Photo: Helen Sloane/HBO
The long-awaited final season of HBO’s television series Game of Thrones, a reimagining of the books by George R.R. Martin, premiered to a record 17.4 million viewers. The premiere episode of the eighth and final season was the most-watched one-day event in the history of the cable network that launched in 1978, exceeding the previous viewership record for the season finale of season 7. Along with the shocking deaths, power shifts and plot twist, the high production value of the show has kept viewers coming back for more season after season.
The settings of Game of Thrones continue to be as impressive as ever as new kingdoms and worlds have been introduced and unsurprisingly, the show is shot all over the world. Here’s where each of the worlds are filmed (with some CGI magic added in of course):
Photo: Courtesy HBO
Belfast in the Northern Ireland is the heart of production for Game of Thrones, where the show has transformed the local economy over the years, bringing both jobs to the region and throngs of tourists. Interior sets are created in Titanic Studios, while many other outdoors scenes are filmed around the country.
The external scenes of Winterfell are filmed at the farmyard of Castle Ward in Stangford. As the National Trust reports, this estate was also the set for “the Whispering Wood and key scenes including Robb Stark’s Camp, the Baelor battle and when Brienne confronts the Stark men.” Doune Castle was also used in the first season as Winterfell. Those who recall shots of Winterfell from a distance, with its many turrets and towers may be disappointed that those were mostly CGI, similar to the rare aerial shot of Winterfell that was shown in the first episode of season 8.