Mystery of the Downhill statues
The monolithic statues of The Seven rolled dramatically onto Downhill Beach as part of the filming of HBO’s second series of the epic fantasy adventure series, Game of Thrones.
Onlookers watched in amazement as the enormous statues, all rigged up with pyrotecnics, were brought onto the beach by diggers.
“They have put up spaced out posts (with gas lines running to each post) into what will be the sea as I know it will be an ebb tide when they are filming,” wrote Amanda Killen, who posted pictures on her Flickr page. “I also know the backs come off the statues and they have all kinds of electrical stuff in them.”
Game of Thrones is a dramatisation of the second book of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series of novels by George RR Martin. The first series showed two worlds, the dark north, filmed in Northern Ireland, and the sunny south, filmed in Malta.
It began showing on Sky Atlantic in April this year.
The first series was filmed mostly on a huge set at Belfast’s Paint Hall Studio in the Titanic Quarter, as well as various locations throughout Northern Ireland and Malta.
The show stars Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey and Alfie Allen, the brother of pop star Lily Allen. Coleraine actress Michelle Fairley was cast as Catelyn Stark, wife of Eddard Stark, who is played by Sean Bean.
In the series, the statues of The Seven represent the predominant Gods of Westeros - the Father, the Mother, the Warrior, the Maiden, the Smith, the Crone, and the Stranger (who represents Death).
Melisandre, played by actress Carice van Houten, a proponent of a different faith altogether - she worships R’hllor, the god of light - convinces Stannis (Stephen Dillane), to burn the statues of the Seven from his home, Dragonstone.
For local fans of the show we won’t reveal what she pulls from the flames!
van Houten has since confirmed that the filming took place on Downhill Beach and that the impressive statues have been burned. More filming for the scene is reported to be taking place.
Jackie O. Gillespie, another Flickr user, posted some more photos of The Seven being brought in and positioned on the beach.
Mayor of Coleraine, Alderman Maurice Bradley said, “To bring such a major production to the Coleraine Borough is a fantastic achievement, acknowledging the facilities we have in the area are exactly what were needed for the shoot.”
Hosting such a world renowned broadcast and being able to promote our world class beaches and what we have to offer is exactly what the Council aims to achieve.
REPORT: David Rankin