Osuna, Spain is a picture perfect village with sunny skies, rows of traditional Spanish homes and cobblestone streets. It also has a massive bull ring that was built in 1904 and has been perfectly preserved with all of its original stone. This is why it was the perfect location to film a major action scene in Season five of HBO's Game of Thrones. Seeker Stories traveled to Osuna to get a look inside this iconic little town.
When Game of Thrones came to Osuna, it changed the lives of many residents here -- not because they were star struck (many had never seen the show) but because of the employment opportunities and tourism it brought. After the global economic crisis of 2008, Osuna's unemployment rate skyrocketed to 35%, the highest of any region in Spain. When GOT was filming here, that all changed.
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The population of Osuna is only 18,000, so when the show's cast and crew showed up it was pretty noticeable. The show also brought news trucks from across Spain, fans who came to try and watch filming, and thousands of people from around the country and the rest of Europe that applied to be extras on the show. In total, over 86,000 people applied to appear on the show.
Everyone in the town expected things to go back to normal after the production left, but surprisingly, the boost to Osuna's economy has lasted much longer. Tourists continue to come and see the Plaza de Toros, the bullring which served as Daznak's Pit in Season five, episode nine. If you watch the show you'll remember this as the scene where Khaleesi watches Jorah Mormont battle for his life, but the fight is interrupted by assassins in golden masks that have come to kill the queen.
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Osuna's tourism division decided to take advantage of their new status as the "Game of Thrones town." They installed a Game of Thrones exhibit at the Osuna Museum that includes replicas of show props, statues, weapons, shields, and helmets. There is also an art exhibit with paintings and sculptures of the show's characters, created by talented artists who are also big fans of the show. The museum changes the exhibit every 2 - 3 months so people can come back and see different things every time.
When the show was filming in Osuna, a local restaurant, Casa Curro, created an entire Game of Thrones themed menu, which you can still order from today. For example, The Khaleesi is a spinach salad with avocado, berries, and honey dressing, and The Joffrey is trout with bacon and mulled wine. Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys Targaryen (Khaleesi) even celebrated her birthday here during filming.
The entire scene that was filmed in Osuna turned out to be 17 minutes long. For just 17 minutes of television, Osuna's economy has been restored. You can even view the Plaza de Toros (aka Daznak's Pit) on Google Street View, in this no longer invisible Spanish town.
-- Molly Fosco
Image of Khaleesi/Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) with cast extras is courtesy of the Counselor of Tourism of Osuna. For more information about Osuna, visit their website.