Eye-Witness Account of Only Game of Thrones Filming in Dubrovnik, Croatia in 2015

Total Croatia News

Concluding Ivana Sepak’s fascinating mini-series on Dubrovnik and Game of Thrones, Ivana saves the most intriguing until last on March 2, 2016 – an eye-witness account of the only filming in Croatia last year. Fans of the show not wanting Season 6 spoilers – look away now!

HBO is over the ocean,
HBO is over the sea,
They left Dubrovnik recently,
If they will be back – we’ll see!

By and large, we have made the major comparisons of King’s Landing and Dubrovnik. This is why we prepared an Easter egg for you – a spoiler that might not be a spoiler at all.

It sounds like gibberish to you? Well then read along and don’t say we didn’t warn you.

It deeply saddened me when I heard HBO was going to skip filming in Dubrovnik last year. When I was taking my guests (I’m a tourist guide) around filming locations in spring and summer last year, one of the most often questions was: when are they coming back to film? Since Dubrovnik and Croatia had a very secure statement from one of the ministers that he himself personally arranged everything with HBO, there was very little place for doubt. All the leading Croatian media broadcasted it, and HBO never rebutted the minister’s announcements. Instead, Dubrovnik got a cold shower of reality in August – the filming was to be relocated to Spain. Adios. You know, it sounded like when a guy simply stops calling back his girlfriend, and it is for her to figure out what went wrong and why she got dumped.

At the beginning of October, more exact, October 8, a little birdie whispered to me that Game of Thrones was coming back for a day to Dubrovnik.And it was true! At the time of their filming, I had a Game of Thrones tour (what an inception) and I had the opportunity to see the scene from almost up-close. Funny, the scene itself seemed very plain and until I see it on television, it is my opinion that it could have been shot just anywhere in the world. Why Dubrovnik, why the beach that was used in season 2 for Myrcella’s departure to Dorne, there was no official statement. As a patriot, I choose to believe HBO was unable to live without our Adriatic sea, locals’ hospitality, fresh fish and the best wine in the world, and don’t you dare to dispute me.

Are you prepared for the “spoiler”?

This is your last chance to change your mind… For those of you that haven’t been to Dubrovnik yet, there is a small pebbly beach on the right from Pile gate and it is leaning onto the city walls, to be more exact, Bokar fortress. It was occupied by the crew from early morning, the location was secured and no entrance was allowed. Filming itself did not begin until 11 am. At the time, I was standing with my guests on a small pier from where you have a great view over the filming. Very soon, we were asked by security to vacate the spot. It is exactly what we did and moved 30 meters back from where we also had a great view. A woman in a long brown gown was standing next to the city walls, facing back at them, and she started moving abruptly to the left. At the same time, a man in armor was walking towards her, and just when you thought she would stop in front of him, she went down a small staircase towards the beach, stood in front of the sea itself as close as possible and she was looking into the distance for 6-7 seconds, then she walked back up the stairs, stood in front of the guy in armor – he never left his spot, and it seemed like they were talking. Cut! They shot it about 7-8 times. And that was it!

A woman in a brown gown was obviously Cersei, but the armored man was a mystery. Who was it? If you thought it was Jaime, like I did initially, you’d be wrong. As soon as I saw the scene unpacking, I immediately took my guests to the place where I knew the crew will have to pass – moving around the old town is quite limited. We were patient, waited for about 15 minutes and we got an answer – the guy in the armor was The Mountain! I can tell you that he really is a mountain, Mount Everest I’d say. This means that Qyburns experiments did the trick and brought Ser Gregor Clegane back on his feet.

The actor filling up the role for The Mountain changed several times, and in season 4 it seems HBO set their minds with Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson, an Iceland strongman, former basketball player and from 2013, an actor. This part in Game of Thrones was his premiere role. He is 2.06 meters tall (6 ft 9 in) and weighing 175 kg (386 lb), it’s a bit freaky to know he’s the third strongest man in the world! As you can see on the photo, he had a double for the scene. And very soon Cersei, that is, Lena Headey, graced us with her presence. There is no need to speak any further of her role, she is an outstanding actress. I recently read that she’s often insulted in public and rarely does anyone ask for her autograph, but she says it only means that her acting skills are acknowledged and she doesn’t mind. Professional, kudos to that!

Now it leaves for us to see how HBO will include the scene and just how much of CGI will be used. Imagine they decide to cut the scene out… I would definitely feel embarrassed… Well, at least there a lot of articles from other media proving that the filming did happen, especially since October 8 is a national holiday and some of the locals were very angry at the filming crew because the Croatian flag was replaced on Bokar fortress by a Lannister banner for ENTIRE 3 hours. Disgraceful. Perhaps now we’re getting to the bottom of why HBO unexpectedly left our beautiful coast and settled in Spain. Rumor has it they’re coming back to film this year; hopefully it’ll be as correct as the rumor on October 8.

Let your raven rest for a while, there will be more similar articles in the future.


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