Season seven hasn’t even graced our screens and yet news about season eight of Game of Thrones continue trickling in. In the coming months we will learn all about the new actors, directors, and locations of the last season, but even now it’s starting to get real: if all goes according to plan, the show is returning to film in Andalucía, Spain.
Los Siete Reinos picked up on the news first yesterday, originally from Andalucía Información: they reported on the likely return of Game of Thrones to their Southern Spanish region, according to president of the Andalucía Film Comission Carlos Rosado, who appeared on a local TV program to exalt the virtues of filming in Andalucía. Setting Game of Thrones as an exemplar, Rosado also touched on its future in Spain. When asked whether Andalucía (and its capital, Seville) would be a major location in the last season of Game of Thrones, Rosado was coy but implied it’s pretty much a done deal:
“We convinced Game of Thrones to come to our land for seasons six and seven, so I don’t think it’s pie in the sky to say that, logically, if nothing goes awry and everything bears fruit, season eight will be filmed here as well.”
Spain has been a location since season five, with the Alcázar of Seville as the Water Gardens, the Osuna bullfighting arena as Daznak’s Pit, and the Roman bridge of Córdoba as the Long Bridge of Volantis, which returned in season six along with additions such as the Zafra Castle as the Tower of Joy, the Santa Florentina Castle as Horn Hill, and the Girona Cathedral as the Great Sept, before Cersei… redecorated it.
If you followed season seven news, you might have heard they returned to Andalucía, which makes a striking appearance in the trailer’s closing shot, with a dragon leading the Dothraki to battle, as you can also see in the promo picture at the top. This time they also filmed up north, in my very own Basque Country, which we can see in the trailer too, as the lands around Dragonstone and the winding stairs leading to it:
With such a wealth of locations, a move elsewhere seems unlikely, despite the arrival of winter in Westeros. It’s not just the producers who must be happy with the results: by all accounts, the many managers and owners of these locations are left satisfied as well. In a recent trip I made to the Santa Florentina Castle in Barcelona, the tour guide assured us the crew went above and beyond the call of duty. Avoiding any damage to the location is a must, of course, but reportedly they went as far as polishing the floors before leaving with their massive crew, which numbered in the hundreds, all for less than a week of shooting for the Horn Hill scenes in the episode Blood of My Blood.
And they can afford it! Game of Thrones is not only the largest TV production there is in the world but also one of the most popular, so its use of historic Spanish sites has proven to be a tourism boon for the whole country, and it appears the Andalucía Film Commission is making sure the show returns to their community at the very least.