Dispatches From The Seven Kingdoms: Fresh Recruits


By Bryan Cogman

MAGHERAMORNE QUARRY, Northern Ireland - "Night gathers and now my watch begins."  At long last, I've reached Castle Black, a once-mighty fortress, now a shadow of its former self due to years of neglect and the ravages of time.  It is home to the Night's Watch, a brotherhood sworn to protect and defend the Seven Kingdoms.  And it sits at the base of the fabled Wall - raised by Brandon the Builder in the Age of Heroes to protect the realm from the dark forces that dwell beyond in the frigid Northern wastelands.

While Brandon the Builder is no longer with us, we are fortunate to have Gemma Jackson and the stalwart GoT crew, who have built a large section of Castle Black here at Magheramorne Quarry, just a few minutes north of Belfast.  It's a composite set, with exteriors and interiors.  The courtyard.  The ravenry. The mess hall. The barracks chamber. Even a working elevator that climbs up the quarry wall.  It's all here.

We've been on this set for a few days filming the Castle Black scenes from Episodes III and IV.  Brian Kirk directing, Marco Pontecorvo shooting.  As I type this dispatch, fight  arranger Buster Reeves is drilling a combat sequence with Night's Watch recruits Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Rast (Luke McEwan), Grenn (Mark Stanley) and Pyp (Josef Altin).  Not sure how I'd fare in the Night's Watch.  I imagine I'd be assigned to the stewards, as I have flat feet.

Until next time, friends,

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