Game of Thrones is a popular show that is as well-known for its epic storylines as it is for its violence and frequent lack of clothing. Based on the books by George R. R. Martin, fans of both the books and the show can’t wait to see what happens to the large cast of characters. At this point, whether the show follows the books or not seems to have become pretty irrelevant. However, as much drama as there is in front of the camera, there’s also a lot going on behind the scenes.
Soon to be hitting its eighth and final season, Game of Thrones premiered on HBO to much fanfare. Showrunners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff introduced audiences to the world of the Seven Kingdoms. Fans watch to follow their favorite characters who might include the Lannisters, the Starks, the ever-popular Jon Snow; and, of course, Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons – among others. The show continues to thrive.
Some fans might be surprised to learn that, behind the scenes, the normally somber show is actually full of shenanigans; it doesn’t stop with just on-set antics. The cast has been known to engage with fans as well.
Here are the 15 Shadiest Things The Cast Of Game Of Thrones Has Ever Done.
15 Kit Harington's April Fool's Joke
There are few things more frightening than seeing a corpse. Kit Harington decided he would test that theory with Rose Leslie, by putting a replica of his head in a refrigerator for her to discover. It was an April Fool’s prank gone wrong.
He and his family enjoyed pranking each other, so he really didn’t think it would be taken so negatively. Needless to say, seeing a replica of Harington's head did not go over well with Leslie. She was upset for quite a while.
She was so distraught that she fainted and even threatened to never talk to him if he pranked her like that again. While many might find the prank harmless, it was a bit much for her and Harington promised that he would refrain from an elaborate prank in the future.
14 The Cast Pretended That Jon Snow Was Really Dead
One of the biggest shocks on Game of Thrones was the betrayal and murder of Jon Snow by those he was chosen to lead. While many fans speculated that Jon Snow was still alive, there were those who were forlorn over the loss of the character.
The cast kept up the charade, never letting on that Snow was, in fact, alive as many suspected. The choice to resurrect Jon invited speculation of an entirely new kind. Many wondered if Jon Snow was a foretold character, and they were not disappointed when it was revealed that he was both Stark and Targaryen.
So far, the cast hasn't confirmed where this thread will lead in future season eight episodes, adding to fans anxiously awaiting the show's return.
13 Kit Harington And Rose Leslie Shut Down Production For Their Wedding
Production of a high profile TV show can be shut down for any number of reasons. Fans of Game of Thrones were surprised when they learned that work on the show would be delayed.
However, it was for one of the most adorable reasons: Kit Harington and Rose Leslie getting married. On The Jonathan Ross Show, Harington admitted to calling his producers and saying “I’m getting married and it’s your fault actually."
In addition, Harington requested the presence of the entire cast, "so the whole thing has got to shut down.” While fans are surely to be disappointed whenever production is delayed on their favorite show, this has got to be the best reason.
12 Maisie Williams Pretended To Work At A Game Store
Maisie Williams' prank involved pretending to be a store clerk at a Game of Thrones and medieval-themed game store. Williams brought out her acting abilities by donning the persona of a clerk who had never watched Game of Thrones and who had never acted a day in her life.
For their part, many of the customers were willing to play along. Some even acted out scenes from the show once they got over the fact that the Arya actor was messing with their minds. Enthusiastic customers pretended to be poisoned and mimicked riding on horseback. They all appeared to get a kick out of the impromptu roleplaying.
Nevertheless, some fans were probably truly caught off guard and questioned their state of mind when Williams denied being Arya Stark.
11 Emilia Clarke Pranked Her Me Before You Co-Star
When the opportunity presented itself, Emilia Clarke decided she was going to see how far she could take a prank. When Clarke lost her Game of Thrones doll on the set of Me Before You, she accused co-star, Sam Claflin, of taking it.
However, Clarke later realized she had just misplaced the doll in her room. Not willing to let a pranking opportunity go, she put the doll in Claflin's bag so that he would find it. Her co-star was very confused, and even questioned if he took the doll by mistake and didn’t remember.
Clarke eventually revealed that she pranked him, but the entire thing had people questioning whether or not Claflin was a thief. Now the two joke about the incident in interviews.
10 Samwell Tarly's New Costume
If one person pulling a prank is shady, two pulling a prank against one is even shadier. What’s a little humor amongst friends? Such is the case with Hannah Murray and Kit Harington pranking John Bradley.
As fans know, Bradley's character, Samwell Tarly, is not known for having to wear fancy costumes. For an actor, this can be a total relief as it cuts down on the process of preparing for their role. Some outfits can be extremely cumbersome to wear, even if the actors make it look effortless.
Murray and Harington replaced Bradley's usual attire with a hilariously over-the-top costume. Despite not being especially enthusiastic about his wardrobe change, he went through with the process. Naturally, Bradley was happy to find out it had all been a joke, after he put on the full outfit and even took photos in it.
9 Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's Bald Photo Prank
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau wasn’t too thrilled when he found out that he’d have to cut his long hair. He then decided to go about things the Lannister way. Coster-Waldau tricked the producers into believing he massively overreacted.
Pretending to be outraged by his character's new hair cut, Coster-Waldau sent producers a strongly worded message, indicating he was not at all happy. To top things off in spectacular fashion, he sent in a photo of himself with a shaved noggin.
Naturally, the crew freaked out. They tried to figure out how they were going to work around Coster-Waldau's rash decision, especially since hiding his newly shaved head would cause extra additions to the budget. He let them stew for a little while before revealing that it was an elaborate joke and he had sent them an old picture.
8 Jon Snow's Fake Prosthetics
While Kit Harington has been known to pull elaborate pranks, the producers decided to turn the tables. In a twist of Game of Thrones proportions, producers decided that pranking Harington would be a blast, so to speak.
The producers wrote fake scenes where Jon Snow would be massively disfigured by a fire. At first glance, that might not seem like a big deal. However, aside from the change in appearance, portraying burns of such severity would likely require hours of makeup. Additionally, the likely use of prosthetics would be physically uncomfortable and possibly painful.
Harington showed up for rehearsal still committed to the requirements of his role despite believing that he would have to have burn makeup on for the remainder of the series. The producers couldn’t keep up the ruse. They began laughing and let Harington in on the joke.
7 Sophie Turner Shut Down Rude Fans
Sophie Turner has essentially grown up on the Game of Thrones set. Turner knows how difficult it is to be a child actor in the spotlight. Thus, she wasn’t about to let another child actor, Finn Wolfhard, be accosted by unruly, creepy fans who stalked and harassed him.
Turner took to Twitter to call out the monstrous behavior of adult fans who tried to shame the Stranger Things actor. Complaints against Wolfhard included not allowing fans to have their pictures taken with him outside of his hotel room. They also videotaped the actor as he walked to his room, calling him names for not giving in to their demands.
Sophie Turner made it clear that such behavior was not acceptable and she threw some major shade on the perpetrators.
6 Maisie Williams Crashed A Game Of Thrones Viewing Party
Maisie Williams decided to drop by a Game of Thrones viewing party and hang out with guests. The level of shadiness of Williams' visit depends on your viewpoint of uninvited guests just showing up to your house.
Of course, it wasn’t completely unexpected. Participants were at least aware that someone from Game of Thrones might be showing up at their place. Admittedly, there are worst guests to have show up unannounced than the actor who plays Arya Stark. Unless, of course, you’re on her hit list.
Williams documented the whole thing online and the guests were surprised and thrilled to have her as company. Their decorations were, naturally, Game of Thrones themed and Williams even brought extra snacks with her. While this might be considered a prank, fun was had by all involved.
5 Lena Headey's Lady Stoneheart Tweet
Lena Headey threw some fans into a tizzy when she tweeted a picture of a heart-shaped arrangement of stones and captioned it, “My Stone Heart.” Those who have read all of the books thus far believed it was a reference to Lady Stoneheart, Catelyn Stark’s resurrected character.
While Headey claimed that this wasn’t the case, many fans still didn’t believe it and thought the photo was, at the very least, an accidental reveal. What better villain for Jon Snow to face off with than the mother who treated him like an illegitimate child even though he is a potential heir to the throne.
While the Night King is certainly a scary, worthy opponent, nothing says final season showdown quite like a mother-son show down. Additionally, fans of the books would be pleased while fans of the show would be surprised. It’s a win-win situation.
4 Emilia Clarke Put Caramel On Her Co-Star
Be warned that falling asleep on the Khaleesi can have unexpected results, as Emilia Clarke proves she can prank with the best of them.
Clarke caught Game of Thrones co-star, Joseph Naufahu, sleeping and decided it was a good time to teach him a lesson about sleeping on the job. Clarke poured caramel on the unsuspecting actor and he managed to wake up just in time.
In an interview with Vulture, Naufahu said, “I had my dessert sitting on the table, and she decided to smear the dessert on me. She put caramel fudge all over my fingers, all over my costume, and she was about to feed it to me, but I woke up. I woke up with a spoon in my mouth." Clarke proves her pranking skills with a sweet treat Naufahu won't soon forget.
3 Sibel Kikelli's job before acting
Game of Thrones is definitely not shy about adult content. The amount of unequal female-to-male ratio of nudity – as well as the exposure in general -- in the show’s earlier seasons was a point of contention for many fans. Others, including many in the cast, found it to be a necessary part of telling the Game of Thrones story in a realistic fashion.
Either way, it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to learn that several of the cast members have worked in adult entertainment-- the most notable being Sibel Kekilli who played the role of Shae. Many women who try to transition from adult entertainment to mainstream entertainment find the process to be next to impossible, given the stigma associated with NSFW adult content.
The show’s mainstream popularity no doubt helped to remove some of that stigma for the actresses, though there were still difficulties.
2 Josephine Gillan's other career
Josephine Gillan has talked extensively about her past struggles with drugs, alcohol, and working as a call girl. She’s stated that Game of Thrones saved her from a continued life of destruction. It was a rare opportunity for Gillan, one that she couldn’t possibly pass up.
In an interview with The Mail, Gillan reportedly said, “Game of Thrones saved me [...] and has made me a much stronger person." The role required an actor who was comfortable having their body filmed and Gillan rose to the challenge. Being accepted for the role gave Gillan the chance "to do some proper acting."
The show's commitment to remain realistic was what allowed Gillan to portray Marei in the massively popular series.
1 The Cast Is Staying Quiet About Season Eight
The cast has been super quiet about season eight, of course, not wanting to release any spoilers. Not surprisingly, people are still curious and look for bits of information about the upcoming season.
When it was announced that it wouldn’t be coming back until 2019, many fans were shocked and disappointed. Apparently, Sophie Turner and others even had some people believing the show would be back in 2018.
There's no doubt that fans will wait for the return of the show, but there are those looking to the cast and crew for any piece of information. Given their penchants for shadily pranking not only each other but fans as well, maybe it would be wise to take any would-be hints with a grain of salt.
Do you know of any other shady things the cast of Game of Thrones has done? Let us know in the comments!