11 Things You Didn't Know About The 'Game of Thrones' Set

by Danielle Jackson
Macall B. Polay/HBO

If there's anything Game of Thrones fans should know after tuning into the show for seven long seasons, it's that the series does a pretty good job of keeping huge secrets that come from the set under wraps. Still there are a few things you didn't know about the Game of Thrones set that not even a leaked episode of the HBO series can reveal.

Spending several years invested in one of the most popular series' on television would likely make you think that you know everything there is to know about what happens on set when the cameras aren't rolling. And judging by the outcome of all of the brutal death scenes, the wild, theatrical special effects makeup, and the outrageous stunts performed in episodes past, there's obviously so much more that goes into filming a single episode of Game of Thrones than one could even imagine. But you'd probably be surprised to know that some fan favorite characters on the show were originally set to be played by different actors. Or that the most expensive death scene on the show to date doesn't feature a dragon, White Walkers, or hundreds of stunt men being set on fire.

Read on for a few mindblowing things you never knew about the Game of Thrones set.


Emilia Clarke Wasn't Originally Cast As Daenerys

Helen Sloan/HBO

The Dragon Queen that we've all come to know and love was almost played by an entirely different actress. According to Digital Spy, Daenerys was originally set to be played by The Tudors' Tamzin Merchant, but was recast after the original pilot was filmed.


Sophie Turner Adopted The Dog Who Plays Her Direwolf In Season 1


Of all the direwolves that have been on the show, Sansa's direwolf, Lady, was the first casualty. But fans should be happy to know that, in real life, Sophie Turner actually adopted the animal and its name is Zunni.


Meryn Trant's Death Was The Most Expensive Death Scene To Film

Not only was Meryn Trant's death scene brutal to watch, but it was also apparently just as brutal to pay for. In Season 5 Arya is able to cross the first name off of her hit list when she gouges Meryn Trant's eyes out and slits his throat right after. While at the 2017 SXSW Festival in Texas, GoT showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff explained that the reason the scene was able to rack up such a hefty price tag is simply because, as Benioff put it, "she couldn't really poke his eyes out."


Ned Stark Has Been Played By Three Different Actors On The Show

Young Ned Stark hasn't been shown on the series too many times, so it wouldn't be a surprise if you haven't already noticed that he's been played by more than one actor. Sean Bean plays Ned until his death at the end of Season 1, but during a flashback to Ned's childhood in Season 6, he's played by Sebastian Croft. Later on in that same season, he's played by Robert Aramayo.


The Horse Heart Daenerys Eats In Season 1 (Obviously) Isn't A Real Horse Heart

This is something that anyone could've guessed, but that horse heart that Daenerys eats in the very first season isn't really a horse heart. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the mass is actually just several pounds of gummy bears.


Two Scripts From Season 1 Were Allegedly Stolen

According to Digital Spy, George R.R. Martin wrote on his blog back in 2011 that two scripts for Season 1 were lost in the mail. He explained the the envelope holding both scripts was torn open and both items were gone. To this day they haven't been found and Martin believes that they were both stolen.


The Moon Door Is Only A Meter Deep

Just thinking about how terrible it would be to fall or be pushed out of the Moon Door in any episode that takes place at the Eyrie should be enough to make your palms sweat. But Sophie Turner revealed during some behind-the-scenes commentary on the Season 4 DVD that the hole is only "like a meter deep." Guess it's not so scary after all.


The Meat That Tyrion Eats On The Show Isn't Real

That's because the actor who plays him, Peter Dinklage, is vegetarian. Talk about commitment.


Lily Allen Reportedly Turned Down The Role Of Yara Greyjoy

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Alfie Allen, the actor who plays Theon Greyjoy, could've been joined on-screen by his real-life sister, Lily Allen as Yara. But, according to the singer, she turned down the role because of the incestuous scenes between the two characters, even though Alfie Allen later admitted to Vulture that her claims weren't true.


Peter Dinklage Was George R.R. Martin's Original Pick To Play Tyrion

And it's a choice that GoT fans are probably glad he made.


Emilia Clarke Wears A Wig

Wearing a wig is probably ten times easier on her hair's overall health, but that doesn't mean that it still doesn't get a bit difficult at times. She explained to Elle once that wearing a long wig under the hot sun isn't as easy as it looks.

There are so many interesting things to know about Game of Thrones behind the scenes.