Cox went on to recount in the GQ excerpt of his book the exact reasoning behind his decision to say “no” to “GOT.” “Why?” he wrote. “Well, ‘Game of Thrones’ went on to be a huge success and everybody involved earned an absolute fortune, of course. But when it was originally offered the money was not all that great, shall we say” (via People).
Interestingly, Robert Baratheon was not the only huge role that Cox has passed on. He also said “no” to taking a part in “Pirates of the Caribbean” (via Collider). Cox was offered the role of the Governor, but as he notes in his book, it was a “thankless” part and reprising it in multiple “Pirates” films would have caused him to miss out on other things he did instead.
He added about the star of the franchise, Johnny Depp, that “he is so overblown, so overrated.” In the end, no matter his feelings about Depp, Cox has had a very lucrative career even if he passed on other big opportunities.