6 Tiny Details You Might Have Missed in the Latest Episode of Game of Thrones

HBO
HBO

Game of Thrones saw a drop in adrenaline last night in “Eastwatch,” the unlucky episode forced to follow the fighting and flames of the final battle in “The Spoils of War.” Still, “Eastwatch” was chock full of dramatic reveals and twisting intrigue—scintillating stuff, if you remember the six seasons of minutiae subtly referenced in last night’s episode. For viewers who haven’t been keeping as detailed a record of events in Westeros as Maester Maynard, here’s a rundown of six tiny details you might have missed in the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

1. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE LISTEN TO GILLY?


HBO

The biggest reveal in “Eastwatch” came in an easy-to-miss throwaway line—and the only other character onscreen wasn’t even listening. Just before Samwell Tarly burst into his rant about the shortsighted maesters of the Citadel, Gilly stumbled across a possible bombshell regarding Jon Snow’s lineage in Maester Maynard’s records. She discovers that Maynard “issued an annulment for a Prince Rhaegar and remarried him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne.”

If Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were married when they conceived Jon Snow, then the King in the North isn’t a bastard after all. He is rightfully Jon Targaryen, and has a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne. (This might also explain the touching moment between Jon and Drogon earlier in the episode.)

2. THE NOT-SO-SECRET RAVEN SCROLL

As Arya and Littlefinger continued their game of Spy vs. Spy last night, Arya found a “hidden” note from Sansa to her brother Robb dating back to the show’s second season. To save you the trouble of deciphering her handwriting, it reads:

“Robb, I write to you with a heavy heart. Our good king Robert is dead, killed from wounds he took in a boar hunt. Father has been charged with treason. He conspired with Robert’s brothers against my beloved Joffrey and tried to steal his throne. The Lannisters are treating me very well and provide me with every comfort. I beg you: come to King’s Landing, swear fealty to King Joffrey and prevent any strife between the great houses of Lannister and Stark.”

Judging from Littlefinger’s self-satisfied smirk, this appears to be part of a scheme to drive a wedge between Sansa and Arya, who will not understand that her sister wrote this under threat from Cersei Lannister.

3. CERSEI’S ILL-FATED PREGNANCY

Cersei and Jaime’s joy over the newest all-Lannister pregnancy may be short-lived. Prophecies aren’t always straightforward in this series, but the fortune teller Maggy the Frog’s prophecies about Cersei have held remarkably true thus far. She predicted that Cersei would have three children and that each one of them would die, before she herself would be killed by her younger brother. If Cersei is pregnant with a fourth child, the only way the prophecy can hold true is if she and/or her unborn child die before Cersei gives birth.

4. DAENERYS REPRISES HER “BREAK THE WHEEL” SPEECH

Daenerys’s appeal to the captured Lannister soldiers and allies after the Battle of the Loot Train centered on her promise to “destroy the wheel that has rolled over rich and poor to the benefit of no one but the Cersei Lannisters of the world.” This was a callback to a Season 5 conversation she had with Tyrion Lannister, when she made the same vow to “break the wheel” of ruling families rotating in and out of power.

5. SAM’S “BETTER MEN” CALLBACK

    After making one of the most momentous discoveries in the series thus far, Gilly politely listened while her boyfriend Sam explained his reasons for wanting to sneak out of the Citadel. “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men,” Sam said, referencing the stinging words of his recently-roasted father, Randyll Tarly.

    During Sam and Gilly’s disastrous meet-the-parents dinner in Season 6, Randyll lamented that his son was still buried in books, “reading about the achievements of better men.” Of course, Sam might do well to pay attention to the research achievements of the better woman sitting by his side.

    6. THE SENTIMENTAL SLAVER’S COIN


    HBO

      As Tyrion bid farewell to Ser Jorah last night, he gave his old friend a gold coin as a keepsake. The coin dates back to Season 5, when Tyrion and Jorah were sold to fight in the slave pits of Meereen. Tyrion suggested that their master free and pay them. The slaver gave Tyrion a coin, but the men remained in chains. With Jorah beyond the wall on a mission to capture a Wight alive—undead?—we’ll see if he manages to return Tyrion’s sentimental gift.

      10 Facts About DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story For Its 15th Anniversary

      Vince Vaughn stars in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004).
      Vince Vaughn stars in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004).
      Twentieth Century Fox

      June 18, 2004 saw the release of two wildly different films in American cinemas: Steven Spielberg’s The Terminal and a goofy, cameo-filled, wrench-chucking sports comedy called DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story. Guess which one came out on top at the box office? The sleeper hit both saluted and skewered the sports movie genre. It also gave Chuck Norris the chance to enjoy a free helicopter ride.

      1. Dodgeball's creator was inspired by the book Fast Food Nation.

      DodgeBall writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber considered DodgeBall an homage to some of his favorite flicks, including Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Rocky (1976), and Bull Durham (1988). Another source of inspiration was Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, the nonfiction bestseller about the modern obsession with greasy, ready-made cuisine. Published in 2001, Fast Food Nation sold more than 1.4 million copies within five years. It also left plenty of fingerprints on Thurber’s script.

      "I really took a cue from that—there's an absolute love/fear relationship thing in our culture," Thurber told Film Freak Central in 2014. "We're so weight conscious, so image conscious, so youth-oriented—and wrapped up with all that psychosis are these ad images of it being so cool and all-American and sexy to eat McDonald's and drink pop and all that. It pulls people in all sorts of different directions, so I wanted [Ben Stiller’s character] White Goodman to be sitting there with a doughnut and the car battery attached to his nipples … That situation with food, with sports, with so much of our culture. [It’s] already almost too surreal to satirize."

      2. The movie's actors went through some rigorous training.

      To ready themselves for the movie, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and the rest of the actors ran indoor dodgeball drills at what many of them have since described as a “boot camp.” According to Stiller, this basically consisted of “us at a gym a few times a week playing dodgeball.” While that may not sound too intense, the physicality of these sessions took its toll on the performers. “It’s a game for the young,” Stiller said. “It’s one thing when you’re eight, but when you’re 38, it gets really exhausting. After three or four minutes, you’re fried.” Practicing at his side was Stiller’s wife, Christine Taylor, who plays Kate Veatch of the Average Joe’s squad in DodgeBall.

      3. Ben Stiller took Christine Taylor down with a dodgeball ... twice.

      As a general rule, it’s never a good idea to hit one’s spouse in the face with a rubber ball while playing any sport, but that’s exactly what Stiller did to Christine Taylor—twice. Blow number one came during the boot camp; the second strike occurred while filming the epic Globo Gym/Average Joe’s showdown. The latter ball was intended to strike Vaughn, who reflexively flinched to get out of the way. In any event, Stiller admits that those two incidents put a temporary damper on the couple’s marital harmony “for like a week, because there’s no way to not get upset with somebody after you’ve done that. It just sent us both back to eighth grade." (Though the couple announced that they were divorcing in 2017, the split has never been made official, and the couple is still regularly seen together—sparking rumors of a reconciliation.)

      4. Stiller borrowed much of his character's personality from 1995's Heavyweights.

      The fact that Stiller borrowed some of White Goodman’s traits from Tony Perkis, the fanatical fat camp owner he played in 1995’s Heavyweights, won’t surprise anyone who has seen both films. DodgeBall’s White Goodman (as played by Stiller) is a bombastic, egomaniacal fitness guru with some inherited wealth and major insecurities. The same description also applies to Perkis. A lighthearted family comedy, Heavyweights didn’t fare well at the box office, grossing a meager $17.6 million. As such, when Stiller copied a few of Perkis’s mannerisms in DodgeBall, he figured that no one would notice.

      "I always thought, ‘Well, nobody ever saw Heavyweights, so I can do this,” Stiller recalled. “But a lot of people saw Heavyweights … Apparently, it shows on the Disney Channel a lot or something.” Regarding the two characters, Stiller has said that Perkis is “definitely a first or second cousin” to Goodman.

      5. Justin Long suffered a minor concussion on the set.

      Justin Long, who plays Justin in the film, took some hard knocks while making this movie. For starters, a prop wrench made with hard rubber left a nasty cut on his eyebrow when Rip Torn, as Patches O’Houlihan, threw it at his face in one scene. Then, while filming another section of DodgeBall’s training montage, the actor was pelted with enough high-speed balls to render him "slightly concussed."

      "They didn’t want me to drive home at the end of the day because I was a little off," Long told Today in 2017. “So next time you’re watching that and laughing, know that you’re laughing at my pain.” Still, the experience wasn’t all bad. According to New York Magazine, Long can often be seen riding a scooter adorned with the words “Average Joe’s,” a gift from Stiller.

      6. Hank Azaria and Rip Torn didn't even try to synchronize their Patches O'Houlihan voices.

      Early in the film, we get to watch an instructional video about dodgeball (and social Darwinism) hosted by a young Patches O’Houlihan, who is played by Hank Azaria. For the remainder of the film, however, it’s Rip Torn who portrays the seven-time ADAA all-star. You may have noticed that the two actors use very different accents in their respective scenes: Azaria, who joined the cast at Stiller’s invitation, called his performance “essentially a bad Clark Gable impression.” At the time, Torn’s sequences hadn’t been shot yet, leading someone in the crew to pipe up and say “You know, it’d be funny if Rip tries to emulate that voice!” “I was like, ‘Yeah, good luck walking up to Rip Torn and suggesting that he change his vocal quality in any way. Let me know how that goes for you,’” Azaria replied.

      7. The Average Joe's team colors are an homage to Hoosiers.

      Thurber, a fan of David Anspaugh’s Oscar-nominated Hoosiers (1986), tipped his hat to the Hickory Huskers’ red and yellow uniforms by giving the Average Joe’s squad—led by Vince Vaughn’s Pete LaFleur—an almost identical color scheme. 

      8. Chuck Norris was reluctant to make a cameo.

      The action star’s only scene was shot in Long Beach, California. Geographically speaking, this was problematic for Norris. “I was in L.A. when they asked me to do the cameo,” Norris told Empire Magazine. “I said no at first because it was a three-hour drive to Long Beach.” Hearing this, Stiller called Norris and begged him to reconsider. “He goes, ‘Chuck, please, you’ve got to do this for me!’” Norris recalled, “My wife said he should send a helicopter for me and that's what happened. I didn't read the screenplay, just did my bit where I stick my thumb up.”

      After post-production on DodgeBall wrapped and Norris got around to seeing the finished product, he found himself enjoying most of it. However, there was one little moment in the final credits that really caught him off-guard. “In the end, when Ben’s a big fatty and watching TV, the last line of the whole movie is, 'F***ing Chuck Norris!' My mouth fell open ... I said, 'Holy mackerel!' That was a shock, Ben didn't tell me about that!"

      9. One villain was originally supposed to be a robot.

      By far the most mysterious player in the Purple Cobras lineup is Fran Stalinovskovichdavidovitchsky, an Eastern European all-star whom Goodman calls “The deadliest woman on earth with a dodgeball.” What’s the secret to her success? Well, in an early version of the screenplay, it’s revealed that Fran is actually a robot in disguise. Thurber ended up dropping the gag, which he considered too ridiculous—even by DodgeBall’s standards. However, when Missi Pyle was cast as Fran, the big twist hadn’t yet been cut.

      “Initially, in the first script I read, she was a robot, like a sexy-bodied robot” Pyle explained. The original plan was to slowly pan the camera up over a partly-exposed Robo-Fran—with her metallic face and fake breasts on full display—at some point in the climax.

      10. Alan Tudyk weighed in on a fan theory about Steve the Pirate.

      In 2012, Redditor Maized made the case Steve the Pirate, Alan Tudyk’s swashbuckling oddball, is actually an “ex-Navy sailor who suffers from PTSD.” As evidence, Maized cited Steve’s tattoos, which bear a striking resemblance to those frequently worn by U.S. Naval recruits. In theory, the Average Joe’s patron uses his pirate persona to cope with his condition.

      During a 2016 interview with Screen Crush, Tudyk was asked to offer his thoughts on the theory. With a chuckle, Tudyk replied that it “doesn’t seem like it’s impossible.” Emphasizing that he didn’t wish to “insult Navy sailors who have PTSD,” the actor said he’d consider taking the Redditor’s idea into account if a DodgeBall sequel is ever made.

      Game of Thrones Director Said He Wanted to 'Kill Everyone' During the Battle of Winterfell

      Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones.
      Iain Glen and Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones.
      Helen Sloan, HBO

      Now that Game of Thrones is over, it’s time to talk about the nitty-gritty of the episodes, particularly “The Long Night.” While the Battle of Winterfell may have been nerve-wracking to watch, there ended up being surprisingly fewer deaths than fans expected, considering the living were fighting the entire army of the dead.

      Miguel Sapochnik, who directed the episode, was no beginner with battle scenes before taking on “The Long Night,” as he was also responsible season 6's iconic “The Battle of the Bastards” as well as the memorable season 5 episode “Hardhome.” While his list of Game of Thrones accomplishments is long, it turns out that Sapochnik's choices haven't always been in line with what showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss want.

      According to IndieWire, Sapochnik’s aesthetic choices, such as the decision to shoot shoot Cersei and Tommen shadowed by prison-like bars to represent Tommen’s imprisonment in season 5, were not favored by the showrunners. “[Benioff and Weiss] said [it was] ‘so self-conscious and we hate it basically,'” Sapochnik revealed at the time. Because of disagreements like this, the pair “visually policed” the director.

      There was a difference of opinion between the director and the creators again for “The Long Night,” Sapochnik revealed on IndieWire's Filmmaker's Toolkit podcast. “I wanted to kill everyone,” the director said, as reported by Esquire. “I wanted to kill Jorah in the horse charge at the beginning. I wanted it to be ruthless, so in the first 10 minutes you could say all bets are off, anyone could die. But David and Dan didn’t want to. There was a lot of back-and-forth on that."

      Ultimately, Sapochnik gave in to Benioff and Weiss’s plan for the episode, and the Battle of Winterfell had far fewer casualties than most of the series's other battle scenes.

      [h/t Esquire]

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