HBO to Open “Game of Thrones” Sets to Fans

You’ll soon be able to wander through Westeros — several of the show’s Northern Ireland filming locations are being transformed into tourist attractions.

HBO to Open “Game of Thrones” Sets to Fans

Castle Black will be among the sets travelers will be able to experience next year.

Courtesy of HBO

Game of Thrones fans coping with the extreme denial that the eighth and final season will be airing in 2019 now have a potential prescription for their withdrawal symptoms: a trip to Northern Ireland, where HBO will be opening up some of the show’s filming sites to visitors.

The new initiative, which was announced this week, is being called the Game of Thrones Legacy project, and will for the first time give fans the opportunity to visit the show’s sets and experience the world of Westeros through the actual costumes, props, weapons, decorations, models, and other production materials that were used in the filming of the show.

Plans are under way to include the standing sets for the locations of Winterfell, Castle Black, and King’s Landing, as well as a formal studio tour of Linen Mill Studios. The filming sites are slated to be opened to visitors in 2019.

HBO has been filming Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland for the past decade, showcasing many of the destination’s unique landscapes and scenery.

“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 into the world of Westeros,” stated John McGrillen, chief executive of Tourism Northern Ireland. McGrillen added that the Game of Thrones Legacy project will likely be a “game changer” for Northern Ireland by bringing in many more visitors to the destinations.

The Game of Thrones Legacy project builds on the success that HBO has had with some of its other Game of Thrones live branded experiences, including Game of Thrones — the Touring Exhibition, a traveling exhibition that kicked off last year in Barcelona and has since been to Paris and will open in Oberhausen, Germany, on Nov. 27. It includes a collection of costumes, props, and other show content and offers behind-the-scenes insights. The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience was also launched last year, a live music tour featuring the show’s composer, Ramin Djawadi, and an orchestra and choir that perform the series’ musical score.

HBO did not reveal how much it would cost to visit the set locations in Northern Ireland, but something tells us that for some of those die-hard GoT fans out there, money is no object when it comes to an opportunity to experience Westeros in the flesh.

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Michelle Baran is a deputy editor at AFAR where she oversees breaking news, travel intel, airline, cruise, and consumer travel news. Baran joined AFAR in August 2018 after an 11-year run as a senior editor and reporter at leading travel industry newspaper Travel Weekly.
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