A little bit of our real world found its way into Westeros on Sunday night. In the newest episode of Game of Thrones on HBO, a to-go cup of coffee à la Starbucks was found on the royal table of Winterfell, in front of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) during a distressing moment for the Mother of Dragons. The show’s executive producer, Bernie Caulfield, is “sorry” about that.
“We’re sorry!” Caulfield said in a phone-in interview with All Of It on WNYC.
On Monday, less than 24 hours after the premiere of Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 4, Caulfield addressed television’s most controversial cup o’ joe with WNYC’s Alison Stewart.
“Our on-set prop people and decorators are so on it, a thousand percent,” Caulfield said, who still didn’t quite explain how the cup managed to survive the show’s final cut despite the hours of post-production work and editing that goes into every episode.
“Nowadays you can’t believe what you see because people can put things into a photo that really doesn’t exist. But I guess maybe it was there. I’m not sure,” Caulfield added. “But yeah. We’re sorry!” She then joked that “Westeros was the first place to have Starbucks. It’s a little-known fact.”
It’s unknown whether future releases of Game of Thrones Season 8, such as the Blu-ray or new streams on HBO GO, will keep the coffee cup in the frame. As of this writing, the cup can still be seen on HBO GO.
While the coffee cup was arguably the least of Game of Thrones’ current problems, it’s potentially indicative of several levels of exhaustion felt by the hundreds of cast and crew working on the show as it heads towards its finale.
Many on Twitter who have also worked on film and television have pointed out that mistakes like coffee or water bottles (as seen in a promotional photo for Downton Abbey several years ago) in the frame are illustrative of burnout.
HBO and Game of Thrones, for now, are taking it in stride. “There’s always something,” Caulfield added in the WNYC interview. “If that’s the worst thing they’re finding, we’re in good shape. Starbucks, send us money.”
An official statement by HBO, released approximately at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, joked about the cup, saying: “The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.” Well, that clears it up.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.