Everybody enjoys learning new and intriguing information concerning their favorite TV shows. However, considering the popularity of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, it’s overwhelming how invested people have become when finding out interesting facts concerning their favorite fantasy epic. These brief disclosures of information have become a fan favorite, for all those who share a deep love for George R.R Martin’s fictitious world of Westeros. Millions tune in each week to watch the HBO show and when its short five month reign has ended, any miniscule piece of information is gold until the next season starts.
The brilliant character development and unpredictable plot twists are the true culprit behind this want for information. Martin has been able to pull in his fans with a level of relatability and surprise that most authors can only wish to accomplish with the release of each book.
Whether it’s something about one of the actors that would shock us all, or maybe it’s just a funny fact that took place on set, the following facts will most likely spark a conversation between you and your friends, keeping the conversations going until the release of season six.
20. Charles Dickens’ great-great-great-grandson
Everybody knows Charles Dickens as the renowned Victorian writer who wrote A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, and A Tale of Two Cities; but did you know his great-great-great grandson was in Game of Thrones? Actor Harry Lloyd, who played Daenerys Targaryen’s lovely older brother Viserys, is actually a descendent of the great English writer. Viserys may have been one of the most hated characters in the show’s history, but he played his part perfectly. His somewhat dark comical death scene will never get old, no matter how many times he gets his “Golden Crown”.
19. The One and Only
It’s no secret that HBO’ s hit fantasy series has a long list of prestigious actors. But there’s one that has stood out as a fan favorite since the beginning – Peter Dinklage. Known as the famous black sheep of the Lannister family, this actor quickly proved his skills on screen. However, what you may not know is that Dinklage was the first actor confirmed for the series. On top of that, he was also George R.R. Martin, producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ first and only choice for the role of Tyrion. This choice was clearly the right one, as Peter went on to win an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his work on GoT.
18. Baby Names
George R.R Martin has come up with hundreds of interesting and hard to pronounce names for his vast line up of characters in the Song of Ice and Fire book series. But one name seemed to really grab people’s attention – at least in 2012. Believe it or not, over 160 babies were legally named Khaleesi in 2012, even though it’s not a name but a title. Khaleesi is a Dothraki title referring to the wife of the khal (or King). Actress Emilia Clarke plays the role of a Khaleesi in the Game of Thrones show and has become one of the main characters in the many story lines that make up the show’s brilliant plot line.
17. The Only Americans
Even though HBO’s Game of Thrones takes place in a fictional fantasy world, nearly 100% of the actors are British, Scottish or Irish. Only three main characters are actually American: Peter Dinklage (who plays Tyrion Lannister), Jason Momoa (who played Khal Drogo), and Pedro Pascal (who played Oberyn Martell aka “The Red Viper”). Yes, Peter Dinklage is American no matter how well he pulls off a British accent and Pedro Pascal came up with his “Dornish” accent all on his own; this can be confirmed during an AmA on Reddit.
16. The Khal of Baywatch
Actor Jason Mamoa played the infamous Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones season one. Although his time on the show was rather short lived, he managed to quickly become a fan favorite. But before he made his way into Essos, he appeared as Jason Ioane in the action drama series Baywatch Hawaii. Mamoa actually lied on his resume to land that role, claiming his modeling experience involved work with Louis Vuitton and Gucci. This Hawaiian born actor/model may have been on the sandy beaches at one point in his career, but he will always be remembered as the daunting Khal who never lost a fight to all GoT fans.
15. Chaplin’s Granddaughter
Another grandchild managed to make their way onto this list and into the world of Westeros. Actress Oona Castilla Chaplin, who played Rob Stark’s wife Talisa Maegyr Stark, is the granddaughter of English film star Charlie Chaplin. Chaplin is best known for his work in the silent film era and even though he wasn’t mute, he would surely be speechless after watching the infamous Red Wedding scene. Even though Talisa didn’t last long in Westeros, her short time spent alongside “The King of the North” was well portrayed and believable.
14. Stuck on the Throne
While filming the sixth episode of season one titled “A Golden Crown”, there was a scene where Daenerys had to eat an entire horse heart. During this scene, the actress was covered in fake blood, which, if you didn’t already know, is very sticky. Because of this, something rather embarrassing happened to her off set. Turns out actress Emilia Clarke found herself stuck to a toilet seat. Despite this sticky situation, she finished the famous scene, which is one of the most memorable endings to an episode in Game of Thrones.
13. Real Life Valyrian Steel
In the world of Westeros, Valyrian Steel is known for being exceptionally sharp and tremendously strong, with a distinctive rippled pattern on its blade. It is also one of the few things that can kill White Walkers, alongside dragonglass. Martin has definitely come up with a great design here, but not without inspiration.
Valyrian steel is based off of real steel known as Damascus steel. The characteristics of Damascus steel became known to Europe when the Crusaders reached the Middle East, beginning in the 11th century. They discovered that swords of this metal could split a feather in midair, yet retain their edge through many battles. Damascus steel even holds a similar resemblance to that of Valyrian, said to have a watery or ”damask” pattern on their blades.
12. Unlikely Friends
In Game of Thrones, Cersei Lannister and her brother Tyrion aren’t exactly on the best of terms, however off set the two are actually the best of friends. In real life, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey were good friends before GoT even started. Peter was actually the one who recommended Headley for the role of Cersei Lannister. The two friends find it difficult to act alongside one another during some of the more serious scenes and even admitt to avoiding eye contact with each other during these intense scenes. The two may clash in the fantasy world of G0T but in the end it’s all an act.
11. From Hogwarts to Westeros
You may have noticed that a few actors from the Harry Potter series have made their way onto the set of the more serious fantasy epic Game of Thrones. But did you know a whopping nine characters are featured in the medieval roster? Bronson Webb (Will) played an unnamed Slytherin student in the third film; Natalia Tena (Osha) played Nymphadora Tonks; David Bradley (Lord Walder Frey) played Argus Filch; Julian Glover (Grand Maester Pycelle) voiced Aragog; Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) played Mrs. Granger in the seventh film; Ciarán Hinds (Mance Rayder) played Aberforth Dumbledore; Ralph Ineson (Dagmer Cleftjaw) played Amycus Carrow; Edward Tudor-Pole (Protestor at King’s Landing) played Mr. Borgin and Ian Whyte (Gregor Clegane) played Madame Maxime in full-body shots.
10. Hadrian’s Wall
This famous military stone wall was a defensive fortification in the Roman province of Britannia, built in 122 AD during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. George R.R Martin found inspiration for his fantasy series when visiting the historical landmark saying “I stood on Hadrian’s Wall and tried to imagine what it would be like to be a Roman soldier sent here from Italy or Antioch. To stand here, to gaze off into the distance, not knowing what might emerge from the forest”. Now of course Martin’s version of the wall is on a much bigger scale, but like in all good fantasy writings, any adaptation of real life is far more exaggerated.
9. The Moon Door
Every fan of GOT knows about the infamous “Moon Door”. It is located in the High Hall of the Eyrie in the main audience chamber, where the lord sits upon his throne made of weirwood and in the center of the room; there’s a hatch built into the floor which people can fall through spiraling to their death below. The Moon Door looks like it drops those unlucky souls thousands of feet, far enough even that the person who was sent through is lost in sight. Yet in reality the Moon Door is only one meter deep with the addition of a green screen to create the allusion of a never ending drop.
8. Record Breaking Downloads
Everybody knows Game of Thrones is one of the most watched shows in the history of television. But being on HBO, it’s not everybody that can tune in, so they download the episodes. It’s nothing new; pirated shows and movies are mainstream nowadays. as everyone does it. However, resent polls show that Game of Thrones takes the crown as the most pirated show in history, getting over 48 million downloads in 2014. This is a staggering amount of views and the number is only going to grow with the release of each season.
7. Sarah Connor x2
Most people are aware that Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clark was cast as Sarah Connor in the latest instalment of the Terminator franchise, Terminator Genisys. But what you may not have picked up on is the funny coincidence at hand. Actress Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister, has also played the tough sci-fi character in the short-lived Fox series Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. It seems both Game of Thrones actresses have a love for the action-packed sci-fi classic. Just imagine what it would be like if one of the Game of Thrones cast members replaced Arnold as the Terminator? Maybe the Mountain…?
6. Batman Cameos
Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins holds two cameos that may surprise you. First is King Joffrey, the sadistic boy king everybody is so found of. Actor Jack Gleeson can be seen playing a poor young boy from the Narrows, who is saved by Batman. The second is a little more interesting; actor Richard Brake, who plays Game of Thrones’ infamous White Walker King, is actually the same guy who kills Batman’s parents in the 2005 film. To top it off, the frigid Knight King’s name in the Batman movie is Joe Chill. It seems he was always destined for the role.
5. How Will It All End?
George R.R Martin has been writing the Song of Ice and Fire series since 1991 and is still writing. He has finished five books in total and is working on the sixth. Because of the deep intertwining story lines and length of each book, it’s taken quite some time to find out what’s going on in that brilliant mind of his. The last book took Martin five years to write and he isn’t getting any younger.
It may seem morbid to bring up the fact that Martin could pass away (knock on wood) before finishing his masterpiece, yet this very thought has crossed his mind as well. This is why Martin has told both David Benioff and D.B. Weiss how he intends his story to end. Hopefully the GoT producers know how to keep a secret.
4. Adopting Lady
In season one of Game of Thrones, each of the Stark children are given a direwolf to take care of. There were six in total: Ghost, Nymeria, Lady, Summer, Shaggydog, and Grey Wind. Each of the dogs were trained and used in different scenes throughout the season. Like all characters in Game of Thrones, one of the dogs met their demise a little earlier than the others. Sansa’s direwolf Lady is killed off because of the whining prince Joffrey. Not to worry, though; actress Sophie Turner adopted her direwolf in real life. In the end, Lady really got the best outcome of them all.
3. Westeros DJ
Everybody’s favorite lovable giant Hodor from GoT has quite the unexpected lifestyle off set. When he’s not carrying Bran around or repeating his name over and over again, actor Kristian Nairn is actually a progressive house DJ and went on a US tour called “Rave of Thrones” between October 10th and December 13th in 2014. It’s hard to picture Hodor up on stage standing behind his turntables with a pair of headphones on, but he’s clearly talented and knows how to keep the party going.
2. You Know Nothing Jon Snow
Game of Throne characters Jon Snow and Ygritte had a rather dysfunctional but famous relationship on the HBO fantasy series. Everybody remembers their steamy cave scene, but don’t forget Ygritte did shoot John with three arrows afterwards. However, the two love birds of the North actually ended up dating in real life; maybe Jon Snow does know a thing or two? Actors Kit Harington and Rose Leslie, both 27 years of age, seem to have rekindled their love for each other off set. We just hope Olly doesn’t show up on any of their dates.
1. Maester Aemon
Actor Peter Vaughan, who plays Maester Aemon in Game of Thrones, has given us some of the most heartfelt scenes in the series. He may be slow moving, blind, and a little bitter at times, but he always gets his point across. Peter Vaughan is obviously a very talented actor, but what you may not know is that he is actually blind in real life! So besides having to act in the frigid cold at the age of 92, he is also doing so without the luxury of sight. This is quite impressive and gives a whole new perspective on the talent this actor possesses.