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Touring "Game of Thrones" sites on the Emerald Isle

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The NY Times has a road guide to exterior locations used in the filming of the TV series "Game of Thrones". Most are open to the public, although finding some may be a challenge. All are within a short drive of Belfast, it would appear, but that's true of everywhere in Northern Ireland.


The show began filming season four in Belfast this month, at the Titanic studios, adjacent to the Titanic Museum. Although the sound stages are not open to the public, the nearby Spaniard Tavern is said to be a favorite watering hole for the crew.



Among the most idyllic spots shown in the series is Ballintoy Harbour, built in the 1700s and still a working harbor, located 60 miles north of Belfast. You won’t see obvious vestiges of the show, but this is where in Season 2 Theon Greyjoy returns to the Iron Islands. It is also where he meets the surly crew of his ship, the Sea Bitch. I arrived one Saturday afternoon with some “Game of Thrones” fans, winners of a contest who were spending the day walking in the footsteps of favorite characters.

Off a bus and down a steep hill we trudged, past a graveyard, to Ballintoy Harbour, where fishing boats bobbed, their bells clanging softly. Fog made it impossible to separate ocean and sky. If a boat were to become unmoored, you might believe it could sail to Neverland.

“It’s one of the most beautiful places in Northern Ireland,” said Naomi Liston, who works in the locations department for “Game of Thrones,” during a panel discussion in Belfast about the show.






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