By now, you all must have a fair idea of how much I LOVE Game of Thrones! This is more than a fad, this is borderline obsessive. But until I enter into the fandom realms of changing my surname to Stormborn, tattooing the sigils of each house on my inner thigh and sleeping next to a vial of Kit Harington’s sweat (that I paid an extortionate amount for on eBay), I think I’m safe from intervention!
I did, however, request that we tour around Northern Ireland this summer, in an attempt to
stalk some cast members visit filming locations for the show! Therefore, today’s photographic post is a small collection of a few castles and landscapes featured in the HBO series. The title? Well, apparently this hashtag is totally ‘a thing’ if you’re a tweeter, something I only discovered recently, jumped on and then created my own (#TargaryenTuesdays) – I’m taking compete credit for this because surely no other fan in the world could have thought of this alliterative link… 😉
Despite me wanting to dress up like a Stark family member on a guided coach tour, S was having none of it! And to be fair, I’m glad we followed our own route on a self-drive tour as it allowed us more time to take in the scenery and geek out a bit! I’m sure these coach tours are fantastic – they all have 5 star reviews, whether operating out of Dublin or Belfast – but after we crossed paths with one at the location used for the ‘Riverlands’, it did seem as if they were being herded around a little. Just not our cup of tea (they did all have cool swords though!).
Even without a love of GoT, these places are worth visiting if you ever find yourself in N. Ireland. I love castles and ruins at the best of times, so this gave an added focus to find areas good for walking and brought us to places we would have probably overlooked. Most of the larger forest parks and castles are part of The National Trust, so are free entry with membership, otherwise cost between £5 – £9 per person. Definitely a reason to take more time and not just whizz in for a photo opportunity. Click the links to find out about Castle Ward (Winterfell) and Tollymore Forest Park (The Haunted Forest).
The photograph of Castle Black is probably my favourite. It’s a rubbish image, but seeing as I didn’t have a paparazzi-worthy lens, had to stand on top of the car and avoid being spotted (photography and drones were prohibited!), I am pleased you can actually see the set! It’s in the middle of a quarry, at the side of a main road – looking every bit as grim as The Wall, just not as cold! Some people have asked if it shatters the illusion of the show, but for me it adds to it, as it fascinates me how they can alter the look with both props and CGI.
We didn’t do all the locations on the tour and some we did visit (such as Ballintoy Harbour, used for the Pyke Islands), but unfortunately the camera was not having a friendly day. Then there were the ones that were just fields, allegedly the location of a battle scene. Do I believe it? Maybe, maybe not. I do believe everyone is cashing in on the success (£95 to have a ‘Direwolf’ sniff you!) and I can’t really blame them – the show has brought so much extra tourism and revenue to these areas and it’s no doubt the same in other countries used.
So imagine you’re in Westeros and step into my little monochrome corner of The Seven Kingdoms… Do you recognise any sets? I hope you enjoy!
Image Credits: All my own, so please be sweet and ask before sharing! 🙂