Winterfell set being prepared for Game of Thrones season 5

Winterfell, in season one

Though Winterfell was taken by the Ironborn and burned by the Boltons, the former seat of House Stark remains, and the set is now taking shape again in Northern Ireland.

Originally built at Castle Ward, the set being built this year in Moneyglass (as it was season 2) includes the courtyard where much of the Winterfell action has taken place.

A return to Winterfell was implied in the eighth episode of the fourth season, as Theon Greyjoy and the Boltons approached the ruins of the castle. The presence of the castle is not unexpected as it plays a role in the fifth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Dance With Dragons.

In the photos below, portions of the set look burnt. A Bolton Flayed Man banner is partially visible in the first photograph, draped over the pole.


This was built at the same location, but studying it, it doesn’t look like it belongs to the Winterfell set and may belong to an entire different storyline from the show.


SuetheFury: Well, now we know what they were building in Moneyglass. It was Winterfell all along!

These photos of the Winterfell godswood have surfaced on Reddit as well. It’s unknown how recently they were taken.

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Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of


  1. H. Stark,

    The Northern stuff will be filmed later than the rest, if I remember correctly, so I assume we’ll start hearing about that kind of thing whenever they start shooting there.

  2. I wonder if they’ll have the Bolton flayed man replace the Stark direwolf in the opening credits for Winterfell

  3. Sweet , I love Winterfell , although the fancy screen doors on the bottom picture don’t seem to fit with Winterfell , surely the doors at Winterfell would be big sturdy things to keep warmth in , not fancy screen doors more fitting for a warm climate .

  4. I’m really curious to discover new places of Winterfell (I hope we’ll get many scenes there and it should be one of the highlights of the season !)

    Also looking forward to the visuals of the castle. We havent seen WF since season 2 and I’m quite sure, the designs and visuals will have evolved for season 5 !

    And thanks Greenjones for this pics ! Seing the godswood covered in snow gives me a looooooot of hope for next season ! We need snow in WF !

  5. Turncloak:
    I wonder if they’ll have the Bolton flayed man replace the Stark direwolf in the opening credits for Winterfell

    I would guess so, yeah.

  6. Yes Winterfell!! I feel so nostalgic right now, and yeah I really hope they improve the design of the place and show us new locations like wintertown.
    I know it will hurt but I think it would be a cool idea to at some point replacing the direwolf of Stark with flayed man of Bolton, only because of the politics of it, because thats the whole point the map in the intro, to guide us through the story, the families and the castles/cities. But it will only make sence after the

    wedding of Ramsay and fArya,

    because only then Winterfell will be under Bolton rule officialy

  7. I’m glad to see snow at the Godswood too-after four seasons of ‘winter coming,’ it will be good to actually see winter COME, south of the Wall.
    They’re definitely pushing on with the series…

    I’m crossing my fingers there will be some big battle scenes filmed on this set too as well…

  8. Mine is the Furry:
    Maybe the will show Winterfell during the credits again.That would be awesome.

    Winterfell was never left out of the credits IIRC. Even after the Boltons making it a smoking ruin…

  9. Missed the old place!
    With the Moneyglass set being revealed to be this. I guess there’s now potential for

    Deepwood Motte to remain in Ironborn hands so if this series or next Yara has to flee back there after the Kingsmoot then she can do so. Guess it depend on what’s going to go down in the northern storyline this season.
  10. TheTouchOfFrost,

    Or maybe Deepwood Mott is not longer held by ironborns… IIRC Ramsay told Theon (4×08) that after they took Moat Cailin the ironborn will flee from the North… But until now, it is still uncertain.

  11. I would like to see the Flayed Man banner used when introducing the Dreadfort stretched over the direwolf “gear” so that you at least can feel that it’s only temporary…

  12. I don’t know what the wooden underconstruction for the pond is used for… unless they finally let winter come and make the pond frozen *fingers crossed*

    dammit dragonslayer beat me

  13. StandOzone,

    In the books they hold it until Stannis takes it back as he moves south from the Wall and takes Asha/Yara captive. Not sure how that will play into the TV series but last season we saw how stubborn Ironborn commanders can be plus Deepwood Motte is quite hard to get too and right on the coast which plays into the Ironborns strengths so it would make sense for it to be the last place the Ironborn hold in the North and the Boltons are probably going to be more concerned with Stannis. I guess we’ll have to wait (and hope in my case!)
  14. That looks amazing! My favorite part of ADWD and perhaps the entire series… I hope they don’t fuck it up 🙂

    We need some Northern lords as featured extras, Manderly and someone to replace Jeyne Poole (which we hopefully already got with that “Winterfell worker”).

    I also love that they redid the Heart Tree’s face, it looked quirky in season 1

  15. It’s a wonderful feeling to see Winterfell again. Also, the fake snow and the wooden structure where the lake was makes me thing winter is truly coming in Season 5, at last. I’m also looking forward to see the place as portrayed with the show’s current budget. We haven’t seen Winterfell for two seasons now, and the production values have changed A LOT since Season 2.

  16. Dragonslayer,

    It has the same kind of windows as the building Dinklage was photographed inside (the pic that appeared on Twitter), so might be the exteriors of the brothel we’ve been hearing about.

  17. TheTouchOfFrost,

    I really hope to see Deepwood Mott onscreen, but I have to realize the possibility that they could cut the

    YarAsha – Stannis issue in order to delay the kingsmoot for S6, and the talk between Ramsay and Theon

    could be taken as an indicator (or not).

  18. StandOzone,

    It’s implied that Telltale’s tie in game will focus (at least partially) on Deepwood Motte, so hopefully that means the show WILL cover it to a certain extent. There’s also still plenty of time to film it and build a set given that filming ends in mid December.

  19. jentario,

    Also since they’ve been keen to give Yara something to do every year and since they like having characters from different walks of life/storylines meet up, it makes sense that they’ll include Deepwood Motte and what eventually happens there.

  20. The final scenes of Roose and Ramsay in season 4, including the approach to Winterfell, show a smattering of snow on the ground (which was CGI’d in, according to the VFX reels). Not a lot of snow, but obviously present.

  21. StandOzone,

    I guess Yara could leave Deepwood Motte when she gets a raven or some other word that Balon is dead and there’s a Kingmoot. When she flees back there Stannis’s forces could have already taken it, capture her and then she’s back in position. I guess it depends on whether they’re going to have the Stannis/Bolton confrontation this season or not and it’s outcome. Perhaps Stannis retreats back to Deepwood Motte? I don’t think he’s going to be able to take the North alone and personally I can see Rickon leading another force to smash the Boltons…or maybe again I’m hoping for some Stark vengeance!
  22. Watching the opening credits, I’ve wondered about the face on the tree in WF’s godswood. It looks somewhat like WF’s old maester, does it not?

  23. TheTouchOfFrost,

    This could work…

    Yara is the most accurate known face to introduce Euron, so, I don’t see her being captured by Stannis before Euron is crowned. The issue is, there’s no casting call / casting announcement for any Greyjoy. Patchface states that there’s a ironborn reaver (Deepwood Mott subplot? Euron?) and he also said that Quintin Castle was used as a ironborn raid, if this is true then we will have the Greyjoy’s invasion to the Reach or maybe the “ironborn raid” is just the battle against Stannis.

    I don’t know if Patchface is a troll (he seems not, but I hope he was because I want LS more than anything in the show), but if his information is accurate, at least we will have some Greyjoy’s adventures the next season.

    Summarizing, I think Euron will make the cut, and Yara will introduce him to the show… then she will flee to Deepwood Mott and then Stannis will capture her, but maybe Euron will be delayed to S6, so, Yara won’t be taken captive by Stannis before the Battle of Winterfell. To be honest, the Yara-Stannis issue should happen? Maybe they found another way by which the mountain clans and other northern lords join Stannis without the need to introduce Deepwood Mott.

  24. StandOzone,

    I think it’s important

    it both affects Jon’s character development (since he gives Stannis advice), Stannis’s (since he takes the advice) and that of their relationship. On top of that it’s a great midseason fight scene and a good plan for Stannis to gain support of the North be it with mountain clans or Umbers or what have you. And I want more Yara! Not giving Gemma more to do would be a disservice, she managed to handle her scenes very well
  25. I think the show did a pretty poor job of explaining what happened there and who burnT the castle back in season 2. They never really revealed that Boltons did it in S3 or S4 either!

  26. BrightroarsBane:
    I think those strange lattice doors belong to the brothel we saw early in Season 1, don’t they?

    Could this be

    where FArya comes from in the TV series

    especially because there is no Ros anymore and we haven’t got anything about Jane Poole?

  27. EDIT: Um… How do the spoiler tags work?

    This is pure speculation, but it’s possible Euron will be mentioned by other characters throughout S5, without actually being introduced.

    There could a few Small Council scenes, as well as scenes of Yara getting letters from home, informing us and the characters about Balon’s death, Euron, the Kingsmoot, Euron deciding to take all of Westeros, and sending his men to attack The Reach.
    At this point, Cersei would send Ser Loras to defend The Reach (instead of DragonStone) in hopes that he will be killed, thus freeing herself from her marriage (though she may be free of that already with Tywin’s death), and removing the only chance for the Tyrell name to continue.

    Euron would then be introduced in the flash in S6.

  28. Dragonslayer,

    But the Godswood and ponds don’t freeze because of underground hot springs, right? Where is AngryGOTFan when you need him? #NOONEUNDERSTAAANDS!!!

  29. jentario,

    Yes, it is important… I like Asha Greyjoy, and I like Gemma as Yara Greyjoy, but D&D have managed to leave out important elements in their adaptation. Anyway, I hope we get

    Deepwood Mott.

    Big Mac,

    I just remember Stannis and Co. being introduced without help of already known characters. Even for Dorne,

    they will use Jaime. You can be right, and Cersei could send Loras to the Reach at some point at the middle of S5 and then he appears at the begining of S6 introducing Euron (although that means no Loras for the rest of the season), but I don’t think that could work, specially because of Cersei’s downfall and Maergery’s imprisonment. So, I will pray for Euron this season, and that the fight Finn talked about some weeks ago is a heavy scene with the Greyjoys at the Reach.

    If Euron is not presented by Yara’s POV, I will bet he’s cut.

  30. Winterfell’s music is always depressing :/. Looking forward to Braavos’ music. Wonder if they will use a variation of Jaqen’s theme for it 🙂

  31. Mine is the Furry,

    They have been, I thought, always filled with smoke. Always makes me sad to see.

    Looks like they are setting something up by the godwood – maybe a wedding? Oh Theon being spooked by someone calling his name (it would be cool if a certain boy’s face would appear on the tree)

    Not sure how they are going to get all of the Ironborn story in two seasons. I’d be surprised if the Kingsmott shows up. But having Yara be there with Stannis would make sense as he makes his way there. I am now rereading DOD, and am just at the point where Stannis is snowbound. I don’t remember what happens next for Winterfell (thats what I like about getting older – old books are new ones all over again!)

    Im glad I am rereading this – now that I know more background of the characters and stories, Im having an easier time dealing with all of the characters that were introduced in this book. And Im liking it a lot more then I did on first read.

  32. Turncloak,

    “I have from a source who works with Elastic and doesn’t want to get in trouble:

    This season Winterfell is no longer smoking in the title sequence, and has a Bolton flag flying.

  33. This “shooting in Belfast” Artisan’s Piece from the Spring shows that they used a barn in Moneyglass as both the Inn that Arya and Sandor stop by in 401 and Mole’s Town in 403 and 408. As I saw someone mention either in this article’s comments, another ones or maybe over at AFOIAF, this picture here is of that very same barn (albeit with some renovations). Given the designs on the window matching those from that Tyrion photo, I’d say they filmed the Selhorys/Volantis brothel here.

  34. StandOzone:

    Yes, it is important… I like Asha Greyjoy, and I like Gemma as Yara Greyjoy, but D&D have managed to leave out important elements in their adaptation. Anyway, I hope we get

    Big Mac,

    I just remember Stannis and Co. being introduced without help of already known characters. Even for Dorne,

    If they’re not going to do the Kingsmoot this season then the way I’d play it would be to have small council reports of Ironborn raids in the Reach and perhaps references to Euron’s ship. As others have said they could send Loras and have him come back seriously injured or not come back at all ( perhaps Euron could take his head or something to make his eventual introduction (possibly season 6) more memorable. . This would stir things up even more between the Tyrells and Lannisters if Loras was acting on Cersei’s orders. At some point mid-season, have the scene where Balon reaches his demise. Could be done off-screen but I think Patrick Malahide deserves a proper ending and it could be a chance to introduce a hooded figure who is responsible for it ( another nod towards Euron without having to cast him for this season). Have Yara stay at Deepwood Motte and possibly have a short scene where we’re introduced to Vicatrion ( could he be the Ironborn Reaver that is being cast?! One of his chapter names is The Reaver after all) perhaps with him visiting her and bemoaning the failed invasion of the north and how he could lead better than Balon with Yara bouncing her leadership ambitions off him.Then the final Ironborn scene of the season is Yara and Victarion getting a raven telling them of Balon’s death and that a ship with black sails,red hull, crewed by mutes,etc has been spotted in the area. Then at the very start of SEason 6 we can have the Kingsmoot and still have plenty of time for Yara to get back to Deepwood Motte to be taken captive by a retreating Stannis (if the battle of Winterfell is this season) and for Vication to get over to Mereen for the second Siege of Mereen. I think this eases us into the characters naturally and also creates viewer interest in them. The best thing is it doesn’t take up much screen time at all. WWell…I can dream at least!
  35. TheTouchOfFrost,

    I like your proposal… it could works if

    Stannis survives the Battle of Winterfell. But I still hope that the fight scene Loras talked about involves Euron, I don’t see him being killed offscreen. But the Tyrell-Lannister tension post-Walk of Shame will be interesting if Loras’ death is the main cause.
  36. Hmmm he did say he had a fight scene didn’t he? Perhaps have Victarion be the one who tangles with Loras. A hooded Euron can still be present/responsible for Balon’s death and Yara could receive a raven to notify her of his death and the Kingsmoot. That’s still just three scenes and a sprinkling of other references to work them all in. I guess they could merge Euron and Victarion but when Tyrion has already mentioned Theons uncles it would be much better with both. Just no news on either being cast means it’s not looking good.
  37. I think the kingsmoot is being cut. D&D have said they want 7 seasons. There is no way to cover WoW and the KingsMoot in season 6. The showrunners have to begin workings toward an endgame.

    The Ironborn reaver is probably a composite character to send to Essos to replace Victorian, after the attacks on the Reach.

  38. TheTouchOfFrost,

    According to “Inside HBO’s GOT”, only Euron is listed as Theon’s uncle. It seems that previously Victarion was in that family tree and now he was removed. I don’t know how reliable this guide is, but if it serves as proof, at least we will have Euron (I like Euron more than Victarion and Aeron, so… if this becomes true, I will be happy)… It’s a shame that the show doesn’t care about details as that Tyrion’s reference to “uncles” (a Harlow uncle still is possible).

  39. StandOzone,

    Well , I’d take one over neither but if they’re

    Having the Kingsmoot I really don’t think it would be any more effort/time consuming to have Vic as well. Unless they bypass the Kingsmoot altogether and just have Euron turn up and take over from Balon? It is frustrating though as it would take minimum effort to include two of the more unique characters. The fact they’ve made such a fuss over working in the bland and comparatively insignificant Sand Snakes makes it more frustrating for those of is who want to see more Ironborn
  40. TheTouchOfFrost,

    Did it ever occur to you that the reason the Sand Snakes were cast and Vic wasn’t, was because they are more significant, especially in the end game?

    Vic is a sure goner in TWOW. His sole purpose was to provide a fleet for Dany’s army.

    I’m not against any characters being cast, but if it is an either/or scenario, give me Euron over Vic the Dullard.

  41. TheTouchOfFrost,

    The Sand Snakes maybe didn’t have a relevant role (if any) in aFfC and aDwD, but they could be very important in WoW and aDoS… D&D have information that we don’t. I think that include them before they become a central piece is good. So, no complains.

    If the kingsmoot happens onscreen, maybe they will get Yara, Euron and some other ironborn lords portrayed by featured extras, showing that the Iron Islands are more than Greyjoys… Victarion’s postulation makes no sense if they want to shorten the plot. Also, Dany already has 93 ships, which suggests that Victarion won’t made the cut (but Gods! A scene where Barristan smells a lost battle and then krakens appears would be great!)

    I like Victarion in the books, but to be true… the only-show viewers won’t be willing to give screen time to understand the familial issues of Martells (poor Arianne and her claim as the heiress of Dorne) and Greyjoys (poor, abused Victarion, which late wife once betrayed him with his brother).

  42. Big Mac,

    I think it would be pretty easy to just build up Euron offscreen this season. Just have Yara go back to Deepwood, since I imagine she may be reticent to go home without Theon after she made such a big deal about it to her dad. Then she gets news that dad died and Euron has taken over. She’s mad because her throne’s been stolen by an uncle she hates, and plans to go back to the Isles to challenge him, but Stannis attacks before she can leave. Now you’re set up pretty well for Euron in season 6, you have Yara where you need her, and you’ve avoided having to give any real screen time to the Kingsmoot.
  43. Tyrion Pimpslap,

    It has but that doesn’t change the fact they’ve done jack shit so far. Sitting locked up and Obara having relentless sulks has done nothing to interest me. They’re all style over substance. By the same token we don’t know for certain what role Vic will play. Like him or not, he’s certainly a more detailed character than some and the ship delivery theory is overplayed. D&D would be foolish to turn down the chance to have the cinematic scene of Ironborn storming the beaches to change the outcome of the battle at the siege of Mereen whether they be led by Victarion, Euron (who is the biggest X factor in the books at the moment) or whoever.


    Honestly care nothing about them. BE happy if as many of them as possible die this season (I sense Obara may be losing her head at teh hands of the equally balnd and pointless Areo) . Glad you share my desire for the siege of Mereen to be done with the Ironborn save. Perhaps Euron could lead the charge if Vic is cut but I guess it all depends on what he needs to be doing elsewhere! I think people undersestimate the interests and depth of show watchers. The stuff that has most widely been loved by them is stuff that’s been adapted relatively faithfully from the books whereas there ( with the folks I’ve chatted to anyway) has been more of a mixed response to larger changes like MissandGrey, The return to Crasters Keep, etc.


    As much as I’d miss the Kingsmoot and Vic if they were just doing Euron this would make sense if they do decide to slash bits off the story. Would still like to see Euron f*cking up Loras (not in the way he might enjoy) at some point but building him with mentions like they did with Stannis to some degree is a wise move. His ship on it’s own immediately conjures a sense of mystery and menace so description of it would be a nice build which gets satisfied when we finally see it.
  44. The guy who uploaded the pics said he also saw a “whole section” of cages which (for some reason) he assumed were for direwolves. Looks like Ramsay’s bitches are making a return. And I guess Reek’s new home is in one of the cages as well.

  45. TheTouchOfFrost,

    They probably have to keep Loras alive for now so that he can step into any roll that Willas/Garlan have in the future. That’s also probably why they’ve never had him join the kingsguard, since he needs to be as flexible as possible to cover for missing characters. I would think you will get to see him against the ironborn eventually though, since that’s where Garlan/Willas seem to be building towards for Winds, but that’s probably season 6 stuff.
  46. afeastfordances,

    I guess they’ll find him another reason to not defend Margery by combat. Do like the idea of him heading over to defend the Shield Islands instead of retake DragonsStone. Fitted nicely and would give one of the Greyjoy boys a regular to interact with.
  47. Greenjones,

    I just noticed the matching window pattern myself, I bet they are the same building.

    But since we know (based on a casting call) that Tyrion will interact with at least one higher-class prostitute, and classy prostitute = brothel nicer than a barn, I wonder if this building is meant to be the inn that Jorah drags Tyrion to and chains him up overnight. That’s a pretty significant scene for those two, lays all the groundwork for future interactions and establishes Jorah’s motives.
  48. I wonder, are they going to film

    The Battle of Winterfell

    here. That would require a heck of a lot of fake snow.

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