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SYFY WIRE Game of Thrones Season 8

Game of Thrones’ infamous water bottle scene took six days to film in a ton of heat

By Josh Weiss
Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6

WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the Game of Thrones series finale, 'The Iron Throne'!

HBO's Game of Thrones found itself at the mercy of another drinking-vessel controversy after the series finale aired this past Sunday. Fans noticed a plastic water bottle sitting near Sam Tarly's foot during the scene where the biggest noblemen and noblewomen left in Westeros meet in King's Landing to decide who will become the next ruler of the Realm.

But don't be so quick to judge, because it was hot as hell when it came time to actually film that scene, which ended with the North becoming its own ruling entity under Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Bran Stark/The Three-Eyed Raven (Isaac Hempstead Wright) being named king of the (now) Six Kingdoms. And while it's only a few minutes in length, this crucial sequence took quite a lot of time to shoot in some pretty sweltering weather.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6

"The council scene [in the finale] was maybe nine minutes in total, but it took us six days to film. The trickiest part was the practicalities of making sure everyone stayed cool," Niall Bishop, who played a Northern Lord in attendance at the meeting, told Vulture, which compiled an interesting oral history of Thrones as told by its extras.

"It was 30 degrees [Celsius; 86 degrees Fahrenheit], and we’re wearing heavy, wintry, smelly clothes," he added. "I had a very heavy sword, which I needed help putting on and off, to my eternal shame. It was very tricky to sit down with that sword and get up elegantly. The most embarrassing thing was that it took me a couple minutes longer to sit down and get up than everyone else."

So yeah, it was probably very important for the cast to stay hydrated while acting out the council scene. And yes, maybe somebody should have caught the mistake before the final episode aired, but it's better than John Bradley dying of heat stroke, right? According to Will Rastall, who played a servant of the Tyrells, this was often a concern on the show's set, particularly for those moments set at Highgarden (those scenes were shot in Spain).

"There were a couple of guys in full-armor costumes, and it was so hot they had to keep dunking their wrists in these buckets of cold water to stop them getting sunstroke," he also revealed to Vulture.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 4

The first drinking-vessel snafu occurred in Episode 4 of Season 8, "The Last of the Starks." As Winterfell was celebrating its victory over the Night King and his White Walkers with a lavish banquet, eagle-eyed viewers spotted what looked to be a Starbucks coffee cup sitting in front of Dany (Emilia Clarke) at the head table.

As it transpired, not only was it not a Starbucks cup, but Clarke admitted she doesn't even drink coffee. The anachronistic object was eventually removed via some digital tweaking by HBO, which made light of the gaffe on social media.