16 Game of Thrones Facts All Fans Should Know

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Prepare yourself as we count down the best and most amazing Game of Thrones facts that all fans of the popular show should know.

game of thrones facts

Every once in a while a television spectacular comes around that captures the world’s imagination and attention. It has happened in the past, and will happen again. Today, one of the most popular shows on air is Game of Thrones. From humble beginnings as the brainchild of George R R Martin, through to the epic showpiece that HBO has presented, this show has become a powerhouse of epic proportions. So sit back and prepare yourself for the best Game of Thrones facts that all fans should know.

1 Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister, is poor

Lena Headey poor

Well this is a rather difficult beginning to our list of Game of Thrones facts. According to the gal herself, she is poor, having less than $5 in her bank account in 2013. Now that’s pretty poor, but not poor as in living on the street or off food stamps poor, but she isn’t doing as well as she should be. In fact, she is making ends meet by living on credit.

Now, if you’re like me you are probably thinking that having a leading role in Game of Thrones, a show with a massive budget, would pay rather handsomely. It probably does, after all, no other cast member seems to be struggling financially. But then again, life can always manage to throw a spanner in the works. So how is it that she is struggling? Is she just terrible with money or is there another agenda causing her money woes?

Well, like most of us she is capable of being in a relationship. And as many of us know, relationships sometimes break down, especially if you’re in the entertainment game. This is the unfortunate situation Lena finds herself in now. She is currently in the middle of a divorce. As a result both Lena and her son are living on credit. It would be hard to believe however, that a financial institution would refuse her credit, unless they have already read the books and know how long her character will remain in the show that is.

At least there are a couple of benefits that will come out of her being flat broke. Her lawyers will be rich beyond compare, and providing her character doesn’t meet an untimely demise in any upcoming episodes, she will likely recover from this monetary setback, be it a little poorer.

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2 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau loves watching the YouTube video where Joffrey keeps getting smacked by Tyrion

We know that this list of for fans of the show, but perhaps we can convert a few on the way?

If you don’t know who Joffrey is then prepare to meet a villain. Towards the end of the first season he ascended to the throne of Westeros when his step father (yep, we’ll explain in a moment), king Robert Baratheon, surprise surprise, died. He was, how can we best describe the little shit? Perhaps one way of describing him is as a villainous prick with a taste for the inappropriate and sinister situation. He ordered men killed, tortured and killed prostitutes for fun, and ruled the mythical kingdom with an iron fist, and all at a young age. Perhaps it all came down to the little prick being inbred. That’s right, his predecessor wasn’t his father. His father was his uncle, or father or um… To hell with it! Lets just say he would have been right at home in a trailer park home than on the Iron Throne. Now back to the video.

In the first series of GoT there is a classic scene where Tyrion Lannister, the uncle two times over of Joffrey smacks him twice in the face. At that time he was still only a prince, so Tyrion got away with it. This is something that all fans of the show would love to do, reach through the television screen and grab the ass hole by the shirt and beat him senseless. But of course we can’t do that, and he is only a fictional character. But some bright spark on YouTube done the next best thing. They compiled a ten minute long video of Joffrey being smacked to Led Zeppelin’s “Achilles Last Stand.”

So OK. The video got pretty popular. Everyone who loves the show just relished the punishment. But here’s the cool part. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau loves watching the video of Joffreey being smacked for ten minutes. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is of course the guy who plays the brother of Tyrion and is the father/uncle of Joffrey. So, even one of the lead stars loved watching Joffrey being smacked about for ten minutes.

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3 The Iron Throne has Gandalf’s Sword, Glamdring in it

iron throne gandalf sword glamdring
Gandalf’s sword is circled in red to the left, Robin Hood’s sword is circled in green on the right. Image: Huffingtonpost.com

 

The mythical kingdom of Westeros has a throne of epic proportions, as you are well aware. It’s back is made out of a woven mix of swords, which looks awesome to say the least. Although it looks might uncomfortable, a hell of a lot of people want to sit on the darn thing and are willing to kill for the privilege. But even though it looks uncomfortable as all hell, it’s a really cool piece of furniture to look at. But if you pay close attention to the details, the Iron Throne has a few hidden gems lurking about it, like Glamdring, Gandalf’s sword.

First thing first. The Iron Throne of Westeros isn’t completely made out of iron. It’s actually a mix of iron and wood. It took Gavin Jones, who is a prop maker a good solid two months to build the centerpiece of conflict in the realm. But build it he did not, he made it a pure piece of art work and added some awesome fantasy and mythical features to it.

If you look ever so closely at the center of the throne you may notice something familiar. One of the swords of the Iron Throne is Gandalf’s sword, Glamdring. Any fan of GoT would have to be a fan of Lord of the Rings, and will be able to pick up the hidden sword. It’s hidden in the back center, slightly to the left. But this awesome sword isn’t the only sword prop hiding in the throne.

Slightly to the right of Gandalf’s sword on the Iron Throne is the sword used by Robin Hood. Both of these swords are available for purchase by any fantasy fan.

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4 Game of Thrones is the most pirated show on television

Game of Thrones is the most pirated show on television

Well, here’s something to say about popularity. Game of Thrones is the most pirated show on television. It seems as though placing it on the premium pay television channel has backfired a little for the producers. Or has it?

We all want something for nothing right? But have you ever heard of the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch?” Well it’s true. When a show airs on a free to air channel we are bombarded with advertisements. Most of the time we openly tolerate them, and may even make use of them by taking a bathroom break while they are on. The benefit for the viewer is a free television program, but someone had to pay for it. The advertiser. The advertiser pays for a small slot on television to promote their product. The more popular the show the higher the price they have to pay. The benefit for the advertiser is that even though they may pay a high price, they may very well make more profit in sales by advertising on a popular show. But this doesn’t happen with pay television. Why?

There isn’t any bloody advertising because you are paying directly for the service. When you pay for the service you aren’t normally restricted to just one show, but a package of shows or channels. The obvious problem is that we all like free things, even if we have to be annoyed a little. Unfortunately for a lot of people, GoT is only available on a pay TV service, HBO. But only if you don’t have an internet connection.

The popularity of the show has resulted in Game of Thrones becoming the most pirated show on television. Part of this is because people don’t want to part with their hard earned cash, preferring instead to pay high ISP access fees to download the show illegally. Those evil twisted souls (just kidding).

Surprisingly, the shows producers and HBO’s CEO aren’t overly concerned with this record. They see it as a badge of honor and a way to market the product to future generations.

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5 Hodor is gay in real life

Hodor is gay

Oh Hodor. You have the best and wittiest one liners in the show. Every single one of them I can remember with such clear recollection it makes me giddy. But perhaps, just perhaps, it’s because he plays the part of a simpleton that his lines are so memorable.

I you’re not yet a fan, shame on you, but we’ll still fill you in on this cool chap. Hodor is a probably best described as being a few sandwiches short of a picnic, or not the brightest light in the room. He is the servant of a family in the north. Hodor is a rather largely built fellow, nearly as wide as he is tall. In short he is built like a brick out house. But the man who portrays him on the screen had been harboring a secret that he shouldn’t have been too concerned about. Hodor is gay in real life.

Kristian Nairn is an Irish actor who came out as being gay in 2014. Now first of all. Congratulations on having the courage to come out and reveal who you really are. But really, it’s no ones business but his and we wish him well so long as he is happy.

When Kristian Nairn came out of the closet he became the first cast member of GoT to admit that he was openly gay. Let’s wait and see what the future holds.

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6 Tyrion has his nose cut off in the books

Tyrion is noseless

Well I’ll be. It appears as though the screen adaption of the book, A Song of Ice and Fire, has deviated a bit. How on earth did George R R Martin allow this? After all, it’s a clear descriptive part of one of the main characters of the series. Tyrion Lannister has his nose cut off. Well, for a solid part of the series he has no nose.

In the early series of the show, Tyrion presented as a dwarf who much rather preferred life indoors away from the hazards of conflict. Apart from his small stature, and a family that mostly hated him, he appeared to be relatively unharmed in his appearance. He sported no scars, and was all over well kept. But all this changed towards the end of season 2 at the Battle of Blackwater.

One thing we can say about Tyrion is that what he lacks in stature, he more than makes up for in intellect. He is a shrewd businessman, and also a brilliant politician and military commander. This is despite the fact that his father doubts his ability and pretty much wanted him dead all his life. In season 2 there was a brilliant battle that became known as the Battle of Blackwater. That battle was commanded by Tyrion, who ultimately saved Westeros from falling to Robert Baratheon’s brother, Stannis.

Now the battle didn’t go completely to plan for Tyrion. He was cut down in the middle of the fight. but survived. He suspects that his sister, Cersei planned his assassination. Now this is where the book and the show deviate. In the show he survives, but with a nasty scar across his face. In the book, Tyrion has his nose cut off and goes on to be called No-Nose.

Surely they could have spent a little more on digital editing to remove the nose, or could they?

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7 The average episode costs $6 million to film

average episode of game of thrones costs $6 million

Well there’s little surprise here. The average cost of a Game of Thrones episode is $6 million. But keep in mind that we said average. Some episodes run in a lot less, while some others are hugely expensive. So why are the episodes so expensive?

Producing quality entertainment isn’t a cheap game. HBO isn’t after all your average YouTube channel. They set out to deliver a quality show with a quality cast. But there’s so much that goes into making a show. Not only are there actors to pay, but there are also numerous faces behind the scene that also want a steady pay check. These include, but are not limited to riggers, makeup artists and directors. They’re not about to do the show for free. But there are other expenses associated that can really drive up the costs.

Some of these expenses are costumes, because they aren’t really prancing around in in common clothes. But even the costumes, which are aged for several days pale into insignificance to some of the other costs, such as filming on three continents and the awesome special effects.

With three dragons flying about Westeros, undead White Walkers marching about north of the Wall, and the extinct Dire wolves as pets, there’s little option but to invest significantly in special effects. And who can question this investment? Quality special effects in a show or movie can really make it something special.

But even with all of these massive expenses there’s one thing that can really drive up the cost. The battles. The two most expensive episodes ever in the show appeared in series 2 and 4. Both of these episodes featured a full battle which the viewer actually got to watch. This was a difficult decision that HBO and the producers faced, as they didn’t want to let down the audience again by cutting a major part out of the story, but wanted to keep the spending to a minimum. For the Battle of Blackwater episode the budget was a staggering $8 million.

Frankly I don’t care how much they spend. It’s money well spent.

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8 Many of the sexual violence scenes aren’t in the books

sexual violence scenes

Game of Thrones is practically full of sex and violence, and even the occasional sexual violence. It has so much sex and violence that there’s practically no episode that doesn’t have one or the other. But both of those things are kind of expected with a series such as GoT, what isn’t really expected is the sexual violence in Game of Thrones.

Avid readers of the books would have noticed a few glaring differences when it comes to some of the sexual encounters. The books don’t contain as much sexual violence as the television show. In fact, some of the most controversial scenes were added in by the producers.

One of these scenes was the infamous incest rape scene between Cersei and Jaime Lannister, which just happened to take place beside the corpse of their son. Even though the scene didn’t expose any jiggly bits, the act itself was controversial.

Another scene that wasn’t in the books was the prostitution torture scene. If you recall, it was brutal and explicit. But was it necessary?

For a lot of people the torture and murder of the prostitutes by king Joffrey was pretty bad. But if it wasn’t in the books, why put it in the show? Perhaps it was to show just how sadistic Joffrey actually was. You must admit, this one scene added up the tyrant like no other.

With all of these additions of sexual violence in GoT how did George R R Martin feel about it? Surprisingly he supported the additions.

“that the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves.”

-George R R Martin, author of a Song of Ice and Fire

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