30 Little Known Facts About 'Game of Thrones'

Bethany Quinn | May 20, 2019 TV
30 Little Known Facts About 'Game of Thrones'
Image: HBO

Liam Cunningham, Rory McCann, Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, and Sophie Turner in Game of
HBO

Game of Thrones frenzy has been at an all-time high since the current (and final) season premiered weeks ago. Season eight will be the last of this epic series and fans everywhere are heartbroken and a little upset -- not to mention fully enraptured in the show more than ever. Though it's come to an end, the series didn't go down with a bang, but did have a few burning flames.

So many beloved Game of Thrones characters have died. While we now know who took the throne in the end (quite unexpected!), it's been a crazy journey to this point with so many things left unwritten.

(Does this mean spin-off shows?)

This last season has been a head-turning send-off to this over-the-top show that left our jaws agape pretty much since it premiered in 2011. From finding out the true nature of Jaime and Cersei's relationship in season one, to Daenerys burning King's Landing to a crisp in the second to last episode, we've been glued to our television sets in shock and awe.

With no more episodes left, we're left wondering just what we will we talk about now? Maybe we can binge a true crime series, or get a bit of levity with a Hallmark flick?

Nothing will replace GoT and all its crazy action sequences, epic battles, and twisted drama. As we say goodbye to the series forever, here are 30 little known facts about Game of Thrones for fans of Westeros.

  • The Pilot Episode Never Made It to Air

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    Peter Dinklage, Michiel Huisman, Joel Fry, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    There's an unaired pilot somewhere hidden in the HBO archives. When creators first shot the pilot, they soon realized it was total garbage. "We got everything wrong on a very basic level with the writing of it," co-creator David Benioff told Variety. One of the main misses was that no one realized Cersei and Jaime were brother and sister.

    The whole thing was canned and reshot!

  • 'The Lord of the Rings' Served as Major Inspiration

    2

    Fans already know how inspired creator George R.R. Martin was by The Lord of the Rings, but now they know why. Turns out Martin's willingness to kill off important characters was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's killing of Gandalf. "Tolkien just broke that rule," Martin told reporters.

    "And I'll love him forever for it.The minute you kill Gandalf, the suspense of everything that follows is a thousand times greater, because now anybody could die. Of course, that's had a profound on my own willingness to kill characters off at the drop of a hat."

  • Sophie Turner Adopted Her Direwolf

    3

    In the show, the Stark kids each have a direwolf to protect them. When Sansa, played by Sophie Turner, lost her direwolf in the show, she decided that she wanted to adopt the dog in real life. "Growing up I always wanted a dog, but my parents never wanted one," she told CoventryLive. "We kind of fell in love with my character’s dire wolf, Lady, on set. We knew Lady died and they wanted to re home her. My mum persuaded them to let us adopt her."

    Sweet!
  • Fake Blood Caused Emilia Clarke to Get Stuck to the Toilet

    4

    During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, Emilia Clarke told a hilarious story about a lesser-known side effect of fake blood. "And it kind of just stays sticky for quite a long time," she revealed about getting stuck on the toilet seat during filming. "There's a moment when we were filming it that I disappeared and I was stuck to the toilet."

  • Kit Harington Auditioned With a Black Eye

    5

    In a video interview for W magazine, Kit Harington revealed that he showed up to his GoT audition with a shiner after getting punched by a guy at McDonald's. "I got battered," Harington said. "I think that man who punched me in the face may have helped me get the job. So if you're watching, thank you."

  • Peter Dinklage Was the Only Actor Considered for Tyrion

    6

    George R.R. Martin said from the start that Peter Dinklage was the only person he envisioned for the role of Tyrion Lannister, but the actor didn't have the same vision. In fact, he almost turned down the role. "I had one hesitation, because of the fantasy genre, I told him I didn't want a really long beard and pointy shoes," Dinklage said in a Reddit AMA.

  • Tyrion Is Technically the Main Character

    7

    While he hasn't appeared in every episode, mathematicians have deduced that Tyrion Lannister is the main character by determining that he's interacted with the most characters -- more than any other character in the show. We can totally get behind this as Peter Dinklage is a superb actor and deserves every accolade!

  • There's a 'GoT'-Themed Rap Album

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    Believe it or not, HBO released a companion album entitled Catch the Throne. It features rap tracks from artists such as Method Man, Snoop Dogg, Big Boi, Talib Kweli, and Anthrax. Fans can download it for free on SoundCloud.

  • Emilia Clarke & Lena Headey Have Both Played the Same Iconic Character

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    Lena Headey in Game of Thrones
    HBO
    Both Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey have played Sarah Connor from the Terminator franchise. Clarke played Conner in Terminator Genisys alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, while Headey played her in the short-lived television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
  • George R.R. Martin Had a Cameo

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    George R.R. Martin
    Splash News

    In the original pilot, George R.R. Martin had a small part as one of the guests at Dany and Khal Drogo's wedding. The episode went on to be completely reshot with many new cast members, so Martin's GoT cameo was cut. "I made a cameo in the original pilot, which was filmed in Morocco," he said. "I was a Pentoshi nobleman and one of the guests at Dany's wedding to Khal Drogo. However, subsequently we recast the part of Dany. So, the entire Morocco wedding sequence was cut, and my brilliant cameo was left on the cutting room floor."

  • Actess Amanda Peet's Husband Is a Co-Creator

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    Amanda Peet and David Benioff
    Splash News

    Creator David Benioff is married to actress Amanda Peet. Peet is so invested in the show that at one point, she even threatened to divorce Benioff if he killed off Jon Snow. "I am in the process of getting divorced," she joked with Jimmy Kimmel. Good thing for Benioff, Snow was brought back!

    Thanks, Amanda!

  • Each Episode in Season Six Cost Over $10 Million

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    Ellie Kendrick and Isaac Hempstead Wright in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    It's easy to see just how expensive the show is to make, with it's incredibly large cast and expansive sets -- not to mention the accuracy that's put into the costumes and props can definitely cost a pretty penny. It was once reported that, "the show easily costs north of $10 million per episode at this point -- not that you'll hear HBO complain."

  • Maisie Williams Actually Couldn't See in Some Scenes

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    While Maisie Williams is a brilliant actress, but for much of the time on season six, her character (Arya) was blind, and so was Williams. Williams actually couldn't see due to her contacts. "For a lot of the close-ups, I had contact lenses that were opaque," she told the New York Times.  "So, I couldn’t see anything anyway. For the fight scenes, I had contact lenses I could see through [for safety reasons]." 
  • Daenerys Targaryen Has Violet Eyes in the Books

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    In the Blu-ray box set, fans got let in on why Daenerys Targaryen did not have her signature violet eyes as she does in the books. Turns out, producers scrapped the idea of colored contacts after it hindered Emilia Clarke's ability to portray emotions.

  • Dothraki Is a Real Language

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    Jason Momoa and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    Fans can learn to speak Dothraki, just like Khal Drogo!

    Living Language released a course that was created by linguist David J. Peterson who worked with HBO to create the language heard on Game of Thrones.

  • The Stark Children Are Much Younger in the Books

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    Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead Wright, and Sophie Turner in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    In the books, the Stark siblings are much younger than they are in the series. For instance, Bran is just 7 in the book, while the actor who played him, Isaac Hempstead Wright, was 12. Jon Snow should've been 14 if the series stayed consistent with George R.R. Martin's novel.

  • Kit Harington Had a Safe Word on Set

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    While filming the scene of the Battle of the Bastards, Jon Snow gets trampled. In a behind-the-scenes film by HBO, camera operator Sean Savage revealed that Kit Harington needed a safe word just in case it all became too much for him.

    "We had a sort of safe word [so] that we could call it off at any point," he said. "We had to see that the light closed up on Kit's face and at that point I just urged Kit to get off the ground and stand up again," he revealed. "And I think you can see that it is a true struggle."

  • Joffrey Has Many Similarities to a Certain Roman Emperor

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    Jack Gleeson in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    One Reddit user pointed out the number of similarities between the fictional King Joffrey and the historical Roman Emperor Caligula. Both were cruel and sadistic, but what's more shocking is the physical resemblance between the two. Jack Gleeson, who played Joffrey, looks almost identical to Caligula!

  • Emilia Clarke Hated Eating the 'Horse Heart'

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    Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    Emilia Clarke admitted to hating eating a fake horse heart during the first season. "It was kind of like a gummy bear, like a big gummy bear," she said. "Sort of covered in fake blood that sort of tasted like bleach."

    Hope she had a bucket nearby!

  • Lena Headey Used a Body Double for That Famous Walk of Shame

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    Lena Headey in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    Lena Headey has done nude scenes in the past, but when it came time for her "shame" scene, she thought it was best for her and the character if she used a body double. "In order to do my job, I allow myself to be really vulnerable," she told Entertainment Weekly. "I don't know any other way to do my job. Things really affect me. And the thought of being naked for three days and trying to contain her in the way she would be, I think I would feel very angry. I didn't want to be angry. I don't think Cersei would be angry. I did what I thought she would do, emotionally."

  • The Mountain Never Needed a Stunt Double Until Season Eight

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    Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson in Game of Thrones
    HBO
    "All the seasons prior to this season that we just finished filming, I never had stunt doubles. I always did everything myself," Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays The Mountain, said in an interview with Mashable. "But the last season I filmed, the season that hasn’t been shown on television, I had a stunt double there." Björnsson said season eight was, "the hardest season I’ve filmed for Game of Thrones."
  • George R.R. Martin Got One of the Dragon Eggs as a Wedding Gift

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    Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    According to Buzzfeed, "Game of Thrones producers gave George R.R. Martin one of the three dragon eggs used in the show as a wedding gift when he married Parris McBride in February 2011."

    Seems well deserved!

  • Peter Dinklage Was Tricked Into Thinking the Show Was Canceled

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    Peter Dinklage in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    The cast and crew enjoyed playing pranks on one another from the beginning -- including the time co-creator David Benioff told Peter Dinklage that the show was canceled after the pilot. Dinklage recalled feeling absolutely crushed for six hours before he learned the happy truth!

  • Sean Bean Was Kept in the Dark About a Lot

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    Sean Bean and Aidan Gillen in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark, in season one, told Entertainment Weekly, that although he was killed off in the first season, he was never told any secrets or spoilers about the rest of the characters. "Like with everything with Game of Thrones, it was kept very dark and secret," he said. "I think that’s the kind of magic and the glory of Game of Thrones -- that’s why it’s so stunning and breathtaking when these secrets are revealed."

  • Natalie Dormer Was Super Careful About Revealing Spoilers

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    Natalie Dormer told Jimmy Kimmel that she avoided spoilers by only reading the part of the script that her character was in. "I watched season one like a fan, like you. So, when I joined them in the second season, I wanted to go back to feeling like a fan," Dormer revealed. "I stopped reading other people’s storylines. I only read the scripts that are relevant to Margaery and Highgarden and King’s Landing. So, when the show airs, I’m sitting on the couch watching it like you."

  • Kit Harington Had to Stay Quiet About His Character's Fate

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    Liam Cunningham, Murray McArthur, Kit Harington in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    One of the craziest moments on GoT was the death of Jon Snow, only to realize that he would be brought back to life. In fact, fans weren't the only ones kept in the dark: cast members were, too. "Sophie Turner, bless her, wrote me a really long letter about how much she loved working with me -- and I still got it," Harington told Entertainment Weekly.

  • Kit Harington Revealed a Spoiler to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket

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    During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Kit Harington revealed that he let Jon Snow's fate, in season six "slip" out to a police officer who pulled him over for speeding. The officer told Harington that his answer would determine if he would get a ticket or not, to which he replied, "I'm alive next season." The officer then said, "on your way Lord Commander. Keep the speed down this far south of the Wall."

    Too funny!
  • Khaleesi Is a Popular Name for Baby Girls

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    Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones
    HBO

    Since the show's premiere in 2011, the name "Khaleesi" has become quite popular for baby girls. The Social Security Administration reports that 560 baby girls received the name in 2018. We wonder what those parents are thinking of their choice now, since the penultimate episode showed the Dothraki queen in a less than flattering light.

  • 'GoT' Has Inspired Pet Names, Too

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    Game of Thrones dire wolf
    HBO

    Banfield Pet Hospital, the largest veterinary clinic in the United States, revealed in its 2018 medical records that GoT pet names were becoming increasingly popular. Lady and Ghost are the names of the Stark kids' direwolves topping the list.

  • People Loved to Download the Show Illegally

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    From 2012 to 2017, GoT was the most pirated show on television. In 2015 it doubled The Walking Dead's illegal downloads.

    We guess people really didn't want to pay for HBO!

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