I have to be honest: I got into Game of Thrones somewhat late in the game, marathoning through the first four seasons in the two weeks before the Season 5 premiere. Whew! It was great, in a way, since everything was still so fresh in my mind when the new episodes began — a thing of importance with this show, considering how complex and fast-moving the plots (and characters) tend to be. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with who's who and what's what, but thankfully, the Internet exists and you can Google anything you forget/never knew in the first place. (I've done that more times than I can count.) Fans know pretty much everything there is to know about the series and the actors who play our favorite characters... or so we think. But what about some Game of Thrones behind-the-scenes trivia? Hey, it's a way to pass the extremely lengthy hiatus, eh?
I always think it's fun to know what goes into making the shows I love, so learning more about the mammoth that is HBO's hit series is particularly interesting. Given how big the cast is and how big the production, you might not find some of these things surprising, but they'll still come in handy at an upcoming trivia night, if that's your thing.
1. Each Episode Costs $6 Million To Make
Considering that GoT films in six countries on three continents, it's not a shock to hear the huge production costs the series faces. But $6 million a week? No wonder there are only 10 episodes in a season!
2. The Show Has Never Had More Than Six Writers At A Time
Considering how detailed and meticulous each episode of the series is, the fact that only six writers are on board at a time is pretty impressive, no?
3. It's Been Banned By The Turkish Military
According to Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, Game of Thrones has been banned since 2014 at Turkish military schools, in order to protect children from “sexual exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, abuse, harassment and all negative behaviours.” Huh, go figure.
4. The Series Will End After Season 7 Or Season 8, Even If The Books Aren't Finished
George R.R. Martin took 15 years to write the first five books, but series producers have envisioned the end of the HBO series coming after season 7 or 8, meaning it'll likely be over before Martin has even finished the series.
5. 146 People Named Their Daughter Khaleesi in 2013
Everyone loves Daenerys Targaryen, apparently, so much so that Khaleesi took off in popularity a couple of years ago. That'll be a strange one to explain when the kids grow up.
6. The Show Saved A Farmer & His Animals
Kenny Gracey who runs Forthill Farm in Tandragee, Co Armagh was struggling to keep his farm and the animals on it afloat, until Game of Thrones' demand for the animals went up and provided him with a whole new income.
7. The Wigs On The Show Use Up To 2 Feet Of Human Hair
And they cost $7,000 each. Eek! Luckily they're all good quality and I'm sure some can be reworn, but that's a whole lot of money (and a whole lot of hair)!
8. The Dothraki & Valyrian Languages Are Real & You Can Learn Them
David J. Peterson, founder of the Language Creation Society, created both the Dothraki & Valyrian languages and even released a 4,000 word dictionary with pronunciation guide if you want to become fluent yourself.
9. There Are 70 Different Ways To Say Hodor
At least according to actor Kristian Narin, whose singular line requires some serious creativity. He's a fan favorite for a reason, though, so it seems like he's doing a pretty good job of it.
Thrones is even more interesting behind-the-scenes than it is on-screen, and that's saying a lot.
Images: Helen Sloan/HBO; Giphy (9)