Game of Thrones prepares for filming in Šibenik at the Fortress of St. John

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Šibenik, Croatia, is one of the new cities added to the impressively long list of Game of Thrones locations this year, and crews have arrived in town to prepare for filming.

According to Sibenik.in and several new photos (posted below), sets are under construction at the Fortress of St. John, readying the area for shooting September 15th through the 21st. The site reports that a dress rehearsal will take place in Šibenik on September 8th.

Built in 1646, the star-shaped fortress is located high above the old town center. Currently sets are being built on the inner portion of the fort. The purpose of the set is unknown, though it resembles a courtyard in progress or a minor fighting pit, from the looks of the photos below.

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    1. Might it be Meereen somehow, a scene with fighters training for the Daznak fighting pit? I… I’ve got nothing. Does anyone have any idea of what it could be?

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    2. LukaNieto,

      Deepwood Motte was my first reaction (it’s my first reaction for almost everything these days) but I don’t know what that circle would be for. Does look like a place where two would go at it.

      Maybe a slave camp for Tyrion’s storyline?

      Do we know anything about what Sibenik will be used for? My guess/hope was Volantis and Braavos but this looks like neither.

      Could it just be training grounds in Deepwood Motte?

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    3. Hoyti_Von_Totiy,

      Props look very Northern. I could see it as an interior courtyard to Deepwood if they gave it a quick blasting with a snow machine.

      Then again, why would they go to Croatia for that instead of just finding a suitable castle in Ireland? And the vegetation between the rocks like that is similar to the outer walls of Meereen.

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    4. Hoyti_Von_Totiy,

      I don’t see any snow, so I hope not. Give me some damn snow for all of the Northern scenes, D&D! I’m re-reading ‘A Game Of Thrones’ right now and the North is already below freezing and covered in snow. Had I not read the books, I would think the Starks were full of shit. #WinterIsNotComing

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    5. With the raised stage I’d guess maybe something for Brienne’s story line perhaps meeting two certain character from the book, sorry can’t do spoilers. As Brienne is going to need something to do.

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    6. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      As the Boltons approached Winterfell in S4, there was nary a snowflake to be found either….and that was corresponding to a scene in Book 5! Like you pointed out, I can see how the Starks would be viewed as “full of shit” on the show.

      It’s sort of like the current debate over global warming….is it or isn’t it coming? Is “winter” simply associated with the southward march of the White Walkers in the show and not associated with an abnormal, possibly supernatural, seasonal issue (and WW arrival) as in the books?

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    7. Filming in Croatia leads me to suspect that this set is meant to represent a location in Essos, most likely in Braavos or somewhere in Slaver’s Bay. I suppose that it’s not out of the question that they could film scenes from the Northern storyline in Croatia. But given that those have been shot almost entirely in Northern Ireland for the past few seasons, I’m not sure why they would feel the need to start filming those scenes in Croatia now.

      I’m not sure if that raised platform along the side of the courtyard is meant to be part of the set or is just something that the production team is working around. If it is meant to be part of the set, however …

      then maybe this set is for the auction where Tyrion and Jorah are sold into slavery? It’s a bit small, but that could be to keep costs down. There’s no real need for that scene to have several hundred extras.

      More likely, this is some kind of training ground. My guess is that it’ll be something in Meereen.

      Maybe Hizdhar is showing Daenerys his fighters in order to convince her to re-open the fighting pits.

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    8. Hodor’s Bastard,

      The thing that gets me is the area just south of the Wall. In season 1 it was covered in snow, but in seasons 3 and 4 it wasn’t. Is fake snow that hard to come by? Is a CG shot showing the landscape covered in snow too expensive?

      Stannis isn’t going to have a very tough time marching to Winterfell on the show if the lack of snow continues.

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    9. Looks like either Winterfell or Deepwood Motte.

      Edit: Oh, and like it’s posted above – the cage. So, that’s got to be Winterfell.

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    10. I doubt this is for any Northern location. I bet for Meereen too and since they are filming there for 6 days I also bet this is for

      Tyrion and Jorah slavery plot.

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    11. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      Sorry, but that argument was always bullshit to me. I just reread ACOK and after Autumn arrives Jon and the Night’s Watch are beyond the Wall with not a speck of snow to be found. The forests are green, the Frostfangs only have snowy crowns rather than the white wilderness that they were in the show… Basically, just because there was some summer snow in AGOT doesn’t mean that the North has to be all white all the time. The show is slowly inching towards Winter (just like the books) and I’m sure that it will have a much more sudden impact. Yes, it technically should be trickling in slowly and there should be more snow in the North (though there was a bit in the last Ramsay scene in the background), but that’s just hard to portray. I think that in the progress of the upcoming season, and throughout the seasons to come, we’ll definitely see Winter come.

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    12. dtones520,

      It isn’t confirmed to be cut, but based on information about what is included there doesn’t seem to be room for it.

      Personally I think there is a chance that Euron will make it. And we shoukd get Balon’s death, and more of Yara, but apart from that I can’t see them going into much depth at all for it.

      It’s a shame in a way, but they only have time to adapt a certain amount. I trust them to make the right decisions. I’mm really looking forward to Dorne, so if they don’t screw that up, I will let them off excluding the Iron Islands.

      As for the sets, my bet is somewhere in Essos. As others have stated I don’t really understand why they would film the Northern scenes in Croatia, so Essos seems the better bet. But you never know…

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    13. Tyrion Pimpslap,

      I don’t see any snow, so I hope not. Give me some damn snow for all of the Northern scenes…

      I agree, D&D give us damn snow for anything taking place from the Neck and northward. I figure come season 6 filming they will move the show to January 2017 premiere, being all the cold/snow shots will have to film from December through February of 2016, don’t know if they can complete post in time for a April 2016 date, it even begins snowing in the Riverland’s and KL by the end of Dances.
      The temps in December and January in Croatia do drop into the upper 30’s for highs and 20’s for lows. It will be cold enough for snow machines if the real thing doesn’t accumulate.

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    14. Didn’t barristan

      start training people to fight after dany left? I think it might be that. Plus that archway thing looks like an archway thing from meereen.

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    15. How much screentime do you think Theon/Bolton’s storyline will get in season 5?

      Its seems that Bran will only be in a few episodes and im expecting the likes of Tyrion, Kings Landing, The Wall, Arya and Dorne to have the most screentime so that obviously means some characters/storylines will be pushed to the side (a bit like Arya and Bran in season 4). Sansa is another one who i think will only be in a few episodes

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    16. Walter Harrow,

      Although Dorne will be noted in Season 5, I don’t think they will invest so much screentime (one or two scene per episode and 6-7 episodes at the end)… I think that Arya and Tyrion will have great scenes, but not many. Cersei’s arc and Winterfell-Stannis-The Wall must be the core of Season 5.

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    17. Walter Harrow:
      How much screentime do you think Theon/Bolton’s storyline will get in season 5?

      Its seems that Bran will only be in a few episodes and im expecting the likes of Tyrion, Kings Landing, The Wall, Arya and Dorne to have the most screentime so that obviously means some characters/storylines will be pushed to the side (a bit like Arya and Bran in season 4). Sansa is another one who i think will only be in a few episodes

      Arya was in 6 episodes and had the 10th overall screentime, Sandor had the 9th overall screentime in season 4 (he had a few minutes more, I guess due to the fight scenes). Not exactly pushed to the side.

      The Winterfell storyline is one of the biggest in ADWD, I don’t see how they could do it without devoting a lot of screentime to it. Theon had 2nd biggest screentime in season 2 and he’s Dan and Dave’s favorite character, why would they be limiting his screentime in the season when he’s supposed to have his big story (and that after giving him a lot of screentime in season 3, when it wasn’t necessary to give him that much screentime)? Which also takes place in Winterfell and is closely connected to the Stark legacy and the Red Wedding, issues close to the hearts of most viewers?

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    18. Hm… some of those rack things have a Bolton feel to me. I’ll be surprised if it’s not Westeros but it could be a slaver’s bay thing… surrounding trees do look more like Essos. But what is up with that platform? Either a someone is losing their head on that thing or someone is being sold.

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    19. house snow,
      Lady Wolfsbane,

      Although I am tempted to agree with you after further review (as an option to our Northern Westeros speculation),

      I will have trouble if this was Volantis, which is supposedly a “free city.” Maybe it is Yezzan zo Qaggaz’s camp near Meereen?

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    20. Hodor’s Bastard:
      Although I am tempted to agree with you after further review (as an option to our Northern Westeros speculation),

      The term “free city” doesn’t mean there’s no slavery. Volantis is explicitly said to be a slave-majority state in ADWD. Slavery is illegal in Braavos, and in the cities adjacent to it, but Volantis, Lys, etc. are enthusiastic slavers.

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    21. Sean C.,

      Well, that’s something that I’ve misinterpreted for some time now. Thanks for the clarification. I read the wiki. Fuck, shoot me now.

      “Free” – free from being a Valyrian colony, I guess.

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    22. I’ll just echo what many of you are saying… it looks northern; looks like a Bolton playground (fun times!); but due to the Croation Location it makes way more sense to be related to the

      Jorah/Tyrion slavery arc. Will Jorah get a face tat????

      Also, as for the screen time allocation next season…. I think we will get a fair amount of

      Theon and Ramsay doin the Winterfell thing. DnD will find ways to add depth to this story to build up the eventual “redemption”… Plus, they need to build the tension to Stannis/Jon and the Bolton battles. Oh, and let us not forget all the creative ways they work in “coercive sex” scenes….

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    23. Patchface,

      They (supposedly) filmed there in the first week of filming and that’s it. Though someone in the comments at WIC said that they never filmed there (and the rest of his comment checked out).

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    24. Regarding the snow in the North issue:

      Compared to the books we’ve had less snow in the North than was depicted in the books, and considerably more/earlier snow north of the wall, largely as a result of filming the one in N. Ireland and the other in Iceland. Surely that’s deliberate, to help orient a viewer visually? King’s Landing/the South is Mediterranean/sunny, the Riverlands/North are damp and green, north of the wall is covered in snow. I’m sure we’ll get snow in the North soon.

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    25. Greenjones,

      Aha, thanks! Do we know what was the location for? Some dude on a different forum claimed that it was a battle on a beach:

      “Posted 16 July 2014 – 10:34 PM
      My uncle (a dairy farmer) has had to move some of his cows because Game of Thrones is filming in one of his fields. Quinton Castle is on the right, my uncle’s farm is on the left, and they’re staging a battle scene of some sort in the field in the middle.
      ***photos attached***

      Posted 17 July 2014 – 02:09 PM
      I was thinking they might be doing something Greyjoy-related on the beach. The construction crew turned up yesterday to start work so if I get any pics I’ll put them up. Ironically the castle was repossessed last year and suggested as a location then: http://www.belfastte…a-29082301.html

      Posted 22 July 2014 – 06:21 PM
      Was down at my uncle’s today… Sadly the filming finished yesterday and they were just packing everything away. My cousin said most of the filming seemed to be down on the beach.
      The second last photo shows you the actual portaloos the cast of Game of Thrones use!
      ***More photos***”

      http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/261366-the-spoiler-filled-game-of-thrones-book-readers-thread-seriously-spoilers/page-85

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    26. @ jentario,

      So, the report about filming at Scrabo tower was total BS? I remember being reported on this site as well as on WiC, and I was under the impression that it will be used for aerial shot only…ah, well…

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    27. Since my comments are STILL ‘awaiting moderation’, I’ll try posting again without the links…

      @ Greenjones,

      Aha, thanks! Do we know what was the location for? Some dude on a different forum claimed that it was a battle on a beach:

      “Posted 16 July 2014 – 10:34 PM
      My uncle (a dairy farmer) has had to move some of his cows because Game of Thrones is filming in one of his fields. Quinton Castle is on the right, my uncle’s farm is on the left, and they’re staging a battle scene of some sort in the field in the middle.
      ***photos attached***

      Posted 17 July 2014 – 02:09 PM
      I was thinking they might be doing something Greyjoy-related on the beach. The construction crew turned up yesterday to start work so if I get any pics I’ll put them up. Ironically the castle was repossessed last year and suggested as a location then:

      Posted 22 July 2014 – 06:21 PM
      Was down at my uncle’s today… Sadly the filming finished yesterday and they were just packing everything away. My cousin said most of the filming seemed to be down on the beach.
      The second last photo shows you the actual portaloos the cast of Game of Thrones use!
      ***More photos***”

        Quote  Reply

    28. Patchface,

      Cool info (would have been nice if we’d have spotted it two months ago). Anyway, a fight scene on the beach… I don’t know, honestly

      And we don’t know for sure about the tower

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    29. Jent,

      I remember reports about a beach fight! But it was linked with NWC. And the Tower was not used for any inside shots for sure as it is reported in repair. No actors reported there either. Just signs along the road. All info read on this site or the previous wic.

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    30. jentario,

      I just stumbled upon it myself. Maybe someone with access to that forum could get the pictures for us as well? I would like to see whatever is there, before we start speculating…

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    31. Strider,

      I checked the reports, and both WiC and this site reported seeing pink signs GoT but no crew. WiC also speculated that any filming would be done “outside” because as you pointed out the tower is closed to the public due to electrical problems or something of the sort. As jent noted, some commentator said the pink GoT signs were actually for Quintin Castle, not Scrabo Tower.

      However, I do recall reading some newspaper article about a “aerial shots” for Scrabo Tower, but I don’t remember exactly where I read that, it was an old fashioned newspaper though…

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    32. Hodor’s Bastard:
      Sean C.,

      Well, that’s something that I’ve misinterpreted for some time now. Thanks for the clarification. I read the wiki. Fuck, shoot me now.

      “Free” – free from being a Valyrian colony, I guess.

      Yep. Think of them like the Italian City-States.

        Quote  Reply

    33. I don’t think this will be either Deepwood Motte, nor Meereen fighting pits. The natural flora around the site doesn’t fit the North, nor Meereen. Iron Islands? Might be, but I also doubt it based on the flora – not craggy/rocky enough,

      Another idea, totally out of left field:

      We all know quite certainly that they will show Cersei’s walk of shame. If this happens early enough in the season, maybe they plan to move ahead of the books and show Cersei vs. Margaery’s trial by combat with Un-Gregor and whomever. Long shot, but again, the flora that is consistent with prior filming of King’s Landing would support this theory…

        Quote  Reply

    34. oppo,

      sorry – first post, and it was screwed up. was also going to suggest as a possible candidate:

      Although the flora does not fit the Iron Islands, perhaps

      if the show intends to get into the Kingsmoot, this might fit as a location.

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    35. Hoyti_Von_Totiy:
      The set has a “north” vibe to it …

      I got the same vibe, actually. But I am perfectly aware I was influenced by the whole site (trees above the pit included, which are too northern green for Meereen in my opinion)

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    36. oppo,

      I think they’re probably not gonna want to rush through that material too much or the chronology would get fucked up with other storylines

      oppo,

      I don’t think it looks like the Iron Islands, no. Perhaps Volantis (since we haven’t really seen that in the show yet) or Sunspear.

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    37. oppo:
      I don’t think this will be either Deepwood Motte,nor Meereen fighting pits. The natural flora around the site doesn’t fit the North, nor Meereen. Iron Islands? Might be, but I also doubt it based on the flora – not craggy/rocky enough,

      Another idea, totally out of left field:

      I can’t see this happening simply because a) there’s a ton to do to get her to this point (meet the new High Septon, re-establish her sleeping around, fighting with Marg, imprisonment, etc) and b) it’s such a great ending because it is climatic but leaves the trial as a cliffhanger.

        Quote  Reply

    38. jentario,

      I doubt Sunspear. The “word on the street” is the Spain location for that. I can buy Volantis. This would be especially likely if we glimpse Dinklage on this set!

        Quote  Reply

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