“Lots of Starbucks Hunting” on ‘House of the Dragon’ Set After Infamous ‘Game of Thrones’ Viral Cup Moment

In the wake of the Starbucks cup seen 'round the world, the team behind HBO's new series joke about attempts to avoid a déjà vu incident.

Few of Game of Thrones many viral moments took Twitter by storm quite like the unintended Starbucks cup cameo in the fourth episode of the HBO series’ final season.

While filming the Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, co-showrunner Ryan Condal admits he and his colleagues were careful to avoid a déjà vu incident, telling THR at the show’s July 27 L.A. premiere that they maintained “a very heavily policed set — there was lots of Starbucks-hunting going on.”

He was quick to defend the Thrones error, noting moments like that happen often in TV and film but the fact that it was scrutinized in the way that it was underscored the HBO show’s popularity. The scene attracted so much attention it sent off a witch hunt for who was responsible, with many blaming Emilia Clarke due to her proximity to her cup — until she later claimed Conleth Hill, who played Varys, came forward as the owner.

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Still, they had some fun referencing the cup on the Dragon set, said Condal: “We always joked around about it, that we were going to make Starbucks goblets so at least they fit in the scene.”

Condal’s Dragon partner Miguel Sapochnik teased he took a different approach — leaving coffee cups “everywhere we could so that later on we could paint them out digitally.”

He jokingly issued a challenge for viewers to “see if you can see where the Starbucks cups were that we removed digitally after the fact, and if you can find one, there is a prize.” What’s that prize? “A cup of coffee,” naturally.

A version of this story first appeared in the Aug. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.