More Game of Thrones prequel filming news and set photos; cast members spotted in Northern Ireland!

7x04 Jon Daenerys Dragonstone Caves

Feeling the post Game of Thrones blues? We are here to ease your withdrawal pain with some news about the prequel series – reportedly titled (though most likely just codenamed) Bloodmoon – currently filming in a rather intriguing location.

BelfastLive is reporting that the prequel crew is currently at the popular Marble Arch Caves geopark in Northern Ireland for a two week shoot for the greenlit pilot, from June 17th to 26th. A production source is quoted as saying, “There’s a lot of hustle and bustle. There’s been a lot of work done on the grounds, for example, portacabins. Security is closing from the entrance of the caves which to me suggests they may be using the landscape more so than the cave. It’s a big enough operation.”

The site is beautiful, and an interesting choice. The prequel will take place during the Age of Heroes and will tell the story of the origin of the White Walkers and the Long Night. The use of caves brings to mind the Children of the Forest, as well as the caves on Dragonstone where Jon Snow mined dragonglass and discovered drawings about the Children and First Men coming together to fight the White Walkers.

Marble Arch park

Marble Arch Cave

According to the source, more of the filming will take place in the park, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see the caves as well. Earlier this month, Twitter user A Red Priestess shared some photos of what looks to be a cave system set being constructed.

As she mentions in her tweet, the photos were actually taken on May 20th, so they could be completed by now. If they will be used to show cave drawings or dragonglass being mined, it would certainly make sense to construct a replica of the real caves. 


Speaking of photos, we have some screenshots from Georgie Henley‘s Instagram stories to share. Henley was spotted in Northern Ireland earlier this month along with a few other cast members, and posted videos with Alex Sharp and possibly Ivanno Jeremiah

Alex Sharp Ivanno Jeremiah

She also shared a video of Marquis Rodriguez doing the worm next to Naomi Ackie.

Marquis Rodriguez

Finally, Rodriguez shared his own Instagram story, which appears to be a video from his hotel room. It’s difficult to say for certain, but this could be the Lough Erne Resort near Marble Arch Caves. Wherever it is, they seem to all be having a wonderful time!


36 responses

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    1. High hopes!! It’s nice to see they’re using a(some) location(s) also used in GoT since they had so many great ones.

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    2. I just don’t see the point of this prequel. We already know how dissapointing it ends. We know that the WW are no threat in the future, except for the free folk and some weird man turning into wood. They can’t even take Winterfell.

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    3. mau:
      I think this will air in April 2021.

      That feels far too late surely? I would guess we are looking at the second half of next year more likely with production towards end of this one if it’s signed off as seems likely.

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    4. Tomás Ivan Pastore,

      Then why the hell even comment on the article, it clearly says in the title prequel news, so it’s not like you got here by accident or anyone forced you to, and don’t speak for everyone, just because YOU don’t care to see their origins doesn’t mean that’s the same for the rest of the world, in fact a lot of people complained that we never had any motivations for the NK or the WWs in the main show and why they decided to turn on the Children and turn everyone else into the dead, this is the perfect opportunity to flesh that out and also develop some new interesting characters and plotlines alongside it, their ending in the show has nothing to do with anything, but i guess you’re just one of those persons that just has to spread any type of negativity on any place you can for some odd reason .

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    5. Also, i hope people aren’t expecting this series to be a political one like GOT was so they won’t be dissappointed, even in the plot summary it says that it’s mostly going to be focused on the magical and mythical aspects of Westeros and maybe other continents, i’m sure they are going to be some political things in it but i think this is going to be more fantasy like than GOT was at the begginning .

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    6. Very fair point Tomás, although since this seems to be focusing in on the NK/WW/AotD, hopefully it’ll kinda make up for that? I want to really see the consequences of failing to kill the Night King the night he arrives. Of course I wanted that in GoT, but perhaps they allowed that to be abbreviated because they knew this was coming, and it apparently took those 55 crazy nights to get that one episode (I’m still not very happy about it, but…) It’s got to provide more secrets, info, answers. Also still a bit more excited for an Essos/Valyra-based prequel between this one and GoT, but it seems certain there will be more (especially if the first one is good.)

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    7. I really hope this is a sprawling epic like the original series and I hope there is a storyline in Essos. Being that they’re shooting in the Canary Islands and there’s a bunch of lead black roles that have been cast, my guess is they are starting with a character in the Summer Islands who will leave and maybe travel throughout Essos.

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    8. Thanks Vanessa for the news.

      As you say in the article, the site looks beautiful.

      I’m hoping there will be a community of “The Children of the Forest”. LEAF’s makeup was one of my favorites, and it would be interesting to learn more about what their culture was like.

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    9. And so the saga begins anew 😉

      The publicity has been saying the story will change how we view Westeros’s history, presumably including how we regard the whole thing with the Night King, White Walkers etc in GoT too. I’ve said before that GoT’s Night King storyline was a red herring, especially given GRRM’s earlier comments about humans being the real monsters of his epic. So we may get the full picture only after we’ve seen the prequel.

      Wild guess: Considering Jon’s repeated statements about there not being an afterlife, along with the intriguing scene a few seasons ago depicting the Night King’s gentle behaviour towards the baby he’d taken, perhaps the twist will be that the Night King’s actions have been motivated by a misguided wish to give humans the closest thing they’ll ever get to immortality. It’s a mirror image of Dany: “Liberating” humans by killing them (and then “reviving” them to the best of his ability, in the Night King’s case).

      I also agree with other commenters here in hoping to see much more of Essos, in this prequel or any others. There’s potential to show some really spectacular stuff, filming at real locations or creating sets inspired by them. For example, take a look at these real-life medieval fortress-palaces in India: the incredible mountaintop Gwalior Fort, and the more opulent and ornate Amer Fort . There are plenty of amazing historical buildings in many parts of the world that could be used as inspiration for the depiction of Essos at the height of its power.

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    10. Feeling the post Game of Thrones blues?

      I can recommend a few things while we wait for the prequels:

      Non-fiction: The historian Marc Morris’s books on medieval Britain:

      + “The Norman Conquest”: Probably his best book — and one of the best books on the medieval world that I’ve ever read. Brilliantly written and brilliantly researched. Along with being extremely educational, it’s also very intelligent and analytical. Also plenty of “blood and thunder” without any of the violence being glorified.

      + “A Great and Terrible King”: About Edward I (of Braveheart infamy), clearly the basis for Tywin.

      + “King John”: Who turns out to be an even bigger jerk than everyone already thought.

      Fiction: “Black Sails”. Not medieval, of course, but still historical. Fantastic production values, cinematic style, incredible attention to detail, and superb acting from most of the leads. Very clever merging of fiction and real-life history. Starts off with stereotypical genre tropes along with some gratuitous Michael Bay stuff…and then proceeds to subvert expectations by deliberately taking a sledgehammer to all of it. A lot of themes based on Greek mythology too. The final two seasons in particular are extraordinary. Remember how good GoT was back when it could draw on GRRM’s source material, especially the regular examples of psychological subtlety and extremely intelligent dialogue? *Black Sails ends up being like that all the time*.

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    11. Speaking of Black Sails, I really think their writers (especially for dialogue) should have been recruited for GoT once the showrunners ran out of GRRM’s books. Sails consistently had the most incredibly eloquent dialogue I’ve ever heard in any TV drama — and it was exactly what was needed for GoT.

      Here’s a spoiler-free example that would’ve been perfect for Dany’s descent into villainy (Sails showed some of its lead characters embracing the dark side far more gradually and realistically — and it managed to do it brilliantly despite the fact that the show ran for only 4 seasons):

      Captain Flint: “Well, I wasn’t there, but I can hazard the guess that you have learned of what had happened, told him how f—–g stupid he was, and in that moment, he gave you a look that meant something less than contrite. And in that moment you felt it.”

      John Silver: “Felt what?”

      Captain Flint: “Darkness. Hate. Showing indifference to the authority that you sacrificed so much to acquire. Disdain for refusing to acknowledge that his actions, had you not intervened, would have led to an outcome that he would have held you responsible for reversing. Pride. Questioning what kind of man you are if you don’t seek retribution for the offence.”

      John Silver: “So what are you saying? You saying I went too far with him?”

      Captain Flint: “Maybe you went too far. Maybe you didn’t go far enough. Maybe you did it just right. The point is that while you were doing it, you heard a voice telling you that disciplining him would prevent him from repeating the offence. A voice that sounded like reason. And there was a reason to it, as the most compelling lies are comprised almost entirely of the truth. But that’s what it does. Cloaks itself in whatever it must to move you to action. And the more you deny its presence, the more powerful it gets, and the more likely it is to consume you entirely without you ever knowing it was there. Now, if you and I are to lead these men together, you must learn to know its presence well, so that you may you use it rather than it using you.”

      And there’s this one too:

      ”All this will be for nothing. We will have been for nothing. Defined by their histories, distorted to fit into their narrative, until all that is left of us are the monsters in the stories they tell their children.”

      I’ve wondered if GoT’s showrunners have already seen Black Sails, because Tyrion’s speech about “stories” sounded pretty similar to this monologue by a major Sails character whose personality and way of speaking was quite a lot like Tyrion:

      “A story is true. A story is untrue. As time extends it matters less and less. The stories we want to be believe…Those are the ones that survive, despite upheaval and transition, and progress. Those are the stories that shape history. And then what does it matter if it was true when it was born? It’s found truth in its maturity…Because what’s it all for if it goes unremembered? It’s the art that leaves the mark. But to leave it, it must transcend. It must speak for itself. It must be true.”

      Sounds very Tyrion-like, doesn’t it? But it was actually from Black Sails a couple of years ago.

      Anyway, hopefully the showrunners for the GoT prequels will come across Sails’s dialogue writers, whose work is as good as the very best GRRM stuff — and since GRRM is also directly involved in at least one of the prequels, I’m sure he’d love their dialogue too.

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    12. Hopefully, they won’t make the same mistake that gets made in a lot of prequels. The technology tends to actually be a step up from the original even though the prequel is supposed to take place much earlier chronologically than the original story.

      For example, this particular prequel is supposed to be set thousands of years before Game of Thrones, so I assume the weapons would have to be even more primitive than the swords, crossbows, and scorpions that we saw on GoT, right? Or are they going to just use the same weapons? Perhaps, even more sophisticated ones to ramp up the “cool” factor?

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    13. Young Dragon,

      He could play another character like the NK who only needs to be a physical presence rather than someone with full acting range, but I agree that he wouldn’t play someone with actual speaking lines.

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    14. Jai: I can recommend a few things while we wait for the prequels:

      Fiction: “Black Sails”. Not medieval, of course, but still historical. Fantastic production values, cinematic style, incredible attention to detail, and superb acting from most of the leads.

      Aye, Aye – and Tom Hopper gets WAY more screen time as Billy Bones than he did as Dickon Tarly.

      Wait! Dickon, Bones? Maybe it is all just cocks in the end!

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    15. WinterRy71,

      Mr Derp,
      I’ve been following production of The Witcher so I know he’s a part of that as well (in the stunt coordinator capacity). They’re done with S1 filming but if they are given more seasons I reckon he’ll stay on there. That may keep him from GoT prequel work in that area but I suppose he’d be able to squeeze in some work in front of the camera too away from TW.

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    16. Mr Derp,

      Agree, the only story that ever could have more technology in the past is if “assasin’s creed” was ever being transformed into a huge serie-franchise. If you know that story you know what I mean.

      But what can be more advance technological is in fact Valyria. But that’s because of the magic used there.

      And did I already tell I’m excited for the prequels?

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    17. Mr Derp,

      I’ve wondered the same thing!!! Personally, I’m really looking forward to some very early weaponry and transportation, and I’ll be terribly disappointed if what we get is a world that’s been in inexplicable technological stasis for millennia.

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    18. From the World of Ice and Fire and other hints from ASOIAF, the Valerians and some of the other civs in Essos were more technologically advanced than Westeros during the timeline of ASOIAF. You can see that in their architecture, Valerian steel, etc. Then much was lost when the Valerians obliterated everyone and then they themselves were obliterated.

      So, I think it’s possible that things could at least be similar to Westeros tech without being implausible.

      Wolfish:
      Mr Derp,

      I’ve wondered the same thing!!! Personally, I’m really looking forward to some very early weaponry and transportation, and I’ll be terribly disappointed if what we get is a world that’s been in inexplicable technological stasis for millennia.

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    19. Tomás Ivan Pastore:
      I just don’t see the point of this prequel. We already know how dissapointing it ends. We know that the WW are no threat in the future, except for the free folk and some weird man turning into wood. They can’t even take Winterfell.

      Yup.

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    20. JenStar Runner,

      GRRM has already stated that this takes place before the rise of the Valyrian Stronghold, though, in a very different world from the one we know. It seems to me that yes, while some of the cities in Essos will be technologically advanced, they should be the ones we know as the oldest and beyond their past glory (e.g., Qarth). Speaking of technological advancement, it would also be interesting to know if, just like in our world, it’s been responsible for environmental devastation in any part of Planetos (why is it Asshai “by the Shadow”?).

      Anyway… We could go off on all sorts of tangents, and hopefully some of them will actually be explored!

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    21. Wolfish,

      It’s a lot of guessing about everything but probably more when it concerns areas outside of Westeros that might be included. We know that Westeros technology hasn’t advanced anywhere close to our real world though. I believe George has specifically noted this. I guess they didn’t have any alien technology to reverse engineer. Is that what we had? Ancient astronaut theorists say yes. 😛

      Based on what has been written my image of the living conditions/situation of the First Men around the Long Night period isn’t much different than ASoIaF except for structures, and possibly a lack of fancy clothing. Many of the castles and strongholds like Winterfell began construction during the time so they had the ability, but I’m expecting mostly wood and earth buildings to start. They had weapons, horses, hierarchy, religions, so I don’t know how much ‘further back’ they should show them. I certainly don’t think they’ll go The Clan of the Cave Bear with it. 🙂

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    22. Clob,

      BOATS, CLOB!!! I WANT TO SEE THE ANCIENT BOATS!!! 😜

      In all seriousness, though… I don’t want to see any Jean Auel references either. As an 80s child, I was permanently scarred by that shite.

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