'Game of Thrones' coffee flub 'worth £1.8 billion in free advertising' for Starbucks

The cup of coffee was seen on the table in front of Daenerys during the latest episode of Game of Thrones (Photo: HBO)

Starbucks is quids in after a coffee cup that accidentally featured in the latest episode of Game of Thrones went viral.

The hit series is set in a medieval era where plastic cups don’t exist. But somehow the modern day item made its way on to a table in front of Emilia Clarke’s character Daenerys Targaryen during the latest episode.

Whilst the scene played out on screen, social media erupted with fans commenting on the misplaced item.

Read more: How do ‘Game of Thrones’ characters look compared to the books?

In the hours and days that have followed, it has been claimed that the popular coffee chain has got $2.3billion (£1.8 billion) worth of free advertising.

Talking to NBC, marketing analyst Stacy Jones, chief executive officer of marketing company Hollywood Branded, said “This is a once-in-a-lifetime collision of opportunity for Starbucks. But really, this is just the tip of the iceberg, because what isn’t being monitored or estimated is the word of mouth and social media on top of this.”

Jones cited a publicity monitoring service that tallied over 10,000 combined mentions of Starbucks and Game of Thrones online, and on TV and radio around the world.

However, it has since come to light that the cup in question wasn’t even from Starbucks and was instead from an independent coffee service.

Responding to the frenzy surrounding the coffee cup, Starbucks playfully questioned why Daenerys hadn’t opted for a more suitable drink from their menu.

“TBH we’re surprised she didn’t order a Dragon Drink,” a tweet from the official account read.


Meanwhile, broadcaster HBO also took a lighthearted approach to the mistake when they responded to the scene.

In a press release obtained by Variety, HBO quipped: “The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea.”

Read more: Sophie Turner: Kit Harington deserves more money than me on ‘Game of Thrones’

Explaining how the cup made it onto the set and in the final cut of the latest episode, The Last of the Starks, the programme’s art director Hauke Richter told the publication: “Things can get forgotten on set.

“[The coffee cup error has been] so blown out of proportion [because] it has not happened with ‘Thrones’ so far.”

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby poked fun at the mistake on Game of Thrones (Photo: ITV)

But if viewers watch the episode on catch up services, they will see that the cup has vanished after HBO decided to edit it out before making it available to stream.

Meanwhile, ITV’s This Morning poked fun at Game of Thrones mistake when a coffee cup featured in the background of one of their segments.

Neatly placed behind a mug in the kitchen area, viewers were quick to point out the joke whilst hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby continued presenting the show.