Day 102: Details of Malta filming
By Winter Is Coming on in Filming, Rumors, Speculation.

Fort Ricasoli GatesWe’ve received some more info about what and where they have been filming in Malta these past few weeks. As we know, the filming in Malta has been more than just the filming of Dany’s scenes. Parts of Malta have also been used to film scenes set in King’s Landing.

For example, we know that the streets of Mdina have been used for King’s Landing streets. We’ve now learned that the production has also been filming at Fort Ricasoli, with parts of the fort doubling for the Red Keep. In particular, the fort’s gate (right) has been used as the gate to the Red Keep.

As far as Dany’s scenes go, we know of the wedding scene filmed in Dwerja at the Azure Window. Incidentally, this filming may have caused some damage to the area. Another Dothraki scene recently shot in Malta, according to our source, was the raid on the Lhazareen village. This was filmed in the rural town of Manikata.

And what about the “very pivotal scene” that had Lena Headey in Malta for a week? Yes, that was, as speculated, the scene on the steps of Baelor’s sept.


80 Comments

  1. Lex
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Wow… the part about possible damage to priceless fossil beds is brutal. :(

  2. Crotalidian (Paul)
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Tough News on the Fossil bed. as for the red Keep gate. It Looks very impressive, do we expect some filming effects to make it very much RED or are we expecting them to leave it as the reddish sandstone?

    I would be happy for it to stay as is…..But we may finally have our long awaited GateGate!

  3. Winter Is Coming
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Crotalidian (Paul), was wondering how long before someone would bring up a potential Gate-gate! Only took 2 comments! ;)

    Our source indicated that the gate was painted or dressed to be slightly more red than usual. He also mentioned a large stag’s head that was mounted over the plaques above the door.

  4. The_Rabbit01
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    GATE-gate! We just reached and IDEAL in gateing bussiness. :D

    For the fossils – could be bad thing, but it could be also the very normal daily journalist exageration, too. In a sense: In the lack of any news you just write about the filmmakers and fossils.

  5. reedgirl
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    If it was an environmentally sensitive area, they shouldn’t have allowed filming to occur there!! That’s all we need – prehistoric creatures haunting the set of Game of Thrones because their remains were disturbed.

  6. Steel_Wind
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    We are tallking about a small number of *potential* fossils being harmed. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are tallking about the disruption of a few inches of a sandstone fossil record of things that once lived millions of years ago, not the destruction of an actual living species.

    I don’t expect that humanity’s understanding of the Earth’s past is going to be harmed one iota by this — assuming it even happened. The dead creatures who remains might have been fossilized are might have been distrubed or damaged are just as dead now as they were 3 months ago. Please keep it in perspective.

  7. Steel_Wind
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    We are tallking about a small number of *potential* fossils being harmed. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we are tallking about the disruption of a few inches of a sandstone fossil record of things that once lived millions of years ago, not the destruction of an actual living species.

    I don’t expect that humanity’s understanding of the Earth’s past is going to be harmed one iota by this — assuming it even happened. The dead creatures whose remains might have been fossilized and may have been distrubed or damaged are just as dead now as they were 3 months ago. Please try to keep it in perspective.

  8. reedgirl
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    I like the gate. If this entrance gate had been created by the special effects/set design crew, I would have been impressed. The fact that it really exists makes it even more cool to me. Very imaginative architecture, and I’ll bet it looks even more ‘red’ when it is wet.

    It’s going to be a beautiful, epic ride.

  9. dizzy_34
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    What!? No spiked moat? FAIL
    I kid…I kid…

  10. izakmo
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Off topic, but has there been any confirmation of the Brian Fortune = Bowen Marsh rumor?

    He’s listed as Marsh on the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_characters_in_Game_of_Thrones

    The source was supposedly his son’s youtube site: http://www.youtube.com/user/DsKReMiiX

  11. Gregory Kelton
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Do we know when filming is scheduled to finish?

    @WiC: A countdown to the final day of filming would be cool on the front page. Just a thought.

  12. The_Rabbit01
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    izakmo,

    This guy ?

  13. GaR
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Well it’s not very red, but it is hell of impressive. Sure would’ve liked to see the dry moat with spikes, but it’s not important enough to actually worry about.

  14. Winter Is Coming
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    izakmo,

    Awaiting word from HBO on this. Hoping to get a few more casting confirmations as well. Stay tuned.

  15. Dom
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    GaR: Well it’s not very red, but it is hell of impressive.Sure would’ve liked to see the dry moat with spikes, but it’s not important enough to actually worry about.    

    Who’s to say it won’t be “redded and moated”-up digitally? I’m pretty sure they do realize that the Red Keep needs to be, well, red :D

  16. Coltaine777
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I love all the news lately….I’m still praying for a real trailer soon though…what’s taking so long ?….it’s November for Gods sake…

  17. izakmo
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink
  18. GaR
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Dom,

    True that, I suppose. Just because a thing is one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be another by the time it gets piped through the telly.

  19. Winter Is Coming
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton: Do we know when filming is scheduled to finish?@WiC: A countdown to the final day of filming would be cool on the front page.Just a thought.    

    Unfortunately we don’t know when they will wrap. We originally heard whispers of a 30-week shoot but I’m not sure if that is still the plan. They will wrap when they are done, which may be sooner or later than 30 weeks exactly. These things tend to be somewhat fluid.

    Personally I’m looking forward to when they announce the date of the series premiere, so I can put a countdown to the premiere!

    Coltaine777: I love all the news lately….I’m still praying for a real trailer soon though…what’s taking so long ?….it’s November for Gods sake…    

    We’re still ~5 months away from airing. Not even big-budget movies get full trailers 5 months prior to release. Patience! I’m predicating a full trailer by year’s end. Bank on it. :)

  20. Phoenix_torn
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    reedgirl: I like the gate. If this entrance gate had been created by the special effects/set design crew, I would have been impressed. The fact that it really exists makes it even more cool to me. Very imaginative architecture, and I’ll bet it looks even more ‘red’ when it is wet.It’s going to be a beautiful, epic ride.  Quote  Reply

    Exactly what I was thinking. The stone is amazing.

  21. GaR
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Coltaine777,

    I thought the consus was we wouldn’t get a proper trailer until the season finale of Boardwalk Empire…

  22. The Rabbit
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    My Rabbit s pic finally pop-uped. :)

    WiC s last tweet inspired me to speculate a bit. (Those who hate speculations, ignore, please) :)

    I wonder what is left to be filmed.
    They have done the Eyrie, they have done most of the WF scenes, a lots of interior KL s stuff is also done.
    Now we now, that infamous Baleor Sept is also behind them.
    Most of Dany plotline, also.

    So what is in front of them:
    My guess: They are going to end Dany s storyline in Malta soon. Right to the end and the music of Dragons.
    Battle of the Green Fork and introduction of Tywin and probably Shae, is scheduled to the end of November (Thank you Elio, for that particular info).
    A bit of Renly and Ned in KL, probably along with King s dead, and the amboush on the streets of KL. (as many reports from the Moot2 stated).
    The only thing I did not hear anything yet is the end of Robb s plotline, with everything that goes along (banners, Whispering wood, King of the Nord).

    Anyone who spot I missed something (which is very probable because of all sort of info), feel free to add things.

  23. GaR
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    *consensus >_<

  24. Steve Westenra
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34,

    I KNOW. And I was expecting turrets with red bat wings that spit acid, too. ):

  25. Steve Westenra
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    GaR,

    I think they’ll probably add that afterward.

  26. Gregory Kelton
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately we don’t know when they will wrap. We originally heard whispers of a 30-week shoot but I’m not sure if that is still the plan. They will wrap when they are done, which may be sooner or later than 30 weeks exactly. These things tend to be somewhat fluid.

    Ah, oh well. Just to humor me, when would we hit the 30 week mark? They started in July, right? So some time in December?

  27. Petter Kristian Vikestad
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    I want teh cred on this!

  28. Winter Is Coming
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Gregory Kelton, Feb. 17 would be 30 weeks exactly. This is the first time I’ve counted it and I can tell you right now they will be done well before then. My guess is they will hope to wrap before the holidays. At worst, it will be mid Jan.

  29. Winter Is Coming
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit, I’d say you’ve probably got most of the major scenes still left to be shot covered there. My guess is they will save the Green Fork for last.

    Wondering if the Whispering Woods is being filmed right now? Saintfield could make a good Whispering Woods and there are hints of night shoots. Plus Richard Madden, one of the nicest guys from the first moot, was not present at moot 2. Could he have been busy filming the Whispering Woods scenes that night?

  30. Samantha Hirst
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    At the Moot mid-December was mentioned as the end of filming, though whether that was just their particular scenes or filming as a whole, I don’t know. And no, I can’t even remember who said it. lol. I was absolutely knackered, and I’ll admit that most of it has now, unfortunately, blurred into one big mass.

  31. ezeqiel
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Well, in response to some info I put in the Moot2 thread, I drove past the Saintfield site this evening after dark (thanks daylight savings time!) and yes the floodlights at the entrance to the lane and a 2nd set further up at the crest of a gentle hill that the lanes goes over were both shining brightly… so they are definately doing some night shooting.

    As Martin & SilverJaime have both already posted, there is a tower and rath in the grounds that may be used, but we all seriously doubt the tower’s suitability. I will say that there are some decent wooded areas in the estate, nothing too dense so may be fitting for camera work, so that might be an idea… KL Weirwood scenes possibly? Whispering Wood maybe? Autumn is getting into full swing here so the trees are turning very autmnal in colour with the browns/red/goldens coming to the fore.

    I’m gonna scan over as much info and imagery I can get of the estate to see if there is anything more obvious that they may be using…

  32. The Rabbit
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    To be honest, as I was reading Martin s and Ezequiel s posts the Whispering wood pop-uped in my head, as one of the possible scenes to be shoot right know.
    I am to lazy to go to Tower of the Hand right know, but who we need there?
    Richard Madden, Michelle Fairley, Alfie Allen, Clive Mantle, NCW and?
    Are there any of the Stark banners there we did not have info that they have been cast yet or they won t be.

  33. The Rabbit
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    ezeqiel,

    I was posting at the same time you did.
    I doubt it is KL Weirwood, because everyone who could be there have just returned from Malta..so I say it is highly improbable.
    It could be Whispering wood or Tyrion s night pact with the Clans after his leave from the Eyreie.

    Apologize for spelling your nick the wrong way, ezeqiel. :)

  34. Adam Whitehead
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Based on what we’ve heard previously, I would estimate that filming will end in late December or early January, maybe a little earlier. The 30-week mark will be reached on 11 February 2011, but remember this was when we were expecting a 12-episode season. Removing two episodes should remove about a month from production, maybe a little longer.

    Interestingly, we’re currently in the 14th week of production, putting us somewhere around the halfway mark. But if they’ve filmed THAT scene, which should happen quite late in the day, that indicates we may be a little further on from that.

  35. spacechampion
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Is that the same gate used in HBO’s Rome for the Egyptian scenes — I think Alexandria? When Vorenus and Pullo are defending the gate from some army or other.

  36. Jackie MacPherson
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    From Lena’s Facebook page…


    Am still here on set working with the delightful mark addy. I traveled all weekend and I will be packing ready to head back to LA… Cannot explain the excitement to be headed home…

    Sounds like they’ll be wrapping up pretty soon. With pick ups to follow probably.

  37. Jackie MacPherson
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    By fairly soon I meant around mid-December btw ;) I think Josef (Pyp) has just tweeted that he’s filming in December again.

  38. The Rabbit
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    Jackie MacPherson,

    Hmmm, that is interesting.
    But I am not sure what business King and Queen might have in the woods.a

    There is also a bit of info I missed, David and Dan, where are they now on Malta or in Ireland?
    I guess they are staying in Malta for the Dany s final scenes.
    And another guess, I sincerely doubt that they are going to shoot such a complex scene as Whispering woods without them.
    So, I ll go with Tyrion telling Bronn his story about Tysha, sitting by the log fire in Saintfield and waiting for Shagga to pop-up. :D

  39. Lex
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    It still blows my mind that we’re approaching the end of filming, and that we’re less than 5 months away from airing!

    The waiting seemed interminable… and now it feels like everything is happening so quickly! :)

  40. dizzy_34
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    What blows my mind is that we still have no Frey confirmation.

  41. Jackie MacPherson
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    The Rabbit,

    What about Robert’s death? Remember the directors are rotating so it could be that earlier eps are being filmed in Belfast. Have to admit, I can’t for the life of me remember the order of things in Thrones or what continues to the next book! It’s all a blur ;)

  42. Jackie MacPherson
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    To add to my previous comment remember Lancel was in town too.

  43. GaR
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Jackie MacPherson,

    I suspect you’re right; Lancel would need to be around for the return from the hunting trip. He doesn’t have much else to do in S1 as I recall, other than getting yelled at and sent on a wild goose chase at the tourney.

  44. ezeqiel
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    okay, apologies for this huge post! but for some more info on the Saintfield estate where some night shooting is ongoing…

    The estate has a number of rath’s, the 2 most prominent described as follows:
    1. 45m in diameter and is planted with trees – there is a very fine platform and good traces of a ditch
    2. to the south-east another rath platform about 40m in diameter – it features a good inner bank but there are no traces of a ditch

    Both are situated in a large field, with a large wooded area bordering the field to the east. The estate as a whole has a number of sections of woodland and adjoining fields. A large pond is also situated amidst a section of woodland north of the prominent rath’s.
    The tower that has been pictured and discussed is that of an old water tower and some bit north of either rath, so I would be inclined to rule this out as any interest to the show (as others have already).

    The positioning of the 2nd set of floodlights further up the lane where pointing at a right-angle to the lane from what I could make out and seemed to sit inline with a left-hand turn off the main lane in the direction of adjoining fields and land to the rath’s and the woodland. So probable decent access links to that area…

    The best images that I could find on the net is actually from a local governmental site with better top-down mapping coverage of the entire NI than google – you can see what I mean at the url: http://maps.ehsni.gov.uk/naturalheritage/default.aspx (just continue to zoom in on the Saintfield area)

    There is also the remainder of a Motte a little to the west of the estate & rath’s, but it’s connected to numerous field borders/hedgerows and not in an extensive, expansive open field as that of the rath’s.

    For the uninitiated, a rath (or ráth) is easiliest described as: a ringfort or fortified earthen works with an enclosing bank

    Anyways, thats my bit of detective work carried out for the evening, from my memory of the book this might be an area suited to a large battle-piece, possibly the Whispering Wood although I am happy for any correction for those better read in the books than me.

    Would be interested to hear what Martin and Silverjaime might make of this idea as well, so feel free to pipe in! I’m off to re-read Game of Thornes again to see if I can find anything else suitable to fit the scene!!!

    @ The Rabbit – I like your train of thought on Tyrion & Bronn… the fact that both were in Belfast last week for Eyrie scenes means it might be very much applicable (no probs on the name mis-spell btw)

  45. DH87
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Adam Whitehead,

    The three week per episode template also typically involves sequential shooting, while GOT is using simultaneous shootings, with a second unit. This will cut down the filming time but will not compress editing, CGI’ing, over dubbing, etc.

  46. Lex
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    dizzy_34: Lex,
    What blows my mind is that we still have no Frey confirmation.    

    The ray of hope there, for me, is that they will be able to use Roy Dotrice for Frey in Season 2 (hopefully his health will be better by then).

  47. aeh
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Love the red keep and am loving everything as seen so far, except maybe the wigs ie Cersei and Daenerys but may look better as part of the production. Am gagging to see Khal Drogo though.

  48. Tysnow
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Nice gate, it has a unique quality about it so the crew probably said we don’t need a set just use this cool gate and touch it up with CGI. I mean is it just me or are they giving the Free cities and K.L. a Byzantine feel (with some CGI slight of hand).
    I pretty sure they aren’t committed to the 3 block episode filming schedule, it seems they are filming scenes near the end of the season, whereas if this was the middle block we would be in episodes 6 or 7. I betcha weather is the main factor, as it is still late Summer down in south Westeros in GoT, so they probably are shooting all the outdoor scenes (excluding the North and Wall) before it gets wintery, trees loose all the leaves, their breath is visible and God forbid it snows early when it suppose to be green still. So they probably want all the ext. shots done by the end of November.

  49. Lex
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Totally off topic, but my ASOIAF 2011 Calendar just arrived at my door! Woohoo! :)

  50. Avalanche3319
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Lex,

    I got mine a month or so ago, amazing artwork! With the exception of one or two places (*cough* Casterly Rock) The locations all look very near to how I imagined them. And in some cases the pictures are even more spectacular then I imagined.

  51. Fire And Blood
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    In some completely off-topic, not-about-GoT news, Peter Dinklage will be starring in a new movie (with Tim Roth and Steve Buscemi) called PETE SMALLS IS DEAD.

    Lena Headey also has a part in the film — as a blonde (evidenced by these pictures).

    Tyrion and Cersei: they just can’t seem to escape one another.

  52. sjwenings
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    Wow! Somehow i first read: “Peter Dinklage is dead” (!) My heart skipped a beat there.

  53. Sleeky
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    ezeqiel: For the uninitiated, a rath (or ráth) is easiliest described as: a ringfort or fortified earthen works with an enclosing bankAnyways, thats my bit of detective work carried out for the evening, from my memory of the book this might be an area suited to a large battle-piece, possibly the Whispering Wood although I am happy for any correction for those better read in the books than me.

    Just an idle thought….but wouldn’t it be possible that it could stand-in for the fortifying of Moat Calin?

  54. Martin
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    ezeqiel,

    Good detective work and find on that map – we use GeoHub at work, but that site has far more sat detail on. Never knew there were so many raths on that site.

    If they are anything like the other Raths that we have seen dotted around the place, they may be too overgrown to be used as much for filming – they look more like low dry stone walls overgrown with hawthorn / blackthorn / ivy etc.

    As you say – the tower is not really that suitable. The estate would lend itself to battle scenes – it is pretty private, and difficult to get in and around, and I suspect there are places in the estate that would be quite well screened from housing / buildings etc. for panning shots.

    We were up at Grey Abbey on Sunday, where it has been rumoured that they had done some filming – not much of the Grey Abbey itself would be that useful I would have thought. However, we looked over into the adjacent private estate, and there are a number of trees and landscape features, including a gorgeous old stone bridge that would certainly lend themselves to sets – not sure if it has ever been confirmed that they have / haven’t filmed there though.

    Oh – while I remember, there was a shot of you and your brother that I took, but unfortunatley due to user error, it focused beyond you – and you are both quite out of focus. I’ll send it anyway when I get back tonight.

    Martin

  55. coltaine777
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Thanks WIC…I am trying to be patient but damn it’s hard lol…Love the news of an added Syrio/Arya scene…

  56. Wastrel
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Whatha….?

    I know I’ve said before that they’re ‘aging up’ the setting, going more for renaissance than medieval… but I was clearly wrong. They’re going for WAY later-looking than renaissance. For some context: the Red Keep apparently dates from around the time of the Salem witch trials (except that this architecture, being European, is rather more modern-looking than American architecture of that period). It’s the architecture of people worried about Howitzers…

    I’m very surprised. If they’re going down that route, they could just have filmed it all in America and re-used the sets and backgrounds from John Adams…

    Or maybe they could exagerate the differences between the houses slightly. So the Lannisters are Samurai, the Greyjoys are presumably Vikings… how about Ancient Egyptians for Dorne, 19th-century american cowboys for the Tullys, astronauts for the North, medieval knights for Tyrell, Romans for Dragonstone, Aztecs for the Reach… and Enlightenment-era frenchmen for the area around King’s Landing? Not sure where to put the woad-painted celtic warbands and the 60s hippies.

    I further suggest that the great pyramid in the east be replaced by a shiny skyscraper. Preferably the Chrysler Building.

  57. dander
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Very good report! Try to find more from local papers and photos from scenes when puplic buildings are used. Hopefully they will compliment the original shoot with cgi since. <3 winter is near!

  58. Crotalidian (Paul)
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Are you saying that for the Fort Picture? that Fort was built in the late 17th Century and while they have worked extensively on it over time they have kept the original feel. the Fort was used in Gladiator and Troy too.

    I’m not sure what you are seeing that I’m not here, would you care to explain (I’m not an Architectural man really)

  59. Martin
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    There is noting in that gateway that would inherently place it as modern, in fact with the calssical elements (although distorted from the traditional orders) – I think you could reasonably place it in many different historical contexts (including the classic period).

    They are obviously using a number of RL locations as far as possible to minimise the amount of CGI required. With set dressing, lighting, limited post production on colours, some matte material and limited overlays they could lift the appearance considerably.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem, and I am usually looking at the built environment in these things far more closely than most.

    With the budgets and time constraints, I’m guessing that they could not simply rely overly on CGI to create these settings – also, you can’t beat the physicality of an actual location.

    I think it will ultimately be to the benefit of the series to break away from the somewhat restrictive medieval pallette in terms of design, materials and styles.

    Martin

  60. jwsnasa
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    I know its a bit early, but any guess’s or suggestions on an actress to play Brienne?

  61. Crotalidian (Paul)
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    jwsnasa,

    We had this discussion on Thurday. My Take was that Body Type and Acting Ability should be the 2 main factors as makeup can be utilised to make her ‘homely’ etc.

    None spring immediately to mind but I’m sure HBO know where to look!

  62. Wastrel
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    OK, so that was an over-reaction. But I hope my point is visible nonetheless: I’m trying to go along with what they’re doing, hoping that there’s some rationale behind it all. But there comes a point (in the scale of decreasing attention to continuity) where “bold, imaginative re-envisaging” becomes “laziness” and “incoherence”.

    Crotalidian: exactly, it’s from the late 17th century. I.e. yesterday, or the day before last. Like, about half a millenium later than the “archetypal” fantasy setting, which Martin doesn’t differ from that much. I’m OK with them being renaissancey about it, but the Enlightenment seems a step too far.

    Or to put it in terms of the war that inspired the series: the Wars of the Roses and the English Civil War are not interchangeable conflicts. If you have a WotR epic and some guy comes along in a cavalier hat with a musket, it kind of damages the suspension of disbelief. Likewise, if the key speech by Cromwell is interupted by a guy in full plate armour on a destrier. Or a mobile phone.

    Anyway, I’m not saying that this is “it”. I’m not throwing my hands up in the air (ok, I did, but I was over-reacting). But it’s a big step in the direction of no longer being confident that they know what they’re doing, in terms of developing a coherent setting and tone for the series.

  63. Steve Westenra
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    jwsnasa,

    I’m insanely excited for when she turns up (if we get that many seasons– here’s hoping!). I have no idea of anyone to play her though really, although I’m banking on an unknown or near unknown. Although I recall someone saying they shouldn’t bother with making sure she’s unattractive, for myself I hope that they do cast someone who is not conventionally pretty or good-looking. Apart from the fact that it’s a huge part of why she acts the way she does and is treated the way she is, I think it would be great to see an actress who isn’t Hollywood beautiful get a chance to show her talent. From television and movies we get this rather unfair impression that all actors and actresses naturally tend toward the attractive side (usually only excluding character actors, and most of those being men). There are TONS of actors, I am sure, who are super talented but not particularly attractive, and who could benefit from that kind of exposure. It’s a little too convenient, to my mind, that the actors who “turned out to be the best for the part,” are always inevitably very good looking. I’m not picking on Game of Thrones in particular, or even at all– just saying that of film and television generally. The idea that it would be hard to find an actress who is unattractive and who would play a good Brienne makes me laugh.

  64. Steve Westenra
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    ALSO. Just curious, but how do you get pictures for your icons? I’ve decided I’ve been posting on here enough lately that I would like to upload one but I can’t see a button for that.

  65. Steve Westenra
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I think this will make a wonderful Red Keep. I don’t know anything about this sort of architecture, but regardless of whether it’s more modern or not, I feel like it can pass as being from a lot of different time periods. I do also really like that they’re using real locations as opposed to only CGI, as I think a lot of the artistry of set creation is lost when it’s all done on the computer (not that CGI isn’t it’s own art form, but I do miss the use of real media in film and television).

  66. Winter Is Coming
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Wastrel, it’s evident from this and your comments about the Hand’s chair that you are expecting a historical drama. Something that takes place in a specific era from our history and only uses styles from that time period or earlier. That is not what Thrones is. It isn’t set in any era from our time period. Gemma Jackson flat out said that she is mixing and matching styles she likes from different regions and different eras.

    I understand you don’t agree with that decision. That you would rather see this played out as a historical drama with fantasy elements. But wishing it to be that way and complaining about every perceived anachronism isn’t going to change the fact that it is not being treated as such. So you can either accept that this is a fantasy setting and as a result will be incorporating styles from all different eras and enjoy the spectacle that Jackson and Co. have created. Or you can watch The Borgias on Showtime.

  67. Steve Westenra
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    I’m very much concerned about similar things, I think, though for some reason this particular setting doesn’t bother me, as I feel like it can pass for older than it is. Some of that is inevitably my lack of knowledge as to architecture of this style and in this location, but I do feel like, with some tweaking, it could pull off the look of something a bit more in keeping with what I think the style/time of the books is.
    I think coherence is what I’m mainly worried about, and that all this fiddling is going to create a bit of a mess on screen. The biggest thing for me is the Lannister-Asian thing. I would love to see Asian inspiration in the series, but I think it is completely out of place in the Lannister court. Westeros seems fairly homogeneous in terms of its style of clothing. I mean, yes, there will be regional differences where it is convenient to wear warm or cold clothing, or where the people are especially distinct or isolated, etc, but the Lannisters aren’t one of those groups of people. If they had a genealogical history that traced itself back to somewhere different than the Tyrells, Baratheons, etc, then it would be warranted. The thing is that they don’t, and differentiating them so much from these other families kind of begs the question from the audience, “So what is it that’s different about these guys?? There must be something going on there!” It may also erroneously give the impression that “Hey, these guys are dressed like Japanese people, unlike everyone else around them, ergo they must be the baddies.”
    I hope that it’s done subtly and I hope that I am wrong, but I’m very uneasy about that. It probably comes from having been a part of the big fan-hype that surrounded the Silent Hill movie and then having been let down by the utter mess that was the film. It’s made me extremely wary of executives trying to get the fans to cozy up to big changes (not that this is anywhere NEAR how big the changes were to the SH games).

  68. Martin
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Martin’s own inspiration came only partly and ‘loosely’ from the Wars of the Roses, and my take on that was more to do with the political take on the waring houses than the historical context of buildings, environments etc (I may be wrong there) although I believe that period was probably the high point for Tourneys and decorative / symbolic armours too.

    Also, the 17th century is only what say 150-250 years from the Wars of the Roses, (depending whether you are talking start of the 17th or end) and 300-400 years ago from today.

    The thing is, there are no complete castles from the period in question, so there is no ideal setting for Winterfell, Castle Black, the Red Keep, Kings Landing etc. All these settings will have to be cobbled together from a mix of RL locations, fabricated sets and CGI.

    Personally I would prefer that they get the actors, scripts and overall continuity and flow of the plot arcs correct – and there is every indication that they are doing so.

    Having said that, it is a series of books that have triggered particular emotions and commitments from readers with their own take on the places and characters, so I’m sure it is a case of not being able to please everyone all of the time.

    Martin

  69. Brude
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I made a post about this last night, but it seems the system ate the post and it never showed up, but this same fort was used and extensively dressed as a major set for “Troy.” Scroll down to the third section of pictures to see how much they were allowed to build around the fort for that movie:

    Considering that movie was set in about the year 1200 BCE and the place was dressed convincingly to be of that time period (albeit a mythological version of it), I think it will serve fine as a massive castle set in a fantasy version of the era just a few hundred years prior to its actual construction.

  70. dizzy_34
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    I think your jumping to conclusions a little bit. The finished footage from this set or the chair gate set could look like Dagobah for all we know. So far the only “finished” footage we’ve seen has looked great in my opinion.

  71. Wastrel
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    WiC:
    It’s not “historical” vs “fantasy”. It’s whether “fantasy” has to mean lazy and incoherent – “don’t worry about being convincing or solid, it’s only fantasy”. That is, it’s the “fantasy and therefore” in your post that I have a problem with.

    Again, I’m not saying that this series WILL be lazy or incoherent. Just that a) an “I think it looks cool fuck the consequences” approach is both lazy and incoherent, and b) this makes me worry that that will be the approach they take – because, as you say, it’s only fantasy, so they don’t have to care.

    Whereas for me, a story is only succesful so long as I can empathise with the characters (though not always sympathise), which means getting into their heads. And obviously that’s not possible if they live in a cardboard-cutout world.

    Or, putting the same argument a different way: A Song of Ice and Fire is better than Forgotten Realms.

    It’s nothing to do with being “historical” or not, or how much magic there is. There are non-fantasy authors who are shit, and there are fantasy authors who are good. True, Martin dials down the fantasy, but that doesn’t mean that fantasy authors can’t be good. Things like the Silmarillion, or the Book of the New Sun, or One Hundred Years of Solitude, or The Left Hand of Darkness – none of them are “mundane” or strictly “historical” in a non-magical way, yet they’re all good, because they’re all put together with love and attention. They’re worlds that you can view from any direction, not just painted sets.

    It’s not “fantasy” vs “historical”, it’s “literature” (with all the expectations of quality and attention to detail) vs “children’s books” (with all the expectations of handwaving and anachronism and ‘isn’t it cool’). And I don’t believe that fantasy must automatically be juvenile – you should be able to film it in a way that isn’t just a cartoon for people who want some tits and blood and shiny buildings. Because I enjoyed the books, and I’d like to enjoy the series – what’s more, I’d like ordinary people to be able to enjoy the series and come out saying ‘hey, so some fantasy stuff is good!’ rather than ‘well it was ridiculously silly but it had tits in it, and hey, what can you expect, it’s only fantasy’. Because for many people this will be their first major exposure to fantasy, and it would be good if the genre could show its best face, not its worst.

    To re-iterate: I’m not saying this gate makes it bad. Now I’m just talking about the principles of how a lack of interest in internal consistency can hurt the show. And yes, clueless and unmotivated anachronisms ARE a form of inconsistency, because it makes it impossible to believe in the world the characters inhabit (which devalues and makes irrelevent all the decisions of the characters – because who cares what they do when they’re cartoon characters – and castrates them of their depth and subtlety – because the depth of a character comes from their interaction with the world around them, and they can’t be deeper than the world. If the world is only 2D, so are the characters.)

    —–

    Brude: yes, it was used in Troy. But Troy was shit, and should hardly be held up as an example of succesful worldbuilding.

    —–

    Martin: architecture IS politics. Or rather, the whole of the made environment is intertwined with the culture that makes it. You can’t just have medieval knights who live in mile-high glass skyscrapers. Or you can, but it’s a parody, or a very weird story indeed, in which the setting gets more attention than the characters.

    And I’d rephrase your chronology by saying that Fort Ricasoli is as close to Richard Nixon as it is to Richard III.

    Finally, on the narrow point: there are dozens if not hundreds of complete castles (etc) from “the period in question” (ie, something that would be believable in a knights-and-vassals setting). No doubt there are reasons not to use any of them, and that’s fine, but claiming that there aren’t any is inventing ludicrous excuses.

    I guess I just find it hard to take seriously a show with knights in basically-modern settings when not for comic effect – I went to university at a college 200 years older than Ricasoli, and which itself had noticeably ‘modern’ architecture compared to the genuinely medieval stuff nearby. Because sure, if you take one photo at a time you might not be able to date it in your head, but when you see buildings from one period and then from another the disconnect is massively obvious. Now, I for one love walking through London or Oxford or any other city of anachronisms, but it totally undermines the dramatic seriousness of the characters and their actions to try to produce that sort of postmodern effect in a series.

    —–

    dizzy: yes, I SAID I had over-reacted. You make a good suggestion, and I hope it turns out to be correct. Maybe they’re just using that big shallow archway and remastering or not showing all the architecture around it. Let’s hope.

  72. Wastrel
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    P.S. for those talking about how it’s more important to get the “characters” right: this is fantasy! The setting should BE a character in its own right. I understand that some embellishments have to be made for the transition to film, but I don’t want to see the characters I’ve come to know be utterly transformed. If you grow up having The Taming of the Shrew as your favourite play, for instance, you’ll probably be upset if the only version ever made for film or for TV was “10 Things I Hate About You” – especially when everybody talks about 10 things as though it were the same as the play because they’ve never read the play.

  73. Mormegil
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Surely within the world of Westeros the Red Keep (and all Kings Landing for that matter) should look more modern than other places such as Winterfell.

    The Red Keep was built 300 years ago, Winterfell and most of the other Castles are thousands of years old.

  74. Martin
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    “Martin: architecture IS politics. Or rather, the whole of the made environment is intertwined with the culture that makes it. You can’t just have medieval knights who live in mile-high glass skyscrapers. Or you can, but it’s a parody, or a very weird story indeed, in which the setting gets more attention than the characters.”

    Hmm, maybe I better run for office then…..

    I think we run the risk of over labouring a point here. What it comes down to I think is that you are not over keen on the look of various aspects of the ‘look’ as they fit your vision of the books – which is fine, everyone will have their own view. I don’t have a problem with the look of the various sites used, IMO they can fit within a fairly consistent world view (just not our world necessarily – although they could have done).

    Still confused by your timelines though.

    Wars of the Roses: 1450s (ish)

    Fort Ricasoli – built in 1670s (ish)

    so the Fort is only 220 years away from the ‘source material’ yet is 340 years away from present day (or 300 years from Nixon).

    Martin

  75. DH87
    Posted November 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Wastrel, you raise very good points. I’m not surprised that this issue has come up in the context of set design and direction (it might have arisen during casting but it looks like there were no major miscasts). However, I’d suggest that at the end of the road, given your line of thinking, may lie vicodin and tequila unless we acknowledge that, if things are acceptable to GRRM, they should be acceptable to us. Doesn’t mean they are right or wrong, but when we have the creator on the scene and he is leaving the sets with a smile on his face, that has to give us a measure of reassurance. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t something wrong that he has asked to be fixed (he’d never acknowledge it publicly if there was) or that there is something wrong that can’t be fixed for logistical or other reasons. It means just that we have to trust that D&D want to bring to life George’s vision as much as they all want to please us. (If you assume that “pleasing” the viewers is the point of the series and of entertainment in general.)
    I say this as a battle-scarred veteran of discussion groups on a series (True Blood) that has seen the show runner eviscerate the original material with the cheerful acquiescence of the author. If I thought the same thing was going to happen on this series, I’d be looking for the nearest deep lake.

  76. Kanga
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Steve Westenra: ALSO. Just curious, but how do you get pictures for your icons? I’ve decided I’ve been posting on here enough lately that I would like to upload one but I can’t see a button for that.    

    I second that question, been wondering that myself.

  77. OhDanyBoy
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Wastrel,

    Here’s the issue with your criticisms. I didn’t know the gate was only 300 years old. And I bet that if you took a census, 99.9% of people wouldn’t have known that the gate was too ‘new’ to fit in the ‘knights and vassals’ time period.

    Consider the audience – to the extreme few like yourself this may be an issue, but for everyone else, it’ll be a cool gate that looks old-ish, and will fit in great with the feel of the show.

  78. Winter Is Coming
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Kanga:
    I second that question, been wondering that myself.    

    You can either sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account, if you have one, and it will pull your avatar from there. Or you can use Gravatar, and associate an avatar with the email address you use when commenting here. :)

  79. Kanga
    Posted November 3, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Winter Is Coming,

    Thanks very much! :)

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