Charlie Hunnam revealed on Friday that he turned down a cameo on Game of Thrones. This near-miss casting is intriguing because it suggests the legendary Rhaegar Targaryen — for now, only found in the George R. R. Martin books — almost appeared onscreen.

“They offered me a cameo on that show a little while ago but I was shooting something else so I wasn’t able to do it,” he told The Sun. “But maybe in the future, who knows.”

Hunnam’s words alone don’t confirm that the role was Rhaegar Targaryen, but “cameo” raises a red flag. If Rhaegar Targaryen appeared onscreen, it would be in one of Bran Stark’s flashback visions, in the same manner as Ser Arthur Dayne in Season 6.

Because Charlie Hunnam isn’t a famous musician like Sigur Rós or Ed Sheeran, any “cameo” would likely be more significant than a blink-and-you-miss-it background scene. It wouldn’t make sense for the show to give him an anonymous, nonspeaking role. But “cameo” also implies that his presence wouldn’t last beyond one episode, and Game of Thrones would only need Rhaegar for a scene or two. As Hunnam was busy filming King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Lost City of Z when Season 6 was filming, all signs point to the show planning to include Rhaegar in Bran Stark’s flashbacks.

As Daenerys’s deceased older brother and Jon Snow’s newly revealed father, Rhaegar Targaryen is a character who has shaped the narrative. His shadow looms over every important event, even though he has yet to physically appear onscreen. The current story wouldn’t exist if Rhaegar hadn’t become infatuated with Lyanna Stark and Robert Baratheon hadn’t killed him in battle.

Charlie Hunnam has long been a fan favorite for the role of Rhaegar. It’s a difficult character to cast, as he’s supposed to be “beautiful,” with flowing silver hair and indigo eyes — but he also needs to convincingly look like he can hold his own on the battlefield.

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In A Feast For Crows Cersei Lannister herself thinks, “Have you ever met a man so beautiful?”

Hunnam is utterly believable as an ass-kicker, as he played one for 7 years on Sons of Anarchy and is currently playing a medieval gangster in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. He basically looks like a shorter-haired Rhaegar.

Charlie Hunnam could have been Rhaegar Targaryen
Charlie Hunnam or Rhaegar Targaryen?

His comments about the “future” intriguingly imply that Rhaegar could still appear at some point in Season 8. The seventh and penultimate season of Game of Thrones premieres on July 16.

Photos via Watchers on The Wall/ Entertainment Weekly, Christine Griffin