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  • Ability over Appearance:
    • Natalia Tena is younger and prettier than her character Osha in the books but landed the part anyway. George RR Martin loved her performance so much, he said he'd rewrite Osha in later books to bring her more in line with the show.
    • Oona Chaplin's partial Chilean ancestry is evident in her olive complexion and was considered too incongruous with the strictly Anglo-looking Westerosi characters. She still landed the part of Robb's love interest, but her character's background was changed to hailing from Volantis to explain her features.
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    • In the books Shae is just a camp follower of the Lannister army - hailing from somewhere in Westeros. Producers enjoyed Sibel Kekilli's audition so much, they added in a backstory about Shae being from Lorath to explain her German accent.
  • The Abridged Series: In the form of captions by Chrys Reviews.
  • Acting for Two:
    • In "High Sparrow", Samantha Bentley/McEwan first plays a prostitute in King's Landing cosplaying as The Stranger (a God of Death), then later in the episode plays a prostitute in Volantis cosplaying as Daenerys Targeryen. As The Stranger, her face is completely hidden by her hair, allowing her to appear twice in the episode without it seeming strange.
    • Happens a lot in the Japanese dub:
      • Risa Shimizu voices both Daenerys Targaryen and Rickon Stark.
      • Toshiyuki Morikawa voices both Tyrion Lannister and a minor character named Ed in the first season.
      • Yuuichi Nakamura voices both Euron Greyjoy and young Eddard Stark.
      • Yukiyo Fujii voices both Missandei and Shireen Baratheon.
      • Lynn voices Lyanna Stark, Tyene Sand, and Alys Karstark.
      • Hikari Yono voices both Melisandre of Asshai and Anya Waynwood.
  • Acting in the Dark:
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
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    • Julian Glover is remarkably spry for his age. This lead to the producers amending the role of Pycelle to make it clear that he is not as weak and feeble as he appears.
    • The Northerners having actual Oop North accents came from Sean Bean. When rehearsing for the pilot, creators suggested he keep his natural accent and then told the rest of the actors playing the Starks to match him. This pretty much influenced many casting decisions in the future. Rose Leslie was in fact cast as Ygritte because the show runners had heard her do a northern accent on Downton Abbey.
    • The small unheard prayer that Ned mutters upon his death was an actual prayer of Bean's choice.
    • When Pedro Pascal auditioned for the role of Oberyn Martell, he emphasized the Dornish prince's cultural and behavioral differences with the people of King's Landing by speaking in an accent reminiscent of his Chilean father, which carried over into the final show.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Much like Tywin, Charles Dance was previously married to a woman named Joanna. However, unlike Tywin, Dance's marriage ended in divorce, not the death of his wife.
  • Approval of God: George R. R. Martin himself thinks that the show's versions of Osha and Shae are Better Than Canon. He also called Jack Gleeson following Joffrey's death and congratulated him for a job well done.
  • Author Existence Failure:
    • 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 J.J. 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.
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Jessica Henwick is aware of the Troubled Production in the Dornish arc and understands the negative reception of the Sand Snakes. Nevertheless, she still enjoys being on the show and working with her castmates. She even owes the show for boosting her career.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: While memes commonly quote Ned as saying, "Brace yourselves, [...] is coming," he never actually says, "Brace yourselves".
  • Billing Displacement: Even for an Ensemble Cast, the series was pretty crazy about who got into the opening titles. Peter Dinklage, the star of the show, got "And Starring" for the first season so that Sean Bean's character could lead, better setting up his character's role as the Decoy Protagonist; after that, Dinklage took top billing, typically followed by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey. But in the show's final season, and round of Emmy nominations, all three showed up in the "Outstanding Supporting Acting" categories... while the people whose names came next, Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke, took the "Oustanding Lead Acting" nominations, further underlining the divide between "being The Protagonist" and "being the star". Despite playing very prominent characters, Maisie Williams (Arya), Sophie Turner (Sansa), Alfie Allen (Theon), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) and John Bradley (Sam) were listed in the secondary cast for much or all of their time on the show, while Liam Cunningham (Davos), Stephen Dillane (Stannis), Carice Van Houten (Melisandre) and Natalie Dormer (Margaery), who play supporting roles that often don't even appear for half of a given season, are billed among the main cast. Finally, Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo, one of the more major characters of the first season, was billed in the closing credits, after the guest stars, as "also starring". (This at least has a Doylist justification: Momoa wanted to share the "And Starring" credit with Dinklage, which — in the days before Aquaman — he did not have the star power to justify.)
  • Bilingual Bonus: With the confirmation that Lyanna Stark is Jon Snow's mother, the Chinese transliteration of the surname Snow, the name given to illegitimate children with noble blood, 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.
  • ...But I Play One on TV:
    • Lena Headey would like fans to remember that Cersei is a fictional character and that she is nowhere near as nasty as she is. Hating Cersei and wanting her to die is fine, hating Headey and wanting her to die is not.
    • Natalie Dormer also fought back against claims that she condones sex with minors after Margaery's sex scene with Tommen - reminding everyone that she plays a fictional character.
    • In episode commentaries and interviews, multiple cast members have gone out of their way to make clear that Jack Gleeson is nothing like Joffrey in real life.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Game of Thrones is a merchandising juggernaut and possibly the biggest cash cow among HBO's shows, with copious amounts of toys (for adult collectors), apparel, accessories, cosplay/replicas and other collectibles available for purchase. The show's case is notable in that it's one of the few franchises to achieve this status while exclusively catering to mature audiences, aside from video games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto. Most cash-cow franchises rely at least partially on toy and merchandise sales, and usually skew PG-13 or lower so that children can get invested in the franchise and its merchandise; however, GoT is fantastical enough to spur copious toy and merchandise sales in its own right, as adult collectors (particularly millennials) became more of a mainstream demographic over time.
  • Cast Incest: Dean Charles-Chapman and Nell Tiger Free began dating in 2015. Their characters, Tommen and Myrcella, are siblings who are the children conceived from an incestuous affair between siblings.
  • 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 Nineties 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.
    • Daniel Portman shows off his beautiful voice when Podrick sings a bit of the song "Jenny of Oldstones" in "A Knight of The Seven Kingdoms".
  • Cast the Expert:
    • Ros, the most prominent whore in the series, is played by neo-burlesque performer Esmé Bianco.
    • 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 Rós 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.
    • Swordfighting stuntman Vladimír Furdíknote  as the 2nd actor to play the Night's King, both pre and post transformation.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Carice Van Houten was unable to take the role of Cersei Lannister due to commitments to another series at the time. When Season 2 came along, she was able to come on board as Melisandre.
    • Conleth Hill auditioned for Robert Baratheon, played by Mark Addy, but got cast as Varys. This worked out well, and he stayed on for eight seasons.
    • Natalie Dormer said she auditioned for another character (but didn't say which one) before she was cast as Margaery Tyrell.
    • Alfie Allen (Theon), Joseph Maxwell Dempsie (Gendry), and Iwan Rheon (Ramsay) originally all auditioned for the role of Jon Snow.
    • Finn Jones (Loras) auditioned for both Jon Snow and Robb Stark.
    • Eugene Simon (Lancel Lannister) originally auditioned to play Joffrey Baratheon.
    • Anton Lesser auditioned for the role of Maester Luwin. He later played Qyburn.
  • 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 never appeared again following J.J. Murphy's death, but it's implied that he's still alive and commanding the Shadow Tower.
  • Content Leak:
    • One of HBO's smaller affiliates had an internet break-in in the midst of season 7, in which all of the remaining episodes of the season, as well as scripts and some other information, were posted online for everyone to view well before the episodes were supposed to air. This led to several spoiler-spreading troll campaigns on social media sites and caused HBO to film fake ending scenes for Season 8 so that no one could spoil it.
    • Season 8 has mostly been kept totally under wraps, but Germany's HBO branch accidentally uploaded the second episode to their Amazon service early. The error was corrected quickly enough, but not so quickly as to prevent trolls from watching it and spreading spoilers.
    • While the actual episodes remained under wraps, detailed spoilers for the three final episodes leaked online a few weeks before these episodes aired. Many fans dismissed them as being too outrageous to be real, only for the leaks to prove true as the episodes aired.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Martin's editor Jane Johnson has openly derided some changes from the books as being bad ideas; in 2015, she specifically cited both the Flanderization 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. The actor also expressed disappointment over this and reflected that "It proves you should probably not read the books." George R. R. Martin on the other hand is publicly supportive of the show, attends award ceremonies of the cast and crew, and while he admits that he doesn't watch the show at the original slot due to his work as a writer, he does screen the seasons at his privately owned Jean Cocteau theatre for his regular patrons in New Mexico.
    • Sibel Kekilli didn't like that Shae testified against Tyrion at his trial, feeling it was out of character for her to betray him and Sansa that way.
    • Stephen Dillane, who played Stannis, summed his time on the series up as a "disheartening" experience, criticizing the show's direction and writing for often being vague, and at times even non-existent, to a degree where he frequently had to rely on co-star Liam Cunningham to have any idea what his scenes were about.
    • Jack Gleeson has given up acting since the show, which he has criticized for the way the female characters were treated. He also didn't like people treating him like Joffrey.
    • Ian McElhinney, who has read the books, expressed disappointment that his character (Ser Barristan Selmy) was getting killed off halfway through a storyline his book counterpart plays a major role in; he even wrote the showrunners a letter explaining why he thought it was a bad idea. D&D rather ungraciously mocked him in an interview for this, much to the fans' annoyance.
    • Natalie Dormer has said she was "pissed" when she saw how easily Highgarden was conquered in Season 7. She quickly said it was Method Acting having an effect on her and gave her approval of Lady Olenna's death scene.
    • Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry, described season 7 as "Character Development? What's that?" And after a brief pause: "I should shut up". Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) was present with him in the interview and simply chuckled while replying, "You're brave!"
    • When talking about Tyrion's role during the Battle of Winterfell, Peter Dinklage made several jokes about how no one in the show's universe seemed to think about how putting the non-combatant characters in a well-used crypt could prove disastrous if the Night King decided to bring all of the dead people in it back to life.
      Dinklage: And they put the women and children in the crypt with all the dead people, so, *argh*. Tyrion's smart but I guess he's not that smart.
    • Conleth Hill admits that the last two seasons were not his favorite as he is very disappointed with how Varys was treated in the latter half of the show since he knows that Varys is supposed to be intelligent but he's very dismayed about "losing his knowledge".
    • Charles Dance admitted that he was confused by the final episode, more specifically with Bran having been elected king. He believes that Tyrion would have been a better choice.
    • Pilou Asbæk, who plays Euron, expressed disappointment at stripping the character of his more mystical book elements, which he felt made the character feel more one-dimensional. Also, when asked about why Euron could nail Rhaegal with a perfect shot through the neck above cloud clover using a single ballista in one episode, and then fail to hit the larger and closer Drogon with dozens in the next, he just quipped "maybe they needed it for the storyline."
    • Lena Headey said she was disappointed in Cersei’s death scene after dreaming for years about how grand it could be. Both she and Maisie Williams agree Arya should have been the one to do it. Headey also revealed shortly after the show ended that she was crushed to lose a scene in Season 7 in which Cersei has a miscarriage.
    • Natalia Tena, who played Osha in seasons 1, 2, 3 and 6, admitted that she didn't like the last three episodes of the series, and that it didn't seem to have been written by the same people who wrote the rest of the series. Despite this, she thinks the online petitions to remake the season are stupid.
    • Emilia Clarke admitted she felt "annoyed" that Jon Snow didn't really experience any consequences for assassinating Daenerys. She also thought that the ending was a bit abrupt and the showrunners "could have spun it out for a little longer."
    • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has openly stated that he wasn't happy with Jaime's story line in the seventh season; he regards the relationship between Jaime and Cersei as toxic and he'd naturally assumed that Jaime would reject Cersei and leave her right away when he realised that she'd blown up the Sept of Baelor, and all their children were dead. He was flabbergasted when he learned that this wouldn't happen until the end of Season 7, and had many arguments with the writers about how it didn't make sense for his character to still be hanging around King's Landing.
  • Creator Breakdown:
    • Apparently when filming "The Rains of Castamare", everyone on set was in tears - including the crew. Richard Madden had to leave to get on a plane as soon as they wrapped, and describes suddenly breaking down crying on the way. Michelle Fairley apparently turned off her phone and didn't reply to any emails for a whole week after they wrapped. Amusingly Oona Chaplin had to be told to stop crying since her character Dies Wide Open.
    • Sophie Turner admits to struggling with depression and body image issues after being unable to cope with the sheer amount of fame the show gave her.
    • Maisie Williams admitted to suffering from self-loathing due to the fame she gained from the show.
    • Emilia Clarke has said that some of Daenerys's early scenes in Season 1 - particularly the marital rape in the first episode - took their toll on her. Her Face–Heel Turn and death in Season 8 also hit her very hard. She described herself as wandering around London for hours in a daze and calling her family asking "hypothetical" questions of if they thought Daenerys was a good person and if there is anything that could make people hate her.
      "There were a number of moments where I was like, 'I'm gonna go and cry in the loo for a second. I'll be right back.'"
    • Kit Harington checked into a wellness centre for a month after the show's ending aired. An anonymous, unconfirmed source told news outlets that "the end of Game of Thrones really hit Kit hard."
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss appear wearing large fake beards at the victory party in "The Last of the Starks".
    • Costume designer Michelle Clapton appears as the servant helping Sansa get dressed for her coronation ceremony in the series finale.
  • Creator's Pest: Stannis' considerable Adaptational Villainy is often attributed to the showrunners having a very dim, unflattering interpretation of his book counterpart, which influenced his more negative portrayal in the show. Behind the scenes, Benioff & Weiss wrote him off as early as season 2 as an "unquestionably terrible king" who doesn't understand the needs of the people, to the annoyance of many fans who feel that a complex character was done a disservice by preconceived bias.
  • Darkhorse Casting: The majority of the cast, when the show premiered, was upcoming actors and actresses with minor roles, if that, in their filmography; of the Stark children, for instance, only Richard Madden (who appropriately plays the firstborn Robb) had been seen onscreen before. The only truly mainstream actors in the cast were Sean Bean (Decoy Protagonist Eddard Stark), Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Charles Dance. Of course, go check out how many of the actors are now in our "Creators" section to see how well the casting turned out.
  • The Danza: By sheer borderline coincidence, in the Japanese dub Lynn voices Lyanna Stark.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Tyrion is supposed to be the youngest Lannister sibling but Peter Dinklage is actually older than Lena Headey and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who play Tyrion's older brother and sister. 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 Clarke six years older). When you account for the beginning of her relationship with Drogo, this is somewhat understandable. Also, Clarke 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 his onscreen brother 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.
    • While Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner were 13 and 14 when they started playing 11 year old Arya and 13 year old Sansa respectively (Arya was aged up from her age of 9 in the books while Sansa was aged up from 11 in the books), eventually they outstripped their character's growth; Arya is confirmed to be 18 in Season 8, while Maisie Williams was 21 at the time of filming.
    • 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.
    • Jojen Reed is supposed to be 13, but Thomas Brodie-Sangster was 22 when he first played the character.
    • Lyanna Mormont is around 10-11 during during her introduction in Season 6. Bella Ramsey was a year older than her character during production of said season.
    • All of the characters who were supposed to be 16-17 in Season 1 (Robb, Jon, Daenerys, Gendry, etc.) were played by actors in their early- to mid-twenties. Strangely, this actually became more of a problem as the show went on, as they passed decently as teens early on but are clearly in their thirties by the later seasons even as their characters are only supposed to be 23-24.
  • Dear Negative Reader:
    • In response to the petition to remake Season 8 without David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, several cast members spoke out in their defense:
    • Kit Harington stated in an interview published around the time the eighth season premiered: "Whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their [negative] judgement on it... they can go fuck themselves. 'Cause I know how much work was put into this."
    • Gemma Whelan stated in a interview that the final season was brilliant and that she was disappointed by the reaction of the fans.
    • Aidan Gillen highly praised the final season and stated that he was horrified to see the fans insulting the same writers they praised for seven years.
  • Defictionalization:
    • You could buy the Iron Throne at one point, though you needed 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. However, it's only available by delivery and for a limited time.
  • Deleted Role:
    • Liam Burke filmed scenes as the Mad King for flashbacks that were eventually deleted. When the character finally appeared in flashback in Season 6, David Rintoul played him.
    • George R. R. Martin had a cameo in the original pilot as a nobleman at Danaerys's wedding to Khal Drogo. The scene was reshot and he doesn't appear in the finished pilot.
  • 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.
    • The Sand Snakes' big fight scene in "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" was meant to be a tense close-quarters brawl late at night, but issues with the filming location forced it to take place in a wide open area in daylight on very short notice, resulting in an infamous Fight Scene Failure. Their fight with Euron in Season 7's "Stormborn" gives a look at how things were intended to go.
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor:
    • The blind Maester Aemon was 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 real-life crippled old man.
  • Dueling Shows: With The Walking Dead. Both shows are among the most popular and notable from The New '10s, both are adaptations, 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; she wore a wig in some seasons. In season 6, when Sansa is constantly travelling, she wasn't allowed to wash her hair so that it would look frumpy and greasy.
    • Joe Dempsie went from blond to brown because dark hair is a Baratheon trait.
    • Alfie Allen dyed his hair from blond to brown. In the original pilot, he kept his blond hair.
    • Peter Dinklage has dark blond hair and dyed it to lighter shade of blond to better portray a member of the golden-haired Lannister family. They eventually let it revert to brown because it was too much hassle to keep bleaching it.
    • Jack Gleeson went from brown to blond to better portray the golden-haired prince/young king.
    • Emilia Clarke wears a wig to portray silver-haired Danaerys. Clarke even complains that an already hot wig is hellish given she mostly films in a hot desert! But before the final season, she bleached the hair herself (and had to cut it short the moment filming was done).
    • Maisie Williams cut her hair to convincingly portray Arya trying to pass as a boy in Season 2. Arya's a southpaw. Maisie Williams is not. Nonetheless, she learned to swordfight left-handed. Judging by the pictures she posted on social media, the blinding contact lenses Maisie Williams wears seem to took their toll on her eyes' health.
    • Daniel Portman is a sportsman in real life, but let himself go in order to be more believable as chubby and a bit clumsy 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. She also cut her long hair to play Brienne, admitting she sobbed for hours after doing so.
    • Conleth Hill shaves his full head of hair to play Varys, a thing he welcomes as it brings him street anonimity.
    • Kit Harington was contractually obligated to keep his hair long and couldn't cut it while cast on the show. After Jon Snow's untimely demise, this made his hairstyle a Walking Spoiler to many fans.
    • Nikolaj Coster-Waldau grew his hair out and bleached it for the first three seasons, as well as growing Jaime's Beard of Sorrow in the second and third. He also cut it short for the fourth season - dismissing fan claims that he'd just been wearing a wig. He however stopped bleaching the hair around this time.
    • Finn Jones did indeed get sheared for when Ser Loras is right before the trial in "The Winds of Winter".
  • 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 osteogenesis imperfecta (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.
    • Bran's Kubrick Stare once he becomes the Three-Eyed Raven is a result of Isaac Hempstead-Wright removing his glasses for filming and struggling to clearly see his surroundings.
  • Executive Meddling: Neil Marshall, who directed Blackwater, told of his surprise when an unnamed producer who claimed to represent "the perverted side of the audience" demanded the inclusion of a scene featuring full female frontal nudity... in an episode entirely about a battle.
  • Fake Nationality:
  • Fake Shemp:
    • Kit Harrington broke his ankle around Season 3, so the crew had to use a lot of stand-ins wearing wigs to get around it.
    • The only time Bronn and Cersei are in a scene together is when Bronn leaves just as she walks in, and is only seen from behind. This reasons for this are explained below.
    • Due to Lena Headey's pregnancy in Season 5, this was required for a scene where she walks around fully naked. Rebecca Van Cleave acted as a double, doing the on-set nudity, with Lena's face CGI'd on top afterwards.
  • Fan Community Nickname: "Sweet Summer Child" or "Unsullied" for those who have not read the books, and "Bookwalkers" for those who have. Amusingly enough, this meant the Unsullied themselves had no idea what their name was referring to until Season 3.
  • Fandom Life Cycle: In spite of being on cable instead of network TV, Game of Thrones reached the heights of Lost in becoming a work widely recognized and ingrained in contemporary culture, with references to it everywhere and fans even naming their children after characters of the show. And like Lost, it all came to a halt with the final season - although while with Lost it was divisive, Game of Thrones instead mostly displeased fans with its last episodes, particularly the anti-climactic finale. The huge fanbase started to regress, to the point that Game of Thrones scoring heavily at the Emmys a few months later was disliked by the very people who were ardent viewers of the show! It is still the second most watched show on HBO Max, however, and a prequel series based on Fire & Blood is in the making to try and revive the flame.
  • 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.
    • Bobby B for King Robert Baratheon.
    • 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" or "J-Bear".
    • 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," "Prodick," or "Pod the Rod" 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.
    • In Season 5, 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 like Oberyn. 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".
      • She is also known to some as "Queen Stomach Flu", due to Khaleesi sounding similar to the Calici virus, which causes gastroenteritis — including the so called "winter vomiting disease", a particularly nasty kind that lasts for up to 72 hours.
    • Fans like to call Lyanna Mormont "Lady Bear", "Lady Little Bear" or simply "The Little Bear".
    • As of Season 7, Gendry and Jon Snow are being referred to by some fans as Davos' adoptive sons. If Shireen is included, it becomes Davos' adoptive children.
      • And Davos, for his penchant of collecting adoptive children, is dubbed "Dadvos".
    • In Season 7's "Eastwatch," Jon recruits a small teamnote  to head far North in order to capture one of the Wights alive. It didn't take long for the fandom to start calling the team the Suicide Squad. A number of fans have also dubbed the team the Magnificent Seven, The Fellowship of the Wight, The Mighty Ducksnote , or the Justice League.
    • Missandei is often called "Miss Sunday" by fans based on how Grey Worm pronounces it.
    • "Dollar Store Jack Sparrow" for Euron Greyjoy due to show not adapting the more mystical aspects of the character and amping up his playfulness.
    • "D&D" for showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss, initially as a Shout Out to Dungeons & Dragons. However, they were later nicknamed "Dumb and Dumber" by their detractors after sweeping criticism of the final seasons of the show.note 
    • "Theneu, Prince of Dorne" for the unnamed Dornish prince in Season 8 Episode 6. The name is derived from "The new prince of Dorne".
  • 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.
    • The director of "The Spoils of War" stated that the group of Lannister soldiers Arya met to facilitate a cameo from Ed Sheeran weren't at the battle against Drogon and were still alive. Shortly afterward, Sheeran himself said he wasn't coming back to the show and his character was probably killed in that battle. The Season 8 premiere goes a bit out of its way to mention a red-haired Lannister soldier who survived the battle, but suffered severe injuries.
  • Follow the Leader: The success of the show has inspired imitators, notably Vikings, Camelot, Britannian Atlantis and The Shannara Chronicles. Amazon also commissionned a massive TV series adaptation of The Lord of the Rings.
  • God Never Said That: After Ian McElhinney claimed that The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring had been completed but delayed until the conclusion of the series in an agreement George R. R. Martin made with David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, Martin made a blog post stating that he had not even started working on A Dream of Spring, and that "HBO and David & Dan would both have been thrilled and delighted if The Winds of Winter had been delivered and published four or five years ago… and NO ONE would have been more delighted than me."
  • God Does Not Own This World: Signs would indicate 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.
  • Harpo Does Something Funny: In the script, Tormund merely gave Brienne "a look," resulting in Tormund's hilarious memetic leer and Brienne's disgusted reaction.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Lena Headey was pregnant while filming part of the first season which might explain Cersei's habit of standing with her hands clasped before her so her wide sleeves obscure her belly. Her second pregnancy mostly fell during the break between seasons 5 and 6 but is often cited as part of the reason a body double was used for the wide shots of Cersei's Walk of Atonement in "Mother's Mercy" (the other reason being that Headey has several large tattoos that are hard to cover up).
  • Hollywood Hype Machine:
    • Emilia Clarke obviously got the most of it, what with Daenerys becoming the show's Breakout Character. This has mostly been a series of hits and misses - notable bombs she was in included Terminator Genisys (in which critics agreed she was miscast) and Solo (the first Star Wars film to ever lose money at the Box Office). But she did win acclaim for Me Before You, earning respect for Playing Against Type and starring in a smaller indie project that wasn't a guaranteed hit. Her first film after the show wrapped Last Christmas was lukewarmly received by critics but a financial success - and her performance was praised. After the incredibly hostile reception to the final season, most critics agreed she was a redeeming factor - so the future does look promising.
    • Sophie Turner got a bit of hype from the show as well, parlaying it into being a face for Luis Vuitton and being chosen to play Jean Grey in the X-Men film series. X-Men: Apocalypse was a domestic flop but successful worldwide, but Dark Phoenix (in which she was arguably presented as the headlining talent) was a massive bomb. Most of her other films have been smaller indie projects. She also got cast in a Quibi exclusive series, Survive. The Quibi app is, so far, considered a massive bust.
    • Richard Madden got a lot of hype too, which paid off quite well when he was cast as the prince in Disney's Cinderella (2015). While his next film Bastille Day was a flop that saw limited release, he solidified the hype with a new TV series called Bodyguard (UK 2018) - also appearing in critically acclaimed (and commercially successful) films Rocketman and 1917.
  • Hostility on the Set: According to rumors, 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. Jerome Flynn has denied these rumors however (see below).
  • 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 Season 6 finale example — which was no doubt less welcome — is that Natalie Dormer made some comments that incited people to speculate that Margaery Tyrell would soon be killed off. This occurred in the Season 6 finale. And since Finn Jones had been cast as Danny Rand in Iron Fist, Loras would also be a goner for sure.
      • 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.
    • Much like Finn Jones before her, Jessica Henwick's commitment and much more prominent role in Iron Fist (2017) as Colleen Wing allowed many fans to rightly predict Nymeria Sand's death, which happens in Season 7's "Stormborn."
    • The Season 7 episode "The Dragon and the Wolf" confirmed several fan theories and the leaked spoilers such as Sansa exposing Littlefinger and Arya executing him, the collapse of the Wall, Sam and Bran's reunion and their discussion of Jon's heritage, and that Rhaegar and Lyanna were really in love with one another.
      • Quite a few people felt vindicated in their complaints about the Wight Hunt being pointless; even if it succeeded and they brought a wight down to King's Landing and convinced Cersei of the threat the dead posed, she'd just go back on any truce agreed to anyway. Which is exactly what happens.
    • One theory on WMG.Game Of Thrones Final Season correctly predicted that the Night King would be a Disc-One Final Boss.
  • Image Source: This series provides the page image for:
  • Irony as She Is Cast:
    • Tyrion and Cersei despise each other and are mortal enemies. Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey are good friends and incredibly close. Peter Dinklage even recommended Lena for the part of Cersei when he first read the pilot script. Whenever their shooting schedules lined up, the two shared an apartment and drove to set together.
    • Singer Wilko Johnson plays The Voiceless Illyn Payne.
    • Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Alfie Allen, and Joe Dempsie were in their early-mid twenties when the series began. By the time the series ends, their respective characters are of that age.
  • Jossed:
    • When Talisa first appeared in "Garden Of Bones", a wild fan theory was that she was actually Jeyne Westerling using a fake name to avoid being taken hostage by the Stark army. This was helped by casting announcements saying Oona Chaplin was playing Jeyne. Eventually she was revealed as a Volantene noblewoman, and by the Season 2 finale this theory had been Jossed. Word of God is that she originally was Jeyne but her characterization and backstory changed so much that George R. R. Martin had them rename her.
    • Lily Allen claimed she was approached about playing Yara Greyjoy alongside her brother - alleging that she turned the part down because their first scene involved Theon unknowingly groping his sister. Alfie Allen however says she was never even asked.
    • 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 was more than enough to confirm that Lady Stoneheart had 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 but this does not go anywhere as was speculated. In Season 7, the only conflict between them is typical brother-sister bickering while Sansa remains a loyal sister to Jon and Jon remains a protective older brother to Sansa.
      • 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.
    • In the Season 7 episode "The Dragon and the Wolf":
      • Fans had speculated for years that Jon Snow had a different birth name given to him by his mother Lyanna and possibly Rhaegar. In 2002, Creator/George RR Martin revealed Ned named Jon, which makes sense as Ned was clearly naming him after his foster father Jon Arryn and Ned needed to name Jon himself as Jon's birthname would have given away Jon's heritage which would put Jon in danger. There was a theory that Jon Snow's birth name was Jaehaerys Targaryen because Jaehaerys is a known Targaryen name that starts with 'J'. It turned out that his birth name is Aegon Targaryen. May or may not be a case of Composite Character, due to another character of that name getting Adapted Out.
      • It was a popular fan theory that Jaime would kill Cersei, the current ruler of Westeros, in the same way he previously killed the 'Mad King' Aerys Targaryen, who was the ruler of Westeros then. When he finally comes to the crossroad however, Jaime simply opts for defecting (at least for now — there are still six more episodes).
    • Maisie Williams Jossed reports that HM The Queen is a fan of the series as, although Elizabeth visited the set and jokingly refused to sit on the Iron Throne - as the British monarch is not allowed to sit on a foreign throne - she appeared not to know who Williams played on the show.
    "I didn't get the impression she was a fan."
    • Jerome Flynn denied the rumors that he and Lena Headey are contractually obligated to not be on set at the same time - saying that they would be able to be professional and work together if a scene required it.
  • Killer App:
  • Life Imitates Art: The relationship between the Game of Thrones and the Freefolk subreddit is very similar to the one between the South and the Freefolk in the show. The GoT sub is heavily moderated and has a more relaxed content of mainly fan arts and cosplays, which draws comparison to the strict feudal structure and proper etiquette of the South. Meanwhile, the Freefolk sub has no moderation beyond sitewide rules and the only rules in the sub are self-enforced rules made by the redditors, and their content is mainly memes, which draw parallels to the anarchic nature of the Freefolk and their chaotic culture.
  • 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 of this book, and the rest of the books have an ensemble of primary characters instead of one main character. Though, since the rest of the books revolve around the fallout from his death, Martin was being Metaphorically True.
    • Before Season 6, everyone involved guaranteed that Jon Snow was dead. That was true. They just didn't reveal that the character would be resurrected.
  • 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.
    • The Season 4 finale "The Children" also aired on Father's Day...and features Tyrion killing his abusive father, Tywin.
  • Meta Casting:
  • Money, Dear Boy:
    • 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.
    • Jonathan Pryce likewise admitted he's not a fan of the genre. He had turned down an earlier offer because of this, and only took the High Sparrow role when they offered him more money.note 
    • Ian McShane's initial reason for being in the show was to work with his old friends, Dillane and Charles Dance. But he was surprised that they're not on the show anymore after their characters are killed off by the time he joined the show. So, this trope became his reason for being on the show, despite having only one episode, and he expressed no regrets for casually spoiling what his role was.
  • 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).
  • Old Shame: Kit Harrington is so ashamed of his performance in the unaired pilot that the creators have joked that they'll release it if he complains too much.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Conan Stevens only had one appearance as Gregor Clegane in the first season before leaving the series to appear as Bolg the Orc in The Hobbit. He was replaced by former basketball player Ian Whyte in the second season. Apart from their height, the two actors look nothing alike. Whyte was himself replaced in Season 4 by Icelandic strongman Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who is the most muscular out of the three actors, but also the shortest.
    • Beric Dondarrion is played by David Scott in first-season episode "A Golden Crown" and by Richard Dormer for his reappearance in the third-season episode "And Now His Watch Has Ended" and onward. 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 is played by Dean-Charles Chapman, who previously played Martyn Lannister in Season 3.
    • Michiel Huisman replaced 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 sports a clean-shaven face and has long blond hair).
    • Keeping with Tommen's recast, the role of his older sister Myrcella goes from Aimee Richardson to Nell Free in the fifth season. Bizarrely, Free is two years younger than Dean-Charles Chapman.
    • In Season 6, Max von Sydow replaces Struan Rodger as the Three-Eyed Raven, with no real attempt to match the character's original look.
    • Richard Brake played the Night King in Season 4 and 5. Vladimír Furdík replaced him from Season 6 onwards.
    • Dickon Tarly is played by Freddie Stroma in an episode of Season 6. He's replaced by Tom Hopper in Season 7, who's about a foot taller.
    • 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.
  • 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 transferred over Dinklage's in reruns and subsequent DVD releases.
  • Overtook the Manga: Happened in the middle of Season 5:
    • The possibility was looming ever since Season 1, when George R. R. Martin still hoped to finish Book 6 before the show got to it, but made it clear that Book 7 would fall behind no matter what. The decision by the showrunners to take a Compressed Adaptation route with Season 5 (after faithfully adapting Books 1-3 in the first four seasons, which the author expected them to take the same approach for Books 4 and 5 as well) made this unfeasible and Martin later noted that this was "pie-in-the-sky" wishful thinking. He stopped contributing episode scripts after season 4 to focus more on the books. The show's producers have ruled out putting the show on hiatus to wait for the novels to finish (citing the ages of the young actors and the overall logistics of keeping the cast on standby) so, they later met GRRM in person, who divulged to them, some of the the important plot points he had already planned out.
    • A much bigger issue which became apparent as early as Season 4's episode "Oathkeeper" and recurred again during Season 5 is that the show diverges from the book by making many small changes that were considered good examples of Pragmatic Adaptation and Adaptation Distillation early on, but caused a Butterfly Effect leading to radical plot deviations years down the line and in some cases introducing characters and situations that are essentially Canon Foreigner (the show's version of the "Night's King"note ). Books 4 and 5 introduced a large number of new POV characters, Season 5 treated many of them with cases of Adapted Out, Composite Character and Death by Adaptation, preferring to focus on already established characters. According to Martin, these are all very important in the later books, which means that any events in which they were involved have become drastically different as well, changing the entire political board coming into the story's endgame.
    • From Season 6 onwards there is no more guarantee that any of the events in the show will happen the same way in the books, if at all. So far showrunners have confirmed only Shireen Baratheon's Human Sacrifice and Hodor's name being Hold the Door to come from Word of God directly. GRRM himself has been known to write multiple versions of the events and deviate from his own early notes. As the final two seasons have been shortened to only 13 episodes total, whatever finale the series comes up with will almost certainly be a Gecko Ending.
    • After the final episode, GRRM while commending the series had this to say, being coy about whether the show's ending is remotely like the one he has planned.
    George R. R. Martin: "How will it all end? I hear people asking. The same ending as the show? Different? Well...yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. And no. And yes. I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget. They had six hours for this final season. I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m don...and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them. And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well...There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books...a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet. And yes, there will be unicorns...of a sort...Book or show, which will be the “real” ending? It’s a silly question. How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?"note 
  • The Pete Best:
    • In spite of being the third actor to play the role, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is known as the definitive version of the Mountain by the fandom. He's appeared in far more episodes than the others and receives quite a bit of promotion as a record-breaking strongman purely separate from the show.
    • Many roles are played by a bit performer or glorified extra in a single episode before being replaced by a legitimate actor. Beric Dondarrion, the Three-Eyed Raven and Selyse Baratheon are all examples.
  • Playing Against Type:
  • Pet Fad Starter: 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.
  • 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 Júlíus 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 until Gregor's transformation, where his face isn't very visible. 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.
    • Arya mentions in Season 7 that Sansa is younger than Lyanna Mormont during the events of the first season. Sansa was 13, matching Sophie Turner's age during production of Season 1, while Bella Ramsey entered the series during Season 6 at 11-12, and Stannis' dialogue in Season 5 explicitly states that Lyanna is the same age as her actress.
    • The season 6 flashbacks with younger Ned are supposed to take place about 18 years before the events of season 1 (since they feature the birth of Jon). However, Robert Aramayo, the actor who played Ned in the flashbacks was 23 when those scenes were shot, while Sean Bean was 51 during the production of season 1.
    • Pilou Asbæk, the actor who plays Euron Greyjoy, is a year younger than Gemma Whelan, his onscreen niece, and 37 years younger than Patrick Malahide, his onscreen brother. This can be justified as an artifact of Euron's book counterpart being supernaturally young.
  • 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. They showed up again in the Season 7 finale as the same wildings except they're wights.
    • BGFX, the firm hired to do the prosthetic make-up on the series, is a small British company founded by husband and wife Sarah and Barrie Gower. Their daughter has a cameo in the series' final scene.
  • Quote Source: This series provides the page quote for:
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Meryn Trant died sobbing. His actor, Ian Beattie, was teary-eyed while filming because he was genuinely heartbroken that he was leaving the production.
    • 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).
    • In the Brazilian Dub, Arya and Sansa are voiced (until season five) by Luisa and Helena Palomanes, respectively, who are sisters in real life.
  • Real Life Writes the Hairstyle: Tyrion and Jaime's hair darkens over the course of the series, starting at golden blond and becoming brown by Season 8. This is because their two actors are naturally brunet, and the constant dyeing took its toll. It also added a nice visual for them to have an Expository Hairstyle Change as their characters developed.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • The Greatjon only appears in Season 1 due to schedule conflicts with actor Clive Mantle.
    • The direwolves are featured less and less after Season 2 because the special effects to composite the wolves into scenes with the actors are too expensive.
    • 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  According to rumours, 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. However, after season 8 finished up, Jerome Flynn denied this in an interview.
    • Jessica Henwick, who played Nymeria Sand, was too busy shooting for her part as Colleen Wing in Iron Fist (2017) and The Defenders (2017), 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.
    • Brienne's reduced screentime in Seasons 6 and 7 is due Gwendoline Christie's commitments to the Star Wars sequel trilogy.
  • The Red Stapler:
    • The show played a large role in making braided hairstyles fashionable again.
    • 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...: Has its own page.
  • Romance on the Set:
  • Rule 34 – Creator Reactions: George R. R. Martin was asked in an interview about the porn parody "Game of Bones". He was rather amused that the porn version was actually less dirty than the books he wrote, given that it eliminated the twincest for being too shocking.
  • 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.
  • Schedule Slip: The filming of Season 7 was delayed until August 31, 2016 in order to get the necessary weather conditions since winter has already come at the end of Season 6. Unlike the previous season, Season 7 was released on July 2017 making it ineligible to join the 2017 Emmy Awards. This also happens to the eighth and final season where filming starts in late 2017 and its premiere would be out on April 2019.
  • 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 did write at least one episode per season until his schedule filled up too much after season 4.note 
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting:
    • A lot of celebrity news sites have noted how Kit Harington (Jon) and Richard Madden (Robb) have a 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 the half-brothers (actually cousins) are in the same scene.
    • Michelle Fairley (Catelyn) and Kate Dickie (Lysa) do look convincing as sisters. Likewise with Sophie Turner's Sansa bearing a strong likeness to her onscreen mother Fairley.
    • Emilia Clarke and Harry Lloyd, who portray the Targaryen siblings, possess an uncanny similarity. Likewise for Wilf Scolding, who plays their late oldest brother Rhaegar Targaryen in flashbacks, which caused some initial confusion from viewers who thought that Lloyd was Acting for Two as Rhaegar (although it probably didn't help that they used the same wig).
    • 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 (Olenna), 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 his onscreen son Iwan Rheon have the same icy blue Bolton eyes.
    • Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy) essentially looks like his onscreen 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. She also bears a resemblance to Maisie Williams (her niece Arya); Arya is described in the books as being like a dead-ringer for a young Lyanna.
    • On a similar note, onscreen siblings Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran) have similar face shapes, noses, and eyebrows.
    • When Cersei sports her short hair in the later seasons, the likeness between Lena Headey and her onscreen son Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) is very apparent.
    • Gethin Anthony (Renly Baratheon) and his onscreen nephew Joe Dempsie (Gendry) also bear more than a passing resemblance to one another, with their characters having inherited the trademark Baratheon Tall, Dark, and Handsome look. In fact, in the books, Brienne at one point mistook Gendry for Renly.
  • Shipper on Deck: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is extremely on board with the blooming Jaime/Brienne romance. He says that he played the line where Jaime tells Brienne that the sword Oathkeeper "will always be yours" as though Jaime is actually talking about his heart.
  • Spin-Off Cookbook: * Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine is a parody cookbook with baking recipes. It's full of Game of Thrones memes like 'Arya Hungry?' or 'Dinner is Coming'. There are recipes with for stuff like Red (Velvet) Wedding Cake or Oberyn's Smashing Head Surprise and other Pun Based Titles.
  • 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, Oona Chaplin, Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Art Parkinson, Esmé Bianco, Pilou Asbæk, Bella Ramsey, 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, Mark Addy, Michael McElhatton, David Bradley, and Jason Momoa definitely got a significant boost for being in this show.
  • Streisand Effect: Thanks to the show's status as a cultural phenomenon all the increasingly strict secrecy measures while shooting have only made the internet users more curious and the leaks more frequent and drastic.
    • 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.
    • Season 7 took it Up to Eleven, when essentially the whole season's plot outline got published months before it aired. In addition, several full episodes leaked before their official airing.
    • Season 8 became so paranoid about it that it would seem absurd, if it wasn't also probably completely justified by everything else that had happened. The sets were all surrounded by high metal walls, and the actors were fed their lines one by one through earpieces rather than actually given scripts. They even had the actors for Jaqen H'ghar, the Waif, and the Night King come to the set in Spain and walk around in costume just to throw any potential leakers off.
  • 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.
    • There wasn't meant to be a Cold Open for the Season 7 premiere "Dragonstone," but the strength of David Bradley's performance as Arya!Walder inspired the showrunners to give the Twins scene this special spot. This may be why it feels like a few other scenes don't happen in their original order: Samwell's montage cleaning out chamber pots kind of feels like it was meant to go with his other scenes, after the Sandor scenes, as comic relief for the dark and somber moment of Sandor burying a girl who died because of him.
    • Jorah wears a specific yellow shirt for much of his screentime. The shirt was originally supposed to have a limited use, but Iain Glen grew very fond it and insisted that he continue to wear it. The crew eventually made him part with it after Jorrah contracted greyscale in it, which Glen suspects to have been a setup.
  • 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.
    • During the filming of the dragonpit scene in Spain for the series finale, several actors who weren't in the scene were sent to Spain to walk around on set to prevent the media from finding out which characters would be in that scene. This including having Tom Wlaschiha (Jaqen H'ghar) and Faye Marsay (The Waif) walking around in costume despite both of their characters exiting the series in Season 6, just to mess with fans who believed that the Waif had killed and impersonated Arya.
  • 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.
    • Several actors have recounted the hellish ordeal of filming the climactic final battle against the White Walkers: nearly three months of all-night shoots in freezing temperatures where they were often wading through mud that could get knee deep, and all while trying to do some very complicated and precise choreography. And at least the actors got occasional breaks to huddle around space heaters, unlike the filming crew who were working around the clock.
  • 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.
  • Typecasting: Littlefinger in the show is more outwardly menacing, matching Aiden Gillen's typecasting as slimy villains.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda: When the leaks for Season 8 were released, there was supposedly a scene at the very end of the last episode that was designed to be a Sequel Hook of sorts; while heading north of the Wall, Jon and Tormund would find a set of bodies put in the same shape as the bodies in the very first episode, directly implying that that the White Walkers were not truly dead. This alongside Bran's desire to find Drogon, and his seeming comments implying he wanted to be king, would suggest he was planning something to counter the White Walkers. Said leak never appeared nor was discussed. Strangely enough though, everything else in the leak was correct, making it a strange cause of a possible What Could Have Been, or simply something made up.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • There were initially talks to adapt a film of A Song of Ice and Fire instead. George RR Martin refused, feeling that the books were too detailed to be condensed into a film's running time. A TV series was decided on as a better format. Apparently ways of condensing the storylines was to do one film focusing on Danaerys, and another on the Starks etc. Martin officially turned the offer down after the failure of The Golden Compass.
    • "The Rains of Castamere" was pushed to be the show's theme song by David Benioff, but DB Weiss convinced him not to do it.
    • The role of Joffrey was neck and neck between Jack Gleeson and a South African actor called Alan Miller, who was slightly more experienced. Series creator DB Weiss favoured him, feeling it was time to put him in an international series. George R. R. Martin preferred Jack for the role however, and he was ultimately cast.
    • Before Tamzin Merchant, and subsequently Emilia Clarke, were cast as Danaerys - it was rumored that Anna Popplewell - who played Susan Pevensie in The Chronicles of Narnia - was offered the role but was uncomfortable with the nudity. Elizabeth Olsen was also considered.
    • Emilia Clarke was going to wear purple contact lenses to match Danaerys's eye colour from the books. They found that the lenses irritated her so much they affected her performance, so they were abandoned.
    • 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.
    • The original pilot was shot on 35mm film but when it was re-shot it was changed to digital which is what the rest of the series is shot on.
    • 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.
    • Tom Hollander was offered to play Littlefinger but turned it down. He regretted doing so.
    • Gillian Anderson was offered a role (reportedly either Cersei Lannister or Melisandre) on the show but turned it down.
    • Sam Heughan auditioned to play various characters including Renly Baratheon, Loras Tyrell and a few different members of the Night's Watch.
    • Actresses who auditioned for Cersei Lannister were Tricia Helfer and Rebecca Mader.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Izzy Meikle-Small screen-tested against Sophie Turner for Sansa Stark.
    • Mahershala Ali auditioned for Xaro Xhoan Daxos.
    • Rian Johnson, who is a Big Name Fan of the show already, was asked to direct some episodes in Seasons 2 and 3 but had to turn them down due to working on Looper and Breaking Bad at that time.
    • When the show still planned for the Jeyne Westerling character to be included in the storyline, she was made to be 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. This was changed when the character of Jeyne was adapted into a new character — Talisa Maegyr — and the producers opted to make it a more generic romance. However, it was too late to change this character 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.
    • 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.
    • Locke was supposed to die at the end of Season 3 by being thrown into his own bear pit, but Noah Taylor impressed everyone, so he lived until the middle of Season 4.
    • Perdita Weeks was originally cast as Roslin Frey but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.
    • Oded Fehr was considered to play Oberyn Martell.
    • 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.
    • Vanity Fair went to the WGA library and dug out Martin's early draft for "The Lion and the Rose" (a.k.a. the Purple Wedding episode). Unlike Martin's other scripts, it differs notably from the version finally produced.note :
      • The episode would have settled the question of who was behind the Season 1 assassination attempt on Bran much earlier than the series ultimately did, with the same guilty party the books imply: Joffrey. Tyrion would have realized this when Joffrey said, in response to getting the Valyrian steel sword as a wedding gift, that he was not unfamiliar with the material ... and in turn Tyrion makes remarks to Joffrey suggesting he'd figured out from this that Joffrey had tried to have Bran killed, explaining why Joffrey is so cruel to him during the wedding scenes, and why Tyrion is framed for Joffrey's murder, developments that make less sense in the finished episode.
      • This makes Tyrion more honest with Shae about why she should leave him if she wants to live, with him warning her rather graphically about how brutally Tywin could have her killed ... and better setting up her later betrayal. Likewise, Varys would have informed Tyrion that Tywin knows about Tyrion's relationship with Shae not in a quick, furtive conversation on a garden path, but in the dungeons ... with Varys "appear[ing] as a denizen of the dungeons; clad in leather and mail, an iron helm on his head, heavy boots on his feet, a whip coiled at his side. Even a BEARD".note 
      • Bran's first vision is much more extensive, to the point of giving us our first glimpse of the Night King and setting up the psychic connection between the Stark children and the direwolves. A handwritten note suggests the plan in season 5 or 6 was to eventually have the direwolves battle Ramsay's dogs. Since at the time of the writing Stannis and Ramsay are still alive in the books, this has led to speculation about what happens to Ramsay in the books may well be very different from his onscreen fate. It also would have foreshadowed Arya's studies with the Faceless Men in the next two seasons.
      • Roose Bolton tells Ramsay of his plan to marry him off to ... Arya, who would actually be Sansa's friend Jeyne, the plotline from the books that was later shelved in favor of having Sansa herself marry Ramsay.
      • Theon would have looked a lot worse for the wear at Ramsay's hands, much more like he does in the books, with some clearly missing fingers, and prematurely white hair.
      • Many of the minor characters who are in the book's wedding scene were also present,note  as well as all the dishes prepared for it.
      • The dialogue about the famine in the Riverlands reflected the plan, at the time, to follow the books and have Jaime go there, a plotline replaced with the ill-fated Dorne trip and only used in much more condensed form in Season 6.
      • The scene where three of Stannis's underlings are burned alive as punishment would have shown more directly the hand of the Lord of Light. At a certain point the flames would have suddenly increased and changed color ... with apparitions of the three dead seen, blissful and younger-looking, briefly above. Melisandre's conversations with Shireen would also have foreshadowed what ultimately happens to the latter in the show.note 
      • Joffrey's death would have been gorier ... the poison would have made him slash away at his face and neck as well as cough up blood.
    • Oberyn's death would 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.
    • An extra said that there were two days scheduled to shoot Grenn and the Nightwatchmen' fight against the giant in Season 4 episode "The Watchers on the Wall", but it was cancelled due to budget.
    • 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).
    • 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.
    • Jared Harris was considered (and was the first choice) to play the High Sparrow.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 Canada, where the wolf lives.
    • According to Isaac Hempstead-Wright, there was supposed to be scene in the Season 7 finale which was cut where Sansa would go to Bran for his help and found out about Littlefinger's plans from him. This probably indicates that the feud between Sansa and Arya is real and not staged as what viewers believed but this scene might also make Bran a Deus ex Machina who would eventually solve the feud in a snap and Arya being Unintentionally Unsympathetic after she intends to kill her own sister and take her face.
    • Lena Headley revealed that a deleted scene featured Cersei having a miscarriage during Season 7, explaining her returning to drinking wine by the end of said season and her descent into suicidal delusion.
    • George R. R. Martin turned down a request for a Creator Cameo in Season 8, saying he was far too busy writing The Winds of Winter.
    • In the final season, it was originally planned that Jorah would survive the battle against the White Walkers, then turn against Dany as well and end up going beyond the Wall along with Jon. Benioff and Weiss then changed their mind, realizing that even if the destruction of King's Landing would cause him to turn against Dany, he would still never be able to join up with her killer. Iain Glen said he was quite happy with the change, and relieved that Jorah didn't have to see her turn bad.
    • It was announced in 2018 that a prequel series was in the works, with the production title of Bloodmoon. It was set during the original Long Night around 8000 years before the events of Game of Thrones. Jane Goldman was head writer and showrunner, and it starred Naomi Watts as a "charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret", in addition to starring Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, Jamie Campbell Bower, Georgie Henley, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Denise Gough, Alex Sharp and Toby Regbo as major characters. Miranda Richardson, Marquis Rodriguez, John Simm, Richard McCabe, John Heffernan and Dixie Egerickx were also reported to be part of the cast. A pilot was filmed, but it was negatively received by HBO and on October 29th 2019 it was officially announced that Bloodmoon was cancelled, with HBO later announcing a different prequel series revolving around House Targaryen, House of the Dragon.
    • Staff linguist David J. Peterson gave a podcast interview two weeks after Bloodmoon was cancelled that shed some light on the subject. Peterson confirmed that the third prequel pitch was actually for a Doom of Valyria series set outside of Westeros, which he'd even been hired for, but it got put on hold when HBO picked Bloodmoon (there had been leaks about a year before that the third idea was a Valyria prequel). Moreover, Peterson said that he'd never even heard what the fourth and fifth pitches were, nor did anybody he worked with, which meant they probably never got past the initial pitch phase.
  • 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 Storms" as many scenes were written with drenching downpours like in the novels, which is sort of invoked in the book title A Storm of Swords. When this turned out to be beyond the budget, he switched to "Chains" as both a metaphor for several characters' situations as well as the literal gold chain Tyrion gives Shae. Finally, when some scenes were switched around and the one with the bear ended up in this episode, "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."
    • With quite a few fans taking Arya saying, "That's not you" in Season 7's "Stormborn" literally and thinking she'd simply mistaken another direwolf for Nymeria, the producers clarified that it was a Call-Back to Arya saying, "That's not me," about herself not being meant for a domesticated life in Season 1.
  • 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!"'
    • Peter Dinklage revealed in interviews that Tyrion is in love with Daenerys, something corroborated by the script of the season 6 episode "The Winds of Winter", the leaked scripts of season 7 and a brief dialogue of the character with Jon in the series finale. This is only subtly suggested in the TV series, but it helps to explain many of the actions the character takes as her advisor in the final seasons.
  • 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 8.
    • 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.
    • Kevin Eldon plays Camello, the actor playing Ned Stark in Season 6, then as a Gold Cloak whom a returning Gendry murders in Season 7.

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