Caution: Spoilers ahead for ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8.
As the survivors of the battle against the zombie army of White Walkers got together to celebrate their victory against the Night King in HBO’s period fantasy drama Game of Thrones, the ancient castle of Winterfell played host to something decidedly un-medieval – a coffee cup that seems to be from the Starbucks chain.
As alert fans pointed out on social media, the paper container was hiding in plain sight among the more period-appropriate goblets and elephant tusks at the dining hall of Winterfell, the castle of House Stark, in the fourth episode of Game of Thrones’s eighth and final season.
The Last of the Starks, directed by David Nutter, was aired on Monday morning on Hotstar in India. The culprit appeared a little after the episode’s 16th minute, when the allied Houses of Westeros came together for a brief moment of revelry before preparing for the next war – this time to seize the Iron Throne from Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey).
The scene in question features Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his Wildling ally, Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) in the foreground. As Tormund heaps praise on Jon for his ability to bring disparate and rival factions together under his command, an envious Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) looks on. Having recently learnt that Jon Snow is her nephew, Aegon Targaryen, and the true heir to the Iron Throne, Daenerys has been feeling increasingly insecure that her claim could be weakened. Further complicating matters is the fact that Jon Snow is her lover.
The Starbucks cup, then, seems to have taken up the task of giving Dany some company in her misery. Fans on social media, however, were not as sympathetic. Many were irked that a glaring error crept into the final edit of a season that had been in the making for nearly two years – the show’s seventh season had ended in August 2017. The HBO show, developed by David Benioff and DB Weiss, was premiered in 2011 and is an adaptation of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
Given the coffee chain’s penchant for messing up names, some Twitter users wondered whether Starbucks would have managed to spell Jon Snow right, had he been the one who placed the order. The barista would have had a nightmarish time with Daenerys’s name, others pointed out. Will “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons” fit?
What flavour would go well with politicking and war strategising?
Others pointed out that this must have been some innovative product placement, spurred by big money on Starbucks’s behalf.
Other fans added this oversight to the list of grievances about the season so far. The criticism over last week’s dimly-lit episode – The Long Night, featuring the Battle of Winterfell against the Night King – also made it to the list.
If Starbucks were to make its away to Westeros, what would its Northern chain be called?
A fan disappointed by the final season found a new party to root for in the battle for the Iron Throne – House Starbucks.