Game of Thrones is one of the biggest shows in the world and I’ve watched it from the beginning. Recently, I travelled to Ireland and went on a Winterfell Game of Thrones tour. I had the chance to explore the sets and locations of earlier seasons. Along the way I met direwolves, visited Winterfell, almost became King in the North and even got to channel my inner Jaime Lannister.
The tour started off in Dublin and the tour guide Aenne was very informative. She explained we’d be stopping at Tollymore Forest, Castle Ward Estate and an abbey where Robb Stark was crowned King in the North. On the way to Tollymore, the group took part in a Game of Thrones quiz to earn the right to be called King or Queen in the North. I made it to the final two, but came up short during a tiebreaker question.
The group arrived at Tollymore and Aenne led us through beautiful woodland. I got to see the Wildling pit that served as the opening scene in the first Game of Thrones episode. The next two locations involved the bridge where the Stark family found the direwolves and where Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister camped out on their way to The Wall. Tollymore Forest was spectacular, filled with gorgeous streams and haunting Scottish pines.
For lunch, we stopped off in the village of Strangford and I got to meet the dogs who played Greywind and Summer. Named Thor and Odin, the brothers were playful and adorable. They looked like genuine wolves, which isn’t a surprise as the breed are known as Northern Inuit dogs.
After lunch, the group stopped off at Castle Ward estate, the backdrop for Winterfell. It was interesting to find that a lot of Winterfell’s towers had been created using CGI. Castle Ward had a wintry vibe to it, and I could imagine the Stark family getting ready for the turn of the season.
Then, Aenne led the group along Strangford Lough, where Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth’s journey along the Trident was filmed. Nearby, I also saw Robb Stark’s Riverlands camp that he used to keep Jaime prisoner in Season 2.
Before heading back to Dublin, there was one piece of business to take care of. The group needed to bend the knee to the Queen in the North, so we stopped off at an abbey where Robb received his crown. Aenne handed out replica weapons and being a massive Jaime fanboy I went right for the Kingslayer’s sword. In the middle of the abbey, we swore our fealty to the Queen in the North and gave a resounding battle cry.
The tour was the best part of my trip to Ireland. I learned a lot about the sets and how they were filmed. For any Game of Thrones fan, I would highly recommend going on a tour so you can be transported to Westeros for a day.