It has been three years since the infamous finale of Game of Thrones and HBO’s new House of the Dragon spin off is now available for streaming. The Song of Ice and Fire series plans on being around for a long long time so regardless of how you feel about that ending, it might be fun to take a trip back through the series and dive into some fun facts about the show that you might not know about.
1. How many did Aegon actually conquer?
The Iron Throne has been around since the age of the Targaryen rule, forged from the swords of all the foes that Aegon Targaryen conquered in battle. And if you look closely at the hilts of some of those swords, it seems that Aegon’s forces have conquered the likes of Gandalf, Robin of Locksley, and Balian de Ibelin.
Thanks to the keen eye of Redditor NoMoreHodoring you can see the sword Glamdring of Lord of the Rings, as well as several other famous movie swords.
2. Drogon’s Relationship to the Iron Throne
By the end of season seven, Daenerys Targaryen has whittled herself down to just one of her precious three dragons. Drogon, her largest dragon whom she named after her late husband Khal Drogo, in the books is stated to be the reincarnation of Balerion, aka “The Black Dread”.
If you don’t recognize the name, Balerion was Aegon Targaryen’s largest dragon and was considered responsible for the creation of the Iron Throne. Which ends up being a detail that tied together quite nicely seeing as Drogon is the dragon responsible for melting the Iron Throne down to slag by the end.
3. The Queen of England visits Westeros
In 2014, the Queen of England visited the set of Game of Thrones in Belfast. It was here that she was given the opportunity to sit on the Iron Throne herself. An opportunity she refused, citing that the monarch of Great Britain is not allowed to sit on any foreign throne, even a fictional one.
In addition to this, Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on the show said that she doesn’t even think the Queen is a fan of the show since Williams plays a main character and the Queen did not recognize her.
4. Iwan Rheon could’ve won the Battle of the Bastards
Iwan Rheon does a chilling performance as Ramsey Bolton on the show, he’s like if Patrick Bateman was given a sword and an actual license to kill. That’s why it’s almost jarring to think about a world in which he would’ve played Jon Snow instead.
Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss mentioned in the DVD commentary of season three episode three that Iwan Rheon was their runner up second choice to play the role but ultimately was cast to play Jon’s foil.
5. George R.R. Martin saw Daenerys get married
There’s a lot about the original Game of Thrones plot that will only be allowed to exist in our imaginations, however the fact that author of the books, George R.R. Martin originally had a cameo is not one of them.
In the scene, Martin was present for Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s wedding playing an affluent Pentoshi nobleman. Unfortunately, when the original plot was reshot, Martin’s role did not make the final cut.
6. Lena Headey used a body double for her nude scene
“But that’s impossible, I saw her face, you are a liar.” you might say, but it’s true and actually quite fascinating (and expensive) how they did it. In the season five finale of the show, Cersei Lannister is stripped of her title and all of her clothes and forced to walk through King’s Landing while its citizens pelt her with food and trash.
Behind the scenes however, the scene was actually shot twice. Once with Cersei actress Lena Headey wearing a nude colored shift, and once with American actress Rebecca Van Cleave performing fully nude. The two shots were edited in post, placing Headey’s face onto Van Cleave’s body. Over 1000 women auditioned for the role of Cersei’s body double and in the end Van Cleave described the experience in an interview with Entertainment Weekly as “one of the scariest, most wonderful, most gratifying experiences I could have imagined“
7. Game of Thrones as Royal Stamps
In 2018, the UK’s Royal Mail released official Game of Thrones postage stamps in the likeness of Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Jaime Lannister, Cersei Lannister, Tywin Lannister, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, Eddard Stark, and Olenna Tyrell, as well as other characters like The Night King, and Daenerys’ dragons.
The stamps were made to commemorate the “significant British contribution” to the show, according to an article from The Guardian. If you want to own these wonderful stamps you can find them being sold on Amazon for between $20 and $30.
8. There’s an alternate universe where the Red Witch and the Scarlet Witch share the screen.
Marvel star Elizabeth Olsen spoke in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about how when she was just starting out, she auditioned for the role Daenerys Targaryen. In her audition, Olsen performed the monologue that Daenerys does after walking out of the fire with her newborn baby dragons.
Olsen joked that it was one of her worst auditions as an actress early on. It is fun to imagine however, in an alternate timeline where the Mother of Dragons is played by Elizabeth Olsen, and the Scarlet Witch is portrayed by Emelia Clarke. It also gives credit to that old adage of “one door closes another one opens”.
9. Barack Obama saw Game of Thrones before you.
Back in 2016 David Benioff and D.B. Weiss admitted on the red carpet premiere of season six that the President had received the episodes before the mass audience release date. Weiss defended their choice to let him see the episodes early by recalling “He is the leader of the free world” which you cannot argue with.
Obama is evidently a huge Game of Thrones fan and according to a Game of Thrones director David Nutter, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that while in the company of the former President, Obama tapped Nutter on the shoulder and asked “You didn’t kill John Snow did you?” Nutter replied that he was in fact “Deader than dead.”
10. Sean Bean handled his character’s death very well
The death of Ned Stark remains one of the most shocking moments in television history. When the supposed protagonist of your show is killed on screen, it’s a strong message that says that no one is safe, an atmosphere that Game of Thrones became known for. However, there’s one person who doesn’t seem at all shaken by the death of Eddard Stark and that person is Eddard Stark actor Sean Bean who supposedly played soccer with his severed head after shooting.
Sean Bean doesn’t watch Game of Thrones so he may not know how much his character’s death influenced the mood of the show going forward but none of us are going to tell him because he seems far too happy playing football (headball?)
For more fantasy fan content, check out these 6 upcoming fantasy adaptations