Day 98: Malta filming
By Winter Is Coming on in Filming, Speculation.

Azure WindowIt sounds like filming in Malta has really gone into overdrive this past week. We’ve had reports of multiple scenes being filmed there, some set in King’s Landing and some set in Essos.

There is this excellent report from Russian fan site 7Kingdoms.ru (English translation here, provided by Westeros.ru) about the re-filming of the Dothraki wedding scene from the pilot. The report states that they filmed the scene at a location called Azure Window in Malta (pictured to the right) and that there were close to 100 extras. Have to say I’m a bit confused by the choice of location here. Don’t the Dothraki hate the sea? I can’t imagine they would want to conduct a large wedding right next to the ocean.

Anyway, the Dothraki wedding scene isn’t the only thing they are filming in Malta this week. We’ve already reported that Eros Vlahos (Lommy Greenhands) is in Malta filming this week. He tweeted that he’s seen his costume and that it looks “very cool.” Now Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) has stated on her official Facebook page that she also is in Malta for the week, filming a “very pivotal scene.” Obviously this would be a scene set somewhere in King’s Landing. Wonder which one it could be?

Of course, all this excitement in Malta is secondary to what’s going to go down in Belfast in a few hours, the moot! We will have all the reports and photos you could want, possibly later today, but more likely early tomorrow, once all the attendees have sobered up. Have fun you guys!


51 Comments

  1. Hear Me Roar
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Exciting days ahead no matter what!

  2. dizzy_34
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Yeah filming it by the sea is kind of weird, however Pentos is by the sea so it makes sense on that level.

  3. Steve Westenra
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    This is going to sound intensely awkward, but….

    I’m surprised that Harry Lloyd was surprised by the Mongol-Dothraki comparison. To me the Dothraki have always screamed Mongolian in terms of culture and appearance (right down to Drogo’s mustache!). To be honest, I’d be a little disappointed if there wasn’t at least a little of that in the series, as I find that it gives the whole story more of a multicultural and textured feel. Making them more European and less Asiatic kind of takes away from it a little for me.

  4. dizzy_34
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Steve Westenra,

    I got a more Native American vibe from them.

  5. Steve Westenra
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    dizzy_34,

    Really?

    I guess now that you mention it I could kind of see that though (or a combination of the two perhaps?). I mean, it is a mish-mash of things for sure, but I always felt that it was predominantly inspired by Mongolian culture. I wouldn’t really mind if they mixed and matched things and had fun with it, but I think that Europeanizing them too much would be playing it a bit safe.
    A part of me also kind of likes the idea because in the books there’s this image of the Dothraki as being very…sexy (I guess that’s the right word ;p ), and that’s not really a common portrayal of Mongolian-styled culture(s) in either fantasy or historical works. They also don’t tend to be portrayed in a positive or neutral way, whereas GRRM does that (or so it seems to me).
    Risking being lynched, I’ve never been as interested in Daenerys’s story as I have in some of the other characters, but one thing I did appreciate about it was the visual aspect. I think, if done right, that it will be one of the most visually exciting parts of the show.

  6. dizzy_34
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Steve Westenra,

    I think it’s the horse connection that had me thinking more central plains native American (not that Mongolian’s didn’t use horses). But they definately have Mongal tendencies and plus they use steel.

  7. CaesarSnow
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I always thought of the Dothraki as wondering hordes of Mongolians each with its own general traveling across the steppes pillaging along the way. I compare the Unsullied to Spartans.

  8. Steve Westenra
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    dizzy_34,

    That makes sense. There’s also a tradition of horse-riding in Mongol culture/history which was very strong, so I think we were both working along the same lines. I think a fusion of the two would actually work very well onscreen, as the combination would probably create a very cool fantasy culture. It’s just this Southern European thing that the article mentioned that’s kind of throwing me for a loop. :/

  9. Reupel
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Steve Westenra,

    I don’t know, but to me constant killing, raping and enslaving didn’t seem very positive.

    I always wondered what people find in Dany and her Dothraki savages – to me those characters are among the least likeable ones.

  10. Steve Westenra
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Reupel,

    Despite the seeming contradiction, I am actually inclined to agree with you. As I said I always felt a bit lukewarm about Daenerys, and I would actually say that I dislike Khal Drogo. Apart from Ser Jorah there weren’t really any characters in that POV that I especially became attached to. I’m thinking that might change though as Daenerys’s chapters become more connected with the rest of the storyline.
    What I was trying to say was not that they are all fluff and happiness, but that, much like all of the cultures/families in ASoIaF, GRRM presents them in a very neutral sort of way and leaves the reader to draw their own conclusions. For me personally I’m not particularly intense about the Dothraki, but most of my friends who I’ve got to read the books have all loved those parts and those characters. I guess it’s the fact that in a lot of film/television the Mongols are presented as almost universally villainous, whereas in ASoIaF, George R. R. Martin doesn’t make things so cut and dry. I think if that cultural connection was missing onscreen and would be even less invested in that part of the series, if that makes sense?
    I think I said this in an earlier post, but I actually find Khal Drogo to be much creepier than Littlefinger. ;p

  11. alan777
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    WHY are they NOT filming ALL of the Dothraki scenes out on the Northern Chinese/Mongolian Steppe? WHY? This is VERY confusing to me. They are obviously based off of the Mongols as they are the HORSE LORDS. DUH.

    “Reupel
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:24 am | Permalink
    Steve Westenra,

    I don’t know, but to me constant killing, raping and enslaving didn’t seem very positive.

    I always wondered what people find in Dany and her Dothraki savages – to me those characters are among the least likeable ones. ”

    Oh right, because the actual Knights are so well behaved. ;) But I guess that is why everyone really like Tyrion. Not wait, he also supports killers and rapers too. Everyone is a savage in this series. At least Dany protects the little people, or tries too.

  12. Steve Westenra
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    alan777,

    I don’t think they necessarily have to go to a particular country or area to capture the feel of it. Even without CGI, it’s quite possible to make the audience feel as though Romania, or Ireland or Toronto is somewhere else entirely (and I name Romania and Toronto not because they’re in the series, but because they are often used for exactly this purpose).
    Actually filming in truly rural Mongolia would likely prove quite difficult.
    Given the different opinions people have professed on here is just the last few minutes, it’s obviously not so cut and dry that the Dothraki are inspired by Mongolian culture. I mean, I definitely feel like they are, as I said myself, but after Dizzy’s post I think that his/her (sorry!) interpretation makes just as much sense. If they went with either, or some combination of the two, I would be happy. I just don’t like the idea of them as European.

  13. izakmo
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Steve Westenra,

    I’m just glad most of the Dothraki will apparently still have long hair. The shot of short-haired Elyes Gabel (Rakharo) in the promotional video made me worry they were scrapping the look altogether.

  14. Chris
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Does seem like a strange place for a Dothraki wedding being by the sea and all. But I guess it isn’t a “normal” Dotraki wedding anyways, considering that it’s an arranged marriage to an exiled western princess. They would probably have their own weddings elsewhere, but agreed to come to Pentos so that Drogo could meet / marry Dany.

    Either way, it’s a really cool location and will probably look really good on camera. They have a lot to work with there.

  15. dizzy_34
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Steve Westenra,

    I’m a dude by the way :) (last time I checked anyways)

  16. Steve Westenra
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    izakmo,

    Now that would have been ridiculous. o.o It’s just such an important cultural symbol in the books.

  17. Reupel
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    alan777,

    That’s true; I’m just re-reading clash of kings: Even the beloved Tyrion is basically supporting a sadistic monarch and his cruel reign.

    It’s just that most of the lords/knights have someone else to do their dirty work, while the Dothraki take pleasure in doing it themselves – to me they are on a Gregor Clegane-level.

  18. Tar Kidho
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    “The wedding was filmed at the beach, a square area in the corners of which were placed four gray columns, ancient styled. Around were placed the nomad tents of small size.”

    Looking at satellite images on Google Maps, there are only cliffs in that area, no true beach. So maybe the Russian translation is not a 100% accurate and ‘at the beach’ should have been ‘near the coast’? Also, the area near the Azure Window appears to be the only larger area of bare rocks on the island(s)…

  19. izakmo
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  20. izakmo
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    izakmo,

    oops. apparently i can’t link to weteros images. well, you all know the pics i’m talking about….

  21. dizzy_34
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    izakmo,

    I thought that only the warriors wore braids and the one leading the pack definately has one. I’m thinking those others were Dothraki slaves or commoners. As far as Elyes goes maybe he was beaten in a fight recently. I don’t have any problem with their armor.

  22. alan777
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Steve Westenra: alan777,I don’t think they necessarily have to go to a particular country or area to capture the feel of it. Even without CGI, it’s quite possible to make the audience feel as though Romania, or Ireland or Toronto is somewhere else entirely (and I name Romania and Toronto not because they’re in the series, but because they are often used for exactly this purpose).Actually filming in truly rural Mongolia would likely prove quite difficult.Given the different opinions people have professed on here is just the last few minutes, it’s obviously not so cut and dry that the Dothraki are inspired by Mongolian culture. I mean, I definitely feel like they are, as I said myself, but after Dizzy’s post I think that his/her (sorry!) interpretation makes just as much sense. If they went with either, or some combination of the two, I would be happy. I just don’t like the idea of them as European.    

    Filming in Norther China/Southern Mongolia would not be hard at all. Movies like Hero prove that 100%. They are just being lazy IMHO. Or making changes to the story that do not need to happen at all. As pointed put before the Dothraki would NOT have a wedding by the sea as they HATE the ocean with a pathological hatred that borders on a phobia.

  23. alan777
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Reupel: alan777,
    That’s true; I’m just re-reading clash of kings: Even the beloved Tyrion is basically supporting a sadistic monarch and his cruel reign.It’s just that most of the lords/knights have someone else to do their dirty work, while the Dothraki take pleasure in doing it themselves – to me they are on a Gregor Clegane-level.    

    To me the Dothraki are more honest about it. Lords and Knights have someone else to the dirty work while the Dothraki do it themselves.

    I also have a deep seated feeling that Tyrion Lannister is going to hook up with Daenerys Targaryen and all hell is going to break lose! :D This will be a good thing if it happens…..

  24. Rinoa De la Pica
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Hi! Totally OT, but I’m so happy I thought I’d post here this link.
    http://www.20minutos.es/noticia/854675/0/cancion/hielo/fuego/

    This is the most popular free newspaper in Spain and they dedicated today a great article to ASOIAF and the upcoming HBO series. It is nicely written and gives a perfect and interesting vision of the books for those who don’t know them.

    Of course I recommend Mr Martin’s books to all my close friends but it’s great that an important newspaper helps to spread the word :)
    Happy! BTW, I want to see more furniture! ;)

  25. Nymeria
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    I know it isn’t the sea, but in the books, Dany and Drogo’s marriage does take place by a river. Also, it’s just outside Pentos, which is by the sea.

    if they want to stay true to the books, they can have some dothraki or Drogo himself complain about the location, something like “let’s get this marriage over with so we can leave this poison water far behind.”

  26. Steve Westenra
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    alan777,

    I don’t think it’s laziness or anything like that, but it is probably cheaper, and they do have a limited budget. Also, I’m thinking there may be more hoops to jump through (legally speaking) to work in either of those places. Hero (I think– correct me if I’m wrong) was a Chinese co-production, so it’s a bit different.
    Like yourself I’m definitely all for that style/look for the Dothraki, so sorry if I sounded like I was pouncing on your or anything, because I certainly didn’t mean to!
    The sea thing is a bit weird, but I’m not even entirely sure I trust the source, so it’s still kind of up in the air for me (also, as Nymeria points out later in the thread, they could have the Dothraki comment on the sea, etc, in a negative way). Perhaps, if they cut that line from Ned’s dialogue, it would be a way to introduce the idea that the Dothraki don’t like it.

  27. Matthias Hinkelmann
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Hi folks,

    Take out your calander an highlight the 28. of November.

    Why?

    Cause, HBO will show the first real trailer of game of thrones.

    How do I know?

    Cause, nothing else makes sense. It’s the final episode of “Boardwalk Empire” and many people will watch it. So it’s the perfect timing for HBO to show the trailer, like they did with true blood.

  28. Brude
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    When asked about the Dothraki, GRRM described them primarily as a combination of Mongols and American Plains Indians (largely Mongol culture with American Indian physical appearance), though there are elements of other cultures woven in there, as well – I think he mentioned Huns, among others.

  29. addf
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Matthias Hinkelmann,

    I think Boardwalk Empire’s finale is scheduled to air Dec 5 (at least in the US).

    Maybe more importantly, I just read Big Love premieres Jan 16, 2011. It’s supposed to be a 10 episode season. So if you allow a week off for the Superbowl and probably another week or two off somewhere during the schedule, that would put a potential Game of Thrones premiere date around April 3 or April 10, 2011.

  30. Matthias Hinkelmann
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    addf,

    okay, then:

    Hi folks,

    Take out your calander an highlight the 5. of December.

    Why?

    Cause, HBO will show the first real trailer of game of thrones.

    How do I know?

    Cause, nothing else makes sense. It’s the final episode of “Boardwalk Empire” and many people will watch it. So it’s the perfect timing for HBO to show the trailer, like they did with true blood.

    :)

  31. pualo
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    The ocean won’t necessarily be in the camera frame. Maybe they just chose that spot for its terrain.

    Also, just because Dothraki culture might be similar to Mongol culture, that in no way implies that Dothrakis have to look like Mongols, or that their land has to look like Mongolia.

    Also, the wedding didn’t happen on their own land. It happened near Pentos.

  32. GaR
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    alan777,

    “making changes” ?

    That’s daft. No part of the book was set in China or Mongolia, so it’s not a change to not film there.

  33. McKee
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an “off topic” question, but I can’t stop myself from asking.

    I know in my House, Halloween is a pretty big deal.

    So I was curious/hopeful that there would be some sort of Behind the Scenes update of some kind, highlighting the horror/creepy aspect of Westeros.

    A pic of an Other is, of course, *way* too much to hope for.

    But I’m wondering, is anyone else here anticipating some sort of Halloween update? And if so, what do you expect/imagine it to be?

    Thanks for playing!

  34. Knurk
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Superbowl, did HBO ever buy any commercialtime for that?

  35. dizzy_34
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know about HBO and Superbowl ads but they have said that this new season of Big Love will be it’s last. Wonder if they’re making room for more Thrones? I hope so.

  36. Grinbomb
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Matthias Hinkelmann: addf,
    okay, then:Hi folks,Take out your calander an highlight the 5. of December.Why?Cause, HBO will show the first real trailer of game of thrones.How do I know?Cause, nothing else makes sense. It’s the final episode of “Boardwalk Empire” and many people will watch it. So it’s the perfect timing for HBO to show the trailer, like they did with true blood.     

    Actually the final episode of BE is going to be on December 12th. HBO doesn’t show new episodes of shows on weekends around major holidays ( like Thanksgivings ) so they’ll skip that week there. If you go to IMDB they have a list of the show titles and air dates for all of season 1.

  37. mitchell kain
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I’d say they were filming something in Dorne… because that area looks alot like the dornish coast should… but thats not in this book.

  38. audrey marie
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    well if i am not wrong the dothraki people lived by the dothraki sea! and they were nomads and i`m sure that they would have get used to the idea of having dwejra as a location where to film no?

  39. Stella Maris
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    audrey marie,

    The Dothraki sea is a sea of grass, not saltwater….

  40. silv
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Tar Kidho
    The Russian comment was literally:

    The wedding took place at the sea coast on the square ground with 4 grey antique pillars by the corners. There’re small nomad tents around.

  41. Lex
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Grinbomb:
    Actually the final episode of BE is going to be on December 12th.HBO doesn’t show new episodes of shows on weekends around major holidays ( like Thanksgivings ) so they’ll skip that week there.If you go to IMDB they have a list of the show titles and air dates for all of season 1.    

    Wikipedia bas a list of all the episodes as well, and says it’s going to air Dec. 5th.

  42. Butterbumps
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    I hope they film next to the sea, because this will provide the best visual impact and will enhance the wedding scene. The dothraki hate crossing the sea using ships, I don’t think their paranoia extend to hating to be anywhere near salty water.

  43. Hodor
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I see a huge city behind that cliff on the other side of the river…

    Come on, no one wants to hear some geek-ing about how that cliff could not be formed by a river.

    This also made me think; they could have decided to merge some eastern city too. There is no major reason to have 2 cities for Bravosi and Pento (and where-ever the Iron Bank is). Where She later sells seafood and where {aDwD spoiler}He later meet the fat dude could be combine, easily recognized, less confusing/demanding to viewers.

  44. DH87
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    addf,

    Big Love is not typically shown at 9 PM on Sundays, which is the time slot we are thinking will be given to GOT, but 10 PM so the premiere of BL would not conflict with a premiere of GOT.

  45. Jackie JacMac30
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    OK, here goes my second attempt! Writing this on the hotel pc with my credit card info in and I hate to think what it’s charging me and it just ate my first mini report.

    Great Moot! Thanks to GRRM, Parris, Phil, Rimshot and Silverjaime for helping to put it together. Loads of actors turned up most of the nights watch including Kit, John and Luke and Mark (Pip was there but never got a chance to chat). Finn was there along with Jamie (Jory), Kristian and by no means least Miltos (I’m sure I’ve forgotten some! Will post more on Sunday). Going to split this post in case I lose it again… more to follow.

  46. Jackie JacMac30
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    First to turn up was William Simpson who is the story boarder for the show including the pilot. He did concept art for the pilot, mostly weapons. He helped design Ice and loved the finished product. He was great to chat to lots of insight.

    Bryan Cogman was also there. He let us know there there’s quite a few new scenes that he hopes we’ll like. He loves Chairgate etc but says he’ll avoid the internet after his eps air ;) Some new scenes are Varys and Littlefinger. A brief encounter (not that sort!) between Jory and Jaime to help set the later scene.

    A big thanks to all the actors and crew who turned up it’s really appreciated. I know some of them read the boards (waves to Finn ;p)

    Anyway, best sign off. A few quick tweets before I go. Great night though!

  47. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    If I were a betting man (which I am come to think of it), I’d put my money on the last episode of BE. While they would have more time if they waited for BL, I just don’t see the audience for that show being as excited about Thrones as the BE period piece folks might. BTW if you aren’t watching BE, check it out. The series has started off slowly, but the writing is absolutely top notch…and things are picking up!

    As for the pivotal scene, I initially thought of the Ned/Cersei confrontation scene. The scene where LF shows his true colors to Ned was also a possibility. Upon more thought however, I think it might be the Baelor’s steps scene. The first two scenes seem like they could easily be shot at the Paint Hall. Baelor’s would have to be outside.

  48. DH87
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    Lord Ned’s Head,

    Ned, I agree. I suspect the period piece angle will be used to lure the Boardwalk audience and the “fantasy/sex/violence” angle (that doesn’t sound very wholesome, does it?) for the True Blood fans. What will be interesting to see is where HBO is going to place the new Alan Ball show, All Signs of Death. Since this is the last season of Big Love, it is possible that “Death” will take that slot in the schedule. At least it is not a costume drama. Most of the other current HBO series have been renewed. I’m just hoping the AB show doesn’t put GOT in any competition; “Death” is not a period piece and, like TB will be shot in LA at probably one-third the cost of GOT. The pilot has already been shot; I’m sure the news that HBO is ordering 10-13 eps is not far off. It’s a no brainer. If it delivers twice the audience at half the cost of the costume epics (I’m talking Boardwalk here)…that’s going to hurt.

  49. alan777
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    GaR: alan777,
    “making changes” ?That’s daft.No part of the book was set in China or Mongolia, so it’s not a change to not film there.    

    The wedding was not by the ocean. It was in the “Sea of Grass”. If it is now by the ocean, an ocean that the Dothraki hate with a psychological passion, it is a major plot change and mischaracterization. It would be pretty lame IMHO….

  50. Chris
    Posted October 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    alan777:
    The wedding was not by the ocean.It was in the “Sea of Grass”.If it is now by the ocean, an ocean that the Dothraki hate with a psychological passion, it is a major plot change and mischaracterization. It would be pretty lame IMHO….    

    More of a location change than a plot change. I see what you are saying though, but as stated above… Drogo came to Pentos for the wedding, not the other way around. In a normal Dothraki wedding, they would probably be far away from the ocean. I guess considering this is a special case for Drogo, he’s probably okay being close to the water for a couple days.

    And anyways, it’s not that much of a stretch considering that the wedding took place outside of Pentos and Pentos is a port city on the coast.

  51. Mormegil
    Posted October 29, 2010 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    alan777: The wedding was not by the ocean. It was in the “Sea of Grass”. If it is now by the ocean, an ocean that the Dothraki hate with a psychological passion, it is a major plot change and mischaracterization. It would be pretty lame IMHO….  Quote  Reply

    As has been said the Wedding does not take place on the “Sea of Grass” but rather in a field outside the walls of Pentos. It takes them weeks (if not months) to travel to the Dothraki Sea after the Wedding. As Pentos is a port then the Wedding takes place next to the Sea. Filming on a beach is a slight deviation (if it even looks like a beach in the finsihed version) but the book has the Wedding within about half a mile (depending on the size of Pentos) of the Sea.


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