HBO moves on from Game of Thrones’ Belfast Titanic Studios for future projects; where will House of the Dragon land?

Titanic

For a decade, Game of Thrones had its headquarters at Titanic Studios, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Most of what wasn’t filmed on location was shot in there, and it was the nexus of the entire production. Even the now cancelled Long Night-set prequel pilot was shot there. For more than ten years, Titanic Studios has meant Game of Thrones.

No longer.

As reported by the Belfast Telegraph, HBO is no longer the tenant for the historic site: they have “issued a ‘letter of notification’ to Titanic Quarter, Northern Ireland Screen and others connected to the studios, stating that it no longer needs the facilities.”

This comes as a bit of a surprise to us, as everything up to now pointed to HBO continuing the use of the studios for other projects, especially Game of Thrones-related ones. Though later cancelled, the Long Night prequel (alternatively known as Blood Moon) had its pilot shot there, and there was every expectation that the same would happen with the prequel that ended up going forward after all, House of the Dragon.

That won’t be the case after all.

In fact, the Targaryen-focused spin-off won’t only move on from Titanic Studios but from Belfast and Northern Ireland entirely, according to NI Screen chief executive Richard Williams, who went on to explain this was made known to them at an early stage in pre-production of House of the Dragon, as “Northern Ireland was not in a position to deliver, in location and other ways, on what was required for the prequel series.”

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Williams was quick to point out their “extremely close” relationship with HBO would continue in other ways, and that there should be “no panic.”

House of the Dragon banner

Considering the kinds of locations HBO may be looking for in the reportedly Dance of the Dragons-set series, a story which generally has more of a focus on the southern parts of Westeros and perhaps even Essos, it makes sense for production to move somewhere hotter and less lush (and less constantly rainy) than Northern Ireland.

If a southern climate is what they’re looking for, they could return to Croatia or the south of Spain, where Game of Thrones filmed for many seasons: Croatia has been King’s Landing, Meereen, Braavos, and more; Spain’s been Dorne, Braavos, King’s Landing, Highgarden, and others. But, this time around, they could make it the permanent home for the series. Still, if production would rather take root in an English-speaking country, they could go to Australia, which has a booming film industry. Or they could always stay home after all and find their headquarters in California.

For now, it’s all speculation, though we’ll be sure to update you as soon as we know where House of the Dragon may be, well, housed. But enough about our theories: where do you personally believe House of the Dragon will make its headquarters in the end?

26 Comments

  1. HBO moves on from Game of Thrones’ Belfast Titanic Studios for future projects; where will House of the Dragon land?

    Far and away, across the Narrow Sea.

  2. Apollo:
    Guessing we won’t be getting those tours of the Kings Landing set ☹️

    Hey, that’s right.
    Weren’t they supposed to set up exhibits and themed restaurants inside the Titanic studios to accommodate GoT fans/tourists?

  3. Yes, this was supposed to be an active tourist attraction (a part of the GOT franchise) for years to come. It should have been attracting tons of GOT fans to relive the memories.

    Hmm, I wonder what happened. Was there a loss of fan enthusiasm?

  4. Fireandblood87:
    Mango,

    There is a brand new exhibit opening up soon.

    A new location?

    I suppose everyone that is seeing the old one site has seen it by now. So a new one will give a new experience. And maybe somewhere cheaper to rent that in Belfast…rotating exhibits just outside a big city will be better.

  5. I said this month’s ago when Bloodmoon was cancelled with the same reason. Brexit.

    HBO were getting some funding from the EU and Northern Ireland would now require visas etc. Bloodmoon would have needed primarily The North aka Northern Ireland. House of the Dragon requires requires little if any. Doesn’t matter how good Bloodmoon may have been, it couldn’t survive Brexit.

  6. Hmm, I do believe the GoT tours will still take place at Titanic and I’m not tooo surprised about the change since the Targaryen storyline was mostly filmed on location in sunnier sites, but I thought they would still be based at Titanic Studios for shooting indoor sets, CGI, Special FX, and post production stuff. I wonder if they will now be based near London at the studio Emilia Clarke (and the rest of the cast) from Solo filmed from. Was it Pinewood?

    Also, anyone else see Nathalie’s hilarious exchange with Pilou on her IG story? They’re both in Atlanta apparently (neither knew until the hilarious bday texts) and then they had a birthday dinner together. LOL

  7. Luke M,
    Luke and Luka, I wondered if that was the reason (i.e. Brexit). If they want somewhere with not too dissimilar scenery, HBO could maybe find somewhere in Eire (Republic of Ireland) which is still in the EU. I think ‘Camelot’ (which folk know wasn’t my cup of tea) was shot in Southern Ireland. I suppose the Spanish location which served as Dragonstone could do so again if Aegon and his sisters landing there is featured.

    I hope the experience the non-acting staff in Northern Ireland gained over the years will stand them in good stead in finding future work.

  8. Luke M,

    I’m with you. Brexit already fucks up their local economy. I hope people still come to Belfast and help their local economy there.

    As for new location. Come to the Netherlands HBO, it’s in the EU and could maybe serve for northern climate. 🙂

    Dame of Mercia,

    That’s also a great idea.

  9. I’m not sure if HBO will continue with its policy of having the inhabitants of Westeros speaking with English accents but strictly speaking the show wouldn’t have to be shot in Europe. There are deserts in the USA and although I’ve never been there maybe New England (the state) could double as the more northerly parts of the Seven Kingdoms. I know the USA doesn’t have historical buildings* in the same way Europe does but CGI can work wonders.

    *I know there are “colonial” buildings – I’m thinking about medieval castles and so forth.

  10. I said “I suppose the Spanish location which served as Dragonstone could do so again if Aegon and his sisters landing there is featured”. Tut-tut, should have been “Aegon’s and his sisters’ landing”. Stannis would make me write 100 lines – something like “I must not forget the apostrophe to denote possession”.

  11. I wonder if they will move to Wales. HBO have worked with Bad Wolf on His Dark Materials.

  12. If they stick to Europe, I hope they choose Spain, at least for outdoors scenes : there are sooo many gorgeous and diverse places there, old cities , near desert, sea and ocean, different mountain landscapes… ! And, I think, a well organized net of extras, too.
    @Tron79: Yes, I wonder too. It’s still among my favorite shots of the show !

  13. This sucks, seriously. GoT attracted the most talented crew and these folks understood the story and knew how to deliver. Will the move require HBO to scout new talent all over again?

  14. Luke M,

    It’s a shame they’re moving from Northern Ireland. GoT had spawned a whole mini-economy there; so many local artisans, craftspeople and countless others had been employed and gained expertise over the last decade. Any new production could have slotted right into the existing production machine. Now all of that is gone.

    I had not considered the impact of Brexit as the cause, but it does make logical sense. Good call, Luke M.

  15. I heard something where someone (could have been the Smokescreen channel but I’m not absolutely sure if my memory is correct) put forward the suggestion that as HotD won’t be appearing on our screens for two or three years HBO might not want to pay the rent on the Titanic building while it was not being used.

  16. I wonder could they use Spain or even North African countries like Morocco to film House of the Dragon?

    Either way with the pandemic there won’t be any filming until late summer at the earliest.

  17. Jon Snowed,

    There’s talk of a second wave of Covid 19 happening in the Fall. If that actually happens then I think it could legitimately be close to a year before filming commences, but we’ll see.

  18. Mr Derp:
    Jon Snowed,

    There’s talk of a second wave of Covid 19 happening in the Fall.If that actually happens then I think it could legitimately be close to a year before filming commences, but we’ll see.

    Yeah I feel anything is on the table right now as we don’t know enough about the virus other than the death rates in many European countries is high (circa 10%) and it’s incredibly infectious.

    In regards to future waves we’ve already seen in Germany (who have dealt with it better than anyone over here) that one they began slowly releasing their lockdown that new cases increased quickly so I can certainly see future waves if countries rush to get back to normal.

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