Game of Thrones has literally taken the world by storm. The American fantasy drama television series is based on a series of fantasy novels by American author George RR Martin titled ‘A song of Ice and Fire’. The series has claimed a major 1,243 deaths in six seasons and it is said that season seven has more to come. The blood and betrayal drama is set in an immense world, incorporating several continents, seven kingdoms and large unmapped areas. Fans are so enthralled by the fantasy world and the dramatic landscapes that visitors have already started flocking the filming locations. For instance, there has been a remarkable annual visitors to Iceland, from 5,66,000 in 2011 to 1 million in 2015. It is a fact that these locations are actual sweeping fantasy landscapes. Here’s a look at 10 such locations:
The Alcazar, Seville, Spain
The lavish royal palace located in the centre of the city is Seville’s biggest tourist attraction and witnesses more than 8,000 visitors each day. The place serves as Dorne’s Water Palace of Sunspear. The upper levels of the Alcazar are occupied by the royal family while the lush gardens are used as water palace in the fourth and fifth seasons. It is said that the Palace’s staircases are so narrow that the crew used cranes to transport equipment.
Commonly called as the Silent City, Mdina is a 4,000-year-old capital of Malta and is a walled hill city. The place was the setting of King’s Landing in season one, Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel were seen entering King’s Landing through the beautiful Mdina gate while investigating the attack on Bran.
Doune Castle, Scotland
Originally built in the 13th century, Doune Castle became popular after its appearance in Monty Pythn and the Holy Grail in 1975. It was also seen in the classic adaptation of Ivanhoe with Elizabeth Taylor and recently in the pilot episode of GoT. It is the place where little Bran fell out from one of its windows in the season one.
Fort Manoel, Malta
Built by the Knights of Malta between 1723 and 1755, it served as an important military stronghold until 1906. It is located on the Manoel Island in Marsamxett Harbour. The fort will now be remembered as the Sept of Baelor, the place where King Joffrey executes Ned Stark after his confession, the most dramatic moment of the first season.
Zafra Castle, Guadalajara
The Castle of Zafra is popularly known as ‘the fortress of Spain’s Siberia’. It is a 12th-century castle located in Guadalajara. The castle stands in for the Tower of Joy in three episodes – Oathbreaker, Blood of My Blood and The Winds of Winter -of fantasy series’ season six.
Bardenas Reales, Spain
The 1,04,000 acre dessert like landscape with odd rock formations is made up of clay, chalk and sandstone that over the centuries has been moulded by water and the wind. The beautiful location appeared in the sixth season.
The Dark Hedges
The beech trees along the avenue were planted in the 18th century by Stuart family for a warm welcome near their Georgian mansion. It appears in few episodes through the seasons and serves as the King’s Road. If you are on a road trip from Belfast to the Giant’s Causeway, choose this route.
Ait Ben Haddou, Morocco
A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987, Ait Ben Haddou is located between Sahara and Marrakech. The place was a stopping point for caravans heading in or out of the desert. It is located on a hill overlooking a dessert and has appeared in several Hollywood films and TV series, including The Mummy, Prince of Persia, Lawrence of Arabia and more.
Vatnajokull National Park, Iceland
Located in the largest national park in Europe, Vatnajokull National Park is the mysterious land Beyond the Wall, which is home to mythical creatures. Scenes set in The Frostfangs and at the Fist of the First Men were shot here.
Fort Lovrijenac, Croatia
Nestled on 37m high rocks outside Dubrovnik, Fort Lovrijenac features wall of about 12 metres thick. The entrance of the fort has an ancient inscription which literally translates to ‘Liberty is not sold for all the gold in the world’. The Red Keep scenes in season one were shot in Malta, but from season two the set was moved to Croatia. The bay in front of the fort is seen in the Battle of Blackwater’s climactic scene.