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Game of Thrones (TV Series 2011– ) Poster

(2011– )

Trivia

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Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) received a letter from author George R.R. Martin after the show aired, stating "Congratulations on your marvelous performance, everyone hates you!"
Maester Aemon Targaryen of the Night's Watch is revealed to be blind in the novels. He is played by Peter Vaughan, who is legally partially blind himself.
Cersei and Tyrion Lannister loathe each other. In real life, Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage are very close friends and live together during filming.
No character appears in every episode, and only three characters have appeared in every episode of a given season: Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon) appeared in every episode of the first season, and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) appeared in every episode of the second and fifth seasons.
A replica of Gandalf's sword, Glamdring, from the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Hobbit trilogy, is forged inside the Iron Throne.
This is the first TV series in history to be screened in IMAX theaters.
Emilia Clarke (the actress who plays Daenerys Targaryen) was doused in so much fake blood during one scene that she got stuck to a toilet seat during a break.
In June 2014 Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visited the sets at Paint Hall Studios in Belfast as part of a three day visit to Northern Ireland. They met members of the cast and crew and were presented with a miniature version of the Iron Throne. Elizabeth was offered the chance to sit on the Iron Throne but declined. Maisie Williams later remarked on the visit, "I did not get the impression she is a fan" as the Queen was unaware of her role on the series.
Daenerys had purple eyes in the books, but the contact lenses Emilia Clarke wore affected her performance so they were abandoned.
Iwan Rheon was the primary runner-up to play Jon Snow, but was later cast as Ramsay Snow.
In the year 2012, over 160 baby girls in the U.S. were legally named "Khaleesi", after the character in the show, although it is not the character's name (Daenerys) but a title.
George R.R. Martin was inspired to write the novel series "A Song of Ice and Fire" after years of writing for restrictive television budgets, and deliberately wrote the series to be nearly unfilmable. After the success of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Martin was approached to license the novels into a series of films, one project was proposed using only Daenerys' story line, and another project proposed only including the conflict between the Starks and Lannisters.
Author George R.R. Martin did not write an episode for the fifth or sixth seasons because he was busy focusing on finishing the sixth book of the series, "The Winds of Winter".
Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, says that fans often ask her to recite the list of names Arya always recites before sleeping - the names of the persons in the series who have injured Arya or her family and who Arya intends to kill - and to insert the fan's name into the list.
The showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said the production of the show is a massive undertaking. The production lasts the entire year and they shoot the show like a 10-hour movie. Season 5 alone was shot in 5 countries, on 151 sets, for 240 days, having 166 cast members, over 1,000 crew members and over 5,000 extras.
Daenerys' dragons are named Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. Each one is named after someone she has lost in her life: Drogon, the largest dragon with black/red scales, is named after her husband Khal Drogo; Rhaegal, who has green/bronze scales, is named after Daenerys' brother Rhaegar Targaryen, who was killed by Robert Baratheon during Robert's Rebellion; Viserion, the cream/gold scaled dragon, is named after Daenerys' abusive brother Viserys. She claimed that she named her dragon this because "Viserys was cruel and weak and frightened, yet he was my brother still. My dragon will do what he could not."
The character Joffrey Baratheon is modeled after the Roman emperor Caligula who was reputed to be extremely cruel and sadistic during his four-year reign.
In sharp contrast to his turn as sadistic Joffrey, everyone on the show describes actor Jack Gleeson as a warm and friendly person. He is also good friends with Sophie Turner, who he often has to antagonize on-screen.
The Wall stretches for 300 miles and is 700 ft tall, made of stone and ice. The legend is that Brandon the Builder, also known as Brandon Stark, built The Wall with the help of magic and giants.
George R.R. Martin has stated that several of the show's characters are improvements over his own versions in the books with both writing and performance, specifically mentioning Natalia Tena as Osha and Sibel Kekilli as Shae.
Jack Gleeson based Joffrey on Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus in Gladiator (2000).
As of 2014, it is the most watched HBO TV-Series of all time, with an average viewership of 16.1 million (Season 4), slightly ahead of a record which was previously held by The Sopranos (1999).
The Game of Thrones title sequence introduces every episode and changes depending on the locations visited in that particular episode. One anomaly is that of Castle Black, which despite never being shown throughout Season 2 is still featured in the title sequences. As of Season 5, no locations north of The Wall have been featured.
Each season shoots annually from July to December. Two units, the 'Wolf' and the 'Dragon', shoot concurrently in various countries.
With winning a total of 12 Emmys in 2015, the show took home more Emmys in a single year than any other show, surpassing The West Wing (1999) (9).
Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who plays the 13-year-old character Jojen Reed, was 22 when cast in the role.
Charles Dance dressed an actual stag carcass on-camera for Tywin Lannister's first scene. Dance was shown the procedure the previous day by a butcher.
Charles Dance finds Lord Tywin's appalling treatment of his son awful. He remarks that it's hard for him to mistreat a nice man like Peter Dinklage.
In Westeros, bastards (also 'natural child' or 'baseborn') born to nobles are given surnames different than their father's, according to the region they were born in. These surnames are mostly associated with the geographic or climatic features of the respective regions: The Reach - Flowers; The Westerlands - Hill, The Iron Islands - Pyke, The Riverlands - Rivers, Dorne - Sand, The North - Snow, The Vale - Stone, The Stormlands - Storm & The Crownlands - Waters. These special surnames or "bastard names" apply only to noble-born bastards, who are openly acknowledged by their noble parent. Therefore, bastards both of whose parents are commoners, or noble-born bastards that are unacknowledged by their noble parent (like Gendry) cannot use the special surname. A noble-born bastard can be legitimized by royal decree, thus is considered as trueborn child and changes the surname to the father's. However, the social stigma of the bastard may not always be lifted even after legitimization.
The official words of House Lannister "Hear Me Roar!" are seldom mentioned. Their unofficial motto "A Lannister always pays his debts" is often used, mostly in negative context, meaning that Lannisters always repay unkindness with unkindness.
Natural brunette, Emilia Clarke has stated that she has never dyed her hair for the show. Daenerys Targaryen's impressive blond locks are achieved via an elaborate wig and makeup system that takes considerable time to get into place.
The original pilot that was filmed left everyone so unsatisfied that HBO agreed to reshoot most of it, bringing Timothy Van Patten to do also the second episode and letting the creators rewrite whatever they felt they needed to.
Author George R.R. Martin was asked if he had a resolution or ending to the seemingly endless conflict. He jokingly replied that the next book would just be a description of a cloud of dust or snow being driven by the wind across a vast graveyard full of tombstones.
Daenerys' dragon Drogon, the largest of the three with black and red scales, is considered in the novels to be the reincarnation of Balerion the Black Dread. Balerion was the largest of Aegon the Conquerer's dragons, and was also responsible for the creation of the Iron Throne.
Producer David Benioff wanted the theme song to be the Lannister song "The Rains of Castamere." Co-producer D.B. Weiss convinced him not to do it.
Women in Westeros typically take their husband's surname upon marriage, with the exception of the house holding the Iron Throne where the surname is only inherited by birth and not marriage. This is why consorts to kings and heirs of the Iron Throne retain their own name, e.g. Cersei Lannister instead of Cersei Baratheon, Elia Martell instead of Elia Targaryen.
In the unaired pilot, George R.R. Martin cameoed as a Pentoshi nobleman at the wedding of Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen. The scene, alongside most of the pilot, was subsequently reshot and Martin did not appear.
The first season used Northern Inuit dogs, a type specifically bred for wolf-like appearance, to stand in for the direwolves (the Stark's house sigil). However, since direwolves are known to be much larger than normal wolves, real wolves were digitally composited into scenes for season 2. This strained the budget and the schedule, hence why there are only a handful of scenes with Grey Wind (Robb Stark's wolf), Summer (Bran Stark's wolf) and Shaggydog (Rickon Stark's wolf); Ghost, who belongs to Jon Snow, is shown in brief glimpses.
Liam Burke was cast as Aerys II Targaryen, the "Mad King" in flashback scenes, but the scenes were cut.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson was the third actor to take on the role of Gregor Clegane (aka "The Mountain"), a role previously played by Conan Stevens in the first season, and Ian Whyte in the second season. Whyte had a brief appearence in the third season premiere, though as a different character.
The role of Tommen Baratheon, portrayed by Callum Wharry, was completely absent from the third season of the series and was later recast for season 4; being then played by Dean-Charles Chapman, who had already previously appeared in the show playing Martyn Lannister in season 3.
Sri Lankan Cricket legend Mahela Jayawardene named his first daughter "Sansa Arya Jayawardene", after the two daughters of House Stark.
While the first two seasons roughly cover the novels "A Game of Thrones" and "A Clash of Kings" respectively, the third season covers about two-thirds of the third novel "A Storm of Swords." The fourth season covers the rest of "A Storm of Swords" and chapters from the fourth and fifth novels "A Feast for Crows" and "A Dance with Dragons". Finally, the fifth season covers almost entirely "A Feast for Crows", "A Dance With Dragons", and even early events of the unreleased sixth novel "The Winds of Winter".
Yara Greyjoy, introduced in the second book and season, is named Asha in the books. The name was changed for the television series to avoid confusion with Osha. However, in the German dubbed version she is called Asha, like in the books. Similarly, Lysa Arryn's son Robert is named Robin in the series to avoid confusion with Robert Baratheon.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss stated when the show began they set a rule of "no prophecies, dreams, or flashbacks". All three rules were eventually broken, with the inclusion of Bran's dreams of the three-eyed raven, a prophecy from Quaithe for Daenerys, and a flashback scene to Cersei's childhood.
According to George R.R. Martin, "The Lord of the Rings" was a major influence behind his "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, which the television series is based on.
Natalie Dormer claims that she only reads the script to the extent that is absolutely necessary for her role, so she can enjoy watching the completed episodes on TV when they air without spoiling them.
Many of the characters have nicknames, mostly based on specific deed, behavior or physical feature of the person in question. The nicknames can be derogatory (Kingslayer) or for mockery (Brienne the Beauty). For example:
  • Eddard Stark: Ned


  • Jaime Lannister: the Kingslayer


  • Tyrion Lannister: the Imp or Halfman


  • Varys: the Spider


  • Sandor Clegane: the Hound


  • Gregor Clegane: the Mountain that Rides (or simply the Mountain)


  • Petyr Baelish: Littlefinger


  • Jeor Mormont: the Old Bear


  • Loras Tyrell: Knight of Flowers


  • Olenna Tyrell: Queen of Thorns


  • Roose Bolton: Leech Lord


  • Aerys Targaryen: the Mad King


  • Viserys Targaryen: the Beggar King


  • Theon Greyjoy: the Turncloak or Reek


  • Melisandre: the Red Woman


  • Vargo Hoat: the Goat


  • Robb Stark: the Young Wolf


  • Brienne: the Beauty


  • Qhorin: Halfhand


  • Mance Rayder: the King Beyond the Wall


  • Davos Seaworth: the Onion Knight


  • Jon Umber Sr.: Greatjon


  • Jon Umber Jr.: Smalljon


  • Eddison Tollett: Dolorous Edd


  • Samwell Tarly: the Slayer


  • Gerold Hightower: the White Bull


  • Arthur Dayne: Sword of the Morning


  • Brynden Tully: Blackfish


  • Oberyn Martell: the Red Viper


  • Oberyn Martell's bastard daughters: the Sand Snakes.


Some of the inspiration for the War of the Five Kings in the series comes from the War of the Roses, a series of dynastic wars in the 15th century where rivaling houses fought for the throne of England.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, the actor who plays Gregor "the Mountain" Clegane, is 6ft 9. That's shorter than 'Kristian Nairn', the actor who plays Hodor, who is 6ft 10.5.
Although the Wall is the largest structure in the Game of Thrones world, it is not the tallest. In the books, the tallest structure is the High Tower in Oldtown and the second tallest the Great Pyramid of Meereen.
The series takes its name from the first novel in the book series - "A Game of Thrones" - which is actually known as "A Song of Ice and Fire." George R.R. Martin's story credit acknowledges the entire series under this title, rather than the title of individual volumes.
In a rare move for a cable channel, the fifth and sixth seasons were announced simultaneously less than twenty-four hours after the season four premiere.
Theon Greyjoy is played by Alfie Allen, brother of singer Lily Allen and was the inspiration for her song 'Alfie'.
Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow on the show, revealed that his great-grandfather invented the flush toilet.
Features nine actors from the Harry Potter film series: Bronson Webb (Will) played unnamed Slytherin student in the third film; Natalia Tena (Osha) played Nymphadora Tonks; David Bradley (Lord Walder Frey) played Argus Filch; Julian Glover (Grand Maester Pycelle) voiced Aragog; Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) played Mrs. Granger in the seventh film; Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder) played Aberforth Dumbledore; Ralph Ineson (Dagmer Cleftjaw) played Amycus Carrow; Edward Tudor-Pole (Protestor at King's Landing) played Mr. Borgin and Ian Whyte (Gregor Clegane) played Madame Maxime in full-body shots. Cast member Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon) is also the father of Frank Dillane, who played the young Voldemort/Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). Potter cast members Jamie Campbell Bower (young Gellert Grindelwald) and Simon Fisher-Becker (Fat Friar) were originally set to play Waymar Royce and the High Septon before being replaced by Rob Ostlere and David Verrey, respectively.
Carice van Houten (Melisandre) had previously been asked to audition for the role of Cersei Lannister but was unable to because she was filming Intruders (2011).
Catelyn Stark was played in the pilot by Jennifer Ehle, but she dropped out when the series was picked up, and Michelle Fairley was cast.
Merited the dubious distinction of the most pirated TV show of 2014 for the third consecutive year, ahead of The Walking Dead (2010) and The Big Bang Theory (2007).
George R.R. Martin has confirmed that the words of House Bolton are "Our Blades are Sharp", most likely because of the Boltons' history of flaying their enemies living.
In the series, Charles Dance's character, Tywin Lannister, was previously married to a woman named Joanna before her death, and had three children by her. In real life, Dance was previously married to a woman who was also named Joanna before their divorce, and has three children.
In 2014, Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) was announced to succeed Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in the 2015 sequel of The Terminator (1984), Terminator Genisys (2015). Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) had played Sarah Connor in the television series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (2008), which was a spin-off of the "Terminator" films.
After a brief but memorable appearence as Daario Naharis in a couple episodes of the third season, Ed Skrein quit the show to star in the reboot of The Transporter Refueled (2015) films. Actor Michiel Huisman was chosen to take over the role for the fourth season of the series.
While most of the show is largely faithful to the books, composite characters do appear. The most prominent is the prostitute Ros, who is a composite of several named (Alayaya, Chataya, Kyra) and unnamed characters from the book series. Another composite character is the Spice King, who appears in Season Two.
Northern Ireland tourist board do a sight seeing tour to a lot of the filming locations.
Tamzin Merchant played Daenerys Targaryen in the pilot but was replaced by Emilia Clarke for the series. While the reason for Merchant's departure has not been made public, George R.R. Martin praised her performance as "wonderful" in his blog.
The series has used many locations to bring Westeros and Essos to life. Most of the Northern scenes are filmed in Northern Ireland. The country is the production's home base and most interior scenes are filmed in a studio in Belfast. Scenes in King's Landing are filmed in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Scenes in Essos were also shot in Croatia. Many of the scenes in Essos and King's Landing were filmed in Malta in the first season, but for unknown reasons the production never returned to Malta from Season 2 on. Morocco was used as a location for Daenerys' sequences in Astapor and Yunkai in Season 3, but the country was dropped as a location after the third season. Scenes beyond the Wall were filmed in various locations in Iceland. The fifth season added Spain as a filming location for Dorne. It has been revealed that the production will return to Spain for Season 6, but it is unclear if it will be for Dorne or another location (the locations scouted are different to those used in Season 5).
Characters from noble houses often have images of their house's sigil incorporated into their costumes. For example, Cersei almost always appears wearing jewelry with images of lions. Sometimes the inclusion is almost indiscernible to the television viewer, such as the blue dress Daenerys' wore through season three which was embroidered with a texture resembling dragon scales.
During an interview for the second season, Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) said she was most looking forward to filming Sansa's relationship with Sandor Clegane AKA the Hound (played by Rory McCann).
The first season premiered on Sean Bean's birthday (April 17th).
Roy Dotrice (Hallyne) also narrates the audiobooks of the novels. He and George R.R. Martin have been friends since they both worked on Beauty and the Beast (1987).
Tom Hollander was reportedly offered the role of "Littlefinger" and now regrets turning it down.
Jorah Mormont is often referred to as "Jorah the Andal" despite the fact that House Mormont is a house from northern Westeros meaning they are descended from the First Men, not the Andals.
Roy Dotrice, a frequent collaborator with George R.R. Martin and narrator of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" audio books, was cast as Grand Maester Pycelle but had to withdraw from the role due to health reasons. He was replaced by Julian Glover. Dotrice would later appear in the show as Hallyne.
Showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss said in a podcast once that while making the show they worked all through the year, non stop. They would write an outline for each season and then started writing the actual script while managing production at the same time. The scripts had to be all done by the time they started filming the season, and as the large production it is they were filming for months with several units in several countries at the same time, while they did rewritings of parts of the scripts and made perfections. They also made sure there's always a man from the writing crew at one of the filming units, to supervise. Almost immedietly after finishing filming, they started writing the outline for the next season. At the same time, the previous season was in post production phases like editing and sound mixing, and they had to oversee all these procedures while writing, and later deal with marketing of the upcoming season as well. David and Dan occasionally would say in interviews that all they want to do once they finish with the show is to "get some sleep".
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) have previously played roles as father and daughter in The Contractor (2007).
Alfie Allen's sister Lily Allen falsely claimed she was offered the role of Yara Greyjoy.
The dominant religion in Westeros is the Faith of the Seven, a polytheistic religion, with each of the seven representing aspects of the same one god, though they are often incorrectly referred to as multiple gods. They are the Father, the Mother, the Maiden, the Crone, the Warrior, the Smith and the Stranger. The religion is based on Catholicism, which likewise involves different aspects of the same God, the father, the son, the holy spirit, prayer to the virgin Mary.
Jon Snow is coincidentally the name of a Channel Four News Presenter, making the line "You know nothing, Jon Snow" unintentionally funny.
On April 2016, a new channel launched in Israel called the "Game of Thrones Channel". The channel aired only things related to Game of Thrones through the day, such as the episodes, interviews, behind the scene videos, special features from the Blu-Ray, etc as preparation to the sixth season. It was the first time in Israeli Television's history that a complete channel was dedicated to only one show.
As of 2015 the highest rated seasons of Game of Thrones (on IMDb) are as follows respectively; Season 4: 8.7, Season 5: 8.6, Season 1: 8.3, Season 3: 8.2, Season 2: 8.1,
Natalie Dormer revealed on The Jonathan Ross Show (2011) that she originally auditioned for another unnamed character before she was offered the role of Margaery Tyrell.
According to the novels, the sigil of House Baratheon is a black stag with a crown above its head on a field of gold. In the TV series, the Baratheons' banner depicts a stag with a crown around its neck.
Carice van Houten (Melisandre) and Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis) are both Dutch actors and feature in the same Dutch feature film Black Book (2006) (Black Book).
In the novels the title of the King of Westeros is "King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm." In the show, "the Rhoynar" is omitted from the title. The Rhoynar is a reference to the Dornish, who immigrated to Westeros from the River Rhoyne. The writers believed this would cause confusion since the Dornish did not appear until later seasons so it was left out.
In the show, only the banners from the main houses, along with several banners from smaller houses in Dorne, are ever disclosed. According to the Citadel heraldry page on westeros.org, the number of known banners of all houses is 370.
Both Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) and Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger) appeared in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy. Gleeson appeared in Batman Begins (2005) while Gillen appeared in The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Richard Brake, who portrays The Night's King, also appeared in Batman Begins as Joe Chill, whereas Burn Gorman (Karl Tanner) appeared in The Dark Knight Rises.
Of all the international locations used throughout the series, Emilia Clarke's favorite is Croatia.
Starting off in the series, Carice van Houten (Melisandre) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) play enemies. However, they previously starred together in the film Black Butterflies (2011), playing lovers.
In March 2014, HBO released a 10 tracks mixtape called "Catch the Throne" as promotion for the fourth season of the show. The mixtape includes Rap songs from artists like Common, Big Boi, Wale Folarin, Kilo Kish and more, and each song has relations to things in the show in it's lyrics. Most of the songs also sampled music from the original Ramin Djawadi soundtracks of the first three seasons of the show.
Barack Obama requested to see season 6 before anyone else because he's such a fan of the show.
During the series you can see characters wearing belts with a particular knot twisted after the buckle, this is clearly visible in most knights. The knot is actually correct and used in medieval times, often referred as a garter and used to fix leg armor pieces to the knights' legs below the knees. It is one of the symbols of the English "Order of the Garter" , the highest Chivalry Order founded in 1348 by the English King Edward III in the early stages of the Hundred Years War with France. The Arms of the Order of the Garter is a blue belt, or garter, with this same characteristic knot seen in the TV series. An example can also be seen in the tomb of one of the Order founders, Sir Reginald of Cobham, at Lingnfield Church in Surrey, his effigy has the garter below his left knee.
Some characters have opposite appearance to their book descriptions: Qhorin Halfhand is clean-shaven in the novels, but bearded on the show; Edmure Tully is bearded in the novels, but clean-shaven on the show, and Qhorin Halfland - vice versa; Lysa Arryn is depicted in the show as being quite slender, but in the novels she is overweight in comparison to her sister Catelyn; Illyrio Mopatis and Yezzan zo Qaggaz are obese in the novels, but in the show the former is chubby and the latter is slender; Maggy is depicted in the show as young and lovely, but in the novels she is described as old and ugly.
Features actors from two different adaptations of The Lord of the Rings: Peter Vaughan, who played Denethor in the BBC Radio adaptation; and Sean Bean, who played the character's son Boromir in the Peter Jackson films.
The 67th Emmy Awards ceremony, in which Game of Thrones won Best drama series, Best writing for an episode of a drama series and Best directing for an episode of a drama series was held on George R. R. Martin's 67th birthday
Three locations are shown in every intro sequence of every episode: King's Landing, Winterfell, and the Wall. King's Landing is always shown first, with the crowned stag of House Baratheon. Winterfell is shown first in the hands of House Stark, then sacked and torched, before going to House Bolton. The Wall is the last main shot before the camera pans to Essos.
The show has three Doctor Who (2005) guest stars, each of which participated in two parters: Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed). Both Lloyd and Sangster were in the same episodes.
This is Ron Donachie's (Ser Rodrick Cassel) second time playing a master at arms, the first time was when he played master at arms in Titanic (1997).
The 2004 Movie Troy (2004) contains three Game of Thrones actors: Sean Bean (Ned Stark), Julian Glover (Pycell) and James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont). Perhaps not coincidentally, the screenplay writer for the movie was David Benioff.
Oded Fehr was a strong contender for the role of Oberyn Martell.
The show will sometimes briefly introduce a character and then recast for a formal introduction later on. Selyse Baratheon was played in the second season by an uncredited Sarah MacKeever before being recast with Tara Fitzgerald and formally introduced in the third season. The Three-Eyed Raven was played by Struan Rodger for a brief appearance in the fourth season and recast with Max von Sydow for the sixth season. Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane was played by Conan Stevens and Ian Whyte for brief appearances before Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson took over the role when the character became more prominent in the fourth season. Lord Beric Dondarrion appears briefly in series one played by David Michael Scott and returns in series 3 played by Richard Dormer.
Features two actors from the original cast of UK Teen-Drama series Skins (2007): Hannah Murray (Gilly) and Joe Dempsie (Gendry).
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) features a total of eight actors/actresses from Game of Thrones (2011). This includes Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Mark Stanley (Grenn), Max von Sydow (Three-Eyed Raven), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Miltos Yerolemou (Syrio Forel), Jessica Henwick (Nymeria Sand), Emun Elliott (Marillion) and Hannah John-Kamen (Ornela).
The average cost of production per episode of the show, up to season 6, was around $6,000,000 with the most expensive episode being season 2: episode 9, 'Blackwater' which cost a reported $8,000,000. However, HBO decided to set a budget of $100,000,000 for season 6 which means each episode of the season will have average production cost of $10,000,000. This puts the show on par with 'Friends' (1994 - 2004) as the most expensive TV show of all time.
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In early 2016, it was announced that Series 8 which will premier in 2018 will be the final season of the series.
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Sam Heughan auditioned to play various characters including Renly Baratheon, Loras Tyrell and a few different members of the Night's Watch. Heughan went on to star in Outlander (2014) alongside Game of Thrones' alumnus Tobias Menzies.
Izzy Meikle-Small auditioned for the role of Sansa Stark and got down to the final two before losing out to Sophie Turner.
Dominic West and Perdita Weeks were offered major roles.
Maisie Williams worked on Doctor Who (2005) between seasons of the series.
Jon and Lysa Arryn's son is named Robin in the show adaptation. His original name in the novels was Robert. This change was most likely decided on to avoid confusion with Robert Baratheon.
The first television series to be presented in Dolby Atmos surround sound.
At least 11 castmembers are also in Ripper Street (2012). They include: Jerome Flynn (Bronn/Sgt. Drake) Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy/Theodore Swift) Kristian Nairn (Hodor/Barnaby) Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont/Madoc Faulkner) Clive Russell (Brynden Tully/Chief Insp. Abberline) Anton Lesser (Qybern/Dr. Karl Krabbe) Francis Magee (Yoren/Davies) Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton/Commissioner Monroe) Joseph Mawle (Benjin Stark/ D.I. Shine) Philip Arditti (goatherd/Marvel) and Dean-Charles Chapman (King Tommen/Harry Ward)
Tricia Helfer auditioned for the role of Cersei Lannister.
David Benioff confirmed in the season 6 'inside episode 5' video that the way Hodor came about the name 'Hodor', was George R.R. Martin's idea. Despite the show surpassing the books by the time of airing.
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Jamie Bamber auditioned for the role of Jaime Lannister.
Ian McNeice played Illyrio Mopatis in the pilot but was unable to appear in the series due to scheduling conflicts. He was replaced by Roger Allam.
Derek Halligan was cast as Alliser Thorne but left the show before production began. He was replaced by Owen Teale.
Benjamin Gur auditioned for the part of Trystane Martell in Season 5.
Many actors have also appeared in Doctor Who (2005):

Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen) in the same episode as Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed)

David Bradley (Walder Frey)

Liam Cunningham (Davos) in the same episode as Tobias Menzies (Edmure Tully)

Iain Glen (Jorah)

Faye Marsay (Waif)

And Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) is set to be in an upcoming episode of season 9
Sean Bean and Carice van Houten both star in the movie Black Death (2010).
Rachel Hurd-Wood was considered for the role of Sansa.
While the office that Ned fills is called "The King's right hand", the brooch he wears as insignia actually depicts a left hand.
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Simon Fisher-Becker was originally set to play the High Septon of the Faith of the Seven, which he confirmed in an interview, but David Verrey was cast.
Elena Satine screen tested against Emilia Clarke for the role of Daenerys Targaryen.
Danny Dyer revealed that he auditioned for a role.
Two actresses that dropped out of the show have appeared in an adaptation of Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice." Jennifer Ehle, who was set to play Catelyn Stark, played Elizabeth Bennet in BBC's Pride and Prejudice (1995) and Tamzin Merchant played Georgiana Darcy in Pride & Prejudice (2005).
Almost all actors in the TV series are at least five years older than their character counterparts in the novels with many key actors being over ten years older.
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Series 1 was the only season of the series to be given the R16 rating in New Zealand, when it was released on DVD. Series 2 - onwards were all given the R18 rating when they were released on DVD.
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Aiden Gillen and Rory McCann have the same birthday dates and Aiden Gillen is only one year older.
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Various Thrones actors appeared on Tom Fantana's BORGIA (which was partly filmed in Dubrovnik, where GOT shoots frequently): John Bradley West (Samwell Tarly) portrayed Giovanni Di Medici during season 1; Iain Glen Jorah Moremont played Girolamo Savonarola during season 2 (Savonarola was a religious fanatic who may have inspired the High Sparrow); Tom Wlaschiha 'Jaqen H'ghar' played Philip von Hapsburg during the 3rd season; James Faulkner 'Randyll Tarly' portrayed Piero Soderini during season 2 (in a bit of irony Faulkner's character was an ally of John West's character though they never appeared on screen together)
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The series first premiered in 2011, which also was the 15th anniversary of the publishing of the very first "A Song of Fire and Ice" novel by George RR Martin in 1996.
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Jake Gleenson (Joffery) appeared in Batman Begins (2005), as the building boy, and Batman gives him his gadget to prove his mates that he met Batman.
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Thrones stars Dean-Charles Chapman(Tommen Baratheon) and Faye Marsay (The Waif) have a habit of appearing on the same shows. They both starred in the crime drama GLUE, in which Faye portrayed a woman who lies about her identity. Both actors also had major roles on the STARZ/BBC period drama The White Queen. The series details The Wars Of The Roses a 15th century dynastic struggle that partly inspired GOT.
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The BBC programme Merlin (2008) consisted of various Game of Thrones (2011) actors in minor roles, including Joe Dempsie (Gendry), John Bradley (Samwell Tarley), Donald Sumpter (Maester Luwin), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Joseph Mawle (Benjen Stark), Mackenzie Crook (Orell), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), James Cosmo (Jeor Mormont), Julian Glover (Pycell), Ralph Ineson (Dagmer Cleftjaw), Alexander Siddig (Doran Martell) and Clive Russell (Blackfish) as well as Alexandra Dowling (Roslin Frey).
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

George R.R. Martin has stated that the infamous "Red Wedding" was the hardest chapter for him to write in "A Storm of Swords." He was so emotionally attached to the characters that he actually wrote the rest of the book first, and then that chapter last. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, upon reading it, declared it was one of the major reasons they decided to option the books for a television series. Their dramatization differs from the book in a few details. Most notably, Robb's wife is not present at the wedding, nor is she killed. Whether she is pregnant is unknown.
After filming his death scene, Sean Bean played football with his replica head.
Series author George R.R. Martin reported on his blog that after the filming of the episode in which Sansa's direwolf Lady is executed, the dog that played Lady, a Northern Inuit named Zunni, was adopted by Sophie Turner, the actress who plays Sansa.
Robert Baratheon is never seen sitting on the Iron Throne. The first king that we see sitting on it is Joffrey.
In every season at least one king (or claimant) dies. In season one they are Robert Baratheon (King on the Iron Throne), Viserys Targaryen (claimant to the Iron Throne), and Khal Drogo (a Khal is a chieftain similar in position to a king); in season two Renly Baratheon (claimant to the Iron Throne) and Xaro Xhoan Daxos (King of Qarth); in season three Robb Stark (King in the North); in season four Joffrey Baratheon (King on the Iron Throne); in season five Mance Rayder (King Beyond the Wall) and Stannis Baratheon (claimant to the Iron Throne); and in season six Balon Greyjoy (King of the Iron Islands).
George R.R. Martin has said that some fans have correctly guessed the ending of the series. One of the most popular fan theories is that Jon Snow is in fact a Targaryen, with his true father being Rhaegar Targaryen and true mother being Ned Stark's sister Lyanna. It is debatable if this could make him an heir to the Iron Throne, as his presumed father was married to another woman (Elia Martell) and he would still be a bastard, however because the Targaryens were known to practice bigamy, if Lyanna and Rhaegar had been married then he would be a legitimate heir.
The ominous theme song of the Lannisters, "The Rains of Castmere", was played throughout each episode of the fourth season (save for the ninth episode) to foreshadow the deaths of Tywin and Joffrey.
In the novel, Robb Stark's wife is named Jeyne Westerling. House Westerling are staunch supporters of House Lannister, and take part in the sinister scheme to bring the Starks down. In the show, she is called Talisa Maegyr and her backstory is changed. In addition to this, she dies while carrying Robb's child along with Robb and Catelyn at the Red Wedding. In the novel, Jeyne does not attend the wedding, she is not pregnant and later discovers the fate of her husband while residing in Riverrun.
Only two actors appeared in every episode that aired before their characters were killed off: Mark Addy (Robert Baratheon) and Sean Bean (Ned Stark).
Grand Maester Pycelle's elderly and feeble demeanor is an act, briefly alluded to in a scene from season one's finale "Fire and Blood" showing Pycelle doing a series of exercises and stretches. A deleted scene between Pycelle and Tywin Lannister shot for the third season and included on the DVD/Blu-ray set shows Pycelle's normal posture and speaking cadence, explaining that he maintains the facade to appear harmless. In the season two finale he shows he true demeanor to Tyrion.
In the series King Renly Baratheon has his own Kingsguard and inducts Brienne of Tarth into the order. In the novels they are known as the Rainbow Guard, but HBO elected to omit the name as it could be interpreted as a gag about Renly's homosexuality which is only subtly referenced in the novels but made explicit in the series.
Maester Aemon is the first prominent character on the show to die of natural causes. Hoster Tully (Catelyn's father and Lord of Riverrun) also died of natural causes, but only appears on-screen after his death at his funeral. Old Nan also died of natural causes according to the show-runners after the death of Margaret John who portrayed her, but the death was never seen or mentioned on-screen.
In the show, Ramsay Bolton is arranged to be married to Sansa Stark to solidify the Boltons' hold on the north. In the novels, he is arranged to marry Sansa's best friend Jeyne Pool. Jeyne is married to Ramsay under the guise of being "Arya Stark." However, Jeyne does not have a major role in the show, so Sansa Stark became the most suitable marriage choice for Ramsay.
Sean Bean, the actor who portrays Eddard Stark, also plays Boromir in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). Lord of the Rings was one of George R.R. Martin's biggest influences while writing the series. Coincidentally, both of Sean Bean's characters don't make it past the first installment in both Game of Thrones (dies at the end of season 1) and Lord of the Rings (dies at the end of the first movie).
The first five seasons were largely based on published novels, though beginning late in the fifth season the series began including plot points from future novels told to the show runners by George R.R. Martin. Beginning with the sixth season, the show included a large amount of original content as well as adapting an outline of future novels provided by Martin. The show runners stated there were "three holy sh- moments" revealed by Martin, that Shireen Baratheon would be burned alive by her father, the meaning of Hodor's name and its correlation to his eventual death, and a third to be revealed at the end of the show. Martin responded "Yes and no" to fan inquiries about whether the show would spoil the final two novels, and the show runners stated, "So much of what we're doing diverges from the books at this point ... there are certain key elements that will be the same."
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Only two episodes, Game of Thrones: Lord Snow (2011) and Game of Thrones: The Bear and the Maiden Fair (2013) have no deaths, while three others, Game of Thrones: The Prince of Winterfell (2012), Game of Thrones: Valar Dohaeris (2013), and Game of Thrones: Dark Wings, Dark Words (2013) only include off-screen deaths.
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Although not shown in the show, where Ser Arthur Dayne uses two swords, the true sword that Ser Arthur wielded was a sword named Dawn forged from a fallen meteoroid, just as strong as Valyrian steel. Unlike the other Valyrian swords of Westeros, like Longclaw (Mormont) and Ice (Stark), Dawn wasn't passed from lord to lord of House Dayne. It was bestowed upon a knight deemed worthy of using it. The wielder of Dawn was given the title Sword of the Morning.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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