Game on again as TV hit comes back to film series three
The third series of epic television show Game Of Thrones will be filmed in Northern Ireland, it’ has been confirmed.
After months of speculation HBO — the American company behind the smash programme — confirmed it has renewed Game Of Thrones for a third season.
Northern Ireland Screen yesterday announced filming of the show, described by some critics as Lord of the Rings meets the Sopranos, will again take place here.
A statement on its website read: “Northern Ireland Screen can confirm that production for the third season will be based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
“Game Of Thrones has received funding from the Northern Ireland Screen fund supported by Invest NI and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
“The series will shoot in the Paint Hall film studio and the new sound stages in Belfast, the Linen Mill Film Studios in Banbridge, as well as various locations in Northern Ireland.”
Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming said: “Series creators David Benioff and DB Weiss raised our expectations for the second season — and then surpassed them. We are thrilled by all the viewer and media support we’ve received for the series, and can’t wait to see what Dan and David have in store next season.”
Among the locations used in the previous two series were Belfast's Titanic Quarter, Castle Ward in Strangford, Tollymore Forest and the north Antrim coast.
Series one of Game Of Thrones was a worldwide hit, with the follow-up currently airing on Sky Atlantic also drawing high viewing figures. Among the early critical praise for the second season, Newsday called Game Of Thrones “the best show on television”, while the Los Angeles Times termed the series “a cinematic feast” and “masterful”.
Following the first series First Minister Peter Robinson said the show had helped to create around 800 jobs locally.
Mr Robinson told the Assembly it was a mistake to think such projects only provide work for actors.
Filming for series three is expected to start in June and last nine months.
Game Of Thrones is a medieval fantasy television series created for HBO. It is an adaptation of A Song Of Ice And Fire, George RR Martin's series of five fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game Of Thrones. The series was filmed at Paint Hall Studios in Belfast and on location elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Malta, Croatia and Iceland. The first season of the series debuted in the US on April 17 last year and just two days later, it was picked up for a second season which started airing on April 1 this year. A third series was announced three days ago and the confirmation that it would again be filmed in Northern Ireland was made yesterday.