Ireland is at the heart of Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones

Think Game of Thrones and the first image that comes to mind is Ireland. As rustic and wild is the narrative of the HBO series, Ireland matches the plot in all its richness, character and splendor. Where else can you imagine Winterfell or Riverrun or Kingsroad – other than in Ireland. The craggy beaches and coasts, the deep forests, the open moorlands, the remarkable castles filled with historic splendor and the stunning landscapes are the perfect backdrop for this immersive saga of Games of Thrones.

Did you know that Ireland has featured in all the eight seasons of the series?

Whether it is Ned Stark’s encounter with the direwolf pups at the beginning of the season, or young Arya Stark traveling on the back of a cart with Yoren after her father’s death, the mood is as much captured by the landscapes as by the actors and the storyline.

In all, this series was shot in 25 locations within Ireland. While we may not be able to mention all in a small blog, we have categorized in three main sections to let you know the filming locations.  While planning your vacation to Ireland, ensure that you visit these places!  It will add another facet to your Irish holiday.

Studios at Belfast

Belfast is home to the Paint Hall Studios. A part of the Harland and Wolff shipyard and where a bit of the iconic Titanic was built, Paint Hall Studio is the largest film studio in Europe. The crew shot most of the interior scenes of the series here – including High Hall of Eyrie, Great Sept of Baelor, Daenery’s throne room in the Pyramid of Meereen and many more.  Belfast is also a short drive from many of the filming locations used for Game of Thrones. In fact, the home base for the production team working on the Game of Thrones TV adaptation is this exciting city. A visit to the attractions will surely be a delight to the Throne-lovers!

Scenic Locations

Dark Hedges of Antrim

Ireland is renowned for the spectacular landscapes. And you will agree that the show has made optimum use of the natural wonders that the country had to offer!

The Dark Hedges of County Antrim

These will remain etched in everyone’s mind now for their sinister appeal. The same county also served as the location of the Dothraki grasslands with the Shillanavogy Valley where the tribes ride to Vaes Dothrak. And to give it the continuity, the scenes of Vaes Dothrak were shot at the Morne Mountains in the neighboring county of Down with its dramatic slopes.

Ballintoy Harbour

Just 10 minutes away from Giant’s Causeway – is the location for Iron Islands. This was the setting used when Theon Greyjoy returns to the Iron Islands to stake what he believes to be his rightful claim! Visit this spectacular Harbour to see why the makers of the series chose it as the filming location. You can do an overnight stop at Giant’s Causeway to visit the multiple attractions and filming locations around.  While this magnificent location is not in the series, this is a must visit for anyone who goes to this side of Ireland.

Castles & More

Dunluce Castle, County Antrim

Winterfell, Castle Black, Castle Greyjoy – these roll off the tongues of all GOT lovers! These are actually real castle locations of which Ireland has in abundance. Some were in ruins, while some are in well maintained shape. Whatever their current state, they were all so appropriate and perfect. Both in setting and in character. So much so that the Game of Thrones scouting crew did not have to travel far and wide to find these!  

Castle Ward is an 18th century property which fits the description of Winterfell like a hand in a glove! Then, there is the Dunluce Castle which is the location for Castle Greyjoy. It is a medieval castle on the edge of basalt outcropping in County Antrim and is, now, practically in ruins. 

It offers excellent photo opportunities. You also have the 14th century Shane’s castle which provided the magnificent backdrop of the jostling tournament – where the beheading of Gregor Clegane took place. 

So, are you ready?

Visit these and many other castles to walk in the footsteps of your favorite TV show! Some of them even offer costumes so that you can actually get into the character. Fans of the show can also get nostalgic about their favorite scenes from the fantasy drama in over 20 filming locations across this officially designated Game of Thrones territory.

So, what are you waiting for? Now that the series is over, pack your bags! Relive the best of Game of Thrones with a trip to Northern Island for a super Game of Thrones-inspired trip!

*This blog is independently operated by Cosmos. It is not sponsored, endorsed, or affiliated with HBO or anyone associated with ‘Game of Thrones’

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