Can’t get enough “Game of Thrones” while waiting for each new episode every week? Of course you can’t. Let this collection of trivia, much of it courtesy of IMDb’s intrepid horde of trivia hunters, help dull the pain of waiting for each new episode in Season 7.
Tyrion Lannister has appeared in more episodes than any other character — 58 out of a possible 64, including every episode in Season 7 so far.
Remember when Daenerys ate that horse heart in season 1? After shooting that scene, actress Emilia Clarke was covered in so much fake blood (which commonly uses sticky corn syrup as a base) that she got stuck to a toilet.
Iwan Rheon, the actor who played the much-loathed Ramsay Snow, had previously been up for a different role before he got that part: Jon Snow. Rheon has said it was down to him and Kit Harrington for the part before the showrunners decided on Harrington.
Series co-creator David Benioff originally wanted “The Rains of Castamere” to be the theme song, but the other co-creator, D.B. Weiss, talked him out of it. Nonetheless, “The Rains of Castamere” can be heard dozens of times in the series, including versions by The National and Sigur Ros.
The original pilot for “Game of Thrones” was by all accounts total garbage, despite being helmed by Tom McCarthy, the director of last year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture “Spotlight.” The first episode was reshot almost entirely, with several new cast members — including Michelle Fairley replacing Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark. Apparently it showed a particularly theatrical rendition of the death of Jon Arryn (pictured) as well.
George RR Martin had a cameo in that old pilot as a noble of Pentos who attended Daenerys’ wedding. The cameo didn’t survive the reshoots.
The Roman Emperor Caligula was a cruel and destructive ruler whose reign only lasted a few years because he was assassinated for being terrible at his job. And Joffrey looked a lot like him, judging by the old statues and busts. Coincidence?
Sansa Stark’s direwolf pup Lady was killed early in season 1 — meaning the dog who played her, Zunni, was out of a job. So Sophie Turner, the actress who plays Sansa, adopted her.
When we first met Tywin Lannister at the end of season 1, he lectured his son Jaime on legacy and family while skinning a stag (as a metaphor, since a stag is the sigil of House Baratheon). That stag was an actual dead stag and actor Charles Dance actually was skinning it.
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. And you can see it on the screen.
Back in the days of seasons 1 and 2 of “Game of Thrones,” Tommen Baratheon was played by a kid named Callum Wharry. In season 3, Dean-Charles Chapman played Tommen’s cousin Martyn Lannister, but he only got a couple scenes before getting stabbed to death by Lord Karstark. And then, in season 4, Chapman stepped into the boots of Tommen, replacing Wharry.
Remember Cersei’s walk of atonement in season 5, when she walked naked through the streets of King’s Landing and got lots of feces thrown at her? Well, that was some screen magic, because that wasn’t actually actress Lena Headey‘s body you saw. It’s not hard to sympathize with the decision — I imagine that acting is extra hard when you’re naked in front of a crowd getting garbage smeared all over you all day.
“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.
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 at his real-life by the prop maker who constructed them.
Few characters on “Game of Thrones” hate each other the way Cersei and Tyrion do — well, Tyrion doesn’t hold nearly as much contempt for his sister as she does for him, but you know what I mean. In real life, though, actors Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey are basically best friends. “Sometimes we have to avoid eye contact so we don’t crack up,” Dinkalge said in a Reddit AMA in 2014.
Gregor Clegane, better known as The Mountain, has been recast twice in his years on the show. In season 1 he was played by Conan Stevens. In season 2 he was played by Ian Whyte. Currently, the role belongs to Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. Whyte, however, would go on to an illustrious career as Wun Wun the giant.
“Game of Thrones” has included, to date, 10 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); Bronson Webb (Will, the guy whose head Ned Stark cut off in the pilot); and Jim Broadbent (Archmaester Marwyn in Oldtown).
And eight actors who were in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), 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).
And eleven actors who have appeared in the BBC show “Ripper Street”: Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy), Kristian Nairn (Hodor), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Dean-Charles Chapman (King Tommen), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton), Clive Russell (Brynden Tully), Anton Lesser (Qyburn), Francis Magee (Yoren), Joseph Mawle (Benjin Stark), Philip Arditti (goatherd).
Over the course of the show, many characters have referred to Jorah Mormont as “Jorah the Andal.” But Jorah, being from Bear Island in the north of Westeros, is not descended from the Andals but rather from the First Men. That nickname was given by the Dothraki in a bit of cultural ignorance, and it apparently stuck.
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. And Ed Sheeran popped up in Season 7 as a musically inclined Lannister soldier.
When it came time to add visual effects for Ramsay Bolton’s long-awaited death scene, VFX group Image Engine originally planned to use CGI to show Ramsay’s jaw getting ripped off by his own hunting hounds. But when they finished it, they decided that the sight was too gruesome even for “Game of Thrones” and scrapped it.
Lyanna Mormont’s face towards Ramsay during the “Battle of the Bastards” took Twitter by storm last year. According to director Miguel Sapochnik, the scene was shot approximately 60 times, and actress Bella Ramsey gave the “Lyanna Face” in every single one.
Unlike many previous battle scenes, the “Battle of the Bastards” used very few aerial shots. Sapochnik said this was because HBO safety rules kept them from using camera drones over horses and people. This gave him the idea to work around it by shooting most of the battle on the ground from Jon and Ramsay’s perspectives.
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.
The furs worn by characters like Jon Snow and others in the Night’s Watch aren’t really furs — they’re actually rugs from IKEA. As costume designer Michele Clapton told an audience at the Los Angeles Getty Museum, the rugs were cut and shaved, but were also waxed and frosted to make them look as authentic as possible.
Hodor is actually a DJ. Actor Kristian Nairn isn’t usually an actor — “Game of Thrones” is his first credit. His usual job is as a progressive house DJ. Other “GoT” actors with interesting jobs include Ben Hawkey, who played Arya’s friend Hot Pie who became a baker. Hawkey opened a bakery in real life.
In order to confuse leakers on the Internet, a few fake scenes were filmed during the production of “Game of Thrones” Season 7. Kit Harington said in an interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that he filmed three different fake scenes specifically at about five hours each, specifically when the cast and crew knew the paparazzi were shooting photos of the production.
Conleth Hill (who plays Varys) isn’t the only Hill working on “Game of Thrones.” His brother, Roland Hill, is behind a lot of its awesome sound effects work. In fact, Roland has won three Emmys for his work as production sound mixer on the show.
Yara Greyjoy and Jon Snow used to work out together. Gemma Whelan told GamesRadar that she’s known Kit Harington for years, and before they were both cast on “Game of Thrones,” the pair used to go to yoga together. She also says becoming an internationally recognized star hasn’t gone to Kit’s head.
The most expensive death scene on the show so far, at least before Season 7, wasn’t one that involved getting cooked by dragons. It was when Arya killed Ser Meryn Trant in a Braavosi brothel in Season 5. Arya’d had him on her kill list since Season 1, and in the scene, gouged out his eyes — something that obviously couldn’t really happen and required a lot of CGI to bring to screen. Showrunner David Benioff revealed that it was the most expensive death at South By Southwest in 2017.
You can take a “Game of Thrones” class at Harvard. The class digs into the real Medieval history that George R.R. Martin and the show’s creators draw on for inspiration for various events, elements and people along the way.