Our excitement for HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation was in danger of being squelched when we heard that the production company had trashed a nature reserve. So we investigated — and thank goodness, it seems early reports were somewhat exaggerated.
We reported last November that the production company, Fire and Blood Productions, was filming a key scene in Game of Thrones and dumped some artificial sand on Dwejra, a protected beach area. Everybody agrees that Fire and Blood failed to abide by the conditions of a filming permit issued by the Malta Environment & Planning Authority (MEPA), with unfortunate results. Fire and Blood has apologized for the mishap, and blamed a subcontractor. Back in November, a former MEPA official named Alfred E. Baldacchino was warning that irreversible damage might have been done to the ecosystem in this protected habitat, both by the sand-dumping, and by the use of heavy machinery to clean it up.