20 Facts About Game of Thrones Even The Biggest Fans Didn’t Know

20. Sansa’s Lady

The bond between the Stark family and Direwolves runs deep. Sansa Stark’s direwolf, ironically named Lady, was killed early in Season 1. Sophie Turner, the actress who portrays Sansa, grew up wanting a dog but her parents objected. After many years hoping for a dog of her own, Sansa decided to adopt the dog (Zunni) who played Lady following her time on the show.

Image Source: IMDb

19. The Hidden Sword

Sean Bean has become an iconic actor in the realm of fantasy dramas. Before captivating viewers as Ned Stark, Bean played Boromir in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, the connection between the two fantasy-giants doesn’t stop with Bean. Forged inside the Iron Throne is a replica of Gandalf’s sword — if only Ned was still around to claim the Throne…

Image Source: The Independent

18. Famous Siblings

Theon “Reek” Greyjoy has endured a lifetime’s worth of pain throughout his journey. Paralleling his character arc on the show, Alfie Allen (Theon) has a very well-known sister. Allen’s big sister is none other than Lily Allen — a Grammy nominated singer and songwriter.

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17. Is It Dusty In Here?

Kristian Nairn, better known as Hodor, has enjoyed a successful career away from the cameras. Forever immortalized for sacrificing himself to protect his friends, Nairn consistently brings the house down as an EDM and House DJ. From holding the door, to dropping the beat, DJ Hodor is a man amongst boys.

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16. Westeros or Hogwarts?

The magical crossover hasn’t been limited to Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Through Season 7, 10 actors who spent time gracing the halls of Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies have also appeared in GoT. Most recognizable are David Bradley (Walder Frey/Argus Filch) and Natalia Tena (Osha/Nymphadora Tonks).

Image Source: Watchers On The Wall

15. The World’s Strongest Man

Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane is arguably the most imposing ‘man’ in Westeros. In reality, the man who portrays “The Mountain”, Thor Bjornsson, is quite literally The World’s Strongest Man. In 2018, the Icelandic titan became the first person to have won the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe’s Strongest Man and World’s Strongest Man in the same year. Good luck, Hound.

Image Source: Men’s Health

14. Dinklage Vision

Peter Dinklage’s portrayal as Tyrion Lannister has become a beloved aspect of Game of Thrones. For author George R.R. Martin and co-creator David Benioff, the job was never available to anyone but Dinklage. Martin never had a doubt:

His performance as the character is extraordinary. He is the character come to life. When we originally started doing this (show) years ago, there were two roles we agreed on instantly (and one was that) we had to have Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister.”

Image Source: HBO

13. Star Cameos

When a show becomes as successful as GoT has over the years, celebrities and actors alike jump at the chance to be included. Some cameos are more noticeable (Ed Sheeran) than others. Stars to show up in Westeros include Coldplay’s Will Champion, Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Mastodon, and Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets.

Image Source: EW

12. Near Hero Turned Villain

Iwan Rheon, the man who played the dastardly Ramsay Snow Bolton, was nearly cast as Jon Snow. Rheon is on record saying he, along with Kit Harington, was down to the final two for the hero role. In the end, it is hard to imagine Rheon taking on the role of Jon Snow after his brilliant portrayal as Ramsay Bolton.

Image Source: HBO

11. Harvard Thrones

It was only a matter of time before Game of Thrones invaded an upper-level education system. As of last fall, Harvard offers a class focused on medieval history called “The Real Game of Thrones: From Modern Myths to Medieval Models.” According to professor Sean Gilsdorf, the class will examine how the show “echoes and adapts, as well as distorts the history and culture of the ‘medieval world’ of Eurasia from c. 400 to 1500 CE.”

Image Source: Stilts Journal

10. Glued To The Toilet

An unforgettable scene from the opening season included Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) eating a horse heart. In addition to having to eat the vomit-inducing prop, Clarke was covered in enough fake blood that she ended up stuck to a toilet seat in-between takes. We’ll go out on a limb and say that wasn’t Clarke’s favorite day on set.

Image Source: YouTube

9. Kit The Prankster

GoT supporters were shocked by Jon Snow’s murder at the end of Season 5. And while Kit Harington was aware it wasn’t the end of the road for his character, he wasn’t quite forthcoming with his coworkers. Harington seemed to enjoy one reaction a little more than others:

“Sophie Turner (Sansa), bless her, wrote me a really long letter about how much she loved working with me – and I still got it. That made me chuckle.”

Image Source: Time Magazine

8. A Gift For The Maestro

The world will never see what was supposed to be the pilot episode for GoT. Making a cameo in that unseen pilot was George R.R. Martin — allegedly during a wedding scene. Flash-forward a few years and the scene is Martin’s own wedding day. The designer of Dany’s dragon eggs (from her wedding in Season 1) gifted one of the eggs to Martin the night he married Parris McBride.

Image Source: IMDb

7. The Adrenaline Rush

Game of Thrones’ theme song is instantly recognizable and does a tremendous job setting the tone for the imminent episode. However, the tune we have all come to love was nearly a non-starter. The co-showrunner’s, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, couldn’t agree on the song. Weiss was in favor of Ramin Djawadi’s vision, while Benioff preferred “The Rains of Castamere.” Ultimately, Weiss convinced Benioff to go with Djawadi’s beautiful melody.

Image Source: Variety

6. Melisandre The Lion?

Melisandre, aka “The Red Woman,” has had an important role in Westeros. Played by Carice van Houten, Melisandre has done horrible things (influencing the death of a child) and miraculous things (reviving Jon Snow). However, the talented van Houten was originally supposed to audition for the role of Cersei Lannister. Things worked out just fine for van Houten and Lena Headey (Cersei) as they are both great in their roles.

Image Source: HBO

5. Natalie Dormer Is Like The Rest Of Us

Just like you and me, Natalie Dormer sits on her couch and watches each episode without knowing what is about to happen. Aside from her own scenes as Margaery Tyrell, Dormer will only read scripts that are relevant to her character while leaving the rest a mystery.

Image Source: HBO

4. Problem With The Pilot

The original pilot was supposedly so awful that the higher-ups not only elected to re-shoot the episode, but also recast two of the main roles. The roles of Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen were originally held by Jennifer Ehle and Tamzin Merchant. Michelle Fairley, who also portrayed Hermione Granger’s mother in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, took over the role of Catelyn Stark. Emilia Clarke was hired to play Daenerys, and the rest is history.

Image Source: HBO

3. Mr. Emmy

Peter Dinklage has more than confirmed George R.R. Marin’s belief that he was the only man for the role of Tyrion Lannister. Dinklage has earned an Emmy nomination for his work after each of the seven seasons thus far. The winner of the Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series following seasons 1, 5 and 7, Dinklage is tied with Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) for most wins in the category for the same role.

Image Source: Los Angeles Times

2. The Eyes Lie

Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) piercing blue eyes can grab any viewers attention — but according to George R.R. Martin’s novels, Dany’s appearance isn’t consistent with his story.

The Targaryen’s are known for their silver hair and violet eyes. In fact, the plan was for Clarke to initially have violet eyes. However, those in charge decided the contacts negatively effected Clarke’s performance and decided to veer from the books.

Image Source: Imgur

1. Tyrion Owns The Screen

Through seven seasons of Game of Thrones there have been a total of 67 episodes. Not one cast member has appeared in each episode. Topping the list, with 61 appearances, is Tyrion. For a show that has so many meaningful characters and such a vast world, it is hard to fit everyone in. “Who is the most important character?” is a question that is often asked. In truth, there is not one right answer to this point. However, if you want to determine the answer to that question based off onscreen time, Tyrion is your man. Can Tyrion ascend to the Iron Throne?

Image Source: Time Magazine