Zumaia gets ready for filming tomorrow; Cast and crew celebrate Emilia’s birthday

Photograph by Ivan Llorente (@IvanLlorenteZ on Twitter)
Photograph by Ivan Llorente (@IvanLlorenteZ on Twitter)

These last few days, we have been spoiled —in both sense of the word— while filming took place in the Basque province of Biscay, first in Barrika’s Muriola beach and then in Bermeo’s Gaztelugatxe. The former gave us the surprising return of a long-lost character, and the latter a historic meeting we are all itching to witness on-screen. As the production moves east to Gipuzkoa (the home province of yours truly), the final preparations are being made to Zumaia’s Itzurun beach. After weeks of planning, Zumaia will at long last become a Game of Thrones filming location tomorrow. Meanwhile, back in Bilbao, the cast joins in to celebrate Emilia Clarke‘s birthday.

The showrunners and the cast not only visited the Guggenheim Museum itself, which we already learnt about yesterday, but took advantage of the opportunity to celebrate Emilia Clarke’s thirtieth birthday at the museum’s classy Nerua restaurant:

Not as classy but much more fun is the other way the newly 30-years-old Emilia celebrated: With Spongebob and Dora the Explorer. Happy birthday, khaleesi!

Locals reported last night that Zumaia was being invaded by the usual barrage of production trucks and vans. Today, thanks to Jon Urbieta on Twitter, we have footage of this fleet on wheels. As you can see, Game of Thrones has made its HQ in Zumaia’s port:

Meanwhile, in the location itself, it’s time for the finishing touches before filming starts. The Guardia Civil (Spain’s very own gendarmerie, a sort of military police force) is already restricting access by sea to Itzurun beach, which at the same time is undergoing a final clean-up so that a soda can doesn’t appear on-screen rather anachronistically.

A few days ago we got to see how the crew made trial runs for an aquatic sequence, and now BALEIKE gives us a good look at the one of the boats (there are at least two). As you can see, the main boat is considerably longer than it appeared to be at first:

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Which characters will be brought to shore in this limousine boat? It seems more likely than ever that Zumaia’s Itzurun beach will serve as part of Dragonstone, which promises to be one of the main locations this coming season. So, will we get a look at Daenerys‘ arrival in her place of birth? Are certain other characters getting to the stronghold only to find the Dragon Queen already installed there? Share your theories in the comments! If we are lucky, they may be proven right or wrong as soon as tomorrow!


  1. Look at her big smile ! They finally let her leave the hotel room .. It’s her birthday after all!
    And look who’s right next to her! DAKINGINDANORF ❤️

    Happy birthday Emilia, you gorgeous human being !

  2. Happy Birthday to Emilia! Is that D&D under those costumes?

    And, yes, we need some new POPS. Poor Bran doesn’t even have one.

  3. Is it me or is sponge bob sticking up his middle finger? Everything I see Emilia I can’t but help fall in love with her a little. She is adorable, Sexy and beautiful all rolled up in one.

  4. Emilia’s smile just lights up whatever room she’s in. I’m glad to see that she was able to go out and enjoy her birthday with the cast.

    After all the photos that have been circulating from the past few days, there was really no point in trying to hide that she and Kit are filming in the same location any longer.

    If that’s truly David and Dan under those costumes … that’s both awesome and terrifying.

  5. Finally we have a photo of her with fellow cast members..
    How one can hate Emilia I don’t know

    I think the shooting will be similar to what we have seen for the past days .
    We will have dany’s landing and jon snow and Davis arriving.

  6. oh an actor has a birthday? like every other human on earth, what’s so special that it needs reporting?

  7. It would be funny if they had given another targaryen cake for her Lol but glad she could enjoy her birthday.

  8. It just struck me. Varys had been around the Targ family for a long time, he knew Rhaegar personally. If Jon is all Lyanna Stark and doesn’t even have a single physical feature from his dad (kinda farfetched), then the secret should still be safe. But if there’s some resemblance, surely Varys would take notice as he’s perceptive. Even if he doesn’t figure things out, he might start questioning them, grow suspicious even if he doesn’t exactly know why.

  9. It’s kinda why it was jarring to see Jaime talk to Jon in season 1 (a show-only scene) and remain completely oblivious. Jaime also knew Rhaegar personally. But maybe at that time they didn’t want to put any RLJ hints yet.

  10. Kargaryen,

    I wonder what gift she received this year .
    Last year D&D presented a chain saying MOD ..
    I don’t exactly remember its on her birthday though..

  11. Emilia is just being deceptive with those tags and clues.

    Everyone knows that’s “Jorah the Explorah!” … spoiler warning! 😛

    Happy Birthday Emilia!

  12. OGbear,

    Well clearly he resembles the Stark side a lot more as we all now.He might have some of Rhaegar’s features,even though I’m pretty sure most of it are personality wise but I don’t think Jaime would get that in one meeting.Like if you saw me and my mum you wouldn’t guess she is my mum and that is the case for many people in the real world.Now Varys if he is around Jon for a long time and stops and thinks about it might get it but I don’t think they will go there.

  13. Aww Happy Birthday Emilia Clarke!

    Shes such a sweet cupcake lol!

    I love seeing Kit at the party too with Liam…it seems like they are no longer hiding the fact those two are in the same location which makes sense. I still cant get over seeing those characters in 1 spot! I feel like its the end of the world lol

  14. OGbear:
    oh an actor has a birthday? like every other human on earth, what’s so special that it needs reporting?

    I think I’ll file this comment under ‘Geez, is there anything people won’t complain about on this site?’

    I mean, come on. She plays a main character on the show that is the purpose for this site’s very existance but you’re going to gripe about them mentioning her birthday?

  15. Happy Birthday, Dragon Mom!

    I wonder what the Greyjoy story will be in Season 7? They set sail together from Essos, but when do they go different ways?

  16. I know filming is not an easy thing, but eating all that fabulous Basque cuisine surely helps.

    Belated happy birthday to Emilia!

  17. Kay:
    Happy Birthday, Dragon Mom!

    I wonder what the Greyjoy story will be in Season 7? They set sail together from Essos, but when do they go different ways?

    Yeah Alfie and Gemma have been noticeably absent from all this. Alice’s been in London for a while now and Gemma has been working on another project.

  18. What I find interesting and possibly telling is that neither Peter Dinklage nor Joe Dempsie are in Emilia’s b-day pic. I wonder if that means they’ve left Spain and are filming elsewhere. I still think it’s possible that Dany would send Gendry North (esp if she is in an alliance with Jon) to keep him safe from Cersei.

    And why not travel with Tyrion who could do some further Northern negotiations as Dany’s Hand since he has an established relationship with the Wardeness in the North (Sansa) already?

    Or they just might not be in that particular picture, LOL!

  19. OMG !!!!!!!! . I can See New Dress Of Targaryens….Lol.

    Happy B’day Dragon Queen. have a Good Year Ahead.


  20. OGbear,

    Yeah, but remember Jaimie was not expecting to see Raegar’s son. He was meeting Ned’s bastard who, with the exception of Arya, is the most Starkish of the bunch. Being Lord Full of Himself, as he was back then, Jaimie probably he was not even paying much attention. Why would he? He was a beautiful kingsguard, son of wealthy and powerful Tywin…

  21. Myname,
    Ah, gotcha! Thanks for the info. There’s always Brienne doing escort duty! (Yes, yes, I just really want Gendry at Winterfell–or wherever Arya is–before season’s end.)

  22. I am still convinced that the Itzurun Beach sequence will be Jon taking poorly manned Dragonstone from the Crown’s forces, while Cersei and Dany fight their big battle in the Stormlands. In fact, I am convinced more than ever.
    The spoiled Dragonstone scenes kind of imply that Dany will be absent in the beginning and that Jon will be interacting mainly with Tyrion, until she comes swooping in on the dragon. Tyrion’s suicide mission to KL also implies that their situation will be rather desperate at some point.
    So, here are my new altered predictions for the S7 main story:

    Ep 1-2. Jon learns his parentage – maybe from Littlefinger, and Littlefinger urges him to claim the Iron Throne. Edmure Tully may come into play too by retaking Riverrun or planning to do so. With the North, the Vale, and the Riverlands on his side, Jon will become a mighty claimant, however news that the Dragon Queen is coming with the backup of Dorne and the Reach will complicate things. Jon will decide not to impede his auntie’s claim (he or someone from his team may propose marriage as a solution), but one way or another Jon will decide that his birthright entitles him to take Dragonstone: he needs dragonglass ASAP, and opening the second front against Cersei would only help Dany.
    Meanwile, Cersei will be breaking with Jaime and forging the alliance with Euron. Euron might start right with the attack on Dorne capturing Ellaria and her daughter (other two or at least one of them may be killed). I bet that Ellaria will spill all the information about Dany’s landing plans trying to save her daughter’s life, and that will enable Cersei and Euron to develop and efficient defense plan. It’s also worth to mention that Euron may bring warlocks back into the game, and warlocks definitely have some means enabling them to gain control over dragons (at least temporarily). It may be drugs or drugs combined with spells or something similar, and Qyburn may also have a hand in producing whatever is required to incapacitate dragons.
    Meanwhile, Dany will be on the sail. She might stop at Volantis to meet Kinvara (and maybe Melisandre) and reach the coast of Westeros in the final scene of Ep1 and start landing waiting for her allies to join her.

    Ep 3-4: Jon takes Dragonstone (Edmure may retake Riverrun), Dany has her big battle (IMO she will receive a word that the wagon train with provisions sent to her by Ollena has been ambushed nearby by the Lannisters, which will make her rush to its aid, but the wagon train will turn out to be a decoy: IMO, two smaller dragons will end badly wounded and Drogon will fly away saving Dany (they may fall into the water, but Drogon is a good diver too); Tyrion will order the army to return to the ships (the Unsulled will hold the Lannister attack), but then the fleet will be attacked by Euron, who will capture Yara; however Theon will save the remains of the fleet and lead them to Dragonstone (Tyrion saw Drogon flying in Valyria in S5, so, he will decide that, if dragons survive, they will come to the only place in the area they have connection to).

    Ep 5-6. Tyrion and co. will make it to Dragonstone and find Jon there, but Dany and her dragons will be missing. Tyrion will try to talk Jon into starting a full scale war on Cersei, who will be sending her forces to the Riverlands and the Vale. Jon will be in distress and everything will look rather desperate, until Dany swoops in on Drogon, but even afterwards it won’t become much better. Cersei will have Yara and possibly two of three Dany’s dragons: I go back to my previous assumption that Tyrion’s suicide mission will be dragon-related, though it may have other purposes as well. One way or another, that mission will fail, but as it will bring Gendry into play, Jon’s and Dany’s dream-team will get a chance to organize the public revolt in KL.

    Ep 7. Climax in the Dragon pit: Cersey will be staging some gruesome demonstration of her power (Yara’s tryal by combat, mass execution of her captives, show of dragons under her control or everything combined), which will make other characters like Brienne or Sandor or even Sam to come to town as well (I would love to see Tarlys’ family drama ending with Sam saving his dad and brother). Revolution will be chaotic (Cersei might even manage to escape to the Casterly Rock, if one of the “controlled” dragons will play a helicopter) but the people will prevail.
    However, in the North Littlefinger will brew something which will nullify the defense of the Wall enabling the Night King’s attack, and S8 will start with the siege of Winterfell and race against time on the dragons.

    Now Clob and others can start mocking me again, but I don’t mind.

  23. Well it’s good that they’re not making them hide anymore for gods sakes. I can only imagine how awkward it’d have been if they let Emilia be in the picture because of her birthday and made Kit hide behind some chair in the corner somewhere.

  24. Inga,
    I am still convinced that the Itzurun Beach sequence will be Jon taking poorly manned Dragonstone from the Crown’s forces,

    I can’t think of any reason Jon himself would go to Dragonstone except to meet with Dany who is already there. If all he wanted was to take Dragonstone to get access to the dragonglass there then he could send Davos and maybe Glover with some troops.

    No, Dany arrives there and takes control of her birthplace to be her base of operations. That’s why you see Dothraki posted as guards. After she has Dragonstone Tyrion and Davos then arrange for Jon to come and meet with her there.

  25. OGbear,

    Someone as observant as Varys could be suspicious, especially if he spends a lot of time with Jon. Jon could take after Rhaegar when it comes to personality (Rhaegar was melancholy and we all know Jon isn’t a beacon of joy and happiness lol). But either way, people have no reason to suspect that Ned might be lying about Jon’s parentage, so even if Jon might have a Targ feature here and there, they wouldn’t rush to associate him with Rhaegar.

    Season 1 Jaime is pretty self-centered and thoughtless, so he wouldn’t pay attention to how Ned’s bastard looks like. Nobody would, actually. Jaime was also very young when Rhaegar was alive, so it’s likely he doesn’t remember him as well as someone like Barristan for example.

  26. She’s so awesome. Like I’ve said before, if anyone could brighten up a ridiculously early morning, it’s her. Welcome to the 30s gang, Emilia! ?

  27. I notice that Liam wore his most elegant t-shirt to Emelia’s birthday dinner. Swanky, Liam!


  28. Edd,

    Wow! It’s definitely an attack scene, if the showrunners intend to involve these guys. And it’s going to be just glorious!

  29. Luka Nieto,

    I think the Basque National Sport is the Basque Ball/Pelota or Fronton Game, which is a ball against a wall. In any modality… with tools like hand, basquet, wooden paddle, xare paddle… and 1-2-3-4 walls, with diferent lengths and concave-convex tricks. Mainly because it is a “true national sport” played in all the basque country.

    Then we have traditional jobs that became sports very attached to the basques like rowing, woodchopping, stonelifting, dragging games, scything, sheepdog trials… tons of it… but they are common to many cultures. For example few weeks ago the Basque National Team won Tug of War World Championships, held in Malmö, Sweden.





    I heard they hire a couple of rowers from Zumaia… hope they make a good job tomorrow.

  30. Edd,

    My biggest question is in what type of costumes the rowers will be dressed. Hopefully, someone will get a shot or two.

  31. Inga: Now Clob and others can start mocking me again, but I don’t mind.

    I’m not going to say a thing. It’s too hard to keep up as it evolves. 🙂

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