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Belfast Trip: Part 3

Continued from Part 2.

Before we headed off to Paint Hall, though, we dropped by Fire and Blood production office. There, I finally got to meet Bryan Cogman, script editor for the series and right-hand man to the executive producers, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. I’ve sort of seen him as a kindred spirit, as he’s basically of keeper of the lore of the setting for the production, and is responsible for envisioning many of the little details that show up in the nooks and crannies (like a certain hefty book with a rather dry text). Bryan was very warm and welcoming, and didn’t seem to notice that I was looking past his desk at the concept art on his wall featuring things such as designs for Winterfell as well as a part of a storyboard of a very important scene (Bryan would later tell me that in many cases these were very early concepts and were no longer what was envisioned, but he kept them around because he liked how they looked).

So, off we went to Paint Hall. I noticed at one point that I was walking on faded, painted text in the parking area reading, “Mr. Bean”. Which I suppose meant that that spot was reserved for Sean Bean‘s car when he was filming at Paint Hall. And it also answered my question as to whether people in the U.K. could really bring themselves to think of him as “Mr. Bean” in a world that has Rowan Atkinson in it.

The first thing we went to see was a partially tarp-covered structure outside the hall proper, which turned out to be a piece of the Wall where certain scenes were to be shot. It was an amazing thing to see, and I wondered whether they just kept it out there and if it was even movable. How they manage such things, I do not know, but I was told they would pull it out for naturally lit shots and bring it into the Paint Hall when they wanted to control lighting more. Bryan and I went up the steps to see it properly, and it really did look like a bluish sort of ice, even though in fact it was made out of ... oh, I don’t know, mostly painted plaster I guess, and a lot of wood for a frame. Parris took a picture of us together, which I hope some day to be able to share. I learned from Bryan that it had been used recently for a scene featuring Jon and Samwell. He mentioned one more scene that had been filmed there that was a pleasant surprise, and something I’m quite looking forward to when Episode 3 airs.

Bryan asked a bit about what I was up to, and George pointed out that we were co-writing The World of Ice and Fire for after A Dance with Dragons was published. Bryan was very interested in this, and asked some questions ... and then admitted he’d be our first customer, because they could use all the reference material they could get their hands on. In fact, I saw stacks of printed papers which may well have been from the Concordance, as Bryan had mentioned our website had been extremely helpful to them. On another shelf he also had Fantasy Flight Games’s The Art of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, and two of Green Ronin‘s books, the main RPG and their companion book.

After that, it was into the Paint Hall, where the first thing I glimpsed was a grey tower with ivy on its walls . . .

I think I will skip ahead with a bit of a detour, writing up the Moot, before digging in a bit more into the Paint Hall. Partially because I can feel details are starting to get fuzzy, so I’d better hurry up and get them written down! Part 4 will follow some time after my Moot report.

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