‘Game of Thrones’ season 3: Why Northern Ireland remains so important

BrienneDespite the recent news that “Game of Thrones” season 3 added a fifth country to its shooting schedule in the United States, the facts are a little misleading: a very heavy chunk of the show is still shot in Northern Ireland, which is where the show’s soundstages are in addition to many of their locations south of the Wall. (The Los Angeles taping, as a matter of fact, is really just to accommodate a trained bear.)

So why is Northern Ireland still the primary home for the show? There’s no question that the country greatly appreciates the exposure, since it has made the once war-torn region into a tourist destination. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, executive producer Frank Doelger explains that the location provides balance in between some of their other settings (which include everywhere from Iceland to Morocco), and also allow for access to a number of English-speaking merchants and workers who are eager to lend a hand:

“The overcast look has been very good for us, it has given us great contrast to some of the sunnier locations we have filmed as well,” he said. You can find an incredible range of locations that are very easy to reach which give great scale, great scope.

“It’s been a fantastic experience. Everybody in the local community, property owners, shops, restaurants, hotels, all the local services have done a great job.”

“Game of Thrones” wrapped up the majority of season 3 filming last year in Iceland, and there bear filming now in California is really that only thing that is being completed in 2013. Otherwise, the series is now currently in post-production, and the editing, sound mixing, and visual effects are being perfected so that we have a premiere on March 31 that lives up to expectations and then some.

If you have yet to see any of the just-released character portions for the new season, be sure to head over to the link here to do so!

Photo: HBO

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