‘Game of Thrones’ Has a Unique Link to ‘Monty Python’

In many ways, the success of Game of Thrones has been unexpected, to say the least. Game of Thrones is ultimately a fantasy show that’s full of knights in armor, dragons, and even fake languages.

Yet, not only was Game of Thrones massively successful, but it also made the fantasy genre seem cool again. One of the many ways that the showrunners, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, were able to do that was by mixing and matching other genres to the show.

As a result, surprisingly, one of the biggest influences on Game of Thrones was actually ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail.’

The many genres of ‘Game of Thrones’

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While at its core, Game of Thrones is ultimately a political drama about who will win control over the throne, the show is much more complex than that. For example, while everyone is killing each other over the throne, Jon Snow and his allies up in the Far North are fighting against ice zombies. As a result, those scenes in the show are closer to a horror movie than to a fantasy one. 

And, farther down south, Tyrion Lannister is trying to run a city. Many of Tyrion’s best moments when he was doing that were more comedic than not, though of course, things do get more dramatic for him later on. Tyrion’s not the only source of jokes in the show, but this comedic aspect does show how Game of Thrones has been able to win over so many viewers.

The several ‘Monty Python’ references in ‘Game of Thrones’

Emilia Clark
Emilia Clark | Helen Sloan/HBO

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As Vanity Fair reported, one of the showrunners, Weiss, said Monty Python was a “formative influence” for him, and that he and Benioff were well-aware of how similar the show could be to Monty Python, especially Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

That said, for the most part, they’ve avoided steering the show in that direction, but that didn’t stop them from putting a few references to Monty Python.

For example, Mental Floss wrote that, for the pilot of the show, the Game of Thrones cast and crew filmed in the same castle that Monty Python filmed Monty Python and the Holy Grail in. Both productions filmed in Doune Castle, which is located in Scotland. In Game of Thrones, Doune Castle was used to portray Winterfell, which is the home of many of the show’s main characters. 

There were other references to Monty Python, too. For example, Mental Floss wrote that, in the episode, ‘Breaker of Chains,’ one of the characters gets insulted in a foreign language. Those insults, when translated to English, are lines that were taken straight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. For example, some of those insults included, “Your mother was a hamster,” and “I blow my nose at you.”

What is ‘Monty Python’? 

While many people know of Monty Python from their movie, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, they’ve made much more than that. Monty Python is actually the name of their comedy troupe. They’ve made TV shows and they’ve made plenty of other movies, too. Their works aren’t just about knights in armor, either.

In ‘Life of Brian,’ they make fun of biblical stories. In Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which was a sketch comedy show, they talked about and made fun of many different topics. That said, Monty Python was formed in the late 60s, and they have stopped working together nowadays. 

By and large, their members have gone and done their own things. For example, Terry Gilliam was in Monty Python, and now he’s become a successful director in Hollywood. Despite ending though, their work remains funny, popular, and influential, as ‘Game of Thrones’ showed.