Discover King’s Landing ‘outside’ Westeros

Main city of House of the Dragon and Game of Thrones (2011-2019), King’s Landing (or King’s Landing, in the original) is the capital of Westeros and home to the mythical Iron Throne. Stage of countless political intrigues, the medieval metropolis is home to thousands of inhabitants and is considered the most important place in the stories conceived by George RR Martin. In real life, however, the situation is completely different.

At the invitation of Latam in partnership with HBO Max, the Tangerine went to Spain to visit the city of Trujillo, located in the province of Cáceres, two hours from Madrid. Although unknown to the general public, the small Spanish village is used by HBO as a setting to shoot almost all the exterior scenes of King’s Landing in House of the Dragon – and even some in Game of Thrones!

With just under 9,000 inhabitants, Trujillo is a city full of medieval and Renaissance buildings (very) well maintained by the local government. In the region, the main tourist attraction is a castle from the 13th century, built under the ruins of an ancient Arab fortress that existed between the 9th and 10th centuries and used as a military fort by the Spanish.

The main square of the city, full of buildings and constructions as old as Brazil, is used for recordings of the main external area of ​​Porto Real. Out of fiction, it is home to a statue erected in honor of Francisco Pizarro (1478-1541). Born in Trujillo, Pizarro is best known for being the Spanish conquistador who invaded Peru and made it a colony of Spain many centuries ago.

In the series, the Pizarro statue gives way to the popular dragon statue seen in the first few episodes of House of the Dragon to celebrate the symbol that marks the Targaryen family. As the construction weighs more than 6 tons, the production of HBO abuses the visual effects to “exchange” the conqueror for the image of the medieval beast that dominated the skies of Westeros long before the arrival of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke).

Still in the case of the spin-off, the little streets and lanes of Trujillo can also be identified in the scenes in which the characters stroll through King’s Landing. While in real life the city is full of small houses, restaurants and even an elementary school, in House of the Dragon they give way to taverns and brothels frequented by Daemon (Matt Smith) and Aegon (Tom Glynn-Carney), such as the Lower Flea.

Matt Smith in the series House of the Dragon, Game of Thrones variation

House of the Dragon S01EP09

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In Game of Thrones, the main setting for the exterior scenes was Dubrovnik, Croatia, but Trujillo was also used by the HBO team to shoot some emblematic sequences of the series. The main one can be seen in The Dragon and the Wolf, the last episode of the seventh season.

It’s the moment when Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bron (Jerome Flynn) chat on top of the castle as they watch in terror the arrival of the army commanded by Daenerys. Full of profanity and provocation, the dialogue is constantly remembered by fans of the series on social media as one of the most striking of the seventh season.

Bron and Jamie in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones – S07E07

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Who also took advantage of the partnership between the city and HBO were the inhabitants of Trujillo. According to a tour guide who accompanied the report during the visit, the premium channel paid around 50 euros (R$269, at the current price) to those who chose to work as extras in scenes from House of the Dragon. Some sequences, however, were exhausting and took around 12 hours to complete.

Among other local curiosities, Trujillo is also proud to have housed the famous Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). Author of the masterpiece Don Quixote, the writer stayed in the former Orellana Palace, which today is the headquarters of Colégio Sagrado Corazón, one of the main educational institutions in the region.

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