From Iceland’s sweeping glaciers and snow-covered lava fields to Croatia’s imposing sea fortresses and golden sand beaches, the list of Game of Thrones filming locations already reads like a roll call of the world’s most spectacular destinations. Since the fantasy-drama series first took off in 2011, Game of Thrones tours have proved a popular way for fans to discover the real-life locations around the globe, and with seasons five and six recently confirmed by HBO, another top destination has made the cut—Seville in Southern Spain.
The most hotly anticipated plot-line for the show's fifth season is the introduction of Dorne, the southernmost realm of the Seven Kingdoms, and the hot, dusty climes and rugged mountains of Spain's Andalucía are sure to make a memorable backdrop. Cast and crew members are being predictably tight-lipped about the exact filming locations, but one spot that has been confirmed is the grand Alcázar of Seville, one of Europe’s oldest castles, which will double up as the Water Gardens of Dorne, home to House Martell. With its unique Moorish design and magnificent gardens, the UNESCO-listed royal castle is a suitably ostentatious home for the notorious Red Viper (Prince Oberyn), where viewers will be introduced to his brother, Prince Doran, and his illegitimate daughters, the Sand Snakes.
Speculation is already rife about additional film locations around the Andalucían capital, and rumor has it that Seville’s historic Plaza de Toros bullring will stand in for the fictional Daznak’s Pit in Meereen, while the 16th-century La Colegiata church, Seville University and the nearby stone quarries of Osuna may all be popping up on screen. Fans will have to wait until 2015 for the new season to premiere, but with filming set to start this summer, Seville’s fantastical alter ego will soon be unveiled. Watch this space!