Dothraki ride in winter & armies march as Season 8 Magheramorne filming continues

We last saw the Dothraki horde fighting in full force in "The Spoils of War"
We last saw the Dothraki horde fighting in full force in “The Spoils of War”

As season eight continues filming, our furtive glimpses get curiouser and curiouser! Things got particularly interesting during the last few Magheramorne night shoots, about a week since the site became the spotlight of the Game of Thrones production, as the deep winter set was occupied by armies of infantrymen and … Dothraki?

This past Tuesday night, Davy Orr went to the snow-covered set again and saw this:

A group of mounted men march through the snow. Photo: Davy Orr
A line of mounted men march through the snow. Photo & Video: Davy Orr

You may notice a few dark-clad figures on horses looking on as a different group rides through the snow in a line. These could technically be Northmen or wildlings, but their more colorful, earth-tone clothes and large, carpet-like saddles point to the marching horsemen being Dothraki. If so, here they are facing true winter for the first time.

On Wednesday night, a different scene was shot, involving many more extras this time:

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A regimented army in the snow. Photo: Davy Orr
Cast members run across the column. Notice the large shields (right). Photo & Video: Davy Orr

Judging by the clothes and rectangular shields, these are likely Westerosi soldiers. They aren’t wearing the unmistakable Lannister helmets, so it’s probably a Northern army.

As you can see in the last fifteen seconds of the second video, the shot consists of about half a dozen unknown cast members running between infantry columns. Why am I so sure they aren’t extras too? Because they follow the cinematic rule of cool for main characters, so they are more recognizable and dynamic: a lack of helmets and shields.

Though I would be willing to bet the riders looking at the marching horsemen will turn out to be part of the cast too, they are equally unidentifiable … to my eyes, at least. Further speculation and keener eyes are welcome in the comments below!


  1. Chilli,

    It’s my pleasure 🙂

    Some of what you see here is a few days old, but I wanted to really take a look (or a hundred) at each of the photos and go frame by frame in the videos to make sure everything I said was correct or as close to it as I could.

  2. Maybe those Dothraki are arriving in Winterfel[they does not look fighting..just marching] and those Northern soldiers are fighting WW[ the white smoke left from the second video is the effect that is the storm/mist who the WW and the NK bring with them before they attack]and they running for their life[right]..Also in the sec video i see someone [0:20]wear a Northern cape/fur going to see what happen there where the Northern armies are ..Could to is this Jon there or some other Northern lord ?Any idea there?

  3. joojenbro:
    Dothraki wouldn’t ride in formation like a disciplined army.

    That’s not right. Back in season one, we saw the Dothraki ride in single file, through the tall grass of the Dothraki Sea. It was in episode two or three.

  4. not the news, not any other comments,
    only reason I’m here is to read what artemisia has to say about it

  5. I wonder what the Dothraki are like in winter. Since Essos is basically Asia, wouldn’t they get really harsh winters on the steppe? So, they should be accustomed to winter.

  6. Hmm I wish the first video focused a little more to the ground but alas… Also, that last photo is quite clear. Is that object on the ground towards the far right green-screened? The characters could be running towards that… it looks like a green-screened rock. Or it could be a marker. Also in that same picture, there seems to be a person near those gigantic studio lights and I zoomed in suuuuuper close…. looks like he’s wearing a Lannister helmet, but of course all this zooming in and eye squinting could be playing tricks on me. 😂😂

    Maisie also posted on her Insta story and it doesn’t appear she’s on set today, however Luka did point out these videos could’ve been from a few days ago and Maisie did post a few days ago regarding the weather with the caption “nightshoots.”

  7. Dark Sister: Luka did point out these videos could’ve been from a few days ago and Maisie did post a few days ago regarding the weather with the caption “nightshoots.”

    It’s not that they could be; they are 😉 The first one is from Tuesday night (technically Wednesday already) and the second one from Wednesday night (technically today.)

    Whats the weather like at Magheramorne right now?

    Very cold. They sure won’t need to add CGI cold breath. But I don’t think it has snowed these last few days. Even if it had, they’d use additional fake snow anyway, I’m sure.

  8. Dark Sister,

    you have a sharp eye..This guy close to the big fires or lights actually seems like a Lannister soldier…[Jaime maybe ? idk]..The thing there also looks like a rock

  9. I think we’ll continue to see all kinds of action taking place in front of that green screen. Having such a fantastic facility is too good an opportunity to use only for one sequence. Especially towards summer I’m expecting them to use it for another location/scene.

  10. dragonreborn:
    I think we’ll continue to see all kinds of action taking place in front of that green screen. Having such a fantastic facility is too good an opportunity to use only for one sequence. Especially towards summer I’m expecting them to use it for another location/scene.

    Oh, I’m sure they’ll use it for dozens of scenes! They filmed in Iceland very briefly, and every outdoors scene should be in the snow by now, so… yeah.

  11. Apollo,

    It’s a nice shot, but I didn’t post it because it’s the same ship it’s always been, looking the same as it has for years. So it’s not news, really 😉

  12. Colin Armfield:
    That looks very like the boat Arya took to Bravos.

    Except for Euron’s ship in season seven, The Silence, every other ship we’ve ever seen is that same ship, just redressed to look slightly different each time.

  13. Colin Armfield,

    I actually thought the same, but as Luka said, they use that same boat and dress it accordingly. It’s noteworthy that’s its not Euron’s Silence.

  14. Also, thanks for the news Luka! This is the first shooting we’ve seen for *possibly/ most probably* the Dothraki, correct?

  15. Finally the Dothraki come into play and, as it seams to be, in an open field or rather road: IMO they ride in a formation exactly because they restricthed by the terrain – Westeros is not a Dothraki Sea where anyone can ride crossfield.

    But that’s interesting. I had a gut feeling that something will happe to the Dothraki on the King’s Road and they won’t join up with Dany and the Unsullied as planned. Now it seems we have a proof: there were no sightings of the Dothraki at Winterfell set and now they appear ON THE ROAD clearly involved in some action sequence, moreover against the greenscreen! Sometime ago we have specullated that it would be smart for the Night King to attack the Dothraki on the road with his wightified dragon before they join with Dany and get coverage form the aerial attacks: that would destroy the bulk of Dany’s forces and nearly double the army of his own. What if that was the right guess?

    As for the Lannisters and other Westerosi soldiers being around, it makes sense: Jaime is also on the King’s Road, somewhere behind the Dothraki; we expect him to muster some Lannister and Riverrun forces; therefore, if the Dothraki ged delayed, Jaime will run into them inevitably. And it would be rather poetic, if Jaime and his forces had to fend the Night King’s attack side by side with the Dothraki: “Say Westerosi can’t fight? Whatch this!” If only they had one of those scorpions…

  16. Peering at far-away shots of fuzzy figures makes my eyes tired. Wake me up when we have close-up shots of Sandor swinging Lightbringer.

  17. Luka Nieto,

    I’ve just noticed that in the first video the Dothraki were circling around something (a carriage or a group of other riders?) similarly as they did around Dany in Ep 610, altough there was no haste and fewer horses. Might be a sign, though on the other hand they might have simply being intimidating some other traveller on the King’s Road. Jaime is my best guess, though I may be biased.

  18. Luka Nieto,

    One more observation: in the second photo on the right there is an object that very much reminds a primitive medieval bombard; the people (soldiers) are standing behind it in a certain distance as if waiting for a demonstration shot (bombards exploaded pretty often, so safety measures seem reasonable); then in the video some of them (probably some named characters, as you suggested) run towards that alleged bombard (maybe after it produces a successful shot or mayby on the contrary trying to prevent it after being warned that something is wrong). I maybe going out of mind: there haven’t been gunpowder or any firearms in Westeros, so far. On the other had, who knows: the Pyromancers and/or Qyburn may come up with a new invention which will change the entire warfare and eventually the entire political system, just like it happened in our real world. On the other hand,

  19. Jon: Anyone here who knows … … … Targary(???) ?

    Or “I’m Targaryen.” Or “I’m no Targaryen.”

    Unknown: Extinguish (???) every one of us!

    What do you think they’re saying?

  20. 11.18?!!!!! Has Christmas come early? Am I drunk? Can this be? Are we getting Season 8 this NOVEMBER?!!!!

    This is the official Game of Thrones YouTube channel, right? And it isn’t yet 4/1/18, right?

  21. I just came here to say that the Dothraki rider in the first pic is making a very funny face… its like an ironic face or something…yeah.

  22. Ginevra: talking about Season 8

    The “Teazer” made me scoff.

    (Taking a break from building a fire pit for all the frostbitten Dothraki corpses that I’m expecting to find in the north)

  23. Jay Targ,

    Thanks, Jay Targ. I reported the video. YouTube keeps sending me these “recommendations” that are nothing more than cheap and annoying advertisements, including this one. It used the official name and logo and I thought surely YouTube wouldn’t promote it if it were all fake, but I obviously had too much faith in them. The good thing is that I figured out how to get the “recommended” videos from popping up in my notifications.


  24. Hodors Bastard: The “Teazer” made me scoff.

    (Taking a break from building a fire pit for all the frostbitten Dothraki corpses that I’m expecting to find in the north)

    Ha! I missed that part of the still. They’d spelled it right in the title.

  25. Ginevra,

    Yeah, no problem. Seems like they use the Game of Thrones brand to garner more views; that “teaser” appears to have over a million views.

  26. Luka Nieto,

    Are those elephants in that first picture, on the left side of the photo? They look bigger than the horses. You can see a man standing beside for reference. Of course, that really doesn’t help since we know the Golden Company have elephants. I like to zoom in and speculate. Lol😂
    Mel of Winterfell,

    Also see how big around the legs are?

  27. I’m convinced the Dothraki will suffer huge losses in S8 if they are not totally wiped out, they are savages and surely will have no place in Westeros once the story concludes.

    I would guess they will be attacked in the frozen north and go the way of Stannis’s forces.

  28. Ten Bears:
    Colin Armfield,

    Semi off-topic…
    My Arya Stark Royal Mail postage stamp is one of my prized possessions. I assume you have one…

    I only ever got iron throne ones, Ten Bears.

    Again off-topic, as a late birthday present to myself (the actual day was St Paddy’s), I went to see a live broadcast from the Bridge Theatre at the (British) National Theatre of Julius Caesar with Michelle Fairley as Cassius. They had ladies playing Casca and Decius Brutus as well. I enjoyed it – it was in modern dress and a couple of things jarred a bit; it opened with a rock and roll band playing and at his first scene Julius Caesar (he spruced up later on) was wearing an outfit that would have made the late Michael Foot (sp?) look elegant [for young people or people not from the UK MF was at one time the leader of the British Parliamentary Labour Party who was forever being criticised by the right-wing press for being dressed sloppily]. None of the cast were “glammed up”; it wasn’t that sort of production but I thought MF looked a reasonably attractive lady in her 50s (she took some flack from certain parts of the fandom for not being ‘hawt’ enough to play Caitlyn). Then there were some who said she was too old at the beginning of the show to have a 6 year old son. She was 40 something then and I’ve known ladies who had children in their late 30s or in their 40s (I know somebody whose niece found she was pregnant at 38 for the first time and it was triplets – she said without any IVF).

    I haven’t said much about the Dothraki. Interesting find but I didn’t read the whole feature because, well, spoilers.

  29. Ginevra,

    Ginevra, I don’t know how the YouTube algorithm works. I got a recommendation once about somebody ‘transvestigating’ someone in the GoT cast (a small group of YouTube video makers who are either deluded or trolls call out people who are a bit famous as transgender even if they aren’t). I’d been watching some reaction videos so I suppose anything even if it was tangentially related to GoT was bumped into my ‘recommendations’

  30. Mel of Winterfell,

    I also thought about elephants and even checked some comparative material like other videos where yuo can see hoses side by side with elephants. The size kind of matches (for the Indian elephants) but elephants have have rather different body shape. Meanwhile these creatures looked more like… bears:) But bears with the Dotharaki??? Crazy… On the other hand, maybe not so crazy for the AotD…

  31. Mel of Winterfell,

    Or maybe these are some mammoth dummies. Neither of them moves, as far as I can see, so maybe they simply use dummies and then add some CGI details. I wonder how they did the mammoth in The Watchers on the Wall. Maybe someone knows some behind the scenes video? Would be worth to watch.

  32. Inga,

    So, I’m not completely crazy? Lol. The animals on the left are different. Just looking at the legs you can see the difference. Imo. There is a white horse there too, It’s smaller.

  33. Dame of Mercia,

    Semi-off topic, cont.:

    • Yeah, the Iron Throne stamp is pretty lame. Kind of small and not very impressive. (The stamp; not the throne.)
    However, the character stamps are absolutely beautiful. And I think it’s great that the actors and their characters are immortalized. Of course they’ve got the lead actresses and actors, e.g., Tyrion/Peter Dinklage with the Blackwater on (wild-)fire in the background; Jon Snow/Kit H. ; Daenerys/Emilia C.; Arya/Maisie W.; Jaime/NCW; Cersei/Lena H.; and Sansa Sophie T. But I appreciated that distinguished supporting cast members like Diana Rigg as Olenna and Charles Dance as Tywin were also chosen, along with one-season-wonder Sean B. as Ned. (I could gripe that there’s no Sandor stamp, though I imagine fans of Bran, Theon, Margaery, et al. feel the same way.)
    The other stamp set features WWs, dragons, direwolves, and giants. The Ghost & direwolves stamp is pretty cool. The others are just okay.

    • I meant to reply to your other topic, but babbled on too long about the stamps and forgot what it was. 🤔

  34. Inga,

    This is a really interesting theory and I too was wondering why we didn’t see signs of the Dothraki at Winterfell. I wonder though, how much alike are Bran and Night King? Bran knows what’s happening everywhere at any time (or at least he will when he gets used to being overwhelmed by being plugged into the weirnet), but what are the Night King’s powers in this regard? Does he know about the army mobilising against his? Will be know where to attack and who to attack first? And if he does, if, like Bran, he is able to see everything happening at one time, then are those tinfoil theories about the two being incredibly linked (possibly same person) true?

  35. Clob: 7 degrees celsius
    26 km/h wind

    That’s downright balmy! *looks out window at blizzard*

    I wonder how they train those tiny ants to act like that? 😉

  36. Dame of Mercia,

    Thank you for clarification. However, I have heard that furry animals are hard to CGI and therefore I thought dummies might be used for close interaction shots. Just a tinfoil idea:)

    Mel of Winterfell,

    The simpliest explanation is that there are just horses of another breed, like Ardennes or similar. Compared to riding horses, they are considerably larger and have a slightly different more massive body build. Besides that some of the draft horse breeds have furry legs which may produse that visual effect of differently shaped legs from the distance. The picture is so blurry that there are many possibilities and we should consider all of them.


    Beyond the Wall and many other episodes imply that the Night King and maybe even other White Walkers have a capacity of seeing the present: the Night King knew that dragons were comming; other White Walkers knew when Craster’s sons were born and where to look for them; I assume they also knew that the Night’s Watch made a camp at the Fist of the First Men and maybe even found dragonglass; same for Hardhome. So, there is definitely some sort of telephatic reconnaissance in place.
    However, there’s no evidence whatsoever that the Night King is linked to Bran. They simply have similar telephatic abilities which are not unique in their world: there are plenty of other clairvoyants/greenseers and wargs; Barn and the Night King are simply much more gifted than others. At least, that’s my take on the issue.

  37. Ginevra:
    Where are we talking about the Season 8 Teaser Trailer?

    Where are we talking about the Season 8 Teaser Trailer?

    Sadly don’t think we’ll see any teaser trailer until the summer:-( I don’t want to wish my life away but it still feels so far away even as the horizon for filming closure draws nearer.

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