Turning Surrey woods into Westeros

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Category Culture
Date September 5 2023
Reading Time 2 min.

Turning Surrey woods into Westeros

The filming of the new season of the Game of Thrones spin-off series House of the Dragon has been spotted in the woods near the small town of Farnham in Surrey. The film crew and medieval decorations were discovered by Farnham residents in Bourne Woods in early August. However, due to various precautions taken by producers, locals were not immediately able to recognise Westeros in their own forest

Tent camp on the set of The House of the Dragon in Bourne Wood, Farnham

The central part of the forest is re-imagined in the fictional universe of George R. R. Martin’s fictional universe with the help of quite a small number of decorations. In the woods, there is a tent camp set up, consisting of several red tents, which in the first season of the series were used as temporary dwellings of the royal family members. On the mountainside just below the royal tents are several medieval catapults, and next to them is a tent camp for the “simpler” characters — squires and warriors of low birth. When walking around the location on different days Farnham inhabitants noted the sudden appearance of artificial snow, stallions in combat armour and several dozens of extra actors, portraying the warriors of Westeros, who have no survived the royal clashes.

According to the plot of House of the Dragon, last season ended with the murder of one of the sons of Rhaenyra Targaryen, the female protagonist of the spin-off, which was supposed to unleash a war in Westeros between the two factions of the Targaryen dynasty. The action takes place 150 years before the main events shown in the original series, and the events are based on several chapters from the novel Fire and Blood, which focuses on the history of the Targaryen rule in Westeros up to their deposition by a rebellion of several most influential families of the seven kingdoms.

Extra actors as the fallen warriors of Westeros

Based on the amounts of dead bodies, the Bourne Forest is being used for the battle scenes between the Blacks and Greens as they fight for their rights to the crown. Despite the fact that the Blacks represent Rhaenyra, her clothing and household items are often shown to be different shades of red. Therefore, it can be assumed that the camp with the red tents set up in the centre of the forest is Rhaenyra’s camp. It can also be assumed that the part of the forest, which was covered in fake snow, was prepared for filming the scenes set in the North and will feature the Stark family, who is known to all the Game of Thrones fans because of characters such as Sansa, Arya and bastard Jon Snow. In the new season, the Starks will fight on the side of Rhaenyra.

Fake snow on the set of The House of the Dragon in Bourne Wood, Farnham

Unfortunately due to the large number of barriers, it is yet impossible to say what exactly will happen in the new season of this year’s most anticipated series. Although the exact release date of the series is still unknown, it is assumed that it will be available to viewers in the beginning of 2024. So for now, the viewers can only wonder how the cinematic producers of the Westeros universe will depict the events that made J.R.R. Martin’s series so popular — how will the search for revenge, the struggle for the thrones and battles for death end this time?