A former Game of Thrones extra from Larne has given a personal insight into filming of the epic HBO fantasy television series.
Andrew Knowles, who is now 24, appeared alongside Game of Thrones stars Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, and Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry, in series two of the hit drama.
Andrew told the Times: “My part was as a man who had been going to join the Night’s Watch but had been taken prisoner and was walking to Harrenhaal, and I appeared in two different scenes.
“In the first one I was walking down a very dirty, muddy road as part of a long line of prisoners.
“In the second scene we were supposed to be looking at the prison but during the shoot it was just a tennis ball on a stick!
“The scene was about how Arya Stark, who had been travelling with her friends to The Night’s Watch after her father’s death, was taken prisoner instead to Haarenhaal, where she was forced to serve Lord Tywin Lannister played by Charles Dance.
“I wasn’t in any scenes with Charles Dance but I did get very close to Arya Stark a couple of times, enough to hear her dialogue clearly.”
Andrew, who is now a student and delivery driver, got involved with Game of Thrones at the suggestion of a friend.
“We auditioned in an open casting at a hotel in Belfast behind City Hall,” he recalled.
“There were lots of people there and we had to fill in a form saying what we were willing to do.
“Then they took pictures of our faces and bodies and some measurements.
“I had to grow a beard for my part, and that image still features in my driving licence!”
Andrew was subsequently selected for filming, and found out his role three weeks before he went on set.
“I was filming in a studio with a set which featured a castle in Northern Ireland, and we also filmed near Banbridge,” he recalled.
“We had to be in the Titanic quarter for 4am every day to get the bs to Banbridge.
“I met a lot of interesting people from different countries during my time on set.”
While Andrew acknowledges that his non-speaking role was not the most glamorous, he says things could have been worse.
“I was talking to someone who had filmed a scene at Maghermorne Quarry where they were told to put on wet suits and jump in the water at 5am in the morning!” he revealed.
“Compared to that I got an easy ride, minus the walking through horse dung!”
While Andrew says he doesn’t want to act professionally full-time, he says he may audition for a role of an extra on a future series of Game of Thrones after his positive experience.
“I’m a big fan of the show and I’ve been meaning to reapply for a role in the future, I just haven’t got around to it yet,” he concluded.
Game of Thrones season six will premiere in the UK on Sunday April 24.