Get ready for more blood, sweat and fears. Turns out, the brutal first two seasons of HBO's Game of Thrones were just a warm-up. The beheading of Ned Stark? Like stretching your jousting arm. The high-body-count Battle of Blackwater Bay that nearly killed Tyrion Lannister? A quick jog around the tourney grounds.
In the strangest cameo of the year, George W. Bush's (fake) severed head made an unexpected appearance on Game of Thrones.
The prop head, which was mostly covered with a long wig, was shown decapitated and displayed on a stake during the HBO drama's first season finale. This little easter egg can be spotted when the sadistic King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) forced Sansa Stark (Sophie Tuner) to see her own father among a series of severed heads displayed for the citizens of King's Landing.
Natalie Dormer may have been topless during one of her first scenes in Game of Thrones, but it was her character's attitude about sex with her husband that made the biggest impression.
In Sunday's episode, Dormer had to play the not-so-shy virgin Margaery Tyrell, who tries to consummate her marriage with Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony). When he can't quite rise to the occasion, she offers to enlist the help of her brother Loras (Finn Jones), who just so happens to be Renly's lover.
Joe Dempsie says he was destined to play a bastard on Game of Thrones.
The British actor had initially auditioned for the part of Ned Stark's illegitimate son Jon Snow (a part that eventually went to Kit Harington) and then even tried out to play one of Jon's pals at The Wall, but didn't score either role. Thrones producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were determined to work with Dempsie, however, and eventually cast him as Gendry the blacksmith's apprentice, the only one of King Robert's byblows to survive Joffrey's bastard massacre in the Season 2 premiere of Game of Thrones, which airs its third episode Sunday (9/8c, HBO).
Game of Thrones has been renewed for a third season, HBO announced Tuesday.
"Series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss raised our expectations for the second season — and then surpassed them," Michael Lombardo, HBO's programming president, said in a statement. "We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we've received for the series, and can't wait to see what Dan and David have in store for next season."