Oh, if only we could be on the set of Game of Thrones for a day.
On Sunday, Game of Thrones did the next best thing and aired its special, A Day in the Life, which explored one day of shooting for HBO's globally popular fantasy drama. For the show's fifth season, which returns in April, the majority of shooting took place in three places: Croatia, Northern Ireland and Seville in Spain.
The series shoots a total of 120 days (but with two locations shooting simultaneously, which makes it 240 full days of footage) to make only 10 episodes of television, which gives you an idea of just how little can be accomplished in one day. Scenes that only occur for part of one episode may take three weeks to finish. How much could we glean about the upcoming season from just one day of shooting? Let's take a look at six things we can look forward to in Season 5:
1. Daenerys speaks Valyrian like a boss: Of the many things we love about Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), we really adore when she busts out her high Valyrian (but apparently her Dothraki needs work) because it makes her sound so badass. In a scene shot in Northern Ireland, Dany speaks Valyrian and then lays down the law in Meereen when she commands, "I didn't conquer them; their own people did. Find the men who did this and bring them to me." Yes, Khaleesi!
2. Gladiator fights! Seville's famed bullfighting ring Plaza de Toros transforms into a massive sports arena for the fifth season. There, we see hundreds of extras lined up on the stone risers to watch what looks to be gladiator face-offs. More choreographed hand-to-hand combat? Yes, please!
3. Jon Snow may travel beyond The Wall: Jon Snow (Kit Harington) isn't done with the wildings just yet! Maghermorne Quarry, which is in Northern Ireland, has been used by Game of Thrones before for Castle Black and Battle of Blackwater, but now the location will do triple duty, this time as Hardhome, a fishing village north of The Wall. The new set includes a longhouse for most of the action, a landing area and a "tent city" where more free folk dwell.
4. Sunny, sparkling Dorne will warm our hearts: This season we will finally get to visit Dorne, one of the most laid-back and liberal regions of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. In particular, the Alcazar in the Royal Palaces of Seville will double as the famed Water Gardens of Dorne. After the death of Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), will these gorgeous views be enough to comfort his brother, Prince Doran (Alexander Siddig)?
5. Cersei gets dirty! No, we're not talking about more twincest. On location in Dubrovnik, we see Cersei (Lena Headey) making her way through one of the poorer areas of King's Landing, right behind the Sept of Baelor. A hundred-plus extras who've been "broken down" to look sick, hungry and poverty-stricken line a narrow staircase that Cersei must attend on her quest to speak to the High Sparrow. Let's hope no one dares to besmirch the royal rainment! Or maybe let's hope they do because there's nothing more entertaining than an angry Cersei.
6. The High Sparrow flies in: Speaking of the High Sparrow, Jonathan Pryce joins the cast this season to play a representative for the religious movement of "sparrows," who follow the Faith of Seven. As bedraggled as he may look, this sparrow will be a big player in the game. We can't wait to see Cersei try to strong-arm him. Seven hells!
What are you looking forward to the most?
Game of Thrones Season 5 premieres on Sunday, April 12 at 9/8c on HBO.
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