House of the Dragon filming sparks frustration after 'total lack of respect' for locals


House of the Dragon (HOTD) is ramping up its filming efforts across Gwynedd, Conwy, and Anglesey, and the excitement is palpable. As the series stars descend upon the various locations, some locals have voiced concern about the impact on their beloved sites.

The latest snapshots capture breathtaking coastal scenes near the historic Penmon Priory in Anglesey. Portions of the beach have been temporarily closed to the public, making way for the filming of heavily armed cavalry soldiers galloping across the fields.

Similarly, access to Dinorwig Quarry in Gwynedd has been restricted as the crew prepares for two days of explosive filming, set to commence on Thursday.

One of the most significant locations is the Trefor granite quarry on the Llŷn Peninsula. Here, the remnants of the old works have been transformed into a formidable fortress, believed to be Dragonstone Castle, the seat of House Targaryen.

Filming has been underway for some time, with glimpses of a ritual rock used for a wedding and a cremation. Emma D’Arcy, who portrays Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen in HOTD season 2, recently shared an Instagram story hinting at their current presence in Trefor.

The film crews have also been spotted in various spots within Eryri (Snowdonia), including the picturesque Ogwen Valley. In Dolwyddelan, Conwy, the aftermath of a fierce battle scene was brought to life with fake cadavers of men and horses strewn near shattered carts. Recently, footpaths around Llyn Y Gader, near the village of Rhyd-Ddu in Eryri, were temporarily closed off.

However, the real spectacle is anticipated at Dinorwig Quarry, which has been transformed into an epic battlefield set. Photos of the set have surfaced, showcasing the magnitude of the production. On Tuesday night, additional supplies of food, water, and equipment were delivered in preparation for the early start of filming today.

It is speculated the Battle of Rook's Rest, the first major conflict in the storyline's civil war, will be filmed at this location. This battle includes intense clashes between war dragons, promising an awe-inspiring visual experience.

While numerous photos have emerged from the quarry, not everyone is thrilled about the disruption to this popular destination for walkers and history enthusiasts. One local individual, eager to capture the quarry's beauty on camera, expressed disappointment after being "aggressively" stopped by a security guard. The claims have prompted requests for Warner Brothers Discovery, the production company behind HOTD, to address the issue.

In a series of tweets, the frustrated walker said: “As someone who regularly walks this route in Dinorwic quarry, I am disappointed at the total lack of respect shown to local residents by members of your production crew, some of whom think themselves above the law.

“Whilst taking pictures, I was aggressively accosted by a security guard who told me I was not allowed to take pictures, even though I was on a public right of way. Could you please ensure members of your team familiarise themselves with local laws which give them no powers to prevent such photography from public rights of way.”

Road access challenges at Newborough Forest have also irked visitors during HOTD filming on Llanddwyn Beach. As a beach at Penmon was closed off for filming this week, a few dissenting voices questioned whether Anglesey would reap financial benefits from the disruption. However, the majority of locals welcome HOTD and recognise the potential spin-offs it brings.

A resident of Pentraeth said: "Of course the island makes money. Where do you think a lot of these people stay, eat, spend time when not on set? And when the series is released, people often visit where filming has taken place.”

For many, it is an "exciting time" to be in North Wales. Recent filming projects in and around Llandudno have already generated excitement, and this week, the cameras returned to Llanddwyn, Anglesey. One resident said: "North Wales is back on the filmmaker’s catalogue of awesome places to be!"

Adding to the excitement, another key HOTD character, Steve Toussaint, who portrays Corlys Velaryon, was spotted filming at Beaumaris pier in Anglesey. Speculation among HOTD enthusiasts suggests he may have relocated from Penmon, where a man dressed in Velaryon armor and a wig was photographed travelling in a boat.

HOTD studio HBO was approached for a comment about the Dinorwig quarry complaint. Cyngor Gwynedd Council declined to comment.

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