Westeros is set to open its doors to Game of Thrones fans after HBO began working on turning its locations in Northern Ireland into tourist attractions. The premium broadcaster is set to turn locations including Winterfell, Castle Black and Kings Landing into attractions as well as planning a tour at Linen Mill Studios.
Winterfell, the backdrop for the pilot and much of Season 1, is filmed at Castle Ward in County Down; Castle Black, HQ of the Night’s Watch, is filmed in a disused quarry in Magheramorne; and (some of) Kings Landing is filmed near Armoy. The attractions are being lined up to open in 2019.
HBO’s move comes as it is set to say goodbye to the epic fantasy period drama with Season 8.
“HBO is thrilled to celebrate the work of the Game of Thrones creative team and crew by preserving these locations and inviting fans to visit Northern Ireland and explore Westeros in person,” said Jeff Peters, HBO’s VP Licensing and Retail. “We look forward to opening the gates and sharing the excitement of stepping inside these amazing sets with Game of Thrones fans from around the world. The opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland’s pivotal role in the life and legacy of the show and share its culture, beauty and warmth is also a huge inspiration behind these legacy projects.”
Said John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI: “We couldn’t be more excited about the Game of Thrones Legacy project coming to Northern Ireland. 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. The Game of Thrones Legacy project will be a game changer for Northern Ireland on a global tourism level. We very much welcome this exciting announcement by HBO and look forward to attracting many more visitors to our beautiful country as a result.”