Game of Thrones Season 8 EXCLUSIVE: New Characters Cast; Old Locations Return!

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New characters are coming to Game of Thrones! We haven’t heard much of this kind of thing for season eight, with few exceptions, but that’s not surprising: a show with a cast as expansive as Game of Thrones doesn’t need many tertiary characters by its last season. Nevertheless, there are a few, and we’ll tell you all about them below the cut! Also: the King’s Landing set develops further, an iconic location returns in a big way, and we delve into the Jon and Dany filming photo that’s going around — but is it real?

Our sources revealed Game of Thrones is currently looking to fill two roles in their last season — though, interestingly, they’re going to fill them with three actors.

First of all, there is a young mother, aged 25 to 30, described as a poor mother in a survival situation. They’re looking for a naturalistic style, and improvisation skills.

Then there’s the mother’s child, who will be played by identical twin girls, aged 5 to 8. This is a pretty common solution to scheduling problems with children, who are only allowed to work a few hours a day thanks to child labor laws. Using twins allows them to double the daily workload. Going by the “naturalistic acting style,” “characterful faces,” and “scrappy” demeanor they’re looking for, this family is likely Northern, or perhaps they are King’s Landing commoners — no accent is specified. The character will only appear in one episode, in a number of scenes. Whoever the lucky twins are will be shooting on May 4 and 9 as well as between June 19 and 26, all in Northern Ireland.

Take note of the dates: the twins are filming up to the 26th of June, which fits within Lena Headey’s claim that the production will wrap in late June. It fits, but it doesn’t confirm it — or refute it, for that matter. If, in the future, we hear of any casting call extending beyond June, the initial August wrap date may turn out to be correct after all.

20160602_ep609_Publicity_still_045.00146865[1]

In exciting location news, we have been hearing from multiple sources that there has been much activity (including clouds of smoke) at Saintfield. Why is that exciting? Saintfield was the site for the pre-eminent pitched battle: the Battle of the Bastards! Unlike in season six, this time much of the Winterfell action was shot directly at the gates of the Moneyglass set (which required major remodeling,) but it may be that the sequence is partly being filmed in the battleground where the Boltons were defeated.

If two locations for a single battle aren’t enough for you, there may yet be a third! As you may remember, last month we speculated that the new green screen set at Magheramorne “is probably going to be used for action sequence elements that were deemed to be unfilmable in a real set.” And that seems to be what’s happening:


Oakleaf Photography first showed us that the only real (not to be green screened-out) part of the set was a mantle of snow. As you can see in Libby‘s photo above, now that Moneyglass is done production has moved on to Magheramorne as well as Saintfield. These are all night shoots, just as they were for the Moneyglass battle sequence. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are related, but let’s just say it would be a good bet!

Speaking of gigantic green screens, another one is being built next to the Titanic Studios set. Specifically, the green screen is being erected to the side of the King’s Landing gate:

There's no actual screen yet, but it will be held onto this frame.

There’s no actual screen yet, but it will be held onto this frame.

To be honest, a big screen would probably be built even if they didn't need a green screen, as that would help immensely in covering up the shooting that will go on just outside the city set

Even if a green screen wasn’t needed, one would help cover up any filming outside the city wall

Incidentally, A Red Priestess shows that the not-yet-breached gate is pretty much done. This is a modular set, built so the gate can appear either intact or utterly demolished:

Paint Hall - King's Landing Gate Front 12


Finally, we would like to address a photo that’s been making the rounds. You may have seen it in this Youtube video, on Instagram, or perhaps somewhere else. Here it is:

Jon Dany Photo

Why the hullabaloo? This rather innocuous photo comes accompanied by completely unsupported spoilers (read them on the sources above.) But the photo simply doesn’t suggest what’s claimed in any way. In fact, we aren’t even sure this is a current photo! Jon Snow seems to be rid of the man bun in season eight, but he obviously still has it in this picture. If Dany’s dress was new, that would be telling, but … we can’t tell! As it is, it’s not just the supposed spoilers that we call into doubt, but the photo itself.

My best guess is this is a photo taken at Zumaia beach, either for season seven episode four, when they went into the caves, or episode five, when Jon went away. Could it be from season eight? It could be. Jon could still wear that hairstyle some of the time. Even the spoilers could be true! But I wouldn’t give it much credence without further proof.

80 responses

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    1. The picture was clearly taken between shooting. If you look carefully you can see that Emilia is wearing one of those big coats backward (to keep warm but to protect her hairstyle). And Kit seems to be sitting on something, in the show Jon and Dany don’t have that much of a height difference.

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    2. I may have missed it but seems this far in to production on season 8 not that many catches of cast off set, they hiding better this season than any other?

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    3. The photo of Danny/Jon would mean anything…except of the Azor Ahai /Nissa Nissa stuff[actually the instagramer is trolling us with this ]…More specifically could be a marriage scene[Jon wears his fur to Dannys shoulders as is the traditional marriage custom in Westeros ..that who a man wear his coat into his wife ..symbolizing that he will protect her during their marriage..we have seen this in Sansas/Tyrions marriage and in Edmures/Roslyn marriage in S3] or a scene where Danny carries the newborn baby[wear it into furs/protecting her baby from the cold] into her arms and Jon look at it or she is pregnant and Jon touches her belly with happiness ..The photo figures one of those 3 possibilities ..not that with the AA/Nissa Nissa[as many fans get trolled by the description bellow]….Also the photo is too blurred for to see what happens there.

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    4. The Kit/Emilia picture really does look like it fits in with the bts or between takes photos of the beach shoots for last season. We haven’t seen any sign of the cast shooting on a beach this year have we? Thinking about it, there wouldn’t seem to be a reason Jon & Daenerys would be on a beach in S8 other than possibly right at the beginning if we see them arrive at White Harbor… If that were the case then I’d say at least the one suggestion of what’s happening wouldn’t be happening…

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    5. Yea, that photo could be just about anything. And just think, only 1 more year of over analyzing to go! Huzzah!

      Why the hullabaloo?

      Unfortunately because fake news spreads faster than actual news.

      I admit once season 7 ended I was a bit tired of GoT and needed a break, but the more news that comes out about filming season 8 the more it makes me want to go back and rewatch the previous 7 seasons to try and figure out the ending of the show. It’s inevitable that the closer we get to the start of the last season the more spoilers will start leaking, so I’ma try to beat em to it!

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    6. Clob,

      Yea, I would tend to agree. It would help clear things up a bit too if the photo wasn’t so blurry and void of color.

      It’s also hard for me to tell if the photo was taken from far away or not. I would assume it’s pretty far away due to the blurry nature of the photo, but I could be wrong. The person who took the photo claims to work for HBO, but if the photo is from far away, why would an employee of HBO need to be that far away? I dunno.

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    7. Were all the beach shots from season 7 though not done in the open? We saw them film the many different beach scenes, not just with still shots but with amateur video as well. The scenes when they entered the cave, and the aftermath of that were done in the open. And the scenes of everyone leaving for the Wight Hunt were done in the open. Hell, they didn’t even try to hide the Theon stuff on that beach either.

      From this picture it looks like they are in some form of covering, which I don’t remember being part of the Zumaia beach filming, and if it is sand, it seems to be fake sand since it ends and then there is some form of regular flat surface at the edge. They obviously didn’t use fake sand at the actual beach.

      I don’t know what it is, or if it’s even from season 8, but I have a difficult time thinking it’s from the season 7 Zumaia beach stuff.

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    8. orange: Were all the beach shots from season 7 though not done in the open?

      From this picture it looks like they are in some form of covering, which I don’t remember being part of the Zumaia beach filming, and if it is sand, it seems to be fake sand since it ends and then there is some form of regular flat surface at the edge.

      Most of it was done in the open but they did have large white screens, tents for cover and such and on location. The post showing Kit & Emilia playing around with fake dragon heads shows some of those ‘screens.’

      That flat surface looks like something they put down on the sand to me.

      We certainly can’t tell when or what is happening in the photo but the white sheet definitely doesn’t look like something they’d use for a backdrop in actual filming. They could be practicing lines or talking about what so-and-so said at the pub the night before. Shrug

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    9. Ooo I actually haven’t seen that photo of Jon and Dany, which is great because I’m trying to avoid any major spoilers. But it does look like it may be an old one given that it looks like she’s wearing the wig/hairstyle of Season 7. I think she’ll have a more natural hair fashion for 8 since Emilia’s dyed her hair. Also, I follow Maisie on insta and two days ago she posted the weather forecast with “nightshoots” as the caption, so she’s obviously involved in these battle sequences correct? I think that was already confirmed based on a recent Interview with Maisie that WotW posted about.

      As long as we get more commonfolk interaction for season 8, I’ll be happy since it was lacking the last season. So I’m excited as to who the new cast members will be in scenes with.

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    10. First, gracias Luka for keeping the information flowing. And also for bringing a dose of reality to the hype the YouTubers need to generate to satisfy Google. Even with all the disclaimers in the world, as Mr. Derp says, fake new travels fastest. Probably sensationalistic fake news travels via jetpack. IMO, Ockham says no Nissa Nissa and no to that photo being current. It’s just too like a blown-up crop from some S7 Jon-Dany beach scene.

      Dark Sister,

      Bravo for remembering the too-easily-forgotten commonfolk. Casting news for S8 has mentioned several roles for non-prominent people, often young and in dodgy circumstances. S3-4 showed us the normal wartime devastation of the Riverlands and its effect on the smallfolk. Perhaps S8 will do the same, but for the Great War as well. And that might explain some desperation on the part of the smallfolk, perhaps leading to some (baby)steps towards democratization on the part of whomever gets to rule. It might also point to a refugee crisis, which would call for some drastic and creative solutions. Since D&D and Lena (and less Liam and Maisie) have been involved with the International Rescue Committee, I wonder if there might be some subtle in-story parallel with our present-day international immigration crisis.

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    11. Clob,
      orange,
      Stark Raven' Rad,

      OK, here is my tinfoil.
      First, I have to say that I have been thinking about the photo since I saw it and even done a bit of experiment with my own coat. What I have found, that it’s very hard to keep a coat in such a position: you have to lean backwards to the point where your back begins to ache and still it slips down unless you hold it. But Emilia Clarke/Dany is not holding the coat: her hands are clearly stretched backwards. So, I assume that the coat is held by Kit Harington or rather Jon Snow, because that’s quite intimate and, therefore, it should be an actual scene, not something between the takes.
      Besides that, bases on the length and the form of the sleaves, Dany’s attire looks the same or at least very similar to the one she wore during the Loot Train Attack and at the Dragonpit meeting. However, she wore her hair differently in all of these scenes, and none of them was filmed on the beach.
      Therefore, I think that the photo should be new, and that the scene is happening in the snow rather that on a sandy beach. The blurity of the picture may be simply explained by the assumption that it was taken by an unprofessional using a mobile phone – most of the pictures I take look even worse:)
      As for the hairstyle of the characters, we don’t know when it’s going to change, but I ecpect it happening after some pivotal event making Jon to accept his Targarian nature and that should happen around Ep 3. Therefore, the only thing we can make from Jon’s man bun is that the scene should be happening in the first half of the season.

      However, although I assume that the photo is legit, the story arroud it sounds like a total nonsense, because what do we see? Jon and Dany are standing in the snow; Jon, protective as always, is trying to wrap her into his cape (yes, I think it’s his cape), and Dany is leaning backwards in refusal. Most probably, they are having an arguement about their gender roles, which should be inevitable at some point after Jon learns about his parentage and Dany discovers her pregnancy. But one way or another, Jon covering Dany with his cape goes totally against the whole “Nissa Nissa bare your breast” thing. Either the leaker decided that the photo is not sensational enough and made up the story or the crew spotted him and did some trolling. After all, Nissa Nissa has never been mentioned in the show: the only prophesy we’ve heard was that a warrior would take a sword from the fire. That sword could have been Longclaw which was taken from the fire and remade for Jon; that could have been Jon himself who was taken from the fire of war, or that may still happen, cause Jon loses his sword regularly and there is a good chance that he will accidently drop Longclaw into the fire during the final battle, too.

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    12. Huge green screen next to the gates.
      Not difficult to think of a dragon attack.
      Problem is Danny? or Night King?

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    13. Inga: the only prophesy we’ve heard was that a warrior would take a sword from the fire. That sword could have been Longclaw which was taken from the fire and remade for Jon; that could have been Jon himself who was taken from the fire of war, or that may still happen, cause Jon loses his sword regularly and there is a good chance that he will accidently drop Longclaw into the fire during the final battle, too.

      If there is some kind of sword out there that’s even more special than the Valerian Steel ones that are already known, then it’s gotta be Heartsbane. That’s a “hung gun” that hasn’t been fired yet.

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    14. Colin Armfield:
      Huge green screen next to the gates.
      Not difficult to think of a dragon attack.
      Problem is Danny? or Night King?

      That’s not what green screens are for.

      The green screen is there because the Belfast harbor views will be substituted with appropriate King’s Landing walls and greenery. Or, well, maybe just snow, we’ll see.

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    15. Mr Derp,

      My tinfoil tthery is that Heartsbane will be reforged into spearheads which will be used to kill undead Viserion. IMO, dragonglass won’t work: from what we saw dragonglass spearheds couldn’t cut through the WW’s armor and therefore scales of the dragon might be a problem too. They might need a VS arrowhead to pierce through them and Heartsbane practically is the only sword which could be sacrificed for that purpose. Longclaw is need for the battle and so is Oathkeeper. Widow’s Veil is the only other option, as Jaime is not all that good with a sword anymore. But still he’ll need it to protect himself and others.
      I believe that Jaime won’t make it to WF before the NK lays the siege. I’d rather say that he has been set up to arrive later and lift up the siege, as well as the Dothraki who should have been left alone on the King’s Road for a reason, too. Jaime taking command over the Dothraki horde might be too poetic, but anyway the setup implies that the Dothraki and Jaime’s forces will get into some skirmish outside Winterfell and spoilers about some filming at Saintfield might point towards that, too.

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    16. Mr Derp: If there is some kind of sword out there that’s even more special than the Valerian Steel ones that are already known, then it’s gotta be Heartsbane. That’s a “hung gun” that hasn’t been fired yet.

      I don’t think I can consider Heartsbane as ‘more special’ than Longclaw. Ignoring what we’ve seen/read of the uses within the timeline of the story, which would make Longclaw the most special, they’re basically even. Heartsbane is much like Ice was, a large ancestral Valyrian steel greatsword of a proud House. Longclaw is also an ancestral VS sword of a House, just slightly smaller since it’s a long or bastard sword. Really the only sword in the story that would make sense to turn out as more special than one of or any of the Valyrian steel swords would be Dawn, forged from a meteorite. While it hasn’t been spoken about on the show they did show it close up a couple of times — Easter egg, red herring, nothing… I don’t know.

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    17. I didn’t think Kit was that much taller than Emilia as the photo shows (5’7″ and 5’2″) – must be the angle or how they’re standing.

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    18. Clob,

      Yea, who knows at this point other than those who have read the scripts. I just think there’s gotta be a reason why Heartsbane has been kept on the side for the last season and a half despite the fact that it’s a Valerian Steel sword. To me, it would be kind of lame to just, say, give it to Sandor or Jorah to use and thats it. My gut feeling says there’s more to the sword than that. At least if there’s some sort of prophecy of a flaming sword or whatever. I don’t know either, lol.

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    19. Colin Armfield,

      I’m pretty sure that the gate of KL will be breached by the Night King. Dany has no more need or reason to make a straightforward breach. Team Targ-Stark United includes a number of people capable of sneaking into KL and opening the gate from within: Varys, Tyrion, and Davos know a lot about secret passages, so does Arya, and Gendry might be even able to rally some of his old friends for the cause. Moreover, there will be Jaime who should maintain at least some loyalty from the Lannister forces. In short, twenty good men opening KL gates for Jon & Dany would be a much more natural scenario, if there’s time for that to unfold. However, it looks like it’s going to be prevented by the arrival of the Night King and his wightified army.

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    20. Pigeon,

      I guess it’s standing. Emilia has to be leaning very far backwards and even bending her knees a bit to keep that coat (or cape) in its position. That’s why Kit looks towering above her.

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    21. And with all this talk about “where the heart is”, plus the fact that the NK has a dragonglass dagger in his heart, the name of the sword is Heartsbane, etc., I just think they’re all related somehow, though I have no idea how yet.

      On the other hand, Sandor did say that he’s always wanted some Valyrian steel, so that could be foreshadowing that it’ll go to Sandor.

      Also, Sam and Jorah had a nice bonding moment last season, so Heartsbane could go to him too.

      To me, it all depends on how legit this sword in the flames prophecy is or whether or not there’s a particular sword that will be key in stopping the NK. If there is, I firmly believe it’s Heartbane, regardless of who wields it.

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    22. Mr Derp,

      Sandor may pick Widow’s Veil after Jaime dies: it’s a fair guess that while Jaime will be dealing with Cersei, Sandor will be dealing with his big wight brother. After all, every bad plan has some Lannister c* behind it and some Clegane c* to pull it through.

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    23. Inga: Sandor may pick Widow’s Veil

      Widow’s WAIL

      Mr Derp,
      I don’t know.
      Maybe they should melt them all together and create a number of identical longswords that contain any or all magics within each. 🙂
      Perhaps a couple more book-named Valyrian steel swords can pop up too.

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    24. Inga,

      It’s clearly a bts shot. People on sets(got as well) have been known to wear these types of coats and Emilia’s wearing it backward to protect her hair or she’d get in a fight with the hair department. She’s probably keeping it secured to her by pushing her elbows into her body as you can see them pulled back a bit. Kit also seems to be sitting on some modern contraption. Jon is never that much taller than Dany in any scene. There’s no indication that anyone is filming and the mic and the other dude are actually facing away from them. Who even wraps a cloak around someone facing their front? You can also very clearly see that Kit has right arm down and his left arm looks to be down as well!

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    25. Lol, all of this speculation on body positioning in the photo is reminding me of the “back and to the left” analysis from the movie JFK.

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    26. ,

      OK, if you say so. I know too little about filming to argue about coats – I can just say that it’s rather hard to secure a coat with elbows standing like that. And I don’t see Kit sitting, though there might be some object covering his leg and distorting its shape. Anyway, even if it’s a bts photo, it should be recent. Jon has never been seen wearing Longclaw or it’s scabbard on a beach in a scene shared with Dany, except of his departure to Eastwatch, but Dany had a different hairstyle and a different attire there, and there was no white tent, and everything else was rather different. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCQDu6JGp0M

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    27. Mr Derp,
      Clob,

      I too thought about Dawn in one of my tinfoil theories regarding the PTWP as I thought it could potentially be a literal prophecy: “The prince/princess that was promised will bring the Dawn.” But, as Clob mentioned, perhaps it was just an easter egg in S6E10 and won’t be making another appearance. However, if I recall, where Valyrian swords are darker than regular swords, I believe Dawn is described being lighter because it contains milkglass? I can’t remember properly…. But hey, what better sword to participate in the War for the Dawn than the “Sword of the Morning”?

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    28. Dark Sister:
      Mr Derp,
      Clob,

      Dawn is an interesting prospect – while in book!verse Ned returned it to House Dayne after the Rebellion, this has NOT been established in show!verse. So they could perhaps get around the lack of living Daynes in the show by having Ned return it to Winterfell, but hide it (maybe in the crypts given they seemingly weren’t destroyed by the Boltons) rather than actually use it?

      A bit tinfoily, but a way in which they could retcon it with limited explanation – all it would need is Bran recognizing the sword and commenting that he’d seen Ned take Dawn into the ToJ with him.

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    29. Inga,

      Well then, I’ll toss my tinfoil hat into the ring:
      Arya pulls that nifty VS dagger flip move on Ol’ Blue Eyes and slashes his neck. He disintegrates into pixie dust.

      All hail Queen Arya. Long may she reign!

      The End

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    30. Mr Derp,

      “And with all this talk about “where the heart is”, plus the fact that the NK has a dragonglass dagger in his heart, the name of the sword is Heartsbane, etc., I just think they’re all related somehow, though I have no idea how yet.

      On the other hand, Sandor did say that he’s always wanted some Valyrian steel, so that could be foreshadowing that it’ll go to Sandor.”
      ________________
      I cling to the flimsy tinfoil hope that Sandor gets Oathkeeper and ignites the blood he left on its blade in S4e10.

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    31. Clob,

      I want Sam to discover the secret recipe for the CotF’s Holy Hand Grenades of Antioch. And then devise improvised Rocket Propelled Grenades, and figure out how to turn pulverized dragonglass into napalm-like substance. If Sam can cure greyscale just by following instructions in a book, surely he can master chemistry and become the Wizard of Warfare.

      (As you may have guessed, I’m into pyrotechnics. I wanna see a light show in the night sky! I wanna see stars bleed already!)

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    32. Inga,

      Well done, both for your first tinfoil (legitimacy of the photo and what it may/may not signify) and your second. The idea of Heartsbane being turned into spearheads or one giant spearhead is fascinating. That would certainly make use of Gendry’s skills. If it were only one or a few spearheads, that would parallel the NK’s arsenal before he downed Viserion. But could a non-supernatural defender make that kind of javelin toss (Sandor or Tormund)? If by any chance the Northern forces get hold of a ballista, that would work. Perhaps something downs Viserion (like Drogon being injured in FoF 2.0), and Jaime (if he’s there) charges him with that spear/lance. Or another tourney-veteran like Sandor or Jorah or possibly Beric could make such a charge.

      I still think Sam is likely to give/loan Heartsbane to Jorah or Sandor. My ideal scenario is that someone convinces Wolkan to contribute the VS link on his Maester’s chain to make an arrowhead. And he ravens the Citadel to do the same. So prior to some critical moment a shipment of VS arrives and Gendry forges some fantastic weapons as well as arrowheads. Because those are presumably lighter than dragonglass, they can probably go further, and suddenly the archers become very deadly to the White Walkers, who usually stay back with the NK.

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    33. Stark Raven’ Rad,

      Interesting. My own personal assumption is that we’ve already seen all the Valyrian Steel that we’re gonna see, otherwise it would lessen the significance of the characters whom already wield VS swords. Though, I do believe that Gendry will be critically important to forging the mined dragonglass into spears/weapons.

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    34. Inga,

      That’s not longclaw in a scabbard, that’s the leg of the stool-like contraption he is resting on or sitting on. If you zoom in, it’s very clear a folding stool or prop.

      I would bet money on this being a shot from last year’s filming at Zumaia. The ground-cover has a sea-smoothed sand-like quality to it, rather than the rougher, fluffier texture fake-Snow would have. The shot has just had the levels altered to bring out the whites to make it look like snow.

      Also, aren’t we all imagining Dany to have shorter hair next year due to her chopping off her own hair and dyeing it Dany-blonde?

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    35. Mr Derp,

      To further the validity of this theory, recall that in season 3 we saw Anguy approach Gendry with making arrowheads that could pierce armor. And of course, we also had Arya taking some archery tips from Anguy and later, in 7×06, she talks about her archery skills with Sansa. So methinks we have at least one of our star archers lined up! 🙂

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    36. I thought the sword’s name was Widow’s Wail (not veil).

      If a valerian steel weapon is made to kill Viserion won’t it be for a spear on the ballista?

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    37. Clob,

      It took me a while to remember S1e1 Bran getting shown up by his sister. Good one!

      PS I hope Edmure doesn’t come back and try his archery skills again either.

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    38. Mr Derp,

      Enharmony1625,

      Mr Derp, I agree it’s unlikely more VS will show up. I can’t help but hope that it does happen–the Maesters will surely get get ravened distress calls and realise their Wall reliability guarantees went tits up. They might even have some VS stashed for links for future Maesters. They could redeem themselves and help the realm by collecting the VS at the Citadel and shipping it North. Enharmony, I was indeed thinking of Arya–her archery accuracy was mentioned or shown three times, which is tantamount to foreshadowing. It would be lovely to see Theon show up and contribute in a big way. Who knows–maybe Anguy will too. I’d love to see those three peppering the foes. If Bronn’s around, he could join them–he was good with a ballista. Maybe enough of Ramsay’s archers are left to flesh out a proper contingent of archers. On the parapets that would prove effective against both the GC and the AotD. By the way, do either of you know if shaping glass = forging? I suspect Gendry can do both, but from the DG weapons we saw, it looked like they were made by chiselling or chipping.

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    39. Mr Derp: And with all this talk about “where the heart is”, plus the fact that the NK has a dragonglass dagger in his heart, the name of the sword is Heartsbane, etc., I just think they’re all related somehow, though I have no idea how yet.

      On the other hand, Sandor did say that he’s always wanted some Valyrian steel, so that could be foreshadowing that it’ll go to Sandor.

      I think it would be interesting if Sandor ended up with Heartsbane, and teamed up with Arya, Brienne and Jaime on some mission.

      Perhaps the Night King will leave army #1 to deal with the North, while flying south to create Army of the Dead 2.0 in the South to take King’s Landing (but maybe not personally stick around very long if Qyburn’s scorpions start lobbing dragonglass bolts in his general direction). Arya, Sandor, Brienne & Jaime heading south to rescue King’s Landing from the dead would give them an opportunity to put their Valyrian steel weapons to good use and put them in proximity to Cersei & Gregor, which would provide interesting opportunities. Urban combat in a wight-occupied city, hunting the white walker leaders also seems like a better use of Arya’s fighting style than mass battle in an open field.

      I can’t imagine Cersei leaving King’s Landing unless she had absolutely no other choice, and I can’t imagine her spending the whole final season interacting with no other major characters, so it seems like major characters will have to go to her.

      I also don’t imagine it will be all Northern action in the first part of the season, and then all Southern later (or vice versa). I think there will be significant action in both places throughout the season, and the only ways I can see that happening are:

      1) The Night King attacks both simultaneously (which makes sense strategically for him because rather than stretching his forces thinner, it potentially grows them a lot by “recruiting” defenseless Southern smallfolk)

      or

      2) Jaime warns Jon and Daenerys about Cersei’s betrayal, and they leave the Dothraki and/or Unsullied in the South to deal with Cersei, and also because there’s not enough food for them in the North anyway. Actually, the South might have some food problems too, after the loot train battle. Blackfish had stockpiled some food at Riverrun before he died, but who knows what the Freys did with it, and for that matter we don’t even know who’s holding Riverrun now, with all the Freys who mattered dead.

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    40. Che,

      With respect, but that’s a scabbard, not a leg of a stool. You can see the whole sword, if you look carefully: the pommel and the handle are quite visible.

      As for the ground-cover, it looks nothing like the beach of Zumaia. There the sand was very smooth and even, but in the photo you can see a lot of larger particles on the ground: could be stones or rather pieces of frozen dirt/ice/snow similar to the one we saw in the scene where Davos found about Shireen in Ep 609 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxz8Q-QPkQo).

      And in general, Jon and Dany had 3 scenes on the beach: 2 in Ep 704 (before and after the cave scene) and 1 in Ep 705, when Jon was leaving to Eastwatch. In all of them, Dany had a different hairdo and a different attire. Her hair were made in a tail secured with braids and the pin with the three-headed dragon. However, there is no sign of the pin in this photo and her dress looks longer: it goes almost down to her heels like the attire she wore during the Loot Train Attack and the Dragonpit meeting; the dress she wore on the beach (it was the same dress, just with two different capes) was shorter. As for Jon, he wore his man bun very tight, whereas in this photo his hair look messy and a bit longer than in S7. I add the links to relevant scenes on the beach:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCQDu6JGp0M&t=186s
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wrNrakbqdU
      And the fact that Emilia dyed her hair doesn’t mean that Dany will change her hairdo: the hairdressers may use extensions and other tricks to maintain the same hairlength. And if Dany cuts her hair short, that will hardly come out of the blue. Something major has to happen for her to do that, which means that at least in the beginning of the season we’ll be seeing her hair the old way.

      All in all, I wouldn’t bet money on Zumaia, if I were you. The photo is definitely new and the only other exlanation is that it’s a total fake. I guess it wouldn’t be a problem to get costumes or find people alike Kit and Emilia. With some background decoration all that could pass for an actual set on a blury photo and someone might count on getting a lot of cash for the subsequent ones, after the first went viral. But somehow I don’t think that’s the case, too.

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    41. Apollo,

      Interesting. As for me it looks like some sort of train or simply people transporting something big. Might be a siege engine: a ram or a trebushet. And I think I can see some round shields like the ones carried by the Stark soldiers or the Knights of the Vale, but these may be someone else – like the Golden Company for instance. Anyway, it might be a part of a siege sequence. Most probably, Winterfell but KL cannot be excluded, too. Or something else entirely:)

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    42. Inga,

      I initially thought the same, but if you’re talking about that large object with a long protrusion, it’s a lifting platform used by the crew that can be seen in earlier photos from the site. There’s definitely something being filmed as there are horses visible.

      Edit: I’ve changed my mind (again), could indeed be a siege device. And now I’m not so sure I can see horses!! 🙈

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    43. Apollo,

      i knew that there behind the green scenes will be a battle…Who they are fighting…WW or Humans?And what is this flying or jumping thing [doesnt look like a dragon]in the third pic…close to the green screen ?a jumping direwolf or a horse?I see also some white heads …there…in the fourth pic..one WW[right] is looking full_face at the camera..It looks like the WW guy who Jon killed in Hardhome in S5..Also there is a trebushet or a catapult ..The pics are so blurred
      Inga,

      this is probably Winterfell

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    44. Inga,

      Artemisia,

      It’s so hard to glean much from the photos.. in one of the shots it appears as if there are indeed people loading or moving the trebuchet. I’m not sure if that’s a small boat to the far end, that object climbing the wall is a mystery and I can now see a horse again at the far left.

      In the third photo (the blurriest), it looks like the NK to the left of the crane.

      All speculation of course! 😝

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    45. Apollo: It’s so hard to glean much from the photos.. in one of the shots it appears as if there are indeed people loading or moving the trebuchet.

      That’s a film crane, not a trebuchet.

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    46. Perhaps Gendry will re-forge Heartsbane into balista bolts which will be used to attack or kill either Visarion or the Night King.
      Rather than spending time out of only 6 episodes explaining how to make Valeriyan steel.

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    47. Colin Armfield,

      I must be the only one who doesn’t think Gendry will be forging weapons in S8. I suspect Gendry’s whingeathon in S7 may have been a set up for an awkward reunion with Melisandre and Arya.
      “You’re a witch! I knew you were going to try to hurt him!”
      “The Lord of Light made us man and woman to join together to make life.”
      “You’re such a ho. You f*cked him, didn’t you.”
      “I only do what the Lord of Light comm—”
      (Dagger to the throat shuts her up. As she bleeds out she reverts to her true 100+ year old form. Gendry throws up.)

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    48. Stark Raven' Rad,

      My guess is that there would be some transferrable skills between the two, but like you said, the Dragonglass weapons we’ve seen thus far look to have been made by chipping and chiselling (being that DG is actually volcanic rock). So I imagine Gendry will be able to work with it to make arrowheads and daggers.

      I’m also curious to find out if they’re going to do anything with Needle, because as it is now it’s pretty much useless against the WW and the AotD. Of course Arya can use Needle to deflect and Catspaw for the kill, but it might make sense to augment Needle with DG or VS to make it a more effective weapon. Although DG is probably too brittle to be used in this way.

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    49. Colin Armfield: Huge green screen next to the gates.
      Not difficult to think of a dragon attack.

      Green screens could mean anything, not just dragons. Indeed, it really could be almost anything: there are few “big” things that do not demand green screen use.

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    50. Stark Raven' Rad: I was indeed thinking of Arya–her archery accuracy was mentioned or shown three times, which is tantamount to foreshadowing.

      They showed that only once in Season 1. That’s not enough to qualify as a gun-hanging.

      Enharmony1625: So I imagine Gendry will be able to work with it to make arrowheads and daggers.

      Metallurgy and working with stone are very, very different skill sets! Moreover, working with different types of stone requires different skill-sets: a stone mason would have little experience working with obsidian, for example.

      It would be the Wildlings who would be more apt to have people skilled with working with obsidian, chert, and other things like that.

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    51. I suspect the photo of Dany and Jon is from one of the upcoming spin-offs, perhaps Beach Blanket Braavos or The Real Housewives of Lannisport.

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    52. I can’t see Viserion being killed by dragon glass, since dragons created the material. Wouldn’t it only be possible to kill him with Valerion steel?

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    53. Inga,

      I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. The photo is far too grainy and blurry to make out too much detail such as pommels and pins. I see a pale-ish smudge where a pommel might be, but I see the same on the other side of his chest. Also, I looked back to filming photos of Zumaia and the beach could definitely have this texture where it’s been disturbed by crew and cast (if you look at where the ground cover is seen outside the tent in the top right of the picture, it looks orange/yellow like sand, where the changing levels haven’t been able to fully make it appear grey/white. I also definitely see a stool. The front part of it – which I think is mistaken for his leg – is at totally the wrong angle for his leg (follow it up to his hip – it can’t work) and it lacks a foot. There are also horizontal parts coming out from the shape you see as the scabbard and the bit that could be mistaken for his leg. Kit is not that much taller than Emilia, he is perched on something here. As for the length of her dress – that could easily be her cape, which did reach nearly to the floor and her hair looked very similar to this in the cave scenes – then out onto the beach. To me, Kit’s man bun looks the same as it did last season.

      But I think this is going to very much be one of those situations where the photo is so grainy and blurry that we will all see what we want to see. It’s the “gold and white/blue and black” dress of the GOT world.

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    54. Wimsey: They showed that only once in Season 1.That’s not enough to qualify as a gun-hanging.

      Hi Wimsey. Good to see you. The first was in Episode 1 when Arya hit the bullseye from behind Bran. That took guts…and accuracy. The second was in Season 3. In an archery lesson with Anguy she shot arrows at a man shaped-target and hit “Face. Tits. Balls”. He pointed out that whilst she was accurate, she was slow. The third was in Season 7 when she told Sansa that as a kid she secretly shot one arrow 50 times before finally hitting the bullseye, and getting Ned’s approval for her perseverance. Arya has always practiced AND persevered. IMO, three mentions of her striving to master archery constitutes a hint that she will succeed and eventually use that skill.

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    55. Che,

      The yellow color of the surface beyond the tent may very well be the result of light. However, I do agree that Jon doesn’t look exactly like Kit Harington in this photo: it’s not only the size, but also the face (that’s why I came with a theory that this photo may be totally fake, though that’s might be a body double, too). And I do agree that Jon’s leg looks strange, probably because the microphone and maybe some other object blends with its view, but there’s no stool: foldable stools and mini-ladders have very different proportions and outlook. Anyway, we don’t have to agree to disagree: we simply have to wait till the next season and see. Peace.

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    56. Wimsey:
      Metallurgy and working with stone are very, very different skill sets!Moreover, working with different types of stone requires different skill-sets: a stone mason would have little experience working with obsidian, for example.

      It would be the Wildlings who would be more apt to have people skilled with working with obsidian, chert, and other things like that.

      Good to know! Although I could kind of see the show glossing over this and making Gendry be able to work with Dragonglass nonetheless to simplify and streamline things.

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    57. Great article although oddly I didn’t receive any email notification that it was published unlike most others.

      Regarding the action sequences and Saintfield wasn’t there some talk of the unsullied filming elsewhere? My guess is they head out to battle with the Whitewalkers and are unsuccessful in the field.

      Regarding the mother and twins, could this be from one of the northern strongholds of Karstark and Umber? We were expecting these to be attacked early and this would give a human element to the slaughter. Although given shooting timelines I’m guessing this is kingslanding given we haven’t seen any filming taking place at this huge set yet.

      Regarding the Jon/Dany photo I saw this posted on twitter and it comes from a guy who I feel isn’t very untrustworthy. I’ve seen some of his youtube videos and he makes claims that he has inside sources and all were wrong, I’m sure he said he had leaked scripts for S7 and S8 also. Irrespective of the source my first reaction when I saw it on twitter was that this was from S7 given how both characters look.

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    58. Guest,

      Agreed. Given the high security on the set this year – I suspect no one is being allowed to photograph anything on set unless paid to and they are being monitored. Unless the pizza delivery guy got a peek and took a quick snap while waiting for payment, I highly doubt anyone is going to risk their jobs and reputation for a cheap shot that basically tells us nothing.

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    59. Exactly Kathy, other than a couple of photos in Dubrovnik which are not hugely spoilery (just showing two characters meeting) nothing has come out so far despite being over half way through filming. Long may this continue in my eyes as I’ve often felt that leaks have come from set photos and extras rather than core staff.

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    60. Clob,

      Mr Derp,

      Dark Sister,

      Know I’m a little late to the party, but just wanted to put in my two cents about Dawn! While I’m not wholly convinced that it’ll show its face in the show (at least to the point where they tell us that this is Dawn), I am kinda convinced of one theory I’ve heard.

      I believe Dawn is with Beric, both in the books and on the show. In the books, Beric was travelling with some of the last known Daynes, one of them being the heir to Starfall (his squire), so Dawn could have certainly been in his or someone in his camp’s possession before Beric died. In the show, apparently Beric’s sword is never fully shown, and its pommel is always hidden. Then once they showed us the ToJ scene and showed us Dawn’s pommel, apparently there is a scene where you can see part of Beric’s pommel and it looks the same.

      I’m not entirely convinced that Dawn will be a big player in S8, and it could have been shown to us just for some eagle-eyed viewer fan service, but I am on the train that Beric has Dawn. The tinfoil theory around this is that maybe once Beric inevitably bites the dust (and perhaps after Jon would somehow lose Longclaw), he takes up Dawn and is able to kill the Night King. Again, not sure if I believe this, but if there is a special weapon needed to kill the Night King, my money is on either Longclaw, Dawn or maybe Arya’s dagger. Or they must somehow go at some medieval operation and take the dragonglass out of the Night King’s heart.

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    61. Jaehaerys,

      Well, I can’t get my comment to post with picture links. Dumb
      What I was saying is that I like the idea of Beric having Dawn if it ends up important rather than it just showing up out of the blue. While it doesn’t prove he doesn’t have it, we did see some decent shots of his sword he lights beyond the Wall last season. That one has an identifiably different guard on it. One image show the pommel as well that is also different. He could have changed them as an explanation or doesn’t use it…

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    62. Clob,

      Yeah, its definitely more of an “out-there” theory that seems less likely. Most of its traction is solely from the fact that Beric is always covering the pommel of his sword in (supposedly) every shot he’s ever been in. And then after the ToJ scene shows us the pommel, there’s a shot with Beric, Thoros and Sandor where people think they see the same pommel hanging from Beric’s sword belt. I’ve looked at the picture (if one Google’s Beric Dondarrion has Dawn, the pics will be right there), and from what I can tell the pommel is pretty hidden, but I can’t prove it one way or another. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just fan-service, because the theory that Beric had Dawn in the books has been around for quite some time.

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    63. Clob,

      The big thing that makes me think Dawn won’t be the weapon to kill the Night King is that it hasn’t really been mentioned on the show. There haven’t been any “hung guns” to show us that Dawn is way more special than other VS swords, and to my knowledge we haven’t been told in the show how Dawn was even forged from a falling star. I do think it would be so poetic and symbolic, however, that the War for Dawn would be won by the savior wielding Dawn, so I’m holding out hopes for this theory with the books.

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