Yesterday, we noted that in the reports from Girona, that though so far we understood the city to be standing in for Braavos and King’s Landing, there was in fact a third filming location that was being snuck in under the wire, labelled “Tarlys.”
Turns out the Tarlys aren’t just going to be in Girona. They’re getting an entire Spanish filming location this season. Los Siete Reinos exclusively reported this morning that the Castell de Santa Florentina location is none other than House Tarly of Horn Hill, located in The Reach, which is a constituent region of House Tyrell. The castle is set to close for filming, according to the leaked schedule, this coming Wednesday the 9th, and film concurrent to the set in Girona. Because of that, we thought that whatever was filming here was probably totally separate cast-wise from both Girona (King’s Landing/Braavos.) I had thought this might be a Northern castle, especially considering the two week long block dedicated to it. But LSR says that that original schedule was misleading. Though the schedule says the area will be closed for a two week block, a good portion of that is set up and tear down. Principle filming will only be for three days, from the 12th to the 14th.
This does jive with the casting rumors, which, though it didn’t name the “Major Character” outright, listed what was clearly Randyll Tarly and went so far as to cast the entire Tarly clan. In the books, we have only crossed paths with the Tarly patriarch briefly, while he was already on the road and happened into Brienne and Pod. What we didn’t know was that we were actually going to the seat of House Tarly, or the major things that would happen once we got there.
Ok, the huge spoilers are below this line. Seriously DO NO CROSS THE LINE UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW.
(Are you sure? Ok then!)
Right now, I’m betting there are TWO “Tarly” filming strands here from the same plot through line that we are seeing. This one in castle, and then a second one in Girona. The Girona strand is probably “Tarlys” meaning Sam and Gilly. For those unaware, or forgot, there is a short but delightful scene in the books, where Sam accidentally meets Arya on a dock in Braavos, while taking a breather from the ship sailing him and Gilly to Oldtown. He’s completely unaware that he’s anything other than a local. I don’t think this is Tarlys meaning “Oldtown.” Nor do I think it is Tarlys meaning Randyll.
Though one would think Sam and Gilly would head on to Oldtown, as they do in the books (and which Girona might be standing in for as well, as we originally speculated when we first saw it.) But LSR says that Sam is also going to Horn Hill this season. (Perhaps he will get to Oldtown, hear of Jon’s death and then turn around, or perhaps he’ll stop there on his way? We can’t be sure.) But ever since we realized the Tarlys were coming this year, people have speculated that perhaps Sam will be forced to run into his father this season. Remember, we assumed when we saw him cast that Randyll would be seen on the road, like he is when he first appears in the books. But it looks like it will be Sam deliberately going home instead. According to their sources, one of the major scenes being filmed in the castle is a family dinner where Sam and Gilly arrive. They speculate that the “blonde” baby we’ve heard so many casting rumors about may in fact be “Little Sam,” who is definitely part of the scene. (Casting the child as blonde would make it obvious to all involved in the scene that though Gilly and Sam are together, the child is not his.)
Will whatever news Sam brings to his father be what sends him out on the road, as when we first met him? We don’t know. But LSR says that signs point to Ian McShane playing Randyll, but they don’t have confirmation yet. That would suggest that, since McShane’s character is described as having “a small amount of screen time,” he’s going to toss Sam, Gilly and the child that is clearly NOT a Tarly out on their ears, and that Sam may in fact step up and be redirected into whatever plot that Randyll was originally doing.
If that is indeed the case, let’s hope Sam finds a way of taking his father’s Vayrian steel sword with him on his way out the door.