Want to visit Winterfell?
What about Castle Black?
Soon, you can.
Several major Game of Thrones sets in Northern Ireland are going to be converted into tourist attractions.
So for the first time ever, fans of the Emmy-winning fantasy drama can visit locations and structures that have been strictly off limits for years.
“The Game of Thrones Legacy attractions will be on a scale and scope bigger than anything the public has ever seen,” says a release by HBO. “Each site will feature not only the breathtaking sets, but will also exhibit displays of costumes, props, weapons, set decorations, art files, models, and other production materials. The visitor experience will be enhanced by state-of-the-art digital content and interactive materials which will showcase some of the digital wizardry the series is known for.”
One thing that’s unique about many of the major GoT sets is they’re not just facades like that are typically built for most movies and TV shows. The Winterfell castle set, for example, is a sprawling area with interconnected rooms, courtyards and platforms along ramparts that allow you to walk around and feel fully immersed by the environment (which also allows a director to point a camera any direction without having to use green screen, or to follow actors from room to room).
Typically sets are torn down and scrapped after they’re used. But GoT has been an enormous boon for Northern Ireland tourism and given the global popularity of the show and lavishness of the sets, it makes sense that HBO would convert them into a destination that’s open to the public.
HBO is currently “considering” including the standing sets for iconic locations such as Winterfell, Castle Black, and Kings Landing along with a studio tour of Linen Mill Studios which will showcase a wide array of subject matter from the series.
“While fans have seen the stunning landscapes, coastlines and mountains in the series, we are thrilled they will now have the opportunity to fully experience the charm of Northern Ireland and immerse themselves in to the world of Westeros,” said John McGrillen, Chief Executive of Tourism NI. “The Game of ThronesLegacy project will be a game changer for Northern Ireland on the global tourism level.”
GoT recently won the Emmy for best drama series for the third time. The show returns for its final season in 2019.