IF YOU’RE an ardent admirer of Game of Thrones (GoT)—that epic fantasy television series from HBO that has attained an exceptionally broad and active international fan base, thanks to its captivating story, gory death scenes and, of course, dragons—you would have often got blown away by the amazing locations it is shot in. Instead of presenting viewers with propped-up sets, Game of Thrones has been known to shoot in different countries around the world, and therein lies its beauty.
As numerous teasers about Jon Snow’s fate and Bran Stark’s return do the rounds—in the run-up to the sixth season of the popular TV series in April—we take you on a tour of some real-world alternatives to relive the magical world of Game of Thrones. So, next time you’re planning a trip, you might want to check out one of these locations…
Tollymore Forest Park, northern Ireland
Want to avenge Benjen Stark by killing White Walkers by yourself? Tollymore might be a nice place to start. This location was the very first scene of the show—where a member of the Night’s Watch meets a White Walker. The forest was used a few other times, too, such as when the Starks found their direwolves and the somewhat less pleasant Theon-Ramsay chase scene.
Fort Ricasoli, Malta
The next stop on any Game of Thrones fan’s itinerary would be King’s Landing. The amazing architecture is a slightly digitally modified version of this enormous and beautiful location in Malta. This is notably used to depict the Red Keep. However, given how vast King’s Landing is, it wasn’t just depicted using one location.
Trsteno Arboretum, Croatia
The Queen of Thorns might be tired of seeing the luscious gardens of King’s Landing, but if you’re aching for a stroll through them, you should definitely visit Trsteno Arboretum. While it’s a small village near Dubrovnik, this place has been the spot for some big, sneaky plans on the show.
Verdala Palace, Malta
Verdala Palace has been used just once till now, but it serves as the backdrop of the very first scene with the young Daenerys Targaryen. While in Game of Thrones, it served as Illyrio Mopatis’ house, the palace is officially the summer house of the President of Malta.
Azure Window, Gozo
Azure Window was the location chosen as the young Khaleesi’s wedding location. Only a little retouching was done to this location, as its own natural, rugged beauty gave it the perfect natural look required for a fantastic Dothraki wedding.
When the Mother of Dragons gets a little wiser, she heads out to Astapor or, more accurately, Essaouira. This Moroccon city serves as the introduction to Slaver’s Bay and the start of Dany’s journey to become the queen.
The Mourne Mountain, northern Ireland
Other smaller locations include Vaes Dothrak, the sacred land of the Dothrakis, which was depicted in this northern Ireland mountain region. While not clearly stated in the show, the mountainous hills at a distance were depicted as the most sacred land for any Dothraki man or woman.
Minceta Tower, Croatia
The House of the Undying scenes during Daenerys’ adventures in Qarth were shot in Minceta Tower. The tower itself is located within the traditional location of King’s Landing. Be sure to check out this location when you’re in Dubrovnik. Maybe you’ll find some baby dragons inside!
Another must-see location for everyone is Jon Snow’s love cave. The cave looked pretty amazing in the series, but it’s even more beautiful naturally. The spring maintains a steady hot to warm temperature, so be sure to visit it during the winters.
Thingvellir National Park, Iceland
While not as steamy as the previous, Thingvellir National Park is definitely a beautiful grassy place to visit. And, that’s why it was used to depict the Riverlands, where Arya had her adventures with the Hound.
Now, if you’re looking for some action, head over to Hofoabrekka. Most of the scenes beyond the wall featuring Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly, Bran Stark and the Reed siblings occurred at this location. It’s one of the coldest locations in Iceland and makes for the perfect environment for the mysterious land beyond the wall.