George R.R. Martin (grrm) wrote,
George R.R. Martin
grrm

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Magic in Morocco

And here I am in Morocco as the GAME OF THRONES pilot shoot winds down. This is likely to be q strqnge looking post. I am typing it from the business center of the Berbere Palqce in Ourazazate on a French/ Arabic keyboqrd zhere many of the letters qre not where my fingers expect to find them. No Qwert Yuiop here.

Morocco is a fascinating place; though oddly it reminds me of New Mexico in q lot of ways. Architecture especially. The Spanish style of NM showing its Moorish roots.

Marrakesh is amazing qnd I wish we hqd hqd more than q dqy to explore it. From there it was a four hour drive over the high sunk baked passes of the Atlas mountqins to Ouarzazate, the film center of Morocco. This plqce is pretty astonishing as well. The city looks as if it was built yesterday, with wide treeless streets lined by huge pink hotels and apartments and new contstruction everywhere. Outside the desert stretches away to the distant mountains, flat and dry and dusty, dotted with ruins and abandoned cities none of which look even vaguely Moroccan. Egyptian pharoahs stand twenty feet high, crusqder castles loom on the horizon, here's a Chinese fortress, here Sodom (or maybe Gomorrah), here a Roman ampitheater. I have q felling that Tombstone mqy be over thqt next ridge. From afar they look as if they hqve been here for centuries, but then you get up close and you realize they are all abandoned movie sets. The oldest have begun to crumble beneath the sun and sand, but they are still damned impressive;

Most imposing of all are the walls of old Jerusalem that Ridley Scott built for KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, which loom in the distance as you take the mqin road into the Ouuazazate, still surrounded by a ring of huge wooden siege towers and trebuchets, now crewed by lean brown dogs. One small portion of the Jerusalem set, redressed and repainted, became the courtyard of Illyrio's manse where Dany first meets Khal Drogo. Thqt was the scene they were filming zhen Ty and I arrived, and it looked gorgeous.

I'd say more; but this keyboard is driving me batty, and my ti,e is running out in any case;

Tonight the wedding!
Tags: a game of thrones, hbo
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