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'House of the Dragon': Did You Catch the Goof With King Viserys' Fingers?

It's not quite the Starbucks coffee cup of Game of Thrones fame, but it's funny nonetheless.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read
Paddy Considine as King Viserys Targaryen, sitting at the Small Council's meeting table

King Viserys Targaryen has some missing fingers, but they showed up again in the third House of the Dragon episode.

Photograph by Ollie Upton/HBO

Your average viewer (me included) might not have noticed it, but there was an apparent CGI goof on the third episode of HBO's huge Game of Thrones show, House of the Dragon. In the episode, which aired Sunday and is available on streaming, King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) sends a small scroll containing a message offering war help to his brutish brother, Prince Daemon (Matt Smith) -- and a sharp-eyed fan spotted a mistake.

Viserys isn't doing too well. It seems that sitting the Iron Throne isn't just stressful, it's unhealthy. He's got a yucky cut on his back, plus he apparently cut his fingers on the many swords that make up his regal chair. (One scene showed him treating his injured fingers by letting maggots chew away the dead skin.)

So when he hands the scroll off to a messenger, a screen capture shared on Twitter by Sarah Capps shows what seems to be a green glove covering a few of his fingers. That's likely so the computer whizzes in production can eliminate those fingers, as if Viserys had to have them amputated. The green color is used because it can easily be erased before the scene is released. But of course, nobody's perfect.

I rewound the episode on streaming, and didn't see the green fingers. Perhaps HBO went in and fixed the goof once it was brought to someone's attention. Or maybe I'm just not very observant.

"It's less than a quarter second long and much darker than your screenshot," noted one Twitter user. "The VFX director probably chose not to prioritize the shot and it passed muster for screening. If they get to it, it'll be on the Bluray."

HBO did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One Twitter user spotted another possible goof, from the scene where Viserys' messenger delivers the scroll. (Spoiler: Daemon does not treat him well for his trouble.)

"When he hands the letter to Daemon (the) seal is already broken," the fan pointed out. "Looks like after multiple takes. None of this takes away from the show. But still."

This one, I think I saw, though I sure didn't notice it while watching. Upon a rewind, the seal does look broken to me, but you know, it's a long harsh ride from Kings' Landing to the Stepstones, so it's kind of a miracle the note got there at all.

Does this all seem a bit familiar? You might remember that in the original Game of Thrones blockbuster hit show, much fuss was made over an apparent Starbucks coffee cup left in one scene, then later edited out. And the season finale featured a leftover water bottle in one scene.

These mistakes are tiny compared with the massive sweep of the much-awaited show, and they're unlikely to stop anyone from watching. But they're fun to hunt down for those with sharp eyes and a quick command of the pause button.

The next episode of House of the Dragon airs Sunday on HBO.

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