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House of the Dragon Filming in Spain and Portugal in October

Things have been quiet on the House of the Dragon front since their filming in Cornwall led to fans getting their first glimpses of some of the lead actors in costume. Now, thanks to Spanish newspaper Hoy, we learn (thanks to our friends at Los Siete Reinos) that House of the Dragon is set to film for three weeks in October in the Extremaduran city of Cáceres and the town of Trujillo. Both of these were used during filming of Game of Thrones, with the town of Trujillo providing the walls of King’s Landing and Cáceres as the location for a procession scene in King’s Landing featuring Euron Greyjoy as well as scenes set in Oldtown.

Per Los Siete Reinos, the three weeks would include pre-production time, so actual filming there will be shorter.

Update June 30th: A second article from Hoy concerning the filming in Cáceres also reveals that the show will be filming in the Portuguese village of Monsanto.

 

Props Podcast Returns, Hints of House of the Dragon

The second season of Ryan J. Condal’s and David H. Mandel’s podcast about movie props, The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of, has launched. This first episode is ostensibly about the 40th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark and the bullwhip famously wielded by Indiana Jones, but in the course of it some hints about House of the Dragons were provided by Condal.

The first piece of information concerned plans for future episodes, with Condal stating that he’ll be getting one of the members of the HotD production to be a guest to discuss what he or she does. He did promise it would be spoiler-free, because otherwise he’d be fired, but we can expect some interesting discussion in the weeks to come.

The second piece of information was that Condal confirmed there would be “bespoke” swords for “heroes”—that is, custom-made swords for leads and significant characters—but that the armorer that has been hired for the show has a vast supply of swords from past productions he has worked on that will be among those used for background performers and the like. In fact, according to Condal, the supply of past weaponry or armor that an armorer or swordsmith can bring to a production is part of the calculation when deciding who to hire.

So, whoever is responsible for the swords on House of the Dragon is someone with a great deal of experience making swords for film and television productions. We would guess that they are also UK based, as it would just be very convenient. Interestingly, Condal mentioned Terry English (Excalibur, Aliens) several times in the course of the podcast, but a look at his credits suggest he may be retired from the gruelling production schedule.

HBO Releases First Costumed Photos from House of the Dragon

After a deal of footage has made its way to the internet from photographers with long lenses, HBO has now released to media images of some of the costumed lead performers from House of the Dragon. These feature Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith as Rhaenyra Targaryen and Daemon Targaryen, Steve Touissant as Corlys Velaryon, and Olivia Cooke and Rhys Ifans as Alicent Hightower and her father Otto Hightower. See the images below, with some comments.

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Emma D’Arcy as Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen” and Matt Smith as Prince Daemon Targaryen. Typical Targaryen looks, as expected. Rhaenyra’s costuming fits the description of her preferred colors and textiles such as maroon and velvets. Her long braid is also drawn from Martin’s description.

HBO Announces Production Begins on House of the Dragon

After a number of flame emojis were tweeted by the official Game of Thrones Twitter account, with the number growing every 15 minutes, the burst of flames culminated in the exciting announcement that production of House of the Dragon has commenced in a tweet with an intriguing picture of a distanced production team (including, if I’m not mistaken, showrunners Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan J. Condal):

House of the Dragon in Cornwall, Heraldic Confusion Ensues

Although we’re not generally planning to track details of filming of HBO’s House of the Dragon, a recent report from Cornwall Live caught our attention for a couple of reasons. One, we did not know that the famous Mont-Saint-Michel has a Cornish cousin in St. Michael’s Mount (apparently in close vicinity to Penzance harbor, of The Pirates of Penzance fame!) Secondly, and more to the point, one of the photos revealed what appears to be the show’s version of the heraldic arms of House Velaryon… and they don’t fit what George R. R. Martin confirmed to us over 20 years ago.

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This mail, from our first year of correspondence with GRRM, refers to the fact that he had been visiting Westeros.org to look at the heraldry we had been producing from the books and then from his own notes. Though my original mail to him is lost, from context I think I must have remarked that we took a guess that he meant an actual seahorse and not the mythical or sea-horse (confusingly, both are also known as hippocampus).

Fabien Frankel Cast as Criston Cole

GRRM has finally gotten his wish to break some news regarding House of the Dragon, revealing that British actor Fabien Frankel has been cast in the role of Criston Cole, a knight who will remembered (and reviled) in later days as the Kingmaker. A classically-trained actor who attended RADA and LAMBDA, he is a relative newcomer with his first credits in 2019 (the Emilia Clarke romcom Last Christmas, no less!) Most recently he has appeared in The Serpent, a BBC-Netflix co-production.

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Fabien Frankel in Gone Today. Here Tomorrow.

Season 3 Filming Wraps This Weekend

According to a report from Icelandic news site Visir, it looks like Game of Thrones filming will wrap on the 24th or 25th. That’ll be 138 or 139 days—four and a half months—since production started. And much of it at a dead run, with at least two units, and sometimes three, working in four different locations across that time span.

So, the last few days of the production are happening right now. And according to Cat Talor, today’s a “BIG day”. Hrm… !

Episode Titles Actually Titles?

Updated: We’ve mailed George for a comment, and he confirmed that they are indeed going forward with episode titles, Excellent news! Responding to my question about the episode titles, Bryan Cogman replies that HBO has not officially approved the titles as of yet, so we’ll have to wait on their being revealed, but he believes we’ll be liking them.

Thanks to the gentleman at Television Zombies, we have a new interview with George. Some good stuff there, raging over a number of topics, but something George mentions at the end is of particular interest for those keeping track of developments on HBO’s Game of Thrones. He notes again that he’s written episode 8… and gives its title: “The Pointy End”.

This was the title he originally intended when he sent in the draft, but since then we were informed that the producers were leaning to simply numbering episodes, a fact we’ve seen in various Making Game of Thrones posts. But this interview, from less than a week ago, brings up the title again and we’re guessing (tentatively) that the producers have at last started putting proper titles on the episodes.

When we ran a poll at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, something north of 90% of those polled disliked the idea of simply having numerals for episodes, so this is a great decision if true. We’re looking forward to a full list of episode titles in the future.

Filming Location Details: Inch Abbey

Although filming wrapped last week on HBO’s Game of Thrones, details still come out on occasion concerning the production’s doings. Via DocFourFour, we’ve learned that the Belfast Telegraph-owned Sunday Life newspaper includes a report on the production having filmed at Inch Abbey in Downpatrick. Their report indicates that the site was used for a “renegade camp”, featuring a “Medieval fort” with tents around it, and that there was fake blood at the site.

This is the site where filming took place over at least a couple of days, I believe, around the 10th or 11th. Don’t hold me to it, but I think I recall seeing at the production offices during my set visit in October that Inch Abbey was being used as the site of Moat Cailin in the series. Certainly, I saw Moat Cailin listed, but I’m not 100% positive that Inch Abbey was the real world location associated with it; however, some of the photos of the ruins with tussocks of grass around it strike me as doing reasonably well to indicate the marshy, ruined old citadel of the First Men. If it is Moat Cailin, however, I’m not sure how to reconcile that with the fake blood. Unless different angles or areas of Inch Abbey were used to represent a battle site or something like? Hard to say.

Artisans: Simon Brindle on Armor

Oh, I’ve been waiting for this one. Simon Brindle, the supervisor of the costume armor department, speaks in some detail about the costume armor for HBO’s Game of Thrones. I had the pleasure of meeting Simon when I visited the Paint Hall facilities, and had a chance to discuss some of the sources and inspirations for the various suits of armor. There’s some truly amazing work being turned out from his shop!

Paint Hall Expansion

The Northern Ireland government has pledged £5 million to build new studios in support of the film industry there. As the Telegraph reports, efforts will focus on expanding the Paint Hall facilities, which HBO’s Game of Thrones has fully occupied but will be relinquishing this week now that filming is about wrapped.

This article is yet another that vaguely implies that the 2nd season is a certainty, with the only question being where it might film. However, many of these articles build on one another. As we’ve said elsewhere, the production will certainly be laying the groundwork for a second season now… but the greenlight will only come after the April premiere at the earliest, once ratings are in.

The Street of Steel

Back in September, fans stumbled across the blog of photographer Wolf Sunkmanitu, where he stated he had stumbled across a set on Malta for HBO’s Game of Thrones. Now, on the verge of the first season filming wrapping, he’s posted an extensive gallery of his photography from Malta ... including quite a few pictures from the Street of Steel set in Mdina which we caught glimpses of in the “Inside Game of Thrones” preview starting here.

At Sunmanitu’s gallery, the first of the Street of Steel photos—available for purchase as prints, as with the rest of his galler—can be found starting here. The amount of set dressing and the great number of quite mundane props—bellows, anvils metalworking tools, and more—has certainly transformed what’s nomrally a thoroughfare through modern Mdina into a bazaar-like street in King’s Landing. I do believe this room is the same as Tobho Mott’s forge, seen
here.

Making Game of Thrones: Dothraki Raiding

Another post from Bryan Cogman has gone live at Making Game of Thrones, and this time we’re at Manikata in Malta where the Lhazreen village scenes were filmed a number of weeks ago.

In the post, Cogman discusses a scene being filmed there, where the Dothraki are looting. Most notably, the scene is “almost entirely” spoken in Dothraki, a language created for the show based on what George R.R. Martin has written. The scene features Drogo admonishing an insubordinate warrior in no uncertain terms. Bryan signs off with the following lengthy example of Dothraki: “Eyél várthasoe she ilekaán ríkhoya arrekaán vékha vósi yeroón vósma tolórro!” We’re guessing the last word is the same as in Vaes Tolorro, where Tolorro means bones.

The Weaponry of Game of Thrones

This is one I’ve been asking for for awhile, and boy, am I happy to see it. HBO’s Making Game of Thrones has posted a brand new Artisans video, this one featuring weaponsmaster Tommy Dunne as he discusses—and shows—a number of weapons made for the series. Among them, one can see Ser Gregor Clegane’s greatsword standing next to Eddard Stark’s Ice, Ser Waymar Royce’s amber-encrusted sword, and more:

Look particularly closely at the weapons behind Dunne at the opening. There’s one balde that looks as if it has ring guards on it, and it’s quite slender and long… is that Arya’s sword, Needle? I am suspicious!

Edited: My speculation is confirmed by a little bird—it is, indeed, Needle.

Bryan Cogman Discusses Malta

Although filming in Malta has already wrapped, the latest “Dispatches from the Seven Kingdoms” post by Bryan Cogman is from nearer the start of shooting. He discusses an important showdown in Episode V that features some impressive swordsmanship. The walled medieval town of Mdina serves as the locale for a number of King’s Landing exterior shots, and is one of many locations to be used by the production on Malta and the neighboring island of Gozo.

One notable part is his description of what the various directors were doing at that time. While we already have the precise breakdown of which director is directing which episode, getting a sense of when the blocks were overlapping at various stages is interesting:

I’ll be here for about three weeks for the first block - Episodes III through VIII (Brian Kirk and Dan Minahan directing).  Filming on Episodes I & II continues in Belfast (Tim Van Patten at the helm) and Alan Taylor has begun prep on Episodes IX and X.  Needless to say, it’s a lot to keep straight.

It’s amusing that he’s re-read A Clash of Kings five times so far (as of that post)—quite a lot of cramming involved in his role as the keeper of the mythos.