Game of Thrones season seven production is supposed to wrap in about a month, and all location shooting appears to be over and done with. With their long stay in Spain and brief stint in Croatia concluded before the winter solstice, the only thing that remained was a few weeks of filming in Iceland. But, as of last week, that was over too.
As shooting in open locations has been put to bed, one might expect our regular glimpses into the production to now cease. Yet one would be wrong. We still managed to get a look at what they are shooting for the remainder of this season —not in an open location, but in the show’s Belfast headquarters: Titanic Studios. Expect dragons!
A local fan of the show, Kevin Patterson, passed near the Game of Thrones studios in Belfast a few days ago and then again today, after which he shared what he saw there:
— Kevin Patterson (@Kipperbt20) January 30, 2017
— Kevin Patterson (@Kipperbt20) February 1, 2017
On January 30th, Mr. Patterson witnessed horses, smoke and Dothraki weapons on the parking lot of the studio. His photo also shows a green screen for chroma keying purposes, as well as some sort of soil to cover the pavement (because asphalt doesn’t look particularly medieval.) Today’s picture is more interesting, as it shows the to-be-green-screened-out torso of a dragon for Emilia Clarke to ride. It may not be as impressive as witnessing the fully realized CG dragon once the season premieres, but it should give us an idea of Drogon’s size in season seven. I thought Dany’s favorite dragon had already grown to a massive size in season six, but this is in another league.
Can we place this in any context? Sure we can. But it involves spoilers, so beware!
Drogon. Dothraki weapons and horses. Semi-arid soil. Green screens. If I was forced to make an educated guess, I’d bet what we’re seeing here is the VFX-focused follow-up to the one month-long shoot at Malpartida. The Spanish location was used for what may be next season’s biggest action setpiece, a battle that pits Daenerys against Jaime. As one would expect for a dragonrider, Emilia Clarke didn’t do much shooting on the ground, so her portions of the battle had to be filmed elsewhere… And I believe that’s what we’re seeing here, perhaps alongside other VFX-heavy stunts involving mounted Dothraki.