Filming Rumors Speculation

Day 6: Filming the prologue

I have heard via a reliable source that they are filming the prologue today somewhere in Northern Ireland. This seems to be supported by the fact that Jamie Campbell Bower tweeted about waking up early this morning (about 5 AM Belfast time). Presumably he was up this early because he needed to travel from Belfast to wherever the shoot will be. Julia Frey also had an early morning tweet.

With the knowledge that they are shooting the prologue outdoors in Northern Ireland, I wonder what this means about having snow in the scene. A quick check of the typical NI climate in late Oct reveals that snow is very rare. Will they use fake snow? Or perhaps they just will forgo having snow in the scene altogether?

In addition to today’s location shoot, we’ve heard from two extras that have been called to another outdoor location. WiC regular Rimshot has been called to be a ‘Stark servant’ for a location shoot on Nov. 4th. Also Westeros forum poster Ace Jones has gotten the call to be a ‘Baratheon guard’ while they film at a castle on Nov 5th. It seems likely that these two days of filming will probably occur at the same location. With (at least) one of the days of filming taking place at a castle and requiring Baratheon guards, it most likely means they will be filming the King’s arrival scene.

Either way, it looks like the Paint Hall is going to be used much less than people originally thought. From the looks of it, only interiors will be shot on a set in the Paint Hall. All the exterior scenes have, so far, been shot outside.

I don’t expect there to be many reports today, but if there are, I will update this post.

UPDATE: I’ve heard a report that the filming today is happening in Tollymore Forest Park. Tollymore looks to be a relatively short drive from Belfast, so the location seems to make sense.


  • First time to post to this blog !

    Thanks so much WiC for this fantastic site; and thanks to all who have shared information! I am so excited about this series! I devoured 'Feast' when it came out, and have just started to re-read the series, so the Prologue scene is fresh in my mind. I am eager to see their rendering of the Others, as well as the on-screen chemistry of all the cast.

  • Will they use fake snow?

    Or perhaps they just will forgo having snow in the scene altogether?
    did you already forget about the leaked pilot script? it clearly mentions snow in the prologue chapter :) and I don't think they have changed this important part

  • If only snow could be added in post with SFX. Nah, that'd require a top notch SFX guy. Clearly there will be no snow. It is known.

  • I can't imagine the scene being done without snow. A third of it is about being cold, the other third about being scared and the third … well …

    I trust HBO not to mess with it too much. And I hope GRRM has some power over things like this.

  • I can't imagine them not bothering with the snow. It's too important. There's even a line in the script where Robert complains about it, so…

  • SH <-HA!

    For those who are late to the party on this one, check out this clip of work by by the (all but officially confirmed) Game of Thrones SFX guy Robert Stromberg. (That's what Smolder Hound is talking about.)

    In the beginning, you'll see how very little fake snow they'd need, and at 1:20 or so you can see exactly how much snow they can add after-the-fact.

  • Agreed that snow is too important of an element to leave out. I'm sure they will work it in one way or another. and that clip is an excellent example of just what can be created, and still look fantastic! I'm optomistic it will be fine.

  • @WiC

    A scene beyond the wall without snow? you might want to add < strike > tags to that part of your post.


    Fake snow if they don't find real snow. It's not hard to manufacture it, most of Narnia was done this way (the first film).

    The production seems to be moving along swimmingly, can't wait to see some of the costumed actors. Wondering if set photos will leak with the cast.


  • It may be that the Paint Hall is used a lot after all. Recall that this is the pilot. I'd expect that they want to pull out all the stops. But if the series is given the go-ahead, I can't see that all the exteriors will be location shots, for practical reasons if not budgetary ones.

  • In the film "Ravenous," strategically placed white towels served as small snowdrifts when real snow was unavailable. I would never have noticed but a friend who had listened to the director's commentary pointed it out to me.

    You can see glimpses of what I'm talking about in this trailer at 22 seconds, 36 seconds, and 58 seconds:

    I doubt they'll do this for GoT, but there are likely other tricks they could use.

  • Speaking of "Ravenous," I think Robert Carlyle would make an excellent Littlefinger. I don't see it happening, but that's my dream pick for the role.

  • Yeah, so getting rid of the snow altogether is probably not going to happen. I see that there are many ways around the lack of real snow. I hope that they use one that looks good and isn't too costly.

  • "For those who are late to the party on this one, check out this clip of work by by the (all but officially confirmed) Game of Thrones SFX guy Robert Stromberg."

    That is very impressive. In JOHN ADAMS there scenes which were clearly done with CGI since otherwise they'd be impossible on even that huge a budget (the shots of Boston with thousands of people cheering the revolution, for example). What is really astonishing about that clip is how many scenes there are that you just assumed were done in-situ which instead were apparently constructed almost entirely with CGI. I had assumed the 'Join or die' crowd was artificially extended to look bigger than it was, but I had no idea it wasn't filmed on the massive exterior sets (designed by GAME OF THRONES' set designer :-) ) but in a wood somewhere instead. That's very impressive.

    "But if the series is given the go-ahead, I can't see that all the exteriors will be location shots, for practical reasons if not budgetary ones."

    Shows or movies typically have an 'exterior set' they go out on film on regularly, usually adjacent to the studio. An enormous number of BSG's exteriors was filmed in parkland overlooking Vancouver they could get to in about five minutes. The New Caprica tent city was on the backlot behind the studio. In LORD OF THE RINGS a massive number of exteriors were actually in the studio car park (like the scene with the orcs giving Merry his medicine or Saruman's death scene on top of Orthanc) using astroturf. ROME just had a massive standing exterior set.

    I suspect they'll want to do as many exterior scenes as possible on location, as you can frankly often tell when they're indoors (although as the JOHN ADAMS clip shows, not as easily as you once could), so I suspect they'll be wanting to find some 'go-to' locations outside Belfast they can just trundle over to regularly to do some exterior shooting.

  • Maybe its just me, but I'm more concerned with them portraying that its cold than the snow.

    In fact, I think it would add an element of contrast when they show scenes at the wall (or beyond). It should be made clear that although Winterfell is cold/snowy, it gets even worse beyond the wall.

    The snow in this scene seems like a detail I wouldn't mind them overlooking. We all know that it is impossible for every scene to be loyal to the books (both logistically and monetarily), so I would prefer they focus on more key elements.

  • Neyvit,

    For today, they're shooting the prologue (beyond the wall), so the snow is a big deal. Again, I don't think we have to worry about them compromising. If they want snow, they'll have it. They've been doing this kind of thing for a while.

    JacMac30, thanks! Someone named peeter posted it in an earlier thread and I just can't get enough of it. One could almost consider John Adams as Robert Stromberg's proof that he can bring GRRM's world to life.

    As I've said before, HBO seems to be approaching this with the reverence of a historical drama. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "historical" as far as downplaying the magic aspect, but rather treating the characters like they're actual people, treating the events as though they actually happened, and trying to remain faithful to the "history" that GRRM created.

    Without getting too crazy, I think that this is what good fiction needs, and what has been lacking in many adaptations.

  • The John Adams clip was very cool! Seeing the ships in the bay made me think of the Battle of the Blackwater and how they can use some of those tricks to recreate it onscreen (if they get to make Season 2).

  • Ditto Paul. The John Adams footage psyched me up BIG TIME! Winterfell's courtyard and banquet hall (which have been reported as a bit small by our spies) just grew to the right proportions in my mind by watching that.
    It doesn't really matter how they add the snow/cold so long as its added. Its simply too important to do without. Does anyone know if the temp will be chilly enough to use real snow made from snow machines like they use at ski resorts?

  • lordnedshead: Looks like it is in the 50s Fahrenheit (or in the teens Celsius for you Euros) there in NI, so not cold enough.

  • One thing you can see from the John Adams footage is that they sometimes shoot outside with green screens at key points so they can add elements, extend the landscape, etc.

    This, to me, means that everything is being completely mapped out ahead of time. It makes tons of sense that some of the SFX team goes along on location shoots.

    The one other thing I'd note is that I retract my earlier statement that they'd have to shoot the "Dothraki Sea" scenes somewhere other than Morocco, as it would seem these vast grasslands can easily be added after the fact.

  • @Paul Glude

    Thanks Paul. I got the scenes confused (thought they were filming the first Stark scene). Snow is definitely a necessity here then.

  • Thanks for the update Winter. So it looks like either fake "real" snow or CGI added snow later on. Either way I'm confident it will look great.

    One other point. As a true ASoIaF fan, this prologue scene is one of the most important that they will film even should the series get picked up for more than one season.
    The reason I say this is that it will provide fans with solid information not in the books. There is much speculation, but we are finally going to get to see what an Other looks like for true. The scene will actually be adding to the canon as opposed to just copying it.
    GRRM's description of them is purposefully vague because it adds suspense in the books. In my opinion, this won't work well for the series. To not show an Other and then have to way two to three years or more to actually see one (depending on how often they film the seasons of the show) will be awkward. Also, showing a full on Other will serve as a great "wow" moment to get new fans hooked.
    I hope the Other issue is something GRRM discusses with the crew during his visit to the set.

  • @neyvit Snow is important in the first Stark scene as well but for different reasons. In the prologue scene snow comes part and parcel with the symbolism for the Others. In the execusion/finding of the direwolves scene its also representative of the Starks, but more practically it serves as camouflage for Ghost. The party almost misses him completely and we lose a great moment ("This one belongs to me") without snow.

  • I think it will be a combination of fake snow in areas the actors actually touch and CGI snow added everywhere else.

  • First time poster

    On the whole snow issue, remember that without reading the books, it might be hard for viewers to realise that summer (which we are at the end of in GoT) in the near North (Winterfell) has snow. Fair enough, beyond the Wall, one could compare it to the north pole or something, but the whole northern part of the nation being snowed in the whole of summer – confusing, especially when you head to Kings Landing and everything is nice and warm…

    All I'm saying is that it might make more sense for the TV version of Winterfell to be chilly (Iceland/UK) during summer, rather than snowed in.

    Just my humble opinion.

  • As I wrote yesterday I could live without snow in Winterfell.
    The places where I really want see snow are the Wall and beyond in the pilot.
    And maybe this scene with puppies, as someone pointed out, it is rather important because of Ghost.

  • *UPDATE*

    I've heard a report that the filming today is happening in Tollymore Forest Park. Tollymore looks to be a relatively short drive from Belfast, so the location seems to make sense.

  • In these arguments I always fall to the idea that the folks bringing this from the books to TV are going to be acutely aware of what a new viewer may or may not understand. They're approaching it as a TV show, working from a script rather than a book. In their current scripts, there's snow:

    Jon thrusts another pup into Bran’s arms. Overjoyed, Bran
    plops down in the snow and rubs the wolf pup’s soft fur
    against his cheek.

    And again:

    Jon is about to climb onto his horse when he hears a distant
    whimpering. Leaving the horse behind, he ranges into a snow
    drift, and scans the ground until he finds the source:
    A sixth wolf pup, with white fur. Unlike the others, its eyes
    are blood-red and open, and it is completely silent. Jon
    picks it up.

    If it's warm in King's Landing and snowing up North, they may trust the audience to assume the North is colder than the lands to the South.

    I do think that there's this weird assumption that the TV audience isn't going to be as smart as the ones reading the books. HBO audiences aren't the same as those tuning in to prime-time network TV shows.

    They're going to be able to take the same information we have and come to the same conclusions we did.

    If GRRM said there's snow, and the script says there's snow, I'm betting there will be snow.

    If they started doing things like cutting snow because people might get confused, I shudder to think what might happen to the subtle plot points we've come to know and love.

    They're not going to do that.

  • @knowtom

    Snow below the Wall? I think you mean snow below the Neck.

    The fifth chapter of AGOT mentions snow on the Kingsroad up to Winterfell. Eddard mentions that late summer snows are common.

  • As far as the snow goes – it is very easy to fake. I've worked (as an extra) on many productions that have made use of it, with no problems. Ironically enough, on one shoot, they got the fake snow out, made the fields look brilliantly winterish and then we we hit with the real thing in a freak snow storm. lol

    But yeah, don't worry about the snow – they will be able to do it.


  • @Paul Gude

    Fair enough, there will be snow (or at least it sounds like there should be). But I do think that we can expect slight deviations if the series gets the nod(fingers crossed).

    I know die-hard fans (and I say that as one) panic at the thought of a lost nuance, but its the nature of the medium. We read the thought processes that go through a characters mind between their spoken phrases and their actions. But how does one see that on film? Its definitely possible to express some of it, most of it if you're good (as I believe the cast and production team are), but not all of it. At least not all of the depth that GRRM puts into his characters.

    That being said, there are clever ways to show all the depth on film, with extra scenes, lines, etc… without actually taking away from the story.

    I know this has not ventured quite far from the original snow topic, just putting it out there.

  • I think the snow is actually pretty important in establishing the identity of the different areas the viewers will see. Having snow in the prologue will establish the Wall and the North as snowy and wild. Having a little snow in Winterfell will show that it shares some proximity and connection with the Wall but is not quite as cold and wild. Then as they travel down to King's Landing, it will get warmer and less wild. Representing the different locations' identities in subtle and implicit visual ways will help the viewer to know what the hell is going on and where the hell it is happening, without wasting too much dialogue or explaining.

    Plus, The Others would just seem really out of place without any snow. The dead direwolf scene is such an iconographic scene and I think it would be much more visually compelling for it to be half buried in snow. And as stated before, creating the effect of snow is probably one of their least daunting tasks, I'm sure its easily achieved for these professionals.

  • drbugsblog,

    You don't need to worry. I have a firm grasp on the fact that things will change between the books and the show. Doing a note-for-note adaptation of the book would be ignoring the difference between literature and motion pictures, which always seems to end up with a boring end product.

    D&D have already shown through the pilot script that they're going to be willing to add scenes to show truths that normally only come out through the thoughts of the POV characters. I have no problem with those kind of changes.

    Changing Dany's age narrowed the interpretations one can take with her relationship with Drogo. Again, something to talk about, but not something that's unnecessary.

    I trust D&D to get things right, and make the changes they need to make the show made. They've been doing a bang-up job so far. Also, I hope you trust me enough to believe me when I say that I'm approaching this series as a fan of HBO shows in general, and will be perfectly capable of enjoying it regardless of how the finished product matches up with the book.

    What I don't agree with is folks putting out the idea that the professionals making this pilot and showing great care and reverence to the source material "have" to change aspects of the book, and use as evidence their own ideas about what is possible. People not involved in the production claiming something can't be done because they don't think the folks making the series will be able to pull it off or because they don't think the audience will understand it really get under my skin.

    The idea of cutting the snow because people wouldn't get the idea that there's snow in the summertime just reminded me of the suggestions like consolidating all of the mountain clans into one clan, or of reducing the roles the Stark children play in the events that occur.

    They're the kind of suggestions that seem extremely necessary to the people putting them forward, but only in the context that either they don't trust the people making the show to be able to pull something off, or they think the viewing audience will be less capable than the readers. I prefer not to put those kind of restraints on my vision of the show until they're necessary.

    All this said, even if Game of Thrones diverges wildly from the source material, I'll watch it. I just don't think it needs to.

    Thankfully, I also don't think it's going to.

  • You guys make good points about the significance of snow – enough to change my mind about the importance of it in the first Stark scene. However, I think they should use it moderately for scenes in Winterfell. GRRM never makes extensive note of it other than above the wall, and there should be a stark difference in the temperature/snow levels between the two places.

    Its not that I think the audience is too slow to understand the difference between north and south (on the contrary, HBO viewers are the most insightful and diligent audience – just look at The Wire and Deadwood as examples). I just think it will add greatly to the atmosphere for scenes north of the wall if they show how much more extreme the weather is there.

  • The reason I say this is that it will provide fans with solid information not in the books. There is much speculation, but we are finally going to get to see what an Other looks like for true. The scene will actually be adding to the canon as opposed to just copying it.

    Keep in mind, whatever is shot for the show is not necessarily what an Other HAS to look like, it's just the interpretation of an Other by the filmmakers who put the show together. I have a feeling this is just the sort of thing GRRM will keep be very hands off about.

    Personally, I always imagined them as crystalline ice beings, but many seem to imagine them as more human-like, albeit pure white or even translucent like snow or ice. I don't really care how they look in the show, so long as they look good, but to me I will always imagine them more as beings of ice.

  • Neyvit,

    I think that we actually agree on our vision of the weather being more extreme at the wall and beyond than at Winterfell.

    I imagine both drifts and patches of ground at Winterfell, whereas closer to the wall snow covers everything.

    Again, this will all be solidified by the actual show.

  • I see the gates of Winterfell in the first picture on the 'Discover Northern Ireland' site. Impressive, and an excellent location … well done, Julia, I think :)

    Are now flocks of fans going to spy on Tollymore next week?

  • Tollymore looks like a good location. It can of course be used for a lot of different forest scenes. But is also seems to have lots of old stonework, and architecture, that could double for various things during the show.
    It is close to Belfast so it could become one of these goto-locations Adam W is talking about in his post.
    But it seems unlikely they will be allowed to put up permanent sets, as Tollymore seems on the verge of becoming a national park.

  • The picture titled Leaves Dropping in Tollymore reminded me a bit of the Winterfell Godswood. I can almost see Ned cleaning Ice underneath them. Perhaps it might double for that location too?

    Another comment on snow. I agree that at the start of the series the snow should be less and gradually build. Maybe in the opening scenes it is only there in patches but by the time *SPOILER* the Krakens come the ground could be a white blanket.

    @Brude Totally get what you are saying. And your conclusions wouldn't surprise me a bit if that is what actually ends up happening. I'm just saying that its an opportunity for GRRM to add his thoughts into the creation of the creatures. He knows what he wants them to look like but no one else really does. While this allows for artistic freedom to a degree, an artist's interpretation of an Other might not be the best was to go. Perhaps they need to be translucent for a reason later on.
    There is an interesting dynamic happening with GoT that doesn't often occur. Since the series isn't finished yet, George risks having the TV show influence his writing. Conciously he can make an effort to avoid this phenomenon but subconsiously he will be affected by it. If I were him (which of course I am not) I would take the opportunity to express my views on the matter so later in the books if we do get a better discription of an Other, we won't have to worry about George altering his description of one because of a mental image of the beings influenced by the show.

  • The music sounds pretty good. One question though. are the lyrics in English or German? And if the later will they omit them, translate them to English or leave them in German? And if they are in German will they represent a different language like Skaagosi or something? heh

  • CC says they've recorded new versions of the songs specially for the movie. I assume they're in English.

  • it may be, i think it wouldn't made sense record new versions if they weren't in english, right?

  • Heres a google translation of the musicians post:

    Hello all together,

    even though the last time we here in the forum is not a lot of us have heard and your patience can certainly strained mightily, then we do not help your missed call.
    This year is really amazingly much has happened – colleagues 3 are gone come 2 new – with a broken shoulder wim-Cantus Buranus with a new show – live in berlin dvd shootings – the excalibur show – our song for the game dragon age – our participation in the to "A Game of Thrones" – preparation for the lecture "the dwarfs "….. and all that still manages itself. You see, we are quite comfortable now not sure wave

    With so much work but you lose one quick view of the other important things and we welcome your criticism, which reminds us.

    after it internally for a while was not quite round, we are once again full of fresh energy and look forward to the December tour with a new program and plenty of good cheer. Smilie

    The Norri

    ps: I will meet in the next a small report about the shootings in Scotland for "a game of Thrown to write."
    pps: who is curious can of course also on 31.0kt. last come into the cathedral and try to pump me waving

  • lordnedshead,

    As an example from our earlier discussion, this is one of those cases where lyrics won't bug me at all. They're songs within the show itself. Just like "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" and the "The Rains of Castamere," when vocals are in-show like this, and an actual character is singing them, they'll be fine. If I don't like the way the character sings, it'll just color my opinion of the singer.

    For the theme, though, I think they're going to shy away from lyrics and stick with an instrumental track. There could be vocals, but no actual words. I may be biased because that's what I prefer, of course, but that seems to be what HBO normally does with their period pieces.

    Deadwood and Carnivale both had instrumental themes and incidental music, whereas all songs with lyrics were diegetic sound.

    I'm hoping that's what they do here.

  • Sure Paul that makes sense. I just happen to be ore open about the opening. I want the same kind of music you do but I'd be okay with some lyrics thrown in.

  • Oh wow! I just had a pleasant thought! Can you imagine Bran's vision/dream sequence with Stromberg behind it???

  • Yeah, it does seem like a really small point considering how we're pretty much eye-to-eye on most of the sound.

    I'll go even further and say that in this minor disagreement, I'm the one that's being unreasonable.

    Still, though, it's totally not going to work for me. ;)

  • I was actually thinking about this.

    People talk about how the Others come in the prologue and then there's a long stretch where there's absolutely no real fantasy, and how they'd rather the Others not be seen because it will set a false expectation.

    I think, going off of what you just said, that the dreams of the individual characters will provide enough surrealistic eye candy that people won't feel let down if they don't see any "real" magic for a while.

  • I mainly lurk as opposed to posting, but I just had to say thanks to all of you guys and WiC. Out of all the blogs/sites I've3 been involved with that lead up to something (show or otherwise) this one is amazing. It's awesome how much we're capable of finding out.

  • I think it would be hilarious/fantistic if they used "The Rains of Castamere" as the theme…but that's just me…

  • Jillian, I really think that "The Rains of Castamere" will find its way into the non-digetic soundtrack. Maybe not as the theme, but at least at some point.

    I always thought it would be a great "Peter and the Wolf" moment if you heard strains of it just before the Lannisters did something…fitting.

  • IMO, CC could write a bitching theme for the raven to fly to during the titles. If there's words, I'm guessing they will be chant like, not very discernible.


  • there's no way they can forgo snow if it's north of The Wall.
    and i would LOVE to hear "The Rains of Castamere" and I'd buy any soundtrack it's on
    (I think it'd be fun to hear "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" too :D)

  • There is a problem with the Tollymore Forest. It's a deciduous forest, and I seem to remember that the trees beyond the wall are mostly conifers.

  • Sergio has the right of it on this one. The things I remember from the prologue are fir trees and sticky sap on Will's hands. If the scene is a wintry one, they can't film in a forest that still has its deciduous foliage. Late October is not going to strip the trees bare.

    So unless they chose a spot completely different from any of the Tollymore pictures I've seen, my guess would be that the filming done today was for the Godswood scene.

    (Though who really freaking knows where Jamie Campbell-Bower was going?)

    If they capture the Godswood perfectly, it will add to the hushed mythical feel that lurks just beneath the grit of ASoIaF's grim reality; I always pictured the Godswood at Winterfell looking like something out of Legend (Tim Curry as the heart tree! … Anyone? … No?)

    Actually can't wait to see the heart tree.

  • It's funny, I always saw the faces as indentations in the trees, rather than 3D convex sculpture-like faces.

    It's one of those things that I think I just interpreted differently from everyone, so I'm not going to be too broken up when/if it's different.

    As far as CC doing the theme, I still have a gut feeling that's it's going to be a solitary composer who's going to get credit for the opening theme. Of course, it's only a feeling.

    If it turns out that CC does the opening, I'd like it to be darker than the stuff I've heard from them so far. It's great live/feast music, but not moody enough for my tastes. (Granted, I've only heard about three songs.)

  • Thanks for pointing that out Mauberly. Sorry for any confusion me posting that picture may have caused.

  • Gene4244, a little more bombastic than I was thinking but definitely shows that they've got range past the happy stuff I heard earlier.

    Thanks for posting!

    I think if they were actually commissioned to write a theme, they could pull it off.

  • Glad to hear from CC, they seem ready to provide us with more details about their part. Tollymore really looks like a great location find, and close to Belfast too. Should be called Tullymore, though, it would be awesome :D As per twitter, Julia needs to stay in her disliked hotel for two more weeks … then Morocco, I presume :)

  • Just throwing this out there…when the time comes to cast Bronn I hope that Jenson Ackles (co-star of 'Supernatural' ) gets the part…For me he plays the smartass tough guy perfectly….I don't know if he can do a British or other accent or if he's even available but this guy is absolutely perfect…Mr.Gude could you post a link to a pic of him for me …please
    Link to a pic of him for me…please…

  • Apparently corvus confirmed over at westeros that they didn't sang the Ballade of Mercy (no vocals) as French wouldn't have fited the setting. (they also had costumes/different hair cuts specific to the setting).

  • The UK has had some unseasonably mild weather over the past couple of days. I'm hoping its been cold enough at night to see their breath. It's a tiny detail but it's the little things added together that makes the scene work (I'm sure they'll have snow one way or another).

    I hasten to add I'm not saying it will make or break the show! Just you know..wondering ;)

    Who'd of thought I'd be complaining that Scotland/Ireland were too warm in Nov?!

  • Well, N. Ireland have severe weather warnings in place today for heavy rind and gale force winds, so could be an interesting shooting environment. Unfortunately though, nights have been rather mild, so I doubt the nights will be cold enough to see their breath. But cgi these days – easily done.

  • Nice find Jackie. But I think that article is referring to the filming that already took place on Monday and Tuesday. Those were the days that The Clanranald Trust were there and according to their Facebook page they are already completed their work on the project.

    You'll also notice that they mention that they did some fighting in the scenes they appeared in. I can only assume that that means they were sparring in the background of the Bran/Tommen scene. There is no other fighting I can think of.

  • I wonder whether any new scenes have been added in that weren't in the pilot script? We know of at least one that has been scrapped, and I imagine they've probably given Sansa a line or two now that they've cast her properly. Think there might be another scene or two of the Stark family before they scatter to the winds, or something?

  • Good spot WiC! Here was me in the car and on my way ;) I never saw them on Monday, at least not in fighting mode. Maybe there were in the feast scene too and the fighting was Tuesday? Or maybe the fighting was else where.

  • Maybe the fighting was at/after the feast- drunk soldiers sometimes do stupid things, particularly if there are attractive serving girls around :)

    Equally they could be sparring in the courtyard, demonstrating techniques for the boys, or helping to hold Robb back from attacking Joffrey. Or even acting on the boys' commands- I can just imagine Joffrey boasting that his 'dog' can beat all the Stark guards in one go, they'd have time for a few clashes before Ser Rodrick called the Stark guards off.

    Since we know something about the band at the feast, next question- was either one of the band members, or an extra sitting with them, dressed appropriately and told to keep his back to the camera? Anyone the right height and build would do for now, then show a quick flashback later.

    It seems likely GRRM's cameo was at the feast, since we were told it was filmed at Doune- so any chance of my hope of seeing a direwolf pup quietly bite his ankles coming to fruition?

  • Read the article on Clanranald before, but wasn't able to comment. Yes, I agree that it refers to the work they have already done. I'm glad CC is willing to share quite a lot of their experience with us.

  • Coltaine777,

    I'm not familiar with Jenson Ackles, but my guess is that they aren't going to start bucking the trend of hiring mostly UK actors.

    My own personal hope is that they get enough juice by that time to cast some hard bastard like Jason Statham or Vinnie Jones in the role. Maybe if Chibs takes a turn for the worst on Sons of Anarchy, Tommy Flanagan could take the role.

    Still, I'm limited when it comes to knowing who the next tier down for tough, wise-ass UK actors are because I'm not familiar with the TV shows that are on there. Is there anyone folks can think of who could do the same sorts of things but have a lower price tag?

    (As a note, I like the suggestions for Dominic West, but I'm starting to think that he's becoming more pricy too.)

  • @Paul Gude…your a good guy….thanks for the link…I can't do it myself (using iPhone)….and yes I keep on forgetting it will mostly be Euros cast …I also like Vinnie and Jason as well Dominic…all good choices…sorry for being a pain the ass. LOL…thanks again.

  • PG, can't see Statham signing on for a tv show that could keep him tied up for the next several years at least if it's successful. Jones doesn't seem to do much tv work (although I hope the series is good enough that it can attract people who "don't do" tv).

    Maybe Ian McNeice could call his Rome co-star Ray Stevenson and talk him into playing Bronn.

  • We keep skirting that fine line between someone who "could" play a given role as opposed to someone who "would." I'm as guilty of it as anyone but I try (and fail) to keep it in mind when throwing out ideas.

  • Gofalcons, I agree with you, especially if the casting has the same trend.

    There are bigger names for the "lead" adult characters, but I doubt we'd get someone like Statham or Jones for Bronn.

    Sad as I am to admit it, I only know well-recognizeable UK action stars, who will most likely be above the price range. That's why I asked about who the next tier down would be.

    Who's the next generation of UK tough guy that would sign on for an HBO series?

  • I think with Bronn, we may find ourselves seeing a US actor who can do the accent get a go, as there really aren't that many 'hard men' on UK TV that aren't either pushing it in years, trying to get away from that image or have already moved on to bigger movie things (like Vinnie Jones for example).

  • If we look at some recent actors who have played tough guys or thuggish like characters we get:

    Robert Kazinsky who was a former soldier gone mental on Eastenders, a UK soap.

    Similarly, former boxer and gangsters odd job man from the same show Nigel Harman

    Both would likely count as too attractive and possibly too young to be Bronn.

    Do we know anything about Bronn's age and what his physical description is in detail?

  • Richard Armitage was in the BBC's Robin Hood; he might not want to do something so similar and frankly, small. He's got that 'rising star' thing going on as he's popped in alot of things for the BBC, but as a principal actor, not a bit part like Mance is.

    I'm still looking for Kevin McKidd to do a cameo as Mance.

  • Legion, if that's the case, I'm going back to Garret Dillahunt as a possibility.

    Again, though, the guy's looking awfully busy.

    If we're going outside of the UK, maybe an Australian? Wouldn't have as far to go with the accent, to the US ear, anyway…

  • From Tower of the Hand:

    "Physical Description: He is thin and hard with black hair and eyes and a stubble of beard."

  • Hmmmmm.

    That could literally be anyone, lol.

    It's strange. Bronn has no famous face in my mind. Some characters I read and saw famous people, some people, I didn't. Bronn, despite being one of my favourite characters is one that I never assigned.

    Maybe HBO will use the character to build an actor? Pick an unknown?

    Is there anyone from the Nina Gold casts alot list that fits?

  • Actually, check out Samuel Roukin.

    He's been cast in no less than four Nina Gold movies in the past two years, and is pretty tall, if that group shot has anything to say about it.

  • I dunno if he has the face for Bronn (it's a bit nice) but he's tall enough by the looks of it and with stuble, which I can't find a simgle picture of him with, he might look right enough.

    If not, seen as Nina seems to like him, I owuldnt be suprised to see him somewhere. Definitely an actor to keep in mind.

  • Samuel Roukin strikes me more as Lancel or a Kettleblack.

    Garret Dillahunt looks pretty busy but six of his eight most recent appearances have been single episode guest shots so he is a distinct possibility especially since he's an admitted fan and has worked with Lena Headey before.

    Armitage has a good look (and the size) for Bronn but he might want something a little different from his role as Gisborne on Robin Hood for fear of typecasting.

    I'm in the same boat as Paul Gude here. Hard to know who the up and coming Brits are here in the US. By the time I see them, they're too big.

  • While not exactly the look of Bronn as described in the books but how about Dave Legeno for Bronn. Don't know how much they need him to play Fenrir Greyback for filming the last Harry Potter movies.

  • I'd say Legano was too old for my mind Bronn, but he'd have the skill and such to play a hardman.

    As I said before, finding a hardman on British TV isn't going to be all that easy as many of the 90's hardmen, when that sorta role was really popular and needed everywhere, are either too big or too old now and current hardmen aren't really hardmen as much as they are 'pretty boys' with big mouths.

    Bronn's a character with a pretty clean slate; pretty much anyone they cast would work because the physical description is so open

  • If where talking about possible future cast members bill nighy I think would make an excellent Walder Frey. Especially if you look back at the first underworld, before he fully regenerated sitting in that chair.

  • @pg I agree with your internal look for the godswood tree face. More "the scream" looking "treeish" face than human face sticking out of wood. Where the eyes and mouth are basically knotholes filled with red sap.

    All Bronn has to do is deliver the best line in the series well: "…I'd ask how much."

  • I'd love to see Bill Nighy cast in this, but I want someone older and more weasel-like as Walder Frey.

    Legion, the thing about Bronn (and I think I mentioned this in an earlier thread) is that the character is so cool, it'll have the possibility to take the actor playing it to that level.

    Of course, what I mean by that isn't that Bronn is intricate or challenging, but that he succeeds on a lot of levels and has a kind of amused attachment. Kind of a Han Solo type, but a truer example of that mercenary attitude.

    So, yeah, I think that they may shy away from casting a known actor in the role, and let the role make that character.

    As always, I bring up Tom Hardy as Bronson as an example of how a decent actor can really step into the role of a badass if they give themselves up to it.

    (Tom Hardy is 5'9", and not really in the pool we're looking at now, but it makes me feel better to know it can be done.)

  • Smoldering Hound, that's exactly the kind of face I was envisioning. Good to know I wasn't the only one.

  • A black Bronn……….interesting……….

    Unknown Bronn is the way I think I would go. But we shall see.

    He is certainly one of the characters I want to see cast. Along with Varys, Petyr and Lysa.

    As for Bill Nighy, despite the book description, I always slicked his hair back and read him as Tywin. Baldness be damned.

    Still pulling for the Emperor to be Lord Walder.

  • AYH, I know that you already are probably already thinking about this, and are just using Omar's name to let people who aren't sure who Michael K. Williams is, but food for thought:

    If they were to cast Michael K. Williams as Bronn, he'd most likely have a much different take on that character than Omar, so people expecting to see Omar would be disappointed. I'm reminded of my own assumption that Avery Brooks being cast on Deep Space Nine would mean "Hawk in Space," which could have been awesome.

    Still, like I said, I figure you already know that and are just thinking he'd be good in the role, whatever his take might be.

    That said, as covered in our earlier discussions, HBO would have an uphill battle if they went with Michael K. Williams as Bronn. Many people subconsciously read a character as being caucasian unless they're specifically described otherwise, and even though Bronn's lineage isn't spelled out (that I know of) I think most people assume he's a white guy.

    I'd be fine if they went another way with him, but I'm guessing it would cause a bit of a freakout elsewhere.

    The good thing is, with GRRM onboard, there won't be any need to debate what the author's original intent was for the character. So, if Bronn is cast as a black man, everyone can get on board or suck it.

    I think Bill Nighy would be a great Tywin, too, and agree that Ian McDiarmid would make a perfect Frey.

  • I'm with About Yea High on Omar for Bronn. Why not? He's a character that I think a lot of people would be fine with HBO casting someone a bit "outside the box".

    And if it's not Omar then it should be McNulty (discussed here previously). I still think Dominic West would have made a great Jaime but Bronn would be fantastic too.

    I'd just love to see this show have some connection to The Wire, whatever it may be.

  • I wouldn't mind seeing Aidan Gillen show up somewhere.

    I didn't like Carcetti as a person, but Aidan did a good job with him. Plus his natural Scottish accent is awesome.

  • Right! Forgot about McCarthy. He's a good one … still need to rent The Station Agent someday.

    Speaking of The Wire, does anyone know when Treme is set to air?

  • dholds, Aidan Gillen as Little finger would be a really interesting choice.

    He's a year older than Jennifer Ehlel, but has a youthful face, and we know he can play a conniving bastard.

    Plus, with his accent and a beard, I doubt there'd be a lot of clashing between the two characters he played in the minds of the viewers.

    I like it!

  • I'd be forever seeing him as the lead in the English version of Queer as Folk, but Aiden Gillen does have the eyes I'd expect from Petyr.

    Yeah, I could get behind that (no queer as folk pun intended).

  • Yah, Gillen can definitely pull off the two-faced, conniving, scheming type. He played a corrupt politician for god's sake!

    I wouldn't say his height would be an issue though. Stature isn't something I really thought about when it came to Littlefinger (unlike, say Drogo, Gregor or Tyrion). And if they need to make him look taller, they have ways of doing that (see: Stallone, Sylvester).

    I've not heard his Scottish accent but if there was something that bothered me about him on The Wire, it was his Baltimore accent. It never seemed natural with him. So if he's a native Scotsmen, then that's perfect for AGOT!

  • I think it isnt that they need to make him taller dholds, it's that most people see Petyr as short, as I think he is described as such at times in the books.

  • I'm going to continue to beat my drum and plead for Ray Stevenson as Bronn. Dave Legano would be the next from the names I've seen here on this thread, but he looks a little too much like our Hound.
    I don't care at all if Ray is a little short or a little old for the role. The guy would hit a grand slam with all of Bronn's biting lines.

    How about Ray LaMontagne for Mance? Not sure wether or not he can act, but Mance sings alot and Ray's voice is just absolutly chilling and full of hurt and pain. It would also be very cool to have some sort of musical star play this role. Bon Jovi probably wouldn't cut it, but LaMontagne might. He also has a big following in Europe from what I can tell by his concert dates.

  • Right Legion. For some reason, I always pictured Littlefinger as a tall skinny guy.

    But I'm still not sure it really matters if he's short or tall. It's his mind that makes him an interesting character, right? So it's more important to get an actor who can convince us that the "wheels" are constantly turning.

  • I think the main problem I would have with Stevenson as Bronn as that that would essentially make Bronn Titus Pullo. It's that same no nonsence, slightly funny, but noble in their way character. I'm not sure I'd like that.

    However as I want Kevin McKidd to cameo as Mance, I can hardly bitch about using Rome actors!

    LaMontagne looks a bit too……I dunno, not warrior enough. You need to believe that Mace binds all those wildlings to him after all. However, I do like the idea of looking for musicians who can act for that sort of role – although I think they need to do the same thing for the two minstrals who features a bit – ones a black brother who goes with Fat Sam and the other is the guy who sings for Lysa.

    I can't remember names tonight!

  • what about Patrick Stewart as Frey? We all know he can play the perverted old man bit… and he's got the acting chops.

    I'm new here, so sorry if that's been floated before.

    love this site by the way. I'm about a third of the way through the third book, and am loving every page of it.


  • I disagree about Bronn being the same as Titus Pullo. Pullo always had a likeable quality to him. Yeah he did some pretty henious things, but he was usually either a victim of circumstance, or following orders.
    Bronn is scum. He's sly and cunningly smart. He can fight like nobody's business, but he would sell his own mother for s few stags. Stevenson would get to play a much darker role than he did on Rome.

    I never really got the impression that Mance was the typical warrior type. The wildlings are definately described as a hodge-podge bunch with all different shapes and sizes from the giants to the horn-footed men.

    I see Mance as a leader with a cunning brain who others look to for his wisdom. Sure he was a ranger and sure he should be able to hold his own in battle, but I've always pictured him with more of a stereotypical D&D ranger build as opposed to having a fighter look. Sorry for the lame comparison but it was the best that came to mind.

    Anyway, Lamontagne is slim, and to my eye his frame fits the role. Besides, Mance at least to this point does little if any fighting. But he does do a fair amount of singing and even more plucking. LaMontagne would defintely be much more than adequate to handle those bits of the role.

  • lordnedshead,

    I got a much different read on Bronn than you, because I never saw him as dark, just an opportunist with very little depth to him.

    Again, I come back to Bronson:

    Clip 1

    Clip 2

    Clip 3

    Again, I think we're on the same level as far as him being less than honorable, I just think that he's pretty upfront about it and therefore can come off as a much lighter character.

    True story, I actually thought about Sting for Mance too, off of his role in Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels (at about 1:28).

  • dholds: I believe Treme is set to start in April.

    Chris Slater: Welcome to the site! Glad to have you join the discussions! Just a word of caution, be VERY wary of spoilers both here and elsewhere on the 'net. Most people are pretty good at marking stuff as spoilerific on here, but you can never be too careful.

  • I believe TREME has a tentative air date of summer 2010, as they are already back filming the first season after it got picked up for a full first season. That's about as specific as they've gotten.

    If I had to guess, I'd say that HBO's big new shows next year will be THE PACIFIC (February 2010), TREME (summer 2010) and BOARDWALK EMPIRE (autumn 2010) which leaves GAME OF THRONES to appear in January/February 2011, if it gets picked up.

  • A note about Aidan Gillen:

    I emailed his agent, who then forwarded my note to someone else in the organization who then wrote back with this:

    Philippe Ifergan to lco, me
    4:51 PM (2 hours ago)
    Hi Paul,

    I've actually been into this with the casting director but thanks for the heads up and interest.

    Be well.

    Philippe Ifergan

    I wrote back:


    Just wanted to make sure the right people knew the fans were talking about him.

    Thanks for writing back!

    To which he replied:

    Philippe Ifergan to me
    5:06 PM (1 hour ago)
    100%. Thanks!

    First of all, good news about Aidan Gillen considering the role in my opinion. I think he'd be great.

    Secondly, though, this is the first time I've gotten any indication that agents are talking to casting directors about the series itself already.

    Maybe premature, but kind of nice to hear.

  • Ah, I see WiC has some more up-to-date information.

    Seriously, even leaving out GAME OF THRONES, HBO's 2010 schedule looks pretty impressive, especially with TRUE BLOOD returning on top of those.

  • Carcetti as Littlefinger? I can buy that, although I'd still prefer John Simm. Gillen could displace James Callis as by my second choice though.

    And Aiden Gillen is Irish (seriously, look at his name!), from Dublin originally :-)

  • Oh, lord, I suck!

    Adam, thanks for pointing that out. My wife is the accent expert. I have a tin ear, I'm afraid.

    His IRISH accent is awesome.

    (Sorry, usually I look these things up.)

    I have a feeling he'd be able to put on whatever one they want for Littlefinger, though.

  • Wow.

    Im beginning to think a series order is almost guranteed.

    Who else's agent can we bother? ;)

  • Yeah, the Baltimore accent is fricking tough to do. Dominic West struggles with it manfully at times as well, but he and Gillen are 'good enough', certainly.

    I'm liking this Gillen idea more and more. He was the total manipulative bastard protagonist in QUEER AS FOLK as well.

    Montage thing:

    Clip from the final episode of THE WIRE:

    Yeah, I can get behind this casting suggestion. Grade A choice. I'm going to big up this idea to Dan and Dave if they are around next week :-)

  • Awesome, Adam.

    For the record, I'm obsessed with accents because my wife is an expert at them and if someone's doing it wrong, I'll hear about it.

    I personally am unable to tell.

  • I just noticed the series' Facebook group, and there was another report from someone who'd visited during filming:

    "was back at Doune today, managed to see a lot of cast members, including Mr Bean… Rory McCann (Boy does he look scary!!), Jaime Lannister (wasn't sure about him from photos i've seen but when is in costume he looks the part). Also managed to watch some filming, unfortunately only through monitor, but was chuffed to see Ned and Jaime (I think it was Jaime angle wasn't good) having words… The atmosphere at the castle was great, everyone was buzzing about what they are doing. HBO have a winner on their hands with Game, but that's down to Mr Martins fabulous writing. And I feel that the mass public will embrace the story for what it is, one of the most intriguing, twisting and engaging story for a long time…
    The only downer of my visit was not getting a chance to meet the man himself.…maybe next time!"

  • @Paul Legion and anyone else ;P
    Sorry. I wasn't clear about my take on Bronn. I didn't mean to say he was dark like say, Gregor is dark. I just ean he's a morally bankrupt character whereas Titus Pullo was definately not.
    Are the roles similar? Probably, but they are different enough that I think Mr. Stevenson could distance himself from his previous role as Bronn. After all, it takes a badass to play a badass ;P

  • lordnedshead,

    For what it's worth, I never saw Rome, so I won't have a problem seeing Bronn as Titus Pullo. I think I simply misunderstood what you were saying as far as "dark" goes.

    From this clip I can see why you think he could do it.

  • @Paul Gude – I don't think you mentioned it in your post but was it the role of Littlefinger that you suggested to Gillen's agent?

    @Adam Whitehead – that would be brilliant if you get a chance to corner D&D about this. Good luck!

  • @Adam

    I have just posted some questions on that FB site. (About the Hounds burnt face, in particulary.
    We will see, if I got the answers.

  • Had my costume fitting yesterday.

    As I sat there I kept thinking 'my friends at WIC would love this!'.

    As I mentioned before, I'm a 'Stark Servant' (not Start! That's what happens when you answer the phone still half-asleep!).

    To tell you the truth, I had written a long piece describing my costume and several of the others I had seen, including guards and Jaime's armour. I saw loads yesterday and I'm dying to tell you guys but I would be letting down my agency and betraying the trust they have in me.

    Guys, I'm sorry as I know you are hungry for any bit of info but it would be wrong of me and I want to keep working in this business. Carla and Extras NI have been very good to me and, if GOT is picked up, we could have years of work to look forward to.

    You will see what I saw soon enough but I will say this. I have worked on loads of films and worn loads of costumes and those I saw yesterday were some of the highest quality I have ever seen (wait till you see the armour!) I can't wait to get my servant's costume back on and to step into the world of GOT.

  • Hi everyone. This is my first post here, it took me a long time to do this. I was drifting through these comments for months and months and i enjoy reading this site every day (well, i am more or less ASOIAF "fanatic" :) So thanks to WiC and everyone else for this place full of great commenters striked with the same disease as i have :)
    Well i dont know if this is here somewhere, but if not, you should definitely see it. It's a great piece of ASOIAF CGI art by Martin Gruber. It's something between short movie and trailer, but its great:
    And sorry for my bad English, i am not native speaker, i am from Czech Republic.

  • Rimshot, totally understandable you can't give us too much info. It's giving me chills just to hear from you how exciting everything is there in NI. Just keep reporting some global views you have of the production, like: awesome acting, great atmosphere, long takes, short takes. Or maybe a bad day, not the right costumes, NCW's big nose etcetera.

    Molda, welcome to the board. I think I've seen the Martin Gruber more than 50 times now. It's absolutely amazing work.

  • I'm definitely on the David Bamber as Varys role, as I think the man is an awesome character actor and can do facial expressions that would allow him nto be the many faces of Varys.

    I know many think Matt Lucas because of physical description, but I have never seen the man be anything that isn't comedy and with his recent personal tragedy (his husband hanged himself), he may not be avaliable or want to play in something with alot of death.

    Rimshot, understand completely that you don't want to get yourself in trouble with the extras people because as you say, that could be years of work for you. It's enough to know it's high quality stuff.

    I still like Dominic West over Gillen for Littlefinger, but that is only because of 300 and the near identical bastard he played there. But Gillen does have the right shifty arrogant look to his eyes that would make it workable.

    Bronn…….I've changed by mind. Ray Stevenson would be great. Maybe not quite the Bronn I had in mind, but damn good anyway.

    Lysa is the character that causes me the most thinking in terms of I haven't liked any suggestion for her so far because I just see Kirstie Alley and can't shake that image!

  • @Rimshot,

    Just knowing that you're impressed with what you've seen is plenty. Every piece of info we have so far indicates that this is going to be a highly high quality production, and for those of us who have loved the books for years, that's awesome to know.

  • Yeah, the Baltimore accent is fricking tough to do. Dominic West struggles with it manfully at times as well, but he and Gillen are 'good enough', certainly.

    It's not hard for me to do, but then again I grew up there. West and Gillen don't do Baltimore accents on that show, they do more generic East Coast accents which are fine. Not everyone in Baltimore has such a pronounced accent.

    The one time West tries to ape a very thick Baltimore accent (when he calls Tom McCarthy's character in the final season), he does an okay job but it's not 100% there. If you want to hear the kind of accent I think he was trying to do, check out the narration that's in John Waters' first movie, "Pink Flamingos."