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Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington just bent the knee to Elmo

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A bad joke for a good cause

It took Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow almost an entire season to bend the knee to Daenerys Targaryen, but he was much more agreeable when dealing with Sesame Street’s furry red monster, Elmo — or rather, the actor that plays him was. In a recent YouTube clip, Thrones star Kit Harington gladly accepted Elmo’s “Share the Laughter” challenge, a promotion that dares people tell a joke, record it, and then share it on social media. Harington’s entry: “What does a bird give out on Halloween?” he asked. “Tweets!”

The joke had nothing to do with either Game of Thrones or Sesame Street, and it wasn’t particularly good — but we can almost forgive Harington because of the mischievous twinkle in his eye. (Plus he was clearly reading off some sort of script, so it wasn’t entirely his fault.)

The whole thing might sound like nightmarish fan fiction, but the Elmo challenge — designed in part to foster a more positive online environment for kids — has been getting some decent celebrity participation since launching last week. Along with Harington, stars like Kate McKinnon, Broad City’s Ilana Grazer, and Josh Groban (sporting a Jim Henson-esque beard) have all taken part.

Harington’s video isn’t the first time Sesame Street and Game of Thrones have crossed over, either. Two years ago, Sesame Street released a parody called Game of Chairs, in which Grover ends up as the unlikely king atop the Iron Throne, while a Melisandre muppet lookalike shouts, “The monster is blue and full of errors!”

Since the real Game of Thrones has excessive nudity and violence, we’ve got to wonder who the audience is for these kinds of mashups. New parents who are shielding their babies’ eyes while they binge Game of Thrones? Little kids who are streaming the show unbeknownst to their parents? It ultimately doesn’t matter, though, because the parody is hilarious — even if Harington’s joke wasn’t. With Sesame Street in the midst of a five-year deal with HBO, here’s hoping we see some fuzzy muppet White Walkers next.