Few fantasy series on television today can rival the compelling storytelling and rich tapestry of Game of Thrones. The critical and commercial acclaim of this HBO series owes part of that success to the realistic renderings of the world of Westeros – from Highgarden’s blooming arbours and opulent bouquet of flowers to the cold and bleak quarters of Castle Black. As viewers delve deep into this fantastic realm populated by white walkers and dragons, they are likewise adding filming locations of this epic saga to their bucket list of places to visit.
Now that Season 6 has just ended. We are pretty sure you are having withdrawal symptoms like us. Well, while waiting for Season 7 to hit us next year, take a Game of Thrones filming location tour at these 10 places.
Dothraki Sea: Bardenas Reales, Navarre (Spain)
The vast semi-desert landscape of the Bardenas Reales in Navarre, Spain appears in the sixth season of Game of Thrones during Dany’s encounter with the Dothraki horde. The hauntingly beautiful topography of the Badlands perfectly captures the harsh, barren environment of the Dothraki Sea.
Braavos: Girona (Spain)
The latest season has filmed a lot of scenes in this medieval city in Spain. The city served as the backdrop for Arya Stark’s storyline in Braavos. Some fans are saying it could also serve as the setting for Oldtown where Sam will be studying to become a maester. Then again, these are all speculations for now.
Tower of Joy: Zafra Castle, Guadalajara (Spain)
The much talked about flashback scenes in the Tower of Joy were shot in another Spanish territory. Zafra Castle, more popularly known as “the fortress of Spain’s Siberia” is a strong addition to the medieval landscape of the fantasy world of Game of Thrones. The revelation surrounding the death of Lyanna Stark could mark this place as an essential travel destination for Thrones followers.
Dorne: Seville, Spain
Featured often in Season 6, Dorne is the southernmost region of the Seven Kingdoms in Game of Thrones. Seville was chosen as location for the feminist kingdom. The Alcázar of Seville was in fact Sunspear, the sea of House Martell, in the show.
Love Scene Between Jon Snow and Ygritte: Grjótagjá Cave (Iceland)
An area in possibly one of the coldest places in the world is possibly the hottest filming location of Game of Thrones due to the passionate scene that took place in this site. Grjótagjá, a lava cave situated northeast of Iceland, is the spot where the pivotal love scene between Jon Snow and Ygritte took place. The outside of this cave is covered in snow, but the inside can get as hot as 50 degree Celsius. Now that’s steamy.
King’s Landing: Dubrovnik (Croatia)
An indispensable site for the Game of Thrones crew is Dubrovnik, also known as King’s Landing – the seat of power in Westeros. The imposing stone walls of this old town which surrounds the cinematic and striking stone cliff perfectly captures the core from which the individual threads of each power player revolves.
Winterfell: Castle Ward, County Down (Northern Ireland)
Winterfell, the former seat of power north of Westeros is wonderfully rendered through the gothic and medieval architecture of Castle Ward north of Ireland. The grounds of the castle was prominently displayed in season one of the show, most notably when the Starks welcomed then King Robert Baratheon and his court.
Kingsroad: The Dark Hedges (Northern Ireland)
The hauntingly beautiful arboreal embrace of an avenue of birch trees prominently featured in season one of Game of Thrones instantly became a hit in social media. This famous path was used to represent Kingsroad in the show. In the show, On the Kingsroad, Arya Stark disguised herself as a boy and escaped from King’s Landing. She travelled with Yoren, Gendry, Hot Pie and others who were to join the Night’s Watch, in a cart, north on the King’s Road.
In the real world, these impressive trees were planted by the Stuart family back in the 18th century to mark the entrance to their mansion, Gracehill House. Now, it has become a tourist hotspot for fans of the show – highly Instagrammable in all its atmospheric glory.
Meereen: Plaza de toros de Osuna, Seville (Spain)
The Arena of Meereen, site of Dany’s many conquests, can be found in the real world via Seville’s Plaza de toros de Osuna. This is the site where two of the show’s most popular characters meet for the first time – the Imp and the Mother of Dragons.
Pentos and Yunkai: Aït-Ben-Haddou (Morocco)
The slave city of Pentos and the free city of Yunkai are represented in the real world by the fortified city southeast of Marraketch. This place is no stranger to large-scale film projects. Other Hollywood films and TV series that made use of this desert topography include Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, Gladiator, and Prince of Persia.