Game of Thrones: The old Views and the new
Warning: This post is dark and full of spoilers.
Ned Stark always warned, “winter is coming.” The white raven confirmed that it’s finally here, and so is the season seven premiere of “Game of Thrones.” Fans have been waiting a year for the new season, but our watch hasn’t ended—the Street View team has been assembling a collection of “Game of Thrones” filming locations longer than Arya Stark’s kill list. As you prepare for the episodes to come, you can go back to the iconic places and scenes with the most famous families in the Seven Kingdoms: the Starks, Lannisters and Targaryens.
We promised the Views, and a Googler always pays her debts:
The Starks and friends
Winterfell, home of the Stark family, is shot at Doune Castle in the Stirling district of central Scotland and at Castle Ward in Northern Ireland. Perhaps the dual Irish/Scottish influence is the reason for the Starks’ confusing accent?
One man’s best friend is another man’s House sigil. In the forest near Winterfell—shot in Tollymore Forest Park in Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains—Ned Stark discovers a pack of six direwolves, each gifted to a Stark child. And as the saying goes, all dogs—or at least four of the Stark direwolves—go to heaven.
In the Frostfang Mountains—filmed in Höfðabrekka, Iceland—Qhorin Halfhand, Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch expedition take Ygritte as their prisoner. And then we’ll wonder “will-they-won’t-they” about Jon and Ygritte for the next eight episodes.
... Until the cave, shot at the Grjótagjá cave in Iceland. Here Jon breaks his Night's Watch vows and Ygritte wants to stay in the cave forever.
Braavos is home to the Iron Bank—which is filmed at St. Jacob Cathedral in Sibenik, Croatia—as well as the House of Black and White, the temple dedicated to the Many-Faced God where Arya trains with Jaqen H'ghar. Hard to say how his team of face-shifters would cope in Street View's world of Blurry Men.
Where the tall people come to fight. When Brienne and Podrick miraculously find Arya, Brienne can finally fulfill her promise to Catelyn Stark and bring Arya to safety—if she’s not out-foxed by the Hound. Three minutes of bloody battle were filmed over three days in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland.
In one of Bran Stark’s visions, Ned goes to the Tower of Joy in the Red Mountains—filmed at The Castle of Zafra in Guadalajara, Spain—to rescue his sister Lyanna. Here we learn the truth about Jon Snow’s parentage (and that Ned has been rocking the same hairdo for 17 years).
Watch out, Westeros. Samwell Tarly—killer of White Walkers and best friend of the King in the North—is carrying a sword made of Valyrian steel and he’s training to become a maester at the Citadel Grand Library (filmed at the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants in Girona, Spain).
The Lannisters and their enemies
King's Landing is the capital city of Westeros, home of the Iron Throne. The Targaryens had it, Jamie Lannister stabbed King Aerys in the back for it, and now everyone in the Seven Kingdoms is fighting for it. King’s Landing is filmed in Dubrovnik, a medieval walled city in Croatia.
The Kingsroad stretches from the Wall down south to King's Landing. We first heard of the Kingsroad when King Robert Baratheon traveled to Winterfell to ask Ned to be his Hand (before Cersei took Ned’s head). In one stretch of the Kingsroad—filmed at the “Dark Hedges” in Northern Ireland—Arya, disguised as a boy bound for the Night’s Watch, escapes from King's Landing.
If the Green Gardens of King’s Landing had ears, they’d know more about the goings-on in the Seven Kingdoms than Lord Varys and his little birds. Many secretive strolls and sinister conversations happen in this garden, filmed in a small village about 20 minutes away from Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
Dragonstone Beach is lit. This is where Melisandre—the Lord-of-Light worshipping, Jon-Snow-reviving Red Woman—burns the Seven Idols of Westeros and Stannis Baratheon pulls a sword, Lightbringer, out of the flames (he’s ready for battle!). The scene is filmed at Downhill Strand, a beach in Northern Ireland.
While Cersei frets about the wellbeing of her daughter—shipped off to Dorne by her Uncle Tyrion—Myrcella is actually frolicking through the gorgeous Water Gardens of Dorne with her one true love Prince Trystane Martell. The Water Gardens are filmed at the Real Alcázar in Seville, Spain.
Shame, shame, shame. Just when you thought you’d never feel empathy for Cersei, she’s forced to serve her penance and walk naked through the street as people harass her, spit on her, and throw things at her. This iconic scene takes place on St. Dominic Street in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Daenerys Targaryen, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons
Daenerys goes to the House of the Undying—filmed at Minčeta Tower in Dubrovnik, Croatia—to take back her dragons who were stolen by Pyat Pree. When he attempts to bind her in chains, Daenerys orders her dragons to breathe fire, killing Pyat Pree and setting them free.
Varys and Tyrion explore The Long Bridge of Volantis on their way to Meereen. While in Volantis, Tyrion is captured by Jorah Mormont and taken to Daenerys, as Jorah’s last ditch effort to win her back. A bridge in Córdoba in Spain was used as a stand-in for the Long Bridge, but CGI was used to make the bridge look larger and to add buildings and markets atop it.
Boy declares love for girl by killing for sport in front of thousands of people. Boy saves girl from assailant by throwing a spear into his heart. Girl flies away on dragon. Poor Jorah (so much for that last ditch effort). All this action at the Arena of Meereen was filmed at the Bullring of Osuna in Seville, Spain.
At the beginning of the sixth season, Daenerys crosses the Dothraki Sea—filmed in Bardenas Reales, a desert in Northern Spain—after she’s captured by the Dothraki. They’re pretty fired up to take the Queen of Dragons back to their camp … maybe a little too fired up.