UPDATE: Check out the new teaser trailer for season 2: Game of Thrones Season 2 Teaser Trailer

After last week’s shocking development, Game Of Thrones fans are clamoring for the season one finale this Sunday. While it’s a long wait for the Season 2 premiere next year, filming begins next month, and executive producers David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealed a few details in a recent interview.

Game Of Thrones has climbed steadily in the rating since its mediocre debut, with last week’ episode winning 2.7 million viewers. HBO renewed Game Of Thrones almost immediately after the premiere, and we can expect the second season to arrive in or around April of next year.

The production will remain a UK affair, with indoor filming in Belfast and exterior scenes shot on location around Northern Ireland. Last year, the crew went to locales like Malta to film scenes in the fictional eastern continent, so expect the same location or a reasonable facsimile for the continuation of Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) storyline.

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While no new cast members have been announced, expect the characters from the current season to return (at least the ones that make it out of the finale alive). The next season is based on the second book of A Song of Ice and Fire, A clash of Kings, and will call for dozens of new parts, large and small. Executive producers Benioff and Weiss gave an interview to the L.A. Times and let loose some tidbits about adapting the second novel for the small screen:

Benioff: …There’s a lot of writing and a lot of casting still. Most series if you get second season you’re done with most of the casting. With the second book and the second season, a whole slew of characters make their appearances.

Weiss: I’m sitting here looking at our casting grid, which is a grid of names and faces of all the characters. …Now I’m looking at the grid again, and half the people are gone because they’ve been massacred wholesale. And now there’s a grid to be filled in again with a new group of people.

With filming beginning so soon, you can expect casting for important Clash of Kings characters like Stannis Baratheon, Balon Greyjoy and Melisandre to be announced or leaked in the next few weeks.

Readers will be happy to know that author George R.R. Martin‘s role as an executive producer is not a mere title. He’s had writing duties of his own, and continues in an oversight role as production on the second season begins. In fact: Martin will be writing an entire episode which portrays the pivotal event that concludes the second book/season.

Benioff: He’s writing an episode for the coming season, which is probably the heaviest, the [spoiler]. Now that we’re on the ground here in Belfast and working with the visual effects team and production team that’s going to create the sets, we have to talk to George about what that looks like. He’s just as involved as in Season 1.

Weiss: …After each episode we get a report card.

The pair also mentioned some of the special effects-heavy events in Season 2, which we’ll omit for spoiler reasons. Benioff and Weiss acknowledged that there are challenges bringing such a large-scale fantasy world to life, especially when it comes to budget, but a continued focus on the various characters of Game Of Thrones has allowed them to pick and choose when and where to use expensive and time-consuming effects.

Game Of Thrones concludes its first season Sunday night at 9PM.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider

Source: The Hollywood Reporter, L.A. Times