We have a great visual treat today, along with a report from a season 7 set, thanks to WotW reader Apollo. Apollo visited a few Game of Thrones locations in Spain this week and was able to take a fantastic amount of photographs to give us a look at where Game of Thrones will be filming for this season.
While visiting the ancient Roman ruins of Italica, found in Santiponce, Seville, Apollo found sets in progress. The construction is currently centered in Italica’s amphitheater space. The crew is building a staircase from the ground below up to the pit floor. It looks like they’re covering up part of the exposed area in the pit for filming- the narrow channel leading to the wider central area. Apollo reports there were a lot of heavy-duty metal frames in the storage area that could be for the supports underneath. There are also an assortment of fake rocks and shrubbery for dressing of the set.
As for the green screen fabric lying around, it appears to be covering the work rather than for any CGI purpose.
Views of the Italica season 7 set:
Apollo also took a short video of the location so you can get a feel for the space:
And what is this location for? After seeing so many images, and knowing what we do of season 7, I’m fairly positive that this site will be the Dragonpit. The ruined look of the place is perfect for it, and I can easily envision Dany’s children making themselves at home there.
After his trip to Santiponce, Apollo visited another site: Castillo de Almodóvar del Río, found in the province of Córdoba.
The castle was unfortunately less busy than Italica is, at the moment. But an employee on site did confirm that shooting will take place inside the castle.
As far as filming options, Apollo reports that the interior of the castle grounds and rooms were “fairly cramped.” The battlements might be an option but it would be quite difficult to get crew and equipment up to that part of the site. The main castle square is a better option but Apollo observed that “It has a combination of architectural styles, some fairly modern- would need some serious work done to age the place.” There is a smaller, secondary square in the castle that has lots of trees and very little space for people, so it might be a poor choice for a scene as well.
Apollo did spy in one area a few men working on a large number of benches, which ordinarily would ping the production radar. Unfortunately, the benches do look as if they’re part of the castles’ property, and are unlikely to be part of Game of Thrones prep work. But there’s a photo, so you can decide for yourself!
Cramped or not, it’s still a stunningly gorgeous location and I see possibilities in the courtyards.
Thank you so much to Apollo for providing his photos and video to Watchers on the Wall, and for bringing us these new details!
I got excited when you mentioned Dany’s children, and then I remembered you were talking about her dragons. LOL
Thanks Apollo!!! You lucky bastard!!! 🙂
Both locations look amazing!!
I had hopes for Casterly Rock, but after seeing these photos I have little doubt that castle must be Highgarden.
good work apollo!
Highgarden no doubt.
Thanks folks (and Sue), you guys do a great job here so I’m happy to be able to give a little something back ?
I heard a crazy rumor that the scene in the dragon pit actually has nothing to do with dragons and it’s the place for a parlay between dany and cersei. It will involve dany and jon bringing an undead in to prove to cersei that the white walkers’ tales are all true.
Me too- beforehand I was convinced it’d be a Dornish fortress from the architectural style, but from the hillside I really felt that this could definitely be Highgarden.
Thanks for the photos and video, Apollo.
Really curious about why they’re introducing the dragonpit in the show and I’m not having the best feelings about it. I’m very sure Drogon is safe but Rhaegal and Viserion? Not so sure.
I was also thinking Highgarden after seeing the photos.
Thank you WotW for daily hype 🙂
I heard a crazy rumor = I made that up a minute ago 😉
But seriously, I’m betting whatever that this will not happen.
How beautiful. Not sure this is Highgarden though. To small after seeing Sam’s home. Maybe with a lot of CGI.
Thank you Apollo! !
Awesome pics Apollo! Thank you!
I really didn’t make that up and also never claimed to be legit. I heard about this on a reddit sub where the person laid out a bunch of other stuff. No need to get salty about it, like I said it’s a crazy rumor. 😉
Thanks for your pursuit in getting these pics! They are wonderful and so much fun to see any activity surrounding filming locations! I’m sure you had a good time yourself, the castle and the pit are beautiful! Again, thank you for bringing these to us fans!?
whatever location this places ae going to be, both are beautiful. Vacation to Spain everyone?
I had a blast, thanks… can’t wait to see how these will come to life on screen. I just wish I’d been there a few weeks later when the sets are more established. It was sooo hot at Almodovar del Rio (90 degrees), hopefully it’ll be much cooler in November once filming starts ?
The castle looks Dornish to me. Sorry, Spain=Dorne, Reach=Italy/France to me. 😛
Still am looking forward to actor spoilers, though! That will help pin the scenes down. 🙂
Regardless of where it might be in the show, it’s beautiful and THANK YOU Apollo for the pics…a daily dose of spoilers, pics, etc., until next summer…?? Too much to ask for?..haha.
Whether or not there’s any truth behind that rumor or that it has anything to do with this set, it still brings on some interesting thought. I hadn’t considered the idea that they capture a wight to prove to those in the south that they exist, before hundreds of thousand start swarming across the land. I’d been thinking that Wun Wun was also a loss because he was proof that the stories are true, or at least those involving giants. I imagine the people brushing off the stories of an undead army would quickly change their attitude if they see a mindless, rotting skeletal thing walking around.
Great work Apollo!!
Do we know when will the filming take place at the Italica? Are there any dates fixed?
Any of those locations pictured at the Castillo de Almodóvar del Río could be used for Highgarden.
Those are exactly the sort of surroundings I’d expect Olenna, Margaery and co to be living in.
Anyone know anything about that Jason momoa skipping after party of justice league wrap and saying he has to prepare for the north?
Yes, my thoughts exactly and even if isn’t true, it’s at the very least an interesting theory. The same person also said Jon, Dany and their respective crews will go north of the wall to capture a wight and it reminded me of those earlier reports that 6 principals actors will film in Iceland next year. I know it’s way too early for leaks, but it really makes you think about it. It would be a bit dull if all the northern storyline next season is Littlefinger trying to pit Jon against Sansa, and Jon isn’t really the type to sit around doing nothing. I expect he’s going to try to alert the rest of the people in Westeros, and it’s really not that far fetched to think that once he hears about Dany + dragonstone + dragons he’s going to try to convince her that there is a more pressing enemy in the north coming for them all than cersei.
Anyways… we’ll see if there’s any truth in all of this if Kit Harington suddenly starts being spotted in Spain next month.
Isn’t it odd that they’re building a staircase so the top tread is right on the edge of the center pit? What would they put down in there among the columns that would need a stair to the edge of it? The entire amphitheatre is seemingly too small in my opinion to meet the book description of the Dragonpit. Of course liberal use of cgi can change that but as it is Drogon’s wingspan alone would stretch across the narrow direction of the main floor.
I don’t recall reading the history of how Italica was used. It has a bit of an odd layout… What was in that central pit? Was there water it there? Was there a floor over the top of it?
I could easily see Jon doing this and leaving Sansa at Winterfell (there must always be a Stark at Winterfell). Could be this is where LF starts his scheming when Jon and his crew are gone, whether Sansa smartens up and plays the game we will see.
Going North to capture a Wight would be a easy way for him to run into Bran, but I would love if Jon goes South to warn about the upcoming invasion and Bran goes to Winterfell and meets Sansa.
“Our Brother has gone South to warn them about the true threat.”
“Not our Brother…our Cousin”
Get hyped!! Thank you Apollo for the photos.
OT I just watched the early released Westworld Episode 2 named “Chestnut” and loved it. Really excited to see the story unfold.
Sorry to post this here, but I can’t discuss it with anyone else, no one I know watches the show. I have a question: SPOILERS for the last scene of E2:
To be honest with you I felt the same about the ruins before I went, but the place is huge- larger than it appears and quite spectacular (photos really don’t do it justice).
I also had an issue with the sunken part in the centre (which I think were the holding cells beneath the amphitheater and were covered over at the time).
But the staircase ends at the beginning of this pit- so they’re clearly going to cover the central pit with a temporary floor or, as you say, the stairs would lead to empty space. There are lots of sturdy metallic frames in one of the pics that I’m assuming will be used to strengthen the floor from below and they’ll just cover this with lots of sand and stray boulders.
Been goin on Reddit to discuss. Awesome show
I’m thinking his storyline that he built is the game that the man in black is trying to play and that’s why he came back
Jon and co are not going on an adventure north of the Wall.
The Wall will fall (either literally or in being captured/overrun) and the White Walkers are heading south.
End of story.
And they won’t be wasting any time trying to catch wights to prove the existence of the White Walkers either.
Especially not to Cersei, who is a lunatic; who has no interest in allegiances with rival queens; who wants Sansa’s, Tyrion’s, Ellaria’s and pretty much everyone’s heads; and who will be dead (or at the very least dethroned and irrelevant) by the end of the season.
The White Walkers will invade, the news will spread across the Seven Kingdoms and Daenerys will lead her newly conquered southern allies to assist her nephew in defending the lands she intends to rule.
Please keep discussion of Westworld extremely general or cover specifics in spoiler tags.
I know your comment is still pretty vague, but I don’t want anybody spoiling anything at all if possible.
Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,
Wasn’t a spoiler it was a guess
What this guy said about Dany’s storyline contradicts the HOTU vision in S2, where she almost takes the IT for herself , when she gets distracted by what’s going on in the north. This implies that she will be focused on the IT and KL till she almost conquers it for herself and only then head north. What this guy said contradicts this.
Secondly, he said Jon has no interest in being king in the north, which is not the impression I got from the last scene of the season, where Jon’s last expression implied he was ready to take on the responsibility as king.
Besides, an earlier report on this site said that the dragonpit scene will be an action scene, which is not how you would describe the parlay scene.
This guy has a very fertile imagination, imo.
If the stair ends on the edge of the pit and is elevated over it, it can be used for oserving something or throwing something into the pit. I have a theory that Cerey and Euron will capture at least one of the dragons (dead or badly wounded) and then Qyburn will try or even succeed in turning it into a Frankendragon the same way he turned the Mountain into a zombie (or a wight). If I am right, the pit and the stairs could be used for demonstrations: I can imagine Cersei standing on those stairs and throwing her opponents as food to the dragon(s) one by one. Might be a parallel to the bear-pit scene from “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” too: maybe that’s where Jamie and Brienne will meet again somehow and this time she’ll kill the dragon saving Jamie and enabling him to kill Cersei? That would be quite an action sequence for the finale.
That’s definitely Highgarden, and if they’re giving us Highgarden there’s a really really good chance that Olenna is gonna bite the dust
I hated how none of ramseys army or even some of jons didn’t seem shocked that giants exist
I also thought Highgarden, but i can’t think of a plaussible reason for characters to go there that couldn’t be done in a different location. Every Tyrell is dead except the QoT.
ghost of winterfell,
Could you post a link to that fanfiction? I would be interested to read it. Or is it inappropriate to post such links on this site?
Possibly – though if that were the case they could’ve built an elevated catwalk/ platform at head height coming into the arena to serve that purpose
ghost of winterfell,
I don’t think it contradicts the HoTU vision at all. He did say Dany will lose both the Tyrells and Martells forces pretty quickly and he didn’t make any mention of Dany being successful in in her attempts to conquer King’s Landing. I think this kinda fits her vision: she has to stop her plans of taking the throne to focus on the enemy beyond the wall. The sansa/arya/LF bit doesn’t make sense, but isn’t that the whole point of LF? a little bit of chaos? Arya in winterfell would create a lot more trouble for him than Jon, tbh. While Jon is oblivious about many things, Arya is pretty much a human lie detector and she would smell LF’s bs right away. So yeah, I wouldn’t put it past him to try pit them against each other.
I agree that the reddit dude has a fertile imagination, but some of the things he said does make sense.
I checked it out on Reddit after jdtargstark mentioned it. I don’t know if it’s OK to link it here? It’s almost certainly fanfic.
Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,
In fact, Jon could easily go beyond the Wall, if Bran could take him there in a vision. Brann is the Three-eyed Raven now, so he may sense greenseeing abilities in Jon too or he may simply be made powerful enough to take others into his visions just like that. Another possible location requiring shooting in Iceland would be the Bloody Gates of the Vale.
As for Jon capturing a wight and then bringing it to Cersei, it’s really stupid. Cersei already has a wight (ser Gregor) by her side and is very happy with his company.
Of cause, Jon might go beyond the Wall to capture a wigth or a white walker, if Bran gives him a good reason for that (taking “a tongue” might be plausible, if they could bring him through the Wall without affecting its spells), but no way a wight or a white walker will be used for some awareness raising campaigns.
ghost of winterfell,
Maybe, you could send a link to my private e-mail ([email protected]), if moderators don’t mind.
I love Emilia. She’s the only one from the cast that consistently posts stuff like this.
Jack Bauer 24,
If you want to discuss it, why not on Reddit?
I know people like to speculate about all these crazy theories, but come on, get some interpretation skills, it’s obvious Dany will win, its the natural progress of her story, the same way it was obvious Jon was going to win at the botb.
Not the Dragon pit, I have a feeling it will be the tournament of Harrenhal
Thanks Apollo! I’m sad that I can’t visit so many of the places most interesting to me (I cannot tolerate heat), but very glad that others bring these gems to us! 🙂
There’s nothing for Jon to see or do beyond the Wall. He’s been there, done that and bought the t-shirt.
I think it’s highly unlikely that Bran will be able to bring people into his visions anyway. There’s been no indication that people without some sort of greenseeing ability can be brought into his visions.
And considering what happened to poor old Wylis/Hodor the last time an ordinary person got mixed up in Bran’s acid trips, I don’t think he’d be in any rush to risk his beloved brother/cousin’s safety.
Also, introducing such capabilities creates a rod for the producers’ backs. Any time there’s any disbelief or confusion between characters, the viewers (and characters) would simply be left wondering why Bran doesn’t just show them what they need to see.
It’s the sort of plot device that would actually create more problems than it solves, as well as undermining the potential drama arising from characters questioning or disbelieving Bran’s abilities and what he learns using them.
I am thinking Cersei will become the Night King’s Queen before it is all over.
I’m confused about what the guy who wants to find the maze. That whole storyline is just so confusing.
This crossed my mind as well, especially because of the shrubbery and because I imagine them filming all the dragon stuff in the studio.
Harrenhal was actually my very first thought when I approached the amphitheater, as many of the ruins had that melted stone appearance like Harrenhal.
But from the condition of the ruins, there’s no way they can safely get actors and crew up on the edges as spectators, and the stairwell would be a huge risk with horses for any tourney (and what purpose would the stairs serve for a tourney ground?).
Besides which- we’ve had no news of HH, only the Dragon pit- and wouldn’t they need to do a casting call for many extras in Seville? But anythings possible, I suppose.
Thank you Apollo! 🙂
Oh dear god, Olenna might be toast. I wonder if she’s the high value target that is ambushed on her way from a castle.
Shoutout to Apollo!
Don’t know but damn Westworld is excellent. That episode 2, wow.
That would be awesome! I want to know what exactly went down in terms of all the behind-the-scenes politics and conspiracies at Harrenhal, that brought down the Targaryen dynasty soon thereafter. I also don’t see how this can be a dragon pit, with the strange sunken structure full of columns. If there were no columns, I could see it being a cosy den for the dragons, if they wanted. Also, why would they want to be confined so low, and why wouldn’t they want to make a den for themselves somewhere more inaccessible to humans and higher up?
After the ending of Season 6, with every other Tyrell now but a cinder, I figured Olenna would try to tough it out, but one way or the other, she’ll be gone by the end of 7. She will either just give up and die of a broken heart, or Cersei will find a way to finally silence her for good. Or that darned Ellaria will betray her the way she betrayed Doran Martell and his son.
Great photos! Many thanks Apollo 🙂
Apollo thanks for the photos, I think this measuring line in the middle of the site and the structures below the tunnel is a sign that the place will be all covered
with regard to safety, it is difficult to know who is filming in place and what they are filming in the studio
I’m thinking Harrenhal. Not necessarily the Tourney of Harrenhal, but maybe a modern scene at Harrenhal.
What if Euron actually has the horn and steals one or all of the Dragons and the Dragonpit is where Cersei/Euron keep them in captivity? I think that would make more sense as to the purpose this pit is meant to serve, rather than Dany just steamrolling King’s Landing in an episode and them designing a random place in KL for her to keep them.
where did you hear that? This is cwazy!
So as suspected, the battlements from the Zumaia set weren’t finished yet. Thank God they don’t have Essos appearence anymore. So I still have hopes that Dany could land at Dragonstone.
Those castle pictures are so amazing! Thanks Apollo!
My thoughts exactly, only I don’t think that Euron will use any horn for that purpose. Dragons can be injured with spears and, though it’s hard, it’s not impossible. There might be other things helping to incapacitate them: poisons or drugs, for instance. IMO, the Citadel should have some information about that, and Sam will learn that too, which will be key for the endgame, I imagine.
As for the horn Euron demonstrates in the books, IMO, it’s just a big poisoned horn and it’s only purpose is to draw attention from other more effective means that Euron has or expects to gain.
If there is a dragon-binding horn, it should be the one Sam found on the Fist of the First Men. You see, it makes sense to assume that dragons were created/tamed as an ultimate weapon against the White Walkers which had been threatening not only Westeros, but also the far east of Essos linked to Westeros by land or ice bridge. But after dragons played their part in repelling them and the White Walkers went to sleep, people who had the ability to control dragons started to use that for selfish purposes (two major problems with any technology: either it goes rougue, or falls into unworthy hands). So, the Valyrian Empire was created, and then its slaves destroyed it along with dragons provoking the Doom. The Targaryans and their dragons were saved from that Doom and sent to Westeros where a new WW attack could be expected. But as they continued to sleep, the Targarians continued to waste the ultimate weapon for conquerring and domestic feuds, until dragons became totally extinct. Afterwards the WW began to rise thinking that the only thing that could stop them is no longer available, but again as there has to be some balance in the universe Dany happened to hatch 3 new dragons, which will play they key role in the War for Dawn, though she is not aware of that yet.
But back to the horn theory. Taking into account that the Valyrians/Targarians were selfish and could not be counted on to stop the WW invasion in case it occured, it makes sense that someone with good intentions stole the dragon-binding item from them and brought it to the frontline, so thouse who were supposed to encounter the WW first could have a mean to call for aid. It looks like it was intended to end up in the hands of the Night’s Watch, but something went wrong and it was hidden along with dragonglass weapons to be found in the hour of the greatest need, ect.
IMO, Sam will learn something like that in the Citadel, and wouldn’t it be cool, if Sam the Slayer would become Sam the Dragonrider (with Gilly and Little Sam on the third dragon)? Well, that’s too much. On a seriuos note, I still think that Valyrian blood will be crucial to ride the dragons into the Battle for Dawn, but the horn may still play a role in making the dragons to break out of Cersei’s/Euron’s captivity and fly to the North, after which Dany will decide to follow her children like in the visions she had.
Bit late to the party, but thanks Apollo (and WotW), nice work there! Hope you had a great time. It should be really interesting to compare to the final on-screen version, especially if there are lots of changes/CGI 😀
I did, thanks! Honestly, I wasn’t so inspired by these locations until I paid them a visit.. Can’t wait to see how they’ll turn out on screen.
I’m gonna try and make another trip over to Northern Ireland if/once we know more definitive shooting dates, to see what I can find.. had a few near misses last year when I was over ?
Blimey! I’m honored! Google have used my avatar with me and Carmelo the raven on their ‘In the news’ column below the main ‘Watchers on the Wall’ heading 🙂
In the news
Image for the news result (me with the raven)
An exclusive report from a Game of Thrones season 7 set!
Watchers on the Wall – 3 days ago
An exclusive report from a … Views of the Italica season 7 set: … be part of Game of Thrones prep work.
Is This ‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 7 Mystery Woman Jon Snow’s New Love Interest? The Theories Are Interesting
Bustle – 1 day ago
More news for watchers on the wall
Yay! Sounds like fun. I wouldn’t mind seeing some of these places after the programme has finished (for good) but not while there’s still more to come, for the same reason I wouldn’t want to meet any of the actors. It would spoil my sense of immersion. What do you mean it’s not real and they are only pretending. I thought it was a documentary!?!? 😀
ghost of winterfell,
I agree 100% with you about the meaning of the HotU vision. I’ve heard some people argue that it foreshadows Dany’s death and failure to capture the Iron Throne.
But I am inclined to believe that the vision showed Dany that when she arrived in King’s Landing, she would be summoned north, because essentially, a bigger battle lies ahead (the scene was also witnessed by Bran in season 4).
Maybe Samwell Tarly will discover that dragons can kill White Walkers, perhaps leading Jon to make a desperate plea to Dany.
I think seasons 7 and 8 will cover potential battles on two fronts – Dany’s initial challenge for Cersei’s throne, and the bigger fight up north.
I think that Dany and Jon might make a deal – she can assist him to fight the Night’s King, and in return, he will support her claim to the Seven Kingdoms, fulfilling Maggy the Frog’s prophecy.
Pretty sure that it’s going to happen.
Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,
I think you’re wrong.
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