Wiki of Westeros


Wiki of Westeros
Wiki of Westeros

The Game of Thrones TV series is one of the largest productions in television history, with every season filming on-location in multiple countries simultaneously. Apart from pure archival/historical interest, this article is meant to aid fans who may be seeking out the Game of Thrones filming locations as tourist destinations.


The main headquarters for production is at the Paint Hall studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where most of the interior sets are located (such as the Red Keep sets, the Iron Throne, and the Great Sept of Baelor). The majority of on-location shooting also occurs in Northern Ireland – such as Castle Black, which was built as a fully realized set in an abandoned quarry 45 minutes drive north of Belfast. Several exotic locations – particularly those outside of the Seven Kingdoms – are filmed in a wide range of locations in other countries.

In Season 1, filming also took place in Malta for scenes set in the Free City of Pentos and in King's Landing – to emphasize that the capital city of the Seven Kingdoms has a warm, Mediterranean climate compared to the cold lands around Winterfell. Filming has not returned to Malta since Season 1 ended.

Starting in Season 2, filming branched out to two new countries: Croatia and Iceland. The ancient Croatian port city Dubrovnik started to be used as a major stand-in for outdoor scenes set in King’s Landing. The scenic old city of Dubrovnik still has medieval walls right on the coast, which were well-suited to depict King’s Landing. Several other locations in Croatia nearby Dubrovnik were also used, not just for King’s Landing but for scenes set in Qarth and Slaver's Bay. Meanwhile, for the Night’s Watch expedition in the frozen lands beyond the Wall, location shooting moved to national parks in Iceland, to film on actual glaciers. Filming continued in Croatia and Iceland through Season 5.

In Season 3, production moved to Morocco to represent the cities Astapor and Yunkai in Slaver’s Bay. Filming did not return to Morocco after Season 3 ended: when Daenerys Targaryen conquers and remains in Meereen in Season 4 (the largest city in Slaver’s Bay), different locations in Croatia were used for it. Also, in Season 4 the location scouting teams found some other locations in Iceland that they felt were useful for other scenes set in the Seven Kingdoms themselves, not just north of the Wall. These included shots of Arya and Sandor traveling cross-country through the Riverlands, and scenes set in the high mountains in the Vale of Arryn.

For the introduction of Dorne in Season 5, the southernmost of the Seven Kingdoms, HBO decided that the success of the TV series merited spending the money to film in Spain and its historic medieval Islamic palaces – given that Dorne in the novels was heavily inspired by real-life medieval Spain. Filming is mostly concentrated around Seville to represent Dorne and its capital Sunspear, though there is also some filming in Córdoba to represent the Long Bridge of Volantis.

Filming in Iceland lasted eight days in Season 3, as opposed to nearly a month for Season 2 (after the fight at the Fist most characters fled back south of the Wall, and Craster’s Keep was filmed in Northern Ireland).[1] Filming in Iceland increased in Season 4, but in Season 5 was limited to mostly just a few landscape shots. Due to rewrites, the action sequence at Hardhome grew so large that, given limited filming time in the brief daylight hours in Iceland during the winter, the production team decided to instead build Hardhome as a fully realized set in Magheramorne Quarry, also the site of the Castle Black set.

The TV series filmed simultaneously in two countries in Season 1 (Northern Ireland and Malta) and three countries in Season 2 (Northern Ireland, Croatia, and Iceland). Season 3 was filmed simultaneously in four countries (Northern Ireland, Croatia, Iceland, and Morocco, five if you count that the stunt-bear footage was technically filmed in the United States). Season 4 was filmed in three countries at once (Northern Ireland, Croatia, and Iceland). Season 5’s production expanded again to filming in four countries at once (Northern Ireland, Croatia, Iceland, and Spain – though filming in Iceland was much more limited that season).

The TV series began with two main filming units that operated simultaneously, named "Wolf Unit" and "Dragon Unit". For Season 3, apparently due to the increased workload of concurrent filming in four countries, the number of production units was increased from two to three. The new third production unit in Season 3 was called "Raven Unit". However, a post on the official Making Game of Thrones blog in September 2013 revealed that Season 4 would switch back to having only two units, and the extra "Raven" unit would be disbanded.[2]

These are the filming units, but it is not as if the entire production packs up and leaves the location when they are not actively filming. Work in each country continues even when the filming unit is not present, such as the considerable amount of time put into set construction. A series of Line Producers manage day to day operations in each major location, such as Christopher Newman, the main Line Producer for their home base of operations in Northern Ireland.

In Season 6, very little filming took place in Croatia. There weren't casting calls for extras to fill in crowd scenes in the streets of King's Landing. Meanwhile, multiple reports announced filming for King's Landing scenes would take place in Spain. It appears that just as the "southern" unit (for locations with warm climates) shifted from Malta to Croatia starting in Season 2, starting in Season 6 most of the southern unit filming shifted to Spain.[3]

Northern Ireland[]

The home base for the production team working on the Game of Thrones TV adaptation is in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Many of the large interior sets are located at their studios in Belfast, including the massive Paint Hall studio. Originally part of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, the Paint Hall is where parts of the RMS Titanic were built, it is now the largest film studio in Europe. The largest interior sets in the TV series are assembled in the Paint Hall, and then disassembled and put into storage when not in use so other sets can use the space. Locations whose interior sets are filmed at the Paint Hall in Belfast include Winterfell, Castle Black, the High Hall of the Eyrie, the Sky Cells in the Eyrie, the Great Sept of Baelor, Daenerys's throne room in the Great Pyramid of Meereen, and several others. These active studios are not open to the public.

Because the production team's home base is in Belfast, the majority of the on-location shooting for the TV series takes place in the surrounding areas of Northern Ireland. Generally it is used for standard temperate regions of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Some of the scenes set in warmer lands in the novels, such as King's Landing, Dorne, or Slaver's Bay, had to be filmed in warmer Mediterranean locations such as Malta, Croatia, and Spain. Meanwhile, many of the scenes set in the frozen wastelands Beyond the Wall were filmed on-location in Iceland. Still, the locations most often used for "generic army camp in the fields of central Westeros" or "generic woods in the middle of Westeros" were in Northern Ireland.

Even so, there are actually several very diverse filming locations which can be found in Northern Ireland, some of which were used to film locations in the narrative as far away from Westeros as the Dothraki Sea. As location manager Robbie Boake said:

"There's a lot of fantastic stuff in Northern Ireland and it's mostly within an hour and 15 minutes from Belfast which makes it geographically ideal. It's very rich and natural and wild, with lots of different kinds of geography and vast differences in vegetation, from the Dothraki Sea to moorlands to limestone cliffs."[4]

Northern Ireland consists of six counties. Five of these are located around the shores of Lough Neagh, and going clockwise from the northeast they are: County Antrim, County Down, County Armagh, County Tyrone, and County Derry. The sixth county, Fermanagh, borders Tyrone to the southwest. Belfast, where production is centered, is located on the Antrim/Down border, mostly in County Antrim though parts of the city spill over into County Down. Most filming in Northern Ireland has therefore been concentrated in the east, in County Antrim and County Down, though a few scenes have been filmed in County Derry and County Armagh.

County Antrim

County Down

  • Castle Ward - One of the main filming locations for the entire TV series, the ancient and sprawling 1,000 acre demesne of Old Castle Ward. The "Castle Ward" complex features Audley's Castle on the shores of Strangford Lough. Location of most of the Winterfell exteriors. The large grassy plains and countryside on the grounds are also used as the "generic army camp" filming locations for many scenes throughout the series, including both the Stark army camp and the Lannister army camp. Technically also the location of the Twins, seat of House Frey, though that did not really have any exterior shots (the camera shows Robb Stark's army in their generic camp, right outside the Twins, looking at the castle bridging the River - and the actual castle is just a digital creation inserted in post-production).[12]
  • Tollymore Forest Park - used as the "generic wooded area somewhere in central Westeros" filming location for numerous scenes throughout the TV series. The Prologue scene for Season 1 in which a Night's Watch scouting party is attacked by White Walkers was filmed here, as was the iconic scene later in the first episode ("Winter Is Coming") when the Starks find six orphaned direwolf pups.[13] Tollymore Forest Park is located not far from Castle Ward, and there are local tours which visit both on day trips.
  • Saintfield Estates - other shots of Robb Stark's army camp were filmed here. The Rowallane Gardens were also the location of Winterfell's sacred Godswood.[14][15]
  • Inch Abbey - Where Catelyn and Robb Stark first hear of Eddard's death, and later at night the camp scene where Robb's bannermen declare him the King in the North.
  • Banbridge - Linen Mill Studios serves as a major secondary filming location: the sprawling Harrenhal exterior sets were constructed here, and it contains the green screen studio that contains the one fully realized ship set that the TV series uses (many ships appear in the story but the cost would be astronomical to build each of them; there is one ship set that the crew redresses for each different vessel it portrays)
  • Myra Castle, Strangford - Location of the Dreadfort's exteriors, the seat of House Bolton which first appeared on-screen in Season 4. Myra Castle is located just west of Castle Ward.[16]
  • Sandy Brae, Kilkeel location of Vaes Dothrak, in the heart of the grasslands known as the Dothraki Sea. The Mother of Mountains visible in the background of the city is actually one of the local real-life Mourne Mountains.[17]
  • River Quoile, County Down - The Riverrun dock, for Hoster Tully's funeral scene in Season 3's "Walk of Punishment".
  • Clandeboye Estate forests - location of Craster's Keep. The actual set was really burned to the ground when Craster's Keep was burned on-camera in Season 4, so nothing is left there except the general forestry. It is also where Locke's band was encamped when they captured Jaime and Brienne in Season 3.
  • Corbet - introduced in Season 6 as a fully realized riverside exterior set for Riverrun castle (which was mostly limited to interior scenes when it previously appeared in Season 3). Corbet is located about 3 miles east of Banbridge (where the Harrenhal exteriors were built, also in the Riverlands), and about 20 miles northwest of Tollymore Forest Park (where generic "wooded area somewhere in the Riverlands" scenes are often filmed).

County Armagh

County Derry




Click this link to watch officially released videos by the production team showcasing their on-location filming in Croatia.


Croatia tourist guide 1

Dubrovnik City map of Game of Thrones filming locations.

Croatia tourist guide 2

Guide to the Dubrovnik Game of Thrones filming map.

The Croatian coastal city Dubrovnik, with its famous medieval walls, was used for many scenes in the TV series from Season 2 onwards. Primarily it was used to represent King’s Landing’s exteriors. According to Executive Producer David Benioff, “The minute we started walking around the city walls we knew that was it. You read the descriptions in the book and you come to Dubrovnik and that’s what the actual city is. It has the sparkling sea, sun and beautiful architecture.”[18] He also said, "the first time we saw Dubrovnik, I was in shock, because the whole city really looked the way we pictured King's Landing looking."[19]

As much as it is possible for tourists to “visit King’s Landing”, Dubrovnik is the destination to go to – given that many of the large interior sets such as the Iron Throne room and interiors of the Red Keep are large soundstages in Belfast that are not open to the public, and which are dismantled when not in use.

  • The City Walls of Dubrovnik - the famed medieval walls of Dubrovnik enclose the Old City, and are a UNESCO World Heritage site. The massive stone walls are located directly on the coast, similar to descriptions of King's Landing in the novels. They have featured in numerous episode since production moved to Croatia in Season 2 (several of the other towers mentioned in this list are actually part of the overall complex of the "Walls of Dubrovnik"). One notable appearance of the walls is in the Season 3 premiere "Valar Dohaeris", when Tyrion, Bronn, and Podrick take an extensive walk along the walls, and pass by workers repairing the damage from the recent Battle of the Blackwater.
  • St. Dominic Street - located near a monastery and Dominican church, in the heart of the Old City. The narrow alleys of this part of town were heavily used in most of the market scenes in King's Landing, from Season 2 onwards.
  • Fort Lovrijenac (Fort of St. Lawrence) - King Joffrey sits atop the walls here when he holds his small tournament in the Season 2 premiere, "The North Remembers". Tyrion then arrives in the city for the first time and interrupts Joffrey. The discussion Cersei has with Littlefinger later in the same episode about the nature of power takes place on the porch of the fort. Later, several characters were on the walls here during the Battle of the Blackwater.
  • Fort Bokar - on the seaside walls and used in many shots, such as when Tyrion and Varys are looking out over the bay in "The Prince of Winterfell".
  • Pile Gate - the main entrance to the old city, featuring an old wooden drawbridge. The gate faces the sea, and is the location of a stone dock. The towers of both Fort Lovrijenac and Fort Bokar flank it to defend against attack from the ocean (facing the sea, Fort Bokar is on the left, and Fort Lovrijenac is on the right). This is specifically where the Lannisters wait by the shore to see off Princess Myrcella in Season 2's "The Old Gods and the New", and as they walk away back through the city they are soon attacked in the large riots in King's Landing crowd scene.[20] The nearby inner terrace of Fort Lovrijenac is where the royal party retreats to from the rioting mob, after which Joffrey and Tyrion get into an argument, and Tyrion bluntly slaps Joffrey across the face.[21] The Pile Gate is the same stone dock where Sansa and Shae are later watching ships in the Season 3 premiere "Valar Dohaeris", when Littlefinger comes to talk to Sansa.[22]
  • Gradac Park - location of the Purple Wedding feast, which takes up most of the Season 4 episode "The Lion and the Rose", at which Joffrey died. This large public park is located next to the Old City of Dubrovnik, and is reached by climbing centuries-old steps. At the top there are excellent views of the surrounding Old City below.
  • Trsteno Arboretum - located just outside Dubrovnik itself, this was the location of the Red Keep's extensive gardens, first introduced in Season 3 when Sana Stark meets with the Tyrells and is introduced to Olenna Tyrell. Olenna and the Tyrells continued to predominantly appear in these gardens through Seasons 3 and 4 (in keeping with that their sigil is a rose). The gazebo where Sansa sat down for lemon cakes with Olenna and Margaery has commanding views of the sea.
  • Belvedere Atrium - location of the trial by combat between Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane. The Belvedere was actually an old hotel from the 1980s: it was bombed out during the breakup of Yugoslavia and left abandoned for over twenty years. The set dressers had to clean up a large amount of graffiti in the ruins.[23] The building might not be "open to the public" but the set is visible from outside.
  • The Rector's Palace.
  • The Stradun, the main street of Dubrovnik between Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Sponza Palace. Used for the Walk of Penance in Season 5, a scene involving 500 extras.

Shots for a few other scenes not set in King's Landing were filmed in parts of Dubrovnik or its surroundings:

  • Minčeta Tower - the highest point in Dubrovnik. Other than in wide-shots, this was actually used specifically for the exterior and steps of the House of the Undying in Qarth, not King's Landing.[24]
  • Lokrum Island - a small island located just off-shore from Dubrovnik, only 680 meters (about 2,200 feet) from the city walls. A major tourist destination for inhabitants of Dubrovnik itself. A ferry from Dubrovnik can reach the island in about 15 minutes. This was the location of the garden party in Qarth that Daenerys is invited to in Season 2's "The Ghost of Harrenhal", where she socializes with the city's elites. Lokrum was itself used as a private garden in the 19th century by Austrian rulers, and there is a surviving medieval Benedictine monastery on the island. In 1959 the island was made the site of a large botanical gardens filled with exotic plants. A population of peacocks also inhabits the island's gardens, introduced in the 19th century.[25]
  • Dubac quarry - located near Dubrovnik, this quarry was used as the construction site for the large Gates of Qarth, situated in the "Garden of Bones" from those shut out of the city to die in the Red Waste. This appeared in Season 2 episode 4, also named "Garden of Bones". The quarry was flattened before filming began because it was going to be converted into a cemetery.[26]


Split, Croatia is located slightly further north up the coast of the Adriatic Sea from Dubrovnik.

  • Diocletian's Palace - Private mansion of the Roman emperor Diocletian, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Used in Season 4 for several scenes: in "Oathkeeper", the palace's cellars were used to film the underground passageways in Meereen. Filming will return to Diocletian's Palace in Season 5.[27]
  • Perun quarry - east of Split
  • Mosor mountain - south of Split

Other locations[]



  • The glacier at Snæfellsjökull, and also at the glacier of Svínafellsjökull in Smyrlabjörg and the hills of Höfðabrekkuheiði (near Vík í Mýrdal) – used to represent the Fist of the First Men, as well as the harsh frozen mounts of the Frostfangs in Season 2.[30]
  • A frozen lava field Mývatn Lake, near the town of Akureyri – where Mance Rayder’s wildling army camp was built in Season 3. The interior of Mance's tent was filmed on a sound stage in Belfast. Building the camp took months of work by the art department, and weeks of on-site construction by the local crew, with filming at -11 degrees Celsius (12.2 degrees Fahrenheit).[31][32]
  • Grjótagjá cave - The hot spring where Jon and Ygritte have sex. The thermal pool is actually a popular tourist attraction and bathing spot.[33]



Game of Thrones Spain Filming Locations

Fan made map of Spain filming locations by province (click to expand)


  • Cáceres - City of Cáceres - In Season 7, streets of King's Landing during the extended sequence in which Euron Greyjoy parades his captives through the city; brief scene showing the street of Oldtown as Sam and Gilly ride out of the city on a cart.
  • Cáceres - Trujillo - in Season 7, the old Arab castle was used for landward side of the city walls of King's Landing, when Jaime and Bronn are standing atop them looking at Daenerys's army arrive[34]
  • Malpartida - Beginning in Season 7 [35]

Basque Country & Navarre[]



  • Castellón - Peniscola - parts of Meereen (starting in Season 6)
  • Castellón - Portal Fosc - A Red Priest preaches to people telling them to keep fighting in "The Red Woman."
  • Castellón - Calle Mayor - Location where Tyrion and Varys give money to a woman with a baby.
  • Castellón - Parque de la Artillería - Location of Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm discussing the negotiations offered to the Good Masters of Astapor and the Wise Masters of Yunkai.
  • Castellón - Plaza de Santa María - Square in Meereen where Tyrion and Varys walk through a granary.


Castile La Mancha[]


Malta was used as the filming location in Season 1 for several of the scenes set in warmer climates, primarily King's Landing and Pentos. Production mostly centered around the town of Mdina. Production did not return there after Season 1, instead shifting to Croatia as its main location for scenes set in warm Mediterranean climates.

  • Verdala Palace, the 16th century summer palace of the president of Malta – Exteriors of Illyrio Mopatis's mansion in Pentos.
  • The Azure Window coastal cliff formation on the Maltese island of Gozo - site of the Dothraki wedding feast between Daenerys and Drogo, set on the coast of Pentos.[38][39]
  • Manikata - a farming town used as the setting for the village of the Lhazareen that is raided by the Dothraki.[40]
  • Mtahleb Valley - a few minutes outside of Rabat, location of Drogo's funeral pyre and Daenerys rising from the flames with her newly hatched dragons.[41]
  • Fort Ricasoli - the gate was used to represent the Gate of the Gods of King's Landing: the gate on the northern side of the city that that the Kingsroad enters (before coming out on the southern side of the city). Because the Starks approach the city from Winterfell in the north, we see their party entering the Gate of the Gods in Season 1 episode 3, "Lord Snow".[42]
  • Gate of Mdina - the gate that Catelyn and Rodrik enter when they arrive in King's Landing.[43]
  • Fort St Angelo, in the Maltese Town of Vittoriosa - the dungeons of the Red Keep where Arya chases cats.[44]
  • The Pjazza Mesquita in Mdina - the entrance to Littlefinger's brothel, where Jaime Lannister and his men attack Ned Stark and his bodyguards.
  • The cloister of the St. Dominic Monastery in Rabat - the garden of the Red Keep in which Ned Stark confronts Cersei with the truth about her children's parentage.[45]
  • San Anton Palace - The exterior of the Red Keep where Arya recovers her sword Needle and kills a stable boy.[46]
  • Fort Manoel, in the town Gżira - the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor, for the climactic scene in which Eddard Stark is publicly executed.[47]
  • Info Graphic and more information about these locations can be found here.



  • A few scenes in the unscreened pilot were filmed in Morocco, but the southern production unit later moved to Malta in Season 1. Production returned to Morocco in Season 3 to film the new locations in Slaver's Bay: Astapor and Yunkai. Production did not return to Morocco after Season 3, and from Season 4 onwards scenes in the third slaver-city Meereen were filmed in Croatia.
  • Essaouira - Astapor. The Unsullied are introduced in the city ramparts of Skala de la Ville.
  • Aït Benhaddou (near Ouarzazate) - Yunkai. Some of these wall sets were previously built to stand in for the city of Jerusalem in the 2005 film Kingdom of Heaven.[48]
    • Daenerys's army camp was built in the nearby location of Little Barrage.


Other locations[]

Shooting has on occasion physically occurred in other countries, but basically just on sound stages when factors such as live stunt animals were involved. As they were all interior shots, none of these are actual "locations" which can be visited.

Some filming for Winterfell exteriors and interiors for the unscreened pilot also took place at Doune Castle, Scotland, but the production team did not return to Scotland for the finished TV series.[49]

Meanwhile, in Season 3's "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", a few shots of an actor-bear (Bart the Bear 2) were filmed in Los Angeles, USA. Due to various laws against international transport of large animals, the production team could not simply fly the actor-bear into the United Kingdom.

As director Michelle MacLaren explained, she chose Bart out of three potential stunt-bears: one from Utah (Bart), one from Canada, and one from Europe. Bart was then flown from Utah to California, where a partial duplicate of the bear pit set at Harrenhal was built in a Los Angeles studio parking lot. Just the pit part was built: the extras crowded around the top of the pit were filmed on the full set in Northern Ireland. Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) were the only cast members flown out to Los Angeles, to film on-set with the bear. The footage from within the pit was then digitally married with the footage of the extras crowded around the top on the duplicate set.[50][51]

Christie explained that she was actually with Bart the bear in the pit, though in real life the crew was being friendly to the bear and saying encouraging things to keep him calm. Christie said that she did every stunt in the bear pit - except for one, when she has to pretend that the bear is hitting her. A stunt double was used for that specific, brief shot, though in real life Bart was just playfully pawing at the stunt man.[52][53]

Similarly, in Season 5, some filming was done on a sound stage in Calgary, Canada, due to work with a live stunt animal. Because the direwolves in the story are older and have grown larger, in Season 5 they wanted to use a full-sized trained wolf named Quigley to play Jon Snow's direwolf Ghost. Quigley's trainer Andrew Simpson owns about 30 wolves, and the production team had been reaching out to him since Season 1, but he was busy training wolves for other film projects. In earlier seasons they had hoped to have one of his wolves transported to Northern Ireland, but by Season 5 they decided it would be easier to simply fly out to Canada to film the scenes they needed with the wolf in a Calgary studio.[54]


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