Malta to Morocco: the Real-Life 'Game of Thrones' Filming Locations

04 Apr 2016

TIf you've watched even a few episodes of "Game of Thrones", you'll have noticed that (aside from the copious amounts of murder, treachery and nudity), it takes in some pretty incredible filming locations.

If you've ever wanted to know where those locations are, look no further!

NORTHERN IRELAND

Dark Hedges (Road from King’s Landing)

Flickr photo by Valerie Hinojosa

The Dark Hedges is probably one of the most recognized “Game of Thrones” locations in Ireland and one of the most beautiful beech-lined roads in the world. This spot featured predominantly in the first two seasons as the Kingsroad, north of King’s Landing, and is located along Bregagh Road, near the village of Armoy.

Castle Ward, County Down (Winterfell) 

Flickr photo by Amanda Slater

Castle Ward, featuring Gothic and Classical architecture, exotic sunken gardens, paths and woodlands, represents Winterfell, the home House Stark. Overlooking Strangford Lough, near the village of Strangford, the castle has been the home of the Ward family since the 1570s, and it was at this courtyard that the Starks welcomed King Robert Baratheon when he arrived in Winterfell.

Magheramorne Quarry, County Antrim, (Castle Black/The Wall/Hardhome)

Flickr photo by Brendan Rankin

The abandoned Maghearamorne Quarry doubles as several show locations. It stands in for both Castle Black and Hardhome, a Free Folk fishing village. Jon Snow and Tormund visit the village in season five to convince the Free Folk to come to Castle Black with them. The village is later invaded and destroyed by the Night Walkers.

 

CROATIA

Dubrovnik (King’s Landing)

Flickr photo by MAnderson

Dubrovnik is the setting for King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been a staple on the show since season two. Fort Lovrijenac is where King Joffrey held his name day tournament and Gradac Park is the setting for his untimely death.

Trsteno Arboretum (King’s Landing Gardens)

Flickr photo by Jackie MacPherson

The Arboretum is just outside Dubrovnik and represents the gardens of Red Keep, the home of the Andals and the First Men (House Baratheon) in King’s Landing. The lush gardens are worth seeing for the collection of exotic plants and trees (there is said to be over 450 species of plant life here) but "GoT" buffs will also recognise this as the backdrop for many strolls by the likes of Margaery Tyrell, Sansa, Tyrion and others.

Sibenik (Braavos)

Flickr photo by Hervé

Sibenik is known as the King’s City and is surrounded by four fortresses and Renaissance and Gothic architecture from the 15th century. The Cathedral of St James doubles as the House of Black and White or the temple of the God of Many Faces, Arya Stark’s new home.

ICELAND

Vatnajokull (North of the Wall)

Flickr photo by Costeggiando il Vatnajokull

Vatnajokull, in southeast Iceland, is Europe’s largest glacier with seemingly endless ice plains, snowy mountain peaks and glacial lagoons, the ideal backdrop for what lies Beyond the Wall.

 

 

Lake Myvatn (North of the Wall)

Flickr photo by Åsa Berndtsson

Lake Myvatn, in northeast Iceland, is famous for the Godafoss waterfall. It’s here that the Night’s Watch are attacked by the White Walkers in season two. Jon Snow and Ygrette also walk along the lake shore to nearby Grjótagjá lava cave, where Jon Snow breaks his Night’s Watch vows.

SPAIN

Alcazar de Sevilla, Seville (Royal Palace of Dorne)

Flickr photo by Tilo 2006

In season five, the Alcazar de Sevilla represented the Royal Palace of Dorne. Scenes for season six were also shot in the elaborate gardens of this UNESCO World Heritage site. It is here that Ellaria Sand tries to convince Prince Martell to take revenge on the Lannisters.

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Peniscola, Valencia (Dorne or Meereen)

Flickr photo by Mia & Steve Mestdagh

Peniscola is a new location that will be introduced in season six, though the show writers have yet to confirm its “Game of Thrones” locale. Sources suggest it will likely represent the slave city of Meereen, which was formerly recreated in locations across Croatia.

Plaza de Toros de Osuna, Seville (Meereen Arena/Daznak’s Pit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flickr photo by Graeme Churchard

The Plaza de toros de Osuna, a bullring built in 1904, represents the pre-eminent fighting pit in Meereen, where Daenerys' marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq is interrupted by the attack of the Sons of the Harpy. Over 500 of the town’s residents were used as extras for what is said to be one of the most expensive television scenes ever.

Girona, Catalonia (Braavos)

Flickr photo by Jorge Franganillo

Girona, an hour north of Barcelona, is set to play a main role as the Old Town of Braavos in season six. Look for shots of the Girona Cathedral, the old Jewish Quarter and the Arab Baths. The 16th-century citadel will also feature a site where the maesters of the Seven Kingdoms receive their training.

MALTA

San Anton Palace (The Red Keep)

 

 

 

 

Flickr photo by Deborah Desmond-Hurst

San Anton Palace in Attard is the official residence of the President of Malta. The palace and its lush gardens stand in for the show's Red Keep, the home of the Iron Throne and the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms.

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Mdina (King’s Landing Gate)

Flickr photo by John Haslam

The walled city of Mdina is one of Malta’s top tourist destinations. It was the country’s first capital city, and settlements here date back to before 4000 BC. The narrow limestone streets and squares feature prominently in season one as the King’s Landing Gate and Littlefinger’s House of Pleasure.

Fort Manoel (Great Sept of Baelor)

Flickr photo by PaulSHird

Fort Manoel, a star-shaped fortification on Manoel Island, was built in 1726. It’s said to be haunted by the Black Knight of the Order of St. John. It’s also the backdrop for the Great Sept of Baelor — and Ned Stark’s execution.

MOROCCO

Ait-Ben-Haddou (Yunkai and Pentos)

Flickr photo by Dan Lundberg

Yunkai, the Yellow City, lies on the eastern coast of Slaver’s Bay, or in Ait-Ben-Haddoum, Morocco. Daenerys arrives here in the third season with the army of Unsullied and overthrows the rulers, called the Wise Masters, to abolish slavery in the city.

Essaouira Morocco (Astapor)

Flickr photo by Patrick Nouhailler

Astapor, the infamous Red City of Slaver’s Bay, is really Essaouira, two hours west of Marrakesh, on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. In season three, Daenerys visits the well-known slave-trading post, buys her army of Unsullied warriors and sacks the city.

 


All Stills from the show copyright HBO

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