First premiering on HBO on April 17, 2011, Game of Thrones has grown to become a show that's larger-than-life. Based on the book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, with the help of HBO, Martin's world became a reality for more than just the people who read his books. Now, in its final season, it's time to look back on past episodes to find the many Easter eggs that the showrunners planted for their audience. How many of them did you catch? Spoilers ahead!
Recognizable Swords On The Iron Throne
The Iron Thrones is the seat of the king of the Seven Kingdoms and is located in the Great Hall of the Red Keep in King's Landing. It was created by Aegon the Conqueror who forged the throne using the swords from his defeated enemies and the fire from his dragon Balerion the Black Dread.
While the Iron Throne is made up numerous swords, if you look closely, you can spot some familiar swords from other films. One of the most recognizable is Gandalf's sword, Glamdring, from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Other swords from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Kingdom of Heaven can be seen as well.
It's Mentioned How Small The Throne Actually Is
In the books, the Iron Throne is massive and comprised of thousands of swords from Aegon's fallen enemies. However, the description of the throne in the novels wasn't very realistic for the show to recreate, especially with the restricted budget during the first season. So, they decided to opt for a much smaller and simpler design. The show creators knew the change would annoy book fans, so they added in some dialogue to cover their tracks.
In a conversation between Vary and Littlefinger in season one, Varys states, "A thousand blades, taken from the hands of Aegon's fallen enemies. Forged in the fiery breath of Balerion the Dread." Littlefinger responds saying "There aren't a thousand blades. There aren't even two hundred. I've counted."
There Was A Hint Of Jon's True Parentage In Season One
Before it was confirmed at the Tower of Joy that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rheagar Targaryen, there was literally writing on the wall. In the season one episode "Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things," Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly are scrubbing the table in the dining hall.
When Jon mentions that he doesn't know who his mother i, you can see the letters "R" and "L" carved into a pillar that Jon is standing next to. It's an early yet subtle hint that Rhaegar and Lyanna are his real parents.
An Insult From Monty Python and the Holy Grail
On numerous occasions, author George R.R. Martin has expressed how big of a fan he is of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. So, he decided to sprinkle a few references in his books, and the showrunners decided to include their own in the show.
In the season four episode "Breaker of Chains," during the siege of Meereen, a Meereenese champion shouts insults at Daenerys in the Ghiscari language. According to linguist David Peterson, one of the insults translates to mean "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries," a classic quote from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Petyr Baelish Foreshadowed The Deaths Of A Key Characters
In the season four episode "The Mountain and the Viper," Petyr Baelish gives some advice to the young Lord of the Vale, Robin Arryn. He tells him, "People die at their dinner tables. They die in their beds. They die squatting over their chamber pots. Everybody dies sooner or later." The first is a reference to both Robb Stark and King Joffrey, who both died at wedding feasts.
However, even though Baelish may not know it, the following statements foreshadow the imminent deaths of some characters. "Dying in their beds" can be connected to Shae who is killed by Tyrion in a bed, and "Dying on their chamber pots" is a direct reference to Tywin Lannister who is murdered by Tyrion while on the toilet.
To his day, the Red Wedding remains one of the most shocking moments in television history. It resulted in the death of numerous main characters with Robb being stabbed by Roose Bolton, Catelyn having her throat slit by Black Walder Frey, and Greywind being shot with a crossbow.
Although revenge for the Red Wedding took some time, many of the characters involved got exactly what they deserved. Tywin Lannister is shot with a crossbow, Roose Bolton is stabbed by his own son, and Arya Stark slits Walder Frey's throat.
The Rat Cook Callback
While Bran Stark is taking shelter at the Nightfort in season three, he tells Jojen, Mira, and Hodor the story of the Rat Cook. He claims that a cook in the Night's Watch was angry at a king, so he killed the king's sons and baked them into a pie which the king ate.
As a punishment for breaking guest right, the gods turned the cook into a giant white rat that was always hungry and feasted on its own young. Walder Frey also broke guest right at the Red Wedding, and as a result, Arya Stark killed his two sons and baked them into a pie which he ate before being murdered by her.
An Emphasis On The Catspaw Dagger
Introduced in season one, the Catspaw dagger is a Valyrian steel knife that was initially wielded by an assassin hired to kill Bran. Over the series, the blade changed hands until it was given to Bran and finally Arya. While researching Dragonglass in Oldtown, Samwell is reading a book that has a drawing and description of the dagger.
According to actor John Bradley, the showrunners purposefully lingered in the picture and description of the blade to hint at its importance. As it turns out, the knife would prove to be of great use, with Arya using it to kill the Night King during the Battle of Winterfell.
The Mountain Shaped Like An Arrowhead
The mountain that The Hound describes as being "shaped like an arrowhead" can be seen in season seven when Jon and company go beyond the wall to capture a wight. However, if you were paying attention, you may notice that this wasn't the first time we've seen this landmark.
It was also in the background of one of Bran's visions in season six where the Children of the Forest create the first White Walker. In the vision, the mountain can be seen in the background, however, it's lush and green before being transformed into the Lands of Always Winter.
Like Father Like Son
In season seven, fans were pleased to learn that Gendry had been in King's Landing the whole time and not aimlessly floating around in a boat. After Davos asks him to come back to Dragonstone, he agrees, but not before grabbing the new warhammer that he made for himself.
He proves to be pretty handy with it too, making quick work of two Gold Cloaks before leaving King's Landing. Being the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon, it was only fitting that Gendry uses a warhammer as well. Robert was renowned for his skill with the weapon, even using it to kill Prince Rheagar Targaryen at the Battle of the Trident.
Altercations To The Winterfell Crypts
The Winterfell crypts are one of the most sacred and respected places for the Stark family. It is where the past Lords of Winterfell and Kings of Winter are buried. The entrance to the crypts is first seen to be guarded by two large stone direwolves, the sigil of House Stark.
Yet, after the castle is taken over by the Boltons, the heads of the direwolves have been cut off. The beheading of the statues was a way for the Bolton's to desecrate the Stark's burial grounds as well as a way to remind the citizens of Winterfell who was actually in charge.
Lots Of HP Lovecraft References
George R.R. Martin borrows a lot of concepts and ideas from different authors. However, one of the most prominent is the work of HP Lovecraft, especially his Cthulhu mythos. The Ironborn follow the religion of the Drowned God who resembles the description of Cthulhu, as well as resides at the bottom of the sea much like Lovecraft's monster.
In addition, House Greyjoy's sigil is a Kraken, an animal strongly connected to the Cthulhu story. Even the Ironborn saying What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger," is a play on the Lovecraftian quote That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die."
Back in season five, Cersei tells the High Sparrow, "The faith and the crown are the two pillars that hold up this world. One collapses, so does the other."This quote would be repeated several times in season six. After the High Sparrow repeats it to Tommen, the young king goes on to use it when he announces the union of the Faith and the Crown and when he relieves Jamie Lannister from the Kingsguard.
After Cersei blows up the Sept, causing it to crumble, Tommen proceeds to jumps from the Red Keep, falling to his death. To drive everything home, when Tommen kills himself, there are two strategically placed pillars in the shot.
Don't Mess With Dorn
After the annihilation of House Tyrell, Lady Olenna Tyrell makes a visit to Dorne to make some unlikely allies. At the beginning of her conversation, she mentions that the last time a Tyrell came to Dorne, he was assassinated with 100 scorpions. This was an Easter egg for book readers who know more to the story.
In A Storm of Swords, Oberyn Martell tells Tyrion Lannister the story of a late Lord of Highgarden that was "keeping the peace in Dorne." However, he was actually abusing its citizens and was repaid by the Dornish by having 100 scorpions dumped onto his head while he was in bed.
There Are Plenty Of Cameos From Musicians
Famous bands and musicians have made cameos on the show numerous times over the years. At the Red Wedding, Coldplay drummer Will Champion can be seen playing the drum in a group of Frey musicians, and the singer, Sigur Ros, plays a minstrel at the Purple Wedding. Furthermore, members of the rock band Mastodon played Wildling at Hardhome before being killed and resurrected by the Night King.
However, the most discussed cameo was by Ed Sheeran, who played a friendly Lannister soldier that Arya encounters on the road. Unsurprisingly, not everyone was thrilled about having Sheeran on the show.
Things Didn't End Well For Sheeran's Character
After people became vocal about their disdain for the pop star being on their favorite show, Sheeran felt that his character should have died on screen. He stated "I definitely think they should've killed me off in the episode. I reckon that probably would've been the redemption for the people that didn't like it." In the end, Sheeran got his wish.
In the premier of season eight, Bronn is being entertained in a brothel where the girls are talking about which Lannister soldiers survived the encounter with Daenerys'. One woman claims that the red-headed boy named Eddie "came back with his face burned right off. He's got no eyelids now." Case closed.
The Meaning Behind The White Wolf
When Jon Snow is crowned King in the North, Lord Manderly declares that he is the "White Wolf," a statement that has several meanings. While the title can be understood as a reference to Jon's white direwolf, as well as his last name, Snow, it goes even deeper. Bastards are not allowed to use the sigil of their house unless they are legitimized.
So, most bastards will take their house sigil and reverse their colors. If Jon did this, his sigil would be a white wolf on a field of gray, making him the white wolf. Even though it has been revealed that his parents are Rheagar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, some wonder if he'll change his sigil to be the White Wolf.
The Showrunners' Faces Can Be Seen In The House Of Black And White
It's not unusual for directors or writers to appear as a cameo in their project, Alfred Hitchcock did it all the time. While showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff may not have had any acting roles in Game of Thrones, their faces have made an appearance.
f you look closely, you can make out their likeness in the Hall of Faces at the House of Black and White, a room that Arya consistently goes to with Jaqen H'ghar.
Born Under A Bleeding Star
After defeating Arthur Dayne at the Tower of Joy with Dayne's sword, Dawn, the young Ned Stark runs to help his sister. The camera focuses on the sword as Ned leads it on the bed where his sister lay dying. While this scene might not have meant much for some people, for many Game of Thrones theorists, this was a sign that Jon Snow might be Azor Ahai - The Prince that was Promised.
According to the prophecy, Azor Ahai would be "Born amidst salt and smoke, beneath a bleeding star." Legend has it that Dayne's sword was made from the remains of a falling star and has blood on it when Jon is born. Although still a stretch, it was a nice nod to book readers.
Littlefinger Predicted Some Major Deaths In Season 4
During Season 4, Master of Coin Littlefinger uttered a statement that, unbeknown to fans at the time, predicted all the major deaths to come during the season.
In a conversation with Robin Arr, he said, "People die at their dinner tables, they die in their beds, they die squatting over their chamber pots. Everyone dies, sooner or later." That sentence referenced the deaths of King Joffrey, Shae, and Tywin Lannister.
Daenerys Is Wearing Red Now, Which Is A Big Deal
This latest episode shows Daenerys switch up her white fur outfits for something a little more colorful. Everything Daenerys wore in episode four featured red tones, red scarves, and red fur. The change is important because red is the Targaryen house color and represents blood and fire.
Now that her time in the north is done, Daenerys looks to be embracing her Targaryen lineage as she fights for the throne. That's not entirely a good thing though because Cersei is also wearing red throughout the episode as a nod to the House of Lannister.
The Hound's Unfinished Business Is Killing His Brother
During the episode, we saw The Hound head off to King's Landing where he told Arya he had unfinished business. Earlier in the episode, he told Sansa that there was only one thing that would make him happy. From those two clues, everyone is expecting a Clegane brother showdown (which has been named Cleganebowl).
If you remember, The Hound’s brother is the half-man, half-monster that protects Cersei called The Mountain. The Hound has always hated his brother and during their mini-reunion in season seven, he promised to execute him as soon as he had the chance.
Euron Is A Kraken Who Grabbed A Dragon From The Sky
The death of the dragon Rhaegal at the hands of Euron is especially symbolic. He is from the House Greyjoy and their house pike shows a picture of a Kraken, which is a legendary sea monster. The weapon used to kill Rhaegal is also designed to look like tentacles.
While no one was happy to see Rhaegal go, the death was done is a way to make it seem like Euron was a sea monster who grabbed the dragon from the sky with his powerful tentacles. Euron might just seem like a leather-clad crazy guy, but he might be more powerful than we think.
Missandei's Final Words Are A Fiery Warning
Our hearts were collectively broken when Missandei was captured and beheaded right in front of Greyworm and Daenerys. Before her death, Cersei gave her the option to say a final word. Of all the things she could say, Missandei decided to yell "Dracarys."
The word might sound familiar because it literally means “dragonfire” in Valyrian. It's the same word Daenerys uses to command her dragon’s to breathe fire. Missandei knew she was approaching death and rather than plead to her capturer, she basically told Khaleesi to light King’s Landing up.
Arya Is Heading Off To Fulfill The Rest Of Her Prophecy
In season three, Melisandre met Arya and told her that "Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you'll shut forever." Arya shut her first set of eyes in season six when she killed Walder Frey as revenge for the Red Wedding. The same prophecy inspired Arya to go after the Night King and his blue eyes during the Battle of Winterfell.
This leaves everyone wondering who has green eyes and will be next of Arya’s list. Well, the close-ups of Cersei Lannister in episode four show that she has emerald green eyes. With Arya off to King’s Landing, most people believe she’ll once again save the day.
We Are Reminded That Daenerys Also Has Green Eyes
There were a ton of close-ups in the latest episode and all the ones of Daenerys are a timely reminder that she also has bright green eyes. While the Starks and Daenerys fought alongside each other in the Battle of Winterfell, it's obvious that they don’t exactly get along.
If Cersei’s green eyes aren’t shut by Arya, there’s a chance that the young Stark girl ends up killing Daenerys. The theory has more stock now that Arya knows Jon is the true heir to the Iron Throne.
Euron Doesn't Trust Cersei’s Pregnancy Anymore
In the latest episode, Cersei told Euron that she was pregnant but made it seem like the baby was theirs. In reality, we know that she's been pregnant since last season and the baby is Jaime’s. Tyrion knows that too, which is why he pleaded with Cersei to save her child’s life.
The only problem for Euron is — how would Tyrion know about the baby when he was halfway around the world while he and Cersei started hooking up? You can see the look of doubt and anger in Euron’s face. We’ll see how he takes being the step-father to a baby born from incest.
Speaking Of Cersei's Children, She’s Only Supposed To Have Three
If Cersei is indeed pregnant then it throws a wrench in her prophecy. In season five, we saw a flashback where a teenage Cersei learned her future from a witch named Maggy the Frog. The witch told Cersei she would have three children with golden hair and "golden shrouds," meaning they would all die.
All three of Cersei's children so far have been blonde thanks to her Lannister heritage, and all three have died. The prophecy has been true so far, so it’s likely that her fourth pregnancy won’t come to term.
Cersei Isn't Supposed To Die By Arya’s Hands
The final part of Cersei's prophecy is that "The valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you." Valonqar is Valyrian for “little brother” which could refer to either Tyrion or Jaime.
That means it might not be Arya who ends up shutting Cersei’s green eyes forever. It might be Tyrion or Jaime, both of who will be in King’s Landing next episode. Even better, one fan theory says it could be Arya wearing the face of Tyrion or Jaime.
Arya's Archery Skills Will Come Into Play
Arya has always favored archery since the first season when she hit the bullseye and overshadowed Bran's archery lessons. She honed her skills while with the Brotherhood without Banners and in the latest episode, Gendry found Arya hidden away from the banquet and practicing her archery skills.
Arya is obviously skilled with a bow and arrow but it has never been a weapon that she has killed with. Her final moments practicing foreshadows that a bow and arrow might be her weapon of choice to close those final green eyes.
Since Season One, Arya Was Never Meant To Be A Lady
In episode four, Gendry joined the growing list of guys who were friend-zoned after he proposed to Arya and she denied him. When Gendry asked Arya to be the Lady of Storm's End, she replied "That’s not me."
Fans of the show might have guessed that Arya would deny the proposal, but her response is actually a throwback to season one. In the fourth episode, Ned Stark tells Arya that she will grow up to be a lady and give birth to princes and princesses. Little Arya responded to her father by saying “No, that’s not me.”
The Filmmakers Left In A Massive Mistake
Eagle-eyed fans quickly noticed that something seemed out of place in the banquet scene. When Tormund is hailing Jon Snow's bravery in the battle, a Starbucks cup can be seen sitting on the banquet table in front of Daenerys.
Unless Seattle’s finest coffee has managed to spread to the Seven Kingdoms, the coffee cup was just a massive movie mistake that the filmmakers missed. Fans waited two years for this season and with all that time and a budget of $15 million per episode, the filmmakers still couldn’t catch an obvious mistake.
Bran's Wheelchair Is From A Past Targaryen
During the banquet, Tyrion compliments the ingenuity behind Bran's wheelchair. In response, Bran says it’s the same wheelchair that Daeron Targaryen built for his crippled nephew more than 120 years ago. Daeron was the eldest son of King Aegon and was also known as the Boy King.
We know Bran is the Three-Eyed Raven and is said to be "living in the past" but his constant connections to the Targaryen family could become important later on.
The Opening Credits Show A Different Winterfell
Every week, the opening credits for Game of Thrones have changed a little bit. Last week, the credits reminded us all that Cersei has a major weapon that can take down a dragon and that obviously came into play this week.
Episode four's opening credits showed a different Winterfell than we’ve seen before. The inside of the castle is ravaged and outside the walls, we can see the remains of the trenches and piles of bodies from the Battle of Winterfell burning.
The Prophecy Might Foreshadow Sansa's Rise To The Throne
For Cersei, the scariest part of Maggy the Frog's prophecy is that a "younger and more beautiful" woman will cast Cersei down to become queen. The obvious choice for this mystery woman would be Daenerys, but she keeps playing into Cersei’s hand and failing miserably.
The only other woman left in the seven kingdoms who is cunning enough to know Cersei’s next move is Sansa. Thanks to the time the two spent together in the early seasons, Sansa never underestimates Cersei. She was also the only rational person who suggested resting the army before heading to King’s Landing.
The Episode Also Reminded Us That Sansa Can Kill
While Sansa might have been pretty useless in the crypts during the Battle of Winterfell, she's not incapable of killing. Episode four showed us a touching reunion between Sansa and The Hound where she told him the brutal way she killed Ramsay Bolton.
The scene tied up some loose ends between the two but reminded us that Sansa has the ability to kill when necessary. As she told The Hound, she’s no longer a "little bird."
Tyrion Has Played That Drinking Game Before
During the feast at the start of the episode, Tyrion ends up playing a drinking game with Jaime, Brienne, and Podrick. The game ends up revealing Brienne has never been intimate with anyone, and leads to the most anticipated hook up of the season.
Fans might recognize that game from elsewhere though. Tyrion first played it with Bronn and Shae in season one, and he tried (and failed) later to play it with Greyworm and Missandei.
There Was No Justice For Ghost
For the first part of the episode, fans watched as Jon said teary goodbyes to his closest friends. Jon gave big hugs to both Samwell and Gilly, and embraced Tormund for a few seconds too long as the Freefolk headed back up north. One very important character he didn't say goodbye to though was Ghost.
Jon asked Tormund to take Ghost North with him because Direwolves should roam free. While we all appreciate the sentiment, the least Jon could have done was give Ghost a pat on the head for being such a good boy during the Battle of Winterfell.
Jon Should Have Known Sansa Would Share His Secret
Jon made a big decision by telling Sansa and Arya about his true lineage, but not before he swore them both to secrecy. At first, Sansa questioned how she can swear her secrecy before knowing the information, and Jon tells her because they are family. Yet, he turned around and revealed that they actually aren't family.
Sansa has proved in the past that she knows how to keep a secret, but her decision to reveal Jon’s lineage to Tyrion might have been because her promise wasn’t based on the truth.
The Episode Showed That The Dragons Were Weak
It really shouldn't have been a surprise that Rhaegal was shot down during the episode. An entire scene early on was devoted to showing how weathered both Rhaegal and Drogon are. Drogon’s face is covered in wounds while Rhaegal’s wings had multiple holes in it.
Sansa warned Daenarys not to go south until the troops were healed but Daenerys felt confident that her dragons were enough manpower. Obviously, the Mother of Dragons should have tended more to her children.