Game of Speculation: Who can read Catalan?

The past couple of days have caught me in a vortex of excitement, uncertainty, helpless ignorance, and pedantry.

The last one is the easiest to explain: when we get news on Game of Thrones filming in Girona, we’re typically getting the news written in Catalan, not in Spanish. They’re similar enough languages, but not interchangeable. Someone who knows Spanish fairly well might not be able to tell you what they’re saying in Catalan.

Your blogger, for example. I can read a fair amount in Spanish, and whatever I can read in Catalan is based on its similarity to Spanish, but I actually think Catalan looks more like a hybrid of Portuguese and French. And I can’t read very much of it. No clue about pronunciation.

There’s the pedantry. I am totally that nerd who would like to point out to people that the romance language they see mentioning all these GoT cast members is actually not Spanish. Girona is in the same region as Barcelona. They speak a different language there.

That language difference is a source of uncertainty, because we can’t find nearly so many people who can translate Catalan to English, or at least not so many who can translate it well. Forget about Google translate. It’s word salad.

To wit: we have this article at Diari de Girona, which is talking about a number of GoT cast members who may have been seen recently in Girona, arguably for filming, though some of them apparently managed to get through without being seen? I’m not entirely sure what the article is telling us. WotW reports a good deal of uncertainty in their reporting, with:

DiariDeGirona reports that more actors than Maisie Williams, Faye Marsay and Tom Wlaschiha have been in town.

The newspaper says that Lena Headey and Natalie Dormer, and possibly Finn Jones, have been in Girona but successfully dodged being seen. The newspaper speculates that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Sophie Turner may have been in Girona, but it sounds like there may be some confusion over their personal visits to the Costa Brava area of Spain earlier in the summer.

At this point, nothing can be considered confirmed in this arena until the actors are spotted. There are more scenes left to film this week, so there’s time.

And that’s where we get the excitement and the uncertainty. Both. The first I saw of this news were some Twitter folks talking about such-and-such actors being seen in Girona. Some of those names are good news! And then we see Sophie Turner’s name on that list and everyone basically says: “How did Sansa get to King’s Landing or Braavos? This makes no sense!”

The sticky part is where I get all excited about seeing Nikolaj Coster-Waldau mentioned among actors seen in Girona, because I expect the beginning of S6 to show Jaime in King’s Landing. So then WotW wipes out the excitement and the uncertainty in one fell swoop by pointing out that both Sophie T and NCW were in Spain for personal reasons earlier this summer. Yes. Now I remember. NCW said he visited Spain on his birthday, which was in late July.

(It might tell you something about me that I know that, but really, it doesn’t take much effort to follow someone on Twitter.)

So now I’m feeling all helpless and frustrated because I don’t have any peeps who can read that Diari de Girona article and tell me exactly what they’re saying about those actors. I tried running it through Google Translate. That is why you should never rely on a machine to manage language differences with more than a few words at a time. It’s only moderately better than that time I tried translating a Swedish judge’s verdict.

Anyway. If an actor is filming scenes for Game of Thrones in Girona, that means their character will be seen in King’s Landing, Oldtown or Braavos, outdoors. So, if Natalie Dormer and Finn Jones really are there for filming, that means Margaery and Loras are getting out of their prison cells! That’s significant. Even if they have to leave their cells the same way Cersei did, it’s news. Indoor scenes in King’s Landing are filmed elsewhere, mostly at the studios in Belfast. I expect to see Lena Headey filming in both Girona and Belfast. If Nikolaj Coster-Waldau doesn’t have any scenes to film in Girona, I assume that means all we see of Jaime in King’s Landing takes place indoors, which is perfectly plausible. I think Jaime had only two KL scenes in S5, and they were both indoors. If he doesn’t spend much time in the capital in S6 before he heads to the Riverlands, then he might not need to be shown outdoors.

Meanwhile, if Sansa shows up anywhere in King’s Landing in S6, that’s pretty extreme. We might ask how in Seven Hells she managed to stay alive long enough to get that far south, and why she’d want to be in the capital. Or, maybe Sophie Turner just popped into town to visit Maisie Williams, or she took a holiday at a nearby beach. These are all possibilities.

Also, too: we have it on good authority that The Winds of Winter is expected to make a 2016 release. This is good news! GRRM is working his ass off to finish Son of Kong and maybe, just maybe, we’ll even see it before S6 airs! Whenever the book is released, I will read it ASAP, but if we get it before S6, I promise not to spoil it for TV-only people. I will only start talking about what happens in the book when we see the differences from the show.

Unless you all piss me off. In which case I’m spoiling the fuck out of everything.

Seriously, though, there are still some really juicy parts of ADwD that I haven’t divulged because the show hasn’t caught up. I’ll do the same with TWoW.

In the meantime, maybe be good to your fellow fans and NOT go spreading around alleged filming news unless it’s written in a language you understand?