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Shout Out / Game of Thrones

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Shout-Out examples in Game of Thrones.

  • George R. R. Martin has admitted that Samwell Tarly is based on Samwise Gamgee of The Lord of the Rings and his similar name is a reference. This carries over into the show.
    • This carries over into the Finale when Sam presents Tyrion with a book by Archmaester Ebrose titled "A Song of Ice and Fire" just like Frodo presents "The Lord of the Rings" to Sam. Even the endings that the Stark children get — coronations, sailing out into the mysterious west, and returning to a beloved part of the world — are callbacks to The Lord of the Rings.
    • Another callback to The Lord of the Rings is Khal Drogo, son of Bharbo, who shares both his name and patronymic with Frodo's dad.
  • The helmets of Lannister soldiers are quite similar to those of the German soldiers in Alexander Nevsky, which were, in turn, based on the Stahlhelm of Nazi soldiers.
  • One of the names Viserys mentions when listing the Targaryen dragons is Vermithrax, the dragon from Dragonslayer. George R. R. Martin has stated that it's his favorite dragon from cinema.
  • Shade of the Evening both gives the Warlocks power and changes the color of their lips, which is based on sapho juice from Dune, which has similar effects on the Mentat.
  • An HBO special: In "Two Swords", when Arya Stark asks Sandor Clegane why he's willing to kill civilians but not steal, he replies, "A man's got to have a code," the line Omar Little of The Wire used to explain why he was willing to steal from other criminals but not civilians.
  • Riverrun, the Tully family seat, seems to have been named in homage to the opening word of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.
  • In "The Lion and the Rose", the suggested names for Joffrey's new sword include Stormbringer and Terminus.
  • "Breaker of Chains" has two references to Monty Python and the Holy Grail: Shireen mentions that Davos once read the word "knight" as "kuh-niggit", and the Meereenese champion's harangue — according to the show's linguist David Peterson — is a Low Valyrian translation of the French taunter scene.
  • The Valyrian phrase "Valar morghulis" or "All men must die." In the Tolkien Legendarium, the Valar are godlike angelic beings and "morgul" is an Elvish word for black magic.
  • The name of the Land of Always Winter, the White Walkers' far northern homeland, evokes how the White Witch has kept Narnia in a similar deep freeze at the beginning of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, where it's "always winter, but never Christmas".
  • Star Wars:
    • In "The Children", Ygritte's funeral pyre in the woods heavily resembles Darth Vader's in Return of the Jedi.
    • Two seasons later, in "The Spoils of War", Jaime's parting line to Bronn after he begins to ride off, having been handsomely paid, while the Lannister army could still use his help, is "That's what you've always been best at", echoing Luke's kiss-off to Han before the Battle of Yavin in A New Hope under similar circumstances: "I guess that's what you're best at, isn't it?"
    • During the Big Badass Battle Sequence of "The Long Night", Dany trains a protracted hail of dragon fire on the Night King only to leave him utterly unaffected and even smirking slightly, sort of like the way Lukenote  appears unscathed after Ren orders a similar hail of First Order fire on him in The Last Jedi, and then dusts his shoulder off.
    • At the scene's climax, Arya kills the Night King in a moment very reminiscent of Rey killing a Praetorian Guard from that film as well.
  • Stannis, much like Agamemnon in the myth of Iphigenia, is a leader faced by unfavorable weather and a stalled military campaign who chooses to sacrifice his innocent daughter to appease the gods and ensure victory. Also like Agamemnon, that decision ultimately leads to his destruction after he meets his death at the hands of a vengeful woman.
  • The assassination of Jon Snow at the end of Season 5 bears a striking resemblance to the traditional portrayals of the assassination of Julius Caesar, with all of the conspirators gathered around him, the victim not resisting much, and the last one's blows met with a particularly prolonged stare of betrayal.
  • In "Oathbreaker," Alliser Thorne is at the gallows and is asked if he has any last words. His response "I fought. I lost. Now I rest." is almost exactly how Richard Harrow describes Jimmy's death in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire
  • The letter from Ramsay to Jon Snow ends with the line "Come and See" from the Book of Apocalypse. Just to give you a hint of what could be written there.
  • "No One" features a lingering shot of a pile of oranges in the scene before the Waif's death after Arya accidentally knocks over a fruit vendor's cart while fleeing the Waif. This is almost certainly a reference to The Godfather, where Francis Ford Coppola famously foreshadowed every character's death with a shot of an orange.note 
  • Tommen's benediction to the assembled Lannister/Tyrell forces after he has announced the merger of the church and the crown, that they can either be killers or go home to their families, is straight from the climax of Schindler's List.
  • Hodor's arc, where his name, the only word he ever speaks in the series' present, turns out to prefigure the moment of his death, evokes the French film La Jetée.
  • Shakespeare gets a few:
    • The whole backstory of Robert's Rebellion, lifted as it is from English history, suggests that the younger Robert was like Lord Bolingbroke in Richard II, rebelling initially to redress a personal grievance but with other nobles joining in and urging him to take the crown from a despised king. The older Robert, however, more resembles the young Prince Hal in Henry IV Part I, preferring drinking and whoring to his royal responsibilities.
      • Tommen, devout but weak, likewise evokes Shakespeare's Henry VI.
    • Like King Lear, a subplot concerns an evil bastard's son's effort to get the land his father would otherwise have passed on to a legitimate heir, to the point that he gets his father killed.
    • Like Hamlet, Robb Stark sets out to avenge his father's death at the hands of an illegitimate king; his quest also ends in his death, along with his own mother, in a banquet hall during a feast where his assassination has been prearranged.
    • The whole play-within-the-series in Braavos lampooning the events of Seasons 1–4 with the actors speaking in verse is the most direct homage, not only in how the play is written but in the use of the trope itself.
    • Arya killing Walder Frey's sons and serving them unknowing to their father in a pie is straight from Titus Andronicus.
  • The attack style of the wight army, going in waves even up or down steep slopes or sheer surfaces, evokes the zombies in World War Z.
  • House Mazin is named after Craig Mazin, a screenwriter and friend of the showrunners.
  • The showdown between Bronn and Drogon is similar to Bard vs Smaug in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
  • When Jaime and Tyrion meet for the first time in three seasons in "Eastwatch", the first thing Jaime says to his brother is that he'd like to cut him in half. Tyrion's comeback is that it's going to take him a long time with a sparring sword, echoing HAL's "Without your helmet, Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult" in 2001.
  • Soon after Bran gains the full measure of his psychic powers, he returns to Winterfell, where Maester Wolkan gives him a wheelchair to improve his mobility. After that point, he might remind viewers of a certain other psychic man in a wheelchair.
  • With their banner being a squid, their populace degenerate and violent, and their religion's motto being "What is dead may never die," the Greyjoys invoke many of the tertiary elements of the Cthulhu Mythos.
  • The Finale includes an admittedly very dark homage to Leni Riefenstahl's classic propaganda film Triumph of the Will. Daenerys gives a New Era Speech from high on the wrecked entrance to the Red Keep with huge Targaryen banners beside her, while the Unsullied stand arrayed in perfect rows on either side with spears at the ready and the Dothraki hordes cheer on in a frenzy, visually evoking similar shots of Hitler and the assembled Nazis at the 1936 Olympics. On top of that, the drumming of the Unsullied spears bears a resemblance to the sound of a goosestepping parade formation that is largely associated with Nazi Germany.
  • Sansa's crowning as Queen in the North, along with the dress and hairstyle are very similar to Elizabeth Tudor's in Elizabeth. The similarities between the two characters don't stop there.
  • Jon Snow is given the Red Baron of "The White Wolf" when crowned King In The North. This could either be referencing The Elric Saga or The Witcher, though a good case could be made for the latter, considering Jon has a similar, if less pronounced, scar over his left eye to Geralt.
  • The scene of Khal Moro's bloodriders arguing what is better than sex evokes the famous opening scene of Conan the Barbarian (1982)