Trivia / Game of Thrones


  • Acting in the Dark: Prior to the Season 6 production, Kit Harington had to lie to the cast about Jon Snows fate in the Season 5 finale just to make them believe hes leaving the show. Liam Cunningham was very skeptical about it while Sophie Turner seemed to be the only cast member who believed it that she wrote a very emotional farewell letter to him. When the cast received the Season 6 scripts, everyone now knew that Kit is not really leaving the show and Kit teased Sophie for that farewell letter.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • In the Season 1 episode "Baelor," Cersei whispers "This is madness" to Joffrey.
    • In the Season 3 episode "And Now His Watch Is Ended," Diana Rigg reverts to her natural Yorkshire accent to say "Winter is coming."
    • In the Season 5 episode "The House of Black and White," Cersei refers to Margaery as "that smirking whore from Highgarden". Natalie Dormer, the actress playing Margaery, is known for her signature smirk when smiling. According to Dormer, the smirk is due to her asymmetrical mouth and she's not actually intentionally smirking.
    • Melisandre cutting Jon Snow's hair in preparation for his resurrection in the Season 6 episode "Home" alludes to Kit Harington having a contractually obligated mandate that he not cut his hair for the duration of the show.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Much like Tywin, Charles Dance was previously married to a woman named Joanna. Unlike Tywin however, Mr. Dance is only divorced from her.
  • Adaptational Context Change: Many, many instances, some as a result of the transition from the literary to television medium, and others as a result of stylistic choices. The most drastic changes however come in Season 5 and Season 6. One example is in "Battle of the Bastards", where Jon declares he's defeated worse than Ramsay Bolton, prompting Sansa to insist he doesn't know Ramsay. In a preview of The Winds of Winter, it's Stannis and Theon who have this exchange, but where Jon proceeds by unsuccessfully asking for a better strategy, Stannis answers, "No more than he knows me," and moments later seizes The Mole in his camp, nullifying the Boltons' main ace-in-the-hole.
  • Approval of God: George R.R. Martin himself thinks that the show's versions of Osha and Shae are Better Than Canon.
  • Author Existence Failure:
    • Reportedly averted in advance, as US media reported in early 2014 that George R.R. Martin has revealed major plot points and the ending of his A Song of Ice and Fire to the producers of the TV adaptation, in the (hopefully unlikely) event that he is unable to (for whatever reason) complete his book series.
    • Margaret John, who played Old Nan, died a couple months before the show began airing. "Lord Snow," where she first appears, was dedicated to her memory.
    • Veteran actor JJ Murphy - who had been cast to portray Ser Denys Mallister of the Night's Watch, commander of the forces of the Shadow Tower - died only four days after filming his first scenes for Season 5. The creators decided not to recast the character.
  • Big Name Fan: Too many to feasibly count, but among the biggest names - perhaps unsurprisingly - is Stephen King, who at one point famously celebrated Joffrey's ignoble death in a stream of Twitter posts.
  • Bilingual Bonus: With the confirmation that Lyanna Stark is Jon Snow's mother, the Chinese transliteration of the bastard surname Snow exhibits this. It is rendered as 雪诺 (pronounced "xue nuo") in all Chinese translations. The phrase itself means "snow promise". Jon was named as a Snow due to a promise between two members of his family from the snowy North.
  • Cast Incest: Dean Charles-Chapman and Nell Tiger Free began dating in 2015. Their characters, Tommen and Myrcella, are siblings who, interestingly, are the products of an incestuous affair.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Since A Song of Ice and Fire is often considered a Spiritual Antithesis to The Lord of the Rings it's quite apropos that Ned Stark be played by The Lord of the Rings alumnus Sean Bean.
    • Natalie Dormer as Margaery, a role quite similar to her turn as Anne Boleyn in The Tudors. Both are beautiful and ambitious young noblewomen of dubious virginity who seek to become queen and have a close bond with their gay brother. Coincidentally, the Tyrell's golden rose sigil is a palette swap of the red-and-white Tudor rose.
    • The series' regular audiobook narrator Roy Dotrice was going to play Pycelle, but health concerns forced him into a cameo as Pyromancer Hallyne.
    • Kerry Ingram has starred in Matilda the Musical as the titular character. Much like Matilda, Shireen is a sweet, lonely girl who loves reading and has to deal with a family who doesn't understand her.
    • Liam Cunningham and Carice Van Houten (Melisandre) once played lovers in "Black Butterflies" before being cast as rivals to Stannis.
    • Faye Marsay (The Waif) previously played a character in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special who had "Thrones marathon" on her holiday to-do list.
    • A rather dark and roundabout one appears in the episode "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken." While bathing Sansa, Myranda mentions that Violet, the blonde bedwarmer seen in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", was killed by Ramsay after she got pregnant. In an example of What Could Have Been, Stephanie Blacker, who played Violet, was supposed to be the girl hunted by Ramsay and Myranda in "The Lion and the Rose", but was unavailable due to pregnancy.
    • In a meta-example in the Japanese dub, Euron Greyjoy is voiced by Yuuichi Nakamura, who voiced Gray Fullbuster in Fairy Tail.note  And in a more straighter example involving him, he also voiced Hazama/Yuuki Terumi, another evil, deranged villain, whose crimes could give Euron a run for his money.
    • Also from the Japanese dub, Bran Stark is voiced by Jun Fukuyama, who already had some experience voicing screwed-up princes.
    • James Faulkner appears in Season 6 as a stern, jerkish nobleman, who disapproves of his son's girlfriend, because of her heritage. The last major television series he appeared in before Go T was Downton Abbey - where he played a stern, jerkish nobleman, who disapproved of his son's girlfriend, because of her heritage.
  • The Cast Showoff: There are plenty of skilled vocalists in the cast.
    • Shireen is introduced singing. Kerry Ingram is a musical theater star.
    • Jerome Flynn enjoyed a bit of chart success back in The '90s as part of acting/singing double-act Robson and Jerome, so he got several chances to display his singing abilities, such as in the Season 5 episode "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" where he gets to sing the start of "The Dornishman's Wife" (before Jaime tells him to shut up). Many fans are actually hoping for a full version of "The Dornishman's Wife".
    • Roger Ashton Griffiths showed his impressive baritone as Mace Tyrell in "A Dance with Dragons". The audience enjoyed it much more than Tycho Nestoris.
  • Cast the Expert:
    • Gary Lightbody from Snowpatrol cameos as a Bolton soldier singing the Bear and the Maiden Fair.
    • Coldplay drummer Will Champion cameos as a drummer in the Red Wedding.
    • Sigur Rs plays a band performing The Rains of Castamere at Joffrey's wedding.
    • Of Monsters and Men play the musicians in the Braavosi theater group in season 6.
    • Neil Fingleton, the tallest man in the United Kingdom (7 ft 7.56 in, or 232.6 cm) plays Mag the Mighty, King of the Giants. Fingleton also auditioned to play Gregor Clegane in Season 1, but was not chosen.
    • After going through two other actors, the role of Gregor Clegane was finally taken over by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, a top contender for the strongest man on Earth.
    • Several of Littlefinger's whores, specifically those who provide the most explicit nudity, are played by actual porn actresses. The famously flexible Kayla on the other hand is portrayed by one of the most profilic contortionists of the UK.
    • Ed Sheeran cameos as a singing Lannister soldier that Arya encountered in the Riverlands in Season 7.
  • The Character Died with Him: Old Nan has not been recast following the death of Margaret John... although in a case of Time-Shifted Actor, a different actress did portray a younger Nan in several Season 6 flashbacks.
  • Character Outlives Actor: Denys Mallister won't be appearing again due to J.J. Murphy's death, but it's implied that he's still alive and commanding the Shadow Tower.
  • Creator Backlash: Although Martin himself has been diplomatic on the matter, his editor Jane Johnson has openly derided some changes from the books as being bad ideas; in 2015, she specifically cited both the Flanderisation of Loras Tyrell, who she called "a cartoon character" in comparison the the more "nuanced" book version, and was unhappy with Ser Barristan "the Bold" Selmy getting a Death by Adaptation when his role in the books became meatier soon after that point in the narrative.
  • Darkhorse Casting: Majority of the cast are composed of upcoming actors and actress who several of them are in supporting and minor roles. There are only a few mainstream actors in the cast such as Sean Bean who is promoted as the lead role except that he ended up getting his head chopped off near the end of Season 1.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Tyrion is supposed to be the youngest Lannister sibling, but Peter Dinklage is actually older than the other actors. This is even after in-story dialogue places him at roughly 36 in Season 4 (his twin siblings are stated to be 40 by Tywin's offhand comment, and Cersei earlier stated she was 4 when her mother died); Dinklage was 45 while filming said season. Given the low number of well-regarded actors with dwarfism out there (and that GRRM felt that Dinklage was the one person he would accept as Tyrion), there was honestly little choice in the matter anyway. It also helps tone down his Adaptational Attractiveness, with Tyrion looking older than Jaime and Cersei.
    • Daenerys was thirteen (later, fourteen-going-on-fifteen) for the duration of the first book, while Emilia Clarke was twenty-three during filming of Season 1 (she's seventeen in the show, making Emilia six years older). When you account for the beginning of her relationship with Drogo, this is somewhat understandable. Also, Emilia definitely was able to pass as a teenage girl in season one.
    • Dean-Charles Chapman was 15-16 when he filmed his role as Tommen Baratheon, 12, in Season 4. It manages to not be too jarring, as Chapman is Older Than He Looks and his features can help pass as entering teenhood despite being fairly tall - especially since the absence from Season 3 allows for the argument that he had a growth spurt over the year (transitioning from Callum Wharry to DCC believably enough, helped by the latter's resemblance to Jack Gleeson). The only true, potential issue is his voice - it doesn't sound too old, it's just that not all boys' voices break before they're 12 years old.
    • Robert is supposed to be the oldest Baratheon brother, but Stephen Dillane (who plays Stannis) is 8 years older than Mark Addy (who plays Robert). Zigzagged both on the show and in the books, where Stannis is mistaken for being the eldest Baratheon brother by a few characters because his dour demeanour and receding hairline have put unnecessary years on him. Helped by the fact that they never appear together.
    • Initially averted with Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner who were 13 and 14 when they started playing 11 year old Arya and 13 year old Sansa respectively. (And both characters were aged up from 9 and 11 in the books). Played straight as they outstripped their character's growth, so by Season Six Maisie was 19 and Sophie was 20, while Arya and Sansa are still only 13 and 15. Williams at least manages to get away with it as she's much Older Than They Look, but Turner was a case of Younger Than They Look from the beginning.
    • Gwendoline Christie is about 15 years older than Brienne. Part of it is an Age Lift of some characters. And that, as with Peter Dinklage playing Tyrion Lannister, there are few actors fitting the character's unusual physique.
    • Jojeen Reed is supposed to be 13, but Thomas Brodie-Sangster was 22 when he first played the character.
    • Inverted with Gregor Clegane's actor Hafþór "Thor" Björnsson, who is twenty years younger than Rory McCann, who plays Gregor's younger brother Sandor. The fact that the two actors have had few scenes together takes attention away from this, as does the extensive burn makeup required for Sandor.
  • Defictionalization: You can buy the Iron Throne, though you'll need to be rich as a Lannister. Also, plenty of the swords and armor have great official prop replicas as well, and a few other things such as the Hand of the King badge.
    • Ben Hawkey, actor for Hot Pie, opened up a Game of Thrones themed bakery where you can buy your own direwolf bread.
  • Development Gag: In one episode, Tyrion claims that one of Littlefinger's whores knows a fabled sex position known as the Meereenese Knot. The term is actually George R.R. Martin's nickname for the cluster of logistical issues involved in getting several characters to Meereen in a satisfying manner; the Meereenese Knot was largely the reason for A Dance with Dragons' infamous delays.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor:
    • The blind Maester Aemon is played by the partially blind Peter Vaughan.
    • The soldier whom Tyrion maims during the Battle of the Blackwater was played by a one-legged World War II veteran. Peter Dinklage muses in a later interview that he didn't feel good ambushing a crippled old man.
  • Doing It for the Art:
    • Stephen Dillane confessed that he only took the role as Stannis Baratheon as a means to an end and admitted that CGI and dragons are not his cup of tea.
    • Ian McShanes initial reason for being in the show was to work with his old friends, Charles Dance and Stephen Dillane. But he was surprised that they're not in the show anymore after their characters are killed off by the time he joined the show. So, this trope became his reason for being in the show despite having only one episode and had no regrets for casually spoiling what his role was.
  • Dueling Shows: With The Walking Dead. Both shows are the most phenomenal shows during The New '10s, both are adapted from literary works, both deal with the Humans Are Bastards trope, and most importantly, both shows establish that Anyone Can Die. Interestingly, despite both shows airing on Sundays but on separate channels, they've never had to literally duel for ratings; Walking Dead airs in late fall and (ironically) winter, while Game of Thrones airs in the spring. Frequently, the former's season finale airs just a handful of days from the latter's season premiere.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:
    • Sophie Turner went from blonde to redhead for Sansa; Joe Dempsie and Alfie Allen went from blond to brown, while Peter Dinklage and Jack Gleeson went from brown/dark blond to light/-er blond to better portray members of the golden-haired Lannister family. A lot of the other actors, like Emilia Clarke and Lena Headey, wear wigs (Clarke even complains that an already hot wig is hellish given she mostly films in a hot desert!). Meanwhile, Maisie Williams cut her hair to convincingly portray Arya trying to pass as a boy in Season 2.
    • Daniel Portman is a sportsman in real life, but let himself go in order to be more believable as Podrick Payne.
    • Gwendoline Christie apparently really got into the role, putting on lots of muscle with the aid of protein shakes and going up a clothes size, according to Sophie Turner.
    • Conleth Hill shaves his full head of hair to play Varys, a thing he welcomes as it brings him street anonimity.
    • Kit Harington is contractually obligated to keep his hair long, which he hates. After Jon Snow's untimely demise this has made his hairstyle a Walking Spoiler to many fans.
    • Judging by the pictures she posts on social media, the blinding contact lenses Maisie Williams wears seem to take their toll on her eyes' health.
  • Enforced Method Acting:
    • That horse's heart Daenerys ate? It was essentially a giant gummy, which tasted disgusting and a tiny girl like Emilia Clarke struggled to keep it down.
    • Sean Bean was sick with the flu when he recorded the scenes where Ned Stark lays abed in A Golden Crown, so Ned's unwell demeanor is genuine.
    • Alfie Allen really was tied up like that for his torture scenes in Season 3, a process that Iwan Rheon mentioned as being extremely painful.
    • The horrible awkwardness of Stannis giving his daughter a hug is part acting, and partly that Kerry Ingram suffers from brittle bone disease and Stephen Dillane had to be very careful not to injure her.
    • The scene of Jon Snow facing down a cavalry charge all alone in "Battle of the Bastards" was dangerous to shoot because the horses were real.
  • Fake Nationality:
  • Fan Community Nickname: "Sweet Summer Child" or "Unsullied" for those who have not read the books, and "Bookwalkers" for those who have.
  • Fandom Nod:
    • In the Season 2 episode "Garden of Bones":
      • The "who would beat who" conversation at the beginning of the episode is a common discussion topic amongst fans.
      • The discussion of how to pronounce Qarth is something that has been discussed by fans, amongst other pronunciation questions. It is kind of questionable how the characters managed to have this problem, since they've only heard it out loud.
    • Both of the pit fights in Mereen in the Season 5 episode "The Dance of Dragons" are essentially another nod to the fandom's endless "Who would win in a fight?" debates. Hizdahr and Daario's discussion of Mighty Glacier vs. Fragile Speedster in the episode essentially parallels arguments about the fight between Oberyn and the Mountain from Season 4. Similarly, a fandom argument that has been running for over a decade gets some kindling when we see Westerosi knight Jorah fight a Bravoosi water dancer in the pit - mirroring the offscreen fight between Syrio Forel and Meryn Trant (in the same episode he returns, no less).
    • Season 6's "The Winds of Winter" finally solves one of, if not the most popular, theory of both the books and the series. The "Frey Pie" scene is also adapted in said episode.
  • Fan Nickname:
    • Asha Yar for Yara Greyjoy, on account of her originally being named Asha in the books.
    • Talisa gets Florence Bonesaw (Flo-Bo for short) for her role as a war nurse and her penchant for amputations.
    • Stan(nis) the Man(nis). (Unless it's the other Stan the Man, which actually works pretty well—that Stan is famous for being rule-abiding but driven.) He's also called "the King who cared" for being the only ruler who answered the Night's Watch plea for help.
    • Jorah Mormont is commonly dubbed "Ser Friendzone" or "King of the Friendzone".
    • Joffrey is sometimes called King Justin Bieber.
    • Tyrion "The Kingslapper", due to his habit of bitchslapping Joffrey. Also, Joffrey being slapped by Tyrion is called being "Imp-slapped".
    • Theon's mysterious torturer has been nicknamed Barry and "Little Bastard" (having been referred to that by a soldier he kills). Also goes by "Evil McFuckingcrazy" in some circles, before being revealed as Ramsay Snow.
    • Podrick is called "Tri-Pod" or "Prodick" after managing to pleasure three whores so well they let him keep his money.
    • Ed Skrein's portrayal of Daario Naharis is nicknamed "Faabio" after the Mr. Fanservice model, Fabio, that appeared on hundreds of romantic novel covers in the 80s and 90s. He's also been referred to as "Zevran" by gamers, due to his strong resemblance and similar personality to the Dragon Age character.
    • And on the subject of the Boltons, the... thing between Theon and Ramsay has been referred to as "Fifty Shades of Greyjoy".
    • Fans have taken to calling Hodor "Brodor" or "Brandor" whenever Bran wargs into him.
    • Now that Sansa has finally learned how to play the game and sports much darker look, many fans refer to her as "Darth Sansa".
    • Hizdahr zo Loraq has become "Hizdahr zo Kravitz" for his odd resemblance to Lenny Kravitz.
    • In the wake of "Hardhome", the Night King (which is still an unofficial designation for the character) has been dubbed "Coldemort".
    • Jaqen H'gar is a "Sexy Jesus." Alternatively, he also goes by the name of Spoony.
    • Ser Robert Strong, the new Kingsguard, is named "Frankenmountain" due to being the undead Gregor Clegane who is fueled by Qyburn's experiments.
    • The "Spice Snakes" for the Sand Snakes who are seen as The Scrappy for trying too hard evoke the Dark Action Girls vibes and failing to be Oberyn expies. Specifically, Obara is "Grumpy Spice", Nymeria is "Boring Spice", and Tyene Sand is called "Bad Pussy", no thanks to her infamous line in "Mother's Mercy". Altenatively, they were also called as "Xena rejects" due to their Fight Scene Failure in "Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken" which several reviewers compared it to Xena: Warrior Princess
    • Septa Unella is "Shame Nun" after her most memorable scene.
    • People who watch the show with full knowledge of the books are called Bookwalkers, while those who watch it without having read the books (or at least don't go beyond where the show has currently reached) are Unsullied. Amusingly enough, the Unsullied themselves had no idea what this meant until Season 3.
    • Edmure Tully has become known as "Brutus Tully" after his actions in surrendering Riverrun to Jaime Lannister and getting his uncle Brynden killed and in reference to Tobias Menzies' role as Marcus Brutus on HBO's Rome.
    • House Bolton is called "House Trollton".
    • Tommen was frequently called King Butters due to being an Extreme Doormat.
    • Due to her near-unanimous scrappy status, Ellaria Sand is often referred to as "Malaria Sand" by fans of the show.
    • Cersei's scheme to destroy her enemies in the Sept of Baelor has been called the "Green Trial" in reference to the Red Wedding and the Purple Wedding.
    • The series's depiction of Dorne has earned the name "Porne" from some fans.
    • Daenerys is called "Kelly C" (or alternatively, "Callie C") which is an easy pronunciation of her Dothraki title "Khaleesi".
    • As of Season seven Gendry and Jon Snow are being referred to as Davos' adoptive son. If Shireen is included it becomes Davos' adoptive children.
  • Flip-Flop of God: Ask three different creators (director, actor, writer) whether Jaime and Cersei having sex in the Great Sept in the fourth season episode "Breaker of Chains" was meant to be rape, consensual, or some murky and disturbing gray area in between, and you'll get three different answers. Ask the same creator twice and you might get two.
  • Follow the Leader: The success of the show has inspired imitators, notably Vikings, Atlantis and The Shannara Chronicles.
  • God Does Not Own This World: Signs would George R.R. Martin's contributions to and control over the series has dwindled at least somewhat after Season 4. He has notably not written any episode screenplays for Season 5-6 and he has all but openly stated his current involvement as a consultant on the series holds no actual deciding power at all and is purely advisory, noting that HBO could decide to include an Alien Invasion and he wouldn't be able to stop them if they wanted to go through with it.
  • Hostility on the Set: Jerome Flynn (Bronn) and Lena Headey (Queen Cersei) were in a relationship that did not end well. At all. The result is that the two are never on the set at the same time in order to prevent any hostility from occurring.
  • Hypothetical Casting: Several actors were fan favourites before their casting was announced, such as Peter Dinklage and Sean Bean. Fewer examples remain for characters likely to appear, but Mads Mikkelsen as Euron Greyjoy was a particular dream of the book-reader fanbase, so were Katie McGrath, Lily Collins, Jessica Brown Findlay, or Kaya Scodelario as Lyanna Stark (in the flashbacks).
  • I Am Not Spock: As you might expect from a hit TV show with a gigantic cast, few roles are filled with actors with a more high-profile role under their belt. Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Charles Dance were perhaps the most recognizable actors before the show.
  • I Knew It!:
    • An interesting case in that the show has confirmed several existing fan theories about the books, or ambiguous situations within them, that had yet to be resolved by the time the episodes aired:
    • Loras and Renly are gay lovers. This had already been repeatedly and heavily implied in the books, but never explicitly acknowledged.
    • Littlefinger hid a poison capsule on Sansa, which Olenna uses to kill Joffrey.
    • Valyrian steel (aka dragonsteel) kills the White Walkers (aka the Others). Jon and Sam discuss this in the books, but the show confirms it first.
    • Craster's sons get turned into White Walkers. While one of Craster's wives implied this happened, they're not a particularly reliable source.
    • For a show-specific spoiler, on-set photos depicting Meryn Trant and Mace Tyrell in Braavos tipped both book and show fans on a major Death by Adaptation, which did come true in the final Season 5 episode.
    • Melisandre uses her magic to hide her true age, as opposed to aging slowly.
    • Melisandre brings Jon Snow back to life.
    • Since A Feast for Crows, it was speculated that Sandor Clegane was still alive. He is.
    • In the second trailer for Season Six, many fans correctly guessed when Tormund said, "I thought he was the man to lead us through the Long Night. But I was wrong.", he was talking about Mance Rayder instead of Jon. This is proven right in "Battle of the Bastards."
    • Rickon's death in "Battle of the Bastards" was correctly predicted by most fans. Many also guessed that either Wun Wun or Tormund will die.
    • In the Season 6 finale "The Winds of Winter":
      • The biggest and the most known of all theories since the release of A Game of Thrones was confirmed, that Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother, and also that the promise Ned made was to take care of Jon. Rhaegar is strongly implied to be his father, but this is not explicitly mentioned. Note that knowledge of Jon's mother's identity was what got David Benioff and Dan Weiss the job adapting the series in the first place. Official supplemental material for the show confirms that Rhaegar is Jon's father.
      • Another series 6 finale example, which was no doubt less welcome, is that Natalie Dormer had made comments that incited people to speculate that Margaery Tyrell would soon be killed off. This indeed occurred in the season 6 finale. And since Finn Jones has been cast as the title character in Iron Fist, Loras would also be a goner for sure.
      • Subverted with Tommen's death. While a lot of people predicted he might go out in the finale, or at least sometime before his mother, most did not expect it to be via suicide.
      • It has been a fairly popular fan theory that Cersei would use the wildfire caches that the Mad King left behind. This is finally made good on when she sets a cache of it to go off underneath the Great Sept of Baelor during the scheduled time for her trial, taking every one of her political adversaries with it.
  • Image Source: This series provides the page image for:
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Singer Wilko Johnson and DJ Kristian Nairn as The Voiceless Illyn Payne and the one-worded Hodor.
  • Jossed:
    • In the Season 6 episode "No One":
      • Beric Dondarrion is alive and the Brotherhood hasn't turned into a group of Knight Templars (they're having trouble with rogue members though). This should be more than enough to confirm that Lady Stoneheart has definitely been Adapted Out. While Word of God had already confirmed this many times over, plenty of fans still weren't convinced.
      • With the abolition of Trial by Combat, it looks like there will be no Cleganebowl for us, at least not in the way fans had assumed...
      • A popular theory stating that Arya and the Waif are actually the same person was gaining momentum for some time, serving as explanation for both acting out-of-character in the previous two episodes and it was believed to be "Jaqen"'s secret test to see if Arya was truly ready to become no-one. With the Waif's death at Arya's hands and her departure from Braavos, this theory ended up going nowhere.
    • In the Season 6 episode "Battle of the Bastards":
      • There were those optimistic that Shaggydog wasn't really killed by the Umbers and they were only faking their allegiance to Ramsay, so they could turn on him later during the battle. The evidence to support this theory to are: the head presented to them was too small to belong to Shaggywolf and Smalljon's immense dislike of Ramsay. These hopes were dashed with Rickon's death and Smalljon being killed in action.
      • If the complete lack of a bump months after Sansa's escape didn't convince fans yet, with her epic "All of you will disappear" speech towards Ramsay she more or less debunked all Pregnancy Scares involving her. Either that, or she intends to figuratively mainline Moon Tea to ensure this, now that she has regular access to a maester. Some fans are still hanging on to it due to Ramsay's "part of you forever" line, even though, y'know, it's Sansa and not Ramsay who's likely to know if she's pregnant or not.
    • In the Season 6 finale "The Winds of Winter":
      • Whatever gambit Margaery had planned like many fans expected literally goes up in flames when she gets caught in the crossfire of the Great Sept explosion.
      • Despite being an open secret already, there were those who felt that Tommen being the High Sparrow's Puppet King would eventually lead to his heritage being undeniably revealed to the public. They both die before the episode's end.
      • The theory about Sansa trying to undermine Jon's claim to Winterfell based on her secret pact with Littlefinger gets shut down - she apologizes to Jon, tells Baelish to go fuck himself and is visibly content with Jon being declared King in the North, as it puts a spanner in Baelish's creepy plans. With that said, Word of God claims that she is at the very least unhappy that she wasn't properly rewarded following Jon's coronation so who knows where this might lead.
      • Was the High Sparrow secretly a Sinister Minister feigning humility and righteousness in order to pursue his own ambitions for power, or was he really a Good Shepherd who genuinely wanted to do right? We will never know.
  • Lying Creator:
    • In one of the featurettes aired prior to the start of Season 1 to introduce the world of Westeros to viewers, George R.R. Martin said that "Ned Stark is the main character whom the books revolves around." In reality, he's only the main character in the first book. He dies at the end, and the rest of the books have no real main character. Though since the rest of the books revolve around the fallout from his death, Martin was being Metaphorically True.
    • Actually averted with a major plot point at the end of Season 5. The creators of the show made several statements confirming that Jon Snow really died in spite of theories to the contrary. It was confirmed that they absolutely weren't kidding with the Season 6 premiere. Of course, they never said anything about the possibility of Jon being resurrected, which happens in the second episode of Season 6.note 
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • Essentially, actors such as Jack Gleeson, Carice Van Houten, Lena Headey, and David Bradley have admitted that they have had their share of real-life encounters with disgruntled fans.
    • According to DVD Commentary, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister, called "Kingslayer") and Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon)... Although Ser Jaime is a more sympathetic character than he initially seems (and becomes better as the story progresses), which compares him to Joffrey very positively... his first major scene has him push a child out a window with the intent to kill because the boy saw him shagging his sister - Waldau of course would never do something like that.
    • Practically every cast member who's done an interview for the show will go out of his or her way to say how lovely a person Jack Gleeson is. You could make a Drinking Game out of it. When he's recognized or asked for autographs, he's even been known to joke "I'm a nice guy, I swear!" Sophie Turner (Sansa) relates how Gleeson asks her if she is all right the moment the cameras stop rolling after some abusive scene.
    • 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 the show, Cersei Lannister loathes her brother, Tyrion. In real life, Lena Headey and Peter Dinklage are very close friends and live together during filming.
    • Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton) is very laid-back and gets along well with Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) in real life, despite the characters they play. Rheon was quick to assure the interviewers: "No Alfie Allens were harmed in the making of this show. He still has his penis.". Iwan has stated that when Ramsay's death does come, he hopes that it is a suitably horrible and fitting end. In an interview released the day after Ramsay's death was shown, Iwan agrees that it was a well-deserved death, though he jokes that it would've been even sweeter had Dany's dragons somehow been involved.
    • Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton) is also a very decent guy who plays a sadist and a traitor. He says that he found shooting parts of the Rains of Castamere very emotional. In his native Ireland, he was known more for comedy before taking on the role.
    • Thor Björnsson, the third and arguably most terrifying man to play monstrous Hero Killer Gregor Clegane, is nothing if not hilariously jovial, as demonstrated by the collection of goofy Instagram photos he has of himself and his costars. Including Pedro Pascal, whose character he murders in possibly the most gruesome scene of the series.
    • David Bradley (who makes a career of playing unpleasant characters) is a dignified and lovely fellow, who has expressed his delight about how involved he is in the show, even being part of the "Rogues Gallery" and how strong the reactions are. He's understanding of the fact that fans want Walder Frey to suffer a Karmic Death after the Red Wedding (explaining Walder has his reasons for his action, but still takes them way too far), and has expressed hope to return to the show one day.
    • Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish is a manipulative creep and, for all intents and purposes, the Big Bad of the series. Aidan Gillen is, of course, nothing like that in real life.
    • Ian Beattie, who plays Ser Meryn Trant, outright calls his character a monster, describing playing him as a horrible and expresses it was a pleasure working with Maisie Williams.
    • No matter what one may think of Melisandre, whether she is a villain or anti-hero, it is almost unanimously agreed by everyone that Carice Van Houten is nothing like the ruthless woman she portrays on the show.
    • The three Sand Snakes actresses (Keisha Castle-Hughes, Jessica Henwick and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) are very nice to fans at conventions, and when they were cast they actually spent a lot of time thinking out their internal character dynamics with each other, which they will explain at length....problem is the writers didn't pay attention to any of it, and the actors really put a lot more thought into it than they did.
  • Meaningful Release Date: It's probably no small coincidence that the Season 6 episode "Battle of the Bastards," an episode about bastard sons, gets released on Father's Day.
  • Meta Casting: Theon Greyjoy is a wastrel and Butt-Monkey who lives in the shadow of his sister. Alfie Allen is the younger brother of the singer Lily Allen, and as for the butt monkey and wastrel part, she wrote a very unflattering song about him. Further in this vein, Lily was originally approached to play Theon's sister Yara (see What Could Have Been).
  • Name's the Same: No, Jon Snow is not a reporter and anchor for the British Channel 4 News. Lampshaded when the reporter tweeted he was interviewing Kit Harrington, asking "who really knows nothing", later posting this on Channel 4's website. He is also not John Snow, the British doctor who invented modern epidemiology and stopped a cholera outbreak in London.
    • Daenerys bears the title Khaleesi, which in many countries is pronounced the same way as the Calici virus, the most common cause of viral stomach flu in humans (including causing the so-called "winter vomiting disease" which can last for up to 72 hours).
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Conan Stevens only had one appearance as Gregor Clegane in the first season before leaving the series to appear as Azog the Pale Orc in The Hobbit.note  He's replaced by former basketball player Ian Whyte in the second season. Apart from their height, the two actors look nothing alike, not to mention that Stevens is quite husky, while Whyte is much thinner. Quite a few people seem to have missed the fact that he was supposed to be the Mountain. The Mountain gets recast again in Season 4, where he is played by Icelandic strongman, Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson (who is considered to at least be superior to Whyte, and generally a strong substitute for Stevens).
    • Beric Dondarrion is played by David Scott in first-season episode "A Golden Crown" and by Richard Dormer when he reappears in third-season episode "And Now His Watch Has Ended". This was somewhat less jarring, as the previous actor had such a minor appearance and was so inconspicuous in looks that fewer people remembered him; furthermore, the character has been through a severe Mutilation Conga in the interim.
    • Tara Fitzgerald replaces Sarah MacKeever as Selyse Baratheon in Season 3.
    • Tommen Baratheon was played by Callum Wharry in Seasons 1-3, but beginning Season 4, he will be played by Dean-Charles Chapman, who previously played Martyn Lannister in Season 3.
    • Michiel Huisman replaces Ed Skrein as Daario Naharis in Season 4, starting in the season premiere "Two Swords." The two look almost nothing alike (Huisman's Daario is brunette, thick-bearded and short-haired, while Skrein's Daario is clean-shaven and lengthy-locked, and blond).
    • Keeping with Tommen's recast, the role of his older sister Myrcella will go from Aimee Richardson to Nell Free in the fifth season. Bizarrely, Free is two years younger than Dean-Charles Chapman, putting the recast in similar territory to that of Gregor Clegane.
    • In Season 6, Max von Sydow replaces Struan Rodger as the Three-Eyed Raven.
    • Brazilian fans were very upset that beginning in season 6, the Portuguese dub would move from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo. The only returning cast member was Jorge Vasconcellos as Roose Bolton, as he visits Sao Paulo every weekend.
    • Dickon Tarly was played by Freddie Stroma in Season 6. However, he was played by Tom Hopper in Season 7.
  • The Other Marty: Even before it began airing, it happened for a lot of characters between the original pilot and the series proper (most of the pilot was then reshot with the new cast).
    • Daenerys went from Tamzin Merchant to Emilia Clarke
    • Catelyn went from Jennifer Ehle to Michelle Fairley
    • Magister Illyrio went from Ian McNeice to Roger Allam
    • Gared went from Richard Ridings to Dermot Keaney
    • Ser Waymar went from Jamie Campbell Bower to Rob Ostlere
    • Aerys II Targaryen went from Liam Burke to David Rintoul.
    • The show's 2013 April Fool's joke was a fake announcement that Peter Dinklage would be replaced by Warwick Davis to make Tyrion a more "comedic" character and that Davis' face would be digitally transfered over Dinklage's in reruns and subsequent DVD releases.
  • Overtook the Manga:
    • As of the fourth season in 2014, Game of Thrones is coming dangerously close to overtaking the novels. While there are still two hefty novels left before the show runs out of material, both of those books occur at the same time and several characters have already started to dip into the storylines from those novels. George R.R. Martin has given the show's writers a detailed explanation of events in the final two novels, as the writers and producers have made it clear they will not and cannot stop and wait for Martin to catch up. The Season 4 episode "Oathkeeper" is the first to feature a major revelation before the novels: the final scene reveals the Others/White Walkers have a society and hierarchy, that they create new Others/White Walkers by transforming human babies, and that they are led by the Night's King, an evil figure from Westeros mythology who was not previously confirmed to actually exist. Martin got himself into some hot water at the same time by giving a few interviews where he appeared convinced that he could finish the series in time for the show to adapt it, which he later clarified was "pie-in-the-sky" wishful thinking. He is also foregoing writing an episode for season 5 so he can focus more on the books.
    • The Season 5 episode "Hardhome" proved to be an axiomatic example of this:
      • A minor but specific case. In the books, it's been speculated by several characters whether Valyrian steel could be used against the Others, as Sam finds a reference to "dragonsteel" being lethal to them. This episode has Jon kill a White Walker with Longclaw, confirming this theory long before the book does.
      • Tyrion and Daenerys have not yet met in the books (they are slated to in The Winds of Winter).
      • With the exception of the Arya and Cersei scenes, every other scene from the episode either has yet to happen in the books or diverges significantly. Making this effectively the first "new" episode for fans of the novels.
      • At this point, the general consensus seems to be that, if nothing else, the fans just want Book 6 to be finished before the show catches up - which may just happen (to an extent at least), as certain storylines from Books 4 and 5 look like they'll take up to Season 6 to complete since they have potentially too much material to cram into a single season's worth of storylines, and some storylines (like the majority of the Iron Islands plot, and part of Jon Snow's Book 3 narrative) are coming after the books they appeared in; on the flipside, stories like Bran and Brienne's have dipped into the Book 4/5 plots due to catching up to the end of Book 3, well before the main narratives for that novel were completed. All in all, it's a mixed bag.
    • And now with the show finally catching up with the books, Martin revealed that he's still working on the sixth book and since he already told the producers several plot points in advance, it's inevitable that Season 6 onwards would spoil several storylines. He already told fans that it's up to their discretion whether to continue watching the show or not.
    • The other issue is that the Show has Adapted Out several key characters and plotlines and according to Martin, these are all very important in the later books. So overall the show is a Compressed Adaptation, true to the first three books, but gradually becoming a loose adaptation and as both Martin and the showrunners have noted that as a result of the change in the context, the butterfly effect of distillation and changes to several characters personalities, the show has drastically diverged from the books (from Book 4 onwards) and will continue to diverge from how the remaining volumes turn out, so aside from Word of Dante confirmationsnote  it remains up in the air how much the show relates the trajectory of characters and events of the final books.
    • The Season 6 finale cements that we are entering the end of the series and adapting plot from the books is no longer an option: Daenerys is finally on the move, King's Landing's scheming is over, Arya is back in Westeros and the North is bracing themselves for the White Walkers. On a minor note, it may have overtaken the books in revealing House Frey's words. It is implied during the feast the words are "We stand together."
  • The Pete Best:
    • Averted with Ian Whyte, the second Mountain, who most considered to be inferior to Conan Stevens. This seems to be played straight with the third Mountain, Hafþór Julius Björnsson, who many now consider the definitive Mountain.
    • Played straight with everyone written on The Other Marty above.
    • Played straight with Tara Fitzgerald, as Selyse's original actress, Sarah MacKeever, only appeared in a very brief scene before being recast.
  • Playing Against Type:
  • Playing Gertrude:
    • James Cosmo is only thirteen years older than Iain Glen, who plays his son. It is possible that Jeor fathered Jorah really young, though.
    • Hafþór Björnsson is not even 30. It's little trouble to believe him as the older Clegane brother, despite that Rory McCann is nearing 50. It helps that they don't share any scenes. To be fair, body type was much more of a priority than age when it came to casting.
    • Hodor is supposed to be older than Ned, yet Kristian Nairn is sixteen years younger than Sean Bean.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • An indirect example: In season 3 Gilly's son was portrayed by an infant called Arya Hasson. Unsurprisingly, both her parents are huge fans.
    • Several actors were fans of the books before being cast on the show, such as Kristian Nairn (Hodor). Keisha Castle-Hughes was also a fan before being cast as Obara Sand.
    • The metal band Mastodon recorded a track called "White Walker" for a GOT-themed mixtape. Members of the band later appeared as wildling extras in the episode "Hardhome" during a battle against the White Walkers.
    • Youtuber Steve Love, known for his Game of Thrones impressions, got a small role in episode 6x08.
  • Real-Life Relative: Daniel Portman (Podrick Payne) is the son of Ron Donachie (Rodrik Cassel).
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • The Greatjon only appears in Season 1 due to schedule conflicts with actor Clive Mantle.
    • The executioner Ser Ilyn Payne has been absent since Season 2 due to actor Wilko Johnson's serious cancer (the cancer actually was completely removed in an extraordinarily impressive medical feat, but he was still left in a weakened condition that made it impossible to come back).
    • A relatively minor Season 5 character has not been recast following the death of actor J.J. Murphy.
    • Although Bronn, at least in the TV adaptation, would have likely had a couple (though not many) of interactions with Cersei, the two are never shown on screen together.note  This is apparently because the two actors (Lena Headey and Jerome Flynn) dated at one point and the relationship ended in very ugly fashion - so ugly that the showrunners have made it a point to keep the two away from each other on set.
    • Jessica Henwick, who played Nymeria Sand, was too busy shooting for the Marvel Netflix shows, Iron Fist and The Defenders, that her schedule conflicted with the Season 7 production until Marvel gave her the heads up. Because she was given two weekends by Marvel, Nym's fate was changed where she would be killed off by Euron Greyjoy in one episode.
  • The Red Stapler:
    • The show played a large role in making braided hairstyles fashionable again.
    • The popularity of the direwolves led to an increased demand for wolf-like dog breeds such as the Siberian Husky. Unfortunately people tend to highly underestimate the amount of time and experience these kinds of dogs need, not to mention the space (a big kennel/garden is absolutely mandatory!) and the expenses for food, bills etc., which is why many of them end up in shelters eventually. So tropers, think this through!
    • Despite leaving the Food Porn largely in the books, the show apparently boosted the sales of medieval-themed meat dishes and beverages, especially mead.
    • "Arya", "Khaleesi", "Tyrion" and "Theon" have become popular baby names and even made the Top 100 lists in some countries.
    • The show also heavily boosted tourism in all shooting locations, particularly Spain and Northern Ireland. And like New Zealand with The Lord of the Rings, the local tourism boards fully embrace this.
  • Referenced by...: The show has been referenced many times by other works since its 2011 debut:
    • Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation is a massive fan of the show and seems borderline obsessed with it. Donna Meagle, one of his coworkers, likes it to a lesser extent and is a little bemused that Anne Perkins doesn't get her references.
    • In The Flash (2014), Mason Bridge makes a brief reference to the Dothraki language, comparing it to Technobabble from his perspective. Interestingly, Rila Fukushima, who plays a Red Priestess in Season 5, was a Recurring Character in that show's universe, while Dean S. Jagger, who plays Smalljon Umber, played a Villain of the Week in one of its sister shows.
    • Hat Films routinely make jokes about Jon Snow and the pronunciation of his name.
    • Sjin is a huge fan of the show and routinely makes references to it, most prominently in his Chivalry series.
    • In Supergirl, the titular character and her adoptive sister are fans of the show.
    • The show gets a nod on Suits. Interesting, as both Conleth Hill and Michelle Fairley are Recurring Characters there.
    • South Park's "Black Friday Trilogy" is based on the show with Cartman's Xbox One faction based on the Lannisters, Stan's PlayStation 4 faction based on the Starks and the mall security guards based on the Night's Watch.
    • The aforementioned news anchor Jon Snow opened a report on the 2017 UK general election, in which the Conservatives unexpectedly lost their majority, with, "I know nothing. We, the media, the pundits, the experts, know nothing. We simply didn't spot it."
  • Romance on the Set:
  • Same Language Dub: The Comically Serious maester in the citadel, played by Frank Hvam, had his lines dubbed over due to his heavy Danish accent.
  • Self-Adaptation: George R.R. Martin has consistently maintained that the Game of Thrones series is a separate beast from his A Song of Ice and Fire books, but he does usually write at least one episode per season until his schedule filled up too much.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting:
    • A lot of celebrity news sites have noted how Kit Harington his on-screen half-brother Richard Madden have strong physical resemblance to each other, to the point that a common criticism of the first few episodes is that it's hard to tell which is which when they're in the same scene.
    • Emilia Clarke and Harry Lloyd, who portray the Targaryen siblings, possess an uncanny similarity.
    • Finn Jones and Natalie Dormer, who play the Tyrell siblings could pass for brother and sister in real life. In the novels, Cersei observes that Margaery and Loras look more alike than she and her twin Jaime, and this also applies on the show.
    • Dormer also bears a striking resemblance to a young Diana Rigg, so it's fitting that they play granddaughter and grandmother on the series. There are even images of Rigg as Emma Peel giving a similar off-kilter smile to the one that's become Dormer's trademark.
    • Both Michael McElhatton and Iwan Rheon have the same icy blue Bolton eyes.
    • Pilou Asbk, who will be playing Euron Greyjoy from 2016 on, essentially looks like his on-screen nephew Alfie Allen with fuller cheeks.
    • When she finally appears in flashbacks portrayed by Aisling Franciosi, Lyanna Stark bears a striking resemblance to her son Jon Snow. Also, she has facial traits very reminiscent of Maisie Williams', who in the books is said to be Lyanna's spitting image.
  • Star-Making Role: Loads, but most notably Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Maisie Williams, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sophie Turner, Richard Madden, Gwendoline Christie, Alfie Allen, Gethin Anthony, Pedro Pascal, Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick and Iwan Rheon. And although not completely unknown prior to the show, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Aidan Gillen, Charles Dance, Carice Van Houten, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Dillane, Iain Glen, Liam Cunningham and Jason Momoa truly ascended stardom afterwards.
  • Streisand Effect: Since season 5 caught up with all the published books, the production of season 6 suffered from this big time. As a result, many major plot points were leaked weeks or months before the episodes aired. And then there's poor Kit Harington, who , thanks to Jon Snow being officially dead at that point, couldn't get anywhere near the shooting locations without being hunted by paparazzi.
  • Throw It In:
    • The sword flip where Syrio Forel balances a weapon on the back of his hand in his first scene with Arya was improvised. "Just so." Even the actor was surprised when he managed to do it, because the wooden sword was considerably heavier than a normal one.
    • According to the showrunners, the part where Tormund stares and smiles at Brienne who looks away from him uncomfortably before leaving Castle Black was unscripted.
    • The kiss between Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand in "Stormborn" was actually improvised according the characters' actresses.
  • Trolling Creator:
    • In a commentary for Season 1, the producers talk about the difficulty of adapting certain things from the books, and specifically tell us not to get our hopes up that white ravens will be included. In episode one of Season 2 (filmed before the commentaries were made), we do get a white raven.
    • Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) is fond of obliquely spoiling future plot developments on Instagram. She also messed with people's expectations when she posted a heart-shape made of stones, which teased that Lady Stoneheart would appear in Season 4. She didn't.
    • In the "Previously On" for "Mother's Mercy", Benjen Stark appears. Late in the episode, Olly tells Jon that Benjen had been found. It was a lie to lure Jon into his execution.
    • As if to add insult to injury to those expecting Lady Stoneheart after the Season 6 episode "No One" seemed to have Jossed it for good, in the episode the Hound also takes a piss into the river where Catelyn's body would have been found.
    • Even through the Season 6 finale is well-known for revealing (or just confirming what was already assumed) that Lyanna Stark is Jon's mother, it still didn't reveal one detail: Whatever Lyanna said Jon's birth name was, it was muted, and the subtitles didn't caption that line, meaning that an entire new forest of Epileptic Trees is about to be planted.
    • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau joins in the trolling shenanigans where he holds a duck and tells the book readers to think about it. This led to many speculations that Ser Rolly Duckfield and Aegon "Young Griff" Targaryen might appear. But it turns out that they were never in the show at all and Nikolaj was just fooling around.
  • Troubled Production: The Dorne storyline in Season 5 suffered badly from it. Just like many fans suspected, it was added very late in pre-production with the crew vastly overestimating how much screen time they'd be able to give it, resulting in a horribly rushed writing job. They also ran into trouble with the filming location where they were only allowed to shoot in a very limited area, and also weren't allowed to go there at night. The result of this can be seen especially in the much-maligned big fight scene from "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken," which was intended to be a tense close-quarters brawl at night but was forced to happen in a wide open area in broad daylight, despite that not making any sense in context.
  • Trope Namers: A review of "You Win or You Die" gave us Sexposition, in reference to the series' tendency to combine sex scenes and important exposition.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • A minor example would be Sandor Clegane's hunting dogs in Winterfell; the scene was shot with them there at first, but they spooked the horses and therefore were cut from the final version.
    • An extra said that there were two days scheduled to shoot Grenn and the Nightwatchmen' fight against the giant, but it was cancelled due to budget.
    • Peter Jackson's Weta Workshop actually offered to help animate the Battle of Blackwater. Sadly, George R.R. Martin politely declined their offer, as they wanted to avoid creating, or even being perceived to create, a second Battle of Helm's Deep.
    • Iwan Rheon was the primary runner-up to play Heroic Bastard, Jon Snow, ironically later getting cast as the ultimate Bastard Bastard, Ramsay Snow.
    • Pedro Pascal mentions on a Season 4 commentary that he and Michiel Huisman had worked together on a failed pilot the year before, which would have prevented them both from joining the show if it had been picked up.
    • Carice Van Houten revealed in an interview that she was asked to audition for the role of Cersei Lannister, but she turned the role down due to other commitments. She later accepted the role of Melisandre of Asshai, and the rest is history...
    • When Jeyne Westerling was still in the show, she was made a battlefield nurse to make a more budget-friendly adaptation of her and Robb's meeting from the books where she nurses him after he's wounded in battle. Then she was changed to the separate character Talisa Maegyr and the producers opted to make it a more generic romance, but it was too late to change her from being a nurse, so they had to come up with an explanation for why a Volantene noble would be doing this kind of grunge work despite that it didn't even serve any story purpose.
    • The return of Sandor Clegane in Season 6 went through several iterations of some other character coming across him, before the crew figured Rory McCann was a good enough actor that he could carry the episode's story without any help from other established characters.
    • It's possible that Margaery might have survived the Green Trial, if only Natalie Dormer hadn't been asking to leave the show since Season 5 was being made.
    • Prior to the airing of Season 4, producers had to decide which of the two storylines (Dorne and Ironborn) would be in Season 5, meaning the other storyline not chosen would be in Season 6 instead. After the sudden popularity of Prince Oberyn Martell, they decided to include the Dorne arc in Season 5 while the Ironborn arc would be in Season 6. Things would probably be different if it's the other way around (and possibly much better; see Troubled Production above).
    • Brian Cox was offered an unspecified role early on (Stannis and Commander Mormont are the most popular guesses), and now deeply regrets turning it down after seeing how huge the show had gotten (including becoming a big fan himself), with so many of his old friends on it.
    • Apparently Alexander Siddig was contracted for four episodes in Season 6, but the plans were changed during production for some unclear reasons. Siddig didn't know the reason for this but he took the changes professionally. Whatever the original plan is, it might have salvaged the much maligned Dorne arc.
    • According to the actors, they shot an unused scene for the Season 6 episode, "The Door" where Sansa teases Brienne about her new Wildling admirer. Likewise, Hodor's death was indented to be even more brutal. Luckily, the writers decided that the scene was emotionally jarring as it is.
    • In the Season 6 episode "Battle of the Bastards", the director wanted to give Ramsay's death the Alas, Poor Villain treatment, but luckily Benioff and Weiss talked some sense into him, since no one could possibly buy it. Additionally, Ghost was supposed to appear in the episode and fight alongside Jon, but he was cut due to budget concerns. Specifically, the mile of red tape surrounding importing the endangered white wolf who serves as the non-CG version of Ghost from it's native Canada.
    • In the original script of Season 5 episode "Mother's Mercy", Myrcella's death in the Season 5 finale was supposed to be very brutal where instead of getting a nosebleed and collapsing into Jaime's arms, she would suffer a massive brain hemorrhage where her brain matter would scatter on the floor and Jaime would still be holding onto her with brain-blood all over it. The directors changed it and wanted to give her a sweet and innocent death instead of a gruesome one which might be a Call-Back to Oberyn.
    • Speaking of Oberyn, his death would also be more brutal than in the books where Gregor would cut his fingers, tear off his face and rip his head off. But this was not filmed because it's already too brutal which would not be allowed to be aired on TV and it would contradict to Gregor's statement of crushing Elia's head by demonstrating it to Oberyn.
    • Tom Hollander was offered to play Littlefinger but turned it down.
    • Gillian Anderson was offered a role (reportedly Cersei Lannister) in the show but turned it down.
    • Oded Fehr was considered to play Oberyn Martell.
    • Sam Heughan auditioned to play various characters including Renly Baratheon, Loras Tyrell and a few different members of the Night's Watch.
    • Tricia Helfer auditioned for Cersei Lannister.
    • Sam Claflin auditioned for both Jon Snow and Viserys Targaryen.
    • Jamie Bamber auditioned for Jaime Lannister.
    • Derek Halligan was cast as Alliser Thorne but left the show before production began. He was replaced by Owen Teale.
    • Conleth Hill (Lord Varys) originally auditioned to play Robert Baratheon.
    • Elena Satine screen-tested against Emilia Clarke for Daenerys Targaryen.
    • Jonathan Pryce was offered a role during Season 1 but turned it down. He was later cast as the High Sparrow in Season 5.
    • According to Jessica Henwick, the producers were unsure whether they were going to put Nymeria Sand on the show as they were also planning to include Sarella Sand, Oberyn's other bastard daughter who is in Oldtown and is possibly posing as a man with the name Alleras who is studying in the Citadel. She even admitted that there's so much wasted potential on the Sand Snakes as there were several scenes of them being cut out.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Game of Thrones Wiki, which can be found here.
  • Working Title: The Season 3 episode "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" went through a lot. Martin's original title was "Autumn Rains," as every scene was written with drenching downpours. When this turned out to be beyond the budget, he switched to "Chains," as both a metaphor for several characters' situations plus literally referring to the gold chain Tyrion gives Shae. Finally, when some scenes were switched around between episodes and the one with the bear ended up in this one, "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" became the obvious choice.
  • Word of Dante:
    • The show has greatly influenced the perceptions people have about A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • GRRRM noted that the show's rendition of the Iron Throne was so iconic that many readers project it in their minds when reading his books, but as he points out, everything in his books is bigger and larger than life. He went out of his way to promote a more accurate rendition of the throne which he notes that it was impractical on the scale of the show. Likewise, many fans accept Littlefinger noting that the throne made of 1000 swords is a political myth spread by the Targaryens, when in fact in the books, the throne really does have 1000 swords.
    • One direct example is when the showrunners in promos for Season 5 and Season 6, specifically mention that certain drastic scenes which had nothing remotely similar in the published books Shireen dying by Human Sacrifice and Hodor's origin were spoilers from the upcoming books that the author shared with them.note 
    • In general, both the author and the showrunners note that the show has drastically diverged from the books from Season 5 onwards, submitting Books 4 and 5 to a Compressed Adaptation and removing and changing vast chunks of character and plot, which means that the show's connection to the books as an indicator of later events is not very reliable.
  • Word of God: Because of the, seemingly, vague nature of their deaths, the director and showrunners later came out to clarify that both Stannis and Myrcella Baratheon did indeed get killed in the Season 5 episode "Mother's Mercy."
  • Word of Saint Paul:
    • Kristian Nairn clarified that Hodor was not being warged in his final moments in "The Door" and made his Heroic Sacrifice of his own free will, describing his last thoughts as being happy that Bran and Meera would survive.
    • According to Kit Harington, Jon's pummeling Ramsay into the ground in "Battle of the Bastards" was supposed to make the audience fear for his sanity, and worry that their hero was becoming a monster. However, Ramsay was such a vile character that the actual audience reaction was not so much "Don't become that which you hate!" and more "Don't stop! He's still breathing!"
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Ian Whyte portrays Gregor Clegane in Season 2, a White Walker in Seasons 1 and 2, and a giant in Seasons 3 to 6.
    • Dean Charles Chapman plays Martyn Lannister in Season 3, and then (permanently) Tommen Baratheon in Season 4 onwards. It helps that said characters are cousins.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/GameofThrones