Set Secrets: 30+ Lesser Known Facts About Life Behind-The-Scenes Of Game Of Thrones

By Aakash M

Game of Thrones might have ended, but the show still lives in the hearts of the fans. Now, the finale did prove divisive among those who tuned in, but it certainly didn’t divide the love of its fans for the franchise overall. If you have binge-watched GoT as well, then you must have become very familiar with all the characters and storylines.

Have you ever thought about what was going on during the making of Game of Thrones? We can say that creating eight seasons of the highest quality of content must have been quite a tough job. In between the hard work, though, life on the sets of this show was full of fun, and these behind-the-scenes photos prove it!

Good things cost money

We don’t need to point out the fact that the last season of GoT was one of the most highly-anticipated season finales of all time. We were all clueless about the ending, and we were all eager to see what was going to happen.

Image Credits: Helen Sloan / HBO

All in all, fans were waiting for the last few episodes with a mix of different kinds of emotions. That was a while back, though. Now that you know what went down in the end, did you know that each episode from the eighth season cost $10 million to develop?

Dragon cats

Everybody knows that the dragons on the set of Game of Thrones were not real. Regardless of that, Emilia Clarke had to pretend as if they all were. She had some precise instructions about how to interact with these “dragons.”

Image Credits: emilia_clarke / Instagram

The special effects team researched a lot about their behavior, and they ended up creating realistic movements for them. Emilia was told to treat the dragons as if they all were her cats. In reality, she had to sit on wooden dragons and pat cushions covered in green fabric. She did great!

Words With Friends

Most of us tend to think that actors have it easy. The reality is that their jobs can be super intense and tiring, especially if they’re a part of shows like Game of Thrones. Therefore, it was essential for these actors to rest between filming.

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They had to unwind before shooting again. During this time, the entire cast of the show got involved! They all used to take out their phones and play “Words With Friends” with other co-stars. According to Natalie Dormer (Margaery), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna) always used to win!

So many faces

One of the best storylines within the show was probably in season five when Arya trained in the House of Many Faces. It’s also known as the House of Black and White. It was a dungeon-like building with a lot of faces on the walls.

Image Credits: lenaheadey/Instagram

If you look closely, you would have recognized a few of them because they were all modeled on the faces of the crew backstage! D.B. Weiss said that they had to do this because they needed enough faces, so it doesn’t look repetitive; however, they couldn’t cast that many people. This was an easy solution.

Complex tasks

GoT fans know The White Walkers as perhaps some of the most frightening creatures from the entire show. But let us tell you something about how these characters came to life. Some of these were doctored with the help of CGI.

Image Credits: vladimirfurdikofficial / Instagram

The actors who played these characters had to work with some very complex prosthetics on their faces. You can’t just buy this kind of stuff from a store. In short, making just one of these took six weeks for a team of 10-15 artists.


Many people love Brienne of Tarth from the show, and obviously, it was a big break for Gwendoline Christie. But every knight needed a strong costume, so she also had to don an impressive and heavy suit of armor for filming the show.

Image Credits: gwendolineuniverse / Instagram

Now, it might have looked really cool on the screen, but unfortunately, it had adverse effects on her. She said that her costume was pretty intense and painful. Its weight actually made her change the way she walked. Because of that, it also affected her walk permanently.

Request Denied

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau certainly loved portraying the role of Jaime Lannister. Although his on-screen presence was pretty outrageous for some fans, Nikolaj loved doing what he did. He loved it so much that he wanted to take the prosthetic hand back home, but his request was denied!

Image Credits: iamlenaheadey / Instagram

It’s clear that he was pretty attached to his character on the show, despite the character’s flawed nature. That was why he wanted to take the prosthetic hand with him as a piece of memorabilia. It is a shame that his request was denied.


If there’s one thing that makes Game of Thrones the show it is, it’s those dragons. The creatures did really well with the Mother of Dragons, but we’re sure that bringing dragons to life on set was a difficult job.

Image Credits: emilia_clarke / Instagram

Obviously, the dragons were created with CGI and special effects, but a lot of planning had to go into making the creatures look believable. Here’s an interesting fact: The dragon roars were inspired by the sound that tortoises make while mating!

New Name

Fans went through a lot of emotional ups and downs, especially during the finale. So, it’s only fair to say that the cast had to deal with some of their own emotional turmoil as well. The characters from the Seven Kingdoms had it quite rough.

Image Credits: Macall B. Polay / HBO

Characters had to wear a lot of layers. Now, if you remember, Cersei Lannister’s hair was chopped off. Therefore, Lena Headey, who played Cersei, had to wear a shorter wig that she called “The Trump wig.” It was really itchy, and she wanted to burn it after filming.


If you think of Game of Thrones, you think of the phrase “winter is coming.” That means that you need to wrap yourself up! On the show, you could often see Jon Snow wearing some fancy capes that would protect him from the cold Northern winds.

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Although these rugs looked like they were made out of expensive animal furs, they were actually from IKEA! The costume department didn’t want to get expensive animal furs just for filming, so when they had a cheaper option, they went for it. However, they did add their own touches!

The truth about the weapons

While you were watching the fighting scenes in the show, it would’ve been pretty easy to assume that the weapons used in the show were real. That’s understandable because the characters put a lot of effort into throwing those spears and swinging those swords.

Image Credits: HBO

But in reality, it’s not what you think. In fact, the weapons weren’t even replicas of lighter metal or steel. These weapons were made of 99% rubber by the weapons master Tommy Dunne. He knew that the real-steel heavy weapons wouldn’t be a practical option for filming.

Meet my wigs

You might know her as Khaleesi, Daenerys Targaryen, Breaker of Chains, or the Mother of Dragons. It goes without saying that Emilia Clarke portrayed her Game of Thrones character with perfection. You can always recognize her from her platinum-blond hair.

Image Credits: Kit Harrington / HBO

Other cast members loved trying her wigs on, but for her, it was all a huge struggle. She had just one wig during season one. Fast forward to season eight, and she had four wigs! She named the wigs Dany, Diva, Candice, and Blondie.

Body doubles

Game of Thrones was an action-packed show. Almost every episode had some kind of action sequence in it. The sword fights and the dangerous falls aren’t for the weak-hearted—and they are also not for the celebrities who can’t risk injuries.

Image Credits: ShpongleDMT / Imgur

Therefore, most of the cast members had body doubles on standby on the set who’d immediately step in and take over when it was time to do a stunt. These body doubles were picked because they were trained for it and also because they looked just like the main actors.


Emilia Clarke, without a shadow of a doubt, played the role of one of the strongest women in the world of movies and shows. Fans commended her for her portrayal and also for her power in real life. But even the strongest people have problems.

Image Credits: emilia_clarke / Instagram

Emilia Clarke suffered two brain aneurysms while working on Game of Thrones. The first aneurysm was during the first season, and she underwent brain surgery during the third season. She had another aneurysm shortly after that. Despite her troubles, she did a stellar job.


If you follow her, you’d know that Sophie Turner loved her time on the sets of Game of Thrones. She literally grew up on the show, and she thinks of her co-stars and cast members as family. She also credits the show for her successful acting career.

Image Credits: sophiet / Instagram

When her on-screen dire wolf passed away, and the doggy actor was looking for a new home, Sophie had trouble with the fact that the pup would be leaving her. During that time, Sophie lived with her parents, but since she couldn’t let the dog that played Lady go to another home, she adopted her!


Brainstorming the costumes for TV shows and movies must be pretty cool, especially for shows like GoT. There are so many characters and so many areas of the Seven Kingdoms. But it looks as if the costume department struggled with the Kingsguard.

Image Credits: HBO

Michele Clapton, one of the costume designers for the show, said that the early Kingsguard costumes had to be changed because they made a lot of noise which was too loud for the mics. The suits had metal scales like armor—these metal scales caused the sound issue.

Detailing and precision

It’s understandable if people assumed that the costume department of GoT just bought clothes online and threw some outfits together. That’s because there were so many characters with so many different costumes! But let us tell you that that is not the case at all.

Image Credits: leavecaricealone / Instagram

Instead, every single costume on the show was designed with the personality and habits of the particular character in mind. So, they all had a purpose behind them. Every costume is intentional, and it will often hint toward a character’s desires and loyalties.

That’s not me

Hopefully, we don’t give away too many spoilers with this next one. The episode “Mother’s Mercy” in the fifth season of the show was one of the most popular GoT episodes of all time. It showed Cersei Lannister being shamed in front of the entire city.

Image Credits: Helen Sloan / HBO

Most fans know what we’re talking about, but what most of them don’t know is that Lena Headley wasn’t in this scene at all! The body that you saw in that scene wasn’t her body. This scene was performed by Rebecca Van Cleave, her body double. The visual effects did the rest.

The secrecy

Everybody wanted to know how the series would end, but guess what? Even the cast wasn’t aware of the infamous ending. Unlike all the previous seasons, this time, nobody got a paper copy of the script until the moment they had a table read.

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Instead, the cast members had to download a secret app to know the story. But when the cast members finished reading the script, it automatically disappeared! Nobody was even allowed to take screenshots! If you want to learn to keep things a secret, take notes from this team.

Gangsta rap!

Imagining Game of Thrones without Emilia Clarke is simply impossible because she portrays the crucial role of Daenerys Targaryen like a natural. But did you know that she didn’t appear in the unaired pilot of the show? HBO scrapped that pilot!

Image Credits: emilia_clarke / Instagram

The role of Daenerys Targaryen was initially played by Tamzin Merchant, but according to HBO, she wasn’t the best choice for the role. That’s when Emilia auditioned. Emilia listened to gangster rap in order to get pumped for the audition. Looks like it worked.

GOT lingo

Although the characters in the show do speak English, there were a lot of realms and kingdoms. This meant that they had to depict multiple languages. Two of the languages were Dothraki and High Valerian. It might sound gibberish to us, but these were specially made for the show by David Peterson.

Image Credits: emilia_clarke / Instagram

David knew these languages like the back of his hand. So, he thought of teaching the cast members these languages in a practical way. This included recording the lines of the characters and sending them to actors so they could listen to them on their phones.

Shocking twist

Lena Headly, who played Cersei Lannister, was often playing the role of mom. In 2019, Lena said that there could’ve been another child written into the story. It was also filmed on set, but it was scrapped during the final cut. What a shocker! 

Image Credits: iamlenaheadey / Instagram

This was revealed during a German Comic-Con when Lena said that Cersei was pregnant in season seven. An unaired episode of the season showed Cersei losing this baby. The episode never made it to the final cut because it was assumed to be too traumatic for the viewers.


If there’s one person who’d always be remembered for his role in Game of Thrones, it’s Peter Dinklage, who played the role of Tyrion Lannister. What most people don’t know, though, is that Peter did not even have to audition for the role of Tyrion!

Image Credits: HBO

The showrunners knew what they wanted in this particular case, and Peter was it. They also let him accept the role under his own conditions. He said he’d only take it on if he could avoid eating meat. The showrunners agreed to it. Also, Sean Bean (Ned Stark) was chosen in a similar way.

Based on true events

When you look at the show, it’s really easy to deduce that the storylines in the books and the show are all fiction. This is because they all contain dragons and other creatures that never existed in the real world.

Image Credits: iamlenaheadey / Instagram

But, some of the scenes were inspired by actual events. For instance, “The Red Wedding” was actually based on a historical event from 1440 called “The Black Dinner.” The King of Scotland invited a rival clan to his castle to make peace, but after dinner, he took them outside and massacred them all.

Nope, I’m good

Ever since the first season of the show in 2011, its popularity has grown exponentially. Today, it’s one of the most successful TV shows worldwide, and some pretty huge names have made their way to the set to see what goes down.

Image Credits: iamlenaheadey / Instagram

In 2014, Queen Elizabeth II visited the cast and crew while they were filming in Northern Ireland. People who visited the sets often sat on the Iron Throne to get a photo, but the Queen refused to sit on it—she had her reasons.


Watching the Stark kids grow up on the show was an amazing part of the whole GoT experience. It’s crazy to think that Isaac Hempstead Wright was just 10 when he started playing Bran Stark. The role was also his acting debut.

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Isaac had never appeared in any TV show or movie before playing this role. He had zero acting experience before Game of Thrones! But he nailed the audition and proved that you don’t always need experience when you can prove that you’re perfect for the job!


By now, it’s clear that the cast had a lot of fun while on set filming the show. But not every scene was full of joy and laughter. The project was largely tiring, and there were a lot of scenes that literally left the actors reeling.

Image Credits: emilia_clarke / Instagram

Emilia had a few scenes she didn’t like. This scene was from the first season, where she had to eat the heart of a horse during a Dothraki pregnancy ceremony. Now, that wasn’t a real horse heart. It was made out of solid jam, but Emilia said that it didn’t taste like jam!

The first day

Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, is one of the best examples of women across the world who want to follow their dreams. Her character is strong and resilient, and she wants to reach all of her goals. According to Maisie, things were a bit different in reality.

Image Credits: maisie_williams / Instagram (deleted)

She still remembers her first day on set, and it wasn’t the best day. She had to flick pigeon pie at Sophie Turner, but she was so nervous that she couldn’t get her aim right. The people behind the cameras kept on telling her to aim accurately, but it just increased her nervousness.

Black-eyed audition

Even though, according to Ygritte, Jon Snow “knows nothing,” he certainly made the perfect impression on the Seven Kingdoms. You get to see him moving up the ladder right from the first season. It felt as if Kit Harrington was born for this role.

Image Credits: emilia_clarke / Instagram

But in reality, his audition was nowhere near perfect. He actually turned up to his GoT audition with a black eye. It wasn’t makeup to prove that Jon Snow was a fighter. He had gotten into a fight at a McDonald’s the night before.

A souvenir

Although Sir Davos might not have been one of the main characters of the show, he definitely won the hearts of fans all over the world with his loyalty. Liam Cunningham loved bringing Sir Davos to life. He loved it so much that he took home a souvenir.

Image Credits: HBO

He loved having fun with other cast members of the show. When the show ended, Liam asked the production team if he could take a Dothraki sword home. He was allowed to do so, and we believe that the sword now has a place of high prestige in his house!

Wigs, wigs, and wigs

When you are making a show like Game of Thrones, a lot of time is going to go into making the characters look like they’re from the medieval fantasy era. Although most of the characters didn’t need many alterations generally, it wasn’t the same with their hair.

Image Credits: esmebianco / Instagram

According to Sophie Turner, almost every cast member had a wig for filming. Cersei, Daenerys, and Sophie all had wigs. Now, if that wasn’t enough, even the men had to don beard wigs on top of their own beards. It helped give their beards a fuller look. 

Location is everything

Most of the facts we have covered so far are about the cast and crew, so this next one is a bit different. As most die-hard fans know, most of GoT was filmed in Northern Ireland. The photo below shows the filming location of the Wall and Castle Black.

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The home of the Night’s Watch was apparently very cold and gloomy, which we would say was perfect for filming some of the scenes that were shot here. So, if you are ever around Belfast and Northern Ireland in general, try and see these locations. Some even offer a GoT fan experience!