39 Facts That Will Change the Way You Watch Game of Thrones
This article is based on "10 Facts You Didn't Know About Game of Thrones", "Game of Thrones: 41 Things You Didn't Know", and "26 Facts That Will Change the Way You Watch Game of Thrones". If you're interested in reading more, check out the links at the bottom of the article.
3/39 When asked about the amount of sex scenes in both the books and TV show, George R.R. Martin said, "I can describe an axe entering a human skull in great explicit detail and no one will blink twice at it. I provide a similar description, just as detailed, of a penis entering a vagina, and I get letters about it and people swearing off. To my mind this is kind of frustrating, its madness. Ultimately, in the history of the world, penises entering vaginas have given a lot of people a lot of pleasure; axes entering skulls, well, not so much."
4/39 Kenny Gracey who runs Forthill Farms in Tandragee, Co Armagh near where the series is filmed has made his livelihood from the show. Due to the demand for traditional farm animals Gracey has bred Iron Age pigs and other livestock to fit in with the show's setting.
5/39 The deadly Greyscale disease where grey scales develop on the skin until the person turns to stone is similar to two real-world diseases. In terms of stigma greyscale is similar to leprosy which was rampant in the Middle Ages. People would contract painful skin lesions and lived as outcasts due to the disease's contagiousness and ugly appearance. Turning into a statue is also possible in real life. Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is an incurable and rare disease where damaged soft tissues regrow as bone until joints permanently freeze in place and the entire skeleton becomes ossified.
6/39 Emilia Clarke has a creature named after her. In 2013 researchers found a new species of sea slug in Brazil. Marine biologists noticed a similarity between the slug's pale yellow fronds and Danaerys' long blonde hair so they named the slug Tritonia khaleesi.
7/39 Peter Vaughan who plays Maester Aemon Targaryen is partially blind like the character he plays. It's amazing that he is otherwise in such good health considering he was 88 when the series started in 2011.
8/39 In 2011 a postal worker stole episode scripts mailed to George R.R. Martin. The envelope arrived at his house torn open and both scripts were gone. He appealed to fans of the show online to be on the lookout for copies being sold on eBay but the scripts never resurfaced.
9/39 When the show premiered George R.R. Martin sent Jack Gleeson a letter that said "Congratulations on your marvellous performance, everyone hates you".
10/39 The battle between The Mountain and The Viper could have actually happened. Slate investigated and proved that if someone were to exert 520 lbs of force onto a human skull it would definitely implode. Hafr Jlus Bjrnsson, who plays The Mountain, is the 3rd strongest man in the world and could have totally crushed the skull of The Viper, played by Pedro Pascal who weighs less than 200 lbs.
11/39 Pixomondo, the special effects company that creates the CGI dragons for the series, had to look to other animals for inspiration on how a dragon would move. They studied geese who play with their wings, bats to see how wings move in the air, and cats who can be incredibly affectionate with their mothers.
12/39 The American Alsatian Breeders Association has bred a number of large wolf-like American Alsatians under the Dire Wolf Project. Be warned - they come with a $3000 price tag. True dire wolves, canis dirus, died 10,000 years ago so the show uses Northern Inuit dogs that bear an uncanny resemblance.
13/39 Experienced mountaineer and Game of Thrones fan Katie Mills criticized the wall scene in the third season episode "The Climb". The climbers were yoked together in a formation called running belay which is only suitable for low angled ice and now, not a vertical climb of that height. When Jon Snow fell everyone should have fallen with him until they were all dangling from the lowest ice hook. Mills says there's a good chance the rope would have snapped too because they didn't seem to be using rope with any give.
14/39 Game of Thrones is one of the most illegally downloaded shows in the world. In 2012 Pirate Bay noted that one episode was downloaded 4,280,000 times. During season 5 piracy increased 45% worldwide. HBO has publicly said they don't care about piracy as downloading is a terrific way to market the series for younger viewers.
15/39 When Kristian Nairn, who plays Hodor, came out in 2014 he became the first openly gay actor in the show's 100+ member cast.
16/39 The opening credits are made by Rock Paper Scissors Production Company. Each season they sit down and look at the new locations needed for that season. An artist will draw each location and place it within the clockwise rotation of the other pre-existing locations. Then it'll be transferred to a computer where shadows and colours are added. It takes a team of 10 people approximately 3 months to make the new credits each year.
17/39 Peter Dinklage was the first choice for Tyrion. They didn't audition anyone else but him.
18/39 Linguist David J. Peterson created 4,000 words of dialect for the High Valyrian, Low Valyrian, and Dothraki languages heard on the show. He says that the term khaleesi should be pronounced "KHAH-lay-see", not "kah-LEE-see" but producers liked the latter better and thought that's how readers were pronouncing it anyways. In 2013 146 babies were named Khaleesi in the USA.
19/39 In the season 3 episode "Kissed By Fire" Ygritte and Jon Snow finally gave in to the sexual tension that was building for months. Audience members were thrilled to get a glimpse of Jon Snow's butt but unfortunately it's not Kit Harrington's. He broke his ankle during filming and a crew member stepped in to film the scene. The unnamed crew member was of a similar height and hair colour but had to cut his hair shorter to match Harrington's.
20/39 The Red Wedding is reportedly based on two events in Scottish history. During the 1691 Massacre of Glencoe, Captain Robert Campbell and his troops sought shelter with the MacDonald clan, waited until the hosts were asleep and then murdered them. At the 1440 Black Dinner the 16-year-old Earl of Douglas and his 10-year-old brother were lured to a feast before being dragged outside and brutally executed halfway through while the festivities continued.
21/39 The show is filmed on multiple continents and sometimes has to be filmed simultaneously in order to meet deadlines. So far the show has been filmed in the United States, Croatia, Morocco, Malta, Spain, Iceland, and Northern Ireland. The scenes filmed in Northern Ireland alone have brought more the $100 million to the Irish economy
22/39 The show has a writing team of six writers maximum, which is very small compared to shows of a similar budget like The Walking Dead that employs 20 writers.
23/39 George R.R. Martin has devoted most of his life to the series and was skeptical of people adapting the books in fear of it not turning out exactly how he pictured. When Benioff and Weiss pitched the show to him he said he would let them have it if they could correctly guess the identity of Jon Snow's mother. They did.
24/39 King's Landing, Winterfell, and The Wall have appeared in every title sequence. Moat Cailin has only appeared once.
25/39 The original pilot was not well received and had to be mostly reshot before getting the green light to film the rest of the first season. Five roles were recast including Michelle Fairley replacing Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark and Emilia Clarke replacing Tamzin Merchant as Danaerys Targaryen.
26/39 Costume designer Michelle Clapton says the most time consuming aspect of the show is breaking in the costumes. Each piece is aged for two weeks to appear more gritty and lived in.
27/39 HBO has announced that the show will be 8 or 9 seasons maximum, leaving 3-4 seasons left after the one to be aired this year, despite the fact that the book series is not finished. There are supposed to be seven books total but Martin took 15 years to write the first five and a series finale in the next few years does not look promising. He has given the showrunners permission to move forward under his supervision with the television series though he's using the show as an incentive to finish the books quickly. In the event that he dies or simply cannot finish the books in time, he's disclosed his intended ending of the series to the writers so they can carry on without him.
28/39 Each wig can cost up to $7,000 and requires two feet of human hair to make.
29/39 Two graphic scenes were added to the television series that weren't originally in the books: Jaime & Cersei's rape scene after Joffrey's death and Talisa's death at the Red Wedding. Martin says that rape and sexual violence scenes are part of his story because they illustrate that the true horrors of human history aren't from magic or dragons, but humans themselves.
30/39 George R.R. Martin writes the series on a DOS computer using a program called WordStar 4.0. He says he doesn't want to be limited by 21st century spelling and hates how most programs interfere with spellcheck and autocorrect. He says, I dont want a capital. If Id wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key.
31/39 After Joffrey died on the show Jack Gleeson quit acting. He says that when you make a living from what you love, it kills the enjoyment of it.
32/39 Rose Leslie's father is a real life chieftain. He is the Aberdeenshire Chieftain of Clan Leslie and her family owns a 12th century castle called Warthill Castle in Scotland.
33/39 A Song of Ice and Fire was inspired by Martin's childhood turtles that he kept in a toy castle. He wasn't very good at taking care of them and most of them were quite ill. He would fantasize about their lives in the castle, coming up with elaborate plots and reasons for their deaths.
34/39 Game of Thrones is credited for inventing the phrase "sexposition", which is when important plot points of a story are revealed while gratuitous sex scenes are happening.
35/39 Joffrey and Margaery's wedding is inspired by the death of Prince Eustace in 1153. He died at a feast, mostly likely from poison, though some people think he just choked. He had been plundering church lands and his death was thought to be the beginnings of peaceful settlement between his father King Stephen and Henry of Anjou.
36/39 The average episode costs HBO $6 million to film. The most expensive episode to date was the season two game-changer "Blackwater" coming in at a staggering $8 million.
37/39 In 2014 Game of Thrones and other TV shows were banned in military schools belonging to the Turkish army in order to protect young soldiers from viewing sexual exploitation, abuse, and negative behaviours. This isn't surprising considering that in 2012 officers were kicked out of the military academy in Istanbul for allowing cadets to watch the show.
38/39 On the show Valyrian steel is so rare that new blades can't be made without melting down old swords. This is based on Damascus steel which is native to India and the Middle East and is similar in strength and appearance. The temperature and techniques to recreate the steel were lost in the 18th century and attempts to replicate it have been futile.
39/39 A replica of the Iron Throne was put up for sale by HBO for 30,000 but still has not been sold.
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