Game of Thrones is no longer just a TV show, it has become an entertainment (some might say social) phenomenon. It has become a buzzword in office chit-chat, dinner conversations, and social media discussions. Its portrayal of political intrigue, power struggles, adventure, magic and myth has captivated millions of viewers right from the first season. Now in its fourth season, it shows no likelihood of letting up. The suspense, drama and occasionally killing off central characters seems like it’s just getting started. Basically, if you are a fan, you are in for a treat!
However, it can get even better. You can get immersed into the intrigue, adventure and excitement of the Game of Thrones. You can walk into the mythical King’s Landing, stroll past the walls of Winterfell and gaze upon the homes of the fearsome White Walkers. You can enjoy these, and numerous other captivating Game of Thrones experiences. You simply have to visit the following filming locations this summer.
King’s Landing (Dubrovnik, Croatia)
In the first season, King’s Landing – capital of Westeros – was shot from Midna, the former capital of Malta. From season two onwards, the honor was bestowed upon Dubrovnik. This medieval city is as ornate, spectacular and dignified as Olena Tyrell. Its cobbled streets, narrow passage ways and 500 year-old walls provide the perfect setting for many GoT scenes. You can look out to the sea through which Stannis Baratheon’s forces approached during the Battle of the Blackwater. You can stroll into the fortress which hosted the Red Keep. You can stand at the very spot where Lord Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish offered Sansa an opportunity to flee the city. You can also enjoy Dubrovnik’s other attractions including medieval palaces, picturesque cathedrals, a 700 year-old pharmacy and lots of idyllic beaches.
North of the Wall (Vatnajökull glacier, Iceland)
“North of the Wall” is perhaps one of the most haunting sceneries in the Game of Thrones. Bleak, Desolate and other-worldly, there couldn’t be a more fitting home for the wildings and White Walkers. It is so perfectly done that one cannot but imagine that it was digitally enhanced. But it wasn’t. The Vatnajökull glacier is that haunting, and the ice is that blue. You can go and get immersed into the fearsome charm. Make sure you pack lots of warm clothing, as you obviously understand “winter is coming.” Also, make sure you don’t bump into the White Walkers while on the glacier –you know what might happen. While you visit the Vatnajökull glacier, you can enjoy exciting sports and even catch a glimpse of Iceland’s world famous Aurora Borealis. P.S.
Cushendun Caves, Northern Ireland
One of the most gripping scenes in Game of Thrones takes place in a secret passage beneath Storm’s End. In the epic scene, Melisandre – the Red Priestess – gives birth to the mysterious shadow which later assassinates Renly Baratheon. This dark, tense and atmospheric scene is the first time we witness Melisandre’s powers, and ultimately the power of R’hllor, the Lord of Light. The scene was shot in the Cushendun Caves, a cave system in the coast of Northern Ireland. These caves have been formed over 400 million years of erosion by the sea waters. They are dark, gloomy and mysterious. You can walk into them and feel the excitement, terror and angst experienced by Lord Davos as he watched the Red Priestess giving birth. As you stand into the shadowy caves, you will not help but remember that “the night is dark and full of terrors.” Cheap Ireland flights makes seeing this location easier than ever.
Lokrum Island, Croatia
This scenic island is where the fictional port of Qarth was filmed. The filming took place in the Fort Royal Castle and at the 15th Century St. Dominic monastery. In the Royal Castle, you can catch glimpses of the magical House of the Undying. The monastery has an atmosphere which can be best described as GoT-esque. It is antique, picture-perfect and well preserved. Walking through the monastery immediately immerses one into the world of Qarth. One can almost see the dragon flying in from King’s Landing. In real life, Lokrum is only 4 km away from Dubrovnik. So, if you want to visit it, the easiest route is to first travel to Dubrovnik. You can then reach the island with a boat line from Dubrovnik or you can hire a vessel from one of the charter in Croatia and visit the island on your own. Aside from the Game of Thrones locations, Lokrum has a rich history, idyllic beaches and picturesque landscapes.
Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland
The Dothraki are some the most exciting warriors to watch in Game of Thrones. Sitting astride their magnificent horses, they ride into battle, gallant, fearless, terrifying. Their homeland of Essos is actually Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains. These mountains are known to provide as much vigor, adventure and excitement as the Gothraki. Stand on the mountainsides and gaze across the plains the Gothraki horde could have ridden through. If you have an affinity for the saddle, you can get a horse and set gallop yourself. You can also enjoy other tourist activities including hiking, mountain climbing, cycling and picnicking. As you have you blast, don’t be afraid to try out a few Dothraki phrases: “me nem nesa”.
In a nutshell, it is not often that we get an opportunity to walk on the paths of our heroes; visit our favorite mythical lands or get a real-life experience of our wildest fantasies. For Game of Thrones enthusiasts, all this is possible, thanks to the different filming locations. As such, you can experience the magic, intrigue, adventure and excitement first hand this summer. All you have to do is visit any of the above filming locations. Ultimately, you will be amazed, entranced and enchanted.