Contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 8, episode 4, “The Last of the Starks”
No television show is perfect — not even Game of Thrones. While the fantasy drama series has garnered a reputation for its attention to detail and its dedication to continuity, sprinkling Easter eggs throughout its many seasons and taking notice of even the smallest elements of costumes and set designs, Thrones got a little lax on its latest episode, when fans spotted a glaring mistake sitting in plain sight.
Tread lightly from here on, as there are spoilers incoming!
Entitled “The Last of the Starks,” episode 4 of Game of Thrones season 8 would have been more appropriately named “The First of the Starbucks,” as a single coffee cup seemingly from the popular coffeehouse chain was accidentally left on a table while shooting.
It can be seen just next to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in the Great Hall at Winterfell’s castle, where the survivors of the Battle of Winterfell are celebrating victory over the Night King and the Army of Dead. Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is laughing it up with his pals; Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), and Podrick (Daniel Portman) are playing a drinking game akin to the modern “Never Have I Ever”; Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) is chatting with the Hound (Rory McCann) about her past; and Daenerys is quietly freaking out over how well-liked Jon is, knowing that if word of his true parentage gets out, most everyone will side with him to take the Iron Throne. The camera pans to show a slightly worried Dany looking on at Tormund singing Jon’s praises, and just between them on the table is that erroneous coffee cup — paperboard sleeve wrapped around it and all.
Game of Thrones fans were quick to spot the error and post about it on social media, and though some initially believed that the photos they saw online were fake, a rewatch of the scene proves that it’s no farce — the most recent episode of Game of Thrones really did make a mistake by not clearing the table of non-prop objects and accidentally including a coffee cup in the shot.
Plenty found the blunder funny, while others took a harsher stance and slammed the Thrones creative team for being oblivious to the slip-up.
“So it takes @HBO @GameOfThrones almost 2 years to shoot season 8 and they forgot to take away #Daenerys #Targaryen’s @Starbucks cup in yesterday’s episode?? Oops! #starbuckscup,” tweeted journalist Eric Seales. Added the folks from the You Watch, I Listen podcast, “Seriously how did the Game of Thrones directors and editors absolutely MISS a Starbucks cup left on the table during that scene? ‘He’s Jon Snow. King in the North. Drinker of latte’s.”
Many others, like a user by the name of Allison Minick, felt that it was pretty unbelievable that it took years to complete six episodes of Game of Thrones season 8 and everyone behind the scenes just missed the coffee cup in the Winterfell feast scene. What I Like About Me author Jenna Guillaume even joked, “maybe if they lit the show better they’d be able to spot their own basic mistakes.”
The quips kept coming, with one fan writing, “feeling sorry for the starbucks barrister that had to write out ‘Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.'” TV writer, host, and podcaster Ira Madison III also poked fun at Dany’s incredibly long official name by tweeting, “Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains, and Drinker of Pumpkin Spice.”
Though the immersion-breaking coffee cup seen on episode 4 of Game of Thrones‘ final season looks like one from Starbucks, it apparently isn’t. According to Game of Thrones art director Hauke Richter, it’s actually from a local coffeehouse in the town of Banbridge, Northern Ireland, around where the series filmed that particular episode. Richter, who has worked on Game of Thrones for the last five years, also told TMZ that the coffee cup was an unfortunate mistake but likely an exhaustion-induced accident that resulted from long days of shooting.
“We are usually so diligent that this does not happen. The shoot was very hard and demanding and it is likely that after a very tiring [episode] 3 shoot, this was simply overlooked by an exhausted crew,” he said, adding that errors like this happen quite often on television and in films, but people were quicker to notice the coffee cup mistake on Game of Thrones due to the series’ popularity.
In all, Richter is right. Though the coffee cup seen on “The Last of the Starks” may have been a big blunder, it’s ultimately a harmless one. We can’t imagine making Game of Thrones is easy, so it’s no surprise that a cup of liquid caffeine slipped into a scene. Fingers crossed that the upcoming episodes of Thrones are coffee-and-mistake-free, lest we see Cersei (Lena Headey) swap her favorite wine for a dark roast blend with two sugars and a dash of cream.