Based on the novel series „A Song of Ice and Fire“ by George R.R. Martin, „Game of Thrones“ is currently one of the world’s most successful television series. The filming locations for the fictitious world of dragons, undead warriors and witches are spread all over Europe – from Iceland in the Atlantic to Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to impressive landscapes, historic cities are among the most popular locations of „Game of Thrones“. Read everything you need to know about one of the most beautiful filming locations in Spain: The Water Gardens of the peninsula Dorne in the south of Westeros.
Galería del Grutesco at the Reales Alcázares (left) and orange trees in the garden (right)
„Game of Thrones“ and the Water Gardens of Dorne
The fifth season of „Game of Thrones“ leads into the south of Westeros, more precisely to the peninsula Dorne and its capital Sunspear. The site is described in the books as an exotic place, famous for its excellent wine and licentious natives. Here at the Water Gardens of Sunspear resides Prince Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig), the elder brother of Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal). The venue is the Royal Palace in Seville, the Reales Alcázares. Parts of episodes 2, 6, 7 and 9 of season five were shot here in October 2014. The season was first aired in April 2015.
Salón de Embajadores (Ambassadors‘ Hall) at the Palacio del Rey Don Pedro (King Don Pedro’s Palace) (left) and the Patio de la Montería (right)
Episode Guide for the Reales Alcázares (Season 5)
– contains minor spoilers –
- In episode 2 Prince Doran discusses with Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma), sitting on a terrace outside King Pedro’s palace overlooking the gardens, Mercury’s Pool and the Grutesco Gallery.
- In episode 6 Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) arrives at the palace gardens to take his niece (in fact his daughter) Myrcella back to King’s Landing. In the same episode, Ellaria meets her daughters at the hidden vaulted pool, known as Maria de Padilla’s baths, to plot revenge for her husbands death.
- In episode 7 Jaime tries to convince Myrcella at the palace why she needs to come back with him to King’s Landing.
- In episode 9 Prince Doran receives Jaime, Myrcella, Trystane and Ellaria at the Ambassadors‘ Hall. Later in this episode, you can see the Patio de las Doncellas when Doran gets a dangerous visit by Ellaria.
Spring in the garden pavilion (left) and the Neptune fountain (right)
The History of the Alcázar of Seville
The Reales Alcázares de Sevilla is a royal palace, located near the Cathedral of Seville and seated next to the General Archive of the Indies. It is one of the most representative monumental compounds in Andalucía in the south of Spain. Its influences began in the Arabic period of Spain and continued into the late Middle Ages and further on to the 19th century. Subsequent monarchs have made their own additions to the buildings and gardens of the Reales Alcázares.
The palace is regarded as one of the most outstanding examples of mudéjar architecture in Spain. Until today the Reales Alcázares are used by the royal family of Spain as the official Seville residence during summer. Therefore it can be considered the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. The site is administered by the Patrimonio Nacional and was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Patio de las Muñecas (Courtyard of the Dolls) (left) and historic ceramic wall tiles (right)
Other Filming Locations for „Game of Thrones“ in Spain
Approximately one hour by car from Seville is another shooting location for „Game of Thrones“: The Andalusian town of Osuna. The bullring arena of the village became the arena of Meereen, from which Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) sets out for her first flight with one of her dragons. Season five of the series also features the Puente Romano of Córdoba. Crossing this bridge, Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) reach the town of Volantis.
Season six of „Game of Thrones“ was filmed in Almería, Peñíscola and at Castillo de Zafra in the north-east of Spain. Other filming locations were the mountains of the Bardenas Reales in Navarra in the north of Spain as well as the Castell de Santa Florentina in Barcelona. In addition, many buildings and streets in the old town of Girona became the free city of Braavos in Essos.
Season seven of the series will start in summer 2017, according to HBO. It will be filmed again in Spain, in the city of Cáceres in Extremadura, at the Castillo de Almodóvar del Rio in Andalusia, as well as in Bermeo and Zumaia in the Basque Country. Probably also Seville will return as a filming location.
The buildings of the Reales Alcázares are an example for mudéjar architecture
⇒ The filming locations of the TV-series (in English)
Pictures: Angelika Schoder – Reales Alcázares, Sevilla 2014