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Was there a Starbucks-style cup on Game of Thrones last night? Verily

Pumpkin spice lattes are coming, apparently.

Was there a Starbucks-style cup on Game of Thrones last night? Verily
[Screenshot: Game of Thrones/HBO]

Last night, the most popular TV show in the world crossed paths with the most popular beverage in the world.

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If it were simply Young Sheldon glimpsed sipping his inaugural macchiato, it would be no big deal. Instead, the grande-size, heat-sleeved treat belonged to Daenerys Targaryen, a resident of Westeros, the fictitious Game of Thrones realm that famously eschews corporatism for wizardry and blood sport.

Only a scant few viewers seemed to catch the loose cup as the show initially aired on Sunday night. Once the initial wave of tweets about the actual substance of the episode subsided, though, the images of the cup spread throughout the internet like wildfire—specifically, the wildfire Cersei used to kill everybody at King’s Landing. By Monday morning, “Starbucks Cup” was trending on Twitter, which was probably better news for Starbucks than for the team behind Game of Thrones.

Was the cup on the table an on-set prank? A brand activation? An elaborate hint at what’s to come in the next episode? (Jon Snow is going to “flat white” something?) As one Twitterer who works in TV points out, the answer may not be all that interesting:

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And as production designer Hannah Beachler notes, it’s likely not even a Starbucks cup!

So, there you have it. It was a common mistake, the kind of thing that ends up in IMDB’s “goofs” section all the time. The only reason this cup is getting attention is because it appeared in a show that is watched and scrutinized by a ridiculous number of people around the world in unison, people who are now left to ponder just how much the baristas in Westeros would screw up names like “Daenerys” on the sides of those cups.

Fast Company has reached out to HBO for comment on Cupgate and will update this post accordingly.

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