Stream Season 1 on HBO NOW then check out these 50 factoids.
26. Arya has two main hairstyles in Season 1; pulled back in the same way her father wears it, and the second in messy braided plaits. During shooting of the haircutting scene in “Fire and Blood,” fake pieces were woven into the wig that could be cut with a real knife. New fake strands were woven in between takes.
27. The scenes in the Red Keep in “You Win or You Die” were filmed in San Anton's Palace in Malta, the official residence of the president.
28. The Starks dress in blues, grays and browns. “I wanted warm blues because there’s a warmth within their family relationship,” illuminated costume designer Michele Clapton. “Ned Stark has an elegance to him but he’s incredibly practical. I didn’t want him to look like he ever thinks about what he’s wearing.”
29. The arakh, which is the standard Dothraki weapon, was designed to give fighters maximum flexibility and a wider strike. The curved shape of the weapon also gave fight arranger Buster Reeves a wider vocabulary of movements than a typical sword.
30. An early design of the three-eyed raven had the third eye on the back of the head. “In the end, it comes back to that same thing: It’s a mutation,” storyboard artist William Simpson said. “You start analyzing what that would look like, and is it better to have the three eyes in some kind of uniformity at the front?”
31. When creating his fantasy world, George R.R. Martin was inspired by Tolkien’s use of magic in the Lord of the Rings series ‒ it exists but never overwhelms the plot.
32. The joust scenes in “The Wolf and the Lion” feature a renowned team of stunt riders known as The Devil's Horsemen.
33. Jason Momoa, who played Khal Drogo had a thrilling audition: It ended with the actor ripping his shirt off and dancing the Maori haka.
34. Actor Harry Lloyd thought through Viserys’ underhanded attempt to steal Dany’s dragon eggs. “In that scene with [Jorah] Mormont, I'd never planned to make it very vulnerable,” Lloyd recalls. “I just tried to do a really good job of covering it up. But in the take they used, you suddenly see how kind of pathetic he is.”
35. Bringing the dragons to life was no easy task. “We started with a lot of George's ideas about dragons,” series creator D.B. Weiss revealed, “because George has definitely spent more time thinking about dragons than anyone I've ever met. We threw that into the mix and with a lot of visual reference from the animal world: prehistoric animals, reptiles, bats, birds ... We put together a giant file of notes and images, then the team took those and modeled them into something organic that's hopefully really effective for people.”
36. For Emilia Clarke, who plays Dany, seeing the baby dragons on screen was the best moment of the season. “I get to meet my babies! That was just amazing,” Clarke recalled. “Just the sound of those dragons sent shivers. It was just how I thought it would be."
37. Peter Dinklage, the actor behind Tyrion Lannister, said that his character’s trial by combat was his favorite scene. “It was a long day, and there were a lot of extras,” Dinklage recalled, “I felt like I was master of ceremonies for a lot of bored extras. It was entertaining off-screen.”
38. The Dothraki cast and Dany would rehearse their Dothraki lines in English.*
39. Ned’s execution involved David Benioff’s favorite shot from Season 1: “The shot is just the back of his head and neck. There's not much to it, but to me it's one of the most emotional two seconds of the entire season.” Adds D.B. Weiss: “Sean's one of the few people I've ever seen who can convey gravitas with the back of his head.”
40. Explore a storyboard of this scene below.
Check out some sigils of lesser houses.
45. David J. Peterson, a conlanger (or inventor of languages) worked with the Language Creation Society and the creators of GoT to design a full Dothraki tongue. Start your lessons here.
46. Learn how to count to 10 in Dothraki:
47. Which character did D.B. Weiss feel greatest affinity with in Season 1? Mord the Jailer. “I like to think of myself as a Mord the jailer type.”
48. Which character was most fun to write? “Theon,” Weiss said. “He's a character who, while not necessarily the nicest guy in the world, is one of the most interesting... He's in that universal quandary of somebody who doesn't really know where he belongs in the world and is trying in a not very graceful way to figure that out.”
49. David Benioff is a Dany fan: “I think her storyline is phenomenal ‒ and especially now watching Emilia Clarke interpret it, it's hard not to be a Daenerys fan.”
50. The opening credits were influenced by robots and mechanics of Leonardo da Vinci. The idea was that each family sigil is the gear, making the location come to life.*