As the #GOT50 countdown rolls on, fans can follow along with @Daenerys as she live-tweets the 10 installments from Season 2. Daily coverage starts at 3 pm ET. Relive the moments on HBO NOW and check out the 50 fun trivia items below.
1. The timber used to build the log structure of Craster’s Keep came from the area in order to be more sustainable and to look like it was created from its own environment.
2. The Great Hall of Pyke in the Iron Islands was designed to feel damp and mildewy. The production placed shells all over the floor to give the audience the impression that the sea is moving in.
3. Production designer Gemma Jackson used some of the same icons from the big gates of Qarth on Xaro’s vault. She wanted the key to be ornate, but to also to look like it could open a door of that size.
4. The white raven featured in Season 2 was brought in from Austria.
5. Winterfell’s location moved to accommodate the big courtyard that was necessary for future shots. The rest of the structures and interiors remained the same.
6. Production designer Gemma Jackson got inspiration for the Harrenhal set from a trip she took to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
Check out concept art below of several of the series' locations:
7. Dragonstone concept art
8. The Eyrie concept art
9. Pyke concept art
10. Qarth concept art
11. There are still birds on the walls in the Chamber of the Hand (now Tyrion’s chambers) to show that no one has had time to change it since Jon Arryn’s death.*
12. For Stannis’ fleet, the production only had one ship to film with – Stannis and Davos’ ships are the same set just re-dressed for their scenes. Most of the other ships are special effects.*
13. The castle set in the “Blackwater” episode was created in a massive quarry just north of Belfast, where the Wall set used to be before it was moved to Iceland.*
14. The idols burned on the beach in “The North Remembers” were made out of plaster designed to look like wood. The seven statues had multiple gas outlets, which were connected to a pipe under the sand, so they could keep burning throughout the night.
15. The idols were meant to look like statues carved out of old ship masts.
16. The dragonstone table is 16.5 feet long and was designed to look like it was carved out of stone. The table was inlaid with forests, castles and other important locations; jewels and metal were also inlaid so the table could be lit up by flames in the dark environment.
17. The map table is actually a scale map of Westeros, and it is a favorite prop of creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.*
18. The costumes for the Thirteen of Qarth were made out of dyed silk that was hand-painted, and the underskirts were baked in clay and shaken out so they would maintain a crumpled look. The hoods were designed to protect the wearers from the heat but also as a theatrical element: Where the fronts are lavish, the backs are simple and linen, suggesting that it’s all a show.
19. The costumes for the mob scene in “The Gods Old and New” needed to look “dowdy and down and out,” explained wardrobe supervisor Tara Van Zyl. While the costumes were made new, they needed to go through a process to look “lived in, worked in, slept in, for years.”
20. Brienne’s armor was designed to reflect her travels from tournament to tournament, as opposed to looking like a matching set. Her armor needed to be practical and tailored to her without drawing too much attention to her waist and hips.
21. Gethin Anthony, who played Renly Baratheon, called filming his character’s death “extraordinarily fun.”
22. Director Alan Taylor intentionally kept the White Walkers offscreen as much as possible. “I think their elusiveness is what makes them effectively nightmarish,” he explained.
23. Because Melisandre and Quaithe are from the same island, costume designer Michele Clapton wanted their costumes to have crossover: “Melisandre had the very ornate neckpiece with the ruby. I used the same shaped links as I had used on Melisandre’s necklace to have a mask made, which was quite articulated.” The women also share the same fabric print on their dresses.
24. Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, was initially hesitant about cutting her hair for Season 2. “My first reaction was, no way,” the actor said. It was actually internet commenters who made the decision for her. “People have said, ‘Oh I don’t think she’ll get her hair cut, she’s too young. It’s a big decision to make.’ I just sort of wanted to prove them wrong.”
25. The direwolves in Season 2 are real animals. Actors cannot shoot with real wolves for safety reasons, so all the backgrounds were shot with the actors and then the wolves, shot separately on a green screen stage, were added in later.*