Dickon Tarly was first portrayed by Freddie Stroma on Game Of Thrones before being replaced by Tom Hopper. Here’s why the part was recast.
Here’s why Game Of Thrones recast Freddie Stroma with Tom Hopper as Dickon Tarly in season 7. Game Of Thrones originally appeared doomed before it had even begun, with the original pilot by director Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) being regarded as a total mess. It’s only when it was almost entirely reshot and re-edited that it clicked. Game Of Thrones season 1 was must-see television, and the HBO series would later become one of the most popular TV shows around the world.
Just like author George RR Martin’s source material, Game Of Thrones was filled to the brim with supporting characters and subplots. A character who appeared relatively insignificant during their original appearance, such as Freddie Stroma’s/Tom Hopper’s Dickon Tarly, could prove of vital importance in later seasons. The show had to recast some key roles along the way too, including original Night King performer Richard Brake (Mandy) being replaced in later seasons by Vladimir Furdik, or Michiel Huisman taking over as Daario Naharis from Ed Skrein.
Another key Game of Thrones recasting was that of Dickon Tarly, Samwell’s younger brother. Dickon became heir to Horn Hill after his father Randyll forced Sam to join the Night’s Watch because he felt he was unworthy of his inheritance. Dickon is first introduced during season 6 when Sam travels back to Horn Hill with Gilly and the family reunites for an awkward dinner, where Randyll’s hatred of his oldest son hasn’t softened. Freddie Stroma (Pitch Perfect) played Dickon during this season, and while he was supposed to return the following year, things didn’t work out that way with Game of Thrones recasting the actor with Tom Hopper.
Why Freddie Stroma Was Recast As Dickon Tarly
Freddie Stroma was busy filming the sci-fi TV series Time After Time when Game Of Thrones season 7 was due to start production, preventing him from reprising the role. Tom Hopper (The Umbrella Academy) took over instead, with the seventh season giving the character much more to do. This includes taking part in a major battle against Daenerys’ forces, and later being executed alongside his father for refusing to bend the knee.
Freddie Stroma briefly explained his reason for leaving Game of Thrones and his subsequent recasting in an interview with IGN. The actor expressed his love and gratitude for the limited amount of time that he spent on GOT, but since the actor was so involved in his character on Time After Time he could no longer continue with the TV show, (leading to his GOT recasting). Stroma had this to say about why he left the series:
“I was shooting this, so my character, I wouldn’t be able to go back now. It was still fun. I got to be in that world. I’ve watched all of it. It’s just an incredible TV show.”
Continuing, Freddie Stroma deemed himself a huge fan of the series and his GOT season 6 appearance, stating, “Even just to get such a toe in there is fun. Just to be on set and kind of feel like I was in that world, I was a fan sitting there at the table doing that scene.”
Every Game Of Thrones Actor Recast
Freddie Stroma’s Game of Thrones recasting as Sam Tarly’s brother Dickon isn’t the series’ only replacement of an actor. In fact, there’s quite a long list of smaller characters besides Tom Hopper’s Dickon that were shuffled around. Here’s a complete list of every Game of Thrones actor recast and their respective parts.
- Daario Naharis: Michiel Huisman replaced Ed Skrein.
- The Three-Eyed Raven: Max von Sydow replaced Struan Rodger.
- The Night King: Vladimir Furdik replaced Richard Brake.
- The Mountain: Ian Whyte replaced Conan Stevens, then Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson replaced Ian Whyte.
- Beric Dondarrion: Richard Dormer replaced David Michael Scott.
- Leaf: Kae Alexander replaced Octavia Alexandru.
- Richard Karstark: John Stahl replaced Steve Blount
- Lothar Frey: Daniel Tuite replaced Tom Brooke.
- Myrcella Baratheon: Nell Tiger Free replaced Aimee Richardson.
- Tommen Baratheon: Dean-Charles Chapman replaced Callum Wharry.
- Selyse Baratheon: Tara Fitzgerald replaced Sarah Mac Keever.
What Freddie Stroma Has Done Since Game Of Thrones
Freddie Stroma’s career has blossomed since Tom Hopper was cast as the actor’s Game of Thrones character. Most notably, he’s gone on to play the psychotic antihero Vigilante in HBO Max’s Peacemaker alongside John Cena. Directly after Game of Thrones, Stroma took on two television gigs as Adam Cromwell in the short-lived series UnREAL as well as H.G. Wells in the aforementioned series Time After Time. After that, he played the part of Ron Ebsen in the Jennifer Lopez-led rom-com Second Act. Freddie Stroma was also in the TV movie Like Magic, in which he played the character of Jake. Stroma decided to continue with TV performances, as the medium had done well for his career so far. He had a brief role in Bridgerton as Prince Friedrich and was made a series regular as Jake Martin on the Kevin James comedy racing show The Crew. Stroma’s work as a comedic actor definitely put a spotlight on his talent, which led to his casting as Adrian Chase/Vigilante on Peacemaker.
The decision to burn up the Tarlys comes back to haunt Daenerys in the final season of Game Of Thrones when she tells Sam how his father and brother were burnt to death by her dragon. Sadly, Freddie Stroma only got to play Dickon for one scene in Game of Thrones season 6, but he later expressed gratitude for being able to be even a small part of the show. Freddie Stroma’s recasting was definitely noticed, but it was ultimately alright in the end.
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