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House of the Dragon roars back after filming takes place in north Wales

04 Dec 2023 4 minute read
Rhys Ifans & Olivia Cooke. Image: Ollie Upton / HBO

Eagle-eyed viewers may spot some familiar scenery in the recently released trailer for the second season of House of the Dragon – with two north Wales locations used as a filming base.

In a boost to the Welsh economy, HBO used eight locations across Ynys Môn and Gwynedd earlier this year.

Creative Wales support helped to ensure that the five-week shoot saw over 250 local people employed to work as crew members facilitated through CrewHQ, a Warner Bros. Discovery training initiative.

In addition, Creative Wales and CrewHQ investment provided an extensive and innovative trainee programme that included both upskilling and entry level opportunities for over 30 people, while outreach schemes for local people included set visits, masterclasses, and the creation of resources for use in schools.

Stunning scenery

Based on George R.R. Martin’s ‘Fire & Blood’, House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen.

The teaser, released on Saturday, looks ahead to the next series after the first was one of HBO’s largest high-end TV drama commissions to date, with the series averaging 29 million viewers in the U.S. and winning a Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in 2023. The series airs exclusively on Sky and NOW in the UK and Ireland.

The first series was shot on location in Spain, Cornwall and Derbyshire with main filming at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, based in Hertfordshire. But when it came to planning for the second season, the production team identified some key locations in north Wales.

Executive Producer Kevin de la Noy said: “It was great to be shooting in Wales with its stunning scenery and landscapes, that bring to life our Westeros. I had no hesitation in taking House of the Dragon there, as we knew the support from Government and the local populous would help us achieve remarkable footage, and we were blessed with the most glorious weather too. Thank you, Wales!”

Alongside investing in productions like House of the Dragon, Creative Wales has also recently invested in the north Wales creative sectors by supporting Aria Studios, which was officially opened on Anglesey in January 2023.

Aria Studios will be transformational for the creative industries. Launching this top-class facility will boost Wales’s overall portfolio of studio facilities, making Wales a more attractive proposition to international productions and, importantly, attract more business to the region. It is also a new home Rondo Media and its long-running S4C production Rownd a Rownd.

Additionally, Creative Wales support has been provided to a new project led by Bangor University, the University of South Wales Film and TV School, and Screen Alliance Wales to create three new Wales Screen Academies, one of which is based at Aria Studios and will create opportunities for trainees to gain valuable experience in an industry environment.

Future tourism

Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said: “This is a real demonstration of the strength of North Wales as a region, and I’m delighted we were able to support such a high-end, big budget production. Not only has it boosted the economy locally during the shoot itself, but it has huge potential to bring future tourism to Wales.”

“I want to thank HBO for providing trainees here with valuable opportunities, which are extremely important as we look to strengthen the already excellent reputation that we have for the quality of our crew in Wales. This is another fantastic opportunity to raise our international profile and I can’t wait to see Wales on screen once again.”

 


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Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago

It’s nice to know our stunning Welsh countryside is being utilised to make this series, but I continually find it perplexing seeing George R.R. like most writers usually are influenced by the likes of J RR. Tolkien who themselves leaned heavily on Welsh mythology. For some strange reason we are never credited for being the original source of the Arthurian legends that spawned an industry. And If Welsh monk Geoffrey of Monmouth who in 1130 AD wrote his celebrated, History of the Kings of Britain, referenced Welsh mythology ,Mabinogi, who utilised the works of 8th century Welsh monks Nennius &… Read more »

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