Dubrovnik Landmark Recreated in Belfast for Season 8 King’s Landing action setpiece

St Blaise's Church (bottom right), and behind it the Dubrovnik Cathedral (center-frame)

St Blaise’s Church (bottom right), and behind it the Dubrovnik Cathedral (center-frame)

As construction for the King’s Landing set focuses on polishing the city walls, inside the set’s streets a famous Dubrovnik landmark has been faithfully reproduced, showing just how carefully the city is being recreated — It’s truly King’s Landing come to life!

The ever-helpful Belfast dweller ‘A Red Priestess‘ was the one to grace us with the latest look at this evolving set. First, there’s the city gate, which appears to be almost finished:

The focus is on gate itself (which was built to appear breached first.) Photo: A Red Priestess

The focus is now on the gate (which was first built to appear breached.) Photo: A Red Priestess

More interestingly, something quite familiar has been put on top of one of the buildings. I don’t really need to point it out, as it’s a bit difficult to miss: it’s the big copper dome.

Photo: A Red Priestess

Hint: it’s that big thing in the middle. Photo: A Red Priestess

We confirmed this set was supposed to represent King’s Landing long ago, but there were some who still doubted it, even though its achitectural inspirations were clear: the Old City of Dubrovnik and Trujillo Castle, perhaps with a pinch of Girona and Cáceres. All these locations have served to make King’s Landing a reality in previous seasons. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until today that we got a one-to-one match. The cupola above is an almost exact recreation of the dome that sits atop St Blaise’s Church in Dubrovnik:

Titanic Studios set dome (left) / St Blaise's Church dome (right)

City set dome. Photo: A Red Priestess (left) / St Blaise’s Church dome in Dubrovnik (right)

If you’re not a Dubrovnik aficionado and yet Saint Blaise’s dome rings a bell, that may be because it’s a frequent presence in Game of Thrones, appearing in most establishing shots of King’s Landing lately. For example, you can see it in the season six finale:

King's Landing cityscape moments before the Great Sept goes 'ka-blooey'

St Blaise’s Church in King’s Landing, moments before Cersei makes the Great Sept go ‘kablooey’

Once filming ends at Magheramorne and Saintfield, the next stop is likely this King’s Landing set. The shoot here promises to be … explosive, to say the least. I’d say it could be ready by May at the latest, but, at this rate, they may be filming here much earlier!

12 responses

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    1. Great catch. I assume they’ll put a roof/spire on the square tower at some point too? Hope they’re in full filming mode 7-12 May when I head over to NI 😛

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    2. Something confuses me
      We know this set is going to be (explosively amazing) at the same time we’be heard we may be able to visit the set in the future … I don’t want to say too much cuz I don’t wanna post spoilers but I think any1 who read the spoiler article understands what my question is
      And right now I feel as vague as a red priestess lol

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    3. That scene of Cersei watching as the Sept is decimated is truly iconic. I will never forget the look of pleasure and satisfaction on her face as all her enemies were made null and void. She’s not/never was my favorite character, but Lena locked that one superbly. I felt almost as good as she did to be rid of that lot, especially the High Sparrow, not so great about losing Marge or even Mace.

      Thank goodness for all you eagle-eyed staffers, to be able to pick a spot on a panoramic, highly-detailed pic and say “Yep, this is what’s being re-created for our viewing pleasure.” I’d love to visit whatever remains of this set after filming. I hope they keep the gate, with its now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t damaged entry. The dome, though, looks to be a full creation, all the way around, and not just a facade. No easy feat to build a dome of any type, much less out of glass and on a tight schedule. Thanks Luka for bringing this to us. The nights are long and full of … boredom, sometimes. I’m happy for any new scrap of news. It’s gonna be a long year.

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    4. Apollo,

      Yup, it does look like they’re building Dubrovnik’s clocktower/belltower as well. Which makes sense as it is also in the King’s Landing picture to the right of the red circle. It’s also in the same Luza Square as the church. Very cool!

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    5. So that big copper dome..means that the Sept of Baelor will be re-created ?Is KL going to re-created after the Great War or the war with Cercei destroy it completely ?What this means..?Any idea there?

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    6. Sansa’s Knight:
      Something confuses me
      We know this set is going to be (explosively amazing) at the same time we’be heard we may be able to visit the set in the future … I don’t want to say too much cuz I don’t wanna post spoilers but I think any1 who read the spoiler article understands what my question is
      And right now I feel as vague as a red priestess lol

      The buildings are made of wood, plasterwork, scaffolding and steel. They are not ACTUALLY burning the set, because it wouldn’t look right anyway. The buildings are supposed to be made of stone, after all.

      But they do need a safe environment in which to carry out a complex battle sequence with controlled real fire elements. They couldn’t do it in an actual city. Also, it’d mean closing an entire city street (of a city with a tourism-based economy) for a month or two, or however long they are filming. Building this enormous set is probably cheaper (and safer, of course.)

      Artemisia: So that big copper dome..means that the Sept of Baelor will be re-created ?

      Of course not. This dome is much smaller. It’s just part of the scenary.

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    7. Undead Elephant,

      I’ll keep answering any question, but it’s true that I’d rather people read the article, not just look at the pictures, before asking questions that are answered in the text; or, in this case, questions that make little sense given the text 😉

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    8. Lazily zooming in and out and really looking at that picture of “King’s Landing” over Cersei’s shoulder… The Sept really was an iconic building, a landmark and probably a structure of pride for the residents of KL. The Red Keep is different since it’s off limits to most citizens and houses their rulers they’re not always fond of. It took a lot of balls for Cersei to blow it up. It’s surprising that EVERYONE isn’t in complete rebellion against her. Maybe Tyrion should have learned something from the Harpies and tried to gather an underground fighting force within KL. I guess Westeros is currently too much in it for themselves still and doesn’t have the unification that the rich of the slave cities did.

      side note… They’ve pretty much ignored House Redwyne and their largest fleet in Westeros on the show. Lord Paxter Redwyne is sort of a big deal in the books. I mean, if any great House was going to stand up against Cersei it would have been them. You know, since Olenna was a Redwyne, her nephew Paxter is married to Mace’s sister… Cersei blew up his relatives too.

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    9. I haven’t read all the articles which are linked here because I am avoiding spoilers but it seems pretty obvious there is going to be a battle at Kings Landing in S8. Now my only question becomes who is fighting it and will we see photos from the set being leaked like we did in Dubrovnik considering the location in Belfast or will they cover it in green screen?

      The good thing about the North/Winterfell filming is that it’s night shoots and location is rural but presumably this will be shot in the day and in the middle of a city so far more chance of leaks getting out.

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