‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Explain Why Queen Elizabeth Refused the Iron Throne

Last year, the Queen of England visited the Belfast set of Game of Thrones but passed on the chance to sit in the Iron Throne. Now, the creators of the hit HBO show explain why.

On the hit HBO series Game of Thrones, several different houses are angling for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms. And they’ve done unspeakably evil things to get there, ranging from killing babies and twincest to “The Red Wedding.” So, when the real-life Queen of England passed up a chance to sit in the Iron Throne, it left showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss scratching their heads.You see, last June, Queen Elizabeth paid a much-ballyhooed visit to the set of Game of Thrones in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As the largest TV production in Europe, the series has created several thousand jobs for the people of Northern Ireland, and to pay them back, the queen met with Benioff and Weiss, as well as U.K. Thrones stars Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), and Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark). When she was offered a shot at sitting in the Iron Throne, however, the queen politely declined.

And now we know why.

“No, she’s not allowed to,” explained Benioff on Wednesday’s Late Night with Seth Meyers. “Apparently, the Queen of England is not allowed to sit on a foreign throne, so this is an esoteric rule we didn’t know about until that moment. It looks like we’re saying, ‘Don’t touch, Queen.’”

The highly anticipated fifth season of Game of Thrones returns April 12, and the creators also joked about how nervous their cast members are when they call them on the phone—you know, given the show’s penchant for knocking people off willy-nilly.“The call of death is always a mutual thing,” said Weiss. “If it’s David or Dan they might be OK, and if it’s David and Dan, it’s not good.”“Sometimes we’re just calling to say, ‘Hey, do you guys want to come out for dinner?’ but as soon as they get that phone call they think we’re calling to say, ‘You’re dead,’ like it’s the Grim Reaper on the line,” added Benioff.