'Game of Thrones' studio tour opens
The world's first behind-the-scenes tour of the cult TV series "Game of Thrones" is attracting fans to the small town of Banbridge in Northern Ireland.
From fiction to studio reality
"King's Landing", "Dragonstone" and "Winterfell" — these places may only exist in fantasy, but "Game of Thrones" fans can now get pretty close to them. Where the TV series was once filmed, at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge near Belfast in Northern Ireland, they will be transported to the fictional continent of Westeros on a site covering 110,000 square feet (about 10,220 square meters).
At arm's length for fans: real props
The tour starts in the cold far north of Westeros, beyond the wall. Full-size figures from the series greet visitors, such as the Wildling giant Wun Wun. Props on display also include swords and crossbows.
Backdrops for places of longing
The tour offers interactive screens, maps and true-to-scale replicas of the most important settings. A highlight for fans: the famous floor map in the courtyard of the Red Keep in King's Landing — where series character Cersei Lannister planned her campaigns.
Actors not part of the tour
"Fans are just going to be delighted with a studio tour, because everything they see here was used in the show," said actor Ian Beattie to news agency Reuters. In the series, he plays the knight Meryn Trant. "These are the actual sets that we walked on. These are the actual costumes we wore, the swords we swung — you name it, it's all here."
Rich in detail: costumes up close
Apart from the props, the elaborately crafted costumes of the main characters also give visitors an idea of how much work has gone into the TV series. It's based on the book series "A Song of Ice and Fire" by United States author George R.R. Martin.
The Iron Throne
Of course, probably the most famous throne in TV history — the Iron Throne — is not to be missed. It is a central component of the award-winning series on the pay-TV channel HBO, which achieved cult status worldwide over the course of eight seasons until its finale in 2019.
Prequel in sight
Natalia Tena (who portrayed the wildling Osha) and Daniel Portman (who portrayed the squire Podrick Payne) are looking ahead. "It was such an iconic thing, so I hope that people still enjoy the show for years to come," Daniel Portman said. There's also a prequel: "House of the Dragon," which is set 200 years before the original series, to be released in cinemas later this year.