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Top 10 Game of Thrones Trivia

VO: Rebecca Brayton
An incredibly popular television program "Game of Thrones" has been painstakingly adapted from the fantasy novel series "A Song of Fire and Ice". Broadcast on HBO, and adapted with the direct input of its author George R.R. Martin, it never fails to astonish or excite. Can't get enough of the series, characters and the wonder? Join as we explore ten pieces of trivia you should know about “Game of Thrones.”

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Top 10 Game of Thrones Trivia

There’s lots you don’t know about this popular fantasy series. Welcome to, and today we’ll be exploring ten pieces of trivia you should know about “Game of Thrones.”

Please be advised: the following clip contains spoilers and mature content.

#10 – A Long Time Coming

Kicking off our list is some back-story about George R. R. Martin’s epic fantasy novels. The book series debuted in 1996 as “A Song of Ice and Fire;” however, when it was adapted to television in 2011, the show adopted the title of the first novel. Martin is still writing the bestselling book series, but it is supposed to be seven books-long when it is finally completed.

#9 – Television Trumps Film

Due to the novels’ instant popularity, film studios attempted to secure the rights early on. However, the author dismissed the idea of a movie adaptation as he believed a film would not do his books justice, due to their scale and complexity. He favored HBO TV, as the network had proven itself capable of faithfully adapting such stories, with their mature content.

#8 – The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros

Viewers can explore a map of “Game of Thrones”’ vast fantasy world in the show’s animated intro. Real locales like Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco duplicate the grandeur of the books’ settings. However, even with such exotic filming locations and obviously high production values, spots like Winterfell were built in a parking lot, and “The Wall” was built on a sound stage.

#7 – Colorful Nicknames

A trademark of the show is its use of character nicknames, which reference physical features, origins and traits. Examples include “the Imp” or “Halfman” to describe Tyrion Lannister, “Littlefinger” to depict Petyr Baelish, “the Hound” to portray Sandor Clegane and “The Young Wolf” for Robb Stark. Many of the nicknames are actually derogatory, like the treasonous Jaime Lannister as “the Kingslayer” or the masculine “Brienne the Beauty.”

#6 – The Bastards

In the land of Westeros, there are many bastards, several of whom were born to nobles. Those who are acknowledged are given alias surnames that describe the regions from which they come, including “Flowers” in the Reach, Hill in the Westerlands, “Pyke” in the Iron Islands, “Rivers” in the Riverlands, “Sand” in Dorne, “Stone” in the Vale, “Storm” in the Stormlands, “Waters” in the Crownlands” and “Snow” in the North.

#5 – Book to Film Character Changes

As with many adaptations, some things didn’t make it from book to screen. On paper, Stannis Baratheon, Tywin Lannister and the master sword-fighting instructor Syrio Forel were all bald, but they were allowed to keep their hair for the TV series. Meanwhile, Davos Seaworth’s punishment for years of smuggling was the removal of the fingertips of his left hand. On screen, they swapped left for right, since the actor portraying this character was left-handed.

#4 – Cersei’s Parenting Skills

In the books, Cersei never disciplines her nasty, bratty son Joffrey – and this protectionist attitude defined her character, causing her to plot the murder of her husband Robert, in response to him striking the little creep. However in the show, her motives are more focused on attaining power, and she regularly strikes her son. This 180 degree change was the result of the overwhelmingly positive viewer reaction to Tyrion "disciplining" boy.

#3 – The Direwolves

Direwolves are large mythical beasts described in the books. Budget constraints meant real wolves and dogs were used sparingly and were later coated with CGI effects. Remember when the direwolf named “Lady” was executed? In real life, she was a Northern Inuit dog named Zunni, who was adopted by the actress who played Sansa. Let’s hope she takes better care of her pet than her character did!

#2 – A Budget Too Small for Horses

The biggest stumbling block facing “Game of Thrones” is a lack of money. One result of this is a lack of horses in this fantasy world, which led to several changes from the book – it’s why King Robert ran down a wild boar on foot, why Tyrion hiked to the Lannister encampment, and why Season 2’s jousting tournament was swapped for combat above a narrow walkway!

#1 – Realistic Warfare

Rounding out our trivia list is a factoid about war on “Game of Thrones”: instead of focusing on pure carnage, the show emphasizes the strategy of warfare. Addressing one of the author’s pet peeves, these battles go beyond two armies fighting and delve into the campaign and logistics – including discussions about needing to feed soldiers, the actions of commanders and the play of geography. Ultimately, viewers should be wary of everyone’s mortality, since Martin also dislikes happy endings!

Which piece of “Game of Thrones” trivia did you find the most interesting? Please let us know in the comments section and for more informative and entertaining top 10s, be sure to subscribe to

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