|Castle Ward, Northern Ireland|
photo by Ardfern
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9 Breathtaking Real-Life Game of Thrones Locations
Game of Thrones is a phenomenon in the television industry and as far as its ratings are concerned, there are no signs of it slowing down. If you’re wondering where on earth to find the majestic places where the show is filmed, here are the answers.
Castle Ward, Northern Ireland – Winterfell’s Courtyard
The Castle Ward was featured as Winterfell’s courtyard and was used for the scene where King Robert arrived at Winterfell in which they were met by the house of Stark during the first episode. This historic farmyard is a unique 18th century mansion that is famous for its dazzling mix of architectural polishes. It is located on a rolling hillside overlooking the waters of Strangford Lough, Downpatrick. Because of the fame brought about by the television series, the place is now visited daily by many tourists. Game of Thrones tours are widely offered.
City of Dubrovnik, Croatia – King’s Landing
Dubrovnik is the main filming location for the scenes in South of Westeros or primarily the King’s Landing during the second season of the show. As most GOT fans know, this city showcases red-tiled roofs with orange terracotta tiles, large historic stone walls and scenic narrow streets as well as the wild seas. Known as the Pearl of the Adriatic, Dubrovnik is truly one of the most historic and fabulous places along the Adriatic Sea.
|Lovrijenac Fortress, Dubrovnik, Croatia|
Lovrijenac Fortress, Croatia – The Red Keep
Another well-known place is the Red Keep – a place where kings and queens of Westeros rule the Seven Kingdoms. In real-life, this GOT place was filmed in the Fort Lovrjenac, which is also within the city of Dubrovnik. Also known as the Fort of St. Lawrence, it is located outside high walls that are over 50 meters thick to prevent its destruction by enemies. Visitors can climb the 175 stone steps to the impressive beacon to catch a glimpse of the city’s skyline.
Minceta Tower, Croatia – The House of the Undying
Built in 1913 as the highest quadrilateral fort, it is the highest part of Dubrovnik’s walls and gives a magnificent overview of the city. Minceta is often referred to as the most remarkable fort of the city and regarded as the symbol of the place. The scene where Daenerys Targaryen walks around the exterior and has to face unexpected visions in the House of Undying in order to gain knowledge about her future was shot here.
|Done Castle, Scotland|
photo by Steve Collis
Doune Castle, Scotland – Winterfell
This was the filming location of the show’s pilot episode where the interior served as the festivity area when the royal party arrived. The background of the castle was also used for many scenes in the Winterfell. The castle was rebuilt during the 14th century and served as a hunting lodge for Scottish royalty in the earlier years as well as a house for a widowed queen.
Azure Window, Malta – Wedding Scene
Located on Gozo Island, this natural limestone arch in the sea cliff was seen during Daenerys and Khal Drogo’s wedding. Even before the scene was shown on TV, it had been known as one of the most visited tourist destinations in Malta. Unfortunately, recent reports have suggested that it will collapse in the next few years because the sea is slowly eroding the arch. There are danger signs posted all over the arch. However, people ignore them to walk across and head to the top for a stunning picture of this well-known place.
Fort Saint Angelo, Malta – The Red Keep Dungeon
Located at the hearth of Grand Harbour (which was used as a military habitation), this prehistoric structure was used by British soldiers and was severely damaged during World War II. The tunnels were used for the scene where Arya was chasing a cat as an assignment from Syrio Forel wherein she overheard a discussion about the possibility of a war.
|Dina City Gate, Malta|
photo by GFDL
Mdina City Gate, Malta – King’s Landing
This was originally the main setting of Game of Thrones, particularly on the first season, but because of logistics issue, it was later replaced by Dubrovnik. It is the old capital of Malta and one of the island’s oldest, strategically located walled cities. Mdina’s inland setting, red-stoned buildings, and tall gates were the perfect shooting location for the show.
Dark Hedges in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland – Kingsroad
The stunning view of beech trees that were perfectly aligned at the side of the streets is the location for the scene when Arya Stark escaped King’s Landing disguised as a young boy. It is considered the longest highway in the Seven Kingdoms, running from King’s Landing to the wall where Arya Stark rides for Castle Black. In real life, the Dark Hedges was created to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to Georgian Mansion. After a couple of centuries, the trees still retain their magnificence and have become one of the most photographed natural sights in Northern Ireland.