What to expect from the Game of Thrones Studio Tour in Northern Ireland

Image: Game of Thrones/HBO
Image: Game of Thrones/HBO /

From temperature controls to actor-guided tours, here’s what you can expect from the Game of Thrones Studio Tour in Northern Ireland.

Game of Thrones changed the game for TV, spawning a parade of big budget fantasy shows we’re still watching march by. But it also changed the game for the TV and film industry in Northern Ireland, which didn’t have much of a presence before Game of Thrones and now has the bandwidth to support several major productions at once.

Basically, Game of Thrones brought a lot of money into Northern Ireland. You can see how much at the Game of Thrones Studio Tour, a kind of museum dedicated to the show.

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour is located in Corbet-Banbridge. Sarah Scott of Belfast Live recently wrote up her visit, and the more I hear about the place, the more I want to visit. A quick rundown:

  • The tour begins with a green screen photo opportunity, although Scott doesn’t say exactly what scenes you can insert yourself into. Obviously you can put your face into the Hall of Faces.
  • There’s a video where Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) gives some background on the show.
  • The self-guided tour includes sets, costumes, props, the works. Apparently there’s a huge wealth of stuff to check out.
  • Here’s a cool bit: the tour starts in the North and ends in the southern parts of Westeros, and the temperature adjusts as you “travel” to different regions.
  • There are lots of interactive exhibits, including from creating your own House crest to fighting off White Walkers with a bow and arrow. Obviously the show isn’t for kids, but apparently the exhibit is great for them.
  • Food is pretty good.

Scott mentions more than once that the staff — several of whom acted as extras on the show — are very warm and friendly. “There is a real pride you can feel from those working here, a passion to share their love of the show, and joy at how it has transformed the screen industry here and put us on the map,” she writes. Honestly, I can feel some of that pride reading what Scott wrote. It feels like there are a lot of people in Northern Ireland who are proud of both Game of Thrones and of the Game of Thrones Studio Tour, which is very cool to see.

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Someday…

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