I’m sad to report that the Starbucks cup that wound up in an episode of Game of Thrones is there no longer.
After the white-lidded beverage turned up in a pivotal scene centered on Daenerys Targaryen during episode 4 of season 8, it didn’t take long before the Mother of Dragons became the Mother of Memes—lots of them. Because what the hell is a Starbucks cup doing in the final cut of a show for which each individual episode costs many millions of dollars?
Following some creative theories about how the drink landed in front of actor Emilia Clarke, HBO copped to the cup being a “mistake” and claimed in a statement that “Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.” But good-humored as HBO appeared to be about the whole thing, it was sure quick to move on scrubbing the cup in question from the scene. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was gone.
The image at the top of the article is how it appeared prior to removal. Here’s how the scene looks now, sans Starbucks (and lightened for clarity):
Game of Thrones art director Hauke Richter told Variety on Monday that the incident was “so blown out of proportion [because] it has not happened with Thrones so far.” As Variety noted, Jaime Lannister (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) was pictured holding what appears to be a coffee cup in a behind-the-scenes clip from season 4, but that never made it into the final cut.
Reached by email, a spokesperson for HBO confirmed the cup had been removed but did not offer further comment. Starbucks declined on Tuesday to comment on the removal, but the company did manage to turn HBO’s error into a marketing opportunity by tweeting on Monday that “we’re surprised she didn’t order a Dragon Drink.” Ha ha. Don’t you feel like you and Starbucks could be friends in real life if brands were people?
Anyway, RIP to the latest Game of Thrones cast member to be killed off. It was a fitting death, all things considered. Now it’s time to get the #ReleaseTheStarbucksCupCut campaign going. Twitter, do your thing.