New Game of Thrones behind-the-scenes video featuring the Sand Snakes, locations and more


Somewhat surprising this far into the Game of Thrones season, HBO has dropped another behind-the-scenes videos about new season 5 characters and locations. While the video contains some footage we’ve already seen, there are also several new glimpses and interviews with the cast and writers of the show. Naturally, the Water Gardens, the House of Black and White, the High Sparrow and the Martells feature heavily in the new video. Check it out:

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of


  1. We’ve only gotten a small taste of Dorne so far. Hopefully Siddig will get a chance to shine (as Doran is one my favorite characters), that first scene was nice but hes been underused, as the seasons half over. Likewise, with the exception of Obarra the SS into scene left much to be desired (but that may be the result of poor writting/editing rather than the actressess themselves).

    Cant wait to see see what direction they go in with Arianne, Quentyn and Oakheart gone, the SS and Elara Sand having expanded roles, and Jamie and Bronn thrown in as wildcards. Glad that Areo Hotah made it to the show, as his POV chapters provide a unique insight from someone close to the nexus of power but not actually a noble. With few exceptions, the POVs are nobility, and Areo’s chapters are a great window to the mechanations of power as a non-partisipant. The actual Dornish “plot” in the books is rather thin (particulary considering the number of characters involved), but the world of Dorne is rich and it will be interesting to see how D&D adapt it, sense they know where the story is going. The only major post-season adaptation questions I have are:

    1. Does Myrcella live or die? 2. Is Trystane of the future going to fill more of a Quentyn role or an Aegon role?
  2. This video has been available on demand and HBO GO for more or less a month.

    Watched it weeks ago.

  3. I don’t expect Dorne to get that fleshed out…
    I don’t see the show having enough time.

    I’m thinking they will focus on Jaime more than any of the Dornish characters, which is the right way to go for the TV show. I think its best to accept Dorne as Jaime’s plotline rather than expect it to be its own fully fleshed out world the way it is in the books.

  4. So, this confirms

    Doran has a plan in his backpocket that he has been cooking up, while trying to maintain peace.

    Dany will be out of Meereen pretty soon, so that seems out the window that Doran wants to send Trystane there. I think the only kind of master plan he can have is revealing to everyone that Trystane is indeed Aegon.

  5. So they only had a week to shoot dorne, maybe why it’s felt kind of rushed. Reminds me of the Iceland shoot, where maybe the scenery isn’t worth sacrificing the time needed to shoot a good scene.

  6. house snow,

    Well, only the stuff in the castle itself would be rushed. I mean, stuff of just “Ellaria meets Sand Snakes in the desert outside Sunspear” wasn’t contingent upon anything in the Alcazar itself.

  7. James,

    I hadn’t seen this thread when I posted a similar comment on another thread. So, there’s no new footage, at all? I stopped watching after the first few minutes, once I’d realized I’d seen it.

    There is a difference, though, between what’s available to those who subscribe, so have access to On Demand and HBOGo, and it being released for the general public on youtube.

  8. HelloThere,

    I think you’re exactly right. Unfortunately, many will compare the minor characters on the television show to the main characters in the books without really considering this. I suspect the SS hate will never let up.

    The little glimpses of the fight we see here have got me excited for the Dorne stuff next week. And I’m excited to see more Doran.

  9. James,

    Congrats if that’s so. But it hasn’t been publicly available, and there’s certainly lots of new stuff in there that most people haven’t seen. We’ve had other locations and sets videos but this is the most comprehensive so it’s good it’s on youtube now.

  10. Kyrion,

    The reason fAegon has been cut is because he’s a major character brought in very late into the game and with little foreshadowing. Why would they make Trystanne Aegon? That addition would be ten times worse than it was in the book.
  11. The Dragon Demands,

    Also, the Dorne scenes from episode 4 were actually filmed on a Northern Ireland beach. Equally some Dorne scenes were shot in Croatia, and finally back at the Paint Hall. The Alcazar is only a small part of it basically.

  12. JS,

    I think it’s more likely that he’ll fill a role closer to Quentyn’s than Aegon’s (though he does seem to have some prominent Targ features). I think that Doran’s plan will be to marry Trystane to Dany, but rather than sending him to Meereen, he’ll get word to Dany somehow and that will be one of the reasons she departs for Westeros. Then, starting sometime next season, Dany’s invasion will be merged with Aegon’s from ADWD.
  13. Renly’s Peach:

    It makes total sense, and would be a stellar example of an adaptation rather than an out and out deviation or omission. It completely and utterly explains why Arienne would unfortunately have to be cut. Her main purpose was to marry


    and ally Dorne with him in war going forward in the futre books, again to create another potential spoke of the “man, I really don’t want any of these “good” guys to kill each other but am painfully aware that they’ll have too” three way conflict wheel of which Dorne is a part of



    By adapting the story so that


    is already in Dorne, you continue to make it very relevent beyond this season. Given that after the “Fire and Blood” speech, people are sent in different directions to interact in cool ways with other stories for TWOW/S6 this adaptation makes total sense. Sadly, it does also nullify the purpose of Arienne, whose story can be filled by those relevant to other stories in future seasons. The Martell blood is safe in the (inevitably legitimized) Sand Snakes at any rate.

    To say nothing of which, Trystane is an utter non character, even in the books, with zero indication thus far that he will become important. IIRC he hasn’t spoken a single line in 5000+ pages to date, nor has anyone really cared much about him in an important way. It makes no sense for

    Trystane’s story to be this straightforward/spend time casting/following him

    that being the case. It makes total sense to adapt him if he is


    , introduces sans excessive travelogue. He is thus introduced no later than the rest of Dorne, and gives Dorne a heightened, immediate, and cool relevancy, all the while enable some constricting of plot at the beginning of TWOW/end of ADWD and lets the story move faster and more fluidly.

    It would be a genius example of adaptation of a very cool character on D&D’s part, and would allow quick and painless (and cost effective) merger of supporting cast.


    I think far less is actually “cut” than we think, rather just extremely streamlined. Especially with the setting up of the Citadel this year (“Oldtown, which is where the Maester’s train, in the Citadel, which I wanted to be once”), and Euron’s speculated story, and with David Bradley mentioning D&D wanted him back for Season 6, I would guess only Victarion gets axed, while Euron does his thing, and an old and new character interact in a storyline, while streamlined Riverlands stuff happens in Season 6.

    After all, we still have Balon’s leech, and it would make adaptation sense to have all that stuff happen (without a Kingsmoot) in one contained season with all the Riverlands/Iron Islands characters becoming relevant at once

    instead of spreading bits over several seasons, after all, Gendry has to show up somewhere and there hasn’t been any indication he won’t be back. Audiences can handle three new characters being introduced (Euron, Damphair, Marwyn) without it being confusing. I would be utterly unsurprised if it went down like this.

  14. For some reason I feel like Dorne will be in 4 of the last 5 episodes. In reality I just wanna see more Jessica Henwick. But 4 of 5 seems right to me. 6 episodes total for Dorne would be a good amount, even if it doesn’t add up to bunch of screen time.

    It’s all about set up this season for what each Sand Snake and Doran will do next season, much like GRRM set them up in the books, this is no different. . We will find out at the end of the season the Dornish master plan in the show and next year each of those characters will play a much bigger role. (I figure a few characters up North will die so the characters down South can take there screen time)
  15. Gemma Whelan deserves her own article, no? The Hype Train has finally left the station!

    Why was the Theon sample chapter released? Because GRRM and D&D respect the books, and do not want to spoil them. On the contrary, GRRM and D&D seem to have coordinated Season 5, the Winds of Winter release and Season 6 (in that order).

    My educated guess based on all we know:

    In the trailers for Season 5, we see Sansa with two candle scenes: we have already seen one in the Crypts of Winterfell, the other must be her in the Old Tower calling for help (Ep 9?) Theon rescues Sansa with a jump from the towers into the unnaturally intense snow, and Brienne and Pod rescue them both. Roose orders an army lead by Ramsay to pursue, possibly with Miranda echoing the “hunt” of the helpless girl in Season 4. All Sansa, Pod, Theon, and Brienne find / are captured by King Stannis.

    At this point the conflict with Melisandre comes to a head. She wants to burn Theon to combat the snows, and Stannis replies “we will have no more burnings, pray harder” causing a rift. Davos implores the King to allow him to take Selyse, Shireen and Melisandre back to the Wall to avoid the dangers of battle and he relents. Davos will have an opportunity to go search for Rickon, whom Theon tells them is alive, and a final order from King Stannis “if I die you are to seat My Daughter on the Iron Throne”, leaving us pretty much where we are at the conclusion of the Sample Chapter.

    In S5E10 “For the Watch” Brienne confronts Stannis in his tents mirroring the encounter between the Shadow and Renly as Ramsay and his army bear down on the King’s position. We get a “Pink Letter” situation with show viewers and book readers both suspecting that King Stannis is dead when he is actually not. We see Selyse collapsing in the snow. We see Jon getting stabbed, and we see Melisandre looking ominously at Shireen.

    Combine this with the abandonment of Meereen by Dany on the back of Drogon, White Walkers on a Rampage, the hatching of the Dornish plot and the possible reemergence of the Ironborn, and we are set up for an explosive start to Season 6 timed with the release of Winds of Winter for maximum marketing effect! In other words, the exact opposite of Season 5!

    Game of Thrones will now be a non-stop hype train all the way to the end, likely on the silver screen in conjunction with the release of A Dream of Spring in 2019!

  16. Why isn’t Dorne sunny and it’s supposed to be? The footage of the Alcazar is great, but the actual footage of the episodes looks too cloudy and “cold”.

  17. Stannis the Mannis,

    What trailer was this other Sansa candle scene in?

    Also, I don’t think the show will leave Jon Snow’s fate uncertain like the books did. I know D&D said the finale scene is from the books but I still think Jon will be resurrected in the finale.
  18. Finally delurking to add my two cents. I’ve been following this site for a while and I really love the articles and commentary. I also appreciate the Unsullied sections.

    Strangely, I don’t know if I can call myself Unsullied, despite being mostly an avid show watcher. I’ve read the first 3 books and tend to read sullied forms and so am sort of spoiled to a lot of book stuff. And yet, in my own mind, I think I am more a show watcher who is comfortable with speculating mostly within that universe without book influences.


    Count me in as a huge fan of Alexander Siddig, who’s dying to see more of Doran Martell’s character. I want to see his less volatile, more cunning and subtle musings. I think the Sand Snakes are perfectly fine and have a soft spot for Obara since she’s a kiwi actress (and a good one to boot), so for now I am eager to see all the Dorne characters get more screen-time & fleshing out.

    I am not all that enthused about possible Trystane/Myrcella scenes, though. It seems to me that they are possibly going for some sort of simplistic Romeo/Juliet vibe. I hope I am wrong. I really don’t think that the show is looking to introduce certain book plots/characters melded into Trystane’s role. Just a gut feeling due to the current streamlining/re-organising they seem to have done.

    To be honest, those book spoiler ideas don’t sound that great to me, so I am not attached to them. I think all indicators seem to be that Doran wants Trystane to marry Myrcella to create a new dynasty. I guess we’ll see eventually what his true intentions are.

    Having watched some of the behind the scenes vids, it seems clear to me that the showrunners decided to make the Sand Snakes work as fighting unit, with different strengths and interests. I don’t think they are necessarily as delineated as in the books, but I am okay with the idea of them being more of a ‘block’ of resistance, if that makes sense.

  19. JS,

    I think the masters BBQ scene from 5th episode means we won’t have him as Q… person. (still couldn’t figure out how to cover spoilers)

  20. I hope the next episode clearly defines that Trystane IS the heir to Dorne or whether Doran has other children?

    I expect if he is the sole child. Doran’s plan is to wed Trystane to Daenerys, using Myrcella as a hostage, and a dynamic will be Trystane defies his plan and goes for the throne himself.

    To me both books and show lose the drama/buildup if there is not another human “Dragon” to dance before us, so I’m guessing a


    has to come into play in episode 9

  21. Here Be Dragons,

    i dont think jon or wall will appear in episode 9…he goes to hardhome in episode 8and returns to wall in episode 10

    its always been about dragons only many of the readers that thought humans doing the dance

  22. dragonbringer,

    Well …Melisandra could see it in the flames and abandon Stannis but arrives too late to inform/influence Jon.?

    That would add drama and suspense to the TV audience? 🙂

    And though the show has made no mention of the dragon must have three heads… it’s been the main source of speculation to readers on who will be… ?


  23. Here Be Dragons,

    i really dont think the reveal will happen this season and i personally believe that the reveal is going to effect two people only and they are jon himself and daenerys …

    and i am pretty sure that this will be one thing that both D&D will do exactly how it happens in the books ..sure they are setting up for the reveal but i dont think its meant to be in this season they are only setting up and will be revealed like how and when will it will be revealed in the books only with slight changes due to some of the changes in the show

    and i believe the three headed dragon is Daenerys

    dragon(daenerys) with three heads(TPTWP..,AAR..,TSWMTW) or in other words the three heads are DROGON RHAEGAL VISERION …there will be no other dragons riders other than dany in the story

  24. oier:
    Why isn’t Dorne sunny and it’s supposed to be? The footage of the Alcazar is great, but the actual footage of the episodes looks too cloudy and “cold”.

    This is just me guessing but I recall reading that they shot the Alcazar scenes in the autumn (to avoid summer heat – and I suppose in high summer the Alcazar would be packed with tourists) and that there were some rainy days in that part of Spain last autumn.

  25. As this will be pure show and not book speculation, perhaps I should change my name to Rodrik the Watcher. (And apologies if other posters have beaten me to it regarding the musings below.)

    Ramsay sets up deceptions to crush spirits, gain information, and test loyalty. Could the ‘North Remembers’ lady really be a Ramsay confederate? Could that candle-in-the-tower business be a ruse to test Sansa and lure Brienne into a trap? Did that old man Brienne confides in squeal on her to Ramsay? Will Brienne’s absurd openness come back to bite her?

    I think a dandy scenario would be to have Ramsay capture Brienne and order Sansa to flay her. Sansa slices Ramsay instead, Theon jumps into the fray on Sansa’s behalf, and all escape to join Stannis, with Ramsay in hot pursuit.

    In Dorne, there will obviously be a Jaime/Bronn/Sand Snakes clusterf*ck. When ‘rescue’ attempt collides with assassination attempt, will Jaime’s errant sword maim or kill Myrcella, thereby driving the final wedge between him and Cersei?

    Will this in turn lead to Doran shipping Trystane to Mereen via Littlefinger’s teleporter for an alliance with Dany?

    My guess is that introducing young lovers only to immediately and permanently separate them would seem a tad rushed, but the way the show has been zooming through ALL scenarios of late (both book and show concoctions), who knows?

    Also, Bronn will likely survive Hotah and be potentially seduced into some Sand Snakes intrigue, testing his loyalty to Jaime.

  26. dragonbringer: drama and suspense to the TV audience?
    And though the show has made no mention of the dragon must have three heads… it’s been the main source of speculation to readers on who will be… ?

    Here Be DragonsQuote Reply

    The reveal has two parts – to the audience, and to the people of Westeros. There are countless ways the former can happen, but I think it the latter is more interesting. If the reveal to the audience is via something like a vision or flashback via Bran or Mel, it really doesn’t mean squat in the game of thrones. Somebody in Westeros actually has to not only have this information, but some kind of evidence and authority so that people will pay attention to what they say. As far as we know, only one person in the book universe knows, and that person has neither appeared on page or on the screen (unless disguised). It definitely is a mystery as to how the reveal will happen. Presumably it is in TWOW, so I am really hoping that GRRM gets on his horse and gets the book out before S6. It’s possible. I’d rather read it first.

    I must admit that HR=HS is one of my favorite fan theories. It puts that one person in a position such that the reveal would gain traction among the Westerosi. Also, if the theory is true, HR is the most awesome character in the books, hands down.

  27. i dont think trystane is going to be Faegon or Quentyn

    yes they have aged him up the same they aged Tommen and Myrcella up..
    in the books its clear that once tommen dies at a hand of snake that trytane and myrcella will become the king and queen..
    i dont think faegon is going anywhere near Kl …i think he will move from stormlands to Reach and old town to fight Euron and will die there

    so removing the Aegon completely we wont be having his plot but straight to myrcella and Trystane to take up the crown …

    dont forget the Prophecy given to cersei …all three will be crowned and all will be dead…

    going by the promo of episode 6 where Doran says a lannister and martell how dangerous that combination is i think its clear his idea will be to place trystane and myrcella in the throne and he will send sandsnakes to KL who will kill tommen rise to war of three queens cersei and myrcella , margery and olenna ,sansa and LF

  28. Chad Brick:

    Chad Brick:

    Chad Brick,

    “I must admit that HR=HS is one of my favorite fan theories. It puts that one person in a position such that the reveal would gain traction among the Westerosi. Also, if the theory is true, HR is the most awesome character in the books, hands down.”

    Sorry forgot to quote first.

    Isn’t HR supposed to be tiny?
    Guess appearances aren’t that important really.

  29. Will they mention that Doran has gout and that’s why he stays sitting on that chair?

    As far as the Sand Snakes, I hope they give them a good fighting introduction (like Oberyn got last season). I hoped it was their first season but they miss on that chance to properly introduce them.

  30. Renly’s Peach:

    Nah, that dude(butcher)sent to the Wall from Flea Bottom wielded some double stabbers. Jon killed him though, haha!

  31. JamesL:
    Stannis the Mannis,

    What trailer was this other Sansa candle scene in?

    Unless Kit Harington has a contract clause that says “hair cannot be cut if character dies until shown in episode? Season 6, Jon doesn’t die. 7 Hells, it’s May and season 6 starts shooting at the end of June/July.
    All Kit’s appearances for any of the movies he’s promoting now, have him ” let down those raven colored curls”! So glad he’s not dead!

  32. dragonbringer,

    Sorry Dragonbringer… Going to have to disagree strongly 🙂

    Dany may be the Mother of Dragons, she’s also the best prospect for the PtwP, but she really can only control One (obviously she’d pick Drogon)
    I believe she has lost contol of her dragons solely because a dragon will only bond to one person and I think now that all three are growing into adults, they are vying each other to claim that position.
    It seemed to me that every Valyrion prince/princess only ever had one dragon although siblings or members of the same family, could ride another’s dragon, but only if they were fondly ‘bonded’
    “The World of Fire and Ice” introduced us to the notion that commoners could bond with dragons so that could shake things up, but I’m guessing for current Westeros history, it’s mainly those with Valyrion/Targaryen blood.
    Rhaegar instigated the ruin of his house by believing the dragon needed 3 heads (sorry it’s been a while since I read the books so I can’t remember what set him off or why this was important to him)
    Little could he envisage that his sister would be the one to embody the prophecy, or that she would hatch 3 dragons but I am certain each one does need it’s own rider.
    There has to be an emotional link to Dany and Drogon… he come to her atop the pyramid (imo) because he sensed her distress and flew off because he could sense her attachment to his other siblings.
    Damn … I’m getting tired and losing track of what I’m trying to argue, but basically I’m convinced Each of those dragons Needs a human rider.
    Who those 3 individuals could be.. is still anyone’s guess! 🙂

  33. Damn all these theories about how the remainder of the season will play out have me on edge. All complaints about the ‘slow’ start will become void.

  34. Here Be Dragons,

    well you can definitely have your theory

    but let me tell you something it was she who sacrificed her loved ones to get the dragons to get the dragons…she who walked into the fire to gve birth to them …..well people can say that only one can ride a dragon at a time but there will always be a first time like how she walked into the fire and came out of it unburnt with her dragons..

    the TWOIAF did not give us the idea random guy can ride a dragon…according to Ran or Ellio who co wrote the book said that in order to ride a dragon you not only should be targ but you need to have a right drop of dragon blood

    the only strong contenders for dragon riders are jon and tyrion…by the end of this season …we will be seeing that theory jon fulfilling the AA theory disprove because there will be no stupid ser Patrick cast in this episode and tyrion will not be riding a dragon either …

    iam thinking that show will have all three dragons on the pit and looking forward to the season finale where when dany meets the khalasar she will have all three dragons with her which will confirm my theory hopefully

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