Forget those theories about the Night King’s true identity and dragon resurrections. The latest “Game of Thrones” guessing game has everything to do with a Starbucks coffee cup that made its way into a feast scene on Sunday.
Beware: Spoilers are coming.
The blooper was briefly seen in “The Last of the Starks,” sitting unassumingly on a Winterfell banquet table between Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
Starbucks promptly weighed in Monday morning with a winking tweet promoting one of its beverages: “TBH we’re surprised she didn’t order a Dragon Drink.” And HBO cracked its own joke about the mishap, saying in a statement: “The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.”
Given the lavish show’s exorbitant budget and recent critiques about its lighting and battle scenes, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gaffe still had viewers consumed with the how and why of it all.
Incidentally, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss also made cameos as Wildling warriors in the feast scene, but were eclipsed by the anachronism — as were the major heartbreaks and deaths of the Season 8 episode.
The blunder even elicited a statement from the show’s longtime art director, Hauke Richter, who told Variety that it was forgotten on set and has been “so blown out of proportion [because] it has not happened with ‘Thrones’ so far.”
Executive producer Bernie Caulfield also told WNYC’s “All of It” that she, too, couldn’t believe the cup made it into the scene. She apologized for it while also making light of its reception.
“Our on-set prop people and decorators are so on it 1,000%,” Caulfield said. “Nowadays you can’t believe what you see ’cause people can put things into a photo that really doesn’t exist. But I guess maybe it was there, I’m not sure. But, yeah. We’re sorry! Westeros was the first place to actually, you know, have Starbucks, and it’s a little-known fact.”
Still, the reactions were fast, funny and ferocious as the cup’s presence dominated next-day chatter online. Here are a few of the internet’s funniest theories:
1. Westeros totally has Starbucks
Seeing a Starbucks cup in game of thrones really frustrates me. In the books Westeros only has Peet’s coffee, while Starbucks can only be found in eastern parts of Essos and-— Shayne Topp (@supershayne) May 6, 2019
The whole show takes place in a Starbucks, you idiots. Read the books.— Topher Lundell (@topherlundell) May 6, 2019
somewhere, in a parallel universe, an especially observant customer spots a game of thrones inside a starbucks— The Dad (@thedad) May 6, 2019
People should wait till the series finale of Game of Thrones before they jump to the conclusion that the Starbucks cup doesn’t belong.— Eugene Mirman (@EugeneMirman) May 6, 2019
2. Your queen commands it
Fun Fact: Emilia Clarke was paid 3 million dollars for her cameo in that Starbucks commercial— always right bish (@jgcurry27) May 6, 2019
3. The Starks are to blame (#Starkbucks)
bran saw that starbucks cup but didn’t tell anyone— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) May 6, 2019
More like STARKBUCKS amiright?!!?— Alex Gaskarth (@AlexGaskarth) May 6, 2019
4. Someone’s bound to screw things up (and get fired)
Felt like a failure today but then I saw that dozens of production and post-production crew failed to see that a Starbucks cup was left in a Game Of Thrones shot from their third to last episode ever & now I feel better.— Mykie (@GlamandGore) May 6, 2019
Surprised ppl joking around about the Starbucks cup on Game of Thrones. When our props guy on Catastrophe (Kevin Sloane) left a Red Sox cap on a counter in a scene I had him fired that day & blacklisted as well. He died a few weeks later of what doctors called “a broken heart.”— rob delaney (@robdelaney) May 6, 2019
5. It’s magic
6. The showrunners were too busy to notice
GAME OF THRONES INSIDE THE EPISODE:— Nick Lehmann (@NickStopTalking) May 6, 2019
“We really wanted to remind people…this could all be happening today. America is falling apart...dragons COULD BE in the sky. So, we put a Starbucks cup in there. And you guys caught it, mission accomplished. It was a frap, btw.”
7. It was still too dark to see anything
The fact that there was a Starbucks cup in tonight’s Game of Thrones that no producers or editors noticed throughout multiple cuts merely 1 week after the DP yelled that the show’s not too dark to see is truly *chef’s kiss*— Jen D'Angelo (@jenlikespizza) May 6, 2019
Maybe the reason you saw a Starbucks cup in Game of Thrones is because your TV isn’t properly calibrated.— rob fee (@robfee) May 6, 2019
8. Product placement
What if it’s just really clever Starbucks product placement?— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) May 6, 2019
.@Starbucks gurl if you know what’s good, you’ll marketing your Mango Dragonfruit Refresher (make throw up some other GOT inspired drinks while you’re at it) like @uhleekuh suggested.— Clarkisha Kent: Benioff and Weiss Hate Account (@IWriteAllDay_) May 6, 2019
Don’t fumble the bag like @redlobster did with Beyoncé 💋 pic.twitter.com/i4M7TQeSaQ
The Starbucks cup is totally gonna die next episode.— Christian Becker (@TheAmazingBeck) May 6, 2019