How A Natural Disaster Forced Game Of Thrones Season 6 To Stop Shooting

Big productions require a specific timeframe to shoot, along with an immense amount of work. Which is why it can be a really, really big deal when weather gets in the way of a production schedule. While Game of Thrones was recently shooting its sixth season, not only did weather intervene, but a natural disaster also came into play. Apparently, a major rockslide at one point led the cast, crew and other members of the production team to flee the set. Here’s how it happened.

While the show was shooting some scenes for Castle Black in Northern Ireland, a large rockslide happened, one that ended up being a pretty big deal for the production. In fact, one cast member, Owen Teale, described one of the rocks in the slide as being “London townhouse”-sized. It wasn’t the fault of the production that the rockslide happened however. Instead, it was a natural disaster that was the culprit. Scenes for Castle Black are filmed at the base of a quarry, and the rock face is used to simulate the wall. However, a ton of rain caused some of the rock’s in the quarry to come loose and come crashing down on the set. Showrunner Dan Weiss told EW that safety came into play once the rocks came crashing down.

Once people saw the small pebbles start to come down that turned into slightly larger pebbles, everybody made the group decision to immediately step away from the set.

It sounds pretty dangerous, but because the set was shut down, no one really got hurt. However, it did cause some problems with the shooting schedule for Season 6. Luckily, the whole thing still came off without a hitch and fans will be getting new episodes of HBO’s fantasy drama at the end of April.

This isn’t the first time a big or small screen endeavor has had to be shut down thanks to a natural disaster. A few years ago, AMC’s period drama Hell on Wheels also closed the set thanks to floods that occurred in Calgary during the filming of Season 3. When Hurricane Sandy hit New York, it also suspended production on a slew of shows, including Blue Bloods, Elementary, The Good Wife and Person of Interest. Natural disasters happen, and shows generally have to roll with the punches when they do.

Thankfully, the rockslide didn’t wholly affect the production, although it did cause a time crunch for the creative team as they moved forward with Season 6. It shouldn’t affect the final product, though. We can catch that when Game of Thrones returns to the schedule on Sunday, April 24 at 9 p.m. In addition, here’s everything we know about Season 6.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.