By Cat Taylor
Two years ago in a quarry just north of Belfast, the Battle of Blackwater came to life under the keen eye of director Neil Marshall. It was not an easy shoot, requiring nearly a month of night shoots in the unforgiving October weather. The red mud was so churned up by the trucks and the feet of the marauding hordes of extras and crew, that by the end, it was no longer possible to drive anything but the sturdiest of vehicles down to the castle set. Carrying kit out became a challenge of endurance.
Two years and two seasons on, we have returned to a location not far from the first and Neil is back at the helm once more. It’s still several weeks of night shoots, and being Belfast, there is still rain, but this time the fight Neil is navigating is not anywhere on the water. The planning of this battle has been taking place for months but unlike any other episode of Season 4, Neil’s will be filmed in a very concentrated burst. In fact, for many on the show – including most of the cast and the other directors, their work was complete before filming on this episode had even begun.
Throughout our shooting schedule, our crew and specialist departments are on their toes, but perhaps never more so than this season. This episode has kept the teams in stunts, armoury, prosthetics, SFX and VFX particularly busy, with camera tests and stunt rehearsals happening for several weeks beforehand.
As always, I can’t give too much away, but a little hint won’t hurt: Although this battle will not be laden with wildfire, I can say you’ve never seen an army like this on ‘Game of Thrones.’
By Cat Taylor
For the ‘Game of Thrones’ crew, every year is a different type of adventure. This year, the Dragons took care of Iceland and the Wolves invaded Croatia for the better part of six weeks. Splitting filming time between Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian coastal town of Split, we caught up with Daenerys’ story in Slaver’s Bay after her spectacular victory at Yunkai, along with the new armies she commands. Then it was across the sea to the red-stone walls of King’s Landing and all the drama that continues to play out on the great stage that is Joffrey’s court.
While there are some specific locations we can’t confirm for security reasons, it was amazing to be able to see so many places in such a beautiful country in such a unique way. The back streets of Old Town and the coastal hotels redressed into fortresses were a sight to see… And it’s not every day you have to cut because someone is doing speedboat tricks in the background of your scene. (Seriously.)
While we did cut Morocco out of the schedule and reduce our country count to three, that hasn’t stopped us from establishing a new show record. Thanks to the splinter units, we actually managed to film four separate episodes simultaneously. That’s two directors, filming separate episodes in two different countries, all on the same day.
What’s it take to become such masters of efficiency? Caffeine, sugar … and every AD available in Northern Ireland.
The call went out yesterday to citizens of the realm: #RoastJoffrey. Over 45,000 responses came flying in – no ravens required. 'Game of Thrones' fans took to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Vine to share the reasons why the dishonorable King makes their blood boil. Below is an assortment of shots that nailed Joffrey with crossbow-like precision.
'Game of Thrones' cast members took part:
Dear Joffrey, To slightly misquote Woody from Toy Story: "We wargs can see everything, so play nice." #RoastJoffrey— Isaac.H.Wright (@IsaacBranFlakes) December 12, 2013
Comedy pros had some colorful contributions:
Brands hate Joffrey as much as people do:
#RoastJoffrey? Sounds delicious.— Hannibal (@NBCHannibal) December 12, 2013
Being king might not be your calling. We’d be happy to help you find a better job. #RoastJoffrey— Monster Careers (@MonsterCareers) December 12, 2013
Celebrities got in on the fun:
Among fans, it took off like wildfire:
"I for one, LOVE King Joffrey" - King Joffrey on King Joffrey. #RoastJoffrey— OttaWout (@The_Wout) December 13, 2013
You can see more fan tweets on our Facebook page. Join the realm in continuing the roast today. Use the hashtag #RoastJoffrey and share your favorite jokes in the comments.
Winter is coming, and what better way to warm your icy heart than by spewing fiery vitriol at your least favorite king of Westeros? 'Game of Thrones' fans across the known world are encouraged to join some of their favorite cast members, celebrities and 'Thrones' recappers in roasting the King on the Iron Throne. Follow the details below to participate.
What: A comedy roast of King Joffrey – on social media.
When: A two-day special event on Thursday, December 12 and Friday, December 13.
Why: Because you hate Joffrey Baratheon with the fire of a thousand dragons.
Visit RoastJoffrey.com for up-to-the-second punchlines. The first of its kind, this social media roast promises to light the biggest fire the web has ever seen. Join in.