In November 2014, it was reported that a number of television programs, including Game of Thrones, had been banned in military schools belonging to the Turkish army, in order to protect young people from: “sexual exploitation, pornography, exhibitionism, abuse, harassment and all negative behaviors” (dragons weren’t mentioned). According to a report in the Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, this isn’t the first time that Game of Thrones has caused trouble within the country’s army. In 2012, officers were kicked out of a military academy in Istanbul for allowing cadets to watch the show.
2. You can get the circle line from Casterly Rock to King’s Landing.
Just kidding. It’s called the gold line. Graphic designer Michael Tyznik has made his own TFL style underground maps to reflect geography of George RR Martin’s world. In Westeros you can catch the ocean line from Lannisport to High Garden. Meanwhile in Essos, you can hop on the demon line all the way to Vaes Dothrak. The Wall used to be comprised of many castles, and to reflect the former glory of the Night’s Watch, Tyznik has named a whole row of abandoned tube stations on the wall line including Oakensheild, Woodswatch by the Wall and Greyguard. The Harrentown station is closed for the refurbishment of Harrenhal, which has been a ruin since its destruction by Aegon I the Conqueror 300 years before the action of the books and series began.
3. There’s a real-life equivalent to Valyrian steel.
On Game of Thrones, the very best blades are forged from a super-strong, but incredibly light substance known as Valyrian steel. But creating the metal itself, which can be recognized by its distinctive rippled surface, is a lost art: Valyrian blades can be passed down through families, but no new items can be made without melting down the originals (most memorably, in the case of Eddard Stark’s greatsword Ice, which was turned into Widow’s Wail and Oathkeeper). Intriguingly, it seems that Game of Thrones author George RR Martin based Valyrian steel on a real life alloy known as Damascus steel. Developed in India and the Middle East, Damascus steel was known for its super-strong, super-sharp qualities, and for its distinctive rippled surface. But he specific temperature and techniques needed to make it were lost at some point in the 18th century. Various attempts have since been made to replicate it, but the exact formula remains an enduring mystery.