Game of Thrones Resumes Final Season of Filming as Kit Harington Returns to Belfast

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Filming on the final season of Game of Thrones resumed in the show’s home base of Northern Ireland today, and we’re already receiving reports of things to come in season 8 from our sources!

Unsurprisingly, GoT’s leading man is back in Belfast: Kit Harington was spotted arriving, at the city’s airport.

His arrival today and not earlier makes sense because we’ve been told from a reliable source that Kit was not filming at all today, but was prepping and has multiple scenes later this week.

Someone did film today, but our source tells us it was a minor character. We also have learned that the show is largely filming at Moneyglass this week, the estate in Toome that hosts the exterior and courtyard of Winterfell set.

SPOILERS! The most interesting details are this: they say it was for the opening scene of the season, and takes place in Winter town, the settled area just outside Winterfell. The town is home to the smallfolk who look to House Stark for protection, and will likely need help from Winterfell more than ever with the White Walkers moving south.

Director David Nutter is also reportedly on set this week, which makes sense as he’s already confirmed to be helming episodes 1, 2 and 4 of the final season.

Game of Thrones choosing to open the season in Winter town is a surprise, as we left off with the Wall crumbling, and Tormund and Beric’s survival uncertain. What could the show be up to now?

45 responses

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    1. What I expect a lot of minds jumped to (mine included) is some poor schmo getting killed by the White Walkers/wights, but I can’t imagine they’re already that close to Winterfell in the very first scene, on reflection. I’d guess it’s either some sort of peasant-eye view of the news of the Wall falling, or else them seeing Jon and Daenerys’ procession approach in the distance.

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    2. Winter town, eh? I would think it would be too soon, too early to have the wights there already right at the start. There are several things that they could do to kick it off though, such as simply showing hysteria as people hear news of the Wall to J&D coming nearby and/or dragons flying overhead.

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    3. Well, of course they’re going to keep us on tenterhooks about the fate of Tormund and Beric! Why pass up a perfectly accessible excuse to draw out the suspense?

      There’s great potential for drama in Wintertown. One of my longstanding complaints about the show having to cut out so much from the books concerns the fact that we spend the vast majority of our time among the aristocrats and see little of the sufferings of the nameless smallfolk – the true costs of war. It certainly serves Sansa’s arc for the audience to be shown how her prudent preparations for a siege – the leadership skills she has learned – pay off or fall short. And it’s going to be heartbreaking that there won’t be room behind Winterfell’s walls to house all the people fleeing the oncoming army of the dead.

      I’m hoping that, even in the highly compressed timeframe of the final season, the showrunners will make time to include at least a few short vignettes of relatable commoners facing tragedy, even if we don’t know their names. Catastrophes can bring out the worst in people, or the best. And it will seem anticlimactic if this great war of which we have been warned for so many seasons turns out to be just a flash in the pan, so to speak.

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    4. Perhaps the opening scene will focus on the small folk reaction to the appearance of dragons? Surely they’ll waste little time in getting Dany and Jon to Winterfell.

      Regardless of the scenario, I hope we get some thoughtful, character-driven moments where the small folk are concerned. I loved that about Arya’s journey – meeting the farmer and his daughter, for example, and the wonderful “Waiting for Godot” homage the next season. When the show takes the time to demonstrate the impact of war and political games on those other than the nobility, it can be very impactful.

      Edit: or, what Firannion said! I should have read the comments first, because then I would have seen that she had already made a similar point, and far more eloquently at that.

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    5. My first reaction: there is a town near Winterfell?

      Because of course there is, but I don’t think the show has ever shown it…? In the wide shots of Winterfell, there is no town in sight.

      Other than that, I agree, it’s probably people seeing Dany and Jon. Preferably both on dragons already, I don’t want to see Jon’s flight training on screen – there was already a season of it with Dany.

      I agree with all the people who want more focus on the smallfolk this season. When the people who die do, we have to be aware what for. The larger fate of humanity et al.. So, please – let crowd scenes galore this season!

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    6. I’m a little surprised the opening won’t be some epic arrival of Jon & Dany & co. to Winterfell. But I am much more excited we’ll be seeing more of the common folk next season, which was completely lacking this past season. I do remember hearing references to Winter Town so it makes sense we’ll be seeing people seek refuge there from the white walkers.

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    7. I’m imagining a scene where a couple of Winter’s Town peasants are minding their own business, whinging about winter, when they suddenly hear and see a huge horde of Dothraki galloping past the town and towards Winterfell. Que Ramin Djawadi’s Dothraki theme. This in itself would be world-changing to people of the North, and they would be in total disbelief. But before they know it a legion of unsullied starts marching past, and they react with similar disbelief. Que Ramin Djawadi’s Unsullied theme. But then, just when they think their day can’t get any weirder, Drogon and Rhaegal will swoop past, with Dany and Jon on the back of Drogon. Que Dany’s theme (maybe mixed with the Stark theme).

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    8. Sean C.:
      What I expect a lot of minds jumped to (mine included) is some poor schmo getting killed by the White Walkers/wights, but I can’t imagine they’re already that close to Winterfell in the very first scene, on reflection.I’d guess it’s either some sort of peasant-eye view of the news of the Wall falling, or else them seeing Jon and Daenerys’ procession approach in the distance.

      Have to say, I’d envisaged Tormund and Beric – having run along the Wall with a group of survivors – arriving at Castle Black to let LC Edd know the Wall had fallen at Eastwatch, followed by a shift to Winterfell and preparations for the arrival of Jon and Daenerys. That said, I like the idea of starting off with a minor character, perhaps showing the impact of the coming war on the smallfolk?

      I do hope we get a big arrival scene at Winterfell to mirror that of Winter is Coming.

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    9. Yaga:
      My first reaction: there is a town near Winterfell?

      Because of course there is, but I don’t think the show has ever shown it…? I

      We saw it in E5 of S5. Brienne was there with Podrick.

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    10. Wolfish:
      Sean C.,
      iridium,

      Jon and Dany are on their way to White Harbor. If we don’t catch at least a glimpse of it, I’ll be exceedingly vexed!

      I don’t think we will see White Harbor, unless something major has to happen in WF before Dany and Jon arrive. And I don’t think it has.

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    11. Yaga: Because of course there is, but I don’t think the show has ever shown it…? In the wide shots of Winterfell, there is no town in sight.

      I think the brothel that Tyrion was in during Season 1 episode 1 was in Winter Town, but I could be wrong.

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    12. Undead Elephant,

      All of this sounds hilarious, only thing I would hope to be different would be Jon Boy riding the dragon named after his daddy all on his own! Maybe he needs a few sessions of How To Train A Dragon first though…

      Hoping all of these poor folk from the Winter Town will be able to hide in Winterfell – in the books at least that is part of what Winterfell was designed to do. Also hoping we’ll see Winterfell’s underground tunnels being used to either house those too weak to fight and/or as a means to sneak up behind the enemy in S8.

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    13. Yaga: My first reaction: there is a town near Winterfell?

      Because of course there is, but I don’t think the show has ever shown it…? In the wide shots of Winterfell, there is no town in sight.

      In the books, the town hugs the walls of Winterfell. In the show, it’s pretty faraway, but close enough to clearly see the castle in the horizon. It was only shown in season five, when Brienne and Pod arrive at an inn, get a room, and Brienne asks the inn-keeper about Sansa and the Boltons.

      Tyrion’s scene with Ros and Jaime at the brothel, in season one, could have taken place in Wintertown as well. Though we saw the outside of the building to give us some context (quaint season one budget!), Ned and Cat are a bit puritan; they don’t strike me as the sort of people who would have a brothel inside their castle.

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    14. I have a “open at the close” vibe about this. In season 1 the first scene made it very clear what the overall threat of the series was going to be. If the first episode of the final season opens in Winter town…perhaps it will be a scene similar to that very first one. A lone straggler wight killing someone…someone witnesses…and tells the masses, but this time everyone believes him/her. I think if done right that would be a phenomenal opening…sets up the arrival of Jon and Danny. And people would be more accepting of a Targaryen with large dragons because now they understand the larger threat. With how sped up the story was in 7 and only 6 episodes the story telling doesn’t have time to dwell on a Northern resistance to Danny & Jon (IMO). A scene like Winter town could grease the wheels with the Northern peeps.

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    15. Yaga:
      Follow WotW on Twitter

      Yes, Winterfell has an outlying town, and it has occasionally been shown. It’s where Ros came from, and she was from a brothel. Brienne and Podrick stayed in an inn in the town waiting for Sansa’s signal of a candle in the tower.

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    16. Katie,

      Very possible, but that would mean the Army of the Dead has already advanced right outside of Winterfell since the Wall came down last episode. I don’t think any lone wights stray from the Army, but I could be wrong. I think it would take the Army of the Dead longer to get there, but again, I could be wrong.

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    17. Mr Derp,

      What about the lone wight at the beginning? Or the lone White Walker that Sam killed? Or the small group that the Suicide Squad attacked to get the one they took to King’s landing? Mind you the group was not terribly far behind but still it was a group of stragglers that strayed from the pack. I feel like the show has implied that some of them do stray….and the implication is that the whole group is not terribly far behind. But exactly how far would be anyone’s guess. Heck…maybe the Knight King sends one out to survey the land….who knows? Anyone guess is good….

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    18. Katie,

      “If the first episode of the final season opens in Winter town…perhaps it will be a scene similar to that very first one. A lone straggler wight killing someone…someone witnesses…and tells the masses…”
      ————-
      You got me thinking of a slightly different variation: Winter Town is overrun by a swarm of wights, turning all the masses into zombies, with one survivor escaping to Winterfell.

      (In the opening scene of S1e1, didn’t the White Walker decapitate a NW Ranger and throw his head at the other guy like a bowling ball – deliberately leaving him alive but freaked out?)

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    19. Katie,

      Yea, it’s been somewhat inconsistent. I suppose the answer is if D&D feel like having one stray, then one will stray, so all possibilities are on the table.

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    20. Luka Nieto:
      Boojam,

      We saw its ruins in season six, when Sansa met Littlefinger in secret. It’s trashed, yes, and devoid of people as far as we can tell.

      Where were Brienne and Podrick staying in season 5 when in the Winterfell area?

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    21. mau,

      Then what’s the point of sailing there and name-dropping it in the first place? Imho, it would be terrible to tease viewers with the idea of White Harbor, then never show it.

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    22. i think smallfolk reaction and mood are a huge cliffhanger from season 7.

      Jon: “every man, woman, boy and girl has to start training with weapons!”
      Smallfolk: “why that?”
      Jon: “white walkers, you know.”
      Smallfolk: “alrighty then.”

      later, after some exhausting lessons…

      Brienne: “Pod, teach them how to use a sword! i’m busy.”
      Smallfolk: “hey, we’ve been practicing really hard.”
      Jon: “not hard enough. if you don’t win this war…”
      Smallfolk: “a castle would be useful.”

      like this, or the next thing people are ordered to train is free kicks in a soccer match.

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    23. mau,

      True, but in the context of S7… why the conversation about taking the scenic route, sailing to White Harbor, rather than the efficient route, flying Air Dragon straight to Winterfell, if we’re not to see White Harbor and (please?) the Merman’s Court?

      I don’t actually want an answer to that. I’m just trying to put off reading Wall spoilers, because anticipation is sweet. 😉

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    24. mau,

      Didn’t Jon mention White Harbor twice in S7? In e1 or e2 As the port from which he and Davos would depart for Dragonstone; and in e7 as the place they’s disembark from the SS Incest before heading to WF?

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    25. Boojam: That name was in the dialog on the show?

      In S7e4, the two doofus WF guards who let Arya slip away told Lady Sansa she was probably just “some Winter Town girl…”

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