How to make your own face mask to help stop the spread of the coronavirusOSU basketball: Eddie Sutton officially elected to Naismith Hall of FameLive updates - Oklahoma coronavirus confirmed cases: 1,159; 42 dead

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

In search of Game of Thrones locations in Northern Ireland

HBO
HBO

My mom has to be one of the most unlikely Game of Thrones fans in all the seven kingdoms. She's in her early 70s, doesn't like fantasy genre stories and lacks the patience for intricate, finely woven plot lines. 

Still, she's watched the show from its first episode, a fact I didn't learn until two years after Thrones made its debut. She doesn't always get the plot or the characters right. I've explained the Three Eyed Raven concept more times than I can count. And she sometimes refers to characters not by their real name, but how she feels about them. Cersei has a name I can't repeat here, for example. And other characters are often simply called "that weirdo." 

But she loves the show, and in particular Kit Harrington AKA Jon Snow who in her words is "such a cutie."

That's why I wasn't surprised to get a text from her now long before our recent trip to Northern Ireland. She wanted to know what if any GOT filming sites we would be visiting. It felt like less of a request and more of a demand, but the truth is, as a fan myself, I was giddy at the prospect of seeing some of the locations. 

My mom at Ballintoy Harbor where Theon Greyjoy returned home to the Iron Islands. (Matt Patterson)
My mom at Ballintoy Harbor where Theon Greyjoy returned home to the Iron Islands. (Matt Patterson)

There are plenty. So ingrained in the Antrim Coast is the show plaques can be found at the  sites and the various entities tasked with promoting tourism in Northern Ireland have built entire advertising campaigns around the show. 

And it seems like just about every local has a GOT story or encounter of some kind. The owner of the bed and breakfast we stayed in outside Portrush told us one  about her father who owned a patch of land the producers wanted to use to film a scene. 

Her  father had never heard of the show, and what's more, doesn't like foul language, violence or sex scenes on television. Game of Thrones is awash in all of that. Along with her husband, they searched for an episode to show him that might get him over the hump and let the show film on his land. In the end, it worked. That scene turned out to be the first time Bran Stark encountered the Children of the Forest. 

That location isn't open to the public, but there are plenty of others to be explored all within a relatively easy drive of Portrush, the hub city of the Antrim Coast. What's amazing is how some don't look like you would think they would. The location below is an example. 

A pivotal scene in season two where Brienne of Tarth battles it out with Ser Loras Tyrell as Renly Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell look on. 
A pivotal scene in season two where Brienne of Tarth battles it out with Ser Loras Tyrell as Renly Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell look on. 

Surprise! It's actually an abandoned rock quarry turned parking lot for the nearby rope bridge attraction. 

This parking lot was used in a key scene in season two when Brienne of Tarth is introduced to audiences for the first time. (Matt Patterson) 
This parking lot was used in a key scene in season two when Brienne of Tarth is introduced to audiences for the first time. (Matt Patterson) 

Some sites require a hike to get to, but others are easy to reach by car or on foot. The Dark Hedges is among the most popular and by 10 a.m. is usually crawling with tourists. If you want that perfect shot suitable for framing come early, and be prepared to get out of the car. Traffic is discouraged on the road because so many people were parking their cars on the sides it was damaging the tree roots. A nearby hotel offers free parking which is a short walk to the hedges. 

The Dark Hedges, also known as the Kings Road. This is where Arya Stark escaped Kings Landing early in the show's run. (Matt Patterson)
The Dark Hedges, also known as the Kings Road. This is where Arya Stark escaped Kings Landing early in the show's run. (Matt Patterson)
Dunluce Castle near Portrush was used for some exterior scenes of Pyke, seat of House Greyjoy (Matt Patterson)
Dunluce Castle near Portrush was used for some exterior scenes of Pyke, seat of House Greyjoy (Matt Patterson)

There are about a dozen or so sites fans can visit. The rope bridge at Carrick-a-Rede is one you can actually cross. But buy your tickets early or be prepared to wait in the summertime. It was totally overrun with White Walkers, er, tourists, on the very rainy day we visited. 

The Stormlands, near a scene where Renly and Stannis Baratheon got salty with each other the night before Renly was killed. (Matt Patterson) 
The Stormlands, near a scene where Renly and Stannis Baratheon got salty with each other the night before Renly was killed. (Matt Patterson) 
The Stormlands. (Matt Patterson)
The Stormlands. (Matt Patterson)

There are plenty more that we didn't have time to get to and by this point, we decided to give my wife, who has never watched the show but was a good sport anyway, a break. But for those wishing to visit, here are a few resources: 

Ireland Game of Thrones filming locations 

10 must see Game of Thrones filming locations 

27 Game of Thrones places 

Related Photos
<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bccbb757bc84b3d512cee5e3364d35a7.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a53647e4a1960834d068e78710cbb5de.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-879293980567fb9474607d42586447d4.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ffcaa573b5968995f11aee1ca8d03411.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eebbe9aabc9c3af1e16735a765aee770.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f955e1c5c1732b7502423cfbc41a1c24.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-55e1288ab8f559c9139e2dd0b63e4524.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-dc9ae84255d26697457eef4f779bddfb.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-bd18c0be32a3346f2c7cf901cb9222b5.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure>
Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

Comments