Yet more of your favorite characters have probably been killed off in the latest Game of Thrones season finale. While you wait (or not) for season six next year, you’re probably wondering how to stay attached to a series where there are such few characters left you could actually root for!
Why not revisit some fantastic GOT filming locations and renew your fascination for the series that you may love or hate, but can’t ignore? The real-life locations where the White Walkers roam and the city of Westeros is set are scattered all across the world. They are just as – if not more – beautiful as what you see on screen.
- Northern Ireland
A lot of the first season – and the setting of Westeros – is located in Northern Ireland. Castle Ward, in Downpatrick, County Down, is where the Family Stark family home Winterfell was filmed. The family had encamped during the season’s war at Audley’s Castle and Woods nearby. Catelyn captured Tyrion in Redhall Estate near the Magheramorne quarry further north, which is the setting for Castle Black. The eerie Dark Hedges of Ballymoney is where Kingsroad lies. This dramatic location is also one of Ireland’s most-photographed.
It is fitting that the land of Ice and Fire is set in the frozen, beautiful and mysterious landscapes of Iceland. A lot of the land “beyond the Wall” was shot here, at sites like Lake Myvatn, Europe’s largest ice cap the Vatnajökull glacier, Myrdalsjokull glacier and Skaftafell National Park. Filming at the national park may have taken place in winter, but summer there and at Lake Myvatn can be very pleasant.
In season 2, filming of Kind’s Landing went to Croatia, mostly in the walled seaside city of Dubrovnik (much like the capital city of Westeros) and in Lokrum Island (where much of Qarth was set). Some exterior shots were also filmed here, and the surrounding water featured in the Battle of Blackwater. But it is no wonder they choose this country, since Croatia has over 1000 Islands perfect for filming scenes like that. Fort Lovrijenac became Red Keep, and the Minceta Tower was the setting for the House of Undying. The belief that Lokrum is cursed may add to your thrill in being there. You can reach Dubrovnik with a plane from all over the world and to visit the Island Lokrum, you can contact a Croatian charter or the local ferry agency.
Seville in Spain is where much of the desert scenes and stories involving House Martell were shot. Alcazar in Seville, which was a Muslim fort with fabulous Mudejar architecture, is a sight to behold on its own, even without the distinction of having been chosen as the setting for the House Martell. Plenty of sand and sun in this Andalusian city will easily remind you of Dorne’s landscapes, and the nearby town of Osuna has a bullring that featured in the fifth season. If you’re in Osuna, be sure to check out the Casa Curro Tavern with a special Game of Thrones menu – like the Joffrey, which is a trout and bacon dish with mulled wine.
Morocco’s majestic desert towns and seashores also featured in the show, with filming locations like the fortified city of Aït-Ben-Haddou near Marrakech, where Yunkai and Pentos were set. The coastal city of Essaouira, to the west of Aït-Ben-Haddou on the Atlantic, is the setting for Astapor in Game of Thrones. Many of the interiors film sets on the series were also shot at the world famous – and famously situated – Atlas Corporation Studios in Ouarzazate, in the stunning Moroccan desert.
Many locations in Malta were used to film the regal, majestic scenes set in Kings Landing in the first season. Malta’s ex-capital Mdina is home to several ornate, historical buildings such as the Verdala Palace, the Mdina Bridge etc. where many dramatic scenes were shot. Lord Stark’s beheading took place at Fort Manoel; Arya chased the cat at Fort St Angelo. Only interior shots were filmed at Malta, however, since it is inland unlike Kings Landing.
At many of these places, you are likely to meet other GOT fans. Several of these sites are developing tourism based on the series. So be prepared to not just reminisce about your favorite scenes, but also, possibly, have heated discussions that are such a fun.