Skip To Content
Film & TV

‘Game Of Thrones’ Made Headlines For A Starbucks Cup. Were The Showrunners To Blame?

With “Game of Thrones” arriving at an unsatisfying end, fans have been quick to pin the blame on showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. If the timing of the hit show’s eighth season felt rushed, the character beats unconvincing or the conclusion a bit confused, it makes sense that the pair, who wrote the final four episodes and directed the last, should be the ones held to account.

But what if Weiss and Benioff were responsible for a far more grievous cinematic sin — one so egregious that HBO rushed to remedy the mistake?

I speak, of course, of the rogue Starbucks cup.

Eagle-eyed fans spotted the white cup in “The Last of the Starks,” the eight season’s fourth episode, during a celebratory feast. The Forward immediately reeled at the implications: If Starbucks exists in Westeros, then so must Jewish CEO and regrettable presidential contender Howard Schultz.

Actress Emilia Clarke, who was seated close to the cup in the shot, has just revealed what might be the cause of its unfortunate inclusion.

In an interview with The New Yorker’s Sarah Larson, Clarke, who plays the dragon-riding conqueror Daenerys Targaryen, named names for the error.

“[Y]ou know who I could actually quite happily blame?” Clarke asked Larson. “Did you notice some quite familiar-looking extras in that particular scene?”

“There are two people who look slightly like a Metallica tribute band,” Clarke said, “and they are our showrunners and writers, David Benioff and Mr. Dan Weiss.”

“Most people were laughing at their terrible handlebar mustaches rather than looking at anything that was on the table,” she added. “When I was watching it, I was too busy laughing at their hilarious return to acting. So there are many excuses for the coffee cup for you. Pick whichever one you’d like.”

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at [email protected]

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.