HBO has posted an update to the Making Game of Thrones site today in the form of six new blog posts from Bryan Cogman. The posts begin at the start of filming (which was actually July 23, not July 26) and continue up to today. In each post Cogman talks about his experiences on the set of Game of Thrones and gives us some nice info on what scenes they’ve been filming. Here is how Bryan sets it up:
We’ve been filming now for over a month and have shot quite a bit in that short amount of time — the majority of Episodes IV and V, in fact, and a good amount of Episode III. I thought I’d use these first dispatches to share some highlights from the shoot so far.
Winter Is Coming: Some great stuff in here. Some of the locations and scenes we had already guessed about, others we had no idea. Follow me after the break for some discussion and analysis of what we’ve learned.
First up is the new pic we got from HBO. At first glance it may look like nothing more than a stock photo of some scrolls, but it is clearly a shot of some actual props from the show. For one, it is credited to Helen Sloan, who is the official stills photographer for Thrones. And two, if you look very closely you can make out the words, “AEGON TARGARYEN, the fourth of his name, KING OF THE ANDALS and of the FIRST MEN.” It is easier to read in this flipped and reversed image from pualo. Pretty cool! Just another one of those small details that David & Dan talked about in their blog post and which seem to be a hallmark of the production so far.
Now onto Bryan’s blog posts. I will post a notable excerpt from each and follow it up with some analysis. First up, from July 23rd, the first day of filming…
First day of shooting and we’re starting with a juicy scene between Ned (Sean Bean) and Queen Cersei (Lena Headey). Brian Kirk directing. Marco Pontecorvo shooting. Fans of the novels will not recognize this particular scene as it doesn’t exist in the books…
WiC: We sorta guessed this one. Despite the “official” start date being July 26, we had heard from a stand-in on set that day that some filming was occurring and Sean Bean was present. This person was a stand-in for Cersei and Catelyn, which led me to predict they were likely filming a scene between Ned and Cat, since Ned and Cersei did not have any scenes together during the first part of the book. What I didn’t take into account of course is that not all the scenes they shoot will actually be from the book.
Okay, I fear I am geeking out. Another scene from Episode IV…Ned interrogating Grand Maester Pycelle, played by the great British character actor Julian Glover.
NOTE: We spent the first few weeks filming in the Painthall on Gemma Jackson’s exquisite “Red Keep” sets. I’ll write about the Painthall and the various sets and “worlds” of the series in a future dispatch.
WiC: What is interesting here is literally the day after it was announced that Pycelle had been recast and Glover was brought on board, he was already filming scenes in the Painthall. Also we had received word from GRRM that the early days of shooting were confined to the Painthall and now Bryan confirms it.
Okay, David just threatened to take away my headset if I continued to shake my head every time an actor mispronounces the word “maester.” (For the uninitiated, a maester acts as counselor and physician to noble houses in the world of “GoT”). For the record, we’re going with MAY-ster, not MY-ster – we determined early on the latter was too reminiscent of Bergermeister Meisterberger
WiC: Aha! Our first confirmed pronunciation! We had heard back in the pilot that a pronunciation guide had been distributed amongst the cast, however, in typical fashion, the cast and crew have been tight-lipped about the ways things will be pronounced. Glad to hear they will be pronouncing maester the way I’ve been pronouncing it all along. I’m sure there will be other official pronunciations that I will have to adapt to though.
Technically, this part of the dispatch is not from the Seven Kingdoms, as I’ve found myself in the Dothraki Sea…or rather a willow field that will become the Dothraki Sea with some post production wizardry.
It’s our first day on location, and the famous North Irish weather is keeping our amazing and resilient crew on their toes. Cold and wet one moment, sunny and clear the next. Back and forth, back and forth.
WiC: Ah yes, we knew all about this one. Thanks to a tip by a WiC reader who spotted a GoT truck in Ballymoney, yours truly dropped a note to the Ballymoney Times about some possible filming in the area, and soon after came word that a willow field at Leslie Hill had been the location used. This scene can also be glimpsed in the Making Of featurette from HBO. Another noteworthy tidbit from this blog post, Paul Jennings is the stunt coordinator for Thrones.
It’s amazing how I can be cold and wet one day and find myself in a vast, Africa-like expanse the next, with a clear blue sky and warm weather to boot. We’re at a location called Sandy Brae (on the opposite end of Northern Ireland) filming the entrance into Vaes Dothrak, the city of the horselords. It’s another scene from my episode and an iconic sequence from the book
This location is unlike any in Northern Ireland; the terrain really does feel like another continent. We have two massive pedestals set up, upon which our CG wizards will render the mighty rearing bronze stallions that make up the Horse Gate – the main entrance of Vaes Dothrak. It’s a difficult shot to pull off: Horseback “walk-and-talks” are trickier than you might think. But we’re two takes down, and the big entrance shot is looking great – even without the color-correcting, music, CGI, etc., it’s breathtaking.
WiC: This was the most interesting post to me, mostly because we had NO idea they had filmed this scene. And it sounds like it is going to look really good. It looks like Sandy Brae is a road that leads up into the Mourne Mountains. Here are some pictures of the area, courtesy of Ran. Can’t wait to see this scene.
A pair of scenes being shot in Bran’s bedchamber today, featuring one of our young heroes, Issac Hempstead-Wright. He’s sitting next to me now, during a break, discussing football with Tyrion’s stand-in.
We’ve been filming now for over a month and have shot quite a bit in that short amount of time — the majority of Episodes IV and V, in fact, and a good amount of Episode III.
WiC: So it looks like episodes 3-5 are being filmed during this first block of filming. If I had to guess, I would say these will all be Brian Kirk directed episodes as he is the only director we have heard about being on set so far. Kirk may also be directing the pilot reshoots, as a set report seems to indicate. It seems like Kirk will be doing the majority of the directing for this first season, with the other directors picking up an episode or two.