Cast members spotted as Game of Thrones filming begins in Dubrovnik

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Filming began today in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik for Game of Thrones season 5.

This season, as in seasons past, the medieval city is representing King’s Landing. Today’s filming took place at the Pile Gate, which is an entrance to the Old City.

Minor spoilers below the cut.

Dubrovniknet.hr has provided some images in which we can see cast members Lena HeadeyDean-Charles Chapman, and Finn Jones, along with extras dressed as gold cloaks and Lannister men-at-arms. Interestingly, Cersei is wearing her familiar mourning gown from last season, and Loras appears to be slightly disheveled.

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Seek New Travel also managed to get an inside look at today’s filming. They note that the men garbed in black had the Seven-Pointed Star carved into their foreheads.

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UPDATE: Dalmacija News has provided even more images of today’s shoot.

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Cian: It looks like we have our Sparrows! Judging by the attire involved, could this be the morning after Tywin’s murder/Tyrion’s escape? If so, it would be an incredibly eventful day.

135 responses

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    1. So, Loras looks like he’s dressed similarly to the people with the 7 pointed stars on their head.

      Maybe he’s taking on some of Lancel’s storyline from the books?

        Quote  Reply

    2. Jill,

      I hope not as that would make no sense at all! Wouldn’t read too much into what Finn was wearing. May just be something worn underneath something else.
      Not sure how I feel about Tommen dressing so similarly to Joffrey!

        Quote  Reply

    3. Those Sparrows look the part, good costume design and makeup by the artists. Poor Westeros, can’t any society escape zealots.
      There are over 8 billion (new scientific theory) earth like planets in our galaxy (must be the norm even in a blue eyed giant’s mind) and a trillion galaxies (known universe), and therefore 1000’s of trillions of civilizations, anyone who thinks God will bother any specific world let alone specific person(s) in that world, has an inflated sense of importance bordering on insanity in the infinite scope and scale of the universe. Religion is just a tool to keep the masses preoccupied and under control by those in power while giving them a false sense of importance for their species.

        Quote  Reply

    4. Jill,

      Not that similar… only similar in that the clothes are black and simple, but they’re not the same outfits. I hope not, anyway, I don’t really want Loras to go the L***** route.

      It looks to me, instead, like he’s recently been woken, or he’s dressed for training/sparring, and they’re the underclothes or similar. Those 3 actors and the work out gear makes me think that this is…

      … when Tommen wants to learn to fight/joust from Loras, but Cersei forbids it, due to Loras being a Tyrell. Older Tommen, and the marriage arrangement between Cersei and Loras, could make that whole situation quite interesting.

        Quote  Reply

    5. Yooooooo! Those Sparrows are looking great! If I remember right, they’re all just dressed up in normal rags in the books, but these black cloaks with the chains are amazing and creepy. Gives off that insane, uncompromising zealot vibe. I’m REALLY looking forward to what Jonathan Pryce will look like now.

      This could be any sort of small scene being filmed for the earlier episodes. Maybe Tommen getting close to Loras like he does in the books, and Cersei being pissed about it.
      also fuck your cute face finn jones you slut puppy

        Quote  Reply

    6. Someone on reddit is claiming that the Sparrows were filmed dragging Loras away. Could be bull, but I could see them having Cersei rat him out to the Faith for his sword-swallowing ways to both end the prospect of their marriage and get him away from Tommen. Or just having the Sparrows grab him in some sort of anti-gay lynch mob even without Cersei’s involvement. Would explain the clothes if he’s being run out of a bedroom or brothel.

        Quote  Reply

    7. Sounds all very plausible, Afeastfordances, except to what end? Is Margaery going to storm Dragonstone if Loras is prisoner of the Faith instead? Curious. Or will this be a show shortcut to get Loras to the Wall and in the vicinity of Stannis?

        Quote  Reply

    8. I guess if he has a fight scene and if sparrows are somehow involved, it must have something to do with Margaery’s arrest, maybe an attempt to free her. (*graspingatstraws*)

        Quote  Reply

    9. jentario,

      Seriously. The show needs to let Loras be something besides “the gay dude.” He’s supposed to be an amazing fighter and pining for Renly, which is way more interesting and romantic than what he’s been portrayed as so far.

      I’m on vacay in Croatia and also saw the filming today, though my sightings were not as good as these. Did see Finn Jones and Dean-Charles Chapman together twice, though, which makes me think they have some time together in the show. I’m really exicited if that’s the case, Tommen and Loras’s relationship is so cute and weirdly innocent (at least according to the two of them, not so innocent in terms of Margery and possibly the Queen of Thorns’ intentions), I’m really looking forward to a kid’s hero worship of a guy who’s legitimately talented. And since they’re closer in age in the show maybe they could have a real friendship.

      Unrelated, (probably) I also saw a fairly elaborate set for a tavern set up in a street on the east side of the city, near the outer walls. They were putting a lot of work into it, looks like it’s for a significant scene. (“There is a scene in a tavern” isn’t exactly a spoiler, though.)

        Quote  Reply

    10. Blind Beth,

      How exciting to be vacationing in Croatia while they are filming! Excellent.

      Completely agree with you about Loras. His character in the book offered so much more: a skilled swordsman, a romantic, a family loyalist. I love Finn Jones and was hoping that his role would grow after he assumed Garlan’s Blackwater duties. Instead, he has been reduced to exchanging snarky comments with Jaime and discussing clothes with Sansa.

        Quote  Reply

    11. Hodor’s Bastard,

      That’s a bit of an exaggeration. If the show starts taking him seriously, he can grow back into his season 2 shape and maybe even better. That would require some solid screentime, yes, but from that interview he had it seems like he’ll have a decent amount this time around. I hope the show makes use of the character’s potential this time (not that I was ever much of a Loras fan, I just think Finn is awesome and deserves some better stuff to work with so we can see what he’s got as far as acting skills).

        Quote  Reply

    12. jentario,

      Perhaps. His “memorable” S4 contributions consisted of a nice one-liner to Jaime and fodder for Cersei’s hate. He is ripe for a major “show-only” plot event that would truly pit Margaery and Cersei against one another, imho.

      [Also, as I’m sure you know, I am biased against show Loras. I enjoy book Loras but book Loras is strikingly different in character and stature than show Loras]

        Quote  Reply

    13. Hodor’s Bastard,

      And this seems to be what they’re doing. As long as it gives Loras some more versatile scenes I’d like it.

      Robb,

      Nice! I hope we’ll get as much pictures for all their filming in Dubrovnik, though we likely won’t :/

      Can anyone spot the director?

        Quote  Reply

    14. I must say that I share the sentiment with regards to Show Loras. I’m not a big fan of the Tyrells in either incarnation of the story, in fact book Loras is probably the only one of the whole bunch I can root for. I hope they get him back on track again, Finn Jones so far has done an admirable job with what little has been given to him.

        Quote  Reply

    15. I’m all for Loras kicking off when

      his sister is arrested

      but some of the other theories (a relationship with Tommen, doing a walk of shame) are a bit out there and I think would, quite frankly, be sensationalist shit. Let’s not stray too far from the source material. Still think it’s not impossible he joins the Kingsguard as would stop him having to marry and he’d be able to protect his sister ( mirroring why Jaime joined). If it’s Cerseis suggestion to avoid having to marry him and weaken the Tyrells, then him becoming a role model for Tommen could be seen as tehm trying to get back at her. Also, although no slouch he’s not that great with a sword (His brother is the swordsman). He is however very good at jousting.

        Quote  Reply

    16. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Perhaps with Tywin gone, Cersei tries to deprive the Tyrells of their heir (since he is the only son on the show) /avoid marriage and the kingsguard part is still possible, just delayed in the storyline? I hope you’re right!

        Quote  Reply

    17. Jaime’s girl,

      We shall see. The Kingsguard (and in particular how it went from the most elite of knights to the joke it is at the moment) is one of my favourite aspects of the books but has been neglected quite a bit in the show. Hope Jaime spending time looking at the Lord Commanders book and the odd reference to previous KG is a sign of things to come.

        Quote  Reply

    18. Robb,

      D and D are present in these photos but I can’t spot the director (I admit I’m not TOO familiar with what the new batch look like). Has anyone else spotted one? (be it Slovis, Mylod, Podeswa, Sapochnik or Nutter)

        Quote  Reply

    19. Greenjones,

      I looked them up but I can’t match one. The most directorial-looking are the guy on the far right in the first photo of the update, but he’s holding a bounce board.

      In the last photo there’s the guy in the center who’s hitting a modelling pose and looks like he’s a good four feet taller than Cersei. He has a haircut that is superficially similar to Sapochik’s imdb photo, but he’s young and healthy so he must be crew.

      In my mind directors mostly look harried. Looking again the guy in the last picture of the first batch of photos:
      http://watchersonthewall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/1411555660_373_velika_game-of-thrones-19.jpg

      in the white tee with yellow insignia next to the Lannister guard and the crew member with black tee could be Jeremy Podeswa:

      http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0687964/?ref_=rvi_nm

      Which would make this episode 5 or 6.

        Quote  Reply

    20. Greenjones,

      The guy in the white hat in the first picture below the cut looks like he’s giving directions to Lena Headey. He’s holding the boom pole in the next picture, though, but that might actually be due to the lack of space on that bridge they’re shooting on. He still seems like one of only three people close enough to the shot to be the director. One of the other guys is the camera operator, the second one – in the dark blue shirt – can be seen clearly from the front in one of the Daily Mail pictures and doesn’t look like any of the directors.

      From the his stature and head shape the guy might be Mylod, but of course he got his head turned and sunglasses and a hat on. So that’s a lot of ifs.

        Quote  Reply

    21. Felt Pelt,

      Sorry, but this guy looks nothing like Podeswa, here’s a more recent photo of him: http://www.thestar.com/content/dam/thestar/news/2007/09/06/podeswa_put_together_fugitive_pieces/filmmaker_jeremypodeswa.jpeg

      In the actual set pictures I couldn’t spot any directors, just crew members. But in the last photo before the update it looks like Mark Mylod talking to Finn Jones. It’s hard to tell ’cause we can’t really see his face, i know, but it fits his height/build and his tipical clothing as well…

      (i know, i know, long shot here, but i’m really confident it’s him. kind of.)

      sooo… e03/04?

        Quote  Reply

    22. Afeastfordances,

      This makes sense from a show-perspective; it seems like a plausible rumor.
      I WISH he would join the Kingsguard and they’d avoid all this gay drama, but like Olenna said, “once the cow’s been milked, there’s no squirting the milk back up her udder.” This is the Loras they created.

      If Cersei manages to get Loras imprisoned by the Faith relatively early on in the season (say, episode 3 or 4), it would escalate the tension between her and Margaery way beyond book levels.

      And if she sees that it actually worked with one sibling, it’ll prompt her to try it with the other. I don’t expect Loras to stay imprisoned for the whole season, though.

        Quote  Reply

    23. frankly i think the loras imprisonment thing is probably just a D&D scene to show how the high sparrow doesn’t fuck around when it comes to him disapproving nobles. loras will probably be in trouble for like on episode before olenna works her magic and he gets out. i think thats pretty much it, i dont think cersei will have anything to do with it

        Quote  Reply

    24. Claire,

      You’re right. It’s his chin that does it. Very Mylod-esque.

      Plus his hands are in the perfect “director-talking-to-actors” pose, and both Loras and Tommen have their ears bent towards him. I think you’re right, 03/04.

        Quote  Reply

    25. Tibatonk,

      I thought he looked like the director in that scene too at first. But i think he’s just a crew member :/ he looks somewhat short to be Mylod (from the photos i’ve seen of him, he’s a big guy!)

      Edit: Just saw your reply! yes, the photo has a director/actor-behind-the-scenes-chat vibe to it, idk. cheers to us for recognizing a man we don’t even know by one picture of him where we can barely see his face lol

        Quote  Reply

    26. @ Claire

      Yep that looks like Mylod. Same nose. So Ep 3 or 4 then. My gess is 4. Jaime’s gone, Cersei surrounded with Lannisters, Loras ingratiating himself with Tommen. She starts to hatch her plots thinking she’s smart with the sparrows. It won’t start to fall apart until say ep 7. I think some of the speculation here is on the money as it kind of makes sense to have Cersei’s initial schemes more successful for TV and involve established characters, but Loras won’t be doing any walks of shame.

        Quote  Reply

    27. Veltigar,
      TheTouchOfFrost,

      Speaking of Loras, take a look at this month’s ASoI&F calendar (Sept 2014) artwork. Now that is the Loras I hope to see, not some yip-yap discussing fashion with pre-Darth Sansa. I do hope they develop his game a bit. In fact

      what they do with him this season may be another spoiler for many book readers wondering about his predicament at Dragonstone.

        Quote  Reply

    28. ctid,

      The size of the guy vs. the size of Cersei. I’m sure he’s standing on a raised piece of ground or equipment but it makes it look like his ankles are three feet long.

        Quote  Reply

    29. Since Jaime and Bronn are going to Dorne and Mace is going to Braavos with Meryn, the only real characters in King’s Landing are Cersei, Tommen, Margaery, and Loras. Does anyone know if Loras and Kevan are returning?

        Quote  Reply

    30. Felt Pelt:
      ctid,

      The size of the guy vs. the size of Cersei, I bet. I’m sure he’s standing on a raised piece of ground or equipment but it makes it look like his ankles are three feet long.

      All 3 guys on the foreground are on a raised platform of sort , just compare their heights with the other people on the

      edit:

      and I found these, with picture of the guy in blue

      http://imgur.com/a/FJN5m

        Quote  Reply

    31. http://imgur.com/a/FJN5m

      more pictures of sparrows and warrior sons.
      Yes, i think the extras in blue are indeed warrior sons. Look at the last picture, there are other extras, in the same costume but different colors. My bet this is their version of the rainbow cloaks…

        Quote  Reply

    32. StandOzone,

      it’s hard to tell if it’s the same coat, actually, from a partial sleeve. i’ve just rewatched the scene, the coat of the extra in the wedding seems to have a lot more of gold to it, but could be the lighting. so, I can’t tell if it’s the same or not.
      I don’t know, they could be Tyrells, but then who are the extras in purple and yellow?

      still on the costume business:
      looking at that last picture, there are three different set of extras, in different costumes.
      The sparrows, in black robes, the extras we’re discussing in the colorful coats, and a third group with a greenish costume i’m not recognizing… does anyone remember this one or is it new?

        Quote  Reply

    33. Claire,

      If you go back to the old imgur PW set photos from last year there is an extra in the exact same blue Tyrell costume…maybe even the same guy come to think of it (ie a Croatia extra who’s returned to once again play a background Tyrell courtier).

        Quote  Reply

    34. Greenjones,

      Yeah, I found it. http://i.imgur.com/b6JUFT6.jpg
      The coat does look the same (the lighting may change the color a bit) but the sleeves are definitely different. Idk, as I said, he could very well be playing a Tyrell extra once again, but I am curious about why are the others wearing the same costumes in different colors… in the same scene as the sparrows… call it wishful thinking, my two cents are on the warrior sons haha 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    35. Claire,

      its possible that they could just be extras in the background for scenes in which there is a “special event”. the margaery/tommen and tywin funeral scenes come to mind

        Quote  Reply

    36. Claire,

      At the PW there were similar costumes in a different color. However, I don’t discard the Warrior’s Sons possibility.

      I remember the Tywin’s funeral, when Jaime stays with the corpse all the night… and the religious parade that appeared at the… midnight? hour of the wolf? ghost?

      In fact, that’s my first thought when I saw three blue boys… now, as you stated, two purple boys and a yellowish one wear a similar costume… I don’t know, but my money is on Tyrells. The third kind of costumes looks like unhelmeted golden cloaks

        Quote  Reply

    37. Rod,

      If he or Kevan are back then they’re bound to turn up in the next few days or weeks of shooting in Dubrovnik. So we’ll probably know for sure soonish.

        Quote  Reply

    38. Rod,

      I don’t see how

      Cersei’s downfall

      can work without Lancel. He is the only one who can

      pin Robert’s murder on Cersei, as well as testify towards her infidelity.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Judging the blue kido by his outfit, he looks like he belongs to an important house, I don’t recall which where Tommen’s baby friends in AFFC. Any idea who this kid might be? Bluuuue sigil?

        Quote  Reply

    40. I really hope Kevan is brought back and made a more important character for this season. I really really hope they do. The Lannister family needs to expand, it’s not just Cersei and Jaime all the time; there’s more people, too.

      But they probably won’t, because it’s “been too long and people won’t remember him.”

      Shit, I’m STILL not sure if they’re gonna bring back Illyrio.

        Quote  Reply

    41. I can see them just simplifying the charges against Cersei- all they would need is Lancel

      if they want to charge her with murder and fornication (Lancel can truthfully confess to both). Seeing as they never introduced the Kettleblacks, this seems like the way to get to the same point without additional characters.

      But about Margaery, I don’t know.. Glad to hear it is looking good for Lancel’s return! Let’s hope Kevan is next!

        Quote  Reply

    42. Greenjones,

      If it’s Mylod, director of eps 3 and 4, isn’t it weird that Cersei is still wearing her black mourning dress for Tywin? It looks like Mylod, but it’s a bit weird.

      Renly’s Peach,

      Man… people WON’T remember him. Kevan’s been there in the background, and I think Tyrion referred to him as “uncle” ONCE in Season 1. Although his name has been thrown around a couple times, I’m pretty sure the name “Kevan” has never been connected to that particular character on-screen. Of course people won’t remember him. He’s pretty much a featured extra.

      Illyrio is different. Some will have no idea who he is, but it doesn’t really matter; Varys can say “he’s an associate of mine” and Illyrio himself can say he arranged the wedding of Daenerys and Drogo. People will remember that.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Renly’s Peach,

      BTW, I do want Kevan to come back, and I don’t think it would be an issue to introduce him. But that was my point: it would effectively be an introduction, not a re-introduction. You said “people won’t remember him” as the “D&D think people are idiots” kind of thing, but… in this case they’d be right, but not because people are idiots —Kevan was a featured extra whose name was not given on-screen while he was present. Absolutely nobody who doesn’t read the books or the GoT wiki has any reason to know who Kevan is, and that’s fine.

        Quote  Reply

    44. LukaNieto,

      Actually, he name WAS given on screen (in Baelor), but that doesn’t really matter. The thing is that he (and Lancel) are very easy to (re)introduce at the funeral.

      I also want Illyrio simply because of the fact that he represents a larger plan, a bigger plan that the viewer/reader is not essentially fully aware of.

        Quote  Reply

    45. Illyrio would be great for continuity’s sake. It would really feel like the show had something planned under wraps all along.

      Kevan, not so much. If he’s coming back, they might as well reintroduce him as if he’s a new character. I don’t think they’re doing that.

      Lancel is easy. It would only take a short pre-episode recap to remember him, they just need to explain why he disappeared for two seasons.

        Quote  Reply

    46. Dutch maester,

      At this point, I’m a little worried about Illyrio’s return. If Aegon has been eliminated – and Dany is the “new” end game for Varys/Illyrio – he played a pivotal role in setting her up. As others have said, he represents a plan that has been years in the making. I think its important to demonstrate that Varys could not have done it alone.

        Quote  Reply

    47. mariamb,

      If Illyrio is out, I hope at least that Varys reveals he has an ally who helped him mastermind the Targaryan rise to power, just for continuity’s sake and to tie up a few loose ends. I don’t think that’s asking too much, since Varys will have to explain his motivations and plans somehow and, even if Illyrio is out (which I still hope is not the case), his past deeds still cast a shadow on current events.

        Quote  Reply

    48. jentario,

      More like a peasant or a prisoner, right? He’s not wearing the black Sparrow garb, nor the seven-pointed star scar-tattoo. None of these things are from the books, but all the Sparrows we have seen these couple days had that look.

        Quote  Reply

    49. mariamb,

      I agree. Though if this simplified scenario is what the tv show will bring, they’ll sure have some explaining to do with Varys actively helping Robert Baratheon arrange the assassination of Daenerys in season 1. That doesn’t fit at all.

        Quote  Reply

    50. LukaNieto,

      I think the black robes were the Warrior’s Sons. The Sparrows can be anything from lords to commoners, and they probably don’t have matching costumes.

      I think the black robes will only start appearing once Cersei gives the High Sparrow the go on rearming the Faith.

        Quote  Reply

    51. Dutch maester,

      I have to agree. If Dany was always Varys end game then none of his actions up until now make any sense. Why did he keep reporting her movements and that she had dragons, an army ,was pregnant etc? Also, why did he allow them to send an assassin after her? None of his actions up to now have been anything but detrimental to her so to have him suddenly be part of a grand plan to crown her is ridiculous. If not

      Aegon

      then he needs to support someone else for the throne. This is why I think

      removing Aegon completely

      really messes things up. I’m all for cutting things down, for example, we don’t need

      a whole boat journey with him, Just introduce him later…even as he invades Westeros, Give him that classic Targ look and us his name which hopefully others will have mentioned by then. This would have a lot more impact and be better than Tyrion’s “yeah I kinda worked it out” of the books. Just build him up with comments from the Dornish like using his name and mentioning his face was so smushed you couldn’t tell it was him…pretty easy seeing as the whole of Dorne is still mightily pissed about it!

      I think he’s quite important to the plot and a number of storylines.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Dutch maester:
      mariamb,
      I agree. Though if this simplified scenario is what the tv show will bring, they’ll sure have some explaining to do with Varys actively helping Robert Baratheon arrange the assassination of Daenerys in season 1. That doesn’t fit at all.

      That concerns me as well. I guess Varys could have somehow alerted Jorah while he was conveying Dany’s assassination order from Robert, hence playing both sides of the coin, but I agree that without the fAegon/Blackfyres in the mix, the writers will need to retool the plot a bit. Unfortunately, it may be overly simplified. In any case, it looks like they are making Varys a bit more transparent in the show from here on out.

        Quote  Reply

    53. LukaNieto,

      You have a great phrase in that post: “his past deeds still cast a shadow on current events.” It shouldn’t appear that Varys was working solo for the past 15 years. It also shouldn’t look like a plan that was hatched overnight. The beauty is their long game and the detail and maneuvering required to make it possible.

      TheTouchOfFrost,

      Agree. I don’t think it works convincingly to have Varys support Dany from the start. For me, it is possible to dislike Aegon and the way that he was introduced into the story and still like Varys and Illyrio’s plan. I go back to the conversation that Arya witnessed in the basement of the Red Keep. Shouldn’t that mean something?

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    54. Some people think that Gendry might replace Young Griff, but why would that be Varys endgame either. Also with Tyrion and Varys going to Essos and Tywin dead, they kind of have to bring Lancel and Kevan to add more characters in King’s Landing, since they are an important part of Cersei’s storyline in AFFC and ADWD. I would say a great way to reintroduce them would be at Tywin’s Funeral. I think it’s possible that they could introduce Osney Kettleback then too, but I haven’t heard any casting news about anyone in King’s Landing yet except for Jonathan Pryce as High Sparrow.

        Quote  Reply

    55. TheTouchOfFrost,

      Unless… Varys knew the attempt on Dany’s life in the first season would fail, and would only serve to anger Drogo, so he would invade Westeros for Dany, or the Dothraki would invade Westeros sooner (before Rhaego was born or came of age), and thus take advantage of the coming civil war. He knew Robert would want to kill Dany, he gives Robert the chance to kill her, but knows that she’ll survive and it’ll only end up bringing her to Westeros sooner, and with angrier Dothraki.

      Or… Varys really does serve the realm and wants peace, and though he tried to kill Dany in season 1 (to protect the realm from an invasion and civil war), he now sees Dany as the best solution for the realm, after the War of Five Kings. Tommen no longer has Tywin to advise him and has Cersei as Regent, Stannis has the Red Woman and Varys hates magic… A Dragon could do what Aegon did, bring the Seven Kingdoms together, again.

      We don’t know Varys’ ultimate show intentions, yet, but I don’t think anything he’s done completely contradicts the idea that he might want to put Dany on the throne… he’s had to give the Lannister/Baratheons something (info on Dany’s movements, armies, conquests etc.), it was expected of him, he couldn’t have remained on the Small Council otherwise, which in turn put him in a position to pave the way for Dany’s return. I’m guessing we’ll get some more insight into him in season 5, with him and Tyrion, and whatever they’ll be doing in Essos.

        Quote  Reply

    56. mariamb,

      I’m really confused by people who make this argument. Check the conversation between Varys and Illyrio under the Red Keep:

      “VAYRS: He’s found one bastard already. He has the book. The rest will come.
      ILLYRIO: And when he knows the truth, what will he do?
      VAYRS: The gods alone know. The fools tried to kill his son. What’s worse — they botched it. The wolf and the lion will be at each other’s throats. We will be at war soon, my friend.
      ILLYRIO: What good is war now? We’re not ready. If one Hand can die, why not a second?
      VAYRS: This Hand is not the other.
      ILLYRIO: We need time. Khal Drogo will not make his move until his son is born. You know how these savages are.
      VAYRS: “Delay,” you say. “Move fast, ” I reply. This is no longer a game for two players.
      ILLYRIO: It never was.”

      The conversation is explicitly all about Viserys, hence the mention of Khal Drogo. Aegon is not even part of the picture yet (who knows, maybe GRRM hadn’t even made him up yet). Either way, it does make sense for Varys to have been supporting Viserys (and later Daenerys) all along. Even in the books, Aegon plans to marry her aunt —Daenerys is still part of their plans, so if this problem exists in the show it also exists in the book, even if it’s to a lesser extent due to the existence of Aegon. Why does Varys provide information about her? Why arrange an assassination? Who knows, but there are legitimate ways to work this out (some of them mentioned by Ser Florian just above this comment), and more importantly, this is a question both for the books and the show, and I’m sure we’ll get an answer when Varys explains his plans to Tyrion in Season 5.

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    57. alcasinoroyale,

      I’ve never undestood the Gendry replacing Aegon idea. Gendry is a Baratheon, who Varys made no attempt to guide or influence either Robert’s reign or Stannis’ claim. Why would he give two hoots about a bastard? Even if he did, then why have him work in a smithie and not warn him when the Gold Cloaks went on their eradication spree? He also hasn’t really made any attempt to look out for him the whole show with Gendry being in peril many times.
      The only real option is if they claim Trystane is

      Aegon

      .

      Ser Florian,

      If he took that kind of gamble then it ruins his calculating character. He’s sent her off into the wild with no one watching over her and not lifted a finger to help her at all. Again, it’s too much of a stretch he’d put so much stock in events that there is no certainty of happening.
      Plausible but I think that diminshes his character. He’s not now a master planner and manipulater just someone who goes with the flow to survive and keep himself happy. Not much more than a brighter Pycelle.
      But he could quite easily have manipulated the information to offer Dany more protection. Instead he told them exactly what she was doing and put her in more danger or at least placed greater emphasis on her. This would be a wise move if he was trying to make them see her as a threat so as to overlook his actual intentions and who he wants on the throne, but to keep focus on her does nothing to further putting her on the Throne.

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    58. Luka Nieto:

      …The conversation is explicitly all about Viserys, hence the mention of Khal Drogo. Aegon is not even part of the picture yet (who knows, maybe GRRM hadn’t even made him up yet)….

      That is the key observation that is interesting about this scenario.

      Although we could deduce from other clues/prophesies throughout the texts that Aegon should exist, remember the 3-page ASoI&F summary that GRRM’s editor promised would be released someday? That would be quite insightful to this whole dilemma.

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    59. Luka Nieto,

      I agree totally on your points and it’s something I’ve written a lot about here.

      They can explain away the assassination attempt and the information. Varys had to keep up appearances of being loyal to Robert and then the Lannisters. Besides what info he did give them wasn’t too damaging until one of the last council meetings where he tells them that she is dangerous and needs dealt with. Still he probably knew the Lannisters wouldn’t do anything since they were so distracted by events and when they decided on the letter to expose Jorah, that really only hurts Jorah’s position and at worst hurt Dany’s feelings. Dany still has Ser Barristan at her side and the Unsullied Army. All in all, that was a weak move on the Lannisters’ part. If they really wanted to damage her there were much better ways. Also, the assassination by the wine merchant was pretty pathetic too. I’m of the opinion it was a purposely poor one…Varys could appease Robert saying he’d made the attempt and the likelihood of it failing was high. I mean, if he’d really wanted her dead they’d have hired a Faceless Man. If D&D explain things properly, people will believe that Varys always supported Dany.

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    60. Dame Pasty,

      I think it’d be poor planning, since Varys was actively acting against Dany in those scenes- he could have told them “my sources say Dany doesn’t really have dragons and it’s just a rumor she created”, he could have said she is insignificant and a threat for the far future. Instead, he reminds the Lannisters about her and her progress throughout seasons 2-4 (on top of the assassination attempt, which would have gone through if it wasn’t for Jorah’s sudden change of heart and suspicion).

      Better to have Varys place his eggs in many baskets and stay with the best players and most likely winners. Perhaps factor in that he wants the war over for the better of the realm. With Tywin dead, the situation in King’s Landing is unstable and bound to go to shit at some point. He already said he hates Stannis because he uses Melisandre’s black magic, so the only real contender left that is any good for the realm is Dany.

      The show established that Tyrion’s murder of Tywin surprised Varys and changed his plans, so I think he definitely wasn’t a loyal Targaryen only supporter from the beginning. Maybe he’ll try saying he was, but he definitely wasn’t.

        Quote  Reply

    61. jentario,

      I don’t know if it says that that set was in Split or Dubrovnik because we already know that Sarine Sofair shot in Split and she’s our resident Braavos courtesan.

      Edd will stay at the Wall, I think.

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    62. Greenjones,

      Well, this is the first sign of a Braavos brothel set (there was no sign of one in the Split area). I doubt they’d reuse the boxes, and if they do they would at least write over it to avoid confusion.

      Ohara could meet Arya just walking around, and then appear in a brothel scene shot (for some reason) in Dubrovnik. I guess we’ll see.

      EDIT:

      either way, I don’t see why they’d need a Braavos brothel at all in season 5 unless the Sam stuff is in. Maybe Arya leads Trant there before killing him.

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    63. Luka Nieto,

      I’m not sure what argument you think I was making. I was actually referencing Illyrio’s presence in that scene…the fact that he and Varys have been co-conspirators from the start. To eliminate him from the story at this point, IMO, detracts from the story. I was not linking that conversation in the basement to the “who was supporting who when” debate. Regardless, since this portion of the story is half-told, the narrative could show that Varys was (in part, at least) supporting Dany. Nothing that we have seen or read completely contradicts it. Clearly, there is missing information.

        Quote  Reply

    64. mariamb,

      Sorry, I thought you were making a single point, not two different ones. You said that you don’t think it works to have Varys as a long-time Dany supporter, and finished by saying you go back to what Arya saw. I assumed you meant you go back to that conversation as evidence that Varys has other plans, not that Illyrio’s involvement is vital in whatever the plan turns out to be. I misunderstood, but if you re-read your comment, I hope you understand why I did.

      Anyway, I agree that Illyrio’s involvement needs to be addressed: even in the worst case scenario of him not making an appearance, Varys could mention him as an ally who arranged Dany’s marriage. However, I don’t agree that Varys doesn’t work as a long-time supporter of Viserys (and then Dany), mostly because of that very scene under the Red Keep, in which Varys and Illyrio pretty much state who they are supporting: Viserys (them supporting Dany later is not a stretch.) Aegon has not been set up —being faithful to the books is a good reason for his addition, but when some say it “wouldn’t make sense” to cut him within the show universe… I just cannot agree.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Luka Nieto,

      Yes – when I re-read I understood that the statement in my original post could be misinterpreted. Sorry for the confusion.

      Sometimes I wish that I was one of the Unsullied. I spend way too much time thinking about some of these things.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Two new rumors:

      1) It seems that the set in Magilligan was used for Dany’s storyline… Dany and horses!
      Could these horses be

      dothraki horses?

      http://www.reddit.com/r/gameofthrones/comments/2hgp3f/season_5_possible_spoiler_update_regarding_the/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

      If it is true… Where are my Griffs?

      2) Peter Dinklage seems to be in Dubrovnik…
      https://twitter.com/brockmcginnis/status/515244772429422592

        Quote  Reply

    67. StandOzone,

      (1) Almost certainly false because Emilia Clarke has brown hair in real life and she wouldn’t wear her wig in the restaurant.

      (2) He said Peter Dinklage would be the only he would recognise – he hasn’t seen him.

        Quote  Reply

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