Thursday, August 27, 2015

Game of Thrones Geekdom

Northern Ireland is Winterfell.  And the Twins.  And Castle Black.  And so much more.

Audley's Castle.  One of the Twins.

One day we went out driving and geocaching and not being stalky at all, when we decided to swing by The Linen Mill studio.  From the road we could see a huge ship in front of a green screen, and off to the side was a big castle structure going which looked remarkably like Castle Black.

So like any good fans, we parked near by and nonchalantly walked up to the gates.  It was only right at the gate that two very friendly security guards stopped us.  They let us down quickly but gently when we asked if they gave tours.  "Not a chance."

As Ian's FB status put it:  Saw a giant ship in front of green screen, and a castle in mid-build. Security guard: "I can neither confirm nor deny that that is a set. You might be undercover HBO."
Titanic Studios.  Aka the Paint Mill
The kids tried at another studio.  This one is right next to the Titanic Museum/Memorial. They walked across the lot and around the building until they found a door and a buzzer to ring.  Another nice security guy said that No, they couldn't come in.  But they did see Dothraki tents set up outside and a big boat.  Photos were strictly prohibited.  A sign on the fence essentially threatened bodily harm if anyone tried with a drone.

Visiting with Summer!

The Cuan restaurant in Strangford.

The Cuan has wonderful food, great staff, and GoT stalking history all its own as it's where a number of cast members ate during the first couple seasons.

Inch Abbey - Robb Stark's camp.

We are all Starks in the
Winterfell courtyard.

Some of us were better archers than others.

Meet Grey Wolf!
Two of the Stark pups live here with their owners. The twins (actual twins, not the buildings) told how they'd gone out for roles as extras and it was their dad who drew the director's attention. Honestly, there's a lot more that could be shared, but if you go to Winterfell it's far better to learn about it all on your own.  Great stories, and of course the pups were wonderful.  On our official date only one pup was available (I should stop calling them pups, they're 5 years old... though when you first saw them on screen they are the puppies pulled from the stag) but when we returned a couple days later the other was around, so William (archer and storyteller extraordinaire) remembered and let us see Odin.

Probably the best part.

The dark hedges.  Beautiful and very short.
Wish people wouldn't park in it.

Not so dark and hedgy at this end.

We actually came to this spot for a geocache.  Only to find it
was part of River Run.  The pier was built for the set then
left for the residents.

And if you do enough GoT stuff, you get
Winterfell Craft Beer.  Which isn't half bad.
If you're really into stalking, which we were during our time in N. Ireland, we recommend Watchers on the Wall and especially the post that mentioned Ian's tweet. It was frustrating following it and knowing that we'd missed someone here or there.  For example, Kit Harington was at the Costa next to the Starbucks we went to... the next day.  Emilia Clarke took photos with folks at the airport the day after we flew to Edinburgh.  Ah well.  Maybe we'll catch them at a Con sometime.


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