Long before there was the "Queen of the North" Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Brandon Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) became the Three-Eyed Raven and the King of the
Seven Six Kingdoms in Westeros, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) became a lethal killer, and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) was banished to the Wall to join the Night's Watch (again), the Stark children were all living together in Winterfell.
The epic HBO series Game of Thrones captivated the world with its in-depth character arcs, insane twists (Red Wedding, anyone?), and forbidden romances that we all so desperately wanted to happen.
But before Queen Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) took a knife in the heart from her lover and nephew, Aegon Targaryen aka Jon Snow, the two were on opposite sides of the world. And, no one (including the characters) was wise about the wild dragon ride that was about to happen.
In honor of the show's 10th anniversary, Distractify is taking a look back at some of the biggest Game of Thrones easter eggs that even die-hard fans may not know about the show's Season 1 pilot episode.
'Game of Thrones' Season 1 Easter eggs — 7 facts you won't believe about the pilot!
Before fans (who didn't read the books) found out that no character is safe in the world of Game of Thrones, viewers eagerly tuned in to the pilot episode, which introduced the major houses in Westeros, including the Stark clan, Lannisters, and others.
In honor of the 10th anniversary of the pilot of Game of Thrones, Distractify rounded up 7 fun facts about the first episode of the beloved HBO series. Check it out below!
1. Actress Lena Headey was pregnant in real life.
During the taping of the pilot episode of Game of Thrones, actress Lena Headey who plays the infamous Cersei Lannister was reportedly pregnant. According to Looper, the crew had to find creative ways to hide her real-life baby bump, such as filming the actress draped in furs or standing behind something. They also resorted to many close-ups of Cersei in that first episode.
2. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau shot three different versions of the final scene in the pilot.
The actor who plays Jaime Lannister revealed that the final scene of Episode 1 — where he pushes Bran off of the tower, which results in the young boy being paralyzed — was shot several times. He had to shoot three different versions of it with different "various levels of nakedness from Jaime."
3. The prop guy had a tough time with one particular prop.
After Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) beheads a deserter of the Wall, the Warden of the North and his kids stumble upon a dead stag and a litter of dire wolf puppies.
But, Game of Thrones didn't use a prop stag for the episode.
Executive producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff revealed that a stag corpse had been purchased and cut open by an animal handler (via Looper). Since the dead deer's body had been sitting for a couple of days prior to filming, it started to smell, which had the prop master unable to keep down his lunch. Yikes!
4. Yes, you can learn High Valyrian and Dothraki.
The fictional languages used in Game of Thrones were created by linguistics major David Peterson. Aside from inventing some totally believable pieces of dialogue, Peterson also linked with Duolingo, which allows fans to learn the languages of the Seven Kingdoms.
Now, you and your friends can give epic speeches just like Queen Daenerys.
5. There were a few issues with the pilot.
After watching the soon-to-be scrapped pilot, the executive producers realized that they had a "massive problem." Jennifer Ehle initially took on the role of Catelyn Stark, but fans know her role was recast and given to Michelle Fairley. Because "90 percent" of the pilot was reshot, Sansa and Catelyn never appear in the same frame, according to Vanity Fair.
6. There was another actress before Emilia Clarke wore the blonde wig.
It's hard to imagine anyone but Emilia Clarke playing the fiercely resilient Daenerys Stormborn. However, before the British actress booked the gig, Tamzin Merchant shot the initial pilot episode.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tamzin opened up about wanting to "back out" of Game of Thrones while shooting the first episode. "I tried to back out of that situation and, during the contract process, I did back out," she said. "I was talked back into it by some persuasive people. Then I found myself naked and afraid in Morocco and riding a horse that was clearly much more excited to be there than I was."
7. White Walkers were originally able to speak.
In the Game of Thrones unaired pilot, there are a few key differences from what fans watched play out on screen. Aside from the actresses being recast and reshooting most of it, the non-verbal White Walkers were supposed to be able to talk.
The Huffington Post obtained a copy of the GoT production draft, which revealed that that the White Walkers spoke in an "ice language." While it may seem strange for fans of the TV series to envision the dead talking, if you're a fan of the books, you know that the White Walkers do speak.