Warning: The following post contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones finale. If you don’t want to know what happens, stop reading!
Last night’s Game of Thrones series finale was full of dramatic twists, the biggest of which was that plastic apparently exists in the pseudo-medieval realm of Westeros. Eagle-eyed fans spotted the presence of a plastic water bottle during a pivotal scene in King’s Landing.
See it here for yourself:
The bottle appears in frame 46 minutes and 19 seconds into the episode, behind Samwell Tarly’s leg, and has already launched a meme on Twitter, much like the errant Starbucks-resembling coffee cup from two weeks ago.
A second bottle was also spotted on the ground in between Ser Brienne of Tarth and Ser Davos Seaworth, doubling the amount of cringe from the coffee cup incident in “The Last of the Starks.”
But maybe this isn’t another set dressing error. What if it’s actually a secret clue? After all, this episode also included a brief discussion on the importance of clean drinking water to public health; surely that can’t be a coincidence? Or maybe it’s a touch of more abstract symbolism; purified water to put out the fires and wash away the ashes of Dany’s short and terrible reign.
Then again, it could be a warning to the audience. Game of Thrones has often been called a parable about climate change, a theory that George R.R. Martin himself has confirmed. And now that the existential threat of the White Walkers have been dealt with on-screen, this scene could be telling viewers to reckon with an equally grave problem in the real world: single use plastics.
Ok, fine, maybe not. A Song of Evian and Fire doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, somehow. But if a wayward water bottle is the only thing fans have to complain about in this finale, we’ll have got off lightly.