In the fourth episode of Game of Thrones season 8, eagle-eyed viewers spotted a modern-day Starbucks cup on a table in front of Daenerys Targaryen, creating a viral pop culture moment. If you’re wondering how a Starbucks cup wound up in Westeros, read on for the full story behind this iconic Game of Thrones gaffe.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Starbucks cup was simply a mistake – a prop left accidentally in the shot during filming. It sparked many memes and jokes about the continuity error.

When and Where the Starbucks Cup Appeared

The infamous Starbucks cup made an unexpected appearance in the fourth episode of the eighth season of Game of Thrones, titled “The Last of the Starks.” The episode aired on May 5, 2019. The cup was spotted in a scene set in Winterfell, during a celebratory feast following the Battle of Winterfell.

The Scene in Winterfell

The scene in question featured numerous characters gathered in the Great Hall of Winterfell, celebrating their victory against the Night King and his army of the dead. As the camera panned across the room, fans were quick to spot a modern-day coffee cup sitting on the table in front of Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke.

The cup stood out among the medieval-inspired props, leading to widespread surprise and amusement among viewers.

It is worth noting that the Starbucks cup was not actually a Starbucks product, but rather a disposable coffee cup that happened to resemble the iconic Starbucks design. The production team of Game of Thrones later acknowledged that it was a mistake and expressed their regret for the oversight.

Initial Fan Reactions

As soon as the episode aired, fans took to social media platforms to share their reactions to the unexpected appearance of the Starbucks cup. Memes and jokes flooded the internet, with many users finding humor in the anachronistic presence of a coffee cup in the fantasy world of Westeros.

Some fans speculated about the identity of the coffee-drinking character, suggesting that it might have been a deliberate Easter egg or a hidden clue. However, it was later confirmed that it was simply a production error, and there was no deeper meaning behind the presence of the cup.

Despite the mistake, the Starbucks cup incident generated a significant amount of publicity for both Game of Thrones and Starbucks. The viral nature of the incident only added to the cultural impact and legacy of the show, further cementing its place in popular culture.

Explanations from HBO and Showrunners

HBO’s Initial Statement

When the infamous Starbucks cup made its unexpected appearance in a scene from Game of Thrones, fans were quick to notice and took to social media to express their amusement and surprise. HBO, the network behind the hit show, was quick to respond to the uproar.

In their initial statement, HBO acknowledged the blunder and humorously admitted that “the latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.” This lighthearted response helped to diffuse the situation and showed that the network was able to laugh at their own oversight.

Showrunner Comments

Following HBO’s statement, the showrunners of Game of Thrones, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, also shared their thoughts on the infamous coffee cup incident. In an interview, they confessed that it was a mistake on their part and explained that the cup had simply been overlooked during the editing process.

Benioff and Weiss emphasized that the coffee cup was not intentionally placed in the scene and expressed their regret for the oversight. They also took the opportunity to thank the fans for their vigilance, stating that “these things happen, and we’re just grateful that people are watching the show with such eagle-eyed attention.”

It’s important to note that mistakes like these can happen even in the most meticulously produced shows. The production of Game of Thrones involved countless hours of work, intricate details, and a massive team of professionals. However, as the saying goes, “To err is human.”

Despite the mishap, Game of Thrones remains one of the most beloved and successful television series of all time. The coffee cup incident served as a reminder that even in a fantasy world, human error can still find its way in.

It also highlighted the passionate and observant nature of the show’s dedicated fanbase.

So, the next time you rewatch Game of Thrones and come across that infamous Starbucks cup, remember that it was a simple mistake that brought joy and laughter to millions of fans worldwide. And who knows, maybe it will become a legendary symbol of the show’s legacy.

Theories and Speculation

The appearance of a Starbucks cup in a scene of Game of Thrones caused quite a stir among fans and viewers. As soon as the episode aired, social media exploded with discussions and theories about how such a mistake could have occurred.

Let’s take a look at some of the popular theories and speculations surrounding this unexpected cameo.

Intentional Product Placement?

One theory that quickly emerged was that the Starbucks cup was intentionally placed in the scene as a form of product placement. Some fans argued that it was a clever marketing strategy by Starbucks to gain attention and create buzz around their brand.

However, this theory was soon debunked by the show’s creators and Starbucks themselves, who confirmed that it was indeed a mistake.

The accidental inclusion of the Starbucks cup was attributed to human error on the part of the production team. With the immense scale and complexity of filming Game of Thrones, it is not uncommon for small oversights like this to occur.

Despite the meticulous attention to detail that goes into creating the show, mistakes can still slip through the cracks.

A Prank by Cast or Crew?

Another theory that gained traction was that the Starbucks cup was deliberately placed in the scene as a prank by a mischievous cast or crew member. Some fans speculated that it could have been a playful attempt to lighten the mood on set or a way to inject some humor into the intense world of Westeros.

However, this theory remains purely speculative, as there is no concrete evidence to support it. The show’s creators and cast have not made any statements suggesting that the appearance of the Starbucks cup was intentional or a result of a prank.

It is more likely that it was an innocent mistake that went unnoticed during the editing process.

Impact on Game of Thrones

The appearance of a Starbucks cup in a scene from Game of Thrones caused quite a stir among fans and critics alike. While it may seem like a simple mistake, the impact of this gaffe goes beyond just a continuity error.

Let’s explore how this incident affected the show and the wider pop culture landscape.

Continuity Errors in TV and Film

Continuity errors are not uncommon in the world of TV and film. With long hours and complex productions, it’s easy for small details to slip through the cracks. However, the Starbucks cup incident in Game of Thrones gained significant attention due to the show’s massive following and the meticulous attention to detail that the creators have been known for.

Fans were quick to point out the inconsistency, and it sparked a conversation about the level of care put into the production of the show.

Despite the show’s fantasy setting, Game of Thrones prided itself on its immersive world-building and attention to detail. From intricate costumes to elaborate set designs, the showrunners aimed to transport viewers to the realm of Westeros.

The inclusion of a modern-day coffee cup shattered this illusion and raised questions about the overall quality control and production process of the show.

However, it’s important to note that even the most well-planned productions can have continuity errors. The Starbucks cup incident serves as a reminder that mistakes can happen, even in highly acclaimed shows like Game of Thrones.

Viral Memes and Parodies

The Starbucks cup blunder quickly became a viral sensation, spawning countless memes, parodies, and jokes across social media platforms. Internet users had a field day creating hilarious content, with some even photoshopping the cup into scenes from other movies and TV shows.

The incident became a cultural phenomenon, and people who had never watched Game of Thrones were suddenly aware of this mishap.

This incident also highlighted the power of internet culture and its ability to turn small mistakes into global trends. In a matter of hours, the Starbucks cup became a symbol of carelessness and a source of entertainment for millions of people.

It served as a reminder that even the most meticulously crafted shows are not immune to human error.

Starbucks’ Response

After the accidental appearance of a Starbucks cup in a scene of Game of Thrones, Starbucks wasted no time in responding to the buzz it created. The company quickly took to Twitter to address the incident in a lighthearted manner, showcasing their ability to embrace unexpected moments and turn them into marketing opportunities.

Lighthearted Tweets

Starbucks’ response to the Game of Thrones mishap was filled with humor and self-awareness. The company tweeted, “TBH we’re surprised she didn’t order a Dragon Drink,” referring to the popular Starbucks beverage.

This playful tweet not only acknowledged the mishap but also capitalized on the moment to promote one of their products.

Additionally, Starbucks tweeted a picture of a Starbucks cup with a handwritten note that read, “Coffee cup cameo” and a winking emoji. This tweet further emphasized their ability to laugh at themselves and join in on the joke.

Capitalizing on the Moment

Starbucks recognized the potential marketing opportunity that arose from the accidental inclusion of their cup in Game of Thrones. They capitalized on the moment by creating buzz on social media and generating additional brand exposure.

The incident sparked a flurry of discussions and memes on various social media platforms, with users sharing screenshots and jokes about the coffee cup. Starbucks embraced this wave of attention by actively engaging with users and retweeting some of the funniest and most creative memes.

The company also leveraged the moment to promote their partnership with Game of Thrones. Starbucks released a limited-edition “Dragon Drink” inspired by the popular series, which further fueled the excitement among fans.


The misplaced Starbucks cup in Game of Thrones sparked a firestorm of viral jokes, memes, and speculation within the rabid fan community. While it was certainly a high-profile blunder, these kinds of continuity errors are common in major TV and film productions.

The cup’s cameo certainly didn’t dampen enthusiasm for the massively popular show. If anything, it gave viewers another moment to savor from Game of Thrones’ final season, as the world said goodbye to one of television’s biggest cultural phenomenons.

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