The hugely popular Game of Thrones was inarguably one of HBO’s biggest-ever TV successes. While the show may have now ended, the legacy of creator George RR Martin’s world of Westeros lives on. His books, in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, remain unfinished – and with a fanbase firmly split over how the show ended, it remains a massively controversial phenomenon. If you’re planning a rewatch of the series at any point, here are some facts to help make the experience that little bit more fascinating.
The show helped to create household names out of several stars – notably Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), who already had a prolific career on the big screen.
Dinklage appears in more episodes of Game of Thrones than any other actor. There are only six episodes in the show’s run where Tyrion does not appear.
The cruel child king, Joffrey Baratheon, was played by Jack Gleeson – who chose to quit acting on a high. He decided to pursue different career opportunities instead, classing acting as something he’d always loved to do for fun.
British viewers may recognise the roguish Bronn from a 90s pop duo – actor Jerome Flynn had several number one hits in the UK with fellow dramatist Robson Green.
Gentle giant Hodor, who is only able to speak his name, was played by Kristian Nairn, who has a main career line as a DJ.
Julian Glover, who starred in the show as the leering Maester Pycelle, has had lead roles in both Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Empire Strikes Back.
Emilia Clarke wasn’t in the original pilot episode of the show – the original Daenerys was recast once the show began proper.
Jerome Flynn (Bronn) and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) were previously romantically involved – however, things ended acrimoniously. So much so, that in their contracts, they stipulated that they must never shares scenes together. That’s why you never see Cersei and Bronn in the same room – they avoided each other on set.
Hot Pie, a fan-favourite character who ‘retired’ in-show to run his own bakery, was played by Ben Hawkey. Hawkey launched his own Game of Thrones-inspired bakery while the show was still running, offering recipes based on those you’d have heard about in the series.
George RR Martin is thought to have written his A Song of Ice and Fire books to be virtually unfilmable. That’s because the author is said to have had bad experiences working behind the scenes writing for TV. He rejected the chance to develop his stories into movies, which would have cut out even more detail from his books.
The first season of Game of Thrones reportedly cost around $60 million to make. However, by season six, HBO paid over $100 million per run.
George RR Martin himself had a cameo on the show’s original pilot – but his scene was cut.
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