Besides giving you an insight into why Game of Thrones is an epic, this list will also be a spoiler for all episodes that have been aired to date. So here is our *spoiler alert* in case you blame us for spoiling the suspense! Game of Thrones has a unique blend of blood, war, intimacy and dragons that no other drama series has been able to deliver to the audience. When it starts, you do get a shrewd impression of Lord of the Rings somewhere but that is probably because of Eddard. The same man was Boromir in the first Lord of the Rings movie. That is quite cool as reasons Game of Thrones is epic.
1. A pilot was never aired
The pathetic side of the story has shown us a relationship of love between a brother and a sister and the love is not the normal sibling love by the way. It is quite sick even to imagine but the director and writer probably came up with something like this to make us dislike Jaime and Cersei right from the beginning. However, the first pilot that was written and directed by Tom McCarthy failed to establish this as whoever was invited to watch the pilot failed to realize the relationship. It was therefore shelved and then reshot. Would you like to see the unaired pilot given the chance? We are already disgusted enough by the sibling pair so no thanks from us!
See also; 15 Quirky Facts About Lena Headey.
2. There were many casting close calls
Originally, the role of Catelyn Stark and Daenerys Targaryen were played by Jennifer Ehle and Tamzin Merchant but they were replaced by Michelle Fairley and Emilia Clarke by the time the show was ready to be aired.
There were also other close calls that include our reasons Game of Thrones is epic. Ehle and Merchant were not the only could-have-beens in the show. Dominic West from The Wire and Gillian Anderson turned down unspecified roles in the drama series. We have a hunch however that for West, the role was of mance Rayder because it involved something like shooting “in Reykjavik for six months”. The role eventually went to Ciaran Hinds. Sam Claflin auditioned for the roles of Viserys Targaryen and Jon Snow while the star of Outlander Sam Heughan auditioned seven times for Loras Tyrell, Renly Baratheon and other roles. Peter Dinklage was pranked by David Benioff after the pilot was taken off shelf that the show had been cancelled. He lived with this understanding for six hours!
3. Sansa Stark adopted Lady for real
Sansa Stark’s direwolf died quite early on in the show. It was the Northern Inuit dog that played her pet direwolf in the first season. Sophie Turner played Sansa Stark and then adopted Zunni, the dog that played her direwolf. In her interview to The Telegraph she confessed that she always wanted a dog but her parents never wanted one. However, after Lady’s part in the series was over, her mother convinced them to let the family adopt her. Initially the Starks, father and sons, find five direwolf cubs whose mother was dead. Snow, Stark’s illegitimate son, suggests that each of the five Stark kid adopts one of the cubs. Later, he finds a sixth one which he gets to keep for himself. The wolves play a vital role in the series by saving the lives of two Stark kids.
4. Targaryen eyes and Dothraki
Daenerys Targaryen had purple eyes originally as in the book. The whole Targaryen family is notable for their silver blonde hair and violet eyes. On set and while shooting, both Emilia Clarke and Harry Lloyd wore violet coloured lenses to match the description in the book but Benioff and Weiss concluded that violet eyes did not let the actors portray their emotions fully and hence the colour was changed. What looked good on paper thus turned out just the opposite. Daenerys tries to learn the Dothraki language with the help of her slaves. In 2014, Living language released a language course that was controversial but allowed a person to speak Dothraki in no time. It was David. J Peterson, a linguist, who crafted the language. He also worked with HBO for the same purpose.
5. The scene where they shoot the horse was epic
During season one, Daenerys has to eat a horse’s heart to satiate the hunger one, and second because she was officially a savage and a wife of a savage and about to give birth to another savage. So all the savageness demanded thus. The horse’s heart behind the scene however was a gummy candy which according to Emilia Clarke, tasted like bleach (Did anyone ask her where she had been tasting bleach before?) and was very sticky. The blood on the scene was fake but so sticky that it actually made it a bit hard for the actress to get off her toilet seat! Game of Thrones does depict violence and blood very vividly. The videographers spare no moment for the weak or faint hearted- showing everything from severed limbs to beheading very clearly with blood oozing and dripping all over the setting.
6. Real people are naming their babies after the show characters
In the year 2014, it was reported by the Social Security Administration that Khaleesi was the 755th most popular name for girls in the United States. It had come up from the 1021th place in just one year before. Other names like Tyrion. Arya, Brienne, Sansa, Bran, Sandor and Theon increased in popularity after the show began to air. Celebrities and characters do affect the lives of real people. It shows how much people can get involved with a certain character and how seriously they believe whatever is being portrayed in any show or film. That is another of the reasons Game of Thrones is epic.
7. The Stark kids ages are stark different from the books
In the book Game of Thrones, the Stark kids are much younger than their onscreen counterparts. Bran is 7 in the book but played by 12 year old Isaac Hampstead. Arya 9 was depicted by Maisie Williams who was 13 then. Sophie Turner 15 was supposed to be 13 for Sansa while Rickon was shown to be 6 in the series while he was 3 in the book.
The most vivid difference however is that of Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and and Jon Snow (Kit Harington). In the book they are 14 and 15 respectively but in the TV show we can take it up a notch to 17. “17 years ago you left and came back a year later with another woman’s baby”, that is what Lady Stark tells her husband about Snow and where we are guessing his age from. That is quite normal in the filming industry though. The makers of Harry Potter were considering changing Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson for the same reason after the 4th film. We are thankful that they did not though.
8. The most illegally downloaded show
People on Facebook actually unfriend or block their friends temporarily when a Game of Thrones episode is coming. They do not want spoilers! This shows how everyone is obsessed with the show. It was the most pirated show for four consecutive years ad according to TorrentFreak it had twice the number of illegal downloads as The Walking Dead. The latter is the second most pirated show FYI but still appears to be only half as popular as Game of Thrones. In 2012, officers were kicked out of a military academy in Turkey because of letting cadets watch the show. The Turkish authorities wanted to save the cadets from all sorts of unhealthy exposure like the explicit sexual exploitation in the series. It was believed that the series would instill negative behaviour in young people because of the elements of abuse, harassment and pornography shown vividly in Game of Thrones..
9. Weiss and Benioff know everything
In case anyone is looking for information on how the series would end, they could just torture it out of these showrunners because they know broadly how every character would end. They sat down with Martin in Santa Fe particularly to learn what happens with each character. The reason they gave to “Vanity Fair” for this was that if they know what is going to happen, they can lay the groundwork for it and give us more reasons Game of Thrones is epic for.
10. It inspired the sale of thrones worth 20000 GBP
In 2013, HBO and Firebox collaborated to created fibreglass and resin replicas of the Iron Throne that weighed 159 kg and weighed 20000 GBP on the pocket of the buyer. Because it inspires creation of such artefacts. It is one of the reasons Game of Thrones is epic. Unfortunately for many though, the replicas are no longer available. The Firebox website apologizes for that and suggests alternatives that people might like. They include a BBQ branding iron that can write “Meat is Murder” in your steak. Yeah, people might definitely like that as an alternate to the Iron Throne!