Even Queen Dany needs a caffeine kick now and then.
At the beginning of every episode of Game of Thrones, we’re given a ravens-eye view of Westeros courtesy of a mechanical map that covers all of the season’s or episode’s locations. Currently, that includes places like the recently breached Wall, the Starks' home of Winterfell, and King’s Landing where Cersei keeps a tight grip on the Iron Throne. Pretty much the only thing we haven’t seen appear in these opening credits that would be near-ubiquitous on any other Google street view map is a Starbucks. But based on last night’s episode, it’s possible the Seattle-based coffee giant or some other enterprising espresso maker has made its way into George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire universe to compete with all the wine and ale on the HBO fantasy series. (This article will attempt to be as spoiler-free as possible from here on out.)
In episode four of the eighth season, titled “The Last of the Starks,” Jon Snow and Queen Daenerys, as well as their armies and other cohorts, are picking up the pieces from last week’s battle. There's a feast in the great hall at Winterfell, but throughout this celebration of sorts, there is a lot of staring and sulking going on, even while the party picks up its pace. At one point we cut to Dany, seated alone at the banquet as her fellow revelers break off into their various cliques. For a queen who loves to be liked, it’s an epiphany, though not the positive kind. In fact — in what will surely become a “mood” meme on social media — our favorite Khaleesi is just chillin’ there with her to-go cup of coffee.
Of course, mistakes like this can happen on sets where everything is either in a certain time period of fantasy universe but the cast and crew are very much living in our here and now. Clearing the set between takes is a tedious task that requires a sharp eye, as actors reach for a quick sip of their lattes before the cameras roll. But, as one Twitter user pointed out, there was a fun bit of irony in this week’s on-screen flub:
Many viewers complained that last week’s episode was too dark to follow the action during the battle sequences, and it appears the lighting in this episode might have been the culprit for an entire post-production team missing the cup (and the opportunity to digitally airbrush it out). Perhaps they could use a cup of joe to stay a little more alert? I heard the Mother of Dragons has a hookup!
And you know what goes great with coffee? Pie! Read our ode to the Game of Thrones loveable chef character Hot Pie here.
Update: HBO's official Game of Thrones Twitter account responded with the following clarification:
And despite the fact that it may have been tea in that cup, TMZ reports that all the on-set coffee orders are from local Bainbridge, Ireland shops, where the show is filmed — a devastating blow to House Starbucks.