13. G. R. R. Martin found inspiration for Game of Thrones in his pet turtles.
When a fan asked Martin why he wore a hat with a turtle on it at Comic Con, he replied that turtles were his sigil. When he was young his family lived in federal housing project and couldn’t have a cat or dog for pet. So, instead he got turtles. He had a tin castle near his bed large enough for two turtle tanks and his six turtles lived there. The idea popped in his head when he decided they were kings, knights and lords who fought, schemed and killed each other.(source)
14. White Walkers are not CGI. They are actors under prosthetics and make up that take six hours to finish.
The only thing that is CGI about the Walkers are their piercingly bright icy blue eyes. The actors had to be very careful to depict the creepy inhuman yet graceful and powerful movements of the Walkers. Since they will have limited means to show many facial expressions they have to make do with using body language for the scenes.(source)
15. The show writers Benioff and Weiss consciously stopped having the characters discuss politics and plots in the castle gardens in response to a satirized joke about the same in South Park’s episode Black Friday.
There is a scene in season 4 of Game of Thrones where Olenna Tyrell says that it has become tedious walking in the gardens and that she would fling herself over the cliffs if she has to do any more of that. It was in reference to the South Park joke.(source)
16. When Queen Elizabeth visited the sets of Game of Thrones she refused to sit on the Iron Throne. There is a law that doesn’t allow her to sit on a foreign throne.
The Queen visited as part of her Northern Ireland tour and met with the show writers and some of the main cast members – Lena Headey, Kit Harington, Masie Williams and Sophie Turner. Many show fans were disappointed and had to satisfy themselves with photomontage of her sitting on the throne.(source)
17. As a rule King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall and Daenerys’ location appear on the three-dimensional map in the title sequence of every episode. The rest only appear depending on the episode.
The map is shown on the concave surface of an armillary sphere with the sun in the center. The sequence also depicts various events that make up the backstory for the show. The names of the main cast are displayed with a symbol of the house their character belongs to. The showmakers have established two other rules for the sequence – one that since there will not be enough time to create animation for every minor location the capital will have to suffice; and the other they would only show six locations in the sequence because the length of opening theme music is limited.(source)
18. Maisie Williams portrayed Arya as left-handed to stay true to the books despite being right-handed herself.
When her mother told her Arya was left-handed after reading the books, Maisie decided to try to do everything with her left hand. She would even spend time practicing things with her left hand to get the rhythm of it. However, she had to switch to her right sometimes for better camera angle.(source)