Amassing over 200 awards across its 8 season run, Game of Thrones is one of the most widely celebrated series in TV history. Here are 11 pieces of trivia about the show…
1) Kit Harington is ashamed of his ‘bad acting’ in the pilot
Kit Harington has said that his acting in the series’ pilot was atrocious. He’s so embarrassed by it, in fact, that throughout filming the series, the creators would jokingly threaten to release footage of his pilot performance if he complained too much.
2) Jack Gleeson got a letter from George R.R. Martin
One of the most widely-hated TV characters of all time, sadistic brat King Joffrey was masterfully brought to life by Jack Gleeson. After his stint on the show, Gleeson received a letter from the author of A Song and Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin himself. ‘Congratulations on your marvellous performance – everybody hates you!’ Gleeson based his performance on Commodus from Gladiator (played by Joaquin Phoenix).
3) Emilia Clarke got stuck to a toilet seat
When Daenerys had to devour a horse’s heart, there was so much fake blood on her that when she took a toilet break between takes, she got stuck to the toilet seat. The heart itself was actually made from gelatin. Clarke said in an interview that the gelatin was absolutely disgusting – so her grossed-out reaction on screen as she chomps through the heart isn’t actually acting.
4) George R.R. Martin quizzed the creators about Jon Snow’s mother
Game of Thrones first hit bookshelves back in 1996. On several occasions since, the author was approached about film adaptations. However, he felt the book was too extensive and complicated to be adapted into a movie – and much of the plot would be lost. He was more interested, therefore, when Benioff and Weiss approached him about the TV series. However, before granting his permission, he asked them one question to check they were truly fans of his books – ‘who is Jon Snow’s mother?’ Martin was clearly pleased with the answer they gave.
5) Charles Dance hated being mean to Peter Dinklage
Upon reading the script, Charles Dance (who plays Tywin Lannister) was appalled at the way his character speaks to his son. He explained that Peter Dinklage is one of the nicest people he’s met, and hated having to be mean to him during performances. So much so, that in between takes, Dance would apologise to Dinklage.
6) One of the most expensive TV shows ever made
From seasons one to five, the show cost on average $6 million per episode. However, by the time the show reached its sixth outing, it was such a huge success that the studio decided to up its budget to $10 million dollars per episode. And by the final season, it had increased to $15 million per episode.
7) Cersei and Bronn contractually couldn’t appear on screen together
Lena Headey (who plays Cersei) and Jerome Flynn (who plays Bronn) were actually in a relationship before Game of Thrones came about. The relationship sadly ended on very bad terms. When their agents came to sign them up to the series, it was written into their contracts that they can never share scenes or interact onscreen.
8) Gandalf’s sword sits inside the Iron Throne
The Iron Throne prop is made up of dozens – or hundreds – of words. Among them, paying tribute to the ultimate fantasy series, The Lord of the Rings, is a perfect replica of Gandafl’s sword, Glamdring.
9) They had to film around Kit Harington’s broken ankle
Early on in the show, Kit Harington accidentally locked himself out of his apartment in London. He tried to climb up into it, but slipped and broke his ankle. This made filming tricky – and they had to use doubles in wigs.
10) Charles Dance took lessons from a butcher
When we first see Tywin Lannister onscreen, he’s skinning a stag whilst talking to Jaime. Charles Dance skinned it for real – and actually took some lessons from a butcher ahead of the screen, to do a convincing job.
11) Queen Elizabeth II refused the chance to sit on the Iron Throne
Whilst touring Northern Ireland in 2014, the Queen and Prince Philip paid a visit to the Game of Thrones sets. For a photo opportunity, the Queen was offered the chance to sit on the Iron Throne. She declined, however, as it’s against royal protocol to sit on a throne in a foreign country.
There you have it – 11 amazing pieces of Game of Thrones trivia!
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