We Meet Mance Rayder

By Cat Taylor

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Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

The Charter has just left with Wolf crew to the far sunnier shores of Dubrovnik, but in Belfast we have traveled even further. Today, we are North of the Wall, and for the first time we will meet one of the most anticipated new characters in Series 3 – Mance Rayder.

When news emerged that Ciaran Hinds had accepted this part, the excitement in the office was a palpable thing – particularly with women, unsurprisingly.

Nestled on the back of Stage B, on one of our new soundstages at the Painthall, is Mance's tent. The Stage is pleasantly warm, but inside the tent fires burn while the takes are on, and every wildling is in furs and capes. Amazing for Icelandic glaciers, not so great for weight-loss-inducing sweat lodges in Northern Ireland.  It’s so hot in fact, that Edward Dogliani, who plays Rattleshirt has eschewed his namesake and is wandering around with no shirt of any kind (but a rather fetching pair of braces).

It's unusual that a new cast member’s introduction scene is the first scene we film with them, but that seems fitting for one of the season’s most anticipated new characters. Dan Minahan is at the helm, and in a small sub-section off the tent he watches as the scene comes to life.

It's a long scene and not an easy one – but there is an air of anticipation. So many of the crew are fans of the show that we get as excited as the viewers when our favourites are brought to life, and today the crew cluster around the monitors for each take.

It's time for Jon to meet the King North of the Wall, brother that was. It seems they have a lot to talk about.