Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) received a letter from author George R.R. Martin after the show aired, stating: "Congratulations on your marvelous performance. Everyone hates you!", which was later copied and sent to D.B. Weiss (creator of the series), who had a very long conversation with George R.R. Martin in 2008 (when the series pilot was being developed) about who should perform the role of Joffrey Baratheon. D.B. Weiss insisted in an actor from South America named Gustavo Goulart, who was slightly more relevant than Gleeson in 2008. Weiss had seen some of Goulart's movies from the 1990's and 2000's, so he was feeling that it was the right time to cast Goulart for an international TV Series, as in 2008 Gustavo Goulart was already very experienced in international Movies (however, mostly were independent films). So George R.R. Martin's letter to Jack Gleeson was also a soft way to state that Martin's decision for the role was a good decision after all.
A replica of Gandalf's sword, Glamdring, from the "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" trilogies is forged inside the Iron Throne. Sean Bean (Eddard "Ned" Stark) played Boromir in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
No character appears in every episode, and only three characters appeared in every episode of a given season during the original ten episode format: Cersei (Lena Headey) and Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) appeared in every episode of the first season, and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) appeared in every episode of the second and fifth seasons. Tyrion, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), Jon (Kit Harington), Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), Davos (Liam Cunningham), and Sansa (Sophie Turner) appeared in every episode of the shortened seventh season.
In Westeros, bastards (also "natural child" or "baseborn") born to nobles are given surnames different than their father's, according to the region they were born in. These surnames are mostly associated with the geographic or climatic features of the respective regions: The Reach - Flowers; The Westerlands - Hill, The Iron Islands - Pyke, The Riverlands - Rivers, Dorne - Sand, The North - Snow, The Vale - Stone, The Stormlands - Storm; The Crownlands - Waters. These special surnames or "bastard names" apply only to noble-born bastards, who are openly acknowledged by their noble parent. Therefore, bastards both of whose parents are commoners, or noble-born bastards that are unacknowledged by their noble parent (like Gendry), cannot use the special surname. A noble-born bastard can be legitimized by royal decree, thus being considered as a trueborn child and changes the surname to the father's. However, the social stigma of the bastard may not always be lifted even after legitimization.
Author George R.R. Martin was asked if he had a resolution or ending to the seemingly endless conflict. He jokingly replied that the next book would just be a description of a cloud of dust or snow being driven by the wind across a vast graveyard full of tombstones.
Women in Westeros typically take their husband's surname upon marriage, with the exception of the house holding the Iron Throne, where the surname is only inherited by birth and not marriage. This is why consorts to kings and heirs of the Iron Throne retain their own name, e.g., Cersei Lannister instead of Cersei Baratheon, Elia Martell instead of Elia Targaryen.
George R.R. Martin has stated that several of the show's characters are improvements over his own versions in the books in both writing and performance, specifically mentioning Natalia Tena as Osha and Sibel Kekilli as Shae.
The official words of House Lannister, "Hear Me Roar!", are seldom mentioned. Their unofficial motto, "A Lannister always pays his debts", is often used, mostly in negative context, meaning that Lannisters always repay unkindness with unkindness.
The average cost of production per episode of the show, up to Season 6, was around $6 million, with the most expensive episode being Episode 9 of Season 2, "Blackwater", which cost a reported $8 million. However, HBO decided to set a budget of $100 million for Season 6 which means each episode of the season will have an average production cost of $10 million. This puts the show on par with Friends (1994) as the most expensive TV show of all time (although most of the budget of "Friends" went to its stars' salaries rather than the production itself, as in "Thrones").
Yara Greyjoy, introduced in the second book and season, is named Asha in the books. The name was changed for the television series to avoid confusion with Osha. However, in the German dubbed version she is called Asha, like in the books. Similarly, Lysa Arryn's son Robert is named Robin in the series to avoid confusion with Robert Baratheon.
Author George R.R. Martin intended to write an episode for each season, but did not write one after the fourth season because he was busy focusing on finishing the sixth book of the series, "The Winds of Winter".
Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said the production of the show is a massive undertaking. It lasts the entire year and they shoot the show like a ten-hour movie. Season 5 alone was shot in five countries, on 151 sets, for 240 days, having 166 cast members, over 1,000 crew members and over 5,000 extras.
Natural brunette Emilia Clarke has stated that she has never dyed her hair for the show. Daenerys Targaryen's impressive platinum blonde locks are achieved via an elaborate wig and makeup system that takes considerable time to get into place.
Prior to being cast, Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn were in a relationship that ended on such bad terms that each had a clause inserted into their contracts that they were never to share scenes and must remain apart on set.
The first season used Northern Inuit dogs, a type specifically bred for wolf-like appearance, to stand in for the direwolves (the Stark's house sigil). However, since direwolves are known to be much larger than normal wolves, real wolves were digitally composited into scenes for Season 2. This strained the budget and the schedule, which is why there are only a handful of scenes with Grey Wind (Robb Stark's wolf), Summer (Bran Stark's wolf) and Shaggydog (Rickon Stark's wolf); Ghost, who belongs to Jon Snow, is shown in brief glimpses.
Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, says that fans often ask her to recite the list of names Arya always recites before sleeping--the names of the persons in the series who have injured her or her family and whom she intends to kill--and to insert the fan's name into the list.
In June 2014 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the sets at Paint Hall Studios in Belfast as part of a three-day visit to Northern Ireland. They met members of the cast and crew and were presented with a miniature version of the Iron Throne. Elizabeth was offered the chance to sit on the Iron Throne but declined, as the monarch of Great Britain is not allowed to sit on a foreign throne, even a fictional one. Some news sources claimed Elizabeth is a viewer of the series, though Maisie Williams remarked on the visit, "I did not get the impression she is a fan" as the Queen was unaware of her role on the series.
Natalie Dormer claims that she only reads the script to the extent that is absolutely necessary for her role, so she can enjoy watching the completed episodes on TV when they air without spoiling them.
While the first two seasons roughly cover the novels "A Game of Thrones" and "A Clash of Kings" respectively, the third season covers about two-thirds of the third novel "A Storm of Swords." The fourth season covers the rest of "A Storm of Swords" and chapters from the fourth and fifth novels "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons". Finally, the fifth season covers almost entirely "A Feast for Crows", "A Dance With Dragons", and even early events of the unreleased sixth novel "The Winds of Winter".
George R.R. Martin was inspired to write the novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire" after years of writing for restrictive television budgets, and deliberately wrote the series to be nearly unfilmable. After the success of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Martin was approached to license the novels into a series of films, one project was proposed using only Daenerys' story line, and another project proposed only including the conflict between the Starks and Lannisters. Martin declined every film offer, reasoning that his books contained too much story to work as films, and the box office failure of The Golden Compass (2007) made him concerned that if the first film was not a success the series would be cancelled.
In sharp contrast to his turn as sadistic Joffrey, everyone on the show describes actor Jack Gleeson as a warm and friendly person. He is also good friends with Sophie Turner, who he often has to antagonize on-screen.
Although the Wall is the largest structure in the "Game of Thrones" world, it is not the tallest. In the books, the tallest structure is the High Tower in Oldtown and the second tallest the Great Pyramid of Meereen.
The original pilot left everyone so unsatisfied that HBO agreed to reshoot most of it, bringing Timothy Van Patten to do the second episode and letting the creators rewrite whatever they felt they needed to.
Characters from noble houses often have images of their house's sigil incorporated into their costumes. For example, Cersei almost always appears wearing jewelry with images of lions. Sometimes the inclusion is almost indiscernible to the television viewer, such as the blue dress Daenerys' wore through season three which was embroidered with a texture resembling dragon scales.
The role of Tommen Baratheon, played by Callum Wharry, was completely absent from the third season of the series and was later recast for Season 4, but was played by Dean-Charles Chapman, who had appeared in the show playing Martyn Lannister in Season 3.
Daenerys' dragon Drogon, the largest of the three with black and red scales, is considered in the novels to be the reincarnation of Balerion the Black Dread. Balerion was the largest of Aegon the Conquerer's dragons, and was also responsible for the creation of the Iron Throne.
In the unaired pilot, George R.R. Martin cameoed as a Pentoshi nobleman at the wedding of Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen. The scene, alongside most of the pilot, was subsequently reshot and Martin did not appear.
The series has used many locations to bring Westeros and Essos to life. Most of the Northern scenes are filmed in Northern Ireland. The country is the production's home base and most interior scenes are filmed in a studio in Belfast. Scenes in King's Landing are filmed in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Scenes in Essos were also shot in Croatia. Many of the scenes in Essos and King's Landing were filmed in Malta in the first season, but for unknown reasons the production never returned there after Season 1. Morocco was used as a location for Daenerys' sequences in Astapor and Yunkai in Season 3, but the country was dropped as a location after Season 3. Scenes beyond the Wall were filmed in various locations in Iceland. Season 5 added Spain as a filming location for Dorne. It has been revealed that the production will return to Spain for Season 6, but it is unclear if it will be for Dorne or another location (the locations scouted are different to those used in Season 5).
Kit Harrington broke his ankle in 2012 when he was locked out of his apartment building in London and fell while trying to climb to his flat. During Season 3 of Game of Thrones (2011) the film crew had to figure out how to shoot around the injury, including the use of stand-ins in "Jon Snow wigs". Harington felt so guilty that he bought the production manager a bottle of whiskey.
In the show, only the banners from the main houses, along with several banners from smaller houses in Dorne and the North, are ever disclosed. According to the Citadel heraldry page on westeros.org, the number of known banners of all houses is 370.
The series takes its name from the first novel in the book series "A Game of Thrones", which is actually known as "A Song of Ice and Fire." George R.R. Martin's story credit acknowledges the entire series under this title, rather than the title of individual volumes.
Ed Skrein played Daario Naharis for 3 episodes in Season 3 but subsequently left the show. Speaking about his departure, Skrein told Entertainment Weekly: "My plan was to stay with Game of Thrones for the long haul. That was always my plan. I would have loved to. It was a wonderful experience, but politics led to us parting ways." The role was recast with Michiel Huisman.
The Stark children were all aged up for the series. At the start of George R.R. Martin's novels, Robb Stark and Jon Snow are 14 years old, Sansa Stark is 11, Arya is 9, Bran is 7, and Rickon Stark is just 3 years old. At the start of the series, Robb and Jon are 17, Sansa is 13, Arya is 11, Bran is 10, and Rickon is 6. Of the child actors, only Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) and Sophie Turner (Sansa) were the same ages as their characters when the pilot was filmed; the others were all a year or more older.
Tamzin Merchant played Daenerys Targaryen in the pilot but was replaced by Emilia Clarke for the series. While the reason for Merchant's departure has not been made public, George R.R. Martin praised her performance as "wonderful" in his blog.
In the pilot episode as the three boys are preparing for the king's welcome, Alfie Allen ("Theon Greyjoy"), Richard Madden ("Rob Stark") and Kit Harington ("Jon Snow") were all trying to one-up each other in their shirtless scene by flexing and doing push-ups right before they went on camera.
In the series, Charles Dance's character, Tywin Lannister, was previously married to a woman named Joanna, who died and with whom he had three children. In real life, Dance was previously married to a woman who was also named Joanna before their divorce, and has three children.
In early 2016 it was announced that Season 7 will consist of the 7 episodes, and season 8, which will premier in 2019, will be the final season of the series. According to HBO, they would have loved to extend the series beyond its planned 73 episodes, but they ultimately left the decision to what the showrunners think is best for the series. HBO later stated that they were considering several spin-off shows.
While most of the show is largely faithful to the books, composite characters do appear. The most prominent is the prostitute Ros, who is a composite of several named (Alayaya, Chataya, Kyra) and unnamed characters from the book series. Another composite character is the trader Spice King in Qarth, who appears in Season Two.
There are only three American-born actors in the show: Peter Dinklage ("Tyrion Lannister"), Rosabell Laurenti Sellers ("Tyene Sand") and Jason Momoa ("Khal Drogo"). However, Pedro Pascal ("Oberyn Martell"), while born in Chile, was raised in San Antonio, Texas, where his family moved shortly after his birth, and is a U.S. citizen.
In April 2016 a new channel launched in Israel called the "Game of Thrones Channel". It aired only things related to "Game of Thrones" throughout the day, such as the episodes, interviews, behind-the scenes-videos, special features from the Blu-Ray edition, etc., as preparation for Season 6. It was the first time in Israeli Television's history that a complete channel was dedicated to only one show.
Stephen Dillane (Stannis) revealed on an interview given in March 2016 that even though he didn't have anything bad to say about his experience on the show, he didn't particularly enjoy it or understand most of the story lines. He described it as an overwhelming experience, and one that he ultimately undertook for the money.
Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said in a podcast once that while making the show they worked all through the year, non-stop. They would write an outline for each season and then start writing the actual script while managing production at the same time. The scripts had to be all done by the time they started filming the season, and being such a huge production, they were filming for months with several units in several countries at the same time while constantly rewriting and improving the scripts. They also made sure that there was always someone from the writing crew at one of the filming units, to supervise. Almost immediately after finishing filming one season they started writing the outline for the next season. At the same time, the previous season was in post-production (editing, sound mixing, etc.) and they had to oversee all these procedures while writing, and then after all that was done, they had to deal with marketing the upcoming season. They noted several times that at the time, they said all they wanted to do when everything was finally done was to "get some sleep".
Jorah Mormont is often referred to as "Jorah the Andal" mainly by Essosi characters pointing Jorah's Westerosi heritage despite the fact that House Mormont is a house from northern Westeros meaning they are descended from the First Men, not the Andals.
When filming season 7 in Iceland, temperatures got very low, and would sometimes drop down to -20°F. In lack of proper thermal underwear for the cast, Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) made sure that all of the cast members got merino wool underwear from Norwegian clothing company Devold.
Composer Ramin Djawadi said that after initially watching some visuals of the show, before starting to compose it, the idea for the main title theme just came to his mind and he whistled it while he was driving his car to the studio, where he started to actually write the piece.
Four locations are always shown in the main title sequence, regardless of if the episode has scenes set there: King's Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, and wherever Daenerys is. King's Landing is always shown first, with the crowned stag of House Baratheon. Winterfell is shown first in the hands of House Stark, then sacked and torched, and later with the House Bolton sigil. The Wall is the last main shot before the camera pans to Essos. The sequence shows up to six locations.
Natalie Dormer responded to false news stories that she condones sex with minors due to her character Margery Tyrell being married to Tommen Baratheon. She went on record that herself and her character were misinterpreted and pointed out that she plays a fictional character in a fictional land.
Roy Dotrice, a frequent collaborator with George R.R. Martin and narrator of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" audio books, was cast as Grand Maester Pycelle but had to withdraw from the role due to health reasons. He was replaced by Julian Glover. Dotrice would later appear in the show as Hallyne.
A gelatin "heart" was made for the scene in which Daenerys must consume a horse's heart raw. Although it was safe to eat, Clarke said it was still foul tasting enough that her facial expressions and gagging while forcing it down required no acting for the camera.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) was voted by fans as the series' most hated character. Headey has said that she is often the victim of fans who direct their hatred towards her character to her personally. People frequently call her names both on-line and in public, and at fan conventions, she is more than often shunned. She claimed that during an autograph session at Comic Con, people were actually snatching their books from her hands to prevent her from signing it.
According to the novels, the sigil of House Baratheon is a black stag with a crown above its head on a field of gold. In the TV series, the Baratheons' banner depicts a stag with a crown around its neck.
In the novels the title of the King of Westeros is "King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm." In the show, "the Rhoynar" is omitted from the title. The Rhoynar is a reference to the Dornish, who immigrated to Westeros from the River Rhoyne. The writers believed this would cause confusion since the Dornish did not appear until later seasons so it was left out.
The 67th Emmy Awards ceremony, in which this series won Best Drama series, Best Writing for an Episode of a Drama series and Best Directing for an episode of a drama series, was held on George R.R. Martin's 67th birthday.
Brian Cox revealed that he was offered a role but turned it down. Cox told Vodzilla: "Stupidly, I turned it down in the early days because they didn't pay enough money. Now they have more money. And I was silly. I was silly, it was silly, because I'm a complete addict now."
In March 2014 HBO released a ten-track mixtape called "Catch the Throne" as promotion for the show's fourth season. The tape includes rap songs from artists like Common, Big Boi, Wale Folarin, Kilo Kish and others, and each song is related to things in the show in its lyrics. Most of the songs also sampled music from the original Ramin Djawadi soundtracks of the show's first three seasons.
During the series you can see characters wearing belts with a particular knot twisted after the buckle, this is clearly visible in most knights. The knot is actually correct and was used in medieval times, is often referred to as a garter and used to fix leg armor pieces to the knights' legs below the knees. It is one of the symbols of the English "Order of the Garter", the highest chivalric order, which was founded in 1348 by the English King Edward III in the early stages of the 100 Years War with France. The arms of the Order of the Garter is a blue belt, or garter, with this same characteristic knot seen in the TV series. An example can also be seen in the tomb of one of the Order founders, Sir Reginald of Cobham, at Lingnfield Church in Surrey; his effigy has the garter below his left knee.
The show will sometimes briefly introduce a character and then recast for a formal introduction later on. Selyse Baratheon was played in the second season by an uncredited Sarah MacKeever before being recast with Tara Fitzgerald and formally introduced in the third season. The Three-Eyed Raven was played by Struan Rodger for a brief appearance in the fourth season and recast with Max von Sydow for the sixth season. Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane was played by Conan Stevens and Ian Whyte for brief appearances before Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson took over the role when the character became more prominent in the fourth season. Lord Beric Dondarrion appears briefly in series one played by David Michael Scott and returns in Season 3 played by Richard Dormer.
This is the first TV show or series to hit over 1,000,000 User-Submitted reviews on IMDB. It is one of the highest-rated TV show on IMDb, with a 9.5 score,the other one being "Band of Brothers" with the same score.
According to their respective IMDb ratings out of 10, the top ten episodes are as follows: 1. S06x09 Battle of the Bastards - 10.0; 2. S06x10 The Winds of Winter - 10.0; 3. S05x08 Hardhome - 9.9; 4. S03x09 The Rains of Castamere - 9.9; 5. S06x05 The Door - 9.8; 6. S04x02 The Lion and the Rose - 9.7; 7. S04x08 The Mountain and the Viper - 9.7; 8. S04x06 The Laws of Gods and Men - 9.7; 9. S02x09 Blackwater - 9.7 10. S04x10 The Children - 9.6. When the ratings are the same (as in the case of 6, 7, 8 and 9) they are in order according to the number of ratings, with the higher number of ratings meaning a higher rank.
Ben Hawkey who plays the character Hot Pie, has opened up a real life Game of Thrones themed bakery in London. It is operated by deliveroo. You can purchase a direwolf loaf for £1.30. The bakery is cleverly named "You Know Nothing Jon Dough".
Features actors from two different adaptations of "The Lord of the Rings": Peter Vaughan, who played Denethor in the BBC Radio adaptation; and Sean Bean, who played the character's son Boromir in the Peter Jackson films.
The show has four Doctor Who (2005) guest stars, each of whom participated in two-parters: Harry Lloyd ("Viserys Targaryen"), Iain Glen ("Jorah Mormont"), Thomas Brodie-Sangster ("Jojen Reed"), and Maisie Williams ("Arya Stark"). Both Lloyd and Sangster were in the same episodes.
Each of the Stark children adopted one of six orphaned Direwolves (similar to conventional wolves except for being much larger and powerful) which appears on the Stark banner as their sygil. They were - Grey Wind/Robb Stark, Lady/Sansa Stark, Nymeria/Arya Stark, Summer/Bran, Shaggy Dog/Riccon Stark, and the runt of the litter Ghost went to the bastard Jon Snow.
Sam Heughan auditioned to play various characters including Renly Baratheon, Loras Tyrell and a few different members of the Night's Watch. He went on to star in Outlander (2014) alongside "Game of Thrones" alumnus Tobias Menzies.
Iwan Rheon (Ramsey Snow/Bolton) and Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) both had roles in the Channel 4 TV show Misfits (2009). Rheon played main cast member Simon, while Fairley played the mother of another character. Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed) also had a brief role on the channel 4 show for 5 episodes in 2013. Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) also had a brief role in the season 3 premiere of the show.
Writer George R.R. Martin was approached several times with plans to adapt his (still unfinished) book series 'A Song of Ice and Fire' into a movie, but he rejected them all, as he thought his books were much too expansive to be made into a movie. When David Benioff and D.B. Weiss told him that they wanted to make a series out of it, he asked them who they thought Jon Snow's mother could be. Satisfied with the answer, he agreed to sell the rights to the book.
The office that Ned fills is simply called "Hand of the King". Given that the name is derived from the concept of being someone's right hand, the fact that the brooch he wears as insignia depicts a left hand could be considered inappropriate.
Each episode is rated on IMDb on a scale of 1-10. If you total up the ratings for all episodes in this series, 100 is the maximum possible score for a season, since there are ten episodes per season, each with the potential for 10.0 stars. Based on this system, Season 4 is the highest rated series and Season 5 is the lowest. The total season scores out of 100, along with their respective ranks, are as follows: Season 1 - 90.9 Rank #2; Season 2 - 89.7 Rank #5; Season 3 - 90.3 Rank #4; Season 4 - 93.2 Rank #1; Season 5 - 88.5 Rank #6; Season 6 - 90.8 Rank #3.
The character Ilyn Payne was retired after the second season when his actor Wilko Johnson was diagnosed with cancer. While Payne appears in subsequent novels, his role in the series was effectively replaced with Bronn (Jerome Flynn), who instead accompanies Jaime on later missions.
The 6 foot 3 inch Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) has stated that the most grueling scene she ever had to play in the series was in Game of Thrones: The Children (2014) when she fought sword-to-sword with 6 foot 6 inch Rory McCann ('The Hound'). She spent 2 months training, 3-4 days a week, just to build up the required stamina for the fight.
Tyrion Lannister is supposed to be 7 years younger than his siblings Cersei and Jaime. In reality, however, Peter Dinklage is a year older than Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) and 4 years older than Lena Headey (Cersei). Also, Stannis Baratheon is supposed to be a year younger than his brother Robert, but Stephen Dillane (Stannis) is 7 years older than Mark Addy (Robert).
The Frontier from The Last Starfighter (1984) has been considered to be an major influence behind The Wall. In The Last Starfighter (1984), The Frontier is a wall of space which defends the peaceful worlds of The Star League from The Kodan armada and other species. In the series, The Wall prevents The Wildings, The White Walkers and the undead from entering Westeros.
The best-selling 1965 science fiction fantasy novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert was speculated to be an influence behind George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" fantasy novels which the series is based on.
A good number of "Game of Thrones" actors had major roles in horror films. Sean Bean ("Ned Stark") starred in Silent Hill (2006) and its sequel, which also starred Kit Harington ("Jon Snow"). Bean also had major roles in both the Dark and Black Death (2010), In the latter film Bean had to match wits with Carice van Houten ("Melissandre"). Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark) and Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton) starred opposite each other in the horror fairy tale The Hallow. Rose Leslie ("Ygritte") had a lead role in Honeymoon. Katie Dickie (Lysa Arryn) had significant roles in two scary films the ALIEN prequel Prometheus as well as The Witch this film also starred Ralph Inneson (Dagmer Cleftjaw). Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell) was the lead in The Last Showing, while his TV sister Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) had a double role in The Forest. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) also played two different people in Guillermo Del Toro's Mama. His small screen sister/lover Lena Heady (Cersei Lannister) has appeared in several scary pictures Laid To Rest The Purge and The Cave. Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), portrayed another very special boy In The Awakening. Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) portrayed Old Nick in Let Us Pray. True to form Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) portrayed another highly intelligent but implacable father in Patrick Evil Awakens, while in ALIEN 3 Mr Dance plays a very kind but ill-fated doctor. Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) had a relatively big part in The Thing Awakens, prequel to John Carpenters's classic. Free Folk King Beyond The Wall Cirián Hinds (Mance Rayder) starred opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the supernatural revenge tale The Woman In Black. Michelle Fairly 'Catelyn Stark' was part of the spooky classic The Others. Iain Glen headed the cast in the occult thriller Darkness. Loving Horror films Noah Taylor starred in no less than 3. In Red White & Blue he portrays a haunted soldier. Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None reunites him with fellow Thrones Actor Charles Dance. In The Windmill Massacre Taylor plays a man with something to hide. Eugene Simon (Lancel Lannister) is set to play a lead role in the Irish haunted mansion movie The Lodgers.
Like Star Wars Rebels (2014) and Doctor Who (2005), Game of Thrones (2011) became one of the most talked about TV series on YouTube, which fans of the series shared theories on episodes and character and what they think is going to happen.
The series won 38 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Main Title Design, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Peter Dinklage, Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series - Garden of Bones, The Ghost of Harrenhal & A Man Without Honor, Outstanding Costumes for a Series - The Prince of Winterfell & The Lion and the Rose, Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) - The Old Gods and the New & Kissed by Fire, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series - Blackwater, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One-Hour) - Blackwater, Outstanding Special Visual Effects - Valar Morghulis & Valar Dohaeris, Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary or Fantasy Series (Single-Camera) - The Laws of God and Men & The Mountain and the Viper, Outstanding Special and Visual Effects - The Children, Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special - The Children. Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) - Mother's Mercy, Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More) - High Sparrow, Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken & Hardhome, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series - The Dance of Dragons, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series - Hardhome, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) - Hardhome, Outstanding Special Visual Effects - The Dance of Dragons, Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Mother's Mercy, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series - Mother's Mercy, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - Peter Dinklage, Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Makeup for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) - Battle of the Bastards, Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Limited Series, Movie or Special - The Door, Outstanding Costumes for a Period/Fantasy Series, Limited Series or Movie - The Winds of Winter, Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More) - Blood of My Blood/The Broken Man and No One, Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Limited Series or Movie, Outstanding Special Visual Effects - Battle of the Bastards, Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series - Battle of the Bastards, Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (One Hour) - Battle of the Bastards, Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Battle of the Bastards, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series - Battle of the Bastards and Outstanding Drama Series.
Various "Game of Thrones" actors appeared in Tom Fontana's Borgia (2011) (partly filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a frequent location for "Thrones"): John Bradley ("Samwell Tarly") portrayed Giovanni Di Medici during Season 1; Iain Glen ("Jorah Moremont") played Girolamo Savonarola during Season 2 (Savonarola was a religious fanatic who may have inspired the High Sparrow); Tom Wlaschiha ("Jaqen H'ghar") played Philip von Hapsburg during Season 3; James Faulkner ("Randyll Tarly") played Piero Soderini during Season 2 (in a bit of irony, Faulkner's character was an ally of John West's character, though they never appeared on screen together)
Stars Dean-Charles Chapman ("Tommen Baratheon") and Faye Marsay ("The Waif") have a habit of appearing on the same shows. They both starred in the crime drama Glue (2014), in which Marsasy portrayed a woman who lies about her identity. Both also had major roles on the Starz/BBC period drama The White Queen (2013). The series details The Wars Of The Roses, a 15th-century English dynastic struggle that partly inspired "Game of Thrones".
Sean Bean and Owen Teale starred together in TV movie 'The Fifteen Streets' 1989, based on the Catherine Cookson novel. They played rival brothers, with Teale's character 'John' the protagonist and Bean's 'Dominic' the antagonist.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
George R.R. Martin has stated that the infamous "Red Wedding" was the hardest chapter for him to write in "A Storm of Swords." He was so emotionally attached to the characters that he actually wrote the rest of the book first, then that chapter last. Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, upon reading it, declared it was one of the major reasons they decided to option the books for a TV series. Their dramatization differs from the book in a few details, most notably that Robb's wife is not present at the wedding, nor is she killed. Whether she is pregnant is unknown.
Series author George R.R. Martin reported on his blog that after the filming of the episode in which Sansa's direwolf Lady is executed, the dog that played Lady, a Northern Inuit named Zunni, was adopted by Sophie Turner, the actress who plays Sansa.
Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss stated when the show began they set a rule of "no prophecies, dreams, or flashbacks". All three rules were eventually broken, with the inclusion of Bran's dreams of the three-eyed raven, prophetic visions in the House of the Undying experienced by Daenerys and a flashback scene to Cersei's childhood.
Daenerys' dragons are named Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. Each one is named after someone she has lost in her life: Drogon, the largest dragon with black/red scales, is named after her husband Khal Drogo; Rhaegal, who has green/bronze scales, is named after Daenerys' brother Rhaegar Targaryen, who was killed by Robert Baratheon during Robert's Rebellion; Viserion, the cream/gold scaled dragon, is named after Daenerys' abusive brother Viserys. She claimed that she named her dragon this because "Viserys was cruel and weak and frightened, yet he was my brother still. My dragon will do what he could not."
Grand Maester Pycelle's elderly and feeble demeanor is an act, briefly alluded to in a scene from season one's finale "Fire and Blood" showing Pycelle doing a series of exercises and stretches. A deleted scene between Pycelle and Tywin Lannister shot for the third season and included on the DVD/Blu-ray set shows Pycelle's normal posture and speaking cadence, explaining that he maintains the facade to appear harmless. In the series the only time Pycelle speaks in his regular cadence is to Tyrion in Game of Thrones: Valar Morghulis (2012).
George R.R. Martin has said that some fans have correctly guessed the ending of the series. One of the most popular fan theories was that Jon Snow is in fact a Targaryen, with his true father being Rhaegar Targaryen and true mother being Ned Stark's sister Lyanna. This was indeed confirmed in the season 6 finale. It was then debated whether this would make him an heir to the Iron Throne, as his presumed father was married to another woman (Elia Martell) and he would still be a bastard; however, because the Targaryens were known to practice bigamy, Lyanna and Rhaegar may have been married, making him a legitimate heir. The seventh season finale indeed confirmed that Rhaegar had annulled his previous marriage, and legally married Lianna, making Jon (or Aegon Targaryan as is his real name) a legitimate son.
In every season at least one royalty (or claimant to the throne) dies. In season one they are Robert Baratheon (King on the Iron Throne), Viserys Targaryen (claimant to the Iron Throne), and Khal Drogo (a Khal is a chieftain similar in position to a king); in season two Renly Baratheon (claimant to the Iron Throne) and Xaro Xhoan Daxos (King of Qarth); in season three Robb Stark (King in the North); in season four Joffrey Baratheon (King on the Iron Throne); in season five Mance Rayder (King Beyond the Wall) and Stannis Baratheon (claimant to the Iron Throne); in season six Balon Greyjoy (King of the Iron Islands) and Tommen Baratheon (King on the Iron Throne). In the seventh season, Olenna Tyrell (Queen of Thornes) dies.
In the series King Renly Baratheon has his own Kingsguard and inducts Brienne of Tarth into the order. In the novels they are known as the Rainbow Guard, but HBO elected to omit the name as it could be interpreted as a jab at Renly's homosexuality which is only subtly referenced in the novels but made explicit in the series.
Many of the characters have nicknames, mostly based on specific deed, behavior or physical feature of the person in question. The nicknames can be derogatory (Kingslayer) or for mockery (Brienne the Beauty). For example: Eddard Stark: Ned; Jaime Lannister: the Kingslayer; Tyrion Lannister: the Imp or Halfman; Varys: the Spider; Sandor Clegane: the Hound; Gregor Clegane: the Mountain that Rides (or simply the Mountain); Petyr Baelish: Littlefinger; Jeor Mormont: the Old Bear; Loras Tyrell: Knight of Flowers; Olenna Tyrell: Queen of Thorns; Roose Bolton: Leech Lord; Aerys Targaryen: the Mad King; Viserys Targaryen: the Beggar King; Theon Greyjoy: the Turncloak or Reek; Melisandre: the Red Woman; Vargo Hoat: the Goat; Robb Stark: the Young Wolf; Jon Snow: the White Wolf; Brienne: the Beauty; Qhorin: Halfhand; Mance Rayder: the King Beyond the Wall; Davos Seaworth: the Onion Knight; Jon Umber Sr.: Greatjon; Jon Umber Jr.: Smalljon; Eddison Tollett: Dolorous Edd; Samwell Tarly: the Slayer; Gerold Hightower: the White Bull; Arthur Dayne: Sword of the Morning; Brynden Tully: Blackfish; Oberyn Martell: the Red Viper; Oberyn Martell's bastard daughters: the Sand Snakes.
The first five seasons were largely based on published novels, though beginning late in season five the series began including plot points from future novels told to the executive producers by author George R.R. Martin. Beginning with season six, the show included a large amount of original content as well as adapting an outline of future novels provided by Martin. The producers stated there were "three "holy shit!" moments" revealed by Martin: Shireen Baratheon would be sacrificed by her father, the meaning of Hodor's name and its correlation to his eventual death, and a third to be revealed at the end of the series. Martin responded "Yes and no" to fan inquiries about whether the show would spoil the final two novels, and the producers stated, "So much of what we're doing diverges from the books at this point . . . there are certain key elements that will be the same". Only a few plot points from the series have been confirmed to be intended for future novels, Martin stated that Tyrion and Daenerys will "intersect", and Alan Taylor stated that Martin told him Jon and Daenerys would meet and ally against the Others (White Walkers).
In the novel, Robb Stark's wife is named Jeyne Westerling. House Westerling is a staunch supporter of House Lannister and takes part in the sinister scheme to bring the Starks down. In the show she is called Talisa Maegyr and her backstory is changed. In addition to this, she dies while carrying Robb's child along with Robb and Catelyn at the Red Wedding. In the novel, Jeyne does not attend the wedding, she is not pregnant and discovers the fate of her husband while residing in Riverrun.
Maester Aemon is the first prominent character on the show to die of natural causes. Hoster Tully (Catelyn's father and Lord of Riverrun) also died of natural causes, but only appears on-screen after his death at his funeral. Old Nan also died of natural causes, according to the producers, after the death of Margaret John, who portrayed her, but the death was never seen or mentioned on-screen.
In the show, Ramsay Bolton is arranged to be married to Sansa Stark to solidify the Boltons' hold on the north. In the novels, he is arranged to marry Sansa's best friend Jeyne Pool. Jeyne is married to Ramsay under the guise of being "Arya Stark." However, Jeyne does not have a major role in the show, so Sansa Stark became the most suitable marriage choice for Ramsay.
Sean Bean, who plays Eddard Stark, also plays Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). "Lord of the Rings" was one of George R.R. Martin's biggest influences while writing the series. Coincidentally, both of Bean's characters don't make it past the first installment in both "Game of Thrones" (dies at the end of Season 1) and "Lord of the Rings" (dies at the end of the first movie).
Although not shown in the show, where Ser Arthur Dayne uses two swords, the true sword that Ser Arthur wielded was a sword named Dawn forged from a fallen meteoroid, just as strong as Valyrian steel. Unlike the other Valyrian swords of Westeros, like Longclaw (Mormont) and Ice (Stark), Dawn wasn't passed from lord to lord of House Dayne. It was bestowed upon a knight of House Dayne deemed worthy of using it. The wielder of Dawn was given the title Sword of the Morning.
Excluding the title sequence, the Fire and Ice theme is heard only twice in the series' run so far: both pertain to Jon Snow as he leads the Night's Watch defense against the Wildlings; and the other is when he is named King in the North by the Northerners.
According to Paula Fairfield, a sound designer on the series, Daenerys' dragon Drogon is designed to sound similar to her late husband Khal Drogo, whom the sound team considers Drogon to be a metaphorical reincarnation of.
Nero, the Roman Emperor, is considered to be a major influence behind Aerys Targaryen II (aka "The Mad King"), who threatened to burn King's Landing down to the ground with hidden wildfire and murder the capital's five million inhabitants.
Contains spoilers for the novel "A Storm of Swords". In the novels after the Red Wedding where Robb and Catelyn Stark are murdered, Catelyn's corpse is found by Beric Dondarrion who trades his life for hers, and the newly resurrected Catelyn, using the nom de guerre "Lady Stoneheart", takes control of the Brotherhood without Banners to hunt down and execute those who betrayed her family. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss decided to omit this storyline from the series. George R.R. Martin stated in a 2017 Time interview he disagreed with their decision, calling it "the first major diversion of the show from the books and, you know, I argued against that, and David and Dan made that decision."
One of the hallmarks of the show is its willingness to kill off beloved characters, oftentimes without warning. Examples include the unexpected deaths of Ned in season one, Catelyn and Robb in season three, Jon in season 5, and Hodor in season 6.
List of major characters who as of season 7 are dead on the show, but have yet to be killed off as of the end of a Dance of Dragons: Stannis Baratheon, Shireen Baratheon, Selyse Baratheon, Barristen Selmy, Margery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Jojen Reed, Doran Martell, Trystane Martell, Grenn, Pyp, Alliser Thorne, Bowen Marsh, Roose Bolton, Ramsey Bolton, Myrcella Baratheon, Tommen Baratheon, Brynden Tully, Rickon Stark, Walder Frey, Black Walder, Lancel Lannister, Hodor, The Tree Eyed Raven, Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, The High Sparrow, Shaddydog, Summer, Mance Rayder, The Waif, Osha, Greatjon Umber, Leaf, Xaro Xoan Daxos.
In the books Davos has eight children. Four of whom die in the Battle of the Blackwater. However, the remaining four and his wife live safely away at his knightly (and eventually lordly) estate on Cape Wrath in the Stormlands. But in the show it appears as if his only relative his is son, Mathos. Sallador Saan mentions Davos's wife on one occasion, but he has never mentioned her himself. Nor has he shown any desire to return to her since joining up with Jon Snow.
Tyrion Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Jorah Mormont, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Theon Greyjoy, Varys, Samwell Tarly, Bronn, and Daenerys' dragons Drogon and Rhaegal are the only characters to appear living in all eight seasons.
When Bran and Meera meet The Three-Eyed Raven (Straun Rodger) at the end of Season 4, The Three-Eyed Raven claims that he has been many things. This hints that The Three-Eyed Raven could have the ability to change his form and his appearance. Max Von Sydow took over the role in Season 6.
When Cersei is arrested and imprisoned by the High Sparrow, Cersei says to Septa Unella "Look at my face. It's the last thing you will see before you die." This foreshadows Septa Unella's demise in Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter (2016) where she is tortured by Cersei and left at the mercy of Ser Gregor Cleagne.