Game of Thrones Pranks: Stark Sisters & Always Sunny's Rob McElhenney

The cast of Game of Thrones is probably one of the most tight-knit particularly the actors who portrayed the Stark children in Kit Harington, Ian Hempstead Wright, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams, who played Jon Snow, Bran, Sansa, and Arya Stark, respectively. James Hibberd chronicled the stories behind the scenes of the HBO show going across eight seasons revealing to little-known to shocking revelations about the cast. The author offered snippets from "Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon" to Entertainment Weekly. His most recent reveal was the pranks some of the cast and crew endured in a chapter called "Mummer's Farce". Two of the victims in season one were Turner and Williams.

Game of Thrones Pranks Include Stark Sisters, Sunny's Rob McElhenney
Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner as Arya and Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones. Rob McElhenney as Mac in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Images courtesy of WarnerMedia and FX Networks

How the Stark Sisters Fell Victim to Season 1 Game of Thrones Prank, McElhenney in Season 7

The two actresses formed a bond with one another early and forged on for eight seasons. "Here's a minor prank we pulled during season one: We told Maisie and Sophie that since they were underage, they couldn't come to the pilot wrap party," says showrunner David Benioff. "So we told them they were going to have a special underage wrap party at McDonald's. They started crying." "Then they came to the real wrap party and cried through that — because they thought they might never see each other again," showrunner Dan Weiss adds.

The story with the original pilot was the cast and crew held a wrap party not knowing if they would ever see each other again should HBO not pick up the series, which, fortunately, it was. Another prank involved Rob McElhenney from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia on FXX, who's friends with Benioff and Weiss and frequent collaborator. Both wrote an episode and appeared in cameos for the comedy series while McElhenney made an appearance. The prank set up by Benioff and Weiss involved taking up on McElhenney's suggestion to let Matt Shakman direct for season seven. He ended up directing two episodes "Eastwatch" and "The Spoils of War." The latter earned the season's highest rating on IMDb at 9.8. Shakman's a regular on Sunny.

"We thought it would be funny if we told Rob that it was not working out with Matt and that he was a total disaster," Weiss recalls. "He would feel so guilty because he recommended him. We went back and forth [on email] slowly, not throwing it out there all at once, asking questions like, 'So when Matt's on the set, how does he usually behave?' Rob was all, 'What‐what‐what's wrong?!' We told him we're going to have to step in and take over the episode because it's turned into such a mess." Shakman recalled McElhenney's reaction. "I forgot about that!" he exclaimed. "That was the darkest practical joke. Rob was legitimately tortured about it. He was so concerned for me and was like, 'What can I do? Who can I talk to?' It went on for way too long." "Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon" is available on October 6.

About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangora. As a professional writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.

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