Game of Thrones in Real Life!

Good Evening guys,

Spoiler alert this is a post all about Game of Thrones with several snippets of iconic scenes so if you have not watched it first of all SHAME and second of all I have warned you there are spoilers!

Tonight is a very exciting evening for many of us as Game of Thrones is back!

Season 7 Episode 1 will be aired in the US first on HBO at 9pm but us Brits can watch it at 2am on Sky Atlantic. I am personally not sure if I can wait until it is aired at a more reasonable time…so I may be having a late night like I imagine many of you will be doing.

Game of Thrones Season 6 finished in June 2016 so we have had a long year to wait. I have just re-watched the season and my goodness it was intense. We get so hooked on these TV series that when the seasons end we feel lost. Now I have found a way to knock that feeling on the head, why don’t you book a holiday to some of the well-known locations and relive the episodes.

I don’t mean re-enacting the series…I think blowing up Dubrovnik’s Old Town with Wildfire or re-creating the Battle of the Bastard’s in Co.Down, Ireland may be frowned upon. What I do mean is to just wander these wonderful places and feel that same inspiration that brought these incredible scenes to our TV screens.

Let’s give you some inspiration:

Dubrovnik, Croatia  

dubrovnik_final_cover

Of course to you fans out there, it is pretty obvious what is filmed in this stunning city in Croatia. It is the setting of Kings Landing. The destination for many iconic scenes including of course Cersei’s Walk of Shame and her Revenge! Be prepared for plenty of walking because you can also see the Red Keep, walk past Littlefinger’s Brothel & visit the House of the Undying.

Dubrovnik is just so iconic with those dark orange rooftops and its incredible medieval architecture which looks untouched, there is no doubt this is the perfect location for Kings Landing. There is absolutely no wonder Dubrovnik’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site it truly is breathtaking. Of course many people have added this to their ‘Book it List’ and the Croatian Tourism Board has seen a significant impact on tourism numbers with a rise of 14% from January-May 2017.

It is definitely high on my list to visit and whilst I am there it would be great to take part in a Game of Thrones tour. The only question is you want to make sure you pick the right one. I took a quick look at Trip Advisor and this company is voted #2 of 147 Tours in Dubrovnik and has received a 98% Excellent rating. All guides are licensed by the ministry of tourism and are massive Game of Thrones fans so they know what they are talking about: go and check them out http://www.tourthegameofthrones.com

  • Take a walk around the walls that encircle Dubrovnik for 2km and then cool off with a GOT themed lunch at Kopun Restaurant (served from 12:00-16:00).
  • Head to Minčeta Fortress (the outside you will recognise for the House of the Undying) just recently opened after 2 years of reconstruction and get the view from the top of the tower. Feel like you are protecting Cersei from any invaders!
  • Get on Google maps and check out the locations of Cersei’s Walk of Shame (but please…leave your clothes on). Google has got on board with all the hype and you can follow it on Streetview.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is home to many locations including scenes for the Iron Islands, Castle Black & Winterfell. You can also visit the Cushenden Caves which is the filming location for Melisandre’s birth scene to the dark spirit.

I read a really interesting blog post from Earth Trekkers who did their very own Game of Thrones self-guided tour. They did mention how certain parts including the Shillanavogy Valley which is transformed into Dothraki Grasslands & Dunluce Castle which is CGI’d into Pike, the capital of the Iron Islands. A lot of CGI is used so you can’t expect to see the exact scene…just use your imagination! Go and check out their post it really does give you a great insight into some of the filming locations.

It is safe to say Northern Ireland is jam-packed full of key filming locations so if you fancy, go and rent a car and take a drive around and see the beautiful scenery. You just have to take a visit to the Dark Hedges, they scream Game of Thrones and is known as the King’s Road. The Beech trees were planted in the 18th century and from 1 scene in Season 2 as Arya is escaping dressed as a boy from Kings Landing, this has now become a very popular destination for GOT fans to visit.

 

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The Dark Hedges, Ballymoney

Just like in Dubrovnik there are many tours which aim to show you these iconic filming locations but again it is really important just to take those few minutes of research to get the very best one.

Winterfell Tours is voted #2 of tours in County Down and has an 81% Excellent rate so this does look like a good one. They offer many different ways of experiencing the filming locations such as:

  • Archery Movie Set Experience (£29pp for the Bran Package or £99 for up to 3 people for the Exclusive Ned Package). fire-live-arrows-in-winterfell-archery-range-movie-set-
  • Casle of Westeros Boat Tour (you get to see the stunning views of Winterfell Castle, Walder Freys Castle & Dreadfort Castle). It costs £320 for private hire of the boat & a tour guide (up to 9 people).
  • An overnight Glamping Experience which includes the Archery Movie Set Experience & their cycling tour (£199.00 per couple).

There are so many options what is stopping you, you even get to see the actual Direwolves for yourself!

clear-sky-adventure-game

It is just 40 minutes from Belfast & 2 hours from Dublin. Give yourself about 3hrs for the total site and check out the site map for yourself to see what is has to offer.


Iceland

The famous Wall is filmed in Northern Ireland at Magheramorne a disused Quarry. Of course with a mix of CGI it is turned into the overwhelming structure keeping out those walkers. But what about beyond the wall?

This is where Iceland…a suitable name comes into place. Just by googling Iceland’s winter landscapes they are breathtaking and it is safe to say Iceland is high on my Book it List there is no question as to why these were chosen for the harsh landscapes where the walkers emerge.

It is not all doom and gloom though it is where Jon and Ygritte meet and Grjótagjá cave is the famous location for their love scene. It is a small cave with a thermal spring inside, make sure you take a headtorch though as it will be pretty dark in there. Make sure you do some google mapping before you go it is located near Lake Mývatn.

Grjótagjá
Grjótagjá cave

The landscapes are truly stunning and some of the iconic shots include areas such as Skaftafell, Vatnajökull, Vik with the Mýrdalsjökull glacier & Hverir.

Some of the best ways to see this stunning scenery would be to take part in a tour or do the research and go around yourself. The Travelling Viking provide a very highly rated tour voted #8 in Akureyri and has an 85% Excellent rating. They provide a Game of Thrones themed tour with transport included so if you are not confident in driving around yourself take part in this tour which costs around £160pp for Adults.

Baring in mind Iceland has become extremely popular and is a fairly expensive place to visit, this may be one definitely for the Book it List and if you are going to do it, do it in style and go in Winter then you get to see the Northern Lights too!


There are several many other filming locations that you can visit and for all you nerds out there you have many holidays to plan!

  • Aït-Benhaddou, village in Morocco is the location of Yunkai, the slave trading city.
  • Essaouira, a port city in Morocco is the location of Astapor, the home of the Unsullied.
  • Peniscola & Osuna, Spain are locations for Meereen. Osuna is home to the bullring, the place where the famous fight scene occurs and Daenerys flys away on her dragon.
  • Lastly there is Girona which doubles as Braavos where Arya is faced with the Waif as she is becoming the ‘girl with no name’.

I really enjoyed doing this post and seeing the vast amount of stunning locations used for this TV phenomenon.

Have you been to any of these destinations? Do you like posts like this, there are plenty of films and TV shows that bring tourism to some destinations that aren’t necessarily well-known and I would love to share more with you! 

Just look at this article talking all about how the filming of Game of Thrones revived Osuna back to life: A Town Called Game of Thrones

If you like this post Share on Twitter or follow me on Instagram @BookitBlogger and use #thebookitlist it would be great to make this little community grow even bigger.

If you wish to be involved and become a part of The Book it List then click on the Follow button and be notified whenever I do a new post.

Thank you so much for reading,

Valar Morghulis

Rhianna

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I study Tourism Management at Sheffield Hallam University and have a passion for travel writing and research.

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