Filming Season 2 Speculation

Late July start for season two filming?

A recent article from Broadcast Now talks about post facilities in Belfast getting ready for the next season of Game of Thrones. In the article is a mention of when season two is set to begin production. Although not an official source, it is the first time frame that we’ve heard from a reliable source.

Greg Darby, managing director of Belfast’s Yellowmoon, the post facility that handled all of the offline edit for the drama, said discussions were taking place with the show’s producers about rates and rooms, although contracts have not been signed.

“It’s due to start production at the end of July and we are gearing up for that,” he told Broadcast.

Winter Is Coming: The article also notes that Northern Ireland is not locked in as the base of filming season two just yet…. but the likelihood of HBO leaving all the sets they have built and locations they have already used is slim to none.

But hearing late July as the expected start time is a surprise. Yes, it is the same time that they started last season, but that was delayed from an earlier June start. I expected them to shoot for June again, in order to avoid some of the bad weather that plagued the end of season one. I guess they thought it was worth dealing with some cold wintery weather at the end of filming to get some extra pre-production time.


  • Leaving it late? It feels like quite a quick turnaround to me, but then I am pretty much ignorant of many of the particulars and practicalities of filming. I bow to Winter’s better informed judgement…

  • EvilPicnic, well, the assumption was since many of the major roles are already cast and the large sets already built, that the pre-production time for season two would be significantly reduced. As it stands now, season two will have the same amount of pre-production time that they originally planned to have for season one — four months.

  • Gives us more time for casting season two. *now chanting* Casting season two. Casting season two …

  • fafhrd, a little… but they still had to build the very large sets for the Red Keep and Castle Black and the Eyrie. Plus cast a bunch of roles, including recasts of two major roles from the pilot.

    For season two, they will have only a handful of major roles to cast and then a slew of minor ones, but those can be filled quickly. The bulk of the sets are already built as much of the action in S2 is in King’s Landing and at the Wall. Sets for Dragonstone and Riverrun and Pyke will probably need to be built but likely won’t need to be as large, elaborate, or permanent as the Red Keep and Castle Black sets were.

  • Elena Amici:
    OMG are they filming in malta this year? Im going there 3 weeks in July

    That would be logical… Since all external Kings Landing shots were done in Malta, it would make sense that they would use that location for the rest of the series. But stranger things have happened, of course…

  • July is the ‘marching season’ in Northern Ireland, If the troubles flare up Malta may well become a refuge across the Narrow Sea.
    Life imitating art or art imitating life, eh?

  • Goldzor:
    Steven Swanson,

    If i’m not mistaken, more of some month older in the book. The time in the books between AGOT and AFFC is 2,5 years.

    Which is not that different from what the show would have – 3 years. (assuming one season per book, which I would prefer)

  • The time required for set building and casting will actually be less, but the time required for writing will actually be greater as at the very least the pilot script was more or less already written before production began on season 1. And that’s fine by me, take your time and get it right, writing is the most important part of any television production (not to suggest that I have any problem with the writing so far).

  • I wonder what will happen with the Eyrie? I don’t recall it appearing in book 2, but they’ll want the set later on (presuming we get more series- let’s hope so!)- and indeed have the actors playing Lysa and Robin contracted to return. It must be expensive to keep the set and just have it unused, but I imagine it would be difficult to take it all down and put it back as it was?

  • How does casting fit in? When do you think they will start announcing new members of the cast? I don’t recall when all the casting announcements came for season 1.

  • Is anyone else worried about potential re-casting? With a cast this size, it’s almost inevitable.

    The actress who portrayed Old Nan has already passed away, so they will need to re-cast her if they want Old Nan to appear in the second season.

    But what about other characters? How jarring/annoying/devastating will it be if certain characters are suddenly played by new actors?

  • SK,

    The first wave of mass casting announcements began in June last year.
    It was about 3 months after the green-light, and about 2 months before the start of principal photography.
    As we know (via Ran) that first casting calls were sent out about week ago, it seems that the process of casting is at the beginning.
    I think that we would wait a bit for the first announcements – a month or two, probably.

  • OT, but oh wow… I just remembered my WEIRD dream from last night! It was regarding the mystery character who will supposedly be killed off early (Season 1 instead of 3)

    I dreamed they killed off the Old Bear in Season 1, and he was replaced by a White Walker who looked identical, so no one knew that it wasn’t really him. Kind of like the Cylons on Battlestar Galactica. It was horrible.

  • The Rabbit:

    The first wave of mass casting announcements began in June last year.
    It was about 3 months after the green-light, and about 2 months before the start of principal photography.

    The worst part of last year was the long wait from March to June, with very little news. Thankfully, this time we have Season 1 to keep us entertained! :)

  • I was wondering with all the trouble in Libya, which isn’t very far away, and if NATO is utilizing any of Malta’s facilities, could that put a damper on re-filming there and that is why they are looking at locations in Croatia.

  • Lex,

    At least recasting beats cutting characters out of the story early. So I’m all for recasting in the event that it’s necessary.

    And with a production this size, if it goes 7 or 8 seasons, I would guess that eventually 5-10 actors will need to be replaced. Might as well get used to the idea.

  • I’m not a huge fan of HP movies, but what I respect them for is, that they came to the end with cast almost unchanged. I hope HBO manages to do the same(although this is different). Come to think of it, for once I’m glad that Martin is killing his characters at such a fast rate. That will definitely spare them some possible recasts.

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  • Tysnow,

    It may happen but highly unlikely because I asked around a bit and since the financial constructions of the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism for this year are already closed it probably won’t happen, even the next year is questionable at this date because they have already laid out the plan for 2012 and if HBO doesn’t make a move soon… Our adminitration is fairly rigid in these instances and rarely makes an exception for anyone…

  • Blaineo:
    I do hope they call season 2 A CLASH OF KINGS.It would close each season off like a book.

    Would be nice to have it as a subtitle, I agree. But the TV brand is called ‘Game of Thrones’ and they’re going to continue to promote it that way.

  • EvilPicnic,

    I’d imagine they’ll just title an episode per season after the book it’s based upon. Ideally the first episode. The Game of Thrones brand is over all the merch and it’s gaining familiarity so they’re not going to abandon it.

  • I think that what will take the most time in preproduction is actually adapting the novel, not stuff like building sets, etc. Although obviously a lot of that can be done in parallel.

    The hardest part will be deciding what scenes to include/cut/add, what order they will be in. THis all has to be done wayyy before booking filming locations! So it’s important to have many months lead from the beginning of preproduction to the start of filming. If you don’t even know what sets you’ll need where, it’s impossible to even book filming locations/schedule actors/hire staff, etc etc all the way down.