As the final season of Game of Thrones is all set to air this April, we present to you some of the lesser known facts about the cult series that will take you aback, much like the show itself with its spectacular twists and turns-
George R. R. Martin, the author of the book A Song of Fire and Ice, on which the series is based was quite apprehensive of his film being brought to life on screen. Apparently, Martin who had been a writer on scripts of tele series was upset with the limitations brought about by production barriers and had in mind a project that would be almost impossible to be converted into visuals. For that very purpose, he scripted the book which presented a grand world to its readers, that would practically not have been feasible to be translated on screen.
For that very reason therefore, Martin turned down producers who were interested in adapting his book into full length films. Finally, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss had the good fortune of being entrusted with making the series a reality. But not after a round of gruelling ‘interrogation’.
Martin presented to the two men the question that has seen been intriguing fans the world over: Who is Jon Snow’s real mother? Benioff and Weiss had however done their’ homework’, as they had a two hour long conversation on that very topic. And finally, they did manage to trump with their guess.
Game of Thrones, like most popular TV series had a pilot episode that went unaired. For good measure perhaps. Even when it was directed by an Oscar winning Tom McCarthy, the pilot was terrible as no one who had viewed it could make out Jaime and Cersei to be siblings.
That was one of the biggest reasons for the pilot being scrapped, though that particular filming had some perks as well- like the author of the book made a cameo appearance as a guest at Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s wedding. Apparently the pilot contained a theatrical rendition of the death of Jon Arryn as well.
The unaired pilot has yet another interesting story to it. After the shoot, producer David Benioff called up cast Peter Dinklage to inform him about the show being cancelled. An unsuspecting Dinklage believed in what he had been told for six long hours, before he came to learn about the truth.
Sophie Turner who plays the part of Sansa Stark in the series grew so attached to the Northern Inuit dog who played her pet direwolf Lady on screen that she had her family convince the makers to let her adopt it once Lady died off in the show. Lady eventually found a new home at the Turner’s as Zunni.
The dialect that runs supreme in the show is one that has been morphed to be a real language in existence. Crafted by linguist David J. Peterson, the Dothraki language course can have you speaking like Khal Drogo in no time.
The series revolves around the Targaryen family members who are remarkable beauties with their silver hair and violet eyes. But while the solver streaks of hair are dominant in the show, the purple eyes are nowhere to be seen. This, particularly for the reason that the violet contact lenses that were tested to bring on the look of the characters on screen, proved to be a hindrance to emotion. But considering how surreal purple eyes would have looked in that magical setting, we sure missed out on alot of beauty!
Gam of Thrones went further with the gore than what Martin had intended to portray through in his books. More than a few characters have been killed off in the TV adaptation of the series while they continue to form an important part of the story in print. For someone like Martin who has been more fascinated with sex than death, this is something not very surprising.
Emilia Clarke as Daenerys eating one horse heart made up an unforgettable scene in the GoT series. But Clarke had to undergo a lot of ordeal while feeding on what was essentially a giant gummy candy that had a taste that wasn’t very appetising. As per Clarke, she skipped lunch on that particular day of the shoot as the bleach and raw pasta like taste of the ‘heart’ had put her off. To make it worse, Clarke found herself horrifyingly stuck to the toilet seat with all that sticky fake blood that had been poured in to enhance the appeal!
With the tremendous amount of hype and fantasy that the series has managed to generate interest ever since it was launched in 2011. Game of Thrones has emerged to be the most pirated show for four consecutive years from 2012 to 2015. In fact, 2015 saw the number of illegal GoT downloads being almost double that of the second most pirated show, The Walking Dead!
Actors sure have a lot of adventure while filming around on the GoT sets. Sean Bean who played the role of Ned Stark had the most fun of all as he went on playing with his character’s own decapitated head, kicking it around like in a game of football!
Tywin Lannister has been a man of authority right from the time he made his appearance in season one of the series. Even as we witness the senior Lannister masterfully skinning a stag, what remains a fact lesser known that all throughout actor Charles Dance was skinning an actual deer after a quick tutorial by the butcher! Interesting that he should have picked up the skills of the trade so soon!
In one of those sex scenes in GoT, Jon Snow and Ygritte were getting all mushy in the water and we certainly had some visuals of Jon Snow’s butt that was enough to incite some arousal. Yet, disappointingly enough, the makers had us fooled with actor Kit Harrington having to employ a ‘butt double’.
Harrington had broken his ankle about the time when the scene was filmed while attempting to break into his own apartment after he was locked out. He failed quite appallingly and the production had to rely on stand ins to play out his character on screen. A gullible Harrington ended up giving his production manager a bottle of whiskey as an apology for the inconvenience!
A pivotal GoT character Tywin Lannister’s on screen wife was a lady named Joanna who died at her third childbirth of Tyrion Lannister. Interestingly, Charles Dance who played Tywin was also previously married to one Joanna and has three children with her!
The cult show that it has turned out to be, Game of Thrones has a large base of fans worldwide and one such distinctively popular fan is Barack Obama. The ex president of the United States of America had his ‘power’ into good use as he obtained exclusive early viewership of the sixth season of the series.
It’s quite a remarkable achievement when the author himself finds the screen portrayal of a character that he created to be one that had exceeded his imagination. GoT star Natalia Tena had been party to that wonderful feeling when author Martin acknowledged that her portrayal of Osha was indeed more than what he had made out of in the books. Sibel Kekilli as Shae is another actor who was complimented by Martin himself as being better than the print version.
For an actor who has been part of the series, Game of Thrones opened up a pretty interesting avenue of sorts. Hot Pie enactor Ben Hawkey teamed up with Uk food delivery service to launch his very own bakery. The “You Know Nothing John Dough” bakery serves direwolf loaf, that very bread Hot Pie had baked Arya in the show.
As one of the most expensive TV series ever made, with those scenic but difficult to access locations, the majestic sets, the visuals that spilled magic, every single thing about Game of Thrones speaks extravagance and opulence. Millions of dollars are spend per episode to impart the show its grandeur and larger than life, out worldly appeal and status. The sixth season in particular was particularly expensive, with production cost worth almost $100 million and $10 million per episode.
Even the show’s sparkingly petrified dragon eggs that made an appearance in the first season before hatching into those majestically mythical yet seemingly real fiery beasts are actually million dollars art. Unsurprisingly, one of these giant eggs found its way as a unique wedding present for the author George Martin upon his marriage to his longtime partner Parris McBride.
Lena Headey as Queen Cersei was so gothic in her portrayal of her on screen character that she emerged to be fan-voted as the series’ most hated character. And not only that, Headey often has experienced personal hatred from viewers who see her as Queen Cersei even outside of the show.
Game of Throes is known for all the gore and torture it brings on screen, yet one of the series’ reel life couples Jon Snow and Ygritte made GoT quite a romantic affair. Not only in the love they encompassed in front of the camera, but also in real life when the actor who played the two characters, Kit Harington and Rose Lesli got married in 2018 after a full fledged romance that began on set.
Contrastingly, GoT had another romance wrapped up much before the show was incepted. Lena Headley aka Queen Cersei had a relationship with Jerome Flynn, the man who played Bronn that had ended nastily. In fact, the two actors were so bad with each other that they even got clauses inserted in their contracts which restricted them from sharing screen space.
Though the series is one that buzzes with protagonists and antagonists, Tyrion Lannister is undoubtedly the star protagonist of Game of Thrones. With appearances in 61 episodes out of a 67 telecast so far, Peter Dinklage as Lannister is the most featured GoT star.
In fact, Peter’s casting and ‘importance’ as Lannister has been evident all throughout, right from the casting when he was the only actor out of the huge cast to be chosen as the sole choice for the role he portrays so effectively.
However, the character of Tyrion Lannister surpasses mere imaginations even for a work of fiction. There have been mathematical theories that has analyzed the entire book series and has proclaimed Tyrion as the most interconnected character in the series. Also, with a couple of Emmy and Golden Globe awards in his kitty, Peter sure rules fans’ minds and imagination as the most beloved character of the series.
Game of Thrones also holds the distinction of being the most awarded scripted TV show ever. 2015 saw GoT make a clean sweep of the Emmy with 12 awards, emerging to become the most awarded single season of any TV show ever. Returning strongly to keep the feat going in 2016, the series has racked up a total of 47 Primetime Emmys since then.
Deaths reign supreme in the Game of Thrones series with a whopping 1,50,966 deaths so far marking the show. And with the final season obviously leading the series to culmination, we expect quite some more deaths as well. In fact, till date there have been only two episodes over the entire seasons of the series that doesn’t feature a single death. We wonder what was wrong with the makers at that points!
Cersei’s walk of shame, naked and smittered with shit in Season 5 of GoT has to be one of the most remarkable scenes in the series. Not only was the scene appalling enough to make Cersei aka actress Lena Headley opt for a body double but it was also an inference from areal life event- that of the punishment awarded to Jane Shore, a mistress of King Edward IV, upo the king’s death.
For a series steeped in fantasy, it isn’t very surprising that Game of Thrones draws upon from other magical worlds. At least in the character choices. 14 actors who also starred in the Harry Potter series has featured in GoT so far.” That apart, eight actors who were in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” have also been a part of the GoT franchisee.
The craze for the fantasy series can be gauged from the fact that Israeli TV provider Yes created an exclusive channel that would have aired each and every episode of the season right up to its 5th season. For three weeks ahead of Season 6 premiering, the temporary channel satiated all fans with GoT trivia and replays.
The Lyanna Face that had taken Twitter by storm had undoubtedly been one of the most perfect encounters of GoT. But even as actress Lyanna Mormont perfected the shot in every take, it still took 60 re takes to convince the director Miguel Sapochnik that he had indeed filmed the phenomenally expressive face of Mormont in an epic phenomenal way as well.
Author Martin perhaps sought to shower some validation on fans when he revealed that some fan theories have exactly speculated how the series will round up to the climax. But with a host of fan fiction theories and predictions doing the rounds, it is quite difficult to say which one would be the obvious culmination of the series.
Super curious fans and the poking media had always been a threat to revealing the secret plots of the series. The makers of the show therefore devised a rather interesting trick to keep their secrets intact. Filming fake scenes, specially when the paparazzi were peeringly shooting production pictures formed a plan of the scheming crew of artistes!
Like anything steeped in fantasy that appeals to our very senses, GoT has also a separate, crazy fan base of its own. So much so that the world famous Harvard University offers an introductory course on the series titled The Real Game of Thrones: From model myths to medieval models to let you traverse the fantasy universe in real!
Like a true, blue GoT fan, actress Natalie Dormer who played the character of Margaery Tyrell in the series believes in watching the show when it goes on air with all the excitement and intensity intact. Dormer therefore avoids reading the scripts of the other characters lest she should give away anything substantial as a slip of tongue.
Jon Snow enactor Kit Harrington had once to keep his co stars in the dark about his character’s fate in the series. But he was so much of a convincing liar that Sophie Turner turned emotional and went ranting all about how she would be missing him in the show. Quite an actor, Mr Harrington.
Kit Harrington has by far the most interesting anecdotes related to his casting in the show. Harrington was once approached in a bar by a man who found him strikingly similar to Jon Snow, yet refused to believe that Kit was indeed Snow because he looked too short to be the on screen character!
Tough Mr Martin is still writing the final roundup of the book series, he has let the climax known to the producers of the Game of Thrones series just so that fans aren’t left in the lurk lest the 68 years young man loses the game of life anytime soon.
GoT’s two of the most beloved characters Arya Stark and Sansa Stark share a beautiful bonding off screen as well. The on screen sisters have matching tattoos that are inked in the figures 07.08.09. The actresses behind the characters, Massie Williams and Sophie Turner went under the needle to commemorate their date of casting in the epic series.
The most interesting Game of Thrones audition had to be that of Khal Drogo, Jason Momoa. The audition had Momoa perform a Maori haka without a shirt on, that he had ripped off in the middle of the adventurous encounter.
Even for a show that has been disturbingly gory, the scene of Ramsay Bolton’s most awaited death was blown up in gruesome horror when it was super intensified via graphics exaltation. So much so that the makers decided to scrap it off once they discovered how terrifyingly macabre it turned out to be.
The Wall is one of the most prominent structures in GoT. Yet for the majestically defiant 700 feet wall protecting the territory, it would be quite a letdown that the original wall is only about 17 feet in height and is lent its elevated positioning via CGI effects.
Natural brunette Emilia Clarke must have been thankful to the makers and hairdressers of GoT that she did not have to redo her hair even when she was portraying the blonde haired Daenerys Targaryen. With wigs custom made for her, Clarke had been a made up stunner till until the final season when she finally dyes her hair platinum blonde as a tribute maybe!
The GoT characters seem to be all steeped up in fur as they ramble along the dreary cold landscapes. But there’s a trickery in here too. The costumes aren’t real furs, but rugs from IKEA. Costume designer Michele Clapton let out that the rugs were cut, shaved, waxed and frosted to make them look as genuinely rugged as possible.
So have you been skipping the GoT opening credits feature like everyone else? If yes, then you would most likely not want to do so when your favorite series airs one final time in April, 2019. The pre show credits feature those cities and towns that would likely be significant giveaways of the episodes they are attached to.
The series apart, even the book is a holder of interesting distinctions. The Song of Ice and Fire has recorded the most uses of the name Jon (equivalently, John) for its characters. With at least 22 mentioned in the first 4 books itself, Martin’s ‘obsession’ with naming characters with same names is quite palpable. In fact, the makers of the show had to alter quite a few similar names to avoid confusing the audience.