Games of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have finally commented on the coffee cup that made a surprise appearance in season 8, episode 4, "The Last of the Starks." After the episode aired, fans noticed that something was out of place on the table in front of Daenerys during the celebratory feast: a takeaway coffee cup. The episode was later digitally edited to remove the wayward coffee, with HBO joking, "The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea."
The coffee cup wasn't the only beverage-related goof in Game of Thrones season 8. In the series finale, as the fate of Tyrion Lannister and the future of Westeros is being decided at a council meeting, a plastic water bottle can be seen unsuccessfully hidden behind Samwell Tarly's foot.
Benioff and Weiss have been staying out of the spotlight since Game of Thrones ended, most likely because of the fierce backlash from fans who felt that the final season was rushed and Daenerys' storyline in particular was botched. The showrunners even dropped out of the Game of Thrones panel at this year's Comic-Con. But now, in an interview for Japan's Star Channel (via Watchers on the Wall), Benioff and Weiss have finally broken their silence with regards to the infamous coffee cup:
Benioff: I think in Persian rugs it’s tradition that you make a little mistake when making the rug, because only God can do anything perfect, so for us I guess that just was our [mistake].
Weiss: That’s why I put the coffee cup there. Conscious, concerted statement of our imperfection.
Benioff: We were concentrating so much on Daenerys and Jon Snow that we just didn’t see this coffee cup right in the middle. So, at first I couldn’t believe it, and then it was embarrassment; ‘how did we not see this coffee cup in the middle of the shot?’. And then, eventually, it was just funny. This one is just a mistake, and it’s kind of funny to us now.
Benioff and Weiss don't address the bigger complaints about Game of Thrones season 8 in the interview, but Benioff did try to explain Daenerys' decision to burn thousands of innocent civilians to death in a post-episode featurette. According to the showrunner, after the bells of surrender were rung in King's Landing Daenerys looked at the Red Keep and saw it as a symbol of everything that had been taken from her - at which point she decided to "make this personal." Many fans were understandably dissatisfied by that explanation, while others have defended the plot development by offering their own interpretations of Daenerys' fall into madness.
The coffee cup was a source of great amusement for Game of Thrones viewers who spotted it (who knew Winterfell had a coffee shop?) and in tribute one fan created a mod that added a similar coffee cup into the fantasy RPG Skyrim. Another fan cosplayed as the coffee cup at Comic-Con. It's almost a shame that HBO took swift action to edit it out of the episode - but at least the coffee cup will live on in our hearts.