Have you realised Game of Thrones is very alive throughout the year, even when it’s not on TV? When a season is airing, everybody is wildly discussing every single episode. Once it is over, people are either mourning the end of the season or raving over how great it was. The rest of the year, instead of being dormant, fan theories keep popping up, Easter eggs are discovered, various plot points are analysed. And when it is time for the new season to arrive at our doorsteps, Winter Is Coming becomes the new mantra.
For other times, when it kinda-sorta-maybe-little-bit feels like the mania has died down a bit, we poke the fire and bring articles like this to you! In honour of the TV sensation, here we bring to your notice ten facts about Game of Thrones that we bet will blow your mind!
1. The Unaired Pilot
Something the producers of Game of Thrones have been very honest and upfront about, is the fact that in the fall of 2009, they had produced a different first episode of the show, and it was disastrous. The earlier pilot was directed by Oscar winning director Tom McCarthy, but it didn’t turn out too well. What’s hilarious is, the producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss showed the previous pilot to a bunch of friends who hadn’t read the books, and they never even realised that Jamie and Cersei were siblings! All in all, it needed to redone. 90% of the episode was shot with a new director on board, Timothy van Patten. The previous pilot also had different actors playing the roles of Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. Screenwriter Craig Mazin remembers telling the producers after watching the second pilot, that it was ‘the biggest rescue in Hollywood history.’ Damn right it was!
2. That One Question
So apparently, when the show-runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss approached George R. R. Martin in 2006 to propose to use the first four books from his A Song of Ice and Fire series and turn them into a TV show, they were asked a trick question by him. In a lunch date that eventually dragged into a five-hour meeting, the two were asked by GRRM who Jon Snow’s mother was. Until this point in the show, the answer hasn’t been declared, and GRRM never told the two whether what they answered was correct, but the producers fondly stated in an interview that his smile said it all. That’s an anecdote to cherish!
3. The Possibility of Another Jon Snow
After having obsessed over six seasons, it seems to us that Kit Harrington is the perfect actor to play Jon Snow, but Iwan Rheon was a very close contender for the role. The actor with the wicked smile, who plays a sadistic and evil Ramsay Bolton in the show, was a runner-up to the character, who is mostly a representation of all that is good and pure. Honestly, it is actually really interesting to think about Rheon in the role.
4. Tiny Iron Throne?
The Iron Throne in the shows is supposedly way smaller than what GRRM wanted. When creating the Iron Throne for the show, George R. R. Martin worked very closely with the artist to create a throne which would be similar to what he had in mind, but what resulted was much different, and Martin described that the Iron Throne should be “massive; ugly; asymmetric. It’s a throne made by blacksmiths hammering together half-melted, broken, twisted swords, wrenched from the hands of dead men or yielded up by defeated foes. And there are thousands of swords in it, not just a few.”
5. Sean’s Bean Having Fun
Sean Bean, who played Ned Stark, had some fun with the model of his character’s decapitated head. In the show, Ned Stark is beheaded, and his head is displayed to the masses. After the scene though, Sean Bean answering a Reddit AMA, said that after having been a little creeped out by it initially, later he faced his fears by kicking the prosthetic head around! In his own words, “We just kicked it around like a football.” Quite a farewell.
6. Tyrion’s Always Special
Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage, is not only the most adored character of many, he is also George R. R. Martin’s favourite character in his books and in the show. To add to that, he is the only character in the entire show that has appeared in all episodes of two whole seasons. Tyrion has been part of the show in all ten episodes of season two and season five. It might be right to add here, that Peter Dinklage won two Primetime Emmys for his role of Tyrion Lannister. What a stunner, really.
7. Piracy Galore
Game of Thrones is officially the most pirated show in the world. Come on, we all knew this. And we’ve all been a part of this. We even remember the first four episodes of season 5 all too well, don’t we? It was shown by public BitTorrent trackers in 2012 that one episode was illegally downloaded around 4.3 million times. The finale of season 3 was downloaded 5.9 million times. Additionally, in 2015, there were 14.4 million downloads from BitTorrent alone!
8. A Flood of Blood
It’s no secret blood flows in the show quite like nothing else, but take a seat. If we count in only the named characters in the show, there have been more than 200 deaths in the first six seasons. When the unnamed characters are taken into account, the toll would reach much higher, what with the Battle of the Bastards, the infamous Red Wedding, and all the wars in the show.
9. Character on Character on Character on Character
Welsh actor Ian Whyte has played not one, not two, not three, but four characters in the series! Prior to Icelandic actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, he was one of the two other men to play the role of The Mountain. He played a White Walker in the first season; Gregor Clegane, recognised mainly as The Mountain, in the second season; Dongo The Giant in the third and fourth seasons; and our beloved giant Wun Wun in the fifth and sixth seasons! Props to the actor and the prosthetic teams for a great job.
10. A Language You Can Touch And Feel
Dothraki, the language spoken by the Dothraki people in the show, including Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) and Khaleesi Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is a complete language with all possible nuances, created for the show. Linguist David J. Peterson was appointed to form this language, and he presented more than 1700 words of the completely new language to HBO before the shooting started! The language has grammar rules, idioms and phrases and figures of speech like any other language. Also, it has been claimed that there are more words for “kill” than there are for “love”, as expected. However, Peterson says a lot of fans still try to correct him on his pronunciation. He also went on to create the Valyrian languages for season 3.