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Word from Doune

Crakehall, a member of the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, provides a gripping series of bits of news, one of the first reports we’ve had from Doune today. You can start finding his posts here. Among the tidbits: over a 100 extras in costume, a well-known medieval music troupe from Germany performing at the feast scene, a number of the actors on set, GRRM has filmed his cameo, and the costuming is amazing.

Crakehall also shares a photograph here, with George R.R. Martin and his partner Parris outside of the castle.

Game of Thrones Today

A brief update on what news we have to share. Via our westerosorg twitter account, you’ll find posts from last night in which we stumbled across reports from MissKatiana2, a stand-in for “two of the actresses” who was at Doune on Saturday. Stand-ins are used to block scenes for the cameras and arranging lighting for when the actual scenes are filmed; in fact, her report makes it sound like Saturday was primarily about rehearsals and set-up. She describes a scene she helped block, where she stood in for an actress coming out of the castle cellar with a handmaiden carrying her train behind her. She also mentions Sean Bean’s stand-in having given her a lift. Finally, she says she’ll be needed through Tuesday.

George R.R. Martin recounts having met a number of the actors at the hotel where much of the production is staying, and in particular notes that he feels some guilt at the horrors to be visited on the young actresses playing Arya and Sansa after having met them. Shooting resumes today, and from all accounts it seems like pretty much all the principals will be there, including Sean Bean.

Another Doune Report

Posting a report of what he saw yesterday, a poster at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum shared the following:

“Okay, so I popped in to Doune in mid-afternoon yesterday (24th). As has been said before, the staff were really courteous.

Dinklage was in the courtyard when I arrived, at that point we were being asked not to loiter so I went upstairs, turned a corner… and found myself in the great hall in Winterfell!
It was all set up for the feast, with tapestries on the wall and enough seating for about 50. It looked really cool - though as has been mentioned before in this thread, a lot smaller than I’d imagined. Went back down (after phoning my mates from Winterfell!) just before they were rehearsing a scene with Ghost - a very cute(!) white wolf puppy. I, along with the rest of the public were ushered away while they did the rehearsal, so can’t tell you anything about that.

Rehearsal must have ended then, because Dinklage left the set, chatting to (I think) Ron Donnachie (Rodrick Cassel). I think the glum looking (it was really cold and wet this weekend!) youth following behind in a hoody was Kit Harington (Jon Snow).”

UPDATE: Report from Inside Doune Castle

Game of Thrones is rolling along, and now one of our intrepid fans got an inside-look into the castle during filming. Needle, a long-time fan and acquaintance of GRRM’s, reported on her sneak peek, spotting Peter Dinklage and learning that Ghost (Jon Snow’s direwolf) had been on set yesterday. She says filming covers the courtyard, walls, great hall, and a kitchen sequence.

Turns out that this was not a sneak peek, however—she just arrived early enough that filming was not going on, and they were able to enter the castle, as Historic Scotland does not close any of its sites for filming. Instead, parts of the castle will be restricted as necessary. To follow up on her report, she added that she saw no one in costume, but Peter Dinklage’s hair was “blonde and longish, scruffy looking”. Echoing an earlier reporter (more on him later), the staff were very friendly at Doune Castle. Needle’s also a gifted artist, and found it amusing that she had “painted Winterfell before knew it was Winterfell”.

Loras provided some exciting reports, having gotten a better look at the outside of the castle than most, starting with discussions of what various screens, scaffolds, and “black boxes” on the castle walls might mean. He also shares the two pictures he was able to take before his camera gave out.

Another fan in the same thread, Gabriele, put up a virtual tour of Doune to give a better sense of the castle.

Finally, we’ve had an unverified report that Lena Headey may have been at Doune Castle as well—an “absolutely beautiful” woman with hair dyed blonde who was entering the castle, which the reporter thought was her but could not cofirm. So treat it as a rumor.

Sean Bean and Doune Castle

Via a tweet, we learn that crew are telling people dropping by Doune Castle that Sean Bean is not present for shooting over the weekend.  Bean (and possibly the rest of the primary and secondary actors?) will not be there until next week.

More From Momoa

Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa has made another convention appearance, this time at Armageddon in New Zealand. A member of the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, Le Saboteur, was there and shared a report, with video possibly to follow in a few days.

Some salient details include the fact that Momoa believes the haka he performed got him the job, and that it was a deeply personal one as he had performed it at the funeral of a cousin. He’s read A Game of Thrones and loved it, is intimidated by the fighting and riding scenes he’ll have to do… and seems quite confident that the series will be picked up.

Filming Begins

This is the first, official day of filming on HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones. As we’ve learned, filming will start at Doune Castle in Scotland, where photos and reports suggest that scenes will focus on the courtyard and possibly on the Great Hall for the feast scene at Winterfell. To add to this, creator and author George R.R. Martin posted that he was now in Edinburgh, suggesting he will be present for the first day of filming. Filming will continue at least through Monday.

At a guess, the cameo for GRRM that David Benioff and Dan Weiss were considering could very well take place during scenes filmed at Doune Castle.

Doune Castle Follow-up

From a fan who’s family had a photo of Doune Castle as crew were preparing it, it also seems that there are further details: his family saw a dead pig and dead deer props, as well as furniture, being moved into the castle. This very strongly suggests to us that not only will the castle be used for its courtyard, but that the castle’s Great Hall is going to be used for the Winterfell feast scene.

BBC on Doune Castle Filming

The BBC has a brief report concerning filming at Doune Castle, near Stirling in Scotland, over this weekend. Apparently, the production will be making use of the castle’s courtyard, as we’ve speculated previously.

Exec Producers Contemplate GRRM Cameo

David Benioff and D.B Weiss, executive producers of HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones, have once again dropped by the A Song of Ice and Fire forum to leave a message to the fans. They thank everyone for their casting suggestions, and mention a lot of great roles that they hope they’ll be asked to cast for in the future if the show gets greenlit (Renly, Varys, Ser Ilyn Payne, Littlefinger are the ones cited).

They leave off with, “And now to figure out George’s Stan Lee moment…,” which confirms what we’ve heard from a source close to the production: George R.R. Martin will have a cameo in the pilot. This will not be his first television appearance, as he twice had a cameo role in the TV show Beauty and the Beast, which he was a writer and producer on.

The Daily Beast Notices the Buzz

Nicole LaPorte of The Daily Beast has an article on the buzz over Game of Thrones, saying it has the potential to be the next “nerd obsession”. It includes brief remarks from GRRM, who was interviewed for the piece.

More on Fight Teams

According to a contact at the Clanranald Trust (who took time out of their busy schedule, as they’re on-location filming The Eagle of the Ninth), they confirm our earlier report of their “Combat International” fight team being involved in the production of HBO’s pilot of Game of Thrones. However, they note that their team is not going to be involved in any fight scenes, and will instead be more like extras, filling some of the roles of guards. They do hope that their services will be used again if the show goes to series,  however.

Poniewozik on Game of Thrones

James Poniewozik of Time.com weighs in on the buzz around HBO’s production of Game of Thrones, and like James Hibbard thinks that that HBO’s greenlighting the pilot suggests a certain level of confidence that it will go to series. He notes that he has no insider-knowledge to go on, simply an educated observation given his experience with the industry and knowledge of HBO’s past productions.

Clue Explanations from GRRM

Though he’s late for the party, GRRM explains some of the clues he left for eager fans concerning casting of some of the final roles. All the actors were guessed in short order, and HBO has already confirmed all of them.

More Confirmations

Jay Tomio at BSC Review confirms a number of speculated castings with HBO: “Joseph Mawle is Benjen Stark, Ron Donachie is Ser Rodrik Cassel, Donald Sumpter is Maester Luwin, and Ian McNeice is Ilyrio Mopatis”. All of these have been previously guessed based on GRRM’s clues, but it’s the first time that HBO has confirmed them. As the HBO source notes, these are relatively minor roles when compared to the leads, but it’s certainly good to have them made official.