“The money was too little”: Money Was Not the Only Reason Why Brian Cox Refused to be a Part of Game of Thrones

Let’s just say that Brian Cox had all the right to turn the role down, even if it was 'Game of Thrones'.

"The money was too little": Money Was Not the Only Reason Why Brian Cox Refused to be a Part of Game of Thrones


  • Actor Brian Cox was offered the role of Robert Baratheon in 'Game of Thrones' which later went to Mark Addy.
  • In his memoir, Cox revealed why he turned the opportunity down.
  • According to Cox, the small paycheck was not the only reason why he decided to say no to 'Game of Thrones'.
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We all loved watching Brian Cox in the comedy-drama Succession where he had to deal with his power-hungry children. Full of gasps and laughs, the show quickly became a fan favorite. Brian Cox’s involvement in the show also made it a must-watch. He’s just that good of an actor!

Brian Cox
Brian Cox as Logan Roy in Succession

Well, did you know that Brian Cox was once being eyed by the team of Game of Thrones to play a character in the show? Obviously, the idea never came to fruition. In his memoir, Brian Cox revealed why exactly he turned down the chance to star in a show that would go on to be one of the best the television industry has to offer. Mind you, money was not the only problem.

Brian Cox was Offered a Role in Game of Thrones

Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon
Mark Addy as Robert Baratheon

Back in 2021, Brian Cox came out with his memoir titled Putting the Rabbit in the Hat where he talked about the various aspects of his life. In an excerpt taken from the memoir (via GQ), Cox talked about the time he was offered a role in the hit show, Game of Thrones.


Cox wrote,

“I’m often asked if I was offered a role in Game of Thrones—reason being that every other bugger was—and the answer is, yes, I was supposed to be a king called Robert Baratheon, who apparently died when he was gored by a boar in the first season. I know very little about Game of Thrones so I can’t tell you whether or not he was an important character, and I’m not going to google it just in case he was, because I turned it down.”

It’s okay, we can Google it for you, Cox. King Robert Baratheon was a close friend of Ned Stark (Sean Bean). Both the books and the series had the same storyline for Robert except for the fact that the latter showed that his wife, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), had a stillborn son with him. The character first showed up in the series premiere ‘Winter is Coming’ and died soon after in the seventh episode of the first season, ‘You Win or You Die’ at the hands of a boar. Actor Mark Addy played Robert in the show.

 So Why Did Brian Cox Not Play Robert Baratheon?

Brian Cox's memoir
Brian Cox’s memoir

Clearly, Robert did not have much of a role in Game of Thrones as he died in just 7 episodes. This was the exact reason that made Cox give up on the opportunity. In his memoir, the Succession actor wrote that the pay offered to him was not that great and since the character he was supposed to be playing would be killed off so early, he wouldn’t be subjected to the benefits of a recurring actor.


“Well, Game of Thrones went on to be a huge success and everybody involved earned an absolute fortune, of course. But when it was originally offered the money was not all that great, shall we say say. Plus I was going to be killed off fairly early on, so I wouldn’t have had any of the benefits of the long-term effects of a successful series where your wages go up with each passing season. So I passed on it, and Mark Addy was gored by the boar instead.

Well, well, well, it looks like Cox did Google what he had missed out on!

Cox’s reasons to say no to a show like Game of Thrones are absolutely valid. Perhaps, if he was offered a bigger role he would have said yes!

Game of Thrones is available to stream on Max.


Written by Mishkaat Khan

Articles Published: 1043

Mishkaat is a medical student who found solace in content writing. Having worked in the industry for about three years, she has written about everything from medicine to literature and is now happy to enlight you about the world of entertainment. She has written over 500 articles for FandomWire. When not writing, she can be found obsessing over the world of the supernatural through books and TV.