Game of Thrones: Company Who Sold Infamous ‘Starbucks’ Cup Missed Out on Millions of Free PR

The final season of Game of Thrones became infamous for many reasons, not least the moment a “Starbucks” cup appeared in one scene of the fourth episode of season 8. Although fans found many story related reasons to hate the finale of the popular HBO show, seeing a modern coffee cup appear in one scene didn’t help lift opinions of the whole seasons being a massive disappointment with less than perfect execution. Although the style of the cup instantly saw it called a Starbucks cup, the actual company who provided the cup has finally broken their silence on the incident after three years.

The episode in question originally aired on HBO in May 2019, but it had only been in a recent interview that Mark Ashbridge, the owner of Established Coffee, has revealed that despite the cup being called a Starbucks cup on social media and in news reports, it actually originated in their Belfast shop, which Ashbridge says led to the company missing out on millions in free PR. Speaking to Adweek, Ashbridge said:


“It was such a disappointment that Starbucks was the immediate [assumption]. Like, who on Earth first said that? There was no discernable logo on anything. The actual scene was filmed months and months prior to ever hitting a TV screen, so you couldn’t say someone was here yesterday when that happened.”

House of the Dragon Has Redeemed The Game of Thrones Franchise


Despite the bitter disappointment many fans still feel now towards the final season of Game of Thrones, to the point multiple petitions have been raised demanding that HBO remake the final season, spin-off prequel series House of the Dragon has brought the franchise back fighting. So far, there have been only minor VFX errors that have crept into House of the Dragon, which have subsequently been corrected for streaming going forward. Although House of the Dragon is not expected to run for as many season as its predecessor, there will clearly be a hope that is will not succumb to the same finale issues faced by Game of Thrones.

Although any work of fiction is open to human error and some less than convincing special effects, there will be plenty of people keeping an eye on House of the Dragon to try and make sure that things run as smoothly as possible and no blatant and avoidable errors happen when the series returns for its second season. As for the infamous Game of Thrones paper cup, the scene may have been edited so the offending item is no longer in view for future audiences, but the memory will always live on for fans who were there when the episode originally aired. At least now the origin of the cup is known, and people can stop simply referring to it as “the Starbucks cup.”

House of the Dragon’s season one finale will air on HBO on Sunday, although the episode has already leaked online. Meanwhile, Game of Thrones is also available to watch on HBO Max.