×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

A Starbucks Cup in ‘Game of Thrones’ and Other Anachronisms in Movies and TV

Medieval party drinks consist of wine, mead, and pumpkin spice latte?

Astute viewers of last night’s “Game of Thrones” episode may have noticed that a stray Starbucks coffee cup wandered on set and wound up right in front of Daenerys Targaryen.

We’ve suspended our disbelief for giant’s milk, but Starbucks coffee might be a bridge too far. This is without a doubt a fairly egregious offense against historical accuracy, insofar that “Game of Thrones” is a “historical” show (are dragons historical?). But some leeway may be in order considering the HBO series is not even close to the worst offender when it comes to anachronistic goofs.

Below are 14 examples of anachronisms in both TV and Film.

Kilts in “Braveheart

Imagine Mel Gibson as William Wallace giving his famous “freedom” speech in a horse urine soaked tunic instead of the traditional Scottish kilt. That probably would have been more repellent than inspiring, but alas much more historically accurate. Plaid and tartan kilts weren’t introduced until the 1700s.

Wristwatch in “Glory”

Seeing ’80s pop culture staple Ferris Bueller as a Civil War general in “Glory” is a bit arresting, but that’s nothing compared to how much the sight of an extra’s wristwatch sucks the viewers out of the 1800s setting.

Raquel Welch Poster in “The Shawshank Redemption”

Over the decades in Shawshank Prison, Andy Dufrsesne starts with a Rita Hayworth poster, then updates to a Marilyn Monroe poster, and finally apparently swipes a Raquel Welch poster from the future. Morgan Freeman’s universally recognizable voice over says Andy escapes the prison in 1966. Dufresne uses the Raquel Welch “One Million Years B.C.” poster to cover up his escape tunnel, but the campy cult classic didn’t come out until 1967.

Electric Chair in “The Green Mile”

“The Shawshank Redemption” isn’t the only Stephen King prison drama that messed up time. The electric chair is a centerpiece in the “The Green Mile,” set in Louisiana during 1935. Prisoners in the film are executed on the chair, but the chair wasn’t Louisiana’s means of execution until 1940. Realistically, they would have been hanged instead.

NFL at Night in “Mad Men

NBC news anchor Brian Williams, rather ironically, is a hawk for historical accuracy in “Mad Men.” In his blog, he points out a number of “Mad Men” anachronisms, including one in which Don Draper watches an NFL game on a Saturday night. Football didn’t move to primetime until 1970.

Incorrect Maps in “Indiana Jones

In “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” set in 1936, a plane flies over a map that includes Thailand and Jordan. Too bad Thailand was called Siam until 1939 and Jordan was called Transjordan until 1949. Apparently Steven Spielberg didn’t brush up on his cartography history in the intervening years before the fourth installment “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” where a plane flies over Belize in 1957. It was actually British Honduras back in those days.

Belt Loops in “Unforgiven”

Apparently historical accuracy isn’t a metric for the Academy Awards. Clint Eastwood’s best picture-winning and 1800s-set “Unforgiven” features gunslingers who sling their guns from a belt…in belt loops, which weren’t fashionable until the 20th century.

“Avengers” in “M*A*S*H”

With “Avengers: Endgame” on course to be the highest grossing film of all time, the only people unfamiliar the crime fighting super team are those from the time before the Avengers comics came into existence in 1963. In “M*A*S*H,” however, even a G.I. during the Korean War in the 1950s is seen with an “Avengers” comic book in the season four episode “Der Tag.”

Gears of War, YouTube, and iPod Touch in “The Hurt Locker”

“Gears of War” came out in 2006 on Xbox 360, which released in 2005, the same year YouTube debuted and two years before the iPod Touch hit stores in 2007. The aforementioned all make appearances in “The Hurt Locker.” The problem: “The Hurt Locker” is set in 2004.

Llamas in “Troy” 

The historical flubs of “Troy” are too numerous to list here, but we would be remiss not to make note of the llamas walking around Ancient Turkey. Unless the Peruvian mammals had transcontinental swimming abilities thousands of years ago, they probably don’t belong in Homer’s Greek epic.

Bombs in “300”

Explosions sell, just ask Michael Bay. Maybe that was the motivation for having the millennia-off anachronism of powder-based explosives in the Ancient Greek Thermopylae setting of “300.” Although the bombs in “300” make for cool action sequences, combat was far more primitive.

Depiction of Persians in “Alexander”

“300” was pretty off base with its depiction of Ancient Persians, but Oliver Stone’s Alexander the Great biopic took the misrepresentation to a far more controversial level. While butchering Zoroastrian religious iconography and casting Rosario Dawson (of Irish and Caribbean descent) as a Persian understandably offended a lot of people, the main anachronism was the inclusion of turbaned Persian soldiers long before turbans were in vogue.

Telescopes in “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves”

Morgan Freeman’s Muslim character Azeem in the Crusades era “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” pulls out a telescope in one scene. Although Islamic civilization was the epicenter of technological innovation at the time, it had not invented time travel to bring the 1600s Dutch invention back to the Middle Ages.

Fruit in “Pirates of the Carribean”

According to pirate stereotypes, scurvy tops the list of seafaring fears, rivaled only by walking the plank. It makes sense that the characters of “Pirates of the Caribbean” would keep lots of Vitamin C handy. Unfortunately for them, the Granny Smith apples and sweet bananas they munch on didn’t exist until the 1800s, a century after the franchise takes place.

More Film

  • Yao Chen

    Xiamen Woos Film Industry, Becomes New Home of Golden Rooster Festival

    China’s government-led Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers Film Festival has found a permanent home in Fujian province’s coastal city of Xiamen, starting from this year, municipal representatives said Monday at a Shanghai Intl. Film Festival press conference. “Xiamen has the confidence and the perseverance to be up to the task,” said Dai Zhiwang, the assistant [...]

  • TheReturn press launch at Shanghai Film

    Qin Hailu's 'The Return' Makes Emotional Debut at Shanghai Festival

    “This is the final film that seals my acting career,” said 95-year-old Chinese actor Chang Feng, of “The Return,” which plays this week in competition at the Shanghai International Film Festival. “The director, the screenwriter, and the entire crew have put so much heart into this film, I hope it wins the award.” The film [...]

  • Dami Im and Bong Joon-Ho'Parasite' premiere,

    ‘Parasite’ Wins Sydney Film Festival

    “Parasite,” the South Korean black drama that previously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, was Sunday named as the winner of the Sydney Film Festival. After collecting a cash prize of A$60,000 ($41,200), at Sydney’s State Theatre, “Parasite” director said: “This Festival is really amazing, especially the audience…really special and extraordinary. This is the most [...]

  • China Film Group's Jiang Ping

    Shanghai: China Studio Chiefs Debate Winter Chills and U.S. Rivalry

    The Shanghai International Film Festival pulled off the impressive feat of assembling leading executives from seven of China’s top film studios. Their discussion focused on the problems that have recently beset the production sector and the industry’s relationship with Hollywood. “The film industry achieved great things in 2018, but it was also the year that [...]

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping claps while

    Propaganda Films to Dominate Chinese Theaters in Anniversary Year

    A presentation at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday shed light on the welter of propaganda films that will compete with Hollywood blockbusters for the attention of Chinese cinema goers in the second half of this year. This year is laden with political significance for China’s ruling Communist Party. It is 100 years since [...]

  • Leung Chiu-wai

    Tony Leung to Star in Shanghai Film Group's 'Fox Hunt' Police Action Film

    Hong Kong’s Tony Leung Chiu-wai and mainland China’s Duan Yihong will head the cast of the Shanghai Film Group’s upcoming “Fox Hunt.” The film is based on real live events and depicts the activities of Operation Fox Hunt, a worldwide anti-corruption initiative managed by China’s Ministry of Public Security. The operation seeks to find and [...]

  • Wings Over Everest

    Terence Chang's 'Wings Over Everest' Set to Swell China's Rescue Film Genre

    “Wings over Everest,” a new action adventure film from veteran producer Terence Chang and “Wolf Warrior 2” producer Lu Jianmin, is poised to join the burgeoning Chinese sub-genre of rescue movies.   The Chinese- and English-language film stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu (“Project Gutenberg”; “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”), Japanese actor Koji Yakusho (“Babel”; “Memoirs of a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content