In Depth

Where is Game of Thrones filmed?

The Week looks at the show’s spectacular locations as the grand finale nears

Game of Thrones fans will likely be feeling a mixture of heightened ancitipation and soul-crushing disappointment as the last ever episode of the show approaches.

One of the most successful TV series of the past 25 years, the series has been a cultural phenomenon, with the final season stirring up a frenzy among viewers across the globe.

There have been mixed reviews of the latest storylines - not least Daenerys Targaryen’s slaughter in King’s Landing - but the visuals remain undeniably stunning. And Game of Thrones owes at least some of its appeal to the incredible backdrops against which the action plays out.

The show has crafted an array of remarkable fantasy landscapes from spectacular places around the globe, from the windswept coast of Northern Ireland to the baking hot deserts of the Maghreb.

And as the series has progressed, new locations have been added. Here are a few of the highlights:

Northern Ireland

The moors and hills of Cairncastle provided the location for the opening scene, in which Eddard Stark executes a deserter from the Night’s Watch, while the lush grassy coastal cliffs of Carrick-a-Rede featured throughout the second series. The Dark Hedges in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, were also used to represent Kingsroad.Tours of the principal shooting locations in the country are offered by the Northern Ireland tourist board.

Spain

In series six, many of the episodes featuring the Dothraki were shot in and around the town of Almeria in Spain. The country’s Tabernas desert featured heavily as part of the Dothraki sea while the beaches of Dragonstone are filmed on Itzurun Beach in Zumaia and Muriola Beach near Barrika. Both beaches can be found on the northern coast of Spain.

The winding bridge that leads from Dragonstone’s beach to the castle is located in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Spain.

Iceland

Iceland features in the first episode of series seven, when The Hound looks into the flames and says he sees a mountain that looks like an arrowhead. It is actually Kirkjufell, on the west of the island.

The glacier at Snaefellsjokull was used to represent the Fist of the First Men, as well as the harsh frozen mounts of the Frostfangs in series two.

Malta

Malta was used as the filming location in series one for several of the scenes set in warmer climates, primarily King’s Landing and Pentos. Production was centered on the town of Mdina. Fort Ricasoli in Kalkarra was used to represent the Gate of the Gods in King’s Landing.

Croatia

The Croatian coastal city Dubrovnik, with its medieval walls, was used for many scenes from series two onwards, primarily to represent King’s Landing exteriors.

Elsewhere in the country, Diocletian’s Palace in Split - the private mansion of the Roman emperor Diocletian, and a Unesco World Heritage site - was used in series four for several scenes.

Scotland

In the pilot episode, the vast exterior of Winterfell, seen as King Robert Baratheon and his family travel to House Stark, was shot at Doune Castle, Scotland.

The castle, eight miles outside Stirling was also used in Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

Morocco

The North African nation has been the site of a number of different Game of Thrones shooting locations, including the citadel of Ait-Ben-Haddou, which doubles as Astapor, one of the cities on Slaver’s Bay. The desert town of Ouarzazate, where Ait-Ben-Haddou is located, had a 100% increase in bookings after it was featured on the show, reported Digital Spy

Scenes set in the ancient city of Pentos, where Daenerys is presented to Khal Drogo, were filmed in Essaouira, also in Morocco.

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