Winter is coming! With Season 7 of Game of Thrones hitting HBO, we as GoT fans
Here are fun and crazy Game of Thrones facts you need to know.
1. GEORGE RR MARTIN WAS AN ORIGINAL CAST MEMBER
Game of Throne’s writer George RR Martin had a cameo in that old pilot as a noble of Pentos who attended Daenerys’ wedding. Unfortunately, the cameo didn’t survive the reshoots.
2. PETER DINKLAGE THOUGHT THE SHOW HAD BEEN CANCELED
David Benioff pranked Peter Dinklage who plays Tyrion Lanniste by calling him after the pilot was picked up and telling him the show had been canceled. It’s a cruel cruel world out there!
3. SANSA STARK ADOPTED HER DIREWOLF IN REAL LIFE
Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, adopted Zunni, the Northern Inuit dog that played her pet direwolf on the series’ first season.
4. DOTHRAKI IS A REAL LANGUAGE
In 2014, Living Language released a conversational language course that will have you speaking like the great Khal Drogo. The course was created by linguist David J. Peterson, who worked with HBO to create the Dothraki heard on the show.
5. DAENERYS TARGARYEN ORIGINALLY HAD VIOLET EYES
In the books, the Targaryen family members are notable for their silver hair and violet eyes. During shooting, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and Viserys (Harry Lloyd) Targaryen originally wore violet contact lenses, but Benioff and Weiss decided they negatively impacted the actors’ ability to portray emotion.
6. A LOT OF DEAD CHARACTERS ARE ALIVE IN THE BOOKS
More than a handful of characters are alive in Martin’s books, but dead on the show. These include: Shireen and Stannis Baratheon, Night’s Watchmen Pyp and Grenn, Barristan Selmy, Myrcella Baratheon, and Mance Rayder.
7. SHOOTING THE HORSE HEART SCENE WAS AN UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE
The horse heart Daenerys had to eat in season one was essentially a giant gummy candy—one that, per Clarke, tasted a little bit like bleach. To make the proceedings even grosser, all the fake blood made Clarke so sticky that she got stuck to a toilet.
8. THERE’S MORE THAN ONE MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL CONNECTION
Part of Game of Thrones’s pilot was shot in one of the castles used for Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Three seasons later, in “Breaker of Chains,” an unnamed Meereenese warrior shouts a series of taunts at Daenerys that include “Your mother was a hamster,” “Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person,” and “I blow my nose at you” … in Low Valyrian, of course.
9. THE STARK KIDS ARE DIFFERENT AGES IN THE SHOW THAN IN THE BOOKS
When A Game of Thrones-the-book starts off, the Stark children are much younger than their on-screen counterparts. Bran was supposed to be seven, while the actor who played him (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was 12; Arya (played by Maisie Williams) went from nine to 13, while Sansa (Sophie Turner) went from eleven to 15 and Rickon (Art Parkinson) from three to six. In perhaps the most, ahem, stark difference, if Game of Thrones had stayed completely true to its source material, Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) would have been only 15 and 14 years old, respectively.
10. RAMSAY SNOW ALMOST PLAYED JON SNOW
Iwan Rheon was the runner-up to play Jon Snow. The role went to Kit Harington, and Rheon went on to play Roose Bolton’s sadistic bastard son, Ramsay, instead.
11. IT’S BEEN THE MOST ILLEGALLY DOWNLOADED SHOW FOR FOUR YEARS RUNNING
According to TorrentFreak, Game of Thrones was the most pirated show of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. In 2015 it had more than twice the illegal downloads of the second most pirated show, The Walking Dead!
12. SEAN BEAN HAD SOME FUN WITH HIS OWN DECAPITATED HEAD
In a Reddit AMA, Ned Stark actor Sean Bean recalled that, while on-set, he kicked the model of his character’s decapitated head around “like a football.”
13. THE CREATORS OF THE GoT TV SHOW KNOW HOW THE BOOKS WILL END
Martin has told Weiss and Benioff the “broad strokes” of how the series will end. “Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with [Martin] and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be,” Benioff told Vanity Fair. “If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.”
14. IT COST MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO BRING GoT TO THE SMALL SCREEN
The first season of “Game of Thrones” cost between $50 million and $60 million, or something north of $5 million per episode on average. Even now that’s a lot for a TV show — but HBO has blown past that amount and has foot a bill of more than $100 million for season 6. You can see where the extra funding has gone on the screen.
15. George RR MARTIN IS THE PROUD OWNER OF 3 DRAGON EGGS
When Daenerys married Khal Drogo, Illyrio Mopatis gave her the three ancient dragon eggs that would hatch into the actual actual dragons we know so well today. The egg props, however, were given in real life to George RR Martin by the prop maker who constructed them.
16. HARRY POTTER LINK
“Game of Thrones” has included, to date, nine actors who appeared in “Harry Potter” movies. They are: Natalia Tena (Osha), pictured; David Bradley (Lord Walder Frey); Julian Glover (Grand Maester Pycelle); Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark); Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder); Ian Whyte (Gregor Clegane/Wun Wun); Ralph Ineson (Dagmer Cleftjaw); Edward Tudor-Pole (guy giving a speech in King’s Landing about how terrible the Lannisters are in season 2); and Bronson Webb (Will, the guy whose head Ned Stark cut off in the pilot).
17. STAR WARS LINK
And eight actors who were in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), pictured, Max von Sydow (Three-Eyed Raven), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel), Jessica Henwick (Nymeria Sand), Emun Elliott (Marillion), Mark Stanley (Grenn) and Hannah John-Kamen (Ornela).
18. GEORGE RR MARTIN ALWAYS WANTED PETER DINKLAGE TO PLAY TYRION LANNISTER
“Song of Ice and Fire” writer George RR Martin has said he imagined Peter Dinklage in the role of Tyrion Lannister before the show came into being — and when it was time for showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to cast the role, no other actor was considered for the part.
19. MUSICIAN APPEARANCES IN GOT
Several musicians have appeared on “Game of Thrones” as extras. In “The Rains of Castamere,” Coldplay drummer Will Champion played one of the musicians at the Red Wedding who helps slaughter Robb Stark’s men. In “Hardhome,” the heavy metal band Mastodon can be seen playing wildlings who are killed by the White Walkers and later resurrected as wights.
20. BATTLE SCENES INSPIRED BY HISTORY
When prepping and filming battle scenes, the “GoT” team took inspiration from several actual battles in history. The strategy used by the Bolton forces in “Battle of the Bastards,” for example, was inspired by that used by the Carthaginian general Hannibal against Rome during the Second Punic War.