May 24, 2019

Game of Thrones and the Disposable Coffee Cup

“It’s almost impossible to make a movie or television show without a continuity error or two, and that goes triple for period pieces: Every shot is an opportunity to accidentally photograph a contrail or a passing car in the background and bring the audience’s suspension of disbelief crashing down. But when you name a character something as fancy as “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,” you have a special responsibility to make sure that character does not appear to be addicted to Dunkaccinos. Unfortunately, this week’s Game of Thrones didn’t quite meet that standard: In one shot, Daenerys sits at a large banquet table celebrating her victory over the Night King. She’s holding one of the show’s trademark giant goblets of wine, but right before her on the table sits a disposable coffee cup with one of those cardboard sleeves that keep you from burning your hands. We’ve altered the shot slightly to draw your attention to the cup, but you can find this at 17:39 in the HBO Now version of the episode:

Naturally, the internet noticed immediately. “Didn’t know they had a Starbucks in Winterfell,” Reddit user ttek15 posted, and social media was off to the races. For some viewers, the misplaced coffee cup was an emblem of the show’s decline in its last few seasons:

For others, it was proof that Game of Thrones was even more intricate and carefully crafted than they’d previously realized…”

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