With Game of Thrones now in production for its final season, fans have seen many actors come and go, and with them, all sorts of interesting tidbits of juicy information and gossip.
Just like with any TV series, the cast of Thrones has their own interesting qualities, drama, and backstories that make them unique. It is undoubtedly the most watched series on TV, probably ever, which not only makes what happens on-screen compelling but also what happens behind-the-scenes.
Game of Thrones has had a very diverse cast consisting of over 100+ excellent actors. Now spanning 8 seasons, the quality of acting they have brought has been the biggest factor in truly bringing the show to life. From actors with no experience at all to failed off-screen romances to happy engagements, this cast has seen many different social conflicts and dynamics. Through interviews, episode commentaries as well as public events, we have watched the cast grow closer over the years and with that inevitably comes it's own set of curiosities off-screen.
You could probably spend hours reading interesting facts about the actors we have come to know and love but also about the interesting development aspects of the show.
Without further ado here are 20 Things You Didn't Know About The Cast of Game of Thrones!
Did we miss something? Feel free to comment below describing another cool fact!
18 Bad Blood
Failed romances have a place in the behind-the-scenes drama of Game of Thrones.
The biggest example of this being the conflict between actor Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn, and Lena Headey who portrays Cersei Lannister. The two actors became a couple in the early 2000's and have continued to play coy about their connection since. Rumors have circulated over the years but those involved in the show have stated while they seemed to patch things up for awhile, they "aren't on speaking terms and are kept apart on set at all costs."
This makes fans wonder if certain scenes and plots have been altered due to these two. Most recently in the season 7 finale, fans speculate their distaste for another may be the reason why Bronn casually took Pod out for a drink during the meeting at the dragon pit.
17 Sansa's Allergies
It seems almost ridiculous to have such a big role in a medieval fantasy series and also be allergic to horses.
For Sophie Turner, however, she manages. It's public knowledge that she's asthmatic as well so when she's doing a scene that involves her on or near a horse, she can't help but struggle with her allergies. Luckily for her, she hasn't done too much acting on the show around horses until more recently in the last few seasons.
She probably saw her most riding time in season 6 of Thrones, specifically when she was making her way north to her brother at Castle Black as well as in the scene where they discuss terms of surrender with Ramsay Bolton before the Battle of The Bastards.
More often than not she has her inhaler stowed away in her wolf pelts!
16 The Glued Toilet Disaster
Daenerys Targaryen is known for being a provider of fire and blood in Game of Thrones.
All the blood we see on-screen, however real it may seem, has to be almost painted on the actors before filming which leads us to one of our funniest entries. During the filming of Thrones, Emilia Clarke has confessed that she actually gotten stuck to a toilet seat from all the fake blood she had on her between takes.
On an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, she was quoted saying how the fake blood is "really really sticky" and she would be covered in it from head to toe so she would always find herself getting stuck to things on set.
Definitely a more embarrassing behind-the-scenes tidbit but it is definitely believable!
15 Catelyn Granger?!
One of Michelle Fairly's most memorable roles is her portrayal of the matriarch of House Stark, Catelyn Stark.
She undoubtedly played the part magnificently and fans were sad to see her die such a gruesome death at the Red Wedding. Fans who are less familiar with her older performances may not be able to recognize her as anybody other than Lady Stark. However, she actually had a very minor role in another huge fantasy franchise when she portrayed Hermione Granger's mother in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Did she really?! No way that was her! Yes. Yes, it was.
While the part was so miniscule she had no dialogue and only saw her for a brief moment, she indeed portrayed Mrs. Granger. The only scene she's involved in is towards the start of the film when Hermione uses the Obliviate spell on her parents.
Cool cameo but Lady Stark for sure!
14 The Real Story Of Lady The Dire-wolf
It may warm fan's hearts to find out that Sansa's dire-wolf, Lady, is alive and well...at least off screen.
Despite the recent use of CGI in Game of Thrones to create Jon Snow's direwolf, Ghost, the show once actually used real dogs to portray the Stark children's dire-wolves. After the execution of Sansa's wolf in season 1, Sophie Turner decided she liked the mahlek northern inuit so much that she wanted to adopt it.
She said in an interview in The Coventry Telegraph that she never had a dog as a child and her family and her all fell in love with the majestic dog on set during filming so they decided to adopt it. Sophie changed her name from Lady to Zunni.
Pretty cool to see that happen instead of being re-homed somewhere else!
13 DJ Hodor
A huge surprise to fans comes with the backstory of the actor who played Hodor, Kristian Nairn.
When he wasn't busy carrying around paralyzed Lords he was busy becoming a successful house DJ all over the world. He has acquired quite a devoted fan base for not only what he does on a sound board but in the gay community as well. In fact, Nairn was the resident DJ a gay club in Belfast, the Kremlin. His success landed him another big spot as the DJ during BlizzCon2016.
One of his coolest endeavors was inspired by his role in Thrones when he went on a DJ tour named "Rave of Thrones", all across the US and Australia in 2014. If you're into house music he is definitely making a name for himself as a prominent DJ.
12 Shae's Past
The actors involved with Game of Thrones come from all sorts of backgrounds.
In some cases, these may include some unconventional lifestyles and professions. Sibel Kekilli, who portrayed Tyrion's lover Shae, is a prime example. She began her professional career as an adult film actress. She's very open about her early beginnings and doesn't regret anything she has done. Sibel's confidence in herself, her unapologetic attitude towards her start in acting is honestly a breath of fresh air.
Since her early days of filming adult content, Sibel has starred in many big foreign films as well as won awards for those performances. Many fans draw parallels between her role as Shae to her own acting career. I don't think there's anyone more well-suited for the role.
11 The Topless Contract
In the first few seasons of Game of Thrones, it wasn't uncommon to catch a glimpse here and there of Khaleesi in her birthday suit.
While Emilia Clarke originally agreed to "bare it all" on screen, when it came time to renegotiate her contract with the show she decided to opt out of future scenes involving nudity. It's hard to blame the young British actress after she was a part of such awkward nude scenes from the get-go.
However, she has made an exception to this rule. In the fourth episode of the season, "Book of The Stranger", Daenerys Targaryen is being held captive in the Dothraki city and decides to put an end to the hierarchy of the horse clans once and for all by burning the hut with all the leaders inside, as well as herself.
She emerges from the flames, naked, but also with a very regal presence as everyone around her bows.
10 The Night King/Joe Chill
Fans everywhere could see a distinguishable difference in the appearance of The Night King after season 5 of Game of Thrones.
The last time we saw him in that season was in the episode "Hardhome" when he shared an epic staredown with Jon Snow. Up until that time, he was portrayed by the actor Richard Brake, who also happened to play another famous bad guy, Joe Chill, in Batman Begins. For a role with no dialogue, he did an amazing job providing a cold and sinister look to the Night King.
Unfortunately for Brake, as the production of season 6 began they decided to recast this nameless monster with Vladimir Furdik. While no specific reason was ever given for the recast, fans safely assumed that it was due to possible upcoming action scenes that Furdik, as a professional stuntman, would be able to undertake more effectively.
9 The Terminator Connection
A cool similarity between the actresses that play Cersei and Daenerys is a character that they both portrayed in other projects: Sarah Connor from Terminator.
Lena Headey played the mother of John Connor in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which aired on Fox from January 2008 to April 2009. Despite being loved by fans and critics all over, it was announced following the conclusion of the second season that they would not be renewing it for a third.
Fans may remember Emilia Clarke's portrayal better due to it being more recent. She played Sarah Connor in Terminator Genisys, which made its debut it 2015. Despite this movie not having been received well by critics, it ended up being the second highest grossing film in the franchise. Emilia has confirmed since then that she will not be returning to the sequels to play Sarah.
8 Grey Worm, The Musician
When Jacob Anderson isn't busy filming epic battle scenes as Grey Worm in Game of Thrones, he's usually busy recording music under his alias: Raleigh Ritchie.
He started his music career in 2007 when he was featured for fellow music artist Typespun and later Plan B. He continued to work on his music skills as he also progressed in his acting career. He finally received a recording contract in 2013 with Columbia Records and proceeded to release his first two EP's over the next two years.
Since then he's had a few hit single tracks and in 2016 he released his debut album, "You're A Man Now, Boy". Like Kristian Nairn, it's cool to see a beloved actor involved in Game of Thrones succeeding in fields other than acting.
If you haven't heard his music, you can give it a try here.
7 The Lannister Couple
Another behind-the-scenes romance that may surprise fans is between two of the Lannister siblings.
Not the pair you're probably thinking of, while fans understand their surnames are Baratheon, they are technically Lannister given their true parentage. The actors who play Tommen and Myrcella, Dean-Charles Chapman and Nell Tiger Free have been confirmed to be in a relationship which started sometime in summer 2015.
The two have been very open about their relationship through social media and fans everywhere have taken to it fondly. While neither actor is still involved in Game of Thrones (both now dead in Westeros), they have both starred in films and other TV series since their departure.
It ironically mirrors their on-screen parents who are also brother and sister!
6 The Wildling & The Bastard
While Game of Thrones has it's failed romances, it also has brought couples together.
Rose Leslie and Kit Harington are the prime focus of this, as they have recently announced their engagement to one another in 2017. The two met each other on set in filming season 2 of Thrones when Jon Snow meets Ygritte, the wildling. Ironically of course, due to their on-screen falling in love for each other as well. Despite Leslie's character not surviving the fourth season, they were already known to be dating at that point in time and have continued to let their relationship blossom.
In June of 2017 Kit was a guest star on the The Late Late Show with James Corden, when he announced the couple had moved in together. Fellow guest star Nicole Kidman might have given him the motivation to propose as she pushed him to "pop the question".
5 Kit's REAL Name
What a shock it would be to go most of your childhood without knowing your real first name!
For Kit Harington, it definitely was as the professional actor didn't find out that his true first name is actually Christopher until he was 11! In an interview with Glamour Magazine, they asked him why his parents didn't let him in on this important bit of information. He told them he has no idea and thought it was because he took such a liking to Kit that they let him roll with it. He said that Christopher was a tradition in his family and Kit is a loose off-shoot of the name so it just stuck.
It definitely adds more weight to the popular phrase, "You know nothing, Jon Snow."
4 Decapitated Soccer
The cast of Game of Thrones has to find ways to entertain themselves between sets and takes.
Towards the end of the first season, Sean Bean actually initiated a game of soccer among the cast and crew using his prop decapitated head as the soccer ball! It must've been weird to see a cast of your head on a spike. What better way to help relieve the tension of such a dramatic and tragic scene than by kicking the head around for fun?
The scene was shot in a square in Malta where they proceeded to kill off the main character in a shocking and brutal manner. Fans were stunned that such an important character would be killed so quickly into the show.
Sean Bean later jokingly said that it helped him get over the death of his character!
3 Maester Pycelle's Impressive Resume
Julian Glover is one of the most accomplished actors of his time.
He portrayed the dubious Grand Maester Pycelle in Game of Thrones with a devious and ruthless demeanor. While this was definitely a large role in the series, this isn't his biggest roles he's ever played. The successful actor has been apart of some of the biggest films and franchises in Hollywood including titles such as; Henry VIII, Star Wars, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Troy and Harry Potter. Even if it's a small, short role he seems to be willing to be apart of most big film endeavors.
Glover started his acting career in 1963 and has received countless awards over the years to prove his excellence, including being appointed Commander of The Order of The British Empire in 2013 by the Queen, for his "services to drama".
What an amazing career we have all seen!
2 The Mountain, The Third Strongest Man In The World
It's no surprise to find out that the actor who plays Gregor Clegane (a.k.a. The Mountain) in Game of Thrones is actually in real life the third strongest man in the world.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is an Icelandic native and has one of the most interesting backgrounds of all the cast members. Besides being a professional strongman he also is a professional basketball player, playing all across the nation. He's been apart of the World's Strongest Man competition since its beginnings in 2011 and has been everything from the 6th place winner to the runner-up, but has never been the champion.
He was actually the third man to portray The Mountain on Game of Thrones and it's easy to see he wasn't exactly cast for his amazing acting skills but because he is a behemoth of a man!
1 The Actors Who Never Made It Past Episode 1
The original, unaired pilot of Game of Thrones differed quite a bit from the one fans continue to rewatch to this day.
In the first take of this fantasy world, six different actors were replaced after the initial rejection of the episode. Characters big and small such as Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen had different actors set to portray them. Some were replaced simply because they decided to go different routes with actors they thought made a better fit while some simply had conflicts that didn't allow them to return to film the series.
Other characters that had their actors replaced were Grand Maester Pycelle, Ser Waymar Royce, Illyrio Mopatis and Night's Watchmen Gared.
Game of Thrones would not be the same at all if they hadn't made these changes!