It’s always exciting when you spot an Easter egg or some hidden message in your favorite show. These stealthy additions to entertainment have been around for a long time now and continue to pop up in movies, TV shows, commercials, songs and video games.
Many of these hidden gems are present in the HBO series Game of Thrones. Producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, along with their crew, have been known to implement all kinds of hidden messages in their adaptation of George R.R Martins fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire”.
Considering the popularity of this show and its long list of hardcore fans, it’s no surprise that people have picked apart and dissected each and every episode, looking for any hints or clues that have yet to be found. We’ve done the work for you and compiled them into a list.
10. President On A Pike
This Easter egg brought on some controversy once it was spotted by fans. In season one, episode ten, the decapitated head of George W. Bush can be seen stuck on a pike. At first glance, it’s hard to notice, but when Joffrey brings Sansa to see the head of her dead father, along with all the other poor souls who pissed off the Lannisters, Georgie boy is among the severed display.
Producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss apologized, saying it was just a matter of utility and no political statement was intended. HBO has edited the face since then, making sure all future releases hold no likeness to Bush.
9. Rock Star Cameos
The world of Westeros is home to an ever growing populace of different leaders and their armies. So when epic battles take place, a lot of extras are needed in order to make these scenes seem believable. The producers have been able to pull off some of the most impressive battle sequences ever seen in TV, but not without the help of countless extras.
Most of the extras used in GOT aren’t recognized by the general public, but there have been a few famous fans that made their way into the realm of Westeros. Drummer Will Champion of Coldplay can be seen in the infamous “Red Wedding” scene and the rest of the band makes an appearance during Joffrey’s wedding. That’s not all; the bearded rockers from metal band Mastodon fit in perfectly as fierce Wildlings during the battle of “Hardhome,” the eighth episode of season five.
8. Martin’s Favorite Dragon
In the scene where Daenerys’ scrawny brother Viserys is trying to impress Doreah, a former prostitute who is now one of his sisters servants, he names all of the dragon skulls that were once kept in the Red Keep when his family was in power.
He mentions the name Vermithrax, which is a tribute to one of George R.R. Martin’s favorite fantasy films, Dragonslayer. In an interview, Martin confirms this by saying: “Vermithrax Perjorative is the best dragon ever put on film.” Clearly this would be hard to pick up on unless you saw the interview with the author himself, but it’s still a cool nod to the 1981 film.
7. Monty Python Reference
Author George R.R Martin has referenced Monty Python in the past, but in the episode where Daario Naharis defends his Queen Daenerys from Meereen’s champion, there’s a direct nod to the British classic Holy Grail.
When Meereen sends their best fighter to take on the suave Daario Naharis, he dishes out some insults in his native tongue. Assuming most people don’t speak Old Ghiscar – a fictional language in Game of Thrones – the viewer probably don’t know what was said.
According to the staff linguist, the champion is reciting familiar lines from Monty Python’s French Knight, such as, “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries.” This humoristic nod to Holy Grail may have only been apparent to the crew at the time, but once it’s known, the hidden humor is quite clever and fitting.
6. Almost Lost An Eye
In season one of Game of Thrones, Jamie Lannister wasn’t the same character we all know him as now. He pushed Bran out a window, tried to kill Ned Stark, and killed Jory with a bloody stab through the eye. But what you might not have picked up on is that poor Jory’s death was hinted at before the Lannister ambush.
This foreshadowing took place during a conversation between Jory and Jamie; Jory mentions that the two had met before in The Siege of Pikes, explaining that they had fought side by side on the battlefield and that one of the Greyjoys had nearly taken out his eye. In response, Jamie uses this information in the most sinister yet cocky way and kills Jory by stabbing him in the eye he almost lost years ago.
5. Hidden in the Iron Throne
Anybody who’s read the books knows that the Iron Throne in the show is a much smaller version compared to what’s described in the books. But what you may have not noticed is that a few famous swords from past movies have been implemented into the fiery forged seat of the king.
For instance, Gandalf’s blade Glamdring and Robin of Locksley’s blade from Kingdom of Heaven can be seen molded among the many blades used to fashion the kingly chair. One can only assume these famous blades were added for the viewing pleasure of hardcore medieval fans with a keen eye for detail.
4. Tyrion’s Ghost
This Easter egg may come easier to all those video game fans out there. Bungie’s hit title Destiny featured Peter Dinklage aka Tyrion Lannister as the voice of a small robot named Ghost.
His small robot friend seems to have made a big enough impact to follow him all the way to Westeros. After Tyrion kills his father and flees King’s Landing, he finds himself cooped up in a small carriage with Varys (at least he had wine). If you look closely, one of the windows of the carriage shares a striking resemblance to the Ghost from Destiny.
3. Little Finger’s Foreshadowing
Throughout the Game of Throne series, Petyr Baelish is known for having countless spies and seems to know everything before it happens. He tells Robin Arryn: “People die at their dinner tables. They die in their beds. They die squatting over their chamber pots. Everybody dies sooner or later.”
He was actually foreshadowing the next three big deaths in the season. For example, Joffrey at his wedding, Shae in her bed and Tywin on the privy. This ambitious example of foreshadowing is one of the best in the series and proves just how cunning dialogue can be when it comes to hidden messages.
2. Famous Faces
Remember that giant creepy room filled with ominous faces at the end of season five? Well, there might be more than meets the eye in this face-filled tomb. For one, producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss can be seen amongst the countless faces placed on the towering pillars.
This may come to no surprise for those perspicacious fans out there, but did you know the face Arya touches belongs to the mother of Barry Gower, the prosthetics supervisor for the show? This clever addition to the scene shows the devotion and love both creators have for implementing hidden messages in their HBO show.
1. R+L = J
There’s one fan theory that trumps all others. It became so popular that both David Benioff and D. B. Weiss felt the need to reference it in season 1, episode 4 “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things.”
The letters R and L can be seen carved into the wall beside Jon Snow as he leaves the room after talking to Sam. The theory suggests that Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s son, but rather the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister Lyanna; this theory is purely speculation and has yet to be confirmed.
The fact that the directors took the time to make this addition to the scene makes it all that much more thought-provoking. Whether this hidden message turns out to be true or not, it has definitely caused the most controversy thus far.