Game of Thrones is not just a show. For the fans, it is a whole new world in which live their favourite characters. They love the friends of their favourite characters, and they hate their enemies. The saga of power to the throne is laced with emotions of love, hate, guilt, and betrayals. The fans have felt utter disappointment at the beheading of their favourite Ned Stark, and have been left stunned by the bloodshed at the Red Wedding. They have cried when Hodor met his end, and they have rejoiced when Jon Snow was given a new life. The show inspires with the tales of valour, honour and friendships, and it also inspires wanderlust. There are so many mesmerising locations where it has been shot that it has practically brought the beauty in the world to our television screens.
If you too are a die-hard fan of the show, and would love to explore the scenic locations from the show, we have some really useful information for you. Here goes:
Castle Ward, Northern Ireland
The home to everyone’s dear ‘Starks’, the Castle Ward is a National Trust property located near the village of Strangford in County Down, Northern Ireland. The Whispering Woods of the first season, the camp of the King in the North – Robb Stark, and the site of the Baelor battle; the construction of this castle with dual architecture dates back to as early as 1760s. Keeping the lords of Winterfell cosy against the harsh weather in the show, the castle in real life is used for public recreation. Tourists can live the ‘Game of Thrones’ experience through the replica of the Winterfell Archery Range and costumes that are designed after those worn by Robb Stark, Bran Stark, Jon Snow and alike.
Malta is often referred to as the Mediterranean’s Hollywood, a claim solidified by the shooting of blockbuster movies like Munich, World War Z, Troy and Gladiator here. So when the place caught the fascination of the makers of the Game of Thrones, all of us got glimpses of the magnificence and timelessness of this great city. Doubling up as the King’s Landing in the Season 1, the makers of the show acquainted the world with the quaint architecture of the city, of whose grandeur the scenes at the Red Keep are a bare minimum reflection. Also, the scene where Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen get married was shot at the stunning The Azure Window of Gozo which is a natural arch in the sea cliffs. Fort Manoel served as the Sept of Baelor where Ned Stark was beheaded in the season.
Fort Lovrijenac and Dubrovnik, Croatia
The thick-walled fort serving as a theatre outside Dubrovnik has a famous inscription carved in stone above the entrance door -“Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro” meaning Freedom cannot be sold for all the gold of the world. Is it then a coincidence that Fort Lovrijenac features as the Red Keep in the show, the seat of the Lannister clan whose queen Cersei Lannister couldn’t buy her freedom from the Faith Militants and had to take the ‘Walk of Shame’ instead? The city of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage city, is where most scenes from the King’s Landing have been filmed the 2nd season onward.
You’ll be happy to know that there are real life parallels the old-fashioned towns of Yunkai and Astapor where the Dragon Queen ruled in Morocco. Located between Marrakech and the Sahara, Ait Benhaddou featuring as Yunkai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site made entirely of clay. The seaside Essaouira is the Moroccan city that is pictured as the home of the Unsullied where the scenes from the Slaver’s Bay are shot. The city is constructed using European, Arab, and African elements of architecture that give it a unique appeal. The interesting fact to note is that both these cities historically were involved in the slave trade in real life also.
Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
To picture the icy, desolated land beyond The Wall, there couldn’t have been a better choice than Iceland. The Svínafellsjökull glacier in Iceland‘s Vatnajökull National Park and the nearby region is where the scenes from The Frostfangs and at the Fist of the First Men were shot. The otherworldly lava fields of Dimmuborgir, where Mance Rayder sets up his camp in season three, the corner of the “Haunted Forest” where Samwell Tarly and Lord Commander Mormont are attacked by white walkers, and Grjótagjá, the cave that becomes Jon Snow and Ygritte’s love nest are all the sites covered if you take a Game of Thrones tour in Iceland.