In-Depth Look INSIDE King’s Landing set & Classic Filming Location Back in Season 8!

King's Landing Red Keep (Southeast) 7x01

We have been following the construction of the King’s Landing set for half a year now, and we have learned “much and more” (as Martin would put it) about this gigantic achievement created by Game of Thrones production designer Deborah Riley (who, incidentally, may soon be awarded by BAFTA for season seven’s sets.) However, we have never gotten a truly inside look—it’s all been furtive glimpses. But that changes today: not only will you see the set from within, but also that filming may have finally begun!

Beware: though there are no explicit story spoilers below, the mere presence of certain locations and their condition could be considered a spoiler—in fact, we also bring news of an old location returning unexpectedly! Still, I encourage everyone to take a peek!

Belfast Live were the ones who got their hands on these absolutely amazing photos from inside the King’s Landing set on Titanic Studios, Belfast. If you thought the set looked impressive all these months, with all those faraway shots, your jaw may drop with these:

Photo: Belfast Live

We’ve seen this view often enough. The only new detail is the snow! Photo: Belfast Live

Photo: Belfast Live

The closest look we’ve ever gotten of the city gate. Photo: Belfast Live

Photo: Belfast Live

The Red Keep is on the other end of the set, as we’ve previously reported. Photo: Belfast Live

Photo: Belfast Live

This is a behind-the-set look, to the other side of the building facades. Photo: Belfast Live

Photo: Belfast Live

The detail on the fake stonework is quite impressive. Photo: Belfast Live

Photo: Belfast Live

Work is still being done on the edges of the set. Photo: Belfast Live

The third photo showing the main street heading to the Red Keep is particularly impressive. We’ve reported on this rampart before and concluded it was part of Cersei’s current stronghold, and now that it’s been fully realized there is no doubt that’s the case. If you recall, in the show the “Red” Keep has always been more of a “Pale Pink” Keep.

The snow outside the walls is also of note: after the tease at the end of season seven, this finally confirms that we’ll see King’s Landing suffering the effects of winter! And, if you read our spoilery reports, you know that’s not the end of the capital’s suffering!

Later on, this as-yet uncredited (help!) aerial photo of the set circulated on Twitter:

Paint Hall - King's Landing Overview 7

Seeing this recreation of King’s Landing from above would be good enough, but there is more to it than that: between the city gate and the green screen, there is a lot of activity, with crew members and what appear to be a few horses on site. Unless these were preparations of some sort, it appears shooting has already commenced!


In other news: Irish Thrones reports on Twitter that Game of Thrones has returned to film at Ballintoy. We first saw it—Ballintoy Harbour specifically—in season two, when Theon returned home, arriving in the Lordsport on Pyke, first among the Iron Islands. Later, for season six, scenes were shot on Ballintoy’s beach for Euron’s kingsmoot. The point is: Ballintoy has only ever depicted Pyke, so we must assume that’s still the case.

According to Irish Thrones, the now heavily secured location “is being used over a longer filming period and returns to filming again next week.” His behind the scenes shots of the set may provide clues about the ongoing shoot—such as it being set at night:

Crew tent (left); equipment (center); cast/crew trailer (left). Photo: Irish Thrones

Crew tent (left); equipment (center); cast/crew trailer (left). Photo: Irish Thrones

The big lightning rigs (right) point to a night shoot. Photo: Irish Thrones

The covered lightning rigs mounted on cranes (right) point to a night shoot. Photo: Irish Thrones

This is very much like the news that we’d see Highgarden again in the last season: surprising, while not a great spoiler. My question is the same I had about Highgarden: assuming the main plot doesn’t take us back to these rocks in the middle of the sea, will we see Pyke as part of a montage showing the effects of winter throughout Westeros; an epilogue in which the surviving characters return home; or something else?

52 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. The Iron Islands is probably where Euron is keeping Yara and is where Theon is going to launch his rescue mission.

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    2. I’m hoping that Theon not only survives and makes it back home to Pyke, but that he also encounters the daughter of the captain of the Myraham there, and that she has borne him a child whom he can legitimize so that he actually has an heir. Then Yara (if she lives) can go exploring across the Sunset Sea with Arya.

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    3. That Kings Landing set is stunning. Hopefully we got some great features on the building of it as the detail is insane. It almost has to be used for the prequels that HBO will do as well.

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    4. I’m assuming that it’s going to be more than just a winter montage since Irish thrones said they’ve been filming already and they’ll be filming for more than a week.

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    5. That photo of the Lordsport set is confirmed to be an old photo by a user responding to Irish Thrones’ tweet.

      All of this filming news is super exciting though, I can’t wait to see Pyke again, and that King’s Landing set looks absolutely epic.

      I’ve forgotten, how many months is season 8 filming for in total? And how many months did seasons 1-7 film for in comparison?

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    6. Undead Elephant: That photo of the Lordsport set is confirmed to be an old photo by a user responding to Irish Thrones’ tweet.

      I saw! I was just updating the article to reflect this. But thanks 🙂

      Undead Elephant: I’ve forgotten, how many months is season 8 filming for in total? And how many months did seasons 1-7 film for in comparison?

      Season 8 has been filming since late October. In a few days, it’ll have been going on for half a year, and will continue to film for at least two more months, perhaps even three or four. That means the shoot will last somewhere between 8 and 10 months. Previously, no season has ever surpassed the 6 months mark.

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    7. The pic from above came from Facebook originally. I posted it on Free Folk first, but messaged the person to ask if they had more and with better resolution. Let’s see what happens with that.

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    8. Gravemaster,

      Do you have a link? I saw it on Twitter, unsourced. I’d like to credit it properly.

      If they release a better version, that’d be great. Facebook compression is awful.

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    9. Luka Nieto:
      Gravemaster,

      Do you have a link? I saw it on Twitter, unsourced. I’d like to credit it properly.

      If they release a better version, that’d be great. Facebook compression is awful.

      I’m waiting for the response at the moment. Don’t want to spook them yet with a public exposure here. This is the FF post, though.

      https://redd.it/8dscs4

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    10. Firannion,

      The good old days when they named Asha Yara or when they changed Jeyne Westerling and Robb´s and his understanding of honour plot to Talissa, the woman who got a King horny. Those were the days also of the recasts. The mountain, Daario…

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    11. Firannion: They are, which makes their ‘Asha sounds too much like Osha’ argument for changing her book name seem even sillier.

      Yes. And more casual fans have a hard enough time as it is to keep track of character names that I doubt Asha/Osha would have made much of a difference.

      Ten Bears:
      Enharmony1625,
      P.S. But for one letter, two names that are anagrams of each other are…
      S-A-N-S-A
      N-I-S-S-A

      Uh oh. I feel tin-foil theories incoming! 🙂

      Mr Derp:
      Enharmony1625,
      Almost a palindrome too

      Ha, yeah. I wonder what the chances are that they did actually rearrange the letters of Arya to get Yara..

      Also, fun fact, Benioff tried to convince his wife to name their second daughter Arya (alas, to no avail).

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    12. I cannot believe how beautiful these sets look. There are some amazingly, wonderfully talented people working on this show. I am sure when I rewatch the season 8 episodes, I’ll be actively watching to see if I can see any signs they are sets – but I wonder if I’ll be able to as they look so realistic.

      That shot of the stone arch/tunnel/alley gives me goosebumps as I can just picture desperate kings landing residents hiding in there form a swarm of wights and getting cornered from both sides. I have such a vivid shot of it in my mind.

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    13. Enharmony1625: Also, fun fact, Benioff tried to convince his wife to name their second daughter Arya (alas, to no avail).

      That’s a little bit surprising considering Amanda has seemed to be a huge fan of the show. Frances, Molly and Henry aren’t exactly branching out on the creativity tree though so maybe she likes things more traditional…

      Speaking of Amanda, season two of Brockmire starts this Wednesday, and it’s already renewed for seasons three and four! I really enjoyed the first season of that show and her character. A very fun little IFC comedy!

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    14. Clob,

      I think she is, but like you pointed out, perhaps she’s into more traditional names for her kids. 🙂

      Here is the interview where he mentions this (it’s at 10:15):

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    15. Enharmony1625,

      P.S. But for one letter, two names that are anagrams of each other are…
      S-A-N-S-A
      N-I-S-S-A

      —————-

      Uh oh. I feel tin-foil theories incoming! 🙂
      _______________________

      👨‍🚀🤖 Well, now that you brought it up….

      I had contemplated whether Sansa’s story would be an evolution from self-centeredness and personal ambition, to an overriding concern for the greater good and self-sacrifice.
      Could I envision a scenario in which she chooses to give her life to save her “pack”? Yes. Could a scene play out in which a villain is holding her at knifepoint, and she demands the reluctant hero thrust a sword through them both because “that’s the only way”? Yes.
      Amid all the carnage and undeserved or senseless death, GoT has featured – and done a great job portraying – heroic deaths. A few that come to mind:
      • Syrio Forel sacrificing himself so his young acolyte can live. It still gets to me when I rewatch his final scene, when a frightened Arya begs, “Come with me! Run!”, and he replies: “The First Sword of Braavos does not run.”
      • Hodor. [Still too soon? 😢] That big, kind-hearted, child-like lug who everybody thought was there for comic relief turned out to be the most tragic – and heroic – figure on the show. (It’s one thing to make a courageous decision on the spur of the moment to sacrifice oneself so that others may live. Imagine knowing years in advance that will be your destiny?)
      • Grenn & Co. vs. Giant in CB tunnel. Though much happened offscreen, seeing those guys recite their NW vows and stand their ground…😢
      • Shoot. There was someone else… I forgot who.
      • (I was going to mention Barristan Selmy, but I did not particularly like how that scene with the Harpies and Unsullied was staged.)

      Anyway, Sansa going out with a Mr. Spock-style “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” speech wouldn’t be terrible. Or even a variation of her Ned quote, something like “One wolf can die, if the pack survives.”

      – *Takes off tinfoil helmet* 🤖👨‍🚀

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    16. Pigeon:
      Ten Bears,

      Hey, then I might actually end up liking the character, after 8 seasons.

      It’s a secret so shhhh… but I’d be right there with ya. 😉
      😛

      (S7 of the show did get me to like the character more, and much more than book counterpart)

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    17. Ëonwë:
      Ten Bears,

      Martin´s wife warned him against killing her because Arya is her favourite character. So the odds of her dying are prety low.

      That’s what I’m basing my hopes on… Well, that and how Maisie is just too awesome as well. 🙂

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    18. Thanks as always for these updates, Luka.

      As Re: the overhead aerial view of KL set you may be right about shooting already having commenced but I would venture it looks like prep for coming schedule of night shoot. The telescopic camera rig is parked and it seems the same for the two big square lighting rigs. The thing that caught my eye is that one light rig with the bluish base unit – I’m just gonna call it the “dragonfire” rig, cause it’s the one I think used for those big strobe pulses seen elsewhere. I hope it means a lot of “beasts” on parade.

      Also: Wow, Wow, Wow Deb Reilly and her wonderful people. Wow!

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    19. Theon
      Robin
      Sam
      Gendry
      Edmure
      Sansa
      Tyrion

      The wardeners of the 7 kingdons by the end of Episode 6, the ones that always was look as week or pathetic or not fit for some job.

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    20. Lol,

      If Robyn Arryn would be a Warden of one of Seven Kingdoms* by the end of S8e6, everyone would be better off bending the knee to the Night King and joining the Wight Brigade.

      If selected on merit, my choices would be:
      Arya – North
      Lyanna Mormont – Wherever she damn pleases
      Tyrion – South
      Gilly & Sam – West

      If there are 3 additional “At Large” Wardens, I’d select:
      Edd
      Tormund
      Missandei

      * I thought there were 4 Wardens: North, South, East and West.

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    21. Enharmony1625,

      In the video, when asked (the old tired question) which character he’d choose to be, Benioff said Tyrion and Arya: “It’s hard not to love Arya.”

      Exactly. So as you said, why name your child after a beloved character if she dies? Then every time you look at her you’d feel like crap, and be reminded how you made half the planet feel like crap.

      P.S. It’s bad enough 2018 will be Maisie-free. Both of her movies (New Mutants and Departures) have been pushed back to 2019.

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    22. Theon to return to Pyke as lord of the Iron Islands or perhaps a showdown there with Euron considering this is the only story split from the rest.

      I assume we will get spoilers from the Kings Landing filming but still no idea if this is the undead or Team Targ vs Cersei.

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    23. every time that creep Robyn is on screen or mentioned anywhere i wonder what a family picture of Jon, Lysa and Robyn may have looked like. surely not like normal family hugging.
      then, i add Jon’s stone eyes and wish for a fast death for Robyn, so i can get this picture out of my head.

      do i need professional help?

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    24. death by chickenfire,

      Nah. You’re fine. Save yourself money on a shrink and try this visualization exercise:

      1. Imagine a castle built on a mountaintop, and in that castle, a central hall. In the middle of the floor is a Moon Door.

      2. Now, picture that twerp slipping, and falling through the Moon Door.

      3. Visualize yourself peering over the edge as he splats on the rocks below, so all that’s left of him is a splotch of red and a severed sucked thumb he bit off on the way down.

      4. Repeat as necessary.

      😎🏰

      For positive reinforcement, try this exercise:

      Imagine a Knight of the Vale guarding the entrance to the Bloody Gate, when two visitors approach…

      “Who would pass the Bloody Gate?”

      “The Bloody Hound, Sandor Clegane. And his traveling companion Arya Stark, cousin to your Lord, Robyn Arryn.”

      “Then you have my condolences. Lord Arryn died. Three days ago.”

      (Arya bursts into hysterical laughter. She looks up at Sandor and laughs some more. Sandor can’t keep a straight face, and joins in. A cacophony of laughter reverberates throughout the Vale of Arryn.)

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    25. My previous career was Architecture, and the structural elements used on the K.L. set are impressive, the set appears to be constructed to last for many years, similar to old Hollywood sets that are still used to this day. I wonder if HBO is having permanent sets built for future Game spinoff filming, a way to save $$$.

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    26. Jon Snowed,

      I hope Euron retreats to Pyke thinking he’ll wait out the apocalypse there… and then he looks out on the horizon and sees a fleet of Undead about to make landfall, with Night King himself on the bow of the flagship, wearing an eye patch and with a parrot perched on his shoulder.

      What is dead may never die when it gets reanimated.

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    27. Ten Bears,

      severed thumb up! both exercises worked fine. my repaired imagination added Sansa and Ser Royce pissing their pants laughing. from there, it was no big thing to have each and every surviving character rolling on the floor like in my favorite scene from “Life of Brian”.

      actually i wish GoT would end like this. Robyn performing the dumbest stunt that has ever led to the death of a character in front of a huge audience, and after massive collective facepalming, we see heroes, smallfolk, wights, undead ice bears, Ned Stark’s statue, a dragon and the Lord of Light go apeshit.
      word of this makes it to Braavos, and the final picture is the whole Hall of Faces losing it.

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    28. death by chickenfire: actually i wish GoT would end like this. Robyn performing the dumbest stunt that has ever led to the death of a character in front of a huge audience, and after massive collective facepalming, we see heroes, smallfolk, wights, undead ice bears, Ned Stark’s statue, a dragon and the Lord of Light go apeshit.

      I still think the funniest possible ending is an afterword set many years in the future, in which we learn that Lord Robin lived to a robust old age and was revered by his grateful subjects and many offspring as the most wise, just, strong, generous and capable ruler that the Vale had ever known.

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    29. Ten Bears:
      Jon Snowed,

      I hope Euron retreats to Pyke thinking he’ll wait out the apocalypse there… and then he looks out on the horizon and sees a fleet of Undead about to make landfall, with Night King himself on the bow of the flagship, wearing an eye patch and with a parrot perched on his shoulder.

      What is dead may never die when it gets reanimated.

      Oddly, I hadn’t thought about “What is dead may never die” being connected to the wights, though now it seems rather obvious. Too bad you’re not familiar with Patchface (not having read the books, correct?) and his songs/prophecies about what it’s like under the sea. He is in a sense reanimated, having been washed up apparently drowned after the shipwreck that killed Steffon Baratheon. And there are plenty of tinfoil theories about him being a prophet sent by the Drowned God or Great Other. GRRM may yet have some macabre surprises left in store for us re: the Ironborn and their religion.

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    30. Firannion,

      I would strongly bet that is what GRRM is going for with Patchface. Such an odd character. I’d lean towards him having something to do with meeting the Drowned God.

      One of my most anticipated plots for the next books is Euron’s storyline. He is definitely one crazy mofo and there is way more depth to his story than what is shone in the books. I wish they had fleshed him out in the same manner on the show, but I also get why they didn’t because there is a ton of magical elements to him/his plot that wouldn’t really fit for the show. And there wasn’t too much screen time since they introduced him so late. I really just want to see him in beast mode with his VS armor 🙂

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    31. Jaehaerys: I really just want to see him in beast mode with his VS armor

      I’m not much of a Euron fan myself, though at least in the books he’s not the clown show that he is on TV!

      For my money, there’s little point in giving a single character in the whole saga a suit of Valyrian steel armor, unless it has something to do with enabling someone to get within striking (or shardectomy) distance of the Night King. But I think it’s way too late to be introducing that particular MacGuffin on the show. And in the books, the Night King is a character from the distant past; we don’t know if the Others have a single leader; and we don’t (yet) have the explanation of them being created by the Children of the Forest. So we may never see that plot thread spin out at all.

      There’s also one other suit of allegedly magical armor in the books: Bronze Yohn Royce’s namesake family heirloom. Wonder if that will prove at all significant.

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    32. I’m glad that we’ll be seeing Highgarden again. Perhaps some of the population will go there to flee the Night King’s Army, and/or to possibly raid any food/supplies which Cersei might not have had shipped. Some have also suggested that Bronn may become Highgarden’s new owner, although I really hope that he doesn’t.

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    33. Of course, some are also saying that Jaime may stop there to rally some soldiers to take North, which also seems quite practical.

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    34. Firannion,

      No, I have not read the books. From the show, I’ve been intrigued by instances in which characters were clinically “dead” but brought back to life, eg, Talisa’s tale how a slave sailor resuscitated her brother after he’d drowned and wasn’t breathing; and Sandor, who appeared to be dead and starting to decay – when he coughed, startling Brother Ray who had loaded his body onto a cart to bury him.

      So what’s the deal with Patchface? Did he drown, suffer brain damage and then sang silly songs that proved to be prophetic?

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    35. Ten Bears,

      Yeah, Patchface is Princess Shireen’s fool in the books. Stannis’s brother Steffon and his crew were sailing and their ship capsized, and Patchface was the only survivor if I remember right. He had drowned and then washed up on the shore like weeks later, and then became what people would call a “simple” sort of person in their world. Kinda like Hodor (RIP), but he could say more than one word; he would just sing these weird songs about what happens under the sea all the time and dance around, which Shireen found amusing so they kept him around.

      The big thing about him is that people theorize that what he’s saying has to do with the White Walkers. There’s a lot of similarities between the two, can’t really think of them now but if you’re interested you should YouTube it. There’ll be lots of analysis videos on him; I’m pretty sure GrayArea has one on her channel that I remember being pretty good.

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