Despite its conclusion in 2019, HBO’s Game of Thrones continues to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Recently, it was reported that the show’s stuntwoman, Casey Michaels sued the makers for £4 million. 

Michaels who’s also featured as a body double for Catherine Zeta-Jones alleges that she suffered “career-ending” injuries during the shooting of ‘The Long Night’ on February 5th, 2018. Michaels played the role of a zombie and was required to jump from a rooftop, but went on to suffer a severe leg injury due to unsafe working conditions. 

This isn’t the first time the show has come under fire in its 8-season long run. Today, we’ve compiled the list of top five controversies which continues to haunt the reputation of the HBO series. 

5) Ian McShane’s Comments 

Back in 2016, creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss cast Ian McShane, the star of American Gods and Deadwood, for a small but significant role. While the news did give a fan a sense of excitement, it proved to be a PR nightmare in the long run. 

As it turns out, the 76-year old was annoyed by the show’s fandom when reactions started surfacing over his lacklustre performance. The actor is said to have described the show as “just tits and dragon” and even went on to tell the fans that they needed to “get a f**king life.” 

4) The musical cameo no one asked for 

Fans realised the show was on a downward slope when the creators thought it’d be a good idea to feature a cameo with Ed Sheeran. Playing as a Lannister soldier, many complained that the appearance took them out of the moment, further describing it as “cringy” and “unnecessary,”

Game of Thrones has previously featured musical cameos before, with appearances from Sigur Rose, Coldplay and more. However, none have felt as jarring as the Sheeran one. 

3) The Ramsey-Sansa Scene 

Game of Thrones has always taken the no-holds-barred approach when it comes to showcasing violence on the show. But what truly broke the camel’s back was the reception to the scene between Ramsey Bolton and Sansa Stark. The scene sees Iwan Rheon’s character sexually assaulting Sophie Turner’s character on their wedding night. 

As expected, many were turned away by the graphic nature of the scene, with critics very vocally showcasing their displeasure. However, Sophie Turner defended the writer’s choice, saying that the scene helped in raising awareness for victims of domestic abuse. 

2) Jason Mamoa’s comments 

While we love him as Aquaman today, Jason Momoa’s character wasn’t the same cool surfer dude we’ve come to associate him with. The actor portrayed the role of Khal Drogo, a barbarian with a penchant for violence. 

Perhaps Mamoa was still in the character when he made a few eyebrow-raising comments during a 2011 Comic-Con panel. The actor joked that he loved the fantasy genre because “you can rape beautiful women.” In his defense, in 2017, the star did come out and say that he was “still severely disappointed” in himself.

1) George W Bush Controversy  

Despite its success (followed by its downfall) in recent years, the makers of GoT didn’t exactly have a blockbuster budget to work with. As a result, corners were cut when it came to props and other production necessities. One such instance involves the use of former American president George W Bush’s prosthetic head as a prop for Ned Stark’s head when he was executed. 

It is rumoured that the props department has just picked up any old spare prosthetic head lying around the HBO backlot. While both Benioff and Weiss found it amusing, the political backlash for it was not. The studio was forced to course-correct by issuing an apology and removing the former president’s head from DVD releases.

(Image credits: HBO)