Short N. Ireland trip & Game of Thrones!

HBO released the first official photos of the highly anticipated Game of Thrones season 7 in less than 24 hours ago and folks went crazy with some real deep, thorough analysis of each shot! If you’re a GoT fan like yours truly, this fan behaviour won’t surprise you at all. I was barely awake when I saw someone posted this in Facebook and needless to say, few things in life can wake me up as fast as a GoT newly released promo!

Can we talk about the picture of Jon Snow in what seems to be the crypt underneath Winterfell (we all know what’s in there!)? Also, how Dany’s costume has drastically changed to represent a much stronger, mature and determined as ever character in the symbolic House Targaryan colour, red and black.

Speaking of Game of Thrones, a few days before leaving Ireland last month, hubby and I and his friend went for a short road trip to Galway and Nothern Ireland. Any Game of Thrones fan knows that Nothern Ireland is home to some major Game of Thrones filming locations. We didn’t get to visit all of them since we only had one day to drive around Belfast and discover these filming locations along with other local attractions.

You can see more of the list and full explanations for each filming locations  here.

We started off at Castle Ward a.k.a Winterfell. The principle filming location for Winterfell is Castle Ward, Co. Down, an 18th century castle overlooking Strangford Lough.

Robb Stark’s camp, Talisa and Briene-Jaime scenes were filmed around the field on the other side of the tower.

Upon arrival, we were told that the National Trust property was used as the filming location for the Stark’s ancestral home in season 1 only. Real life Winterfell is small in size, the set was decorated with props and heavily CGI-ed to look like it did in the show so you need to use your imagination here.

Next, we drove to Ballintoy Harbour, which with some imagination, you’ll recognize it from the scene where Theon Greyjoy first arrived in Iron Island in Season 2.

In the first picture, you can see how the small, calm harbour is transformed into Pyke in the show. There was some construction work going on when we were there so I couldn’t really replicate or take the picture from the exact position as the shot from the show.

On our way back, we stopped by The Dark Hedges, Co. Antrim, a.k.a The Kingsroad where Arya and Gendry traveled on in Season 2 Episode 1.

It was already sunset when we arrived there but thankfully it was still bright enough for us to see the place. It’s a narrow country road lined with beech trees and the intertwined branches gives the place an atmospheric feel. Some believed this road is haunted and I can really understand why anyone would feel that way about The Dark Hedges. The picture I took using my smartphone (can’t afford a good camera yet) really does not do this place justice. This page has better, higher quality pictures if you’re interested to see more. If you’re driving, pay close attention to each road sign. The Dark Hedges is rather unassuming from afar so it’s really easy to miss it.

To see these locations in real life is really a treat for an avid fan. Poor Hubby had to listen to me and his friend gushed about the show allllll the time. With over 20 filming locations scattered in and areas surrounding Belfast, we definitely need to come back in the future to see all of them! Even if you’ve never watched GoT, Northern Ireland itself is a very interesting country to visit.

Game of Thrones is the most epic tv series I’ve ever watched in my entire life. I’m a fan of many other series specifically the X-Files (the first few seasons), Twin Peaks to the some recent ones like Stranger Things and Westworld. But none of these series got me all twist up in theories and engrossed in every titbits about the show like Game of Thrones… or maybe Westworld too but that’s another story altogether.

Writing this makes me want to watch that last episode from season 6 again. Here’s me spending my Friday night:) Cheers!


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