Winterfell, the largest castle in the North and long-time home of the Stark family, will feature quite prominently in Game of Thrones season 8, if these leaked set photos are any indication.
First spotted by the eagle-eyed folks over at Watchers on the Wall (with a tip of the hat to Oakleaf Photography), these images were taken at some of the show’s key filming hubs in Northern Ireland, including the serene Moneyglass and Titanic Studios.
Since the early days on Game of Thrones, Moneyglass has doubled as the northerly Winterfell, and we’re now hearing that the Stark stronghold is being revamped from the ground up in anticipation of season 8. Massive white sheets have also been scattered across the Irish fields, which only fuels previous rumors that Winterfell will be one of the first castles to come under siege from the invading Night King and his undead army.
Speaking of castles, the other set photos shift the spotlight over to Titanic Studios in Belfast, where a huge building is being erected on the production lot. Some have wagered that this structure belongs in King’s Landing, while others believe Game of Thrones season 8 will feature an entirely new castle that hasn’t been seen before. Your guess is as good as ours, though.
Elsewhere, locals have reportedly spotted members of the Unsullied army filming in and around Toome, which is right around the corner from Moneyglass’ Winterfell set. Perhaps Dany’s forces have been dispatched to protect the Stark fortress? It’s certainly plausible, and thanks to Jon Snow’s orders, they’ll be equipped with Dragonglass-tipped spears to combat the White Walkers.
HBO is determined to go full steam ahead with Game of Thrones‘ swan song, after reports claimed that the network is preparing to shell out anywhere between $10m-$15m per episode. There’s also been mention of feature-length instalments, which ought to ensure showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have ample time to wrap up what is arguably one of the most engrossing fantasy dramas ever to grace the small screen. And it’ll return with its eighth and final season in 2019.