For Game of Thrones fans, 2019 is going to be a big year. Not only will the show return for its much-anticipated final season, but fans will also be able to visit Westeros for themselves. HBO recently announced its intention to take several of the show’s filming locations in Northern Ireland and open them to the public. The locations include iconic settings like Kings Landing, Winterfell, and Castle Black, as well as more formal studio tours. John McGrillen, Chief Executive of Tourism NI (Northern Ireland), said in a press release, “The Game of Thrones Legacy project will be a game changer for Northern Ireland on the global tourism level. We very much welcome this exciting announcement by HBO and look forward to welcoming many more visitors to our beautiful country.”
HBO will be working with Northern Ireland’s travel marketing authority on the new attractions. Just as New Zealand saw a bump in tourism after Lord of the Rings sets opened to the public, there’s no doubt Northern Ireland will see an influx of visitors eager to see the real-world Westeros.
Visitors can expect each location to feature sets from the show, complete with costumes, props, weapons, set decorations, art files, models, and other materials from the production. Fans can also look forward to digital content and interactive experiences. Jeff Peters, HBO’s Vice President of licensing and retail, said in a statement, “HBO is thrilled to celebrate the work of the Game of Thrones creative team and crew by preserving these locations and inviting fans to visit Northern Ireland and explore Westeros in person.”
HBO is targeting 2019 for the opening of its Game of Thrones Legacy attractions. Previous Game of Thrones experiences, including the Touring Exhibition and the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, have proved popular with fans.