the showrunners of dragon house admit that they were on high alert for Starbucks cups on set to avoid a big War of Thrones mistake. dragon house is a prequel to the hit HBO fantasy series, which aired for eight seasons from 2011 to 2019. The new series, which premieres on HBO on August 21, 2022 with a 10-episode season, is based on the book by George RR Martin 2018 fire and blood and it takes place two centuries before War of Thrones, after a shocking Targaryen civil war. The show’s cast includes Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke, Steve Toussaint and Doctor who star Matt Smith.
Although War of Thrones was a blockbuster show with a huge budget and staff for each episode, they still haven’t been able to avoid their share of bloopers. One of the most egregious mistakes the show has ever made was in Season 8, Episode 4, “The Last of the Starks.” During one scene, a Starbucks cup can be seen on the table in front of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), a fact that surfaced online more or less immediately after the episode’s premiere. This led to a flurry of memes and jokes about how modern booze arrived in the fantasy realm of Westeros.
THR had the opportunity to chat with co-showrunners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik at the premiere of dragon house, which happened last week. They joke about the Starbucks mistake, acknowledging that every show has its own mistakes and that it only exploded because of the popularity of War of Thrones. However, Condal admits that they had a “a very heavily policed set” with “a lot of starbucks hunting“, prompting Sapochnik to joke that viewers can win a cup of coffee if they find Starbucks cups that have been digitally painted. Read the full quotes below:
Count: [We had] a very policed scene – there was a lot of Starbucks hunting going on. We always joked about it, that we were going to make Starbucks cups so they would at least fit the scene.
Sapochnik: [We left coffee cups] everywhere we could so that later we could digitally paint them. See if you can see where the Starbucks cups that we digitally removed after the fact were, and if you find one, there’s a prize. A cup of coffee.
Although the Starbucks cup in War of Thrones was later revealed to belong to Lord Varys actor Conleth Hill, is still closely linked to Daenerys in public perception, due to her sitting right in front of him. For this reason, it was probably wiser for the crew to be vigilant about the intrusion of modern items. She was believed to be the last of the Targaryen bloodline, and if another Starbucks cup appeared in the new series, the avalanche of memes comparing Daenerys to her ancestors would be truly overwhelming.
Although it is important for dragon house to avoid big mistakes like the Starbucks cup, it would be interesting to see how the audience would react to a similar mistake in the new series. With public opinion souring in the final season of War of Thrones, the prequel has some ground to cover in capturing such an obsessive fandom. It would certainly be a viable litmus test of how well the new series is being received compared to the original series.