In a "Game Of Thrones" episode that brought death, heartbreak, destruction, sex, and several key plot developments, many found themselves captivated by a strange, anachronistic visitor: a coffee cup. The gaffe was quickly trending on Twitter, developing a life of its own, to the point where Starbucks hopped onboard the viral hype. Given that the cup seemed to captivate the audience like yarn to a kitty, it didn't take long before a few minds behind the series chimed in with their own statements.

Producer Bernadette Caulfield apologized via WNYC radio, offering a bit of good humor in the process. “We’re sorry! Westeros was the first place to actually, you know, have Starbucks," she jokes. Art director Hauke Richter took a more hardline stance, explaining “Things can get forgotten on set. [Coffeegate] was so blown out of proportion [because] it has not happened with Thrones so far.”

“The latte that appeared in the episode was a mistake. Daenerys had ordered an herbal tea,” wrote HBO, in an official press release to Variety. Of course, the fact that an errant coffee cup has seemingly overshadowed several key plot developments seems to speak to the nature of the social media masses, who once again display hivemind tendencies worthy of an advanced alien race. In any case, it's entirely possible that the powers that be edit the cup out in subsequent airings, and/or the eventual Blu-Ray release. Perhaps they'll leave it in, as a stark reminder that even professionals can err on occasion. 

What say you, to the coffee cup seen around the world?