HBO’s award-winning House of the Dragon roars back to the small screen after filming in North Wales
Sioe lwyddiannus HBO, House of the Dragon, yn dychwelyd i’r sgrin fach ar ôl ffilmio yng Ngogledd Cymru
Eagle-eyed viewers may spot locations very familiar to them in the recently released teaser trailer for the much-anticipated second season of House of the Dragon, as support from Creative Wales has seen North Wales used as a filming base for the second series of the hit show.
In a boost to the local economy, HBO used eight locations across Ynys Môn and Gwynedd earlier this year.
Creative Wales support helped to ensure that the five-week shoot saw over 250 local people employed to work as crew members facilitated through CrewHQ, a Warner Bros. Discovery training initiative.
In addition, Creative Wales and CrewHQ investment provided an extensive and innovative trainee programme that included both upskilling and entry level opportunities for over 30 people, while outreach schemes for local people included set visits, masterclasses, and the creation of resources for use in schools.
Based on George R.R. Martin’s ‘Fire & Blood’, House of the Dragon is set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and tells the story of House Targaryen.
The teaser, released on Saturday, looks ahead to the next series after the first was one of HBO's largest high-end TV drama commissions to date, with the series averaging 29 million viewers in the U.S. and winning a Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in 2023. The series airs exclusively on Sky and NOW in the UK and Ireland.
The first series was shot on location in Spain, Cornwall and Derbyshire with main filming at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, based in Hertfordshire. But when it came to planning for the second season, the production team identified some key locations in North Wales.
Executive Producer Kevin de la Noy said: “It was great to be shooting in Wales with its stunning scenery and landscapes, that bring to life our Westeros. I had no hesitation in taking House of the Dragon there, as we knew the support from Government and the local populous would help us achieve remarkable footage, and we were blessed with the most glorious weather too. Thank you, Wales!”
Alongside investing in productions like House of the Dragon, Creative Wales has also recently invested in the North Wales creative sectors by supporting Aria Studios, which was officially opened on Anglesey in January 2023.
Aria Studios will be transformational for the creative industries. Launching this top-class facility will boost Wales’s overall portfolio of studio facilities, making Wales a more attractive proposition to international productions and, importantly, attract more business to the region. It is also a new home Rondo Media and its long-running S4C production Rownd a Rownd.
Additionally, Creative Wales support has been provided to a new project led by Bangor University, the University of South Wales Film and TV School, and Screen Alliance Wales to create three new Wales Screen Academies, one of which is based at Aria Studios and will create opportunities for trainees to gain valuable experience in an industry environment.
Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Dawn Bowden said: “This is a real demonstration of the strength of North Wales as a region, and I’m delighted we were able to support such a high-end, big budget production.
“Not only has it boosted the economy locally during the shoot itself, but it has huge potential to bring future tourism to Wales.
“I want to thank HBO for providing trainees here with valuable opportunities, which are extremely important as we look to strengthen the already excellent reputation that we have for the quality of our crew in Wales.
“This is another fantastic opportunity to raise our international profile and I can’t wait to see Wales on screen once again.”
Notes to editors
picture credit: Ollie Upton / HBO
About Creative Wales: Creative Wales is an economic development agency within Welsh Government that supports the development of the fast-growing creative industries in Wales. We focus on promoting growth across TV, Film and Animation; Games, VFX and Post-production; Music and Comedy and Publishing, positioning Wales as one of the best places in the world for creative businesses to thrive.
We invest in creating opportunities for people in the industry by supporting Skills and Talent initiatives for young people and our talented workforce; we fund projects that boost infrastructure and creative businesses, provide specialist advice and actively promote sustainability, diversity and equality for all across the creative sectors.
We are passionate about supporting home-grown talent and attracting international creative projects to Wales. In doing so, we are strengthening the industry in the long term and creating exciting opportunities for future generations.
For more information visit creative.wales and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
About CrewHQ: Based at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, CrewHQ is a dedicated on-site training centre designed to support existing crew, create career routes for people of all backgrounds and foster the next generation of Film and TV production talent. It is the UK’s first production led on-site training centre.
A dedicated team of industry professionals will deliver activity focused on ‘below the line’ crew across UK based WBD productions including feature films and TV; serving WBD divisions including WWB Pictures, WBTV and HBO. The initiative will help develop talent, retain crew and create a diverse, skilled workforce. With access to the WBSL studio facility, support services and WBD productions there is an established route to build sustainable career pathways.
In addition to on-site activity the programme will offer careers days highlighting the breadth of roles available and inspiring the next generation of talent. These are designed to open up opportunities to new entrants as well as support those with transferable skills looking to move into the industry.
Other activations will include production and leadership training, funded placements, work shadowing and upskilling existing crew.