ATTENTION - THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS
The Girona Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones was a huge TV hit that versioned R. R. Martin’s book series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. The first book came out in 1996 and in 2007 HBO launched the show, that soon became a world success.
But R.R. Martin is a slow writer, and the media rhythm is frenetic. By the time Season 6 was to be shot, the book #6 that had to inspire it wasn’t out yet. Actually, it’s not yet out in 2020… However, the author collaborated with the show-runners, giving them some outlines to work on, and they got material out of previous books as well.
The filming took place during the second half of 2015 and the premières were between late April and late June 2016. Some of the storylines were shot in Girona, Spain. There was secrecy about the filming, and the hundreds of extras hired in the area had to sign non-disclosure contracts. Discover with us where was filmed Game of Thrones in Girona.
These are the top Girona Game of Thrones locations:
Great Sept of Baelor - Girona Cathedral
SEASON 6, EPISODE 6. King’s Landing
Margaery’s (Natalie Dormer) walk of atonement starts in front of the Girona Cathedral, staging as the Great Sept of Baelor. Jammie Lannister arrives with his soldiers and climbs the steps with his horse to save her. This is not the scene of Cersei’s path of shame, shoot in Dubrovnik (Croatia) – many people get confused with that other part of the story.
Actually at the Bishopric of Girona they were worried there’d be nudes in front of their Cathedral for the filming, but they were reassured it wouldn’t happen. The sculptures of the façade were covered to eliminate religious references, and with the help of a chroma screen the made a sea appear in front of it (in reality, it’s about 1 hour drive from the city).
SEASON 6 – EPISODE 10. King’s Landing
Cersei destroys the Great Sept. In the explosion, a is seen crashing into the ground. Shots of the cathedral were used for this episode, too (although of course lots of CGI was needed). The idea of a bell crashing could have come from a real local story, as in 1946 one of the Cathedral bells fell off during the procession of Corpus Domini, right after the crowd had left Plaça dels Angels.
Citadel Grand Library - Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants
SEASON 6, EPISODE 10. Oldtown
At the end of the season we see Samwell Tarly arrive to Oldtown to study and become a Maester. He is allowed to enter the Grand Library and he is fascinated at the size of the venue and the knowledge stored there.
The building is no other than the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants, located right outside of the old town of Girona. Nowadays it houses the local Museum of Archaeology, but it was an important abbey in the middle ages, with connections with the Counts.
Braavos - Various locations in old town Girona
Arya appears blind and begging in the streets of Braavos. The scenes where shoot behind the Cathedral. The most scenic location is when she’s seating on the first step of the stairs of Bisbe Cartaña street. Just a bit further up the street is the location where the Waif trains her to fight blinded.
Arya has been told to kill the actress Lady Crane. She watches a theater play that takes place outdoors near the music school In the show the actors mock Cersei Lannister and the death of Arya’s father Ned starck. The stage is set up in Plaça dels Jurats, near the cathedral. You’ll recognize the arches of one of the buildings showing behind the curtains of the stage.
Arya walks around a market looking for a boat ticket to leave Braavos. The market is located in the Passeig Arqueologic and the Rei Ferran el Catòlic street, a quaint walk along the medieval walks of Girona. You’ll recognize an old arch that Arya crosses at one point. It’s actually a bridge that connects a path with the entrance of a medieval manor.
Later on, Arya watches the port of Braavos and the monumental Titan sculpture in it from a bridge. That’s when she’s stabbed by the Waif. She rolls over the bridge into the river to scape. The bridge is located over the Galligants river, very close to the monastery we discussed before. The scene required a lot of computer edition. In reality, the Galligants river doesn’t carry much water at all: it’s a small stream that depends a lot on the rain. BTW, when Arya swims out of the river, she’s not in Girona anymore but in Carnlough, Northern Irland. Still Braavos, though 😉
Arya is again prosecuted by the Waif around the streets of Braavos. Carrer de Sant Llorenç and other alleys of the Call (Girona’s Jewish Quarter) are the perfect scenario for this frenetic chase. Arya tries to dodge her by entering the baths – the Arabic Baths of Girona are easy to identify on a brief scene where there’s a man seating on a steam room next to some slim columns. That’s the Apoditerium of the Baths.
But the Waif finds her again and Arya jumps over a market, rolling down the stairs packed with orange baskets. This scene takes place in the photogenic Baixada de Sant Domenech. The greenish door at the top belongs to the church of Sant Marti Sacosta.
Horn Hill - Castell de Santa Florentina
Samwell, Gilly and their baby Sam arrive to Horn Hill. They don’t stop long because during dinner Samwell’s father Randy Tarwell infuriates when he discovers that Gilly is a Wildling. Before leaving, Samwell steals Heartsbane, the iconic Valyrian steel sword of the Tarly house, to study it.
OK, this location is not really in Girona. Horn Hill is the Castell de Florentina in real life. A private mansion located in Canet de mar, about 50 minutes drive from it and already within the province of Barcelona. The scenes where shoot in the castle courtyard, the King’s Room (serving as dinning room) and the bedroom.
The Castle of Santa Florentina can be rented for weddings and other events, and part of it is open for visits at specific times during the week.
The place that could have been and never was in GOT: Besalu
When the filming of a new season started, everything was excitement about what new locations were going to be included. Fans checked the books and the previous season to guess where the storylines where going to take the characters to. Rumors spread. Fake news were out. But the film-makers kept everything secret.
When Girona was confirmed as a filming location, the closeness of the beautiful town of Besalú made people think its impressive medieval bridge over a river would definitely have many chances of being included. Highgarden! That’s what people thought (and if you research, you’ll still see posts around the internet hinting at it).
Unfortunately, that never happened. The Castillo de Almodóvar in South of Spain was the chosen instead. Anyway, Besalu is a beautiful place to visit if you are ever in Girona and it’s just a 45 minute drive from it. Too bad!
AND BONUS! Can a hand become such a fetiche?
Sir Jaime Lannister hand popsicle
In Season 3, Episode 3, Sir Jaime Lannister loses his sword hand protecting Brienne. In Season 4, Episode 1, Cersei gets him a gold prosthetic one. This is what inspired Jordi Roca to create a popsicle shaped as the gold hand that tastes of mango (the gold outside) and blood orange (that melts as you start eating it).
The author is one of the three brothers chefs owners of Celler de Can Roca, considered one of the best restaurants in the entire world. You can taste his GOT gelato at the ice cream parlor Rocambolesc that he owns in Santa Clara st. in Girona.
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