It makes perfect sense why Cáceres was chosen as a filming location for the TV series Game of Thrones. The incredibly well-preserved old town is surrounded by Moorish castle walls that encircle narrow cobbled streets, aligned with houses and palaces which date back to the middle ages and earlier. This area, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, looks just as it would have done hundreds of years ago. What’s more is that the greater region around Cáceres is rich in castles of fallen empires and untouched natural landscapes of lakes, fields, boulders, and mountains. Furthermore, the Cáceres region is no stranger to conquests and battles between neighbouring kingdoms. In that sense, Cáceres and Game of Thrones were always going to be a perfect match for one another.
Perhaps the most blatant sight of Cáceres in Game of Thrones is the scene which takes place at the Arco de la Estrella and the Plaza de Santa María, which is just beside it, in Season 7 Episode 3. Here in the old town of Cáceres, the notorious Euron Greyjoy arrives on horseback in ‘Kingslanding’ where his prisoners Yara Greyjoy, Ellaria Sand and her daughter are dragged through the streets and abused by crowds who welcome Euron as a hero. The scene begins at Plaza de Santa María and ends at the Arco de la Estrella, before Euron meets Queen Cersei Lannister.
Season 7 Episode 3 also sees a scene in which ‘the Unsullied’ invade Casterly Rock, the ancestral home of the Lannisters. Trujillo Castle, which is about a 40-minute drive from Cáceres, was used to film this scene although a lot of CGI work made the castle look very different in the episode. In Game of Thrones, the castle is on the coast, whereas in real life, it is surrounded by both the old town of Trujillo and the green fields of the countryside.
One of the most spectacular scenes of Game of Thrones takes place in Season 7 Episode 4 at Los Barruecos, a natural park on the outskirts of Cáceres. Los Barruecos is the setting of the Loot Train Battle in which Daenerys Targaryen, also known as Khaleesi, attacks Jamie Lannister and his army along with her Dothraki soldiers and dragons. It is regarded by many as one of the greatest battle scenes ever made. A plaque has been placed at the site where it was filmed, explaining the scene’s significance.
In Season 7 Episode 5, Sam Tarly leaves the citadel, a place where he had been in hiding whilst carrying out demeaning jobs such as cleaning out dirty chamber pots. As he leaves in the early hours by horse and carriage, alongside his lover and her child, he says “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men”, and the horse drives them onwards in front of what is actually the Museo de Cáceres.
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