Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was kept out of the Alcázar Palace in Seville, Spain, even though his hit show Game of Thrones was being shot there. The problem? He needed a ticket. Instead of throwing a typical "do you know who I am" hissy fit common for celebrities, Nikolaj obliged, paying the €9.50 ($12.00) cost of admission. In the process, he made a few new fans in Spain.
As the oldest Spanish royal residence still in use, Alcázar Palace is the natural setting for kings, queens, intrigue, and betrayal -- like betraying an actor by not putting his name on a guest list. Parts of the palace complex have been cut off from the general public for shooting the fifth season of the popular HBO show Game of Thrones.
The security was excellent. Nikolaj, who plays Jaime Lannister, arrived for shooting when he was stopped by guards who asked the actor for ticket.
So he bought one.
According to The Local, a staff member reported, "He didn't say anything."
Apparently it's true -- a Lannister always pays his debts.
Although Nikolaj may have earned his cool points, the same can't be said for the rest of Spain. According to GMA News, about 86,000 locals tried to sign up to be extras, with only 4,000 even getting an audition. That number might seem staggering until you know the Spanish unemployment rate stands at about 24 percent - that percentage being much higher for young people.
Two men were even arrested for taking advantage of the situation, setting up a fake premium phoneline for people interested in being a Game of Thrones extra. Police suspect the two made over $100,000 from the scam.
In the meantime, tourism looks like it will surge. Seville already draws in about 2 million visitors a year to see the mix of ancient architectural designs. Some of those tourists will obviously have to endure some inconveniences while Game of Thrones is shooting. But as the Mayor of Seville Juan Ignacio Zoido explains, it will all be worth it.
"We will have to endure some inconvenience, taking into account the possible generation of jobs and the impact on tourism that this will have."Despite the security guard's good intentions, they may have inadvertently released some spoilers by holding up Nikolaj.
The palace will be used at the setting for Game of Thrones' Dornish scenes. In the books Jaime Lannister never visits Dorne, but it appears like that may not be the case in the TV series.
[Image Credit: Suzi Pratt/Wikimedia Commons]