George R. R. Martin Press Season 1 Season 2

The real-world locations of Thrones

SmarterTravel has a nice article about the real world locations used to film Game of Thrones, with quotes from David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, location manager Robert Boake… and me! Journalist Joshua Roberts had a whole bunch of questions about the filming locations that were used for seasons one and two and I was more than happy to answer them.

In the first season of Game of Thrones, the nomadic Dothraki horse riders gather at a city called Vaes Dothrak, which is marked by two gigantic bronze stallions whose hooves meet midair to form an arch above its windswept entryway. The HBO production team “used a place called Sandy Brae in the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland to stand in for Vaes Dothrak,” says Phil Bicking of the popular Game of Thrones website WinterIsComing.Net. Interestingly, the Mourne Mountains were once an inspiration for another famed fantasy epic, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.

Check out the full article for a good summary of the different locations used. Also worth checking out is Roberts’ interview with George R. R. Martin. Martin talks about what real world locations and events inspired him when writing A Song of Ice and Fire. He also drops some teases about the upcoming books, so be wary of spoilers if you haven’t yet read all the books. Here is Martin’s description of wildfire, which should feature prominently in season two:

“Wildfire is my magical version of Greek fire—to go back to the Constantinople reference. Wildfire is Greek fire times ten. It’s Greek fire but it’s worse than Greek fire, and it’s got a little magical element to it. It’s really nasty stuff, and it burns with green flames, which is a nice pyrotechnical effect. Not sure we’ll get that into the show, but I’ll look forward to seeing it. I hope they do. “

Winter Is Coming: The locations used on this show are stunning. I really hope to one day do a Thrones World Tour and visit all these amazing locales.


  • Interesting interview with GRRM. I look forward to the new book when it comes, but honestly with the series going, I’m not nearly as anxious about it as I was. :)

  • I love this interview and hearing from GRRM!

    Gosh he’s bad ass

    I will try and be patient for the next book. At least we have the series to fill the time!!!


  • A Thrones world tour! I’d love to do something like that. Ireland, Malta, Iceland and Croatia, with maybe more locations in future seasons.

  • Oh my goodness. I would LOVE to go on a tour of all of these locations and new ones through out the seasons! It would definitely enjoy the meld of travelling and ASOIAF.

  • Wow, some interesting stuff there. Good to hear he’s still pretty intent on seven books. And very interesting about the fact that we’ll see the place the White Walkers come from! While it’s an obvious question mark, it could have easily been left “offstage” as it were, as a lingering mystery, rather than having to see it.

    It’s interesting that we keep getting battles that make sense as the climax to a certain book getting moved forward to the beginning of the next. I maintain that the show is likely to give us at least some of the battle on the Fist of the First Men at the end of the current season, as it’s a logical climax, so I wonder if the fifth or sixth season will end with the battles he describes at the beginning of the next book. (I’m not one of these trolls that keeps ragging on Martin for his supposed sins, but the last two books ARE getting a little structurally sloppy, with the payoff still not having been reached…)

  • I love what GRRM says is going to be shown at the beginning of Winds of Winter. Ita going to be epic.

  • Dubrovnik was well worth a visit even before Game of Thrones, it would be fun when I visit it again to recognize the sites from various scenes :)

  • Josh Roberts’ interview of GRRM is fantastic. We get another Winds of Winter chapter… yaay!! I don’t mind buying another copy of A Dance with Dragons.

    This interview prompted my ongoing speculation of what’s to come in Winds of Winter and beyond. Does anyone else think that the Wall will fall and the Night Watch will rally behind Jon to take down Ramsay and eventually fight the Others? I’d like to think that the Wildings and many of the Nights Watch will rally together and support Jon.

  • Prankster: I’m not one of these trolls that keeps ragging on Martin for his supposed sins, but the last two books ARE getting a little structurally sloppy, with the payoff still not having been reached…

    I tthink this is a valid and reasonable criticism, and I share the sentiment. In terms of structure (and also for budgetary reasons) it would make sense to have the climatic battles at the end of the seasons.

  • This is actually a really great interview. One of the most intelligent ones I’ve seen. Everyone really should read it.

  • nice places. I hope I visit them someday.

    and nice itnerviewq with GRRM! I loved the teases! Can’t wait for TWoW, too (despite my desparation being much more towards the damn April 1st that’s less than a week away, but GOD, so far /o/)