10,000 sign up to be Game of Thrones extras

Local producers for the hit TV series Game of Thrones have been met by a horde of fans wanting to participate in scenes to be filmed in Andalusia.

10,000 sign up to be Game of Thrones extras
Parts of the show featuring the character Khaleesi (inset), played by Emilia Clarke, are to be filmed in Seville's Alcazar palace. Photo: Shutterstock/YouTube

With the region’s capital, Seville, and the town of Osuna confirmed as shooting locations for the fifth series of the fantasy-adventure HBO-screened show, Spanish production company Fresco Film has just revealed the level of interest as it starts the process of selecting extras, according to the daily La Vanguardia.

Malaga-based Fresco Film opened the door to Game of Thrones hopefuls through its Facebook page, and on Friday posted that the phenomenal figure of 10,000 applications had been reached in 24 hours.

Filming of the show’s fifth series will begin in October, with Seville’s Alcázar palace and gardens, originally a Moorish fort and part of a Unesco World Heritage Site, already slated to host some key scenes as the next instalments of the lavish series roll out.

See also: Top ten Spanish locations Game of Thrones should use in future

The choice of Seville and Osuna as locations for the next series was announced by the producers of Game of Thrones and the US ambassador in Spain, James Costos, himself a former HBO executive.

The mass rush to earn an appearance on Game of Thrones echoes last summer’s arrival of thousands of people to castings in another part of Andalusia, where Ridley Scott was filming his as-yet unreleased biblical epic Exodus. 

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Top EU court raps Spain over wetlands

The European Union's top court warned Spain on June 24th that it needs to do more to protect Doñana National Park, home to one of Europe's largest wetlands, which is threatened by intensive farming.

Top EU court raps Spain over wetlands
Doñana National Park. Photo: Ángel Sánchez / Pixabay

The massive park in the southern region of Andalusia boasts a diverse ecosystem of lagoons, marshlands, scrub woodland, beaches and sand dunes and is home to fallow deer, wild boars, European badgers and endangered species including the Spanish imperial eagle and the Iberian lynx.

It is also on the migratory route of millions of birds each year.

Environmentalists have warned that over-extraction of water by neighbouring farms, often through illegal wells, is causing the lagoons and marshlands to dry out.

The area around the park is a major producer of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.

Green groups also complain that large amounts of water are being diverted to meet the needs of tourists.

The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice ruled on June 24th that Spain was in breach of EU nature legislation because it “did not take into account the illegal water extractions” in the park and their impact on groundwater.

“It has not taken appropriate measures to avoid disturbances of the protected habitats located in the park which were caused by this catchment” of water, the court added.

The court was responding to a complaint filed by the European Commission in 2019 against Spain for failing to protect the park.

If Madrid does not follow the recommendations of the court it faces hefty fines.

Spain racked up more infringements of EU environmental laws between 2015
and 2018 than any other member state – and nearly three times the average per
member, according to the European Commission.

READ ALSO: Why thousands of trees in Spain’s capital are at risk of dying