Behold the intricately detailed Paint Hall set, ready for Game of Thrones Season 8!

Panorama of the King's Landing walls  in the Season 7 finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf"

Panorama of the King’s Landing walls in the Season 7 finale, “The Dragon and the Wolf”

We have brought you regular updates on the massive, months-long Game of Thrones construction project going on next to the Paint Hall, but somehow it never gets boring. Perhaps that’s because this is the biggest set built for the show ever — by far. Or perhaps it’s because of what we know it means for the story (spoilers!). Whatever the case may be, as the construction nears completion, this is only getting better and better!

Today, we bring you the best look yet at the city block and walls the construction crew have so intricately created on a Belfast parking lot. Even by the high standards of the show, this looks pretty amazing. Take a look, though there are some spoilers ahead!

A representative of a local Belfast company, Stira Folding Attic Chairs, went by Titanic Studios and was shocked by just how real the set looked — so much so that at first glance they thought they had missed there was a castle there this whole time. Thankfully, their impression isn’t all we’ve got, as they also provided photos:

The interior of the city walls. Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

The interior of the city walls. Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

The exterior of the city walls. Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

The exterior of the city walls. Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

Details on the city walls. Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

Details on the city walls. Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

The production value here is astounding. The detailing on the walls surpasses anything we’ve seen before in the show for such a set. Remember, for instance, the walls of Casterly Rock, which looked fine enough, but you could probably tell they were a set and not filmed on an actual Medieval castle. In this case? I believe most people will be fooled!

As you may know, the walls of King’s Landing in the show have mostly been filmed in Dubrovnik, Croatia. But only the walls near the Red Keep have that iconic look: in last year’s finale we were shown the walls further from the castle look a bit different, as you can see in the panoramic shot at the top. Evidently, for the final season’s recreation of the capital, the production design team chose to follow the appearance of this section of the wall, filmed at Trujillo Castle in Spain, instead of the famous Dubrovnik walls.

Of course, there is more to it than that. Did you notice, for instance, the huge hole between the two gate towers… and, indeed, the absence of a gate? Let’s enhance!

The breach through the gate. Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

The production crew work on the breach through the gate. Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

Way back in November last year, we pointed out the gate arch appeared to be “in ruins”, which meant “the city may be penetrated.” The initial observation was as correct as the inferred supposition: this is a breach through one of the gates of King’s Landing.

Other deductions can be made from these pictures. Inside the set, only the facades of the city buildings are being built, as usual, because they are just for show — not meant to be entered into, unlike the city walls. However, in this case they are building up to the roofs, including elaborate roof tilings. You can take a closer look in these photos:

Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

Photo: Stira Folding Attic Chairs

This may seem normal, but it just isn’t. Since these buildings are quite tall, most normal shots wouldn’t capture the roofs, so usually no one would bother to build them; only what’s necessary is constructed, and then enhanced with visual effects in the rare shots that go beyond the real sets. For example, until this year the Winterfell set didn’t actually include any of the castle’s iconic towers; only some of their walls were built. The fact that these towers were recreated for season eight meant they were planning highly elaborate sequences, and the same can be said here. What I’m saying is: expect lots of aerial shots. Of course, that matches rather well with what we know of this sequence!

Thanks toA Red Priestesson Twitter for tipping us off about these photos!

46 responses

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    1. I never thought I’d be so desperate for any GOT related news, didn’t read filming news for previous seasons but now just give me anything and I’ll be happy.

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    2. So if that will be for the KL stuff and will be filmed in the Trujilo Castle in Spain..we will expect a lot of weird filming photos of the casting filming there..like those we sow in Dubrovnik..Also that hole between those towers says to me that this building will be part of the siege of KL among Jon/Danny and NK/Cercei ..Maybe also that building surely will got burned and we see again the fires in photos there in this site

      SomeGuy:
      Hodor?

      oh yeah my friend..We all die from agony..not only you

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    3. Artemisia: So if that will be for the KL stuff and will be filmed in the Trujilo Castle in Spain..

      That’s not what I said. At all.

      As you can clearly see (and read), they will be filming on a constructed set, based on the appearance of Trujillo Castle, in which they did film last year.

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    4. Luka Nieto: That’s not what I said. At all.

      As you can clearly see (and read), they will be filming on a constructed set, based on the appearance of Trujillo Castle, in which they did film last year.

      OK..but do you think that there will be see weird filming photos of the cast ..like those who saw in Dubrovnik or not ?

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    5. Artemisia,

      I don’t know what you mean by “weird.” But filming in this closed set is probably going to be more controlled than in Dubrovnik, in the middle of a city.

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    6. I guess with this all we can do is continue to speculate and guess on whom is attacking KL, and whether those photos of Jon & Cersei are for a scene(s) that will be before, during or after this attack.

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    7. Luka Nieto: i agree

      I don’t know what you mean by “weird.” But filming in this closed set is probably going to be more controlled than in Dubrovnik, in the middle of a city.

      i agree..but someone will got sneak somehow into the filming ..My six sense says that there will be filming photos for this place

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    8. I am utterly amazed that they are going to all this trouble for six episodes of a TV show. After filming, I assume whatever hasn’t been burned down, knocked down, or torn apart will be… abandoned?😣

      I so much wanted them to keep the Winterfell set intact for fans to visit and reminisce. If it’s going to go up in flames though

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    9. That set is so beautiful. Looks like actual stone. Sometimes I have to pinch myself that this is on a TV show budget. A very high budget but still if this was a film (unless you’re Christopher Nolan) then this’d be Green Screen.

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    10. Ten Bears,
      It also makes a person wonder about the series they plan to do after. Brandon did start building it after the Long Night so that’s thousands of years that it existed, and likely will during the period of that series. Of course it would look a bit different with changes made over the centuries… It’s probably easiest to build a new set if they ever want to utilize Winterfell though, and who knows if they’ll be able to maintain access to the same site.

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    11. The Winterfell set is still going strong, don’t worry! 😝

      Ten Bears:
      I am utterly amazed that they are going to all this trouble for six episodes of a TV show. After filming, I assume whatever hasn’t been burned down, knocked down, or torn apart will be… abandoned?😣

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    12. I noticed the breach in last weeks Twitter pics, wondering what in 7 hells can possibly do this much damage to the city walls? I don’t think it’s dragonfire or wildfire, as surely the walls would have more of a molten effect. Trebuchets can’t do that much damage either. A dragon landing hard on the archway?

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    13. Apollo & Ten Bears, Your comments remind me of something I’d noticed about Cersei’s S7 conversation with Tycho Nestoris of the Iron Bank: She thought she had him eating out of her hand with her remark about their investments being jeopardized by Daenerys’s disruption of the slave trade in Slavers’ Bay. But apparently Cersei doesn’t know that the Iron Bank is based in Braavos, a city and society that’s fundamentally against slavery. Nestoris replied in a way that allowed Cersei to think she was being savvy, but he didn’t actually confirm that the Iron Bank profits from the slave trade. I’d be very surprised if they did, and if that’s so, then the Iron Bank’s interest in Cersei’s long-term success is doubtful.

      So, what if the wall wasn’t broken down by wight elephants, but by The Golden Company’s living ones? I.e. what if the Iron Bank has communicated to the GC that the money Euron is bringing on Cersei’s behalf (a loan from the IB) is merely a down payment to the GC for taking King’s Landing and ousting Cersei from power? It would be a satisfying twist (to me at least) for Cersei’s downfall to be brought about in part by her own machinations and treachery. Tywin told her that she isn’t as smart as she thinks she is, and that conversation with Tycho Nestoris really drove that home for me.

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    14. Apollo,

      Yeah, the Golden Company has elephants. Undead or not, I hope we see them in S8. (I’ve already given up on direwolves. A pachyderm or two would be some consolation.)

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    15. Gwidhiel,

      I just read your reply after I wrote one about live or dead GC elephants.

      I was kind of hoping someone would hijack the gold somewhere between KL and Braavos. I have no doubt the Iron Bank has fine print in its contract that says a loan isn’t actually “repaid” until the gold is in the bank’s premises. (Hell, that’s what banks do in the real world these days, and we’re supposed to be “civilized.”)

      My other thought has been that as soon as the GC sees the Army of the Dead, they turn around and go home. “Hey, we didn’t sign up for this!”

      And I still don’t understand how Queen Cersei is going to feed 1,000,000 hungry citizens + 20,000 GC mercenaries + however many Lannister soldiers. Early in S7 Jaime told her they needed the food from the Reach; that was before Dany roasted the fresh produce caravan.

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    16. I believe that wildfire will be the destruction of KL. Possibly Cersei will blow the town up rather than surrender.
      Perhaps Yara destroys Euron’s fleet, with the GC on it.
      Then the Iron bank attacks her to close it’s debt.

      Stopping the WW army will come first, but the end game will always be Cersei vs everybody else.

      Bittersweet ending is that team Danny win, but Westeros is devastated and KL destroyed.
      I see Danny and Jon leaving to Valeria leaving Gendry as ruler.

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    17. Ten Bears:
      Gwidhiel,

      I have no doubt the Iron Bank has fine print in its contract that says a loan isn’t actually “repaid” until the gold is in the bank’s premises.

      “You can count on the Iron Bank’s support…
      as soon as the gold arrives”
      – Bank Chairman T. Nestoris
      (S7E4)

      You might just be onto something 🏦💰🤔

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    18. Guess the GoT crew can’t very well blow up the UNESCO-protected Walls of Dubrovnik, huh? Haha wasn’t there something that happened in Malta which is why they couldn’t film there anymore? I seem to recall some kind of dispute …

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    19. Colin Armfield,

      why would jon and dany leave for valyria, there’s nothing there, it’s as much destroyed as Westeros might be at the end of the war but he at least has a reason to be in Westeros mainly his family and growing up there. Why would Jon leave Westeros for a place that he has no connection to?

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    20. Colin Armfield,

      I also think Cersei will be the one blowing up King’s Landing with wildfire. Though I think it might be a good character moment for her, as she will be (one of) the unexpected saviors of Westeros, annihilating the Army of the Dead, probably because she really has no other choice when all seems lost for humanity.

      Which is where I disagree with you. The White Walkers certainly won’t be stopped before the reach King’s Landing. Yes, Cersei will be an end-game player, a “last episode villain” if you will. But so will the White Walkers, I assume. It will all be dealt with in the final episode is my guess and hope. This Great War was hyped too much to be taken care of before the Long Night reaches the capitol.

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    21. Dark Sister: wasn’t there something that happened in Malta which is why they couldn’t film there anymore? I seem to recall some kind of dispute …

      I don’t remember if there was a dispute there. I do know that the Azure Window that was in the background of Daenerys & Drogo’s wedding collapsed sometime later (unrelated to filming).

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    22. Jaehaerys: This Great War was hyped too much to be taken care of before the Long Night reaches the capitol.

      I agree. The southern regions to include KL need to be a part of the war, be in grave danger directly from the NK’s and his army. If it were wrapped up nice and neat in The North then things remain essentially status quo in the south. They’d all just continue on with life as usual, refuse to believe the horror stories and still think the people up there are just crazy and wild. They need to see it and they need the hero(es) that will unify the country.

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    23. Clob,

      Here we go. This is what I was referring to. It’s interesting, one article states this is the reason they left Malta, the other states it was unrelated. Maybe HBO just didn’t want the bad publicity so early in the show. Best build what you can destroy.

      http://themaltingpotblog.com/2014/04/03/game-of-thrones-how-mepa-screwed-up-maltas-best-filming-opportunity-yet/

      https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20110824/local/Dwejra-sand-fiasco-unrelated-to-Game-of-Thrones-move-to-Croatia.381585

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    24. Jaehaerys,

      The great battles are never in the final episode. Looking at the directors it’s very likely that episode 3 and 5 will be the big battle scenes(Winterfell and KL probably) so episode 5 in KL and then the aftermath in the final episode and a possible flashforward.

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    25. :
      Clob,asoiaf has never been about the absolute heroes and “good guys” versus the bad guys.

      Yeah, I know, “Three Dots” 😛 . The story hasn’t included purely good and evil people, but it has had ‘for the good/better’ and ‘for the worse’ type of people and actions. I believe the ending of the story is trying to get to a positive outcome and/or springing the people into a new era that’s mostly peaceful and prosperous. For that to happen I think that all of the realms/kingdoms need to experience “hell” and overcome it together.

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    26. ,

      Should’ve chosen my words more carefully. I said final episode but I just meant the climax, ie the last two episodes really. There will definitely be huge battles in 3 and 5, but I also wouldn’t rule out a scenario where episode 5 ends in a cliffhanger with the battle still going on, and D&D finish the final battle in episode 6 and then deal with the aftermath and possibly flashforward towards the end of the episode.

      I was just pointing out to Colin Armfield that I don’t think Cersei will be the “final villain” (aka the White Walkers get defeated earlier and Jon and Dany are left to deal with Cersei), but that Cersei and the White Walkers are all going to be dealt with at relatively the same time, probably episode 5 or 6, both in King’s Landing. I think shit really hits the fan in episode 5 and every enemy will be dealt with simultaneously.

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    27. I agree…. I think there’ll be an epic battle of ice and fire, against the White Walkers as well as Cersei’s madness/ pyromancy.

      Jaehaerys:
      ,

      Should’ve chosen my words more carefully.I said final episode but I just meant the climax, ie the last two episodes really.There will definitely be huge battles in 3 and 5, but I also wouldn’t rule out a scenario where episode 5 ends in a cliffhanger with the battle still going on, and D&D finish the final battle in episode 6 and then deal with the aftermath and possibly flashforward towards the end of the episode.

      I was just pointing out to Colin Armfield that I don’t think Cersei will be the “final villain” (aka the White Walkers get defeated earlier and Jon and Dany are left to deal with Cersei), but that Cersei and the White Walkers are all going to be dealt with at relatively the same time, probably episode 5 or 6, both in King’s Landing.I think shit really hits the fan in episode 5 and every enemy will be dealt with simultaneously.

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    28. Jaehaerys,

      I agree. I don’t think they will have the big climax in the penultimate episode and just leave the aftermath for the final one. I’d say most of the action will happen in 5, but it will end in a cliffhanger. The first half of episode 6 will be the actual climax (could be a “Cersei’s trial” kind of sequence). I’m guessing the aftermath will be rather short, actually, shorter than most people want. After all, if we look at other epic fantasy series, not much time is devoted to the small details of “what happened next” (see The Lord of the Rings films, Harry Potter…)

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    29. When I saw the broken gate, the first thing that came to mind was a vision of Cersei hiding somewhere in the Keep, awaiting destruction, much as she did during Blackwater Bay. She berated Sansa for gathering the other ladies together to sing songs and pray. Sansa kept the calm, Cersei did nothing but drink and criticize. I “YouTube’d” that scene to get the exact dialog and came across something that just might be prophecy:

      Sansa: (glancing at a dour-faced Ilyn Payne) What’s he doing here?
      Cersei: He’s here to defend us. When the axes smash down those doors you may be glad to have him.
      Sansa: But we have guards to defend us.
      Cersei: Guards we have paid. Should the city fall, they’ll be the first ones out of the doors.

      So, paid guards are not to be counted on, Cersei? I’m wondering if that’s a very tidy bit of foreshadowing. For some reason, though, it seems she has no qualms about the paid Golden Company. She’s absolutely sure of their loyalty. So far.

      Obviously, Cersei is far more confident now, and has become very good at giving orders with the expectation that they will be followed. Maybe she will surprise us and appear on the battlements herself, rather than await disaster in the upper reaches of the Keep. But if she does squirrel herself away, she will have neither Sansa, the Little Dove, nor her wine to give her comfort. (unless she’s already lost the baby, in which case, wine enough to put her into a stupor.) Only Quyburn and the Mountain. Maybe they will be enough. She will need help in keeping those around her calm and functioning, and she’s already demonstrated many times that calmness isn’t a big part of her mindset.

      Sansa, on the other hand, has demonstrated time and again that she can keep herself together when she’s besieged by events. In a way, part of the story comes down to how each of these two woman will behave during the biggest battle of their lives. A long-distance CerSanBowl?

      In the beginning, I never thought that it would be Cersei’s fate that would have us so enthralled. Now, I can’t wait to see what’s planned for her.

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    30. oierem,

      Exactly. Maybe it’s just my own hopes, but I don’t think there will be too much focus on what happens next. I don’t think I need much. I’ll be fine just seeing how Westeros handles the most significant event their world has ever seen. Plus, an entire episode of the aftermath? I can’t see there being enough material for that, although I’m certain D&D could surprise me yet again. At this moment, I think a final episode solely dealing with the aftermath would be quite boring.

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    31. Luka, thanks for the breakdown of what certain aspects of the pictures meant as far as the shooting/camera angles. Now I’m even more excited for the season, realizing that these sets, with their fully-built rooftops, were built to convey what the scene would be to someone flying over the city. I loved watching Drogon fly during the Loot Train Battle, his body fully extended, then loved watching the Dany-eye-view from his back. It looks like we are going to get much more of that, with amazing views of KL and the surrounding country-side from the air.

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    32. Clob,

      I assume you saw the link to the video of Maisie W. on Jimmy Kimmel that a commenter posted in the Comments under the recent WotW Maisie W article? I watched the video earlier today. I just love her. And I got the feeling from that interview and others that

      Arya is going to have some intense battle scenes in S8! Like I’ve said: You don’t give a ninja warrior princess assassin a Chekhov’s Valyrian Steel dagger in S7 unless it’s going to be “fired” in S8.

      Of course, while the J. Kimmel appearance was to promote the new animated movie she’s in (“Early Man”?), Jimmy Kimmel devoted most of the segment to questions about GoT.

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    33. Ten Bears:
      Clob,

      I assume you saw the link to the video of Maisie W. on Jimmy Kimmel that a commenter posted in the Comments under the recent WotW Maisie W article? I watched the video earlier today. I just love her. And I got the feeling from that interview and others that

      Of course, while the J. Kimmel appearance was to promote the new animated movie she’s in (“Early Man”?), Jimmy Kimmel devoted most of the segment to questions about GoT.

      i would like to see that..I feel Arya will be more badass in S8 ..She might be AA and kills the NK..I would love to see that.

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    34. Jaehaerys:
      Colin Armfield,

      I also think Cersei will be the one blowing up King’s Landing with wildfire.Though I think it might be a good character moment for her, as she will be (one of) the unexpected saviors of Westeros, annihilating the Army of the Dead, probably because she really has no other choice when all seems lost for humanity.

      Which is where I disagree with you.The White Walkers certainly won’t be stopped before the reach King’s Landing.Yes, Cersei will be an end-game player, a “last episode villain” if you will.But so will the White Walkers, I assume.It will all be dealt with in the final episode is my guess and hope.This Great War was hyped too much to be taken care of before the Long Night reaches the capitol.

      I would be amazed if the White Walkers are not dealt with in the penultimate episode. The final episode will be similar S6 E10 Winds of Winter where we see the concluding arcs of the surviving characters.

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