Game of Thrones writer and producer Bryan Cogman admits that a line from A Christmas Story made its way into the eighth and final season of the HBO series. Director Bob Clark’s A Christmas Story was released in 1983 and quickly became a classic among American audiences. Now, every Christmas Eve and Day since 1997, A Christmas Story, TBS/TNT plays the film on a 24-hour marathon—even if those who haven’t seen A Christmas Story have likely heard of it.
A Christmas Story is narrated by its protagonist, Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), who tells a series of vignettes from when he was nine years old. Permeating all the stories is Ralphie’s overwhelming desire to receive one specific gift for Christmas: A Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. From “he looks like a deranged Easter Bunny” to “you’ll shoot your eye out,” A Christmas Story is filled with memorable moments and quotes.
Cogman, who wrote Game of Thrones episodes like “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things,” “Kissed by Fire” and “Blood of My Blood,” took to Twitter to reveal he “completely stole a line of dialogue” from A Christmas Story. In his tweet, he explained that while watching A Christmas Story this year, he realized a line from the holiday classic accidentally made its way into Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
Following Cogman’s tweet, fans began to guess which line in episode 2 had been taken from A Christmas Story. After Cogman hinted the line dealt with libation, a user named Katy replied “It’s not bad, it’s not good either”—a line spoken by Ralphie’s father (Darren McGavin) concerning a glass of wine. In Game of Thrones, this line is spoken by Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) when Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman) meet the Lannisters, who are drinking by a fire. Greeting them, Tyrion says, “to contemplate your imminent death. You’ve come to the right place. You want some of this piss? It’s not bad. It’s not good, either.”
Game of Thrones’ final season remains divisive among fans. In particular, episodes 4 through 6 weren’t all that well received. That being said, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,”—which takes its title from George R.R. Martin’s collection of novellas and refers to Brienne’s relation to Ser Duncan the Tall— is considered one of season 8’s better episodes among the fandom. The episode follows the series’ heroes as they anticipate the arrival of the White Walkers at Winterfell the long night before episode 3’s battle. A Christmas Story could be used to describe subsequent episodes: It’s not bad. It’s not good, either. As fans continue to await The Winds of Winter and HBO’s prequel series, House of Dragon, Cogman serves as a producer on Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings series. Hopefully, there’s plenty of good on the horizon.