If there’s one show that’s big on death and destruction, it’s Game of Thrones. And so far, the return of season 7 has not disappointed (Arya, you badass).
But bloodshed aside, is it just us that really, REALLY wants to believe that in between takes, the cast are having a right laugh?
Well, we’re happy to report that between the puking, pranking and full-frontal nudity, it sounds like the GoT set is basically just like being back at uni.
Here are 12 funny things that happened behind-the-scenes on the Game of Thrones set (may contain spoilers).
1. Emilia Clarke vommed while eating a horse’s heart
We mean, can you blame her? One of Emilia’s very first scenes as Daenerys Targaryan aka the Mother of Dragons saw the 30-year-old chomping down on a fake stallion’s heart. And what happened next wasn’t pretty.
“It was very helpful to be given something so truly disgusting to eat, so there wasn’t much acting required,” the actress told The Mirror. “They made the heart out of solidified jam but it tasted like bleach and raw pasta. I ate roughly 28 hearts throughout the days we filmed that scene. Fortunately, they gave me a spit bucket because I was vomiting in it quite often.”
2. The creators tried to ruin Jon Snow’s face
Showrunner David Benioff and executive producer Dan Weiss once played a trick on Kit Harrington where they wrote a fake scene that involved Jon snow having his face ‘melted off’.
“We wrote a scene for Kit Harington where his face melted off,” Benioff said during an audience Q&A at SXSW. “It was his upper lip and all of his hair,” added Weiss.
“Kit’s got great hair and he’s very proud of it and he’s got a great pout. And the page described exactly what his mangled face was going to look like forever,” Benioff continued. “He was a good sport about it, but you could tell he was really sad.”
And they didn’t stop there. “We had a whole story about how HBO thought like he felt too Disney, too Harry Potter; he was just too pretty and they wanted to ugly him up a bit,” Weiss added. “He bought it for a while until David started laughing.”
We’re so glad this was a joke.
3. Kit Harington shaved his hair off (sort of)
No one pranks Jon Snow. Which is why Kit decided to get his own back at his GoT bosses after their face melt prank by fake-cutting his beautiful black locks off. YOU GO JON SNOW.
“The actors are supposed to look the same more-or-less between seasons,” Benioff revealed at the same SXSW Q&A. “Kit said he was getting annoyed because he wanted to cut his hair. He sent us a picture and he looked like a skinhead, and we were like, ‘Ugh, we’re going to have to get a Prince Charming wig’.”
Kit played them so hard that HBO’s lawyers even ended up getting involved and reached out to Harington’s agents. The picture was actually an old photo from five years before and IRL, Kit’s hair was still well and truly intact.
4. Khal Drogo wore a fluffy pink sock on his love sword
He might look like the strong and silent type, but Jason Momoa (the guys who plays scary/sexy Khal Drogo) was much naughtier behind-the-scenes. Talking about THAT sex scene between Daenerys and Drogo in season one, Emilia Clarke revealed on The Graham Norton Show that her acting partner chose a pretty niche prop to cover his manhood.
“So obviously there’s nudity and you kind of have to try to lighten the mood,” Emilia said. “[Jason] decided to not use a modesty sock but use a beautiful pink, fluffy sock [instead]. So getting that close-up of me looking petrified, just like, ‘I didn’t want it to happen’ [drew] lots of laughter — ‘It’s huge and it’s big and I don’t know what to do!’”
5. Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey had regular laughing fits
Tyrion and Cersei Lannisters’ on-screen relationship might be pretty strained, but behind-the-scenes, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey are basically BFFs.
“Sometimes we have to avoid eye contact so we don’t crack up,” Peter revealed about close friend Lena during a Reddit AMA. “It’s funny that sometimes people think with these serious scenes, the mood on set is very serious. But sometimes the most serious scenes can produce the most laughter.”
6. Emilia Clarke legit got stuck to a toilet seat
Dealing with fake blood on the regs is no mean feat, and it sounds like Emilia learnt the hard way after a filming a particularly gruesome episode.
“The fake blood was really, really sticky,” Emilia told Jimmy Kimmel. “So I was covered head-to-toe in the fake blood. And I’m continually sticking myself to myself or to other things. And it just stays sticky for quite a long time.”
And it wasn’t until she nipped to the loo that disaster struck. “There’s a moment when we were filming it that I disappeared and I was stuck to the toilet,” she recalled.
Ah, the glamour.
7. Sophie Turner was put off lemon cake for life
In season four, we got to learn of Sansa Stark’s love of lemon cake. But actress Sophie Turner? Not such a fan. After being forced to re-shoot the same dining room scene over and over again, the British star was left scarred for life.
“I hate lemon cakes,” she confessed in that season’s DVD commentary after admitting that GoT fans kept sending the sweet treats to her as gifts. “I can’t hate a cake more than lemon cakes, and I had to eat like 50 of [them].”
8. A secret dance scene was cut
According to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – who plays Jaime Lannister – GoT fans were deprived of a very special performance from him and Peter Dinklage back in season four.
“There was a big trial of Tyrion and in one of the scenes I had to escort Tyriondown this long hallway,” he revealed to The Tonight Show. “We had around 100 or 200 extras and just before they shouted action, Peter said, ‘should we dance?’ We started dancing down through the hallway and the extras were applauding and shouting.
“At the end we stopped in front of the camera and were like, ‘ta daa!’ It was completely quiet. We just heard this lady go, ‘Yep. Reset. Thank you.’ It was incredibly embarrassing.”
9. Kit Harington got very, very sweaty
You know The Wall? That vast icy landscape in the Seven Kingdoms that looks like it’d freeze your eyelashes off? Turns out, not so chilly after all. In fact, filming those snowy scenes was nothing but torture for Kit Harington.
”We were meant to be completely freezing,” Kit recalled on HBO’s Making Game of Thrones blog. “We’re at the top of The Wall, it’s night. In actual fact, we were in the Paint Hall [studio]. For lighting, we had to basically enclose me in kind of what they call ‘witches candles,’ so I’m absolutely boiling and sweating. We had to keep on mopping the sweat away, at the same time pretending that we were absolutely freezing.”
10. The cast had to cut down their bar spend
We imagine that working on Game of Thrones must be pretty unpredictable, considering the fact that the creators regularly kill off core characters without batting an eyelid. So, what do the gang do each time one of them is shown the door?
“There’s always a lot of drinks at the bar,” Sophie Turner told GQ. “But by now we’re so used to it. We used to have big things when other people died. But there’s so many people who die now, we’re like, ‘Can’t really afford it, man. We’ve been out every night’.” Imagine the hangovers.
11. Maisie Williams fell out with her horse
When they first started filming in Iceland back in season two, the crew used native Icelandic horses. They were only the size of ponies, but they still managed to wreak havoc with the cast.
Speaking to Huffington Post, actress Maisie Williams aka Ayra Stark remembered one particular scene when her equine friend didn’t want to play ball. “I kind of fell off the horse and my foot got caught in the reins,” she revealed. “It was really funny, actually. My leg was caught up by my ear, and I was like, ‘oh, brilliant’.” [Laughs.]
Funny?! We’d be bricking it. We told you she was a badass.
12. Sean Bean played football with his severed head
Oh, Ned Stark. We all shed a tear when he met his death back in season one as poor daughter Arya watched (or tried really hard not to) on. But let’s be honest, being killed off isn’t anything new for actor Sean Bean, seeing as he’s died on screen a whopping 25 TIMES. Which might help to explain why he wasn’t particular fazed about the whole beheading thing.
While answering fan questions on a Reddit AMA, the 58-year-old actor revealed that right after filming the emotional scene, he found a new use for his prosthetic head. “We just kicked it around like a football!”