Northern Ireland – the Heart of Game of Thrones!
Ireland is one of the most mysterious countries in Europe. A country with centuries of rebellious history, the birthplace of famous poets and the subject of a huge number of tales and jokes. Ireland is fabulously beautiful like an emerald island. According to the legends, Ireland is the refuge of fairies and elves, and the local residents support these legends.
In search of ideal locations, the creators of the “Game of Thrones” traveled the whole world. Their choice for filming most of the “northern” scenes stopped on the lands of Northern Ireland. The landscapes of Northern Ireland served as the basis for the creation of the North, the Riverlands, The Vale of Arryn, the Iron Islands, the Stormlands, and partly the Dorne.
Let’s start to explore these amazing places! Don’t avoid to deepen into the world of Game of Thrones and at the end of the article, you will have bonus news!
1. The main studio in Belfast – Paint Hall
In Belfast is the main studio. There is the throne room of the Red Castle, the main hall of the Cape of Eagles and Winterfell. The studio is called Paint Hall and was previously part of the Harland & Wolff Shipyards Shipyard in Belfast, where the Titanic and other ships were built.
2. Magheramorne quarry
Near to the town of Larne, there is an abandoned quarry. The scenery of the Black Castle, the winch elevator to the Wall and the gate inside the Wall is erected here. The Wall itself is recreated on the computer.
3. Tollymore Forest Park
Tollimore Forest Park was designed by architect Thomas Wright (1711-1786), commissioned by Lord Clanbrassil. The park is located in the foothills of the Morne Mountains, and this situation explains the diversity of this area: small caves and rocky hills, grottoes and man-made alleys and bridges across the Shimna River that crosses the park. The oldest tree in Ireland is growing here. The northern forest scenes were filmed in the park.
4. Dark Hedges
Dark Hedges’ beech alley near Grayshill Castle was planted in the 18th century. It is true that the dark alley is the most photographed place in the country. In the frame, the alley is easy to recognize – in the second season, people from the Night’s Watch were traveling along the alley.
Photo by Nick Kane
5. Ballycastle, Downhill Beach
Sandy Beach Downhill stretches 7 miles and served as the scenery of the Dragon Stone. There was burned the idols of the former gods Melisandre in the second season. A small temple on the top of the cliff, the Mussenden Temple, was built in 1785, and in the series, Stannis Castle stands in its place.
Photo by Derek Smyth
6. Murlough Bay
Murlough Bay is known for its stunning views. From here, in clear weather, the Scottish Islands are visible. Several scenes were filmed here, for example, the scene in which Theon and Yara go to Pyke or the scene in which Davos Seaworth awakens after the Battle of Blackwater.
Photo by Gary McParland
7. Castle Ward
Castle Ward served as the prototype for the Winterfell courtyard. Here, for example, was filmed the scene of the arrival of King Robert (season 1), the announcement of Theon (season 3) and the arrival of Bolton (season 5).
8. Gosford Castle
Construction of the castle began in 1819 and ended only in the middle of the XIX century. After 100 years, the castle became the property of the Ministry of Agriculture, until, at the beginning of the two thousandths it became clear that without an urgent reconstruction the monument would be lost. As a result, the building was sold. There were filmed scenes in Riverrun.
9. Shillanavogy Valley
In the first season, this valley was used to recreate the Dothraki Sea – the huge Essos, along which the Dothraki roam. The shooting took place near the Slemish mountain.
In the village of Corbet in Benbridge is the studio Linen Mill Studios. The scenery of Riverran was built, life-sized serial ships stand here and scenes in the cave of the Three-Eyed Crow were shot here. In the 7th season, the scenery used for scenes in the cliff of Casterly.
Many of us have certainly seen the first series of Game of Thrones that appeared on April 14th. The creators have prepared a surprise for all those who are not ready to say goodbye to the series and are curious to find out many hidden things.
In 2020, fans will have the opportunity to visit the studio, which was filmed the iconic scenes of the series – Linen Mill Studios in Northern Ireland, the city of Banbridge. For everyone who fell in love with John Snow, Daenerys, Brienne, and other heroes, impressive tours are being prepared. These will be excursions, in which nobody will be bored.
Guests will see the majestic halls, exciting scenery, original props, including authentic costumes and weapons with which the characters fought for the throne of the Seven Kingdoms. Tourists will know more about behind-the-scenes stories and how the film crew worked. Everyone will have a super opportunity to go through the places where passions were in full swing and to fully experience the spirit of the series. The exact date of commencement of tours and the cost of the tour will be reported later.
Thanks to the “Game of Thrones” in the country increased tourist flow. There were created thematic bus tours, as well as special applications for telephones.
Banbridge, where Linen Mill Studios is located, is just 113 kilometers from Dublin.
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