Tonight’s GAME OF THRONES Wins The Nobel Nerd Reference Prize

HBO’s epic fantasy series namedrops a cult fantasy film from the 80s. Find out more inside. There are no spoilers!

I’ll be writing a complete review of the latest episode of A Game of Thrones episode 1.4, Crippples, Bastards and Other Broken Things, but I wanted to take a quick moment to bow to the folks behind the show who slipped in this bit of geekery:

The scene was already nerd porn (which is what my girlfriend called it as she cracked up at the scene) - Viserys, the exiled heir to the Iron Throne of Westeros, is banging a prostitute in a bathtub while he recites to her the names of the dragons of old. See, in Game of Thrones dragons have been extinct for centuries, but Viserys’ family used to ride them into battle. And so the character begins this long list of dragon names, mostly made up of names familiar to readers of the book. And then…


Yup, Vermithrax. As in Vermithrax Pejorative, the name of the dragon in Dragonslayer, the Disney film from the 80s that the studio hasn’t (yet) moved to remake. George RR Martin, the writer of the novels, is actually a big fan of Dragonslayer and put it on a list of his ten favorite fantasy movies, saying

Vermithrax Perjorative is the best dragon ever put on film (the dragons in Reign of Fire are a close second) and has the coolest dragon name as well.

And now his name is in the world of Ice and Fire.

I didn’t catch any other shout outs in the name list - did you? This sort of thing is tricky; getting too referential in a world-building fantasy epic can ruin the suspension of disbelief, but I think the show did it just right.