Northern Ireland

Game of Thrones author confirms Belfast shoot for new spin-off show

George RR Martin plans to visit city in July when filming is underway

George R. R. Martin
Author George RR Martin pictured at Castle Ward in Co Down during filming for Game of Thrones. PICTURE: LIAM MCBURNEY

Fantasy author George RR Martin has confirmed that filming for a new Game of Thrones spin-off show will take place in Belfast in a matter of weeks, and he plans to visit the set.

Speculation has been rife in recent months that the new HBO series, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, would begin shooting in Belfast and around the north this summer, though there had been no official confirmation made public.

Now Martin, who wrote the novels on which the original Game of Thrones TV series was based, has confirmed the main filming location for the new show is Belfast and says he plans to visit the city in July.

The eight original seasons of Game of Thrones - based on Martin’s five-book series A Song of Ice and Fire - were shot in the north, with the production centred at what is now Titanic Studios in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

One of Belfast's most famous creative outputs is the fantasy series Game of Thrones
Actress Emelia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones.

Some scenes for the show, the final season of which was screened in 2019, were also filmed in locations including Iceland, Malta and Croatia.

Local fans of the fantasy series were disappointed when it was revealed filming for the first spin-off show, House of the Dragon, moved to England.

The second series of House of the Dragon hits screens next month, when shooting for the next spin-off is set to begin back where the majority of filming for Game of Thrones took place.

In a new blog post, Martin spoke of the upcoming six-part series, which is based on his novellas featuring the character Ser Duncan the Tall, to be played by Co Galway actor and former Ireland Under-20 rugby player Peter Claffey, and his squire, Egg, who will be played by young British actor Dexter Sol Ansell.

The stories are set around 90 years before the events of Game of Thrones.

A title card for the new Game of Thrones prequel, set to be filmed this summer.
A title card for the new Game of Thrones prequel, set to be filmed this summer.

Martin, who hails from New Jersey, said pre-production was well under way, with most of the casting completed, and said he planned to visit the set ahead of an appearance at a fan convention in Scotland.

“I hope to visit the shoot come July, when I swing by Belfast on my way to the Worldcon in Glasgow,” he said, adding that the show would hit screens in 2025.

He added that if the first season of the show is a success, future seasons based on the other two novellas in the Dunk and Egg series would be filmed.

It is speculated that filming for the new show will take place at former Game of Thrones shooting locations including Glenarm Castle in Co Antrim and Tollymore Forest Park in Co Down.