So long before George R.R. Martin & HBO's upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon and the reported Kit Harington-starring sequel series Snow, there was a pilot for a GOT prequel spinoff starring Naomi Watts that was actually filmed. Filmed in the summer of 2019, the official logline for the project offered fans a timeline sense of what the series would be focusing on. "The series chronicles the world's descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour," the official logline read. "And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros' history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend… it's not the story we think we know." Unfortunately, in October of that year, word came down that the series would not be moving forward. So what does this have to do with Stranger Things? Well, it turns out that if the series had moved forward, the world may have been deprived of Jamie Campbell Bower's Vecna.
That's right, Bower was brought aboard for an undisclosed role, joining Watts on a cast that included Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Miranda Richardson, Josh Whitehouse, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Alex Sharp, and Toby Regbo. Speaking recently with EW, Bower (who was cast as Waymar Royce for the opening moments of the original, unaired Game of Thrones pilot) offered some perspective on the lost opportunity. "Everything happens for a reason. I don't think anything happens by chance. At the time of that spin-off not working out, of course, it's sad. Of course, it is," Bower explained during the interview. "This [his 'Stranger Things' role] was always there. This was coming. I just didn't know." As the actor sees it, everything (the successes and the not-so-great stuff) led him to where he is today, "I've done things or not done things [in this industry]," he explained. "I was born and now I'm here doing this. Everything I've done in my life led to this particular moment talking to you right now on this camera. That's really interesting to consider."