Game of Thrones is returning to HBO with a prequel show — but don’t expect to see familiar snowy locations like Winterfell, Castle Black, or Beyond the Wall. Set 300 years in the past, House of the Dragon follows House Targaryen (the ancestors of Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys) and their rise to power in what we now know as King’s Landing in The South.
This marks a shift from the original
Game of Thrones, which kicked off with House Stark and was initially set in the freezing northern region. HBO has kept the plot of the prequel tightly under wraps, but it’s unlikely that The North — at least for now. As House of the Dragon will feature The Belfast Telegraph reported, in 2020 HBO ended their 10-year tenancy with Titanic Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where many of their sets were headquartered. Instead, the majority of the in a studio just outside of London, where the weather is much “warmer, drier, and sunnier,” per House of the Dragon series was filmed Entertainment Weekly.
Still, that doesn’t erase the possibility that the show could eventually venture to The North. A source told
The Times that the production team will probably return to the sets there eventually, since there’s a high "level of investment and internal scenery" there. And you can of course still visit those iconic sites. (Even though the House of the Dragon didn’t film there, the series continues to be a boon for the local economy, with NBC News estimating in 2019 that 129,000 visitors came to see that year.) Here are the Game of Thrones’ outdoor filming locations filming locations for Winterfell and The North that you can check out, which span from North Ireland all the way up to Scotland and even Iceland. 1 Winterfell: Doune Castle, Scotland
scenes of Winterfell were filmed at Doune Castle in Scotland. It was originally built in the 13th century as a medieval stronghold and has a ton of history. If the towers look familiar, there's a reason: this is where Bran Stark was pushed out of one of the windows by Jaime Lannister. There's a nature walk around Doune Castle so you can explore it yourself. 2 Winterfell: Castle Ward, Northern Ireland
Located in Strangford in Northern Ireland is
Castle Ward, which is basically the unofficial Winterfell, because that's where all of the scenes were shot after GoT’s first few episodes. Castle Ward really plays into the filming location: they offer lots of Game of Thrones tours and activities, like archery, direwolf meet-and-greets, and medieval banquets. They even offer glamping! 3 Northern Forests: Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland
Remember the forests in the North where Ned Stark and his sons found their
adorable little direwolves? And where Theon Greyjoy is chased by Ramsay Snow? And where Sansa and Theon hid from Ramsay and his dogs? That's all Tollymore Forest Park, located near the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. You can go there to walk around and explore. 4 Wildling Camp: Dimmuborgir, Iceland Dimmuborgir is a lava field in Iceland where the camp for the Free Folk was filmed, and where Mance Raider held his own Wildling army. It's filled with unusually shaped rocks and is a very popular spot in Iceland to visit. 5 Jon and Ygritte's Love Cave: Grjótagjá, Iceland
Who could forget the steamy love session that went on between
Jon Snow and Ygritte in this cave? You can actually visit it by heading to Grjótagjá in Iceland. It's a small lava cave near Lake Mývatn in northeast Iceland. Since the hot springs water has cooled, you unfortunately are not allowed to take a dip to pretend you're Jon or Ygritte... but you can still get a glimpse of it in real life! 6 Beyond The Wall: Hverfjall Volcano, Lake Myvatin, Iceland Hyverfjall volcano in Iceland is another popular filming spot for the scenes that took place beyond the wall. If you go there, you'll likely notice how familiar it looks for scenes with Wildlings and White Walkers. 7 Beyond The Wall: Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Another spot for lots of the beyond the wall scenes is
Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland. Skaftafell National Park, where many scenes with the Night's Watch and the Wildlings were shot, is also located there. Vatnajökull is a beautiful place to visit: There are geothermal rivers, ice caves, mountains, massive glaciers, and beautiful waterfalls to take in. 8 The North: Höfðabrekka, Iceland
The setting for the Frostfang Mountains is in Höfðabrekka, Iceland. This is the jagged mountain range where Qhorin Halfhand takes a few of the Wildlings and Jon Snow to explore the Skirling Pass to look for more Wildlings.
9 Castle Black and Beyond The Wall: Magheramorne Quarry, Northern Ireland
Scenes in Castle Black and north of The Wall were shot in
Magheramorne Quarry, located in Loch Larne in Northern Ireland. It's a very small fishing town that was transformed for the epic scene in Hardhome, which is where Jon and the Widlings tried to fight off a tremendous amount of White Walkers. The location has also been used to film scenes of Castle Black and the Battle of Blackwater. 10 The Mountain Beyond The Wall: Kirkjufell, Iceland 11 Beyond The Wall: Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon, Iceland 12 The Wall: Svínafellsjökull Glacier, Iceland
Remember those earlier scenes where Jon is trapped by the Wildlings? They were
filmed near Svínafellsjökull Glacier, which is an outlet glacier of the Vatnajökull glacier. A lot of beyond the wall scenes were filmed there!
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This article was originally published on
May 8, 2019