Season 8 filming: Production begins at the ruins of Italica

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

After several days of preparation, Game of Thrones has begun production at the ruins of Italica near Santiponce, Spain, according to EFE. The Roman amphitheater at Italica stood in for the Dragonpit last year, although the crew will be shooting around the whole city.

Don’t expect to see any stars walking the ancient streets, though, at least not yet; whatever footage the crew is capturing at the moment is incidental background stuff. We don’t expect the main cast members to show up until around May 3, at which point the city and the amphitheater will both be closed down to the public. That leg of filming will roll on for just over two weeks, until May 19.

We still don’t know what the crew is filming at Italica, or why it’ll take so long. Shooting on the summit meaning in “The Dragon and the Wolf” took a week, and that sequence took up a solid third of the longest episode in Game of Thrones history. Filming on this go-round will go even longer. There’s been no call for extras, so this isn’t a battle scene situation. Perhaps there will be multiple scenes at the Dragonpit?

One more mystery: after filming ends on May 19, Italica will remain be partially closed to visitors until May 27, indicating that the production will stick around afterwards to do…something. To disassemble whatever they build for the shoot?

In other production news, @IrishThrones has it that the crew has returned to Ballintoy Harbor in Northern Ireland, most notable for standing in for Lordsport on the Iron Islands. It snapped some pictures of equipment being loaded in:

According to @IrishThrones, shooting in Ballintoy Harbor is set to begin this week. This comes after news that the production will return in some capacity to Highgarden in season 8, so we’re in for a continental tour.

Next: Game of Thrones casting: Eight new characters appearing in season 8

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