On Location: Game of Thrones


5-20-13 got darkhedges

Unless you’ve been living under a rock – or you don’t subscribe to HBO – then you will be well aware of the epic “Game of Thrones” TV drama series. The show is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin, and “Game of Thrones” is the first book in the fantasy series. Not for the faint of heart, the show combines the drama of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the debauchery of The Tudors, with blood and guts, sex and betrayal, crime and punishment all front and center. Anyhoo… the visually impressive series is filmed in all sorts of exotic locations including Malta, Croatia, Iceland, Morocco, and… my home country of Northern Ireland.

5-20-13 got darkhedges2

I believe it was at the end of the second series that the scene above was introduced as the “Road to Harrenhal”. Locals in Northern Ireland know this special place as “The Dark Hedges”, a unique stretch of the Bregagh Road near Armoy, County Antrim. I was fortunate to be able to photograph this intriguing place on a recent visit home, though I believe that a new shiny green fence has been installed along the roadside since I was last there, somewhat negatively impacting the aesthetics. It is a moody place nonetheless, one that is rumored to be haunted by the Grey Lady, a ghostly figure who walks the lane beneath the beech trees.

5-20-13 got ballintoy

Many other scenes from Game of Thrones have been filmed in my home country. The picturesque location above might be recognizable as part of the Iron Islands, but I know it better as the working harbor of Ballintoy. I’ve always known that Northern Ireland was filled with some of the most stunning landscapes imaginable, and it comes as no surprise that the visionaries who brought this series to life chose to film there. The Glens of Antrim, the Mourne Mountains, the Antrim Coast, and Ballintoy Harbor… these are just some of the locations that have been highlighted as the stunning backdrop to what is one of my all-time favorite shows.

5-20-13 got murloughbay

5-20-13 got mournemts2


18 thoughts on “On Location: Game of Thrones

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Michelle. It’s a gorgeous country, and it’s neat to see it used as a backdrop for the show.

  1. I have been under a rock, but I have also been to Antrim and the beauty was astounding and well capture by you. I did not have the proper lens when I was at the Dark Hedges, so thank you for being prepared and capturing it’s enchantment. Guess I should leave the rock and watch Game of Thrones someday.

  2. Beautiful scenery via your photographs. Ireland is definitely on our list to visit. Just returned from Croatia…amazing country, as well, and very photogenic. I, too, must admit that I have been under a rock as I am not at all familiar with the series. However, I do enjoy watching movies and such where I recognize places we have visited, and often from the same lense perspectives. These moments are delightful.

  3. Inspired and pretty

    Superb photos David ! It must be impressive to walk under those trees ! Your home country is so beautiful, I wish I can go someday, it’s on my wish list. I really love seeing your photos from Ireland. I haven’t watch the show yet but plan to do so this Fall.

  4. Very nice, I’d like to see “The Dark Hedges” in person! I was in Northern Ireland a few weeks ago. The North Antrim coast is beautiful! Did you see the Aurora Borealis last week?

    • David Patterson

      Alas I moved from my home country a few years back. I made my photographs of The Dark Hedges on a recent visit home. I had heard that the Aurora Borealis was visible last week… must have been quite a sight.

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