Spoiler alert! We are now in the middle of the sixth season of Game of Thrones, the massive HBO tv show that everyone is talking about. The legendary settings of the series, completely stunning in each detail, are recreated in real world’s places, beautiful and breathtaking. The Italian Eye Magazine has chosen for you the top settings of Game of Thrones. Because a trip following the steps of Daenerys, Jon Snow, Sansa and Tyrion is possible. Even if with some little differences.
Game of Thrones is the most successful tv show of the moment. A great cast, a wide number of different storylines, a lot of fan theories on the faith and the destiny of every single character. Plus, the real lethal weapon of the series: the unbelievable turning points.
Being a fantasy tv show, Game of Thrones is as dreamy as every fiction of this genre should be. Even if, in this particular case, it feels more like a nightmare. Costumes and make up from the series are becoming fashionable even in the real world (the increasing number of women with Daenerys’ dye blonde-white hair can’t be a coincidence), but most of all people crave a journey into its astonishing settings.
The world of the games of thrones is divided into two different countries: Westeros, where schemes and strategies take place in order to sit on the Iron Throne, and Essos, in some traits culturally rude, naïve and very mysterious, where holy powerful rites are practiced. Beside the Wall, controlled by the Night’s Watch, there are the lands of Always Winter, where the Wildlings and the scary White Walkers live, a non human force still unbeatable.
OLD TOWN DUBROVNIK (CROATIA) – KING’S LANDING
King’s Landing is the place where the Iron Throne itself stands. Here the king lives in his luxurious castle, ruling a population doomed to poverty and oppressed by the richest. Here is where we see the Lannisters loosing more and more power as the seasons go by.
King’s Landing scenes are shot in the Old Town of Dubrovnik, a built up area of narrow alleys making their way through stone walls, an evocative place that is often the setting for music and arts festivals. The Old Town is not so big, so it would be a great idea to visit it walking, wondering through the streets and looking around the souvenirs’ shops.
LOVRIJENAC FORTRESS (CROATIA) – RED KEEP
If the streets of King’s Landing are in Dubrovnik, the Red Keep, the palace where the king lives, is located in the majestic Lovrijenac Fortress, outside the city, up to the coast at 37 metres high. In the bay in front of the fortress, the majority of the central scenes of the battle of Blackwater have been shot, right where Stannis Baratheon tries to defeat the Lannisters and their allies.
TRSTENO ARBORETUM (CROATIA) – KING’S LANDING GARDENS
The beauty of King’s Landing are way too far to finish. These lush gardens aren’t meant for action scenes or terrible turning points; still, they are printed in the memory of every fan. This is the place where the majority of the most important dialogues happen: where Varys loves to whisper his advices; where Sansa tries to find peace; where the Tyrells develop their strategies to climb the social hierarchy. Everything happens in a location characterized by a rare beauty and, exactly as we can see in the show, this arboretum represents an ancient and precious naturalistic and botanic treasure, with lots of exotic and rare species inside.
ROYAL ALCAZAR PALACE OF SEVILLA (SPAIN) – DORNE WATER GARDENS
During the fifth season we were finally introduced into a brand new world: Dorne. This land lives in peace thanks to the wise reign of Doran Martell who, because of a disease, spends most of his time sitting on a chair. His favorite place are the Water Gardens, where he can find peace and quiet to think appreciate the beautiful greenery of his land.
The palace seems to be built right for the show, magical, even too beautiful to be true. But true it is, also one of the most attractive tourist’s spots in Spain. It is one of the most important example of the mudejar architecture, developed during the Christian reign in Spain and influenced by Islamic art.
PLAZA DE TOROS DE OSUNA, SEVILLA (SPAIN) – MEEREEN ARENA
At the end of season5 Daenerys started a revolution in Meereen by freeing the slaves. After that, she decided to attend a public event at the Meereen Arena. But something went wrong, and Daenerys was forced to escape, flying away on one of her dragons and giving us one of the most ambitious scene of this season.
La Plaza de Toros de Osuna, near Sevilla, has been chosen for the quality of the stones, very similar to the one of the set in Croatia, where the majority of the scenes in Meereen have been shot, and for the ancient sense that you can breath while inside. The arena was open in 1904 as a traditional location for the Corrida.
AÏT-BEN-HADDOU (MOROCCO) – YUNKAI AND PENTOS
We are now in Essos, exactly in the Slaver’s Bay, the land where Daenerys become a Khaleesi marrying Khal Drogo. While Pentos is one of the Free Cities, Yunkai is well known for its commerce in pleasure slaves, an old and ruined city, with high pyramids and yellow stoned buildings.
Aït-Ben-Haddou is in the south of Marrakech, and thanks to its exotic charm it attracted producers and Hollywood directors since the 60s. It is a fortified city, a ksar, belonging today to UNESCO heritage, and thus maintaining an high cultural interest even if merely deserted.
Another Slaver’s Bay city is Astapor, the place where the Unsullied become human weapons. All the Astapor’s scenes are shot in Essaouira.
MAGHERAMORNE, BELFAST (IRELAND) – HARDHOME
Belfast remains the centre of the whole production. Driving 20 minutes from the city the landscape opens up into the countryside of the North of Ireland, a unique scenario, timeless, magical, ancient and consumed. The ideal place for every fantasy/Medieval setting.
A limitless resource is the little village of Magheramorne. It’s the set of Castle Black and where the hero Jon Snow spends his storyline. A little lake was another location for the battlements of King’s Landing during Blackwater. Most of all, in the fifth season, this village is the setting for Hardhome, a poor village of fishermen beyond the Wall. Here’s where the epic battle between Jon Snow’s companions and the White Walkers happens. A central moment in which we realised that the faith of the men south of the Wall, their games, their wars, their death, are completely no sense in front of the threaten of the unbroken force of the never ending Winter.
GRJÓTAGJÁ (ICELAND) – JON SNOW AND YGRITTE’S LOVE NEST
In this cave of the northern lands, beyond the Wall, the beautiful red-head Ygritte and our favorite Jon Snow find their love nest. A single scene has been shot here, but it is one of the most romantic of the whole show. Outside the fiction, this cave is really worth a visit. It is a lava cave near Mývatn lake, and inside of it, despite of the freezing weather of these lands, the temperature can reach 50C, making it a popular thermal spring.
VATNAJÖKULL (ICELAND) – THE ALWAYS WINTER LAND
We are in the lands of Wildlings and White Walkers. A dangerous place, hostile to human beings, where winter never ends. Here we follow the adventures of Bran Stark, his visions of a raven with three eyes, and now even interesting leaps in the past.
In the real world, the Vatnajökull is the biggest glacier of Europe, a mysterious place with an intense and sublime charm. Though, crossing it thinking about finding a White Walkers on your way would be a very unpleasant experience.
THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK (ICELAND) – MID-WESTEROS
Another heroin of the show is for sure Arya Stark, the youngest sister of the Stark Family, now stuck in the city of Braavos. Being the tough girl that she is, she wondered from village to village with one of the most controversial character of the series, Sandor Clegane. They together had a journey in the mid-westeros lands, well represented by the Thingvellir National Park. Here, the beauty of Iceland spring with geysers, waterfalls and little lakes. A naked and cruel beauty, enjoyable by who does not fear a little bit of adventure.