'Game of Thrones' add 5th country, casts bear

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Game of Thrones is expanding its production yet again.

The HBO fantasy hit already had what must be the most ambitious shooting schedule of any TV series in history. For the upcoming third season, Thrones used three production units (dubbed Wolf, Dragon, and Raven) shooting for several months across four countries — Morocco (mostly for Daenerys’ storyline), Iceland (for Jon Snow’s story and other Beyond the Wall action), Croatia (primarily Kings Landing-centered scenes) and the production’s home base in Northern Ireland (everything else). But in recent weeks, Thrones team added a new internationally known land. And it’s perhaps the most exotic and treacherous of them all: Los Angeles.

“For the first time, we’re flying in actors to L.A.,” showrunner David Benioff told EW. “So it ends up being five countries and three units this year. It’s just exploded.”

The actors came to L.A. to perform alongside a new member of the Thrones cast, Bart the Bear (well, Bart the Bear II, since the original animal actor is apparently deceased). The casting was revealed by Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin on his blog. Some readers might wonder why a bear is in the show, but on that point we’re going to stay mum. You’ll just have to watch Thrones when it returns to HBO on March 31.

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