Northern Ireland – Westeros brought to life
Bum-bum, ba-da bum-bum, ba-da bum-bum...that recognisable theme tune plays as you're flown over the snazzily-designed land of Westeros and can only mean one thing...Game of Thrones!
Are you a Stark supporter? Lannister lackey? Or maybe you're totally Targaryen; either way, the HBO show has taken the world by storm and the world of the Seven Kingdoms can be found outside of the pages of George RR Martin's epic novels – Northern Ireland is home to a number of locations used in the show!
We take a tour around the country to visit Westeros locations that have been used to bring the world of A Song of Ice and Fire to life.
WARNING: There may be some spoilers for people who haven't watched Seasons 1-4.
Titanic Studios, Belfast
The massive, iconic Throne Room; the Sept of Baelor, where Arya Stark witnessed the beheading of her father, Ned and – don't look down – the Eyrie, home to the House Arryn are all filmed in the Paint Hall of the 8-acre Titanic Studios.
The Dark Hedges, County Antrim
The location scouts for the show must have been thanking their lucky stars when they came across this eeriest, atmospheric road, lined by beech trees to give a delightfully creepy arched avenue.
Tollymore Forest, County Down
The opening minutes of the TV series happen here; the scouts heading out and stumbling across the dead – or are they? – bodies at the encampment, and then encountering the terrifying White Walkers.
Castle Ward, County Down
The mighty Winterfell – home to the Stark family that ultimately meets a fiery end – is found here. Our first foray into the lives of the characters happens here, when King Robert Baratheon arrives with his entourage in tow, including his manipulative wife, Cersei and his son (or so he believes), the sadistic Joffrey.
Murlough Bay, County Antrim
Murlough Bay has seen its share of drama – being the setting where Theon Greyjoy returns home to the Iron Islands after spending years as a captive to the Starks, in an attempt to forge an alliance between the two families. Fans will remember the ultimately awkward horse ride he had with his sister on the way to see his father. It is also where Davos Seaworth is rescued from the Fingers by a passing ship after the epic Battle of Blackwater Bay.
Larrybane, County Antrim
Storm's End – the ancestral seat of House Baratheon and home to Renly, brother of Robert and Stannis – is set in Larrybane. This is where we meet Brienne of Tarth, who defeated the Knight of Flowers, Loras Tyrell, in a tourney.
Shillanavogy Valley, County Antrim
Watched over by Mount Slemish, the supposed home of Saint Patrick, here is where we meet the Dothraki in their camp, and where the future mother of dragons, Daenerys, learns what it means to be Khaleesi – queen of the Dothraki horde.
So grab your sword and take to the open road; drive through this scenic, mystical country, reliving all your favourite parts of the show, learn from expert tour guides and maybe get some juicy gossip about upcoming episodes! Don't forget to drop in at the Steensons Workshop & Gallery in Glenarm, County Antrim – they have been charged with the enviable task of creating the jewellery worn in the show! They made such masterpieces as Joffrey and Margaery's wedding crowns, Sansa's necklace that she wore to the “Purple Wedding” and various other pins, pendants, and necklaces seen throughout the series.