Tunisia over Morocco?
By Winter Is Coming on in Rumors, Speculation.

A report from George R. R. Martin’s book signing in Estonia indicates that HBO is now looking to conduct remote filming in Tunisia, in addition to the principal photography in N. Ireland. According to Martin the pilot is set to film in “October 2009 in Northern Ireland and Tunisia”. Originally it was rumored that they were looking at Morocco as the remote shooting location. Of course, the assumption here is that these remote locations will be used as backdrop for the Dany scenes.

Winter Is Coming: Not sure if the difference between Morocco and Tunisia is that great. In fact, it is possible that the original rumor was off-base and the source cited the wrong African country and HBO has intended to film in Tunisia all along. Tunisia has a pretty important place in film history (it doubles as Tatooine in the Star Wars films), so there might be a better infrastructure there set up to handle a film or TV production. Either way it seems like Northern Africa is going to be the real-world stand in for most (if not all) of the scenes that take place across the Narrow Sea.

UPDATE: Uhh, nevermind about all that. It seems that the original rumor was correct and this one was the one that got its Northern African countries mixed up. Martin has confirmed that the filming will take place in Morocco and yes, it is going to be the Dany scenes.


54 Comments

  1. Ryan Dunn
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    tunisia has plenty ruined buildings which would be a nice setting for the vaes dothrak scene. tons of diversity in the landscape.

    to the north you have the atlas mountains and there is a part of the country called the Tell, which is a large expanse of plains. more plains across the middle of tunisia, and then the arid/desert to the south.

    the mediterranean views are pretty beautiful as well. ranging from rocky cliffs like more of the more common mediterranean views, and some low flat plains hitting the sea.

    nothing at all wrong with this country for shooting!

    …ryan

  2. Anonymous
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Not all the scenes from across the Narrow Sea. Doesn't the Dothraki Sea require steppeland? Neither Tunisia nor Morocco has that. Some wide plain, however, they may be able to find around Belfast, I don't know. But with an unlimited budget, those scenes "ought" to be filmed in Central Asia.

  3. Legion
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I've always assumed that the Dothraki were very Mongol in appearence. But from the castings, the TV show seems to be thinking more American Indians.

    Either way, I can definitely see Tunisia as the hard land they cross after Drogo dies towards, as Ryan says, the Tunisian Carthaginian ruins that would work very well for Vaes Dothrak before or the abandoned city they find after

  4. Ryan Dunn
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    well we have to save the mongols for the aiel in robert jordan's wheel of time tv series on cinemax, right?

    :)

    …ryan

    p.s. here's a good summation of the geography of tunisia (better than wikipedia). sorry for url ugliness.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=nVmTsOZpEr8C&pg=PA472&lpg=PA472&dq=tunisia+steppeland&source=bl&ots=AdJYHY4DPz&sig=49Dpqz9zVeYIp-tXqhwv0qUcNg0&hl=en&ei=QMZcSrbnFJCINNf8_L8C&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2

  5. Ryan Dunn
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    @anon…

    there is a steppe area in mid-tunisia, a bit of an arid wasteland though not desert.

    http://www.ramsar.org/pictures/tunisia-noual1.jpg

    …ryan

  6. Cristiano Bernardini
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I think that one of the reasons Tunisia has been chosen is that there's a growing tv/cinema industry in that country, the biggest north african tv networks are based in Tunisia, many film sets too, parts of the next Tornatore movie have been shot there and even many historical tv miniseries about Roman Emperors. Another key factor is political stability, suicide bombings are not very frequent in Tunisia.

  7. Brude
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I've always assumed that the Dothraki were very Mongol in appearence. But from the castings, the TV show seems to be thinking more American Indians.

    GRRM has said, himself, that the physical appearance he gave them in his descriptions was supposed to be more American Indian-like, which was the impression I got when I read it, too.

  8. Legion
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Interesting Brude, I'm suprised that GRRM has said that, as the descriptions in the books just scream Asian steepes people to me.

    Maybe it's just cos Khal sounds a bit like Khan

  9. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Just heard from Parris that GRRM doesn't think he said Tunisia but if he did it was a mistake. Morocco remains the secondary filming location.

    To be honest, that does make a bit more sense. But at least we now have official confirmation there will be a second filming location in Morocco. Before it had only been third-hand speculation I believe.

  10. Freyja
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    In Finland when we talked about character ages Mr. Martin said that Daenerys scenes will be filmed in Marocco.

  11. Sparq
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    My hunch it's still Morocco, and the guy just mixed up two countries. It was said as a sidenote, the post itself sounded like someone wrote it in a bit of a hurry or was in an excited state.

  12. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Yes, as I said two posts earlier, GRRM has confirmed IT IS STILL MOROCCO. The OP made a mistake.

    In particular, at FinnCon GRRM said that, specifically, "Dany's scenes will be filmed in Morocco". You can't get more unequivocal than that.

  13. Sparq
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Oops well that's what you get for leaving your browser open for this long. Looks like this was a storm in a glass, but at least we had something to talk about. :)

  14. Ryan Dunn
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    END THREAD, TUNISIA IS DEAD!!

  15. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Or just change the title and get some discussion going on the confirmation of Morocco ;-)

  16. Anachronite
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    blah with speculation… we just need something concrete to discuss! Give us something, even just one more cast member! lol

  17. Freyja
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Last weekend Mr. Martin mentioned that they have interesting candidates for some (adult) roles, but nothing is confirmed yet. They are probably still negotiating over the contracts. He didn't mention who the actors are or for which roles.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Morocco does indeed have a growing film infrastructure, no fear on that count. Ridley Scott filmed much of Black Hawk Down here and (correct me if I'm wrong) at least some of Kingdom of Heaven.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    ^^
    Not to mention Gladiator.
    …CW

  20. Rer
    Posted July 14, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Morocco is a beautiful country, I would love to see them use Morocco.

  21. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Now for SteppeMerc to step in with his fanboy 'oh noes deyz nt azn hrze Rchas!!1!' crap.

  22. Alex
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    All of you seem to ignore the most important part of that post – ADWD won't be released until February 2010, at the earliest.

    Damn.

  23. Marko
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Well, Alex – we discuss the HBO series here, and try to refrain from topics related exclusively to books (though I'm sure we all eagerly await ADWD). Anyway, at this point it is obvious we won't see it before 2010, no big news there.

  24. Rer
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    "Marko

    Well, Alex – we discuss the HBO series here, and try to refrain from topics related exclusively to books (though I'm sure we all eagerly await ADWD). Anyway, at this point it is obvious we won't see it before 2010, no big news there."

    So very sad :( and so very true :(

  25. dizzy
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I would much rather the series end the way he wants it to and is happy with it. I think thats better than say Stephen King's Dark Tower.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    They actually said they would be more middle eastern in appearance. Think Turkish.

  27. Anachronite
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    not released until feb 2010? Arrrrg! Curses! I just finished the 4th book. Holy cow holy cow! I must read the next book now! I cannot wait 6 months! We must hack the manuscript or I will go mad waiting! lol. I see at the end of Crows GRRM said ADWD would be released in a year. but it looks to be 4.5 years. you guys that read this long ago must have gone mad with the waiting by now. LOL. Bring on the show, or something to sooth us! Milk of the Poppy will do!

  28. Raul Registered User
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Hello, I'm Raul, author of the famous "How I met today George R. R. Martin" bit. I just would like to say that you guys need a job and an education.

    O'Doyle rules!

  29. Adam Whitehead
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    "I cannot wait 6 months!"

    I cannot not feel your pain. I bought and read A STORM OF SWORDS on the day it came out (in August 2000) and suffered the five year, two month wait for AFFC before the wait for ADWD.

    Six months? You don't know you're born!

  30. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell while your waiting. I think it's very good. You need a high tolerance for footnotes though.

  31. Anachronite
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    lol yea I know 6 months is nothing compared to the years some of you have been waiting. I am going to beat the snot out of my friend that had me read these and didn't warn me I would have to wait until 2020 to read book 7. lol. I am currently waiting on 2 other series to finish being written as well, and one of them has been 10-15 years since the last book, David Gerrold's War with the Chtorr series. This is the last series I start reading that is not finished, no matter how good. The wait is going to be excruciating!! Bring on the dreamwine!

  32. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:54 am | Permalink
  33. Rer
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    @ Raul Registered User

    WTF are you talking about?

    p.s.- The comment "How I met today George R. R. Martin" doesn't make much sense, did you mean "How I met George R. R. Martin today" or maybe "Today I met George R. R. Martin"? Just curious because you mentioned getting an education and all that.

  34. Anachronite
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Yea, if you read Raul's post in the forums where he describes meeting GRRM, his grammar was horrible.

    So yea, WTF with the education comment? lol

  35. coltaine777
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    It's obviously not him….just some moron who's impersonating Raul…for a guy who's first language is Estonian , I'm impressed his grammar was that good. LOL …

  36. WinterIsComing
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Anon: If true (looks like Wahlberg has said they have been picked up, but no official word from HBO yet), I'm not surprised. With the pedigree behind that production, I would be surprised if it was NOT picked up.

  37. ebv
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Winter–where are you getting these rumors of Sean Bean as Ned?

  38. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Chuck Norris was here

  39. Brude
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Has Winter reported any rumors of Sean Bean as Ned?

    The only thing we know is that both GRRM and his wife Parris both made a few posts with the word "bean" in them in a few places when talking about upcoming casting announcements: GRRM on his Not A Blog, and Parris on the Westeros.org board. Could be coincidence, could be a hint – though one theory is that Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean) might have a role ad not Sean Bean. The only reason people seized on this is because GRRM said something about "a little bit of news" (or some such thing) just prior to the Dinklage announcement.

    So GRRM talking about "more beans to be spilled" and Parris saying something about "putting a bean in her purse" in another post caused speculation…but that's all it is.

    There was also a completely anonymous post around this time from someone claiming to be close to the production who said they were pursuing Sean Bean, but I wouldn't put any stock in that.

  40. Cool Beans aka Janus of Goldeneye
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    I heard a rumor from a very reliable source that you guys a job and an education.

  41. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    @Cool Beans aka Janus of Goldeneye

    WTF are you talking about?

    PS Your comment was really dumb. So it makes wonder WTF you mean about us needing an education.

  42. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Because I think you need an education, not us.

  43. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    And a job.

  44. Miss Pussy Katz
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    If you are stuck at the end of the 4th, I would recommend reading The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling. It's actually amazingly written in the same sort of prose as GRRM (minus POV shifts). Also I liked Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb (that one is free in many places like fictionwise and amazon if you're down with ebooks).

    What's up with the trolls lately?

  45. Der
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    What trolls?

    We discuss the HBO series here, and try to refrain from other topics. Which means we talk about Dinklage, and Sean Bean, and Dante Nero. It's a lot of fun please try to not talk about the books.

  46. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Chuck Norris could crush all of you puny nerds between his mighty manboobs.

  47. bfolds
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    I saw a brown bean in my underpants when I woke up. Do ya think that mean HBO has secured Sean Bean for Ned? I do.

  48. brayn dah
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    I'm best friends with someone who might get to fetch dinklage cafe lattes–who by the way, I introduced her to SOIAF by sticking a copy GOT in her purse at the book store while I thought no one was looking. She read in the holding backroom while the cops were looking at the video tapes.

    She has insider info and she told me that there is a very strong possibility that we need a job and an education.

    Da da dah… Brayn!

  49. Parachutonite
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    I read a whole book! I couldn't have done it if it didn't have a little incest in it to break up all the words a little. Gosh, so many words.

  50. Anonymous
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    @Anon + manboobs

    His name was Bob Paulson.

  51. Drostar
    Posted July 20, 2009 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    It's confirmed – http://grrm.livejournal.com/95840.html

    (Along with a slew of other castings)

  52. Drostar
    Posted July 20, 2009 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    Eh, scratch that last post, ment for another thread.

    Sowwy

  53. Anonymous
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    "Winter Is Coming: Not sure if the difference between Morocco and Tunisia is that great."

    Please be careful of such statements, this is racism for people who actually know about the two countries, or who are from one of the other country.

    It's exactly like stating "I'm not sure Canada and the US is that different". I know that from certain point of view Marocco and Tunisia might be considered as far away small African countries, but there actually are many differences.

  54. Marko
    Posted July 24, 2009 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    I'm sure the statement was only referring to geography, local scenery, and opportunities to find locations fitting the descriptions in the book.


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