Filming Making Game of Thrones

MGoT: The Belfast (sort-of) Wrap

A new post on Making Game of Thrones catches us up on the last stages of filming in Northern Ireland and the wrap party at the Titanic Museum. Several notable events in the third season were hinted at in this latest blog post.

The end of the Belfast shoot was on a Saturday, after a week of working on one of the hardest scenes that has been shot – in any series so far, I would say. This event marks a massive shift in direction for our battling families.

We then find out that filming in the area wasn’t actually quite done yet.

In the next week, a crew of stunt men will arrive in Belfast and start work on something big. I can’t tell you much, other than there are ropes involved and those afraid of heights perhaps should look away.

Ours is the Fury: Readers of the books are probably aware of which events are being referred to. It’s exciting to have more confirmation of what major events will occur in the third season.


  • Mmm, ropes. Interesting that they didn’t need cast members for this. I guess if they’re shooting from far enough away to convey height they don’t need the actual actors. Close ups could be shot separately.

  • Speaking of which…

    I think of all the ASoS perspectives, the one I’m most interested in seeing the S3 cut-off point to is Jon’s. He really blew me away in this book and I hope the show lives up to it. His saga in S2 was a tad weak compared with its written representation, and this is coming from someone who is only now reading ASOIAF, not a chiseled and militant long-time book fan.

    Of course, given how altered Daenerys’ Qarth story was in S2 (for the better, IMO) anything can happen really.

  • I would say the hardest scene will no doubt be Scaling the wall with the ropes and the battle between the nightswatch and wildlings

  • I’m just so excited for any scene of season three :S and i can’t believe there’s still another four months to go. Send us trailers!

  • Didn’t remember scaling the wall was so early in book 3, though I also thought Arya got to Harrenhaal after book 2. I might have to re-read the books, wanted to do so anyway :)

  • I would assume that rope and heights means either:
    Jon and the wildings climbing the wall… or
    the assassination of Balon Greyjoy by the faceless man

  • iRaven, yes, except Cat has no control over when this stuff gets posted. It’s HBO marketing that decides what and when stuff gets posted. She probably wrote this blog post and submitted it a day or two after the filming took place and HBO is just now getting around to posting it.

  • Pretty sure that “hardest scene” must be referring to the RW. Explains that last statement about the families.

  • sean,
    I agree about the “hardest scene.”

    The scene with stunt men and ropes has to be the wildlings climbing the wall. Sounds awesome. But I also have wondered if we will see Balon’s death on-screen.

  • This looks like it’s definitely scaling the wall as mentioned above, but I’m really curious about all the aftermath namely the impalements of some of those who have fallen.

  • I’m not sure it is talking about scaling the wall, that doesn’t really “mark a massive shift in direction for our battling families.” Balon’s death would make more sense.

  • @Link, you’ve gotten a little confused – the “stunt men” bit and the “families” bit are two completely moments being filmed. The first is scaling the wall, the second is the Red Wedding.

    I strongly doubt we’ll see Balon’s death on-screen. I don’t think they’d want to spoil the ambiguity of whether it was really an accident or not. But I could be wrong.

  • Chickenduck:
    @Link, you’ve gotten a little confused – the “stunt men” bit and the “families” bit are two completely moments being filmed.The first is scaling the wall, the second is the Red Wedding.

    I strongly doubt we’ll see Balon’s death on-screen.I don’t think they’d want to spoil the ambiguity of whether it was really an accident or not.But I could be wrong.

    I think it’d be better if they showed his death on screen. Off-screen it’d look as cheap as in the books. Show viewers might think Patrick Malahide left the show and they had to get rid of him. Does anybody know if Patrick Malahide and/or Gemma Whelan filmed for season 3?

  • I’m still not convinced that they will include the battle with the wildings or Ygritte’s death in season 3. I think ropes refers to the scouting party with Jon climbing the wall. I think they will get Jon back to the wall and cut off his story there so the impending battle is something to look forward to in season 4 .

  • While they might not show Balon’s death on screen, I do think they’ll have a Greyjoy scene or two beyond Theon. Maybe Balon’s attempt at treating with the Lannisters or Asha/Yara finding out about his death. Be it in Season 3 or 4, I think the show will have a lot more attention on the Greyjoys than the books, otherwise viewers will lose interest in the family for when they actually do have important parts.

  • If Ygritte survives into season 4, they must pay the actor for one or two episodes so budget-wise it may to best to kill the character off now.

  • Off topic but after complaining about not fitting in all his favourite shows of 2012 in his top 10 this year, Ken Tucker made a top 2o list instead and did not mention Game of Thrones in this list either. Even though he gave the second season an A review. So does Tucker dislike the series, or is he part of the agreed upon Sophomore Slump that the media seem to be branding the second season of Thrones with?

    And yes, I am aware certain people hate season 2 and I accept that but please do not answer this post with a succint “because season 2 sucked” .

  • Alas, writing this from the library. My PC is down. Hopefully, I will be up and running before the end of March. Like most, I am thinking they are scaling the wall. I am anxious to see all the new-and regular-characters, but I want to see how the handle…the Hound….

    For Winterfell!

  • How many other journalists who had jumped for joy for Season 1 are somewhat shunning Season 2? Did Ken Tucker come across as a huge fan last year, even? I’m not familiar with his stuff.

    Either way, yeah, I think it’s safe to say GoT isn’t raking in as hot a score this year as it managed at its debut, but that often happens in second years, as the “Sophomore Slump” you mentioned suggests. I’m not really all that surprised given the more story-building (over more event-oriented a la Season 1) nature, and I think based on the source material as well as cast comments Season 3 will bring Thrones back to the media in a big way.

    That or it will go big and fail epically. In any case it will be an enormous spectacle, eh?

  • If any show suffered from the sophomore slump it’s Homeland. Still good but not nearly as good as Season 1.

    GoT should be in any persons top ten list. That guy is a joke.

  • Most critic’s top 10 lists I’ve seen have had GOT as one of the top 5 dramas this year. Tim Goodman of ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ has GOT as the third best drama, behind only Breaking Bad and Mad Men. polled critics and GOT came in as the 4th best drama. The idea that critics have ‘shunned’ season 2 of praise is simply incorrect. People are reacting to the lack of Golden Globe nominations, but don’t confuse the Hollywood Foreign Press with respected critics.

  • john,

    Yes, ‘Homeland’ devolved into ’24’ territory faster than I thought. I still enjoy the show, but that is mostly because of the acting of Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes.

  • Critics who didn’t like GoT season 2 are probably the same ones who didn’t like The Hobbit either.

  • If an actor is no longer on a show… it has nothing to do with cost unless that person was a huge star before coming to the show.

    Actors are cheap compared to lots of other costs you’d never even know about unless someone pointed them out. Hell, you could keep some actors on for a whole season simply by cutting out bagels in the morning breakfast for the crew. ;)

    And most of these actors were signed on for multi-year contracts BEFORE the show was a hit. Meaning they won’t have to start worrying about people wanting big money for at least 3 more seasons (every main actor is probably signed for six seasons except those they knew would only be needed for one).

    If you ever hear a show runner or executive talk about having to let someone go due to cost, they are just playing Hollywood politics (again, unless the actor was commanding superstar money). It either means the actor wasn’t happy or someone wasn’t happy with the actor.

    So, expect every actor to be available for whatever the writers decide is necessary for at least another 3 seasons.

  • Forget Dark tower V ASOIAF. The real battle is between Frank Mueller(sp?) and Roy Dotrice for greatest narrator ever. Frank Mueller actually narrated the first Dunk and Egg….

  • Roy has my award for best narration overall, but goddamn Frank Mueller was AMAZING in Wizard and Glass. I cannot praise him enough.