Game of Thrones is known for its striking scenery. Much of the show is filmed on location — in Dubrovnik and Girona, in quarries and near seasides. Unfortunately, one striking location featured in season 1 is no more. The Azure Window, a natural limestone archway seen in season 1, has collapsed into the sea near Dwejra Bay in Malta.
The Azure Window was prominently featured in the first episode of the series: “Winter is Coming.” You can see it during the wedding of Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen. It also featured in 1981’s Clash of the Titans, as well as the 2002 release of The Count of Monte Cristo.
Sea and rain erosion combined to form the Window over a 500-year period, and it’s been slowly collapsing over the past several years. The Environment and Resources Authority of Malta explained how it couldn’t have been avoided:
The several studies carried out by the commissioned experts had all indicated that the collapse of the Azzure Window was an unavoidable natural event. The collapse is most probably the compounded result of the process of natural erosion coupled with the strong winds hitting the islands and the related sea currents.
The Azure Window was one of Malta’s primary tourist attractions, and had become a popular destination for illegal cliff diving as well. Divers and tourists alike were warned against walking across the window for the past several years due to structural concerns.
The Window is not the first significant naturally occurring piece of scenery featured on Game of Thrones to sustain damage. A number of beech trees along the Dark Hedges, a tree-lined path that stood in for the Kingsroad in season 2, were lost to storms.
h/t Malta Today