Game of Thrones: If winter is here, why not shoot in Canada?
From Quebec City to Lake Louise, Marble Mountain to Ivvavik National Park, Canada could stand for Westeros
On Game of Thrones, Winter is supposedly here, but the showrunners behind the TV hit provoked a hearty groan from their ravenous fan base with the revelation that weather (of all things!) will likely delay our return to the Seven Kingdoms.
After an epic season 6 finale that pulled together the far-flung storylines from George R.R. Martin's sprawling novel series, Thronies were fervently anticipating the penultimate season (already expected to be shortened) to begin next March or April, as usual.
Not so fast.
"We don't have an air date yet," showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealed about the forthcoming episodes during a recent podcast interview.
"We're starting a bit later because at the end of this season, 'Winter is here' — and that means that sunny weather doesn't really serve our purposes anymore. So we kind of pushed everything down the line, so we could get some grim, gray weather even in the sunnier places that we shoot."
Might we, Hollywood North, humbly suggest an alternative? After all, to quote the Canadian Winter Olympics team, #WeAreWinter.
From Quebec City to Lake Louise, Marble Mountain to Ivvavik National Park, Canada has a plethora of spectacular sites that could easily stand in for Westeros.
Now that the show has likely bid adieu to some of the sunnier spots for good — Goodbye Meereen! Farewell Braavos! See ya Vaes Dothrak! — what if Canadian locales stand in for the North, the Vale, the Reach or perhaps even King's Landing itself?
With a little bit of CGI magic, the Château Laurier in Ottawa — overlooking a frozen Rideau Canal — could definitely make for a super-chill castle setting.
Wouldn't Le Massif de Charlevoix, a quick 75 km from Quebec City, be a spectacular backdrop for a major White Walker attack? British Columbia's Sea-to-Sky country offers endless incredible vistas as well, while Alberta has serious wilderness movie cred — just ask Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
And then there's Nunavut, still currently getting about 20 hours of daylight (potential for lengthy shoots days!), but daily average temperatures will start to dip below zero Celsius starting in September.
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Winter is core to our identity: its coming is "the deepest reality of Canadian life," Pulitzer Prize winner Willa Cather wrote in her Quebec-inspired Shadows on the Rock back in 1931.
Jon Snow himself is already here filming (with Xavier Dolan), so how about it?
Come on down Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey. Canadians coast to coast to coast would love to welcome you.