When it was announced that the producers of Game of Thrones were looking at cities in southern Spain for the filming of season 5, fans of the show all over Europe, but especially in Andalusia, were on edge. It came down to either the Alhambra of Granada or the Real Alcazar of Seville, both with absolutely stunning palaces and gardens to offer.
Seville and Granada already had a small but long-standing sense of rivalry (both cities claim to be the birthplace of flamenco for example) so tensions were high when they finally revealed the winner so to speak. In the end, it was decided that Seville’s Royal Palace would be the setting of Dorne and its water gardens, and that the bullring of a small town outside of the city would serve as Daznak’s fighting pits.
For almost the entire month of October, Seville’s Royal Palace and its surrounding gardens were closed off to visitors for the filming of Juego de Tronos, as the show is called in Spanish. Tall gates covered with tarps surrounded the gardens and all entrances to the palace, but that didn’t keep dedicated fans from trying to sneak a peek of all the action.
Every day there were crowds of people waiting for the actors to leave or arrive on set. I joined in one day and caught a glimpse of the three women known as the Sand Snakes. They’re new to the show this season and since I haven’t read the books, I had no idea who they were at the time. In hindsight, it was pretty awesome to have seen the daughters of the late Oberyn Martell (may he rest in peace) despite the fact that their characters were super lame and had the most ridiculous and useless dialogue.
While standing on top of the bicycle rack that allowed me to see the Sand Snakes, I met a guy, who thanks to his professional level stalking skills, got to shake hands with Jaime Lannister and even take a selfie with Khalessi herself! And he wasn’t the only one. Throughout the month, I heard tons of stories of lucky people who bumped into different cast members around Seville. One of my sixth grade students, who also happens to be a GoT fan, saw Jaime Lannister and Bronn while she was getting ice cream in the city center. Why anyone would allow their 11-year-old child to watch GoT in the first place is an entirely different issue, but I chose to completely ignore that when we had our weekly discussions of the latest episode during recess.
In the last few episodes, we finally got to see Dorne in all of its glory as Jaime Lannister went off on a mission to rescue his “niece.” It was fun to watch the show and think, “Hey! I ‘ve been there!” I’ve always thought the Real Alcazar was impressive to begin with, but its beauty really shone bright as a Dornish palace.
As always the Game of Thrones season finale has left all of us faithful fans in shock and dying for more. Don’t worry. I won’t say anything else. Social media ruined the ending of the episode before I got to see it, and I would never do that to you guys. Honestly, you shouldn’t even be on the Internet right now if you haven’t seen the episode. Spoilers suck.
All I can say is that it will be an agonizing ten months or so until we can see more of our favorite Lannisters, Tyrells and Starks again. In the meantime, I hope that this look inside of Seville’s Royal Palace when it’s not posing as Dorne will help ease your pain a little bit.
The outside of the royal palace doesn’t make an appearance in Game of Thrones, but it certainly could have. It looks exactly like what I have always expected a castle and/or royal palace to look like.
Once inside the Real Alcazar, the outside world of Seville starts to disappear and whether or not you recognize the palace as Dorne or not, it is still like stepping into another world. This view is the last peek of the cathedral that you get before stepping further into the palace grounds.
Inner patios with windows facing inwards is a common feature in building that were constructed during the Muslim reign in Spain. It was one of the many methods used to beat the scorching heat, and many people still build their homes in this way today.
If you’re thinking that all of this looks very familiar to you well, that would be because the main room of Seville’s royal palace with its beautiful golden dome ceiling was featured prominently in the second to last episode of the season. What you’re seeing in the photos here is the sort of living room where Jamie Lannister met with the prince of Dorne to discuss bringing his niece back to King’s Landing. Yes, I was in the same room where Jamie Lannister (who I used to hate but now love) once stood. Ahh!
And last but certainly not least, I present to you the Water Gardens where Myrcella
Lannister Baratheon and Trystane Martell’s young love blossomed as their parents and others were busy scheming. How could they not fall in love with such a beautiful place as a backdrop?!
As stunning as Seville’s royal palace and its gardens are, the season five finale ended in a way that has me questioning if we will see more of Dorne on the show. I guess we will just have to wait until season six to find out… or at least until some spoilers start leaking.