Filming on season three of ‘Game of Thrones’ is underway in Northern Ireland with the hugely popular HBO series currently shooting in Belfast’s Paint Hall studio.
The shoot began on Monday (July 9) with the series once again returning to the region following the massive success of the first two series, both of which were filmed in Northern Ireland. The 10-episode shoot is expected to last just over 18 weeks in total.
Other locations in the North to be used during the shoot include two new purpose-built 44,000 square-feet sound stages in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and the Linen Mill Film Studios in Banbridge, Co Down, as well as a number of other exterior locations in the region.
Additional filming will once again include stints in Croatia and Iceland as well as, for the first time, a shoot in Morocco.
Casting on season three has been kept under wraps by HBO although it is expected that Lena Heady, Kit Harington and Peter Dinklage will reprise their roles. It is rumoured that new cast members will be unveiled at this evening’s Comic-Con event in San Diego.
The show’s creators David Benioff & D.B. Weiss will again script a number of episodes as well as co-directing a number of episodes for the first time. Additional directors for season three will include Alex Graves; Michelle MacLaren; Dan Minahan; David Nutter and Alik Sakharov. Writers returning for this season are Bryan Cogman; George R.R. Martin and Vanessa Taylor.
A large number of Irish extras have been hired for the shoot and have been warned not to share information about the shoot on any social media.
Writing on their Facebook page, extras agency Extras NI told its members: “Please do not tweet about your time on ‘Game of Thrones’. As you know, the producers do their utmost to ensure that plot points are not spoiled for the fans. The smallest mention of where you are or what's being shot can be too much information and can be interpreted by the press leading to ‘spoilers’.”
They added: “Additionally, cast, crew and extras should not speak to media or post any photos/comments on blogs or any social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook.”
‘Game of Thrones’ received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen Fund supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Season two of the series was recently broadcast by Sky Atlantic with the season premiere pulling in more than 8.3 million viewers.
The series featured Irish actor Aiden Gillen (Love/Hate) as Petyr Baelish, while Liam Cunningham (The Guard) played Ser Davos Seaworth.