Considering the level of secrecy that some TV shows bring to their productions, casting announcements are always somewhat suspect when they come from anywhere outside the networks and stars. Game of Thrones gets this kind of thing all the time, but it seemed like there was indeed some legitimacy to the claims that UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor would be involved in Season 7 of the HBO epic. But McGregor himself says there wasn't any merit to the rumors, although he was asked. Here's his epic take on the widespread rumor:
That was everywhere, and I never even heard about it. I never even heard about about this, I'm gonna be in Game of Thrones. Not once. I tell ya, I heard about it once. Very straight after the Nate Diaz 2 fight, Ari [Helwani] and Patrick [Whitesell] were standing there - new owners of the UFC - backstage in the dressing room after I beat Nate. Dana White is in front of them saying, 'These guys want you to be in Game of Thrones.' And I'm sitting there banged up, my shin's in a heap. I've been kicking his leg straight for 25 minutes. My legs in bits, and he's trying to offer me a Game of Thrones role. And I'm saying, 'Listen, come at me with shit I want to hear. I'm not trying to be in show business. I'm trying to be in the fight business. Come at me with a real number to fight again.
I can think of few things that Connor McGregor wouldn't be good at putting to words, and his take on being offered a role on Game of Thrones is golden. I can't imagine how many people in the world right now would absolutely melt into a blissful puddle if someone requested their appearance on this ratings juggernaut, even if it was merely to play Warrior #17 for a battle scene shot in the distance. Work like that isn't up McGregor's alley, apparently, although I would love to see him take on The Mountain for however many rounds it would last.
To his credit, UFC's brass were attempting to give Conor McGregor a shot at premium cable fame at the worst possible time, and it's strange that no one latched onto that before going through with it. This dude just went through all manner of hell in taking on a rival fighter for the full five rounds, and that's when it was deemed an optimal time to discuss his future in scripted programming? I'm sure the only questions he wanted to hear were about his belt, some booze and pain remedies.
Of course, one has to wonder if things did indeed play out exactly like he said in this Q&A, as captured by Good Times Network. Because even though the initial talk about Conor McGregor heading to Westeros came from media sources, the rumor was later seemingly confirmed when Dana White himself said it was legit, and that he couldn't wait for it. So either he thought something was going to get worked out between Game of Thrones' creators and McGregor on the side, or he was just delusional about all of it. Or McGregor himself wasn't being so honest. However it actually happened, the end is the same: a Season 7 without an additional fiery redhead kicking ass in it.
Without an official release date set just yet, Game of Thrones will return to HBO for its shortened seventh and penultimate season at some point later this year. Head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what else is coming to your TVs soon.