Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon) 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 Alan Miller, who was slightly more relevant than Gleeson in 2008. Weiss had seen some of Goulart's movies from the 1990s and 2000s, so he was feeling that it was the right time to cast Goulart for an international television series, as in 2008, Alan Miller was already experienced in international movies (however, mostly were independent movies). 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.
According to Kit Harington (Jon Snow), his performance in the rejected pilot episode was so bad that the creators often jokingly threaten to release scenes of it on the internet if he complains too much.
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.
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) has been nominated seven consecutive times (once for each season) for the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the Emmys. He won for the first, fifth and seventh season, tying the record held by Breaking Bad (2008) actor Aaron Paul for most wins in the Best Supporting Actor category for the same role.
Wilko Johnson (Ilyn Payne) retired after the second season because he 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 Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) on later missions.
The 6'3" Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) has stated that the most gruelling scene she ever had to play in the series was in season four, episode ten, "The Children", when she fought sword-to-sword with 6'6" Rory McCann ("The Hound"). She spent two months training, three to four days a week, with swordmaster C.C. Smiff just to build up the required stamina for her fight scene.
Ben Hawkey (Hot Pie) has opened up a real-life Game of Thrones themed bakery in London, England. It is operated by Deliveroo. You can purchase a direwolf loaf for £1.30. The bakery is cleverly named "You Know Nothing Jon Dough".
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.
Prior to being cast, Lena Headey (Queen Cersei Lannister) and Jerome Flynn (Bronn) 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.
A gelatin "heart" was made for the scene in which Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) 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.
While filming season seven in Iceland, temperatures sometimes dropped down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit (-28.9 degrees Celcius). Much of the cast had inadequate thermal underwear. Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) made sure that all of the cast members got merino wool underwear from the Norwegian clothing company Devold.
The average cost of production per episode of the show, up to season six, was around six million dollars, with the most expensive episode being season two, episode nine, "Blackwater", which cost a reported eight million dollars. However, HBO decided to set a budget of one hundred million dollars for season six, which meant each episode of the season had an average production cost of ten million dollars. This put the show on par with Friends (1994) as the most expensive television show of all time (although most of the budget of "Friends" went to its stars' salaries rather than the production, as in this show).
Charles Dance was appalled and disgusted at Lord Tywin's treatment of his son, Tyrion. He remarked that it was extremely difficult for him to mistreat a genuinely nice man like Peter Dinklage, so much so, that Dance kept apologizing to Dinklage between takes.
The terms "First Men" and "Andals" were frequently mentioned on the show, and often only indirectly explained. The "Song of Ice and Fire" books and several bonus features on the DVD give more backstory to these concepts. Westeros used to be populated by the wood nymph-like Children of the Forest, until the First Men invaded the continent from Essos via a land bridge. The Children destroyed the land bridge and waged millennia of war against the First Men before a peace was negotiated. They co-existed for several millennia, and even built the Wall together to keep the White Walkers in the far North. Long after the First Men established kingdoms on Westeros and converted to the Children's forest religion, a second wave of invasion came from Essos. These people, the Andals, succeeded in conquering the entire continent except for the North, and established their religion, the Faith of the Seven, as the dominant one in the South. Through intermarriage, the First Men and Andals slowly mingled; Southern Westerosi are usually of mixed descent, with nobility often having more Andal blood than commoners. The Northerners and Wildlings, though, descend directly from the First Men and still follow their traditions. The phrase "by the Old Gods and the New" thus refers to the old Gods of the Forest from the North, and the Seven-Faced God of the Andals; rulers of Westeros receive the apt title "King of the Andals and the First Men". The complex history often causes some misunderstandings, such as Dothraki warriors referring to all Westerosi as Andals, even though the Northerners have no Andal blood; and the Wildlings often consider themselves the only true Northerners, and will refer to other Northerners as Southerners.
Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) had been best friends for years prior to the show, having previously worked together on Ultra (2006) and Pete Smalls Is Dead (2010). It was on the set of the latter that Dinklage first read the pilot and he subsequently recommended Headey to David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. In fact, whenever their shooting schedules lined up, Dinklage and Headey shared an apartment, drove to the set together, and were frequently seen going to local pubs and restaurants to eat.
A replica of Gandalf's sword, Glamdring, from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies is forged inside the Iron Throne. Sean Bean (Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark) played Boromir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) claimed that she only read the scripts to the extent that was absolutely necessary for her role, so she could enjoy watching the completed episodes on television when they aired without spoiling them.
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 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.
Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke's) 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.
Kit Harington 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 three of this show, the 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.
Characters from noble houses often had images of their house's sigil incorporated into their costumes. For example, Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) almost always appeared wearing jewelry with images of lions. Sometimes the inclusion is almost indiscernible to the television viewer, such as the blue dress Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) wore throughout season three, which was embroidered with a texture resembling dragon scales.
No character appeared in every episode. Only three characters appeared in every episode of a given season during the original ten episode format: Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) appeared in every episode of the first season, and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) appeared in every episode of the second and fifth seasons. Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) appeared in every episode of the seventh season. Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), Davos Seaworth, and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) appeared in every episode of the eighth season.
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.
Executive Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said the production of the show was a massive undertaking. It lasted the entire year, and they shot the show like a ten-hour movie. Season five was shot in five countries, on one hundred fifty-one sets, for two hundred forty days, having one hundred sixty-six cast members, over one thousand crew members, and over five thousand extras.
Some of the inspiration for the War of the Five Kings in the series comes from the War of the Roses, a series of dynastic wars in the fifteenth century where rival houses fought for the throne of England.
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, and Elia Martell instead of Elia Targaryen.
Natalie Dormer responded to false news stories that she condoned sex with minors due to her character Margaery Tyrell being married to Tommen Baratheon. She went on record that she and her character were misinterpreted and pointed out that she played a fictional character in a fictional land.
Natural brunette Emilia Clarke stated that she never dyed her hair for the show. Daenerys Targaryen's impressive platinum blonde locks were achieved via an elaborate wig and make-up system that took considerable time to get into place. After season seven however, Clarke revealed via Instagram that she had dyed her hair for the final season.
Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) said that fans often asked her to recite the list of names Arya always recited before sleeping, the names of the people 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 Westeros, bastards (also "natural child" or "baseborn") born to nobles are given surnames different than their father's, according to the region where they were born. The surnames are mostly associated with the geographic or climatic features of the respective regions: Flowers (The Reach), Hill (The Westerlands), Pyke (The Iron Islands), Rivers (The Riverlands), Sand (Dorne), Snow (The North), Stone (The Vale), Storm (The Stormlands), or Waters (The Crownlands). Special surnames apply only to noble-born bastards who are openly acknowledged by their noble parent. Noble-born bastards unacknowledged by their noble parent (like Gendry), or those whose parents are commoners, can't use the special surname. A noble-born bastard can be legitimized by royal decree and change his or her surname to the father's. However, the social stigma may not always be lifted even after legitimization.
In sharp contrast to his turn as sadistic Joffrey Baratheon, everyone on the show described Jack Gleeson as a warm and friendly person. He is also good friends with Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), who he often had to antagonize on-screen.
While the first two seasons roughly covered George R.R. Martin's novels "A Game of Thrones" and "A Clash of Kings" respectively, the third season covered about two-thirds of the third novel "A Storm of Swords". The fourth season covered the rest of "A Storm of Swords" and chapters from the fourth and fifth novels "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons". The fifth season covered almost entirely "A Feast for Crows", "A Dance With Dragons", and even early events of the unreleased sixth novel "The Winds of Winter". Seasons six through eight were partially based on unpublished storylines George provided showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss that would reportedly appear in "The Winds of Winter", and the last book of the series, "A Dream of Spring", with several major changes the showrunners saw fit to make while adapting the remaining books to the television medium. However, they claimed on several occasions that the ending of the show would be almost exactly similar to George's original idea for the ending of the book series.
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.
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 fourteen-years-old, Sansa Stark is eleven, Arya is nine, Bran is seven, and Rickon Stark is just three-years-old. At the start of the series, Robb and Jon are seventeen, Sansa is thirteen, Arya is eleven, Bran is ten, and Rickon is six. Of the child actors and actresses, 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 one year or more older.
In the unaired pilot, George R.R. Martin cameoed as a Pentoshi nobleman at the wedding of Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). The scene, alongside most of the pilot, was subsequently re-shot and Martin did not appear.
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 movies, one project was proposed using only Daenerys' storyline, and another project proposed only including the conflict between the Starks and Lannisters. Martin declined every movie offer, reasoning that his books contained too much story to work as movies, and the box-office failure of The Golden Compass (2007) made him concerned that if the first movie was not a success, the series would be cancelled.
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.
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".
In early 2016, it was announced that season seven would consist of seven episodes, and season eight, which premiered in 2019, was the final season of the series with six episodes (although they may be of considerable length). According to HBO, they would have loved to extend the series beyond its planned seventy-three episodes, but they ultimately left the decision to what the showrunners thought was best for the series. HBO later stated that they were considering several spin-off shows.
There were only three American-born actors on 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 fled shortly after his birth, and is a U.S. citizen.
Liam Burke was cast as Aerys II Targaryen, the "Mad King", in flashbacks, but the scenes were cut. Eventually, a flashback scene of Aerys was included in season six, episode six, "Blood of My Blood", and the character was played by David Rintoul.
According to George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" novel was a major influence behind his "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, on which this show was based. Other elements were drawn from ancient European history. The Wall was based on Hadrian's Wall, a man-made fortification that was meant to protect Roman forces in England from barbarian tribes in the north. The War of the Five Kings was based on the War of the Roses, a series of conflicts between factions battling for the English throne in the fifteenth century. Martin also stated to have been inspired by historical fiction and the writings of Tad Williams in bringing back the gritty realism that he felt fantasy had lost along the way. Moreso, he wanted to avoid the many tropes of the genre and make it less predictable, by killing off popular characters, and showing that good men don't automatically make good Kings (a sentiment most clearly reflected in Robert Baratheon).
Yara Greyjoy, introduced in the second book and season, was named "Asha" in the books. The name was changed for this show 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.
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 role of Tommen Baratheon (Callum Wharry) was completely absent from the third season of the series and was re-cast for season four, but was played by Dean-Charles Chapman, who had appeared on the show playing Martyn Lannister in season three.
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 scripts 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 several months with several units in several countries at the same time so that while some of the actors and actresses were filming with a director on a location, other cast members were filming in a different country with another director. It was important to them that there was always someone from the writing crew at each 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, special effects, sound mixing, et cetera) 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 all they wanted to do when everything was finally done was to "get some sleep".
In the pilot episode, as the three boys are preparing for the King's welcome, Alfie Allen, Richard Madden, and Kit Harington tried to one-up each other in their shirtless scene by flexing and doing push-ups right before they went on-camera.
This show used many locations to bring Westeros and Essos to life. Most of the Northern scenes were filmed in Northern Ireland. The country was the production's home base and most interior scenes were filmed in a studio in Belfast. Scenes in King's Landing were filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 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 the production never returned there after season one after causing irreparable damage to a valuable fossil. Morocco was used as a location for Daenerys Targaryen's sequences in Astapor and Yunkai in season three, but the country was dropped as a location after that season. Scenes beyond the Wall were filmed in various locations in Iceland. Season five added Spain as a filming location for Dorne. The production returned to Spain for season six, but it was unclear if it was for Dorne or another location (the locations scouted were different to those used in season five).
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 two. 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 belonged to Jon Snow, was shown in brief glimpses.
This show has had the dubious distinction of being the most pirated television show consistently since 2012, well ahead of second and third placers The Walking Dead (2010) and The Big Bang Theory (2007). In 2017, anti-piracy firms estimated each episode was downloaded more than ninety million times in the week of its initial airing, and over fifteen million times in the U.S., almost equalling the total viewers from legal platforms.
Ed Skrein played Daario Naharis for three episodes in season three, 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 re-cast with Michiel Huisman.
This show took 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.
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 three hundred seventy.
The series has come under repeated criticism for its explicit depiction of physical and sexual violence. Especially recurrent scenes of rape caused large amounts of controversy. Writer George R.R. Martin has defended his artistic choices by saying that he wants to put his readers right into the action, rather than create a safe distance from events by merely summarizing them. He maintains that although his Song of Ice and Fire books (and the series by extension) are epic fantasy, he based them on actual history, where "rape and sexual violence have been a part of every war ever fought". He also claimed that the atrocities in the books, sexual and otherwise, pale in comparison to what can be found in any good history book: "the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves. We are the monsters. And the heroes too." He also stated that it is the choice of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss what scenes from his books they adapt, and how.
The original plot left everyone so unsatisfied that HBO agreed to re-shoot most of it, bringing Timothy Van Patten to do the second episode and letting the creators re-write whatever they felt they needed to.
Leading to the final season of the show, HBO launched the "Bleed for the Throne" campaign in the U.S., described as "the largest blood donation promotional effort by an entertainment company in American Red Cross history, with six days of coordinated giving from fans across the entire country". The partnership included an immersive experience at SXSW from March 7-9, in addition to blood drives in forty-three states and nine colleges and universities across the U.S. from March 7-12. Fans who stepped up and donated received an exclusive "Bleed for the Throne" t-shirt, and as a bonus incentive, people who present for blood donation at any Red Cross blood drive by March 17 were automatically be entered to win a trip to the season eight world premiere.
On IMDb, this is the first television series to have gathered more than fifteen thousand votes for all of its individual episodes. Only two television series have achieved this as of May 2018. The other one being Black Mirror (2011).
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.
The main title sequence for the first seven seasons was designed by the company Elastic, and was conceived as a three-dimensional map of the show's world, created by "a mad monk, in a tower somewhere" who is keeping track of all the action. As a rule, four locations are always shown in the main title sequence, regardless of whether 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. Furthermore, no specific animation is used for locations that are only seen a few times in the series, so the capital of that region is shown instead: the Eyrie represents most actions occurring in the Vale. Due to time constraints, the sequence can only show up to six locations, with certain animations sped up to allow the camera time to pan around the map. The credits were significantly changed for the final eighth season, with only the same three locations visited (Last Herth, Winterfell and King's Landing) and also the interiors of these locations shown in greater detail.
In April 2016, a new channel launched in Israel called the "Game of Thrones Channel". It aired only things related to this show throughout the day, such as the episodes, interviews, behind-the scenes-videos, special features from the Blu-ray edition, et cetera, as preparation for season six. It was the first time in Israeli television's history that a complete channel was dedicated to only one show.
While most of this show was largely faithful to the books, composite characters did appear. The most prominent was the prostitute Ros (Esmé Bianco), who was a composite of several named (Alayaya, Chataya, Kyra) and unnamed characters from the book series. Another composite character was the trader Spice King (Nicholas Blane) in Qarth, who appeared in season two.
Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) was 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.
In the series, Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) 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.
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 storylines. He described it as an overwhelming experience, and one that he ultimately undertook for the money.
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."
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.
The first television series in history to have a front cover of Empire Magazine dedicated to it. In its thirty years, only theatrical movies were given the spotlight on the front cover of Empire, and they rationalized their decision to dedicate the cover of the three hundred sixtieth issue to this show (in the month of the final season premiere in 2019) due to its cinematic nature and its scale, claiming they don't plan to feature another television show on the front cover any time soon, for "there has never been a show like Game of Thrones before".
Former U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama personally asked the makers about Jon Snow's fate following the season five finale, and also requested to see season six before anyone else, because he was such a fan of the show.
As of 2019, the highest rated seasons of this show on IMDb, (season eight excluded) are as follows; season four: 9.3; season seven: 9.2; season one: 9.1; season six: 9.1; season three: 9.1; season two: 9.0 and season five: 8.9.
During the title sequence, there is a "sun" in the sky with several rotating bands around it. These bands depict events from this world's history. The sequence opens with a picture of a city in flames on the slopes of an erupting volcano, next to a watching dragon and a boat full of people. This represents the Doom of Valyria, a series of massive volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that destroyed the Valyrian civilization on Essos; the dragon and people represent the Targaryen family and their dragons fleeing the disaster, and invading Westeros almost a century later. The second time the bands are seen, they depict Robert's Rebellion, represented by a dragon (the Mad King Aerys Targaryen) battling a stag (the Baratheons), a lion (the Lannisters) and a direwolf (the Starks). The final picture shows all sorts of animals bowing to the triumphant stag, symbolizing Robert Baratheon winning the rebellion and usurping the throne. The title display also shows the dragon, lion, wolf, and stag, representing four of the great houses of Westeros.
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.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category for his role as Jaime Lannister on this show, but lost to Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister).
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.
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 on this show. 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.
Concerning the growing disappointment of some fans in how the show deviated more and more from the books, writer George R.R. Martin repeatedly stated that books and television shows are two separate mediums, "with different strengths, different weaknesses, different requirements". He explained that there have been small changes between the books and the show since the first season, and like the butterfly effect, some of these changes led to larger changes later on: "the longer the show goes on, the bigger the butterflies become. And now we have reached the point where the beat of butterfly wings is stirring up storms. More and more, they differ, (like) two roads diverging in the dark of the woods, but all of us are still intending that at the end we will arrive at the same place."
This is the first television show to hit over one million User-Submitted reviews on IMDB. It is also the highest-rated television series on IMDb, with a 9.5 score tied with AMC's Breaking Bad (2008) and HBO's Band of Brothers (2001), though the latter was a mini-series.
In March 2014, HBO released a ten-track mixtape called "Catch the Throne" as promotion for the show's fourth season. The tape included rap songs from artists like Common, Big Boi, Wale Folarin, Kilo Kish, and others, and each song was 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.
This show is the most Emmy winning scripted series in history, while the only show having more wins is Saturday Night Live (1975), which is a live variety series. However, it took Saturday Night Live (1975) thirty-nine seasons to gain the title in 2013, while this show got that same amount of awards in only six seasons (at the 2016 ceremony).
A few weeks before the premiere of the final season, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced that co-Creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss will join the ranks of Steven Spielberg, Matthew Weiner, J.J. Abrams, and other key figures by receiving the International Emmy Founders Award in the November 2019 Ceremony, an award that's being given to individuals whose creative accomplishments have contributed in some way to the quality of global television production. Specifically, the Academy stated that "David and D.B. are absolute game changers, visionary storytellers who have created, with their first foray into television, a record breaking global cultural phenomenon with an international following like no other."
According to their respective IMDb ratings out of ten, the top ten episodes are as follows: 1. Season six, episode nine, "Battle of the Bastards' - 10.0; 2. Season six, episode ten, "The Winds of Winter" - 10.0; 3. Season five, episode eight, "Hardhome" - 9.9; 4. Season three, episode nine, "The Rains of Castamere" - 9.9; 5. Season six, episode five, "The Door" - 9.8; 6. Season four, episode two, "The Lion and the Rose" - 9.7; 7. Season four, episode eight, "The Mountain and the Viper" - 9.7; 8. Season four, episode six, "The Laws of Gods and Men" - 9.7; 9. Season two, episode nine, "Blackwater" - 9.7; 10. Season four, episode ten, "The Children" - 9.6. When the ratings are the same (as in the case of six, seven, eight, and nine) they are in order according to the number of ratings, with the higher number of ratings meaning a higher rank.
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, ShaggyDog/Rickon Stark, and the runt of the litter Ghost went to the bastard Jon Snow.
Tyrion Lannister is supposed to be seven years younger than his siblings Cersei and Jaime. In reality, however, Peter Dinklage is a year older than Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime) and four 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 seven years older than Mark Addy (Robert).
Only twelve characters have appeared in all eight seasons: Tyrion Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Theon Greyjoy, Jorah Monmont, Samwell Tarly, Varys, and Bronn. Also, Brandon Stark and Sandor Clegane are present in all seasons except season five.
In the first seven seasons, the opening titles began with an intricate astrolabe decorated with murals meant to represent the history of Westeros and Essos that predates the show: the Doom of Valyria (which seemingly ended the age of dragons), the Battle of the Trident (which concluded Robert's Rebellion against the Targaryens), and the Rise of House Baratheon as the rulers of Westeros, the point in history in which the show starts. In the eighth season, the opening titles went through a major redesign, so it starts with and astrolabe with different murals depicting three crucial events that took place during the run of the show and led to it's current moment in history, in reversed order- the fall of the Wall, the Red Wedding, and the birth of Daenerys' dragons.
Over the course of eight seasons, this show used twelve thousand one hundred thirty-seven wigs and hairpieces. Daenerys Targaryen's (Emily Clarke's) wig color and style are the result of more than two months of testing and seven prototypes.
Daenerys Targaryen's (Emily Clarke's) three dragons are identifiable by the color of their scales, which is easier to differentiate in the early seasons when they were smaller; Drogon is mainly red, Rhaegal is mainly green, and Viserion is mainly yellow/gold. In this sense, they resemble the three dragons in the classic Atari 2600 game "Adventure"; Rhindle the red, Grundle the green, and Yorgle the yellow.
Over the course of its eight seasons, the show has filmed in ten countries, including Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Morocco, Malta, Spain, Croatia, Iceland, United States, Canada, and Scotland. There have been forty-nine locations in Northern Ireland, and one in the Republic of Ireland.
Features two 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 trilogy.
Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the protagonist of the famous novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is considered to be a strong influence behind Qyburn (Anton Lesser). Qyburn, a former maester and a skilled healer, conducts unnatural and repugnant experiments on living humans. Ser Gregor Clegane (Conan Stevens) is experimented on and saved from the brink of death by Qyburn after being poisoned by Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal).
Sam Heughan auditioned to play various characters including Renly Baratheon, Loras Tyrell, and a few different members of the Night's Watch. He appeared in Outlander (2014) alongside this show's alumnus Tobias Menzies.
In England's War of the Roses, the house of York's emblem was a white rose, while that of the house of Lancaster was a red rose. This was the inspiration for the conflict between the Starks and the Lannisters. As well as the similarity of the names, the background color of the Stark's banner is a light gray, almost white, and that of the Lannister's is a deep red.
By the end of the fifth season, David Nutter directed six episodes of the show and won an Emmy Award in 2015, but was taken out of commission after season five by a major injury that required several back surgeries. He had to skip seasons six and seven, and after he was healed enough to come back to work, he was invited to direct half of the episodes in the final season. He said that being asked to direct half of the episodes felt like "when you're in the ocean and you can't swim and someone throws you a life jacket. After being out of commission for a couple of years, it was fantastic to get a chance to work with people I care so much about." By the show's end, he is the most frequent director to helm the show, having directed nine episodes.
A full scale reproduction of a sailing ship was constructed on one of series' soundstages in Banbridge, Northern Ireland. Virtually every shipboard scene in the series was shot on this set, which was redressed to depict different ships.
Season eight of the show was so poorly received, a Change.org petition was set up to force the creators to remake it. The petition received over the requested five hundred thousand votes in less than a week.
Each episode is rated on IMDb on a scale of 1-10. If you total up the ratings for all episodes in this series, one hundred 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 four is the highest rated and season five is the lowest. The total season scores out of one hundred, along with their respective ranks, are as follows: season one - 90.9 rank number two; season two - 89.7 rank number five; season three - 90.3 rank number four; season four - 93.2 rank number one; season five - 88.5 rank number six; season six - 90.8 rank number three.
U.S. viewership of each one of the seasons (except eight), as published by HBO: season one- 9.3 Million, season two- 11.6 Million, season three- 14.4 Million, season four- 19.1 Million, season five- 20.2 Million, season six- 25.7 Million, and season seven- 32.8 Million.
Upon being crowned as king, Tommen Baratheon marries and has sex with Margery Tyrell in Game of Thrones: High Sparrow (2015) (TV Episode). In the medieval age, underage children were wed to adults whom were of nobility. This was centuries before the underage sex laws was established which an adult having sex with an underage male was declared illegal.
HBO published that in all of its episodes, the series has utilized a total of forty visual effects houses in thirteen countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Northern Ireland, Spain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, China, France, Sweden, and India. There were thirteen thousand two hundred fifty visual effects shots in the first seven seasons of the series.
It's most likely Joffrey Baratheon could be suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is an psychiatric condition which a person manipulates, exploits, or violates the rights of others. The symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder are aggression towards people and animals. Lying. Deceitfulness. Theft and serious violation of rules. On this show, Joffrey hurts and kills people and delights in it, which makes him a sadist.
The number of weeks required for post-production per season, according to HBO: season one- seventeen weeks, season two- twenty-one weeks, season three- twenty weeks, season four- twenty-one weeks, season five- twenty-two weeks, season six- twenty-four weeks, season seven- thirty weeks, and season eight- forty-two weeks.
The Frontier from The Last Starfighter (1984) has been considered to be a major influence behind the Wall. In The Last Starfighter (1984), The Frontier is a wall in space which defends the peaceful worlds of The Star League from the Kodan armada and other hostile species. On this show, the Wall prevents the Wildings, the White Walkers, and the undead from entering Westeros.
Lena Headey was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category for her role as Queen Cersei Lannister on this show, but lost to Thandie Newton from Westworld (2016).
As published by HBO, during all eight seasons, and specific to production in Northern Ireland, three thousand seven hundred forty-eight pounds of rubber and one and a half tons of metal were used for armory, with one thousand three hundred shields created. Additionally, production used: fifty-two thousand bags of paper snow; one hundred sixty-three tons of propane; three thousand pyrotechnic effects; four thousand gallons of artificial blood; twenty thousand nine hundred seven candles; twenty-five miles of rope; twenty-two thousand nine hundred sixty-six feet of waxed cotton fabric to make more than three hundred thirty tents; and fifty miles of fabric for costumes. The Construction Department used: seven hundred forty-five miles of repurposed timber; sixty thousand sheets of plywood; twenty million screws and bolts; sixty-five thousand bags of plaster; one thousand three hundred twenty gallons of wood glue; one thousand two hundred blocks of polystyrene; one thousand sheets of fire board; more than one thousand miles of cable; and one hundred twenty semi-truck loads of reclaimed beams from warehouses and barns from all over Europe.
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 on which this show was based.
Across its eight seasons, the show totalled one hundred five thousand eight hundred forty-six days for extras across all seasons and countries. This show used twelve thousand nine hundred eighty-six extras in Northern Ireland alone, and two thousand Northern Ireland crew members, as published by HBO.
It is established in zombie mythology that zombies can supernaturally reanimate a dead body and can transform any living being into zombies by biting them. On this show, the White Walkers (zombies) don't supernaturally reanimate dead bodies into White Walkers. Only their leader the Night King has that ability.
Many cast members appeared in the Star Wars film franchise, including: Emilia Clarke, Julian Glover, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Gwendoline Christie, Jessica Henwick, Max von Sydow, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Mark Stanley, Miltos Yerolemou, Emun Elliott, Kate Dickie, Ian McElhinney, and Spencer Wilding.
The series initially followed the standard release schedule of one season per twelve months for the first six seasons, typically premiering in April between 2011 and 2016. However, the seventh season didn't premiere until July 2017 due to the increased complexity of the production (more location shooting and a longer post-production period). The logistical demands for the final season were so extreme that HBO announced in 2017 that it wouldn't air until April 2019, a wait of twenty-one months since the previous season.
According to IMDb, this show is the most popular and highest rated television program on IMDb of all time, even though Planet Earth II (2016) is number one. This show is technically number one because over one and a half million users have contributed to the rating of 9.5, where less then seventy thousand people contributed to Planet Earth II (2016)'s rating of 9.5. This show takes the crown, as of April 2019.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series category for season seven, episode seven, "The Dragon and the Wolf", but lost to Joel Fields and Joseph Weisberg for The Americans (2013) season six, episode ten, "START".
The five of the six episodes in the final season are by far the lowest rated in the entire series. Season eight, episode two, "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms", is tied with season five, episode six, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken". Aside from being tied with a single episode in a different season, season eight contains the lowest episodes of the whole show.
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) played the iconic, female character Sarah Connor in the Terminator franchise; Headey on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008) and Clarke in Terminator Genisys (2015).
The White Walkers are considered to be "The Borg of Game of Thrones". In Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987), the Borg are a race of cybernetic aliens linked to a hive mind that assimilates other species into Borg drones. In this show, the Night King can assimilate the living and the dead into Wights by touching them.
Jeremy Podeswa was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series category for season seven, episode seven, "The Dragon and the Wolf", but lost to Stephen Daldry for The Crown (2016) season two, episode nine, "Paterfamilias".
Alan Taylor was nominated for the 2018 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series category for season seven, episode six, "Beyond the Wall", but lost to Stephen Daldry for The Crown (2016) season two, episode nine, "Paterfamilias".
A lot of cast members had major roles in horror movies. Sean Bean (Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark) appeared in Silent Hill (2006) and its sequel, which also starred Kit Harington (Jon Snow). Bean also had major roles in The Dark (2005) and Black Death (2010). In the latter movie, Bean had to match wits with Carice van Houten (Melissandre). Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark) and Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton) appeared in The Hallow (2015). Rose Leslie (Ygritte) appeared in Honeymoon (2014). Katie Dickie (Lysa Arryn) had significant roles in Prometheus (2012) and The Witch (2015), which also starred Ralph Inneson (Dagmer Cleftjaw). Ms. Dickie had the lead in Outcast (2010) alongside James Cosmo (Jeor Moremont) and Dan Portman (Podrick Payne). James Cosmo went on to played a bristly Priest in Citadel (2012). Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell) was the lead in The Last Showing (2014), while his television sister Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) had a double role in The Forest (2016). Ms. Dormer joined John Bradley West (Sam Tarley) for Patient Zero (2018). Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) also played two different people in Guillermo del Toro's Mama (2013). His small screen sister and lover Lena Heady (Queen Cersei Lannister) appeared in Laid to Rest (2009), The Purge (2013), and The Cave (2005). Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark), portrayed another very special boy in The Awakening (2011), where he was joined by Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark) and Ian Hanmore (Pyat Pree). Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) portrayed Old Nick in Let Us Pray (2014). Mr. Cunningham also played a gruff werewolf in Dog Soldiers (2002). True to form, Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) portrayed another highly intelligent, but implacable father in Patrick (2013), while in Alien³ (1992), Mr. Dance played a very kind, but ill-fated doctor. Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) had a relatively big part in The Thing (2011). Free Folk King Beyond the Wall Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder) starred opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the supernatural revenge tale The Woman in Black (2012). Michelle Fairly (Catelyn Stark) was part of the spooky classic The Others (2001). Iain Glen (Jorah Moremont) headed the cast in the occult thriller Darkness (2002). Loving horror movies, Noah Taylor (Locke) starred in no less than three, Red, White & Blue (2010), Dame Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None (2015), and The Windmill (2016). Eugene Simon (Lancel Lannister) and David Bradley (Walder Frey) appeared in The Lodgers (2017). Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) must contend with deadly aliens in The Predator (2018), his television big sister played a timid maid in The Wolfman (2010). Essie Davis (Lady Crane) comes to fear literature in The Babadook (2014). In The Invitation (2015), Michiel Huisman (Dario Naharis) throws a killer party for real. Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Lord Mace Tyrell) and Tom Hopper (Dickon Tarly) find themselves contending with vengeance from beyond the grave in Tormented (2009).
The series won thirty-eight 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 and A Man Without Honor, Outstanding Costumes for a Series - The Prince of Winterfell and The Lion and the Rose, Outstanding Make-up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) - The Old Gods and the New and 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 and Valar Dohaeris, Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary or Fantasy Series (Single-Camera) - The Laws of God and Men and The Mountain and the Viper, Outstanding Special and Visual Effects - The Children, Outstanding Prosthetic Make-up for a Series, Mini-series, Movie or a Special - The Children. Outstanding Make-up 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 and 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 Make-up for a Single-Camera Series (Non-Prosthetic) - Battle of the Bastards, Outstanding Prosthetic Make-up 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.
On this show, Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and Melisandre (Carise van Houten) say to Jon Snow (Kit Harington) "You know nothing, Jon Snow." It is not known why this was said to him. However, it is theorized that Ygritte and Melisandre said this because they're calling him a idiot, and that he doesn't understand nearly as much as he thinks about how the "real world" works.
Like Star Wars Rebels (2014) and Doctor Who (2005), this show became one of the most talked about television series on YouTube, which fans of the series shared theories on episodes and characters and what they thought was going to happen.
Ancient history, religion, William Shakespeare, Richard III (1955), J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and Frank Herbert's Dune novels were speculated to be influences behind the series and the books.
Between seasons, Lena Headey played another antagonist in Dredd (2012) as Ma-Ma, prostitute turned evil drug lord. Karl Urban (Judge Dredd) played Eomer in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. George R.R. Martin cited "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien as one of his influences behind his "A Song of Fire and Ice" novels on which this show was based.
Tyrion Lannister is harshly mistreated and abused by Tywin and Cersei Lanniser, both of them blaming him for the death of Tywin's wife Joanna, who died when he was born. Joanna Lannister died when she bled to dead during a birth-related injury, but this was clearly not Tyrion's fault. Logically, the real person to blame for Joanna's death, if anyone, is actually Tywin Lannister, as he got his wife pregnant, which led to her death.
An unknown follower on Emilia Clarke's official Instragram account commented on a photo of Clarke which she posted on January 12, 2018, which he commented: "You'd make a good Helen of Troy." Sean Bean, Julian Glover, James Cosmos, and Mark Lewis Jones appeared in Troy (2004), which was an adaptation of the mythical siege of Troy. Brad Pitt, who starred in the movie made a one hundred twenty thousand dollar bid to watch the series with Emilia Clarke on January 6, 2018, which Brad Pitt lost the bet.
Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed) and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers (Tyene Sand) portrayed iconic World War II diarist Anne Frank. Kendrick played Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (2009), and Sellers portrayed Frank in Memories of Anne Frank (2009).
In the novels Robb, Sansa, Bran and Rickon Stark are described as having auburn hair and blue eyes, traditional Tully features inherited from their mother, Catelyn. Only Arya is described as having the traditional Stark features of brown hair and eyes.
This show premiered one year after the premiere of Spartacus (2010) which was the groundbreaking graphic adaptation of the history of the Thracian rebel gladiator Spartacus (played on the show by Andy Whitfield and Liam McIntyre). Both series have graphic violence, explicit sex, nudity, and profanity. Characters get killed off and evil cunning characters scheme and commit skullduggery.
Four cast members appeared in James bond movies: Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) and Julien Glover appeared in For Your Eyes Only (1981); Dame Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) in On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969); Sean Bean (Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark) in Goldeneye (1995).
Ygritte and Melisandre say to Jon Snow "You know nothing, Jon Snow." It's not known why they say this to him. It's likely they are both calling him an idiot, and that the world is a lot bigger than he thinks.
Peter Dinklage, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams appeared in the X-Men film franchise: Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). Sophie Turner as Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) and Dark Phoenix (2016), and Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane in The New Mutants (2020).
The Starfighters and the Frontier from The Last Starfighter (1984) are considered to be an influence behind the Night's Watch and the Wall. Like the Wall, the Frontier (a wall in space) protects peaceful worlds of the Star League from the Kodan Armada and other hostile species. Like the Night's Watch, The Starfighters are the Star League's military order that defends League from the Kodan Armada.
It was rumored Lucy Lawless had unsuccessfully auditioned for a role. Lucy Lawless later went on record stating she is not a fan of the series and that she didn't find the dragons in the series exciting.
Lucretia, a central female antagonist of Spartacus (2010), played in that series by Lucy Lawless, was considered by a few to be the Cersei Lannister of Spartacus (2010), due to both characters being powerful women and sharing a similar arc.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
George R.R. Martin 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 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 television 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 (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.
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).
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 and red scales, was named after her husband Khal Drogo; Rhaegal, who has green and bronze scales, was named after Daenerys' brother Rhaegar Targaryen, who was killed by Robert Baratheon during Robert's Rebellion; Viserion, the cream and gold scaled dragon, was 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."
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 confirmed in the season six 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 confirmed that Rhaegar had annulled his previous marriage, and legally married Lyanna, making Jon (or Aegon Targaryan as is his real name) a legitimate son.
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, and the meaning of Hodor's name and its correlation to his eventual death; the third has yet to be revealed, but is heavily implied to have been Daenerys becoming the "Mad Queen" and destroying King's Landing. 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).
On this show, 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.
In every season except the seventh, at least one monarch or claimant to a 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); and in season eight, the Night King (King of the White Walkers), Euron Greyjoy (King of the Iron Islands, possibly renounced), Cersei Lannister (Queen on the Iron Throne), and Daenerys Targaryen (Queen on the Iron Throne, though uncrowned). The seventh season is unique as no Kings die, though two effectively surrender their sovereign status: Jon Snow (King in the North) pledges fealty to Daenerys and Euron Greyjoy (King of the Iron Islands) pledges fealty to Cersei.
As mentioned on the show, the ominous song "The Rains of Castmere" was originally composed to commemorate the brutal decimation of House Reyne by Tywin Lannister. The books add that the song was so effective in reminding people of the wrath of the Lannisters, that all Tywin had to do was send a minstrel playing the song to seditious bannermen to make them cooperative again. The song finally became so widespread by Lannister soldiers that it is considered the unofficial Lannister theme song. Ironically, the song was played throughout each episode of the fourth season (save for the ninth episode) to foreshadow the deaths of Tywin and Joffrey.
Many of the characters have nicknames, mostly based on a specific deed, behavior or physical feature of the person in question. The nicknames can also be derogatory (Kingslayer) or for mockery (Brienne the Beauty). For example: Eddard Stark: Ned; Jaime Lannister: the Kingslayer; Tyrion Lannister: the Imp or Halfman; Robert Baratheon: the Usurper or Stag King; Joffrey: the Boy King; 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; Jorah Mormont: Jorah the Andal; Loras Tyrell: Knight of Flowers; Olenna Tyrell: Queen of Thorns; Roose Bolton: Leech Lord; Aerys Targaryen: the Mad King; Viserys Targaryen: the Beggar King; Daenerys Targaryen: Dany, Daenerys Stormborn, Khaleesi, Mhysa, Mother of Dragons, the Unburnt, or Breaker of Chains; Theon Greyjoy: the Turncloak or Reek; Melisandre: the Red Woman; Vargo Hoat: the Goat; Robb Stark: the Young Wolf; Arya Stark: Arry; Jon Snow: the White Wolf or The Bastard of Winterfell (sometimes Ned Stark's Bastard); Brienne of Tarth: 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: Sam 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. Some characters, like Hot Pie, Grey Worm, and the High Sparrow, are known by their nicknames only, since their real names are unknown or never mentioned. Hodor also turns out to be a nickname, with his real name being revealed as Wylis.
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. They secretly orchestrate the entire affair between Robb and Jeyne in order to break his marriage pact with the Freys. In the show, Robb's wife is called Talisa Maegyr, and her backstory is also changed considerably. 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. The reason for the name change was that the writers made so many significant changes to the character in the show, that author George R.R. Martin suggested to make her a different character altogether. He came up with the name "Talisa", and the surname "Maegyr" was chosen because in the books, it was the name of one of the ruling families in Volantis (where Talisa is from).
Kit Harington revealed that he used Jon Snow's fate to avoid a speeding ticket. The officer asked him to either reach to the Police station to be booked or to tell him whether Jon will again be alive in the next episode. Kit told him the secret.
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.
According to Sound Designer Paula Fairfield, Daenerys' dragon Drogon is designed to sound similar to her late husband Khal Drogo, of whom the sound team considers Drogon to be a metaphorical reincarnation.
Sean Bean (Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark) also played Boromir in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. J.R.R. Tolkien's "The 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 this show (he died at the end of season one) and "The Lord of the Rings" (he died at the end of the first movie).
Jon Snow's murder in season five, episode ten, "Mother's Mercy", in which he is stabbed by Alliser Thorne, Bowen Marsh, Othell Yarwyck Olly, and his other Watch brothers, was strongly influenced by the historic assassination of Roman Emperor Julius Caesar when he was stabbed to death by Roman Senators led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus on March 15, 44 B.C. Especially the fact that Caesar's trusted friend Brutus was one of the killers is paralleled by John's protegee Olly delivering the final blow.
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 Magazine interview that 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."
Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) had a twin sister when she was born, who was stillborn. Turner said that for the scene when Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark (Sean Bean) is beheaded, she thought of her sister to get more into the character.
Excluding the title sequence, the Fire and Ice theme was heard only twice in the series' run: 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.
Although not shown on the show, where Ser Arthur Dayne used 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".
In the narrative behind why Tommen Baratheon commited suicide in season six: Cersei betrayed Tommen's trust by murdering his wife, his brother-in-law, and effectively his role as King of the Seven Kingdoms and took every possible opportunity to undermine Tommen's rule and not able to follow through with getting revenge on his mother by killing her, Tommen decided to jump to his death instead.
When Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) meet the Three-Eyed Raven (Straun Rodger) at the end of season four, 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 six.
Only four people in the series history have killed a White Walker: Sam, Jon, Meera, and Arya. Jon holds the distinction of being the only character to have killed two Walkers, while Arya holds the record of killing them all with her dispatching of the Night King.
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.
One of the hallmarks of the show is its willingness to kill off beloved characters, oftentimes without warning. Examples include the unexpected deaths of Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark in season one, Catelyn and Robb in season three, Jon in season five, and Hodor in season six.
Nero, the Roman Emperor, was considered to be a major influence behind Aerys Targaryen II ("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.
Throughout the series, Arya's death list has included Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei Lannister, Tywin Lannister, Ilyn Payne, Meryn Trant, Walder Frey, Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, Sandor "The Hound" Clegane, Polliver, Rorge, Melisandre, Beric Dondarrion, and Thoros of Myr. By the fifth season in Game of Thrones: The House of Black and White (2015) the list had narrowed to four people (Meryn Trant, Cersei, Walder Frey, and Gregor Clegane). The only names on the list that Arya personally kills are Meryn Trant, Walder Frey, Rorge, and Polliver. By series' end, Ilyn Payne is the only person who appeared on the list who may still be alive.
List of major characters who, as of season seven, are dead on the show, but are still alive by the point the novels (and the sample chapters of the upcoming sixth novel) have reached: Daenerys' silver mare, Stannis Baratheon, Shireen Baratheon, Selyse Baratheon, Barristen Selmy, Margaery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Jojen Reed, Doran Martell, Trystane Martell, Areo Hotah, Grenn, Pyp, Alliser Thorne, Bowen Marsh, Roose Bolton, Ramsay Bolton, Walda Bolton, Myrcella Baratheon, Tommen Baratheon, Brynden Tully, Rickon Stark, Walder Frey, Black Walder, Lancel Lannister, Hodor, the ThreeEyed Raven, Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, the High Sparrow, Shaddydog, Summer, Mance Rayder, the Waif, Osha, Greatjon Umber, Leaf, Xaro Xoan Daxos, Olenna Tyrell, Ellaria Sand, the Sand Snakes, Randyll Tarly, Dickon Tarly, Thoros, Viserion, and Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.
In the books, Davos has seven children. Four of them, Dale, Allard, Matthos, and Maric, die in the Battle of the Blackwater. Devan, the older of the surviving three, serves as King Stannis' squire, while the youngest two, Stannis (named after the King) and Steffon, live safely away with their mother at his knightly (and eventually lordly) estate on Cape Wrath in the Stormlands. In the show, all seven were condensed into Davos' third son Matthos. Sallador Saan mentions Davos' wife on one occasion, but he has never mentioned her, nor has he shown any desire to return to her since joining up with Jon Snow.
In 2014, Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) was officially the most hated character in a poll following the death of Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson). The character was mostly hated for the indirect murder of Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark. The direct murder of Robert Baratheon. Installing Joffrey on the throne. Responsible for the death of her youngest son. Killed most of the Tyrell family in a single explosion and sitting on the throne as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
In a show that featured over five hundred credited roles, only six characters appeared in all eight seasons and survive the end of the series. They are: Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Bronn, and Samwell Tarley.
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 season six, episode ten, "The Winds of Winter", where she is tortured by Cersei and left at the mercy of Ser Gregor Clegane.
The Washington Post tabulated that there were six thousand eight hundred eighty-seven on-screen deaths in the series. Drogon is responsible for the most, with one thousand four hundred twenty-six, including undead wights.
In the first episode, "Winter is Coming", Daenerys steps into a steaming hot bath and does not wince or scorch from the heat. "Winter is Coming" was the first hint in the series that she was fireproof. The other being season one, episode ten, "Fire and Blood".
The only characters the audience sees sit on the Iron Throne are Eddard Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Cersei Lannister, Tywin Lannister, Tommen Baratheon, Jaime Lannister, and Aerys II Targaryen ("The Mad King"). The last two are only shown seated on it in flashbacks during Bran's visions.
Sean Blowers (Lord Wyman Manderly) was the first Northern Lord to proclaim Robb Stark (Richard Madden) King of the North, and call Jon Snown (Kit Harrington) King of the North is the last character to say a line in the series. After Sansa is crowned Queen, he is the first of the Northern Lords to proclaim "Queen in the North!", with all joining in unison. The last words spoken in the series.
Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven time travelling which they appear in visions of events from the past which nobody can hear or see them was influenced by the classic influential novel "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickins. In the novel, the cruel, bitter, and mean-spirited businessman Ebernezer Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who show him visions of Christmas in the past, the present, and the future, which nobody can see nor hear them, as the three ghosts teach Scrooge about Christmas and help him to become a better and more caring person.
It was implied, although never confirmed, that Queen Cersei Lannister was responsible for the death of Melara Hetherspoon who died falling down a well. If so, it is likely Cersei Lannister may had killed Melara Hetherspoon to silence her about Maggy the Frog and the prophecy. It's unlikely Cersei killed her to stop her from getting together with Jaime Lannister, as Maggy the Frog told her she would never marry him.
Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) is an almost similar role to Teale's role in Doctor Who (1963) season twenty-two, episode four, "Vengeance on Varos", in which Teale played the guard Maldak. In that story, Maldak keeps watch over the execution of the rebel prisoner Jondar (Jason Connery). In the season five finale of this show, Allister Thorne murders Jon Snow.
The series bares some similar plot elements to the Terminator film franchise: The White Walkers (zombies) were created by the Children of the Forest to fight the humans. The White Walkers led by the Night King are bent on wiping out every living human in Westeros. Bran Stark and the Three-Eyed Raven time travel and learn the truth behind The White Walker's creation. Jon Snow, along with Daenerys Targaryen and their massive army of allies, (Unsullied, Night's Watch, Northern Army, Knights of the Vale, and the Dothraki horde) battle The White Walkers in the Battle of Winterfell. Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke played Sarah Connor: Headey in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008) and Clarke in Terminator Genisys (2015).
Bran Stark bares only a couple of similarities to Paul Atreides, the main protagonist of the novel Dune by Frank Herbert: Bran Stark's father is Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark, who gets executed. His mother Catelyn Stark has red hair. Bran has visions. After Eddard's death, Bran goes Beyond the Wall and trains with the Three-Eyed Raven and Bran becomes King following the demise of Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister.