This Sunday, Winter is so here!
The HBO fantasy series (that the creator believes should not be ending right now) premieres its eighth and final season this weekend. It will easily shatter all cable records for any show’s season premiere.
Name the TV show–The West Wing, Seinfeld, Friends, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos–and Game of Thrones has destroyed it in terms of immediate success and fanfare. Will it last the test of time? We will see, but for now, every other show wishes they had a modicum of this success.
Yet, all great things must come to an end, and GoT is no different. In memory of the eight seasons dealing with the seven kingdoms, take about six to five minutes four these fiery fun facts about this historic series. Much like the three main kingdoms headed for conflict (and the two people about to be torn apart), there can be only one to sit on the Iron Throne. (You’re welcome.)
As we wait to see who that will be, here are eight GoT facts to tide you over that you may not know:
Joffrey Had Real Inspiration
King Joffrey (Baratheon) Lannister was an awful person. If there was ever a kid in high school who needed his ass beat, it was Joffrey. Young, entitled, and ruthless. Way back in 12 A.D., there was another young, entitled, and ruthless leader named Gaius Caesar, known as ‘Caligula.’
He would succeed Tiberius as emperor in 37 A.D.–a man who was known as saying about “Little Boots” (what ‘Caligula’ means in Latin), “I am nursing a viper for the Roman people.” Eventually, following his reign of literal terror, he was stabbed 30 times and dumped in a shallow grave. Terrible, right? Take a good look at him. And now, Joffrey. Creepy!
So, to help get that bad Joffrey taste out of your mouth… remember Batman Begins when the Caped Crusader is climbing walls in Gotham and runs into that kid, “It’s you. They’ll never believe me.” Cute kid. Guess who…
Sansa Stark Got Her Own Lady
In the first season, Ned Stark earns some spoils of war — a little of direwolves. Unsure what to do with them, each child got a wolf. Sophie Turner’s direwolf “Lady” grew to love her so much, Sophie (about to be in X-Men: Dark Phoenix) adopted “Zunni,” the beautiful Mahlek Northern Inuit dog, which is actually a crossbred Siberian Husky. Sadly, Zunni passed away in 2017.
Here’s an image Sophie has made public from her family collection.
Act One, Takes Two
One of the most sadistic people in the Seven Kingdom is the twincestual queen Cersei Lannister. Both of her brothers in House Lannister–Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)–have befriended a rogue warrior named Bronn. Played by Jerome Flynn, you ever notice these two are never in the same scene? G’head. Stream it. Not at all, and that’s on purpose.
Lena Headey (Cersei) and Jerome Flynn used to hook up. The word is their relationship ended with such vitriol that each of them demanded a clause to be placed in their contracts that essentially reads they will never do scenes together and they must remain apart on set. Can you imagine if really dated Cersei?! RIP Bronn, for real.
Khal Drogo Scared His Way Into a Gig (Maybe)
You can imagine if an actor or actress sees the overwhelming possibility in a role, they go all out to get the part. Jason Momoa is no different. I mean, sure, he’s different, but you get the idea. To get the role of Khal Drogo (shortly before he became the King of Atlantis), he is rumored to have had the wildest audition of any character across the Seven Kingdoms.
There’s Jason, in the middle of his audition speaking Dothraki and brooding as only he could do, performed a Maori Haka and ripped off his shirt Hulk Hogan style. It scared the hell out of show creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Don’t know what a haka is? Watch the New Zealand All Blacks before their rugby match…and imagine you are in a closed room with just Jason. (Yeah, they clearly peed themselves.)
The ironic thing is Momoa is not Maori or Samoan. He’s part Hawaiian and was raised in Iowa, but go tell him that.
Julian Glover is an Old Nerd
In Game of Thrones, we know him Grand Master Pycelle, the infrequent brown noser of a sage in King’s Landing. And when the esteemed actor Julian Glover is not strolling around from king’s quarters to queen’s quarters, he may look really familiar to nerds everywhere. In fact, he may sound familiar too.
General Maximillian Veers, The Empire Strikes Back
Walter Donovan, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
Aragog, Harry Potter (yes, that’s his voice)
Someone Card That Dude
Jojen Reed, the boy charged with finding and saving Bran Stark to fulfill his destiny as the Three-Eyed Raven, is 13 in the TV series. Yeah, Thomas Brodie-Sangster is really 22. Two more things about our fake pre-pubescent friend here. Ever watch Phineas & Ferb on Disney XD? He’s Ferb.
Anyone watch the Rom-Com Love Actually any Christmas in the past few years? That kid tho…
Tywin Lannister and His Cult of Personality
The cunning and calculated Tywin Lannister is played by Charles Dance. The man has British acting awards. He has been in Shakespearean plays. He has performed for the Queen. Yet, in this wacky world of social media, this accomplished actor is most well known as a GIF when he was Sardo Numpsa in Eddie Murphy’s The Golden Child)
So, he is very committed to his craft. Also, he has more in common with Tywin than you realize. Think about the famous scenes he was in prior to getting popped with an arrow while dropping a deuce.
Remember the deer dressing (skinning a deer)? There’s no clue how PETA didn’t get involved in this, but that is all real — the stag, the dressing, the blood. (Not for nothing, but there are Game Wardens who were envious of his skill.)
Another part was Dance is the antithesis of Tywin. In fact, he found the treatment of Tyrion (Dinklage) so heinous in the script, he would take Peter Dinklage aside to apologize. Lastly, Tywin was married to a woman named Joanna and, obviously, had three children. IRL, Dance has a wife named Joanna and has three kids. Now, that’s commitment to your craft.
Opening, and Changing, Sequence
Game of Thrones easily has one of the best and most memorable opening credits scenes and songs ever. Did you know the map that takes us through this medieval world changes almost every episode? According to the showrunners, the kingdoms always shown are: King’s Landing, Winterfell, the Wall, and… wherever Daenerys is (yes, really). The Wall is the last main shot before the camera pans to Essos.
JON: “Well, you just think the revolves around you, Dany!”
DAENERYS: “Well… yeah.”