maybe. Seeing him wielding his sword – The Ice would be a chilling and nail-biting affair at the same time. Winter is Coming!
9. Nikitin Dheer as Khal Drogo
Again, another foreigner who’s scared of crossing the sea while mounted on his horse, the warlord leader of the Dothraki has been invincible in any battle. Though initially, he appears savage-like, rude and uncivilized, the horse-meat eater is kind, vulnerable and sensitive after all. And thanks to the now Khaleesi Daenerys, they both fall in love with each other. As romantic as it may seem, Drogo bites the dust soon after, partly also due to his untenable arrogance. Jason Momoa’s Khal Drogo couldn’t have been more perfect. Nikitin Dheer, on the other hand, may match the physique and behavioral aspects of Khal Drogo, but in terms of performance, I still say there’s quite a bit of work involved.
8. Vijay Deverakonda as Joffrey Baratheon
You’ll have to watch ‘Arjun Reddy’ first to understand why I came to this conclusion. Joffrey is unequivocally the most hated character of GoT and we loved the actor even the more for such a realistic portrayal. Though Jack Gleeson might only be in his mid-twenties, his performance looked nothing short of a seasoned actor. The self-praising Joffrey, who’s a coward and a war monger deep down, derives pleasures sadistically, by beheading people and sodomising prostitutes. Vijay Deverakonda is a rising superstar and passive-aggressiveness suits him well. It won’t be wrong to say that Joffrey’s role can be more suited with Vijay at the helm, if not Jack Gleeson.
7. Saif Ali Khan as Jaime Lannister
Another choice based on mostly the looks, and the jawline, Saif Ali Khan too possesses an uncanny resemblance to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Jaime, who’s involved in an incestuous relationship with his twin sister Cersei, who bore three of his children – Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella, the former came to be known as the Kingslayer for his act of backstabbing the Mad King Aerys II. Saif Ali Khan’s Jaime would be no different than the present one, just a little quirkier I guess. Even after losing his right hand.
6. Zaira Wasim as Arya Stark
The only vigorous Stark girl who disapproves of marriages for gaining alliances, rather vows to become a knight, Arya Stark was trained by Jaqen H’ghar to become a Faceless Man, only to go back to Winterfell, filled with revenge and angst. Perhaps one of the agilest swordfighters, who can even give Brienne of Tarth a tough time, Arya’s beauty and strength seems like a deadly combination. We’ve witnessed a similar stance of Zaira Wasim in ‘Dangal’, where she fights men on the turf and defeats them over and over again. If you could find a better Indian counterpart for portraying Arya Stark on screen, do let me know.
5. Sonam Kapoor as Sansa Stark
And now to the Diva of the North (I meant Westeros, not North of India) and probably all of the seven kingdoms, Sansa’s wishful thinking turned into her worst nightmares throughout the series. While initially she desperately wishes for her marriage with the then Prince Joffrey, it turns out to be the first nightmare for her. Following her escape from King’s Landing after her marriage with Tyrion due to Joffrey’s death, she undergoes another marriage with none other than Ramsay Bolton. Sansa’s ordeals become her strengths and lately, she’s portrayed in a more stronger, clever and intelligent mannerism. Sonam Kapoor, though is a wee bit older to portray Sansa, is my choice for the role because, one, she knows how to carry herself and two, she’s won countless accolades for ‘Neerja’, wherein she upheld her resolve despite the most difficult of the situations. And P.S. she’s taller than most of the Indian actresses working today.
4. Tabu as Cersei Lannister
Next time when you find some similarities between the voices of Lena Headey and Tabu, don’t be surprised. The evil queen of the Seven Kingdoms and self-proclaimed Queen of the Andals and the First Men, she’s the perfect politician of Westeros, commanding the whole lot of Lannister and King’s armies. Her journey from Queen to Queen Regent was not without atonement, betrayals, loss (of her three children, father, husband) and a countless number of adversaries. Yet, there she is, seated on the Iron Throne. Tabu, with an unblemished acting career and her penchant for dedication to each and every role, is a right fit for the role of Cersei, also taking into account her age and her imperious demeanor. And it’s been forever since we’ve seen Tabu in a negative role.
3. Shahid Kapoor as Jon Snow
First things first, all hail King Aegon Targaryen. Hail..!
Jon Snow’s journey in GoT is nothing short of a miracle. Back from the dead, like he was just taking a nap, Jon Snow’s fate was meant to be what it is. From a bastard of Winterfell and a nobody, soon towards the title of His Grace, courting aunt Daenerys and leading an army on his own against the White Walkers, Jon Snow is the immortal example of immeasurable grit and resolve. Kit Harington, who played Jon Snow, probably wouldn’t himself had been aware of how his character is going to develop in the upcoming seasons, let alone the big revelation in the end. Though there are speculations that Daenerys is gonna get the shocker of her life soon, everything looks so far so awesome to me. Shahid Kapoor is our favorite short and sweet superstar and his exemplary works like ‘Kaminey’, ‘Haider’, ‘Udta Punjab’ are an eternal proof of who he is and what he ought to be. Shahid can, what no one ever could.
2. Parineeti Chopra as Daenerys Targaryen
I know I am going to receive some flak for this, hence saved best for the last. Daenerys is arguably the most powerful woman in the seven kingdoms and beyond and that makes her audience even the more elated. Thanks to her dragons and her army of the unsullied, accompanied with the discourse of some of the most tactical minds of the Westeros, and of course, Jon Snow, she looks all set to conquer the throne. But wait, there are also these White Walkers fellas. And a dragon who’s changed sides and upgraded to a better party. And so the tale goes on. Parineeti has done only a handful of serious roles so far, but we didn’t know Emilia Clarke would be so popular one day either. I guess all the credit goes to George R.R. Martin for penning such a compelling, overawing, and irresistible character, who is capable of turning tables on any actress’ career whoever plays it.
1. Tyrion Lannister
Yeah. A bummer, right? Well, for the naysayers, George R. R. Martin has gone on the record and said that they never even had an audition for the role of Tyrion Lannister, because he always had Peter Dinklage in his mind. His exact words, and I quote, were, “We never even auditioned for the part of Tyrion Lannister. Peter Dinklage was the only one we ever wanted. We knew he would be great for the role and, thankfully, we landed him. He’s magnificent.” I guess it would be impossible to replace an actor who is purported for a role and frankly, I don’t want to commit treason by putting up an Indian name here. Plausibly the wisest man in Westeros and certainly the wisest and most well-read dwarf in Westeros and Essos, Tyrion is the reason many of us still watch Game of Thrones. And we hope that reason remains as is.