Arts & Entertainment

Inside the first Game of Thrones studio tour

By Javier Aja

Banbridge, United Kingdom, Feb 4 (EFE).- Three years after Game of Thrones came to a dramatic end, the world’s first studio tour of the epic fantasy series opens Friday in the small Northern Irish town of Banbridge.

Fans can expect a spectacular immersive experience with a display spanning 1,000 square meters of interactive images, costumes, props and much more at Linen Mill Studios, the filming location of HBOs smash hit series.

“It will blow the fans away, I’m absolutely certain of that. I was involved in the Game of Thrones series experience, which I thought was fantastic, but this blows it out of the water, everything that people will see during this studio tour, these were the outfits we used, those were the swords, the props, that was the set we walked on,” says Northern Irish actor Ian Beattie, who plays the Sir Meryn Trant of the Royal Guard in the series.

The experience plunges viewers into Westeros and its Seven Kingdoms, the power struggle, and the lives of the series’ characters.

After a brief introductory video, punters start a roughly two-hour journey that begins in a frozen landscape where savage humans coexist with terrifying White Walkers of the North, beyond the Wall.

The journey concludes at King’s Landing at the iconic Iron Throne, before passing through many other locations from the series.

Highlights include Winterfell’s Great Hall and the fiefdom of the House Stark.

Both spaces are original film sets that have seen little to no changes since the last days of filming of the eighth and final season.

The Black Castle set has also remained almost intact, as well as the shipping and maritime scene sets which were all shot at Linen Mills studios.

The costumes, weapons, decorations, furniture and props are all originals and viewers will be amazed by Jon Snow’s Longclaw sword and the dress Sansa Stark wore at her wedding with Joffrey Baratheon.

For those wanting to get deeper into the Kingdom’s paraphernalia, studio staff provide interactive workshops and live re-enactments of makeup, prosthetics and costume sessions.

“When Game of Thrones came to this province to start filming here, it was the biggest gift ever given to this province, HBO spent 250 million over eight seasons and that was just the direct cost of making the show,” Beattie adds.

The investment, the actor says, “has trickled down” to benefit the local economy.

“In 2018, 300.000 people spent 50 million pounds in this province specifically to come and see Game of Thrones attractions around the north coast, Belfast, etc. And now they have a permanent exhibition, it’s the gift that keeps on giving and it has turned into one of the leading film and television locations in the world. We now have crews that can view with anybody in the world,” he concludes. EFE


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