Ten Things You Didn't Know about HBO's Game of Thrones

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HBO's Game of Thrones is upon us, and it's continuing to smash viewership records. Since the wait for new episodes seem like an eternity, here are some epic facts to ease the pain of your Game of Thrones withdrawal. Please be aware there are SPOILERS ahead, so continue at your own discretion.

  1. The Original Pilot Episode Was So Bad That The Show Might Have Been Scrapped

    The original Game of Thrones Pilot was filmed in Scotland and Morocco in late 2009 with Thomas McCarthy (2012, The Wire, Up) as the Director. Casting choices were also different. Major role swaps included:

    Daenerys Targaryen - Played by Tamzin Merchant (Her performance was positively viewed, however she left the show to appear in the BBC miniseries The Mystery of Edwin Drood)

    Catelyn Stark - Played by Jennifer Ehle, who later went on to play parts in Zero Dark Thirty and Fifty Shades of Grey

    Once the pilot was finished, producers were so appalled that they decided to completely re-film a new version and new script (which became the first episode). Tim Van Patten was chosen as director. The rest is history.

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  2. One of the Swords Dragon Forged in the Iron Throne is Gandalf's

    Gandalf's Sword (Glamdring) is forged in HBO's Iron Throne.

  3. Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey are Really Good Friends

    Despite their brother-sister rivalry on the show, they are actually great friends in real life. In-fact, Dinklage recommended Lena for the role of Cersei to the shows producers. Thanks Peter!

  4. Hundreds of Babies Have Been Named after Game of Thrones Characters

    George R.R. Martin has some creative names for his Game of Thrones characters. Fans of the show love it so much they have even started naming their kids after characters. Some of the baby names catching on include:

    Arya (187 named babies in 2013), Khaleesi (Over 100 named in 2013), Bran, Sansa, Brienne, Cersei, and the unusual spelling of Margaery.

  5. Actress Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) Had Only $5 in Her Bank Account Before the Show Started

    Lena Headey has had quite a few minor roles in movies and starred in tv shows such as Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Despite her talent, she still suffered from financial downfall during a drawn out divorce that finally ended in 2013. At one point she admitted to having only $5 and was living off of credit cards. 

    Since being cast in Game of Thrones, things are looking better for the British actress, who purchased a home in California last year. 

  6. The Languages of Dothraki and Valyrian Were Invented Just for the TV Show

    In fact, the book seldom uses any words in these languages. Based on the sparse Dothraki and Valyrian words written in the Game of Thrones novels, over three thousand words were derived in order to provide dialogue for the show. You can even download an app and take language courses to learn Dothraki.

  7. Sophie Turner Adopted Her Dire Wolf from the Show

    Sansa's dire wolf (named Lady) was killed off in the show, but continues to be a happy companion to Sophie Turner in real life. Lady's real life name is Zunni and was adopted by Sophie shortly after her departure from the series. The wolf represents the sigil of the Stark family, and in real life is a Northern Inuit Dog.

  8. Hodor's Real Life Day Job is Being DJ

    Certainly saying "Hodor" and carrying Bran around isn't a full time job. Actor Kristian Nair is a DJ in Northern Ireland when he isn't working on the Game of Thrones set as Hordor.

  9. Peter Dinklage Was The Only Person Considered For The Role of Tyrion

    Thankfully, one of the best actors on the show and arguably all of TV was a shoe-in for the role of Tyrion Lannister. George R.R. Martin was convinced early on that Dinklage should be cast and producers agreed. No other auditions were performed for the role.

  10. The Shows Producers Already Know How it Ends

    George R.R. Martin released the first Game of Thrones book in 1996. Almost 20 years have passed and we are now just 5 books into the story. Hopefully it doesn't take Martin another 10 years to finish, but as a backup plan George R.R. Martin told HBO's producers how he wants everything to end. He just has to work out all the dirty details along the way.

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