The woman who was originally recruited to play Daenerys Targaryen in the Game of Thrones pilot has spoken out about being replaced, not Emilia Clarke.

When the show was picked up by HBO, the actress Tamzin Merchant who had performed the part in the 2009 pilot was replaced.

Later that year, Tamzin made her first public comments regarding Emilia

taking over the part and how she felt about losing the opportunity to play one of the most recognizable characters in television history.

When he criticized Emilia Clarke at the Sydney premiere of House of the Dragon last week

the senior executive of Australian network Foxtel startled the audience. Patrick Delany, CEO of Foxtel,

referred to the adored actress as a "short, dumpy chick" when explaining why he didn't begin watching Game of Thrones right away. 

Foxtel expressed regret and said his words had been "misunderstood."

Delany spoke about first viewing Game of Thrones during a speech at the premiere.

"What's this show about the short, dumpy girl walking into the fire?" I wondered. According to Delany, Crikey. 

Delany was alluding to a well-known early scene in the show when Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen crossed over a flame. 

 Clarke is not involved in House of the Dragon and did not attend the Sydney premiere.

A spokesman for Foxtel Group told Crikey that the remarks were intended to be "self-deprecating" and humorous

The goal, according to the spokesman, was to show how unusual Game of Thrones was for television in 2011 and how Emilia Clarke developed from a lesser-known performer