Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is used to being famous. But not he’s not used to this.
The dashing Game of Thrones star was sitting for an interview in a Seville hotel bar a few weeks ago. Behind him, gaggles of young women took pictures through the window until a server closed the drapes. He had only landed in Spain a few days before, but fans quickly figured out his hotel and mobbed him there more than once. Thrones typically shoots in Northern Ireland and Croatia; this year, the series added Spain for scenes set in the show’s fictional country of Dorne.
“[Fans have] become more intense in Belfast for the first time too, but it’s nothing like Spain,” says Coster-Waldau, who emphasized that while he appreciates the attention, he’s unaccustomed to getting quite so much of it. “They’re really sweet, but some are like, ‘I’ve been looking for you for two days!’”
Even far lesser-known actors on the show have received attention to a degree that’s unusual for the production. Newcomer Toby Sebastian (who plays Trystane Martell next season) generated a fair-sized mob of fans clamoring for autographs and photos outside his hotel. “Need help?” an HBO publicist offered, spotting his situation. But the actor gamely replied that he’d keep going for a couple more minutes. (Then he might need some help.)
“They are really excited,” local production company director Piluca Querol said of the fans. “There are a lot of girls trying to kiss the actors.”
Filming so far has focused on the 15th century Alcázar palace, a lavish, sprawling compound that on the show will serve as the palace of House Martell—which (like us) is reeling from Prince Oberyn’s death last season and contemplating its response to King’s Landing. EW can reveal that, in a departure from George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire books, the Martell family will receive a visit from Coster-Waldau’s character Jaime Lannister, who is sent to the country on a mission. There he will encounter Oberyn’s brother Doran (Alexander Siddig) and three of his vengeful bastard teenage daughters, known as the Sand Snakes (Keisha Castle-Hughes, Jessica Henwick, and Rosabell Laurenti Sellers).
Each of the girls wields a different deadly weapon—a bullwhip, double daggers and a spear. But at least none will be chasing the actor for a selfie.