Talks over future of Game of Thrones filming at Magheramorne quarry

Game of Thrones film location at Magheramorne Quarry. INLT 43-001-PSB
Game of Thrones film location at Magheramorne Quarry. INLT 43-001-PSB

The owners of Magheramorne Quarry say that they are currently in discussions with Game of Thrones bosses over future filming at the site.

The local set has played host to the cast and crew of the popular fantasy drama since the show launched, doubling as the Nights Watch fortress Castle Black and The Wall as well as the Wildling village of Hardhome in HBO’s hit TV series.

A spokesperson for the site’s owners Tarmac has now told the Times that the company is “currently discussing the filming requirements with Game of Thrones for the next 12 months.”

With season six of the drama set to hit television screens on April 25, this suggests that negotiations have started around filming locations for season seven.

Last week, the Times told how the cast and crew of HBO’s hit TV series had to move to safety after a rockfall at the Magheramorne set.

American showbiz site Entertainment Weekly reported that the cast and crew were in the middle of filming scenes when heavy rainfall disrupted the quarry’s seismic profile, causing those on set to head for shelter.

Owen Teale, who plays Nights Watch villain Ser Allister Thorne, revealed: “A piece of rock the size of a London townhouse just fell.”

Show-runner Dan Weiss added: “Once people saw the small pebbles start to come down that turned into slightly larger pebbles, everybody made the group decision to immediately step away from the set.”

It was reported that no-one was hurt during the incident, which occured early in the production year.

However, it did create a timetable challenge for executive producer Bernie Caulfield and producer Chris Newman, who map the show’s complex shooting schedule months in advance.

“Bernie and Chris already have hardest scheduling job in the film and TV industry, and they had this thrown into the works too, which caused them to drastically reschedule the whole season on the fly,” Weiss continued.

“But they did it, and we got everything we needed in that quarry after it was seismically shored up and netted and proper protection measures were taken.

“It actually worked out for the best – some of the stuff we were shooting in that location benefited from the additional prep time the rockslide gave us.”

The quarry’s owners Tarmac told the Times that the rockfall at the site actually occurred last year.

A Tarmac spokesperson told the Times: “There was a minor rockfall in 2015.

“Filming was temporary suspended whilst remedial work was undertaken.

“Our protection measures and procedures worked correctly and no one was hurt.”

The local area has proven popular with the show’s production team, with Cairncastle, Knockdhu, Sallagh Brae and Carnlough doubling as the fantasy lands of Westeros and Essos. Last month, NI Screen launched a new interactive Game of Thrones app to guide fans around some of the filming locations.