New ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4 Featurette Examines Filming in Belfast

Published 1 year ago by

Fans of HBO’s Game of Thrones love the show’s compelling political intrigue and vast web of character storylines, but the Medieval fantasy series – based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novels written by George R.R. Martin – really comes alive on the small screen thanks to its tangible sets and backdrops realized through real-life geographical regions.

A previously-released featurette for Thrones‘ upcoming fourth season highlights the Iceland-based portion of the shooting process, but in a newly-unveiled preview it becomes Belfast’s turn to get its time in the spotlight. Indeed, a healthy chunk of Game of Thrones – the majority in previous seasons - is filmed around that city/region of Northern Ireland, including scenes that unfold atop (or beneath) The Wall in Westeros; hence the appearance of Rose Leslie (Ygritte) in the behind-the-scenes footage teasing the Wildlings’ mass assault.

As Leslie points out, the harsher weather conditions in Ireland really do make it all the easier to get into character. Similarly, location manager Robert Boake’s interview here – about how the show’s production team built ramshackle sets and filmed amidst the unspoiled foliage of Belfast – calls attention to just how much time, money, and effort is poured into this series. For good, too, since that approach imbues the show’s universe with a sense of realism that, frankly, would be impossible to capture otherwise.

game of thrones season 4 ygritte New Game of Thrones Season 4 Featurette Examines Filming in Belfast

Games of Thrones may be more expensive than ever to produce, but HBO’s investment should payoff handsomely, both financially and (more importantly for our purposes) from an artistic perspective. Not only will Season 4 deal with some major developments in the series’ overarching narrative – not least of all ripple-wave effects from the (no pun) game-changing event that concluded season 3 – but it will set the stage for what is being planned as the second half of the entire show (i.e. the final 3-4 seasons).

Indeed, by the time season 4 draws to a close, the playing field will be even smaller, based on the promise that this season will see some major trimming of the ranks – quite the boast, considering how death-happy this show’s been in the past. And even those who have read Martin’s hefty source material might not foresee all the twists and turns that lie ahead this season.


Game of Thrones season 4 begins airing on HBO on April 6th, 2014.

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
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  1. Worked as an extra on Season 3 up in Belfast, it was absolutely amazing. I only applied because I’m huge GOT fan and when I got the call and was asked to come up from Dublin for a costume fitting I was absolutely amazed by the scale of the sets and the amount of detail that went into everything. The throne room set is in the Titanic Studio, this studio and set is unbelievably massive, (it’s literally an old ship building structure were the titanic was actually built)

    It’s such an epic feeling getting fitted out in a Stark Army costume and given a sword and bow, (I even had a flag with a Stark sigil on it) then having to march along with 200 other extra’s down the side of some valley next to a real castle. I also got to be in the scene with Breinne fighting the bear in the pit, standing around pretending to scream and shout while she swung a sword at nothing,

    The landscapes and sets are breathtaking and only one of the many reasons why I love this show. Can’t wait for Season 4.

    (B***tards never called me back for season 4 though, ha, I must of f***ed up)


    • Were you the guy that mentioned the bear pit scene last year but didn’t want to spoil it or was that someone else?

      If I could be an extra on the show, I’d go for it. No idea how to go about it though and they generally film in the summer, don’t they?

      I just missed out on being an extra in Guardians Of The Galaxy last summer too.

  2. Very much looking forward to this!