Game of Thrones may have come to an end, but the saga of the Winterfell coffee cup continues! As fans of HBO's epic series (although not necessarily fans of the finale) undoubtedly remember, Game of Thrones Season 8 accidentally included what looked an awful lot like a Starbucks coffee cup in a feast scene, and reports differ about who was guilty of leaving the cup out in the open. Sophie Turner accused Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke, while Clarke herself seemingly settled the matter recently when she stated that the real culprit had confessed: Conleth Hill!
In Emilia Clarke's telling of the tale, Conleth Hill, who of course played Varys on Game of Thrones, came clean to her about the coffee cup at a pre-Emmys party where he may or may not have been drunk. Now, Hill has weighed in, and he wasn't exactly copping to the coffee cup. Speaking to Channel 4 in the U.K. (via MSN), Hill said this:
You know, there's no proof that I did it. So accuse away. I would need to have had Mr. Man arms to leave a coffee cup there. I took a bullet for Emilia Clarke and she touted on me.
If indeed Conleth Hill did confess that the coffee cup was his to Emilia Clarke at the pre-Emmys party, as she claimed, Hill clearly doesn't consider that proof! As long as the person carrying the coffee cup into Winterfell's great hall wasn't caught on camera and Hill doesn't say the words himself, we technically only have Emilia Clarke's word for it that he confessed. Is it enough to declare him guilty, or is there enough reasonable doubt that somebody else did it?
Conleth Hill mentioning "Mr. Man arms" refers to a character with exceptionally long arms from the Mr. Men series of British kids' books. Considering the Game of Thrones scene in question did have the cup between Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke rather than in front of Hill, it does stand to reason that maybe he was just confessing to the coffee cup to make Clarke feel better. HBO has already edited the coffee cup out of the episode since its broadcast, but the internet is forever:
While the placement does suggest somebody other than Conleth Hill as the owner of the coffee cup, it's not impossible that Hill just set down his cup in that place and then moved to where Varys needed to be in the scene. For me, it's easier to believe that Hill could have just put it down and walked away than Emilia Clarke or Kit Harington forgetting their own cup right in front of them.
For his part, Conleth Hill didn't elaborate on what did or did not go down with the coffee cup in Winterfell. In fact, another of his comments may be proof that he never intends to deliver a straight answer:
(Jokingly) I'm just not making any comments until I have a lawyer.
Well, it's not like he can channel his inner Varys to deal with the situation! Something tells me that Conleth Hill's go-to move for avoiding uncomfortable situations isn't treason, plotting, and/or poison. Still, it's possible that a concrete answer could be revealed about who let the coffee cup make it into one of the last six episodes of the biggest show in TV history.
At the end of the day, the larger part of the blame may belong to the director and/or editor of the episode who didn't catch the cup that definitely did not belong in Westeros. Hopefully the fact that so much of the buzz about Game of Thrones Season 8 has concerned a mistake rather than the actual plot means that the people behind the Targaryen-centric spinoff (which has been ordered to series after the previous spinoff project received the axe) will be very careful about what makes it into the fantasy series.
We can suspend our disbelief for dragons, civil war, and an incest-filled dynasty, but no way can there be a reasonable explanation for a paper coffee cup in Westeros! Of course, it'll probably be a while before the House of the Dragon spinoff is ready to hit the airwaves, coffee cups or no coffee cups, so swing by our 2019 fall TV premiere schedule for some viewing options sooner rather than later.