Tag Archives: pop culture

10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs

All men must read.

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Whether you’re a die-hard GOT book lover or you’ve only committed to the TV show, this collection of gift books are a must for any wanna-be Lannister, Stark, or Tyrell.  From fun coloring books to scientific explorations of what happens when a brother and sister really do procreate, this collection of 10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs is one to bookmark for any upcoming birthdays or holidays.

10 Books Every Game of Thrones Fan Needs

The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book

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Make commercial breaks fly by with this nerdy Game of Thrones coloring book.  With dozens of stunning black and white illustrations from several artists, this coloring book will certainly help pass the time after these first 6 episodes are over.

Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine

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Game up for Sunday’s premier with an assortment of baked goods from Game of Scones.  Featuring Red (Velvet) Wedding Cake, Joffrey’s Jaffas, Jaime and Cersei’s Family Mess (eww), and Oberyn’s Smashing Head Surprise, this book is a must for fans!

Game of Thrones Versus History: Written in Blood

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Aside from the many fantastical elements of Game of Thrones, much of the plot is actually based on real historic events.  Get a better idea of what inspired Joffrey’s death, how the War of the Roses influenced battles in the series, and how slavery, celibate societies, and other myths and legends factored into George R. R. Martin’s world.

Game of Thrones Psychology: The Mind is Dark and Full of Terrors

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How to love, hate, good, evil, greed, and narcissism drive good and bad behaviors in the characters of Game of Thrones?  This book tries to explore that answer, offering a close examination of the psychology behind the characters in the Song of Ice and Fire series.

Living Language Dothraki

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Written by David J. Peterson, the man behind the Dothraki language, this book will arm you with enough vocabulary and grammar to have a complete conversation in Dothraki.  This course includes a language guide as well as a CD featuring more than 200 words and phrases, grammar explanations, cultural notes, and exercises.

Brain of Thrones: A Game of Thrones Quiz Book

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How much to you REALLY know about Game of Thrones?  Test your knowledge of seasons 1 through 6 with this collection of quizzes.  A fun book for friends to do together, this collection of quizzes is the perfect way to prep before the final season begins.

Game of Thrones: An Unofficial Travel Guide

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Part of the beauty of Game of Thrones is that it’s filmed all over the world.  Have you ever wanted to walk around King’s Landing or explore Winterfell for yourself?  Well, now you can explore the real-life locations that created these magical worlds.  They are all places you can visit…and this book will tell you how.

The Science of Game of Thrones: From the Genetics of Royal Incest to the Chemistry of Death by Molten Gold – Sifting Fact from Fantasy in the Seven Kingdoms

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Is it possible to crush a person’s head with your bare hands?  What REALLY happens when royal families sleep together?  Does Cersei have a borderline personality disorder?  What curious medical disorder does Horor suffer from?  All these questions and more are answered in this scientific look into the world of Game of Thrones.

The Wit & Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister

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We all know that Tyrion is the best character in Game of Thrones, and this little gem of a book gathers up all his wisdom into one place.  Find his best quotes about dining, women, wine, and politics in this illustrated gift book that’s perfect for those who drink and know things.

A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook

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With a forward by George R. R. Martin himself, A Feast of Ice & Fire is the official cookbook for Game of Thrones fans.  With recipes for lemon cakes, pork pies, honeyfingers, and more, this is the perfect guide for creating an epic feast suitable for a Game of Thrones premier party.

 

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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26 Fun Facts About Game of Thrones

Every Lannister knows his facts.

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With a larger-than-life cast and a shooting schedule that takes the crew all over the world, the production of Game of Thrones is bound to create a good factoid or two.  We may not know what fate lies before Jon Snow, but we do know that Kit Harrington wasn’t always the first choice to play the One Who Knows Nothing.

From casting secrets to who created Dothraki, here are 26 Fun Facts About Game of Thrones!

26 Fun Facts About Game of Thrones

George R. R. Martin, the man behind the books, had a cameo in the original pilot of the series as a guest at Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s wedding.  However, the original pilot was never aired.

Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) adopted her direwolf in real life.  Her and Zunni (Lady) are all over Instagram.

The Dothraki language was created by David J. Peterson and is a real language that you can learn and recite.

The horse heart Daenerys had to eat in season one was essentially a giant gummy candy.  The fake blood also made actress Emilia Clarke sick and the congealed mixture stuck her to the toilet.

In 2013, the US saw a rise in the name “Khaleesi” for baby girls.  “Khaleesi”, “Arya”, “Tyrion”, “Brienne”, “Sansa”, “Bran”, “Sandor”, and “Theon” also saw a rise in popularity in England around the same time.

Actor and stunt performer Ian Whyte has played four roles on Game of Thrones.  In seasons one and two, he was a White Walker, he was also Gregor Clegane in season two, a giant in season three, and a Wilding in season five.

Iwan Rheon (the evil Ramsay Bolton) was originally the runner up to play Jon Snow.

Game of Thrones was supposedly the most pirated show of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Game of Thrones has on official rap album titled “Catch the Throne”, which was released for free on SoundCloud in 2014.  The follow-up album came out in 2015 and included tracks by Snoop Dogg, Big Boi, Method Man, and many others.

Just in case something happens to George R. R. Martin before he can finish the series, the showrunners of Game of Thrones know how the books will end.  Though they might take different paths getting there, both the show and the books will have the same ending.

The average episode of Game of Thrones costs about $6 million to make.  Not surprisingly, it’s one of the most expensive shows on network television.

After winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Peter Dinklage became the show’s top-billed star.  Maybe that means he’s safe from death??  Here’s hoping!

Direwolves are real…or at least, they were.  The ancient breed was said to have been 25% larger than today’s grey wolf.  To recreate the wolves, the show uses Northern Inuit dogs that are digitally enlarged by visual effects specialists.

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Kristian Nairn (Hodor) was the first openly gay actor to come out in the show’s 100+ cast list.

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There have been more than 150,000 on-screen deaths on Game of Thrones so far.

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You can take a Game of Thrones course at Harvard University.

You can purchase a Hodor doorstop at IKEA.

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) has appeared in the most episodes so far.

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Peter Dinklage is also a vegetarian.  All the meat he eats on the show is fake.

Game of Thrones is the first acting role ever for Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark.

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Jerome Flynn, who plays Bronn, was in a 90’s doo-wop group called Robson and Jerome.  They had three No. 1 singles in the UK.

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The actor who played Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) is the great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.  Aww, look how cute he is!

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Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) are actually good friends in real life.  Dinklage even helped Headey get the part of Cersei.

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A large number of the actors on Game of Thrones have not read the books, fearing it may impact their acting if they know what happens to their character.

After the first episode aired, Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) received a letter from George R. R. Martin that read, “Congratulations, everyone hates you!”

Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) also played Hermione’s mom in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Knowledge is power!  Learn fun facts, hints and tips, and creative ways to use every day items with “The Buzz” posts on Thursday.

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The Night’s Watch Canvas Art

Even if you’ve only seen a handful of episodes of Game of Thrones, chances are you know what the Night’s Watch is…or at least are familiar with Castle Black.

Established to protect the Seven Kingdoms of Westros from the enemies to the north, the Night’s Watch  is made up of men who have given their freedom to protect their people against the White Walkers, wildlings, and giants that roam just on the other side of The Wall.

Members of the Night’s Watch swear an oath of duty that prohibits marriage, family, and land ownership.  Recruits must renounce all past allegiances and birthrights and must spend the rest of their living days keeping their post.  In return for their service, “Brothers” are forgiven for past crimes and are immune from further punishment, therefore several serving in the Night’s Watch are criminals avoiding punishment, nobles avoiding scandal, and other social outcasts.  They start with a clean slate and can rise in ranks no matter what their origins.

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While serving as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, Jon Snow tried to unite the Watch with the wildlings over The Wall in an effort to strengthen their forces…but was met with…disagreement…from his Brothers (no spoilers, just in case!).  What will happen with the Night’s Watch now is something that will most likely be discussed in this next season!

Always dressed in black, all members of the Night’s Watch swear the following oath after finishing the initial training:

Night gathers and now my watch begins.  It shall not end until my death.  I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children.  I shall wear no crowns and win no glory.  I shall live and die at my post.  I am the sword in the darkness.  I am the watcher on the walls.  I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men.  I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

In creating this Night’s Watch poster, I didn’t use the WHOLE oath, as it’s pretty long…but you can own at least a piece of it with this canvas art of the Night’s Watch Oath.

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If you’re a Game of Thrones fan looking for some new wall art, you can find this poster over at my Etsy store, Between the Pages.  More GOT stuff to come soon!

 

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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I Don’t Want to Be Most of Us

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“It’s a big and beautiful world.  Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it.  I don’t want to be ‘most of us’.”
–Game of Thrones

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Sansa’s Lemon Cakes and Daenerys’s Dragon Egg Truffles

WINTER IS (almost) HERE.
OMG!  OMG!  OMG!

Season 7 of Game of Thrones premiers next weekend and I could not be more excited!  Every preview I’ve seen has been better than the last…and with the series wrapping up next year, things are about to get ca-RAY.

To help get us all in the mood for the GOT premier on Sunday, we’re going to be celebrating Game of Thrones all week this week!

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To kick things off, we’re going to celebrate two of the leading ladies of GOT:  Sansa Stark and Daenerys Targaryen.

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A few weeks ago, we had a little engagement party for my sister and her fiance.  To go with their theme of epic nerdiness, we had amazing decorations and food that all catered to their favorite nerdy things.  Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Pokemon popcorn, even a handmade IRON THRONE that my aunts made were all part of the epic celebration!

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I mean, look at this awesome thing!

So my contribution to the party was the sweet table…and to pay homage to Game of Thrones, I included Sansa’s famous lemon cakes, as well as spicy chocolate truffles, decorated to look like Daenerys’s dragon eggs.

I had a few requests for recipes, so here they are!  The Lemon Cakes are from Rosanna Pansino, and the recipe for those is linked below.  The truffles were my own creation and you can find that recipe at the bottom of the post!

Happy Game of Thrones week!!

e

Sansa’s Lemon Cakes Recipe

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These lemon cakes were made using Rosanna Pansino’s Lemon Cake recipe on her channel, Nerdy Nummies.  The recipe is written out in the description of her video.

Daenerys’s Spicy Chocolate Dragon Egg Truffles

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Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped (keep it around 60% cacao)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • White fondant
  • Green fondant
  • Brown fondant

*If you don’t want to make these spicy, just eliminate adding the spices.

Directions:

In a medium sauce pot, heat the cream and spices over medium-low heat until it comes to a simmer.

Place chopped chocolate in glass bowl.  Pour hot cream over chocolate, shaking bowl slightly until all the chocolate is covered.  Let sit until chocolate is semi-melted, about 5 minutes.

With a spoon or silicone spatula, mix the chocolate until everything is combined.  Cover with cling wrap.  Chill until chocolate is set, about 2 hours.

In the meantime, roll out any color of fondant (white, green or brown).  I suggest going from light to dark so your white fondant stays white.

Roll out white fondant to about ¼ in. thickness.  To cut out the scales, I used a tiny diamond cutter, originally meant for clay.  You can also cut out your pieces by hand…whatever works for you.

Cut out a bunch of scales in each color…like, a bunch.  Like, cut as many as you think you need, then cut more.  I think I averaged about 20-40 scales per truffle.

Once your chocolate as set, take it out of the fridge for about 20 minutes.  Using a spoon or a small ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out your truffles.  Roll them into a ball first, then shape them into a flat egg (like a Reese’s egg at Easter) and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Work quickly, as the heat from your hands will melt the chocolate.  I rinsed my hands with cold water after every 2 or 3 truffles I made.

Once your chocolate is shaped, just add your scales.  Starting at the narrow end, add one scale in the top center…then just layer the scales all the way down the truffle until it’s covered.  The fondant should stick to the chocolate pretty easily, but you can use a little dab of water if it’s not sticking.

Put truffles back in the fridge to harden up a little bit and then serve!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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We Have to Go Back: 34 Fun Facts about LOST

With Netflix, Hulu, On Demand, TiVo, and a whole slew of other streaming services, it’s so easy to just binge a show over the course of a weekend.  A six-pack of beers and two pizzas later, you can easily start and finish FRIENDS, New Girl, Portlandia, Mad Men, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or a wide variety of movies and documentaries without leaving your house.

But, for us who grew up in ancient times, watching our favorite TV shows required a massive antenna, a hand-me-down TV, and a wing and a prayer that you’d get a signal up in the blustery Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  And amongst studying for tests, writing papers, and reading novel after novel, my roommates and friends would make time once a week to tune in to ABC every Wednesday so we could theorize and analyze the show that united geeks, nerds, sci-fi lovers, lit-lovers, and number lovers the world over:  LOST.

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A show that twisted and turned its way through six magical seasons, LOST was so much more than a show for me.  It brought friends together…it encouraged discussion.  LOST even followed me after I graduated into my first job out of college, where a friend and I started a LOST Book Club and rewatched the series together.  Did I spend half the time sitting on my couch with this expression on my face?

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You bet I did.  But you gotta admit, the writers on this show knocked it out of the park.  The intricate interweaving storylines, the insane plot developments, the heartbreaking relationships…all of it and more made it so easy and fun to think about and talk about all the various LOST theories that fans were putting together.

I haven’t rewatched LOST in a long time…but it still has a very special place in my heart.  Recently I had the urge to go back to The Island and revisit a few of my favorite scenes…and it was so wonderful to see some old friends again.  I started reading old theories, even revisited some notes I took as I rewatched the series (yup, I took notes)…and all the emotions started coming back to me.

Now, as “You All Everybody!” is stuck in my head and the best of Sawyer and Kate plays in the background, I bring you 34 Fun Facts about LOST.

We Have to Go Back:  34 Fun Facts About LOST

As all fans will remember, the numbers on Hurley’s winning lottery ticket appeared several times throughout the series.  According to producer Carlton Cuse, there was a time when it rained for 42 consecutive days on Oahu…sending shooting schedules into panic.  The number 42 is, of course, one of Hurley’s magic numbers.

When it comes to exactly which characters were in the LOST series finale church scene and why, Cuse admits that “…there were a couple of people that we might have included in the church that just weren’t available when that scene was getting shot.”  But the act of choosing and excluding certain characters for that scene was very strategic for the type of theorizing that us fans lived for!

The amazing two-hour pilot episode of LOST cost a whopping $13 million…and came in UNDER BUDGET.

The plane crash was made up of a real plane.  A plane was flown to Oahu, dismantled, and rebuilt (to look like a crash) on the beach.  It was so realistic that signs had to be posted assuring locals it was for a set.

The leftover parts of the plane were later used as percussion in the soundtrack of the show.

It’s no surprise that the writers liked to throw in references to famous theologians and scientists, but the character of John Locke is particularly interesting.  Named after the actual John Locke, an influential figure in the Age of Enlightenment (a period where science and faith went up against each other), was also patronized by another man named Anthony Cooper, the namesake behind Locke’s troubled on-screen father.

No one character is in every one of the 121 episodes of LOST…but Jorge Garcia (Hurley) gets number one with 118.

Jack was actually supposed to be played by Michael Keaton…and, to add to the shock value of the show, was going to be killed off in the first episode.  However, ABC didn’t like the idea of killing of the character that fans would be most interested in…so Jack lived and Keaton backed out.

Jon Hamm also auditioned for the role of Jack.

The biggest episode of all time was the season 2 opener, “Man of Science, Man of Faith”, with more than 23 million people tuning in to find out what was in the hatch.  This show knew how to do a cliff-hanger.

The Hydra station where Sawyer and Kate are kept in cages was actually an abandoned theme park in Hawaii.

In this flashback scene involving Michael Emerson’s character, Ben, his mother is actually Emerson’s real-life wife, Carrie.

When Charlie meets a wealthy lady in a flashback, she tells him her father is buying a paper company in Slough – a reference to the UK version of The Office, which was a favorite show of LOST co-creator, J.J. Abrams.

Although Kate’s on-screen love life was a triangle between Jack and Sawyer, her off-screen time was spent with Dominic Monaghan (Charlie Pace).  The two dated for five years and were even engaged for a period of time.

As the secrecy of the show grew, Jorge Garcia had a locked mailbox installed in this Hawaii home so that he could safely have scripts delivered there.

Much like his character, Terry O’Quinn (Locke) loved walking.  He regularly walked about 12 miles a day to and from set.

A Hawaiian priest was brought in to bless the crew and set before season six began shooting.

In the season three finale, Jack visits a funeral parlor called Hoffs/Drawlar, an anagram for flash-forward.  This is a sly hint that we’ve been watching the future, not the past, this whole time.  MY BRAIN!!!

Sawyer and Claire are the only two characters who arrive on the island in the first episode and don’t leave until the finale.

For his role as Benjamin Linus, Michael Emerson was nominated for three Emmys (he won 1), three Saturn Awards (he won 1), and a Golden Globe.

All together, LOST has received 18 Emmy nominations (3 wins), seven Golden Globe nominations (1 win), and 38 Saturn Award nominations (10 wins).

Yunjin Kim initially read for the role of Kate.  The writers liked her so much that the part of Sun was created especially for her.

Jorge Garcia’s role as Hurley was also a special creation.  He originally auditioned for Sawyer, but got his own role instead (thank GOD because Josh Halloway and Jorge Garcia are two of my fave’s!).

Terry O’Quinn, who worked with J.J. Abrams on Alias, was the only principal cast member who didn’t have to audition.

Ian Somerhalder (Boone) was the first actor cast on the show and the first one killed off.

Of the famous set of LOST numbers – 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 – 23 is used most in the series.

Evangeline Lilly (Kate) took home the original “Dear Mr. Sawyer” letter as a keepsake during season 1, but it burned in the fire that destroyed her home in 2006.

In “Everybody Hates Hugo”, Hurley has a dream in which he chugs some milk from the hatch.  On the carton, Walt’s picture can be seen under the word, “MISSING”.

Show creator Damon Lindelof was also a fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and invited star Rob McElhenney to play Aldo in season 3 of LOST.

DriveShaft’s song, “You All Everybody” plays in the background of an episode of season 4 of Alias.

The reason Walt had to be kidnapped at the end of season 1 was that actor Malcom David Kelley had grown tremendously in the span of the first two seasons.  He was only able to return during flash-forward scenes later on, since he’d aged appropriately by then.

“The Constant” is Cuse and Lindelof’s favorite episode.

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was reportedly offered a hefty sum to come back for the series finale…however he requested about 5x the amount…thus Mr. Eko was never seen again…

After filming ended, Lindelof took the cover of the hatch and turned it into a coffee table.

 

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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15 Fun Facts about Dawson’s Creek

It was the angsty teen show to end all angsty teen shows.  With a cast of supposed 15-year-olds who spoke with more eloquence than my grandparents, Dawson’s Creek was THE SHOW for us 90’s girls.  It taught us everything we wanted to know about life, love, friendship, sex, and – of course – BOYZ.  Who was #TeamDawson?  Who was #TeamPacey?  Would Joey and Pacey ever make it work (YES, THANK GOD)?  Would Dawson ever get over losing the love of his life?  Ugh the teenage drama was real, people!

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But suuriously…CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS ENTIRE SCENE??  DAAAUUUMMMNNN.  #TeamPacey all the way!

Starring James Van Der Beek (Dawson Leery), Joshua Jackson (Pacey Witter), Katie Holmes (Joey Potter), and Michelle Williams (Jen Lindley), Dawson’s Creek was one of my all-time favorite shows when I was young…and I will forever be jealous of Joey and Pacey’s relationship and how they could just leave their lives behind and go on a sailing trip around the world because why the F not…

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OMG WITH THIS!!!

Hard to believe, but DC has been off the air about 14 years now (!!).  While we still see the cast now and then in movies and shows, I’ll forever know them as the crew from Capeside…sitting on the pier, climbing through windows, and having intense and emotional conversations between classes at Capeside High.

You may not remember it now, but DC actually dealt with some pretty tough stuff while it was on…depression, divorce, death of a parent, mental illness, drugs, and alcohol were all a part of this 6-year story line…however it also brought the first male gay kiss to primetime TV and was one of the first shows to really explore a gay character.

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But, all things considered, life on the Creek was pretty peachy for this group of seaside teens…and if you tuned in to The WB on Wednesdays to catch up with Dawson and the rest of the gang, then you’re going to love this little collection of 15 Fun Facts about Dawson’s Creek.

15 Fun Facts about Dawson’s Creek

Nearly 500 actors tried out for the part of Dawson, including the frontrunner, Adrian Grenier.  James Van Der Beek was only BARELY cast after show creator Kevin Williamson had to basically beg them to cast him as Dawson.  He got the job two days before filming began.  Grenier would go on to star in Entourage.

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Katie Holmes sent in an audition tape with her mom acting as Dawson.  She couldn’t fly out for the actual audition, as she was in her high school production of Damn Yankees at the time, so she filmed a scene and sent it in…and the rest was history!

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Jason Biggs was also up for the role of Pacey…but no one can deny…Jackson’s got dat swagger!

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The episode “True Love” contained the first male gay kiss on U.S. primetime TV (between Jack [Kerr Smith] and his boyfriend, Ethan).

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Meredith Monroe was 29 when she played 16-year-old Andie.  Her on-screen brother, Jack, was 27.

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James Van Der Beek’s meme-worthy cry was actually an ad lib.  It wasn’t scripted, he just lost it in the moment.

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In 1998, the Creek cast did a photoshoot for J. Crew.  See the pics here.

There were six head-writers for Dawson’s Creek, one for each season.

Though Michelle Williams didn’t want her character Jen to die in the end of the series, the writers felt that Jen’s death was “…that last bit of growth that pushed [the characters] into adulthood.”

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Van Der Beek’s luscious locks were inspired by Brad Pitt’s hair in The Devil’s Own.

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In the most meta episode ever, “High Risk Behavior”, Joey draws Jack naked – a la Jack and Rose – as they discuss Titanic.

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Want to visit the real Dawson’s Creek?  There’s an actual place in Canada called Dawson’s Creek…and despite taking place in fictional Capeside, MA, most of the episodes were actually filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Joey (Katie Holmes) was the only character to appear in all 128 episodes.

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Joshua Jackson and James Van Der Beek actually lived together for a while during filming.  Aww!!  Bros for life!

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Katie Holmes and Joshua Jackson actually dated IRL when they were filming Dawson’s Creek.  Katie once told US Weekly that Joshua was her first love!!  OMG I CAN’T STAND IT!  PACEY AND JOEY FOREVER!!!!

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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