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Filming at Winterfell Begins; Plus A Batch of New Names for Season 8!

As always, Game of Thrones has been busy in Moneyglass, Northern Ireland of late! And based on the newest pics, after months of preparations, it looks like cameras are finally rolling at the set that serves as Winterfell each year.

In addition to the filming news, we have a few small casting updates for you all this weekend, so keep on scrolling and get stoked because the final filming season of Game of Thrones is still getting revved up.

If you take a closer look at this image, you can see the lights in action and the white trucks indicating that the whole cavalry’s in town now.


As for who and what they’re filming, it’s unconfirmed. However, we have had reports about filming in nearby Toome, and this may be connected to the Moneyglass set. Visit our Toome report for more details!

Along with the above photos, @alinaastark also scored pics of the mammoth set in progress in the Titanic Quarter. It doesn’t look like the set has changed too much in the past few days, so speculation is still wide open when it comes to these sets. The huge and sprawling creation may serve for multiple Westerosi sites, or ultimately one castle. It’s unclear, though multiple seems more likely, given the show’s knack for using and re-using the heck out of locations for maximum effect.

In other news, we have a few casting notes this weekend!

According to her resume, Danielle Galligan will be playing a character named “Sarra” in a season 8 episode directed by David Nutter. The only instance of the name Sarra appearing in A Song of Ice and Fire is Sarra Frey, one of Walder Frey’s countless granddaughters. Will the Frey girls be making an appearance in season 8, after Arya annihilated the male line of the clan? That’s up for debate. It’s entirely possible that Game of Thrones is simply once again borrowing a name from the books to use for another minor and unrelated character.

Another new addition this season is Emer McDaid. Her Spotlight CV notes that she just wrapped for season 8, but it doesn’t specify a role name or any other details.

Galligan and McDaid posed together for a photo at the Crown Bar in Belfast on November 12th and shared it on Instagram. It’s captioned, “Aaaaaand that’s a wrap,” leaving no doubt that the actresses were filming. The third actress in the photo is Alice Nokes.

So far there’s no confirmation of Nokes appearing on Thrones, but it seems very likely.

As far as other potential roles, we did see a casting notice for a sassy and attractive girl, a “Northern girl playing a good, memorable one-scene part in one episode, playing opposite leading cast.” That part was set to shoot the week starting November 6th. Timewise it works out, but that’s just one role.

Another thing worth mentioning: Independent Agency, based in Northern Ireland, states on their website, “Thomas Finnegan, Conor Maguire, Emer McDaid, Eileen McCloskey and Katie Tumelty join the cast of a major TV series.” Agency sites often avoid mentioning GoT by name, to avoid HBO’s wrath, so it’s possible that the other names on this list might have bagged roles on the show too.

Source: Sue the Fury (


Review: Winter is Here with Brewery Ommegang’s newest gift pack!

Brewery Ommegang would like to wish you all a happy holidays with a new gift pack to toast the holiday season. This season has two different brews: “Winter is Here” double white ale, which is a new addition, and the previously released “Fire and Blood.” Many thanks to Brewery Ommegang for providing the beers reviewed below!

Like with other Game of Thrones Ommegang packs, there are two 750ml beers in gleaming mahogany-hued bottles with a lovely glass bearing the title of the show in gold. From great scientific research (I’ve drunk a lot of these), the beers always taste better when you use one of the included glasses. Plus they make your Belgian-style beers from idyllic Cooperstown, NY look super fancy.

Starting with “Winter is Here,” the latest beer in the Game of Thrones lineup, the label bears the face of the dreaded Night King who, keeping it real, has sort of a sassy expression. The Night King’s sass may be warranted because as a Brewery Ommegang enthusiast, “Winter is Here” is unlike any Ommegang beer I’ve tried before. My first thought after tasting was “Wow! That’s really different!”

I love comparing Ommegang beers to each other, so “Winter is Here” would be the rowdy cousin to Witte, with a bold, flourishing sip that ends smooth with a hint of sweetness.

As described by Ommegang:

We’ve developed a fortifying double wheat ale with a warming spice, sure to outlast the endless cold. If anything can stand against the Night King, surely it must be beer!

It is forever canon for me that the people of Westeros prevailed against the army of the Night King drunk on Ommegang beer. Make it so, D&D.

More on the beer:

Brewed with pilsner malt, white wheat malt and soft red flakes. Hopping with Saaz hops. spiced with white pepper, sea salt, coriander and sweet orange peel. Fermented with our house house Belgian yeast.

One of Ommegang’s strengths is their ability to infuse their beers with flavors you can taste individually, but which blend together the longer you savor them. This beer has got a KICK, not unlike some of the other ones, but there is spiciness followed by a really surprising smoothness; pepper chased by a whisper of honey. It’s aggressively delicious.

Between the bold flavor and the 8.3% ABV (that’s high, y’all), this is not a chuggable beer so please park yourself somewhere and enjoy sipping it because you’re wasting the flavor (and getting legitimately buzzed) if you guzzle it. Respect the beer!

“Fire and Blood” comes to us again this season, and was the third beer in the Game of Thrones/Ommegang collaboration in 2014.

According to the Brewery:

It’s brewed with pilsner, spelt, rye, and other specialty malts, hopped with Styrian Golding and German Tettnang hops, and spiced with ancho chilies for additional complexity. The hue is deep, dark red with a persistent, creamy, off-white head. The flavor of sweet malt gives way to faint dryness and is balanced by spicy rye and hop flavors with underlying raisin and prune notes. The finish offers balanced malt and spicy characteristics from hop and rye.

Thirsty yet?

It’s an interesting pairing because I had a similar reaction when I first drank “Fire and Blood”: “Wow, this is different from anything I’ve had from Ommegang!” It’s similarly spicy with a swirl of flavors that present separately, then blend into something awesome. This one is 6.8% ABV with cool artwork on the label depicting Drogon. If you had to break up the set, this might be a better beer to gift purely on visual grounds, because dragon > Sass King, infrastructure destroyer and sedate javelin-throwing enthusiast. Taste-wise, if you’re looking to give something lively in an unusual away, part ways with “Winter is Here.”

As the beer correspondent of Watchers on the Wall (Editor’s Note: that’s not a real thing), I rule this a perfect present for beer lovers and Game of Thrones fans you know, and a great White Elephant present if you like your coworkers. Or one could just buy it and drink it by themselves, no judgment here. Plus, at less than $25 suggested retail, it’s inexpensive! Win.

Based on the comments for these, the Game of Thrones Brewery Ommegang beers are a commodity that can be hard to find. Pro-tip: the website has a feature to locate Ommegang near you. Happy hunting, and more importantly, happy drinking!

Source: Bex (