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Game of Thrones is Coming!

April 12, 2019

Prepare for the final season of the HBO mega-hit so that, unlike Jon Snow, you won’t “know nothing.”

Most expensive TV show

It’s the most expensive TV show in history. Every episode is like a cinema-quality movie, with location shoots and special effects making everything look top notch. Estimated cost: Around $10 million per episode. 

Why is it so expensive?

Here’s part of where the money goes. The average Game of Thrones season comprises shooting in five or more countries, employing nearly 200 actors and 1,000 crew members, and taking about eight months.

Who is the ‘main’ character?

It’s an ensemble show, with one of the largest casts ever assembled for a TV show. But according to math, there’s one “main” character: Tyrion Lannister. The character played by Peter Dinklage has appeared in more episodes than anyone: 61 out of 67 up until 2019. He was also the first choice for the role by creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff along with George R.R. Martin, who wrote the books upon which Game of Thrones is based. (Nevertheless, Dinklage won two Emmy Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama.)

The first episode

There’s one episode of Game of Thrones even the most hardcore fans have never seen. Producers thought that the first pilot episode was so bad that they re-shot it. Daenerys Targaryen was initially played by Tamzin Merchant (not Emilia Clarke), and George R.R. Martin had a cameo as a guest at her wedding. 

The direwolf

Many characters have an animal guide, a giant dog called a direwolf. Sophie Turner, who portrays Sansa Stark, adopted Zunni, the Inuit who played her character’s direwolf on the show, in real life.


Jon Snow

Kit Harington got the part of Jon Snow. Producers’ second-choice: Iwan Rheon. (They cast him as Ramsay Bolton instead.)

Old romances

Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) and Jerome Flynn (Bronn) have it written into their contracts that they can never appear in a scene together. The reason: They were once romantically involved and it ended very badly.

Free wool underwear!

The scenes of “The Wall” and “The North” are shot in often frigid Iceland, where the temperature drops below -20°F. Norwegian actor Kristofer Hivju saw to it that all of his castmates received several pairs of free wool underwear made by his favorite Norwegian underwear company.

The short-lived Ian McShane character

Actor Ian McShane joined Game of Thrones in its sixth season as the kind Brother Ray. It was ultimately just for one episode, as (spoiler alert) his character dies in his first episode. But then, McShane spoiled that fact for fans before the thing even aired. He told a reporter that he’d signed on for Game of Thrones because he didn’t want to make a huge commitment to a long-running TV series, and that “means I must die at the end of it.”

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