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JUN
20
1 month

How George R.R. Martin Ended Up in 'Gay of Thrones' (Video)

Director Erin Gibson tells THR she kept Martin's involvement in the Funny or Die series a surprise for a reason: "It's cooler if it's a thing people discover."

George R. R. Martin - H 2014
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

George R.R. Martin surprised Game of Thrones fans this week — and we're not talking about Sunday's shocking finale.

The author made a surprise, last-minute cameo in Gay of Thrones, Funny or Die's Thrones recap series in which a hair stylist recounts (to varying degrees of accuracy) the happenings of the HBO series' latest episode.

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The Gay of Thrones team learned they would get an hour with Martin during his recent visit to Funny or Die headquarters, and concocted the idea of Martin playing the role of the grandfather in The Princess Bride.

"He was just so onboard and he got it," writer/director Erin Gibson tells The Hollywood Reporter.

In an era of clickbait,  the cameo came as a rare surprise to viewers, who were not tipped off ahead of time. Gibson and her team decided not to publicize that Martin was appearing in the video, leaving it to viewers to discover.

"I don’t think putting that stuff in the title comes from a place of confidence. It's cooler if it's a thing people discover and it's like, 'hey, tell your friends about it,' " Gibson says.

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GIbson conceived of the Gay of Thrones when she heard star (and real-life stylist) Jonathan Van Ness doing pretty much what he does in the series to one of his clients: recapping the show, with a twist.

"He called one of the male characters 'she,' "recalls Gibson. "I knew we had to make this into a thing."

Gibson says anecdotally she's heard Gay of Thrones has helped the show's standing amongst viewers who may have been put off by some of its content. The already controversial Thrones faced extra scrutiny this season with a rape scene involving one of the show's main characters. People have also complained that for all of its sexual content, it rarely has portrayed gay sex.

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"Especially with all the problems they've had this year – it probably helps having an LGBT-friendly recap."

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch