Game of Thrones is clearly one of the biggest shows on TV. When it was adapted for television from the insanely popular (and perpetually unfinished) "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series, it basically became the most popular thing in the world. There's probably no show in history that has been as theorized about as Game of Thrones! Fans know the characters, plotlines, and the over-arching world through and through. But how much do they really know about what goes on behind-the-scenes of the beloved show?
With a cast this big and a show this popular there are, of course, crazy behind-the-scene secrets! From cast hookups to wardrobe DIYs revealed, there is so much more to know about the show than what you see on screen. The cast of the show is on the precipice of being the hottest stars in Hollywood, there's no wonder some juicy stuff has happened off-screen! You definitely can't consider yourself a super fan until you know these behind-the-scenes secrets!
Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, is one of the most badass chicks in all of Westeros. But it was a hard road to cast the perfect Arya. Williams recounts that she was one of 300 girls across England who tried out for the role. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were determined to find the perfect Arya and they did in Bristol, England, where Williams was taken out of complete obscurity and put into one of the biggest shows of all time!
Turns out the Allens are a super talented family! Alfie Allen plays Theon on the hit show and he has completely barred his famous sis from talking about the series. When Lily Allen claimed in an interview that the show had offered an incestuous cameo, her brother denied that it ever happened! Whatever transpired, Alfie told his sis that she couldn't talk about the show in interviews ever again. That is his livelihood so we totally get it! Lily has a history of talking about her brother, though, and even wrote a song named "Alfie" years ago about her wishing her bro would grow up and get a job. He eventually did, and got a pretty good gig to boot!
Turns out knowing the person who runs a hit TV show has its perks! Benioff cast his parents in the season four premiere of the show as peasants walking towards King's Landing. They're only shown briefly and don't have speaking roles, but they're there! While Benioff's dad once headed Goldman Sachs and worked with President George Bush's administration, we're sure this was probably his proudest moment. Who wouldn't want to be on Game of Thrones?!
When Dany (Emilia Clarke) had to eat a horse heart to impress her new husband, it looked gross AF. And it was gross in real-life, too! Clarke said that her acting was so good in the scene because the heart truly was disgusting. It was made of solidified jam that, according to Clarke, tasted like "bleach and raw pasta." Gross! She had to do the take 28 times and they had to give her a spit bucket because she kept vomiting the fake hearts up. Luckily she hasn't had to eat a fake horse heart again on the show! Yet...
Yup, five. Out of the 67 aired episodes, there are only five where no one dies on-screen. Out of those five, only two don't have any deaths off-screen as well. We don't expect that'll change much in the last season, either. So, really, there are only two episodes in the entire series where someone doesn't die. Damn, the mortality rate in Westeros is off the charts! While many of those deaths were nameless, faceless characters we hardly knew, plenty were beloved (or hated) main characters. This show has no qualms about killing people off!
Queen Cersei may be the coldest bitch in all of Westeros, but Lena Headey is nothing like her icy character! Headey is actually one of the biggest jokesters on set and her costars call her a total sweetheart. She also has almost 10 tattoos on her body, something we definitely couldn't imagine Cersei getting. Some more fun facts about the evil queen: she loves horror movies, has basically an entire pack of dogs, and is a huge animal rights activist. Headey is officially the total opposite of the cruelest woman in King's Landing.
When you need to clothe an entire brood of men in fur, it can get pricey. Luckily, the fur capes that the Night's Watchmen wear in the show aren't actually fur! The capes are repurposed Ikea rugs, dyed and distressed to give the appearance of real animal hide. They then add leather straps and other accessories for a more realistic feel. Think about that next time you're planning a Game of Thrones-inspired Halloween costume!
Have you ever watched an episode of Game of Thrones and thought, "I totally know that actor!"? That's probably because over a dozen stars from the Harry Potter films have appeared in the series to date. A few are hard to pick up on but there are many huge characters who came from the Harry Potter universe. The most recognizable is Natalia Tena who plays Osha on the drama series and was the incomparable Tonks in the HP universe. Also, you thought you hated Argus Filch in the magical film series? Well you're really going to hate him when you realize the same actor played Walder Frey, a.k.a the man behind the Red Wedding!
The season seven Loot Train battle, where Dany finally uses the full force of her dragons, is amazing for more than the big win for the aspiring Queen. The episode set a pyrotechnics record for the number of people set on fire during a single scene. Prestigious, right? Twenty stuntmen were set aflame at the same time for the battle sequence, something that had never been done on a TV show before. The showrunners explained that the fact that they have dragons on the show really expands on what they can do damage-wise and helps inspire them to up the ante.
These two didn't just fall in love beyond the wall — they fell in love in real-life, too! Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie met on the set of the show and hit it off right away. Soon, the two were inseparable and they eventually married in the summer of 2018. Ygritte and Jon have been one of the best romances on the show so far (and they aren't related, so there's a plus!), and fans were delighted when they got together off-screen. Our fave thing about this couple? Probably their adorable engagement announcement that appeared in The Times of London newspaper!
Iwan Rheon was initially trying to play a good guy on the show! When Rheon was first auditioning for Game of Thrones, he was in talks to be heroic Jon Snow. He didn't get the role — it went to the perfectly-cast Harrington — but that didn't mean his chance at being on the show was gone. When the showrunners were casting the sadistic Ramsay Bolton on season three they called Rheon up and offered him the role. He's perfect as the evil Bolton bastard and we can't imagine him playing any other role!
In the novels the series is based on, the kids are way younger than they appear on-screen. Jon Snow is only 14 when the books begin! Clearly, for some of the more mature plot points, the show needed to make the characters older to make the storylines more palatable. No one really wants to watch a 13-year-old Dany get traded to a vicious warlord! Aging Dany up made the entire arrangement not right, but definitely easier to swallow. Even some of the adult characters were aged up for casting purposes.
Weddings are huge events in Westeros and most of the big ones on the show have had great bands play. Oh, and you may know a few of them yourself! At King Joffrey's (Jack Gleeson) wedding the band Sigur Rós played medieval tunes for the guests. Then, at the horrific Red Wedding, Coldplay drummer Will Champion was playing along in the background before the carnage began. Oh, and then there was a little singer named Ed Sheeran who popped up in an ep! So random.
There's an app for everything these days! Dothraki is spoken by the Dothraki tribe and they have a very distinct language. But thanks to the Random House app "Dothraki Companion" you can learn the language with ease! The app has over 300 words, complete with flashcards and games to help you learn the tongue. It was created for the show by linguist David J. Peterson and based off of the phrases George R.R. Martin created for the Dothraki in the book series. With this app, you can speak the same language as the moon of your life!
In 2011, Martin revealed on his blog that two scripts for the first season of the show were stolen after filming had already been completed. He said the envelope they were in was torn open at one end and the scripts were gone. Game of Thrones fans were eager for spoilers before the first season even aired! Martin asked in his blog, though, for fans to keep an eye out for anyone trying to sell them or capitalize on the theft. While no spoilers were ever leaked, no one really knows what happened to those scripts!
On the first episode of the series, the Stark children adopt direwolves to care for. Sansa's direwolf, Lady, met an untimely death. But in real life, Lady has had a pretty good life! After the direwolf was killed on the show, Turner adopted the Mahlek Northern Inuit Dog (what'd you think, they were real wolves?!) named Zummi. She said that she always wanted a dog growing up but her parents wouldn't let her have one. When they fell in love with their daughter's furry costar, though, it was clear she was joining their pack!
When filming first began for Game of Thrones, the cast looked a bit different and the pilot was... not great. There's an unaired pilot floating around somewhere (still unseen to this day!) that has completely different actresses playing Daenerys Targaryen and Catelyn Stark. A script was leaked to the internet for that unaired pilot and it was nothing like what ended up airing! It was stiff, confusing, and way more formal than the version fans eventually saw. Some of the scenes from the unaired pilot made it into the aired version, but they were few and far between!
The two play the starkly opposite Stark sisters on Game of Thrones, but off-screen they're as close as can be. The two are the best of friends, having grown up together on the set of the show. They have sleepovers, get tattoos together, and Williams is even going to be a bridesmaid in Turner's wedding to Joe Jonas! The two are only a year apart so it makes sense they would find such a close friendship. We're so thankful for their red carpet walks together and silly Instagram vids!