If you pay attention to where King’s Landing is in earlier season of Game of Thrones compared to where it is now, it looks like it’s moved. In fact, King’s Landing’s entire appearance looks wrong to many viewers. Here’s a closer look.
First, here are screenshots of King’s Landing in the intro of Season 8:
And next are screenshots of King’s Landing in the intro for Season 7, which is the same as previous seasons.
The rumors appear to be true. It does in fact look slightly different in location from previous seasons.
Photos show an even greater difference. Here’s a set shared on Reddit:
Part of the reason for the difference is that the original King’s Landing was filmed on location in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
But for Season 8, HBO built a new King’s Landing set at Titanic Studios in Belfast. WinterIsComing reported on many of those changes, noting at one point that the HBO crew had recreated the dome at St. Blaise’s Church in Dubrovnik, along with a gate between the two guard towers. The show’s Belfast studio was home to a facsimile of Blaise Cathedral and other areas from King’s Landing that were built for the final season, Dubrovnik Times shared.
Parts of King’s Landing now look like a desert wasteland rather than a forest-filled area near the sea, like it did in previous seasons. Perhaps this was due to the coming of winter killing much of the plant life and changing the bodies of water, causing the seas to recede. But many fans remain incredulous, especially since snow was shown falling in Season 7 and we haven’t seen a single snowflake in King’s Landing in Season 8.
However, the differences might also be due to King’s Landing having seven gates and not being on an island. Maybe we’re simply seeing the city from a different perspective than before (plus during the winter and all the changes that the season brings.)
But like we said, not all fans are convinced. Some point out that the Red Keep should be on the water, and the way things are now, the Battle of Blackwater simply could not have happened.
According to the Ice and Fire wiki, here’s what King’s Landing should look like:
The city covers the north shore of the Blackwater Rush and covers three tall hills, named after Aegon and his two sisters, Visenya and Rhaenys. Aegon’s High Hill, surmounted by the Red Keep, the royal castle located in the south-eastern corner of the city, overlooks the bay directly, whilst Visenya’s Hill to the west is crowned by the marble-walled Great Sept of Baelorand its seven crystal towers. The Hill of Rhaenys in the north is capped by the collapsed ruins of the Dragonpit dome, its bronze doors shut for a century and a half since the last dragon died.
So the books indicate that King’s Landing is built on hills and surrounded by forests. Now it’s more of an empty wasteland (at least the perspective we saw.) Of course, once again, maybe this is from the winter season and from having to cut down a bunch of trees to make all those ballistas.
Redditor TheEvilDog88 wrote: “Deforestation for the scorpions and for all we know this is a whole new wall set up outside the city (could be wrong). Also we can see how drastically the areas change when winter hits, who’s to say that the water around the city is receding because of frozen lakes and rivers upstream. We don’t know how everything flows but I’d assume they flow into the sea. As for the mountains changing that’s just poor continuity checking lol.”
Other viewers claimed those were just poor excuses. It’s really up to the individual viewer if these reasons can account for the changes we see to King’s Landing or not.