Production

MGoT: Filming in Mance’s camp

Ice skullA new Making Game of Thrones post from Cat Taylor details some of the filming that occurred on the set of Mance Rayder’s camp in Iceland.

It’s day five, and all of Mance’s camp, not just the inside of his tent, is laid out before us. The camp is the product of months of work from the art department and weeks of construction by the local crew. It is spectacular.

Walking from base, the edge of the camp is only a few feet away, but the site is like a fantasy. If you can ignore the cameras and crew, you might believe you were actually inside a wilding village. Our extras (the men all with fabulous beards of course) work in between the huts or huddle around fires, and even children run through the snow to greet a visitor from the Wall, in their own special way.

It’s also a day when our friend Ian Whyte, who plays the White Walker, is back in a different role, one we haven’t seen before. He’s got some awfully big shoes to fill for this particular scene.

More at the source. And remember, these posts are delayed. All of this filming took place over two months ago.

Winter Is Coming: Ian Whyte played the White Walker in the first season and Gregor in the second season. It sounds like he is going to add another role to his list. I wonder what it could be?

48 Comments

  • $10 Ian Whyte is playing a giant. “Awfully big shoes to fill” probably referring to, well, some big shoes. He’s probably wearing some sort of full body suit with prosthetics.

  • Ian Whyte … White Walker, Mountain that Rides and now Giant…

    Damn, it looks so thrilling to work with them !

    Beyond that, I really plan to work my way with HBO for season 5 to work on the set, that would be a real achievment for someone like me, fan of the show and cinema student ! I really want to do everything I can to make my way up there !

  • I would’ve thought a 12 foot giant would need to be CGI? Is it possible to have a person play a 12 foot giant or would they just make smaller giants? Would this mean he’s not reprising his role as Gregor or he’s doing both? I guess Gregor doesn’t NEED to be in the season, but I would’ve thought they might have him “cameo” a few scenes just to keep him on peoples’ minds.

  • I find it interesting that Cat referred to Ian Whyte as a White Walker as opposed to Gregor Clegane which was a much more substantial role for him on the show.

    It could be absolutely nothing but I wonder if the Mountain role in S2 was just a necessary evil for the show (they did keep him hidden underneath a helmet for all of his scenes and he said about 5 words total in the season) with the plan to be to bring back Conan Stevens in S4 for the Oberyn duel. I don’t anticipate we’ll see the Mountain at all in S3.

  • King Tommen,

    Made me curious as well. Why refer to him as the “White Walker” when Gregor was a much bigger role (when compared)? Maybe just hinting that he won’t play a human in season 3?

  • Dave: I would’ve thought a 12 foot giant would need to be CGI? Is it possible to have a person play a 12 foot giant or would they just make smaller giants? Would this mean he’s not reprising his role as Gregor or he’s doing both? I guess Gregor doesn’t NEED to be in the season, but I would’ve thought they might have him “cameo” a few scenes just to keep him on peoples’ minds.

    The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit movies have made perspective sizing into an art. If this fella is playing a giant, maybe they are just using similar methods. If he is tall to start out with that just makes the perspective SFX easier to do.

  • Sounds amazing! Can’t wait to see it.
    But Ian Whyte is now playing a Giant? I had hoped they would be around 10-12ft tall using real actors (In suitably hairy costumes) on green screen but with him there in person that seems unlikely :(
    Of course they might use the LOTR technique and have him closest to the camera to trick the eye into thinking he’s much bigger like they did with Gandalf and the hobbits.

    Is he still playing Gregor too? Maybe Gregor just isn’t in this season.

  • Stwt,

    A giant im guessing. I really hope conan stevens comes back as the mountain. He looked like the hardest bastard in the world. Ian whyte looked like Steve Merchant in armour.

  • Didn’t they ask for very short people in a casting call for extras? Maybe they will be standing next to Whyte to make him appear larger.

    Then again, that may have been a NI casting call, and it’s probably not feasible to fly them into Iceland just to stand next to a giant.

  • Yeah but the small persons were cast in Ireland so for an Irish shooting… maybe they did make a call to for small people in Iceland but we havent heard of it, so who knows ?

    I guess they will use some perspective trickery, yeah…

    It must have been so much of a fun to be one of the props guys having to rush inside a tent to avoid being in the shot ! I wonder what props it had been… simple fire ? Doubt it but I dont see what else would have been required in this scene…

  • A woman is thrilled to hear that the wildling camp will be so real-looking and have all sorts of characters about…and yes that hint is certain to be about Whyte playing a giant! Great idea, he is huge, and so many perspective issues can be solved with the camera that a giant would not have to be actually 12 feet tall to LOOK 10 – 12 feet tall. Also, so many visual/age/color things from the book have been changed, there’s no hard and fast rule about how tall they must be for the TV show. It’s also cool that the production is keeping valued cast members busy where possible to keep them engaged (and one would assume, well paid) in the show-world and that’s a sign of loyalty that this woman appreciates.

  • So this is awesome:
    http://www.mywatchbegins.com/

    But what’s happening on the 18th of February in NYC?
    Maybe they’ll play this video on a big screen somewhere in NYC with everyone’s recorded voices in it as trailer/promo for the S2 Dvd release haha

  • Nick_Scryer:
    So this is awesome:
    http://www.mywatchbegins.com/

    But what’s happening on the 18th of February in NYC?
    Maybe they’ll play this video on a big screen somewhere in NYC with everyone’s recorded voices in it as trailer/promo for the S2 Dvd release haha

    Yay, new history and lore video about the Night’s Watch, with the story of the Night’s King \o/

  • Nick_Scryer:
    So this is awesome:
    http://www.mywatchbegins.com/

    But what’s happening on the 18th of February in NYC?
    Maybe they’ll play this video on a big screen somewhere in NYC with everyone’s recorded voices in it as trailer/promo for the S2 Dvd release haha

    Would not be surprised to see some sort of Time Square event planned as there are now large screens and observation areas set up there for pedestrians, and perhaps some sort of pre-release viewing of some of the features on the new sets shown? There are also many stores in the city that could have lines for the release, like people line up for the latest video game releases? Just guessing, don’t live in the city so have no real info to go on.

  • Crowdsourcing The Watch. Nice. I shall add my voice to the general consensus in hopes for a giant . What with forced perspective and the sheer amount of snow they had to deal with in Iceland, I’m sure there’s plenty of material to size up what they need.

  • He’s definitely playing a giant. Most likely Mag the Mighty.

    I’m so glad they’re going the cheaper and better alternative to CGI which is costume. Put him on stilts and he’ll be the perfect height and if he walks strange it works for the performance I always imagined the giants like big apes.

    I also wouldn’t be suprised if they added some CGI to him especially during a fight.

  • It will be interesting to see how the more fantastical elements of ASoI&F are handled and portrayed on screen:
    giants, dragons getting bigger, skinchangers, wargs.

    I think a lot of non-fantasy people like the show because it doesn’t have all the tropes that come to mind when you think of fantasy.

    It’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out. Me? I’m loving it and looking forward to it.

  • Off topic, but after watching the ”in production” vid once again, Goat or whatever is name is doesn’t arrive in Harrenhal, he arrives during Brienne and Jaime’s fight on the bridge.

    So my guess on their storyline this season.

    EP -1: Jaime torturing Brienne with his trash talk

    EP -2: Jaime and Brienne fight, introduction of Goat. They are made prisonner.

    EP -3: Jaime gains respect for Brienne, tries to escape and Goat cuts his hand.

    EP -5: They arrive in Harenhall. Jaime is near death. We meet Qyburn briefly.

    EP -6: Jaime gains strenght, Bath scene, Jaime learns he can leave with Qyburn but must leave Brienne. (Cliffhanger?)

    EP -7: Jaime leaves Brienne at Harrenhall, comes back, Bear pit scene.

    EP -8: Jaime learning stuff from King’s Landing on the road.

    EP -10: Jaime arrives in KL, Brienne is made prisonner.

    Not sure one the episode order but this seems like a good arch this season. I based my speculations on the official pictures episode number. Brienne fight is definately ep 2, jaime has his hand in ep 3. Ep 7 feels like the perfect episode for Bart the Bear.

  • Selmy,

    But Jaime CAN NOT arrive in KL before the PW. That would royally suck ass.
    If the PW is not in Season 3, the Bear pit should be in ep10.

  • I like the idea of forced perspective being used to create the giants. CGI giants in movies have looked like ass. See Wrath of the Titans/Narnia/the trailer for that stupid looking Jack the Giant Slayer movie. And all those movies have budgets that dwarf Game of Thrones. CGI dragons and wildfire explosions are great. But, I love the fact we’re getting real bears and real wolves whenever possible.

    Stoked though, thought the giants might get cut.

  • Nick_Scryer,

    I know and I don’t want that either. The closer they stay to the third book, the better it will be I think. But I have a feeling D&D will put Jaime in the PW. They may have put Talissa in the Red Wedding, so why not?

  • Selmy,

    I don’t think the bear pit scene will come until episode nine or ten. The PW won’t happen this season, and Jaime won’t be in KL when it does happen. Jaime might not be in every episode this season to begin with. There is a ton of story to tell this season.

    Edit: I just noticed you didn’t have him in every episode, so we agree on that. But I still don’t think we will get near that far into book 3 for Jaime. There is no reason to.

  • Dan,

    Please do not think I believe in PW in season 3. I am strongly against this idea.

    Jaime’s last scene in ep.10 could be him just seeing KL from afar. Whatever I’m bored and I do like to speculate.

  • Selmy:
    Nick_Scryer,

    I know and I don’t want that either. The closer they stay to the third book, the better it will be I think.But I have a feeling D&D will put Jaime in the PW. They may have put Talissa in the Red Wedding, so why not?

    They can’t put Jaime on the PW, because Sansa will be there and so will Brienne. We can’t have both Brienne and Sansa in KL at the same time.

  • Love that they went practical FX for the giants. Heck I love that they are even in there at this point. I thought they may be pushed to next season.

  • I get the big shoes comment and that does seem to point giant but this guy did play an Other so is a certain badass wight out of the question, though i guess he would have big gloves to fill

  • Whyte’s getting to be the Doug Jones of this series.
    Not a bad thing, although it’d be awesome if Conan came back as the Mountain for his “close-up,” too.

  • Carne,

    Ahh, I guess I can see it being in episode 8 and then them on the road in episode 10. I just don’t think there is any chance he will be in KL before the PW. Seems like it would be a completely unnecessary change.

  • Villane:
    I like the idea of forced perspective being used to create the giants. CGI giants in movies have looked like ass. See Wrath of the Titans/Narnia/the trailer for that stupid looking Jack the Giant Slayer movie. And all those movies have budgets that dwarf Game of Thrones. CGI dragons and wildfire explosions are great. But, I love the fact we’re getting real bears and real wolves whenever possible.

    Stoked though, thought the giants might get cut.

    For some reason I think the giants will be portrayed the same way Hagrid is shown in the Harry Potter movies: forced perspective.

    He never came across as a giant to me. I mean, there were huge sound effects when he walked, and he would bump his head now and then on a ceiling, but he never felt, well, Giant to me. I think Thrones will use this same technique so they can keep the realism.

  • Dan,

    True, but season 2 was FULL of unnecessary changes so personally I’m not going to be surprised if D&D do something that makes no sense like have Jaime & Brienne in KL with Sansa.

    Then they could have a scene where Jaime tells Sansa he plans on sneaking her out with Brienne, only for the PW to happen and she leaves with Littlefinger.

  • They don’t need to make the giants extremely tall. Whyte is 7’1″, so say the shoes add another two inches, that’s 7’3″. Let’s also assume he’s wearing some sort of suit and a mask with prosthetics, that might make him 7’4″.
    Not a big giant by any means, but next to actors such as Kit (5’8″) and Ciarán (6’1″) he’s going to be towering.

    Then there’s of course camera angles and other tricks.

  • I like the fact that they will show wildling children, who also look like they will be giving Jon a special greeting. Can’t wait to see what it is. I hope Jon and Tormund have the “sex and bastard children discussion”. It ‘s kind of important.

    And the prop. I’m wondering… the horn of Joramun maybe (real or fake)?