Now that Game of Thrones and in turn Doors of Thrones is complete I thought I’d whisk up a handy guide of all the Doors of Thrones in one simple blog post should anyone wish to do a tour.
Incase you weren’t aware of the story behind these Game of Thrones Doors, the story is thus – Tourism Ireland and Tourism NI salvaged the wood from 2 Beech trees that fell during Storm Gertrude in January this year at the world famous Dark Hedges. These trees have were then transformed into ornately carved wooden doors, each depicting different scenes, references and symbols from each episode. These ‘Doors of Thrones’ now hang in pubs and other venues across Northern Ireland, near filming locations and were unveiled one at a time after each episode was aired meaning a total of 10 doors were hung in locations across N.Ireland.
It’s worth noting the Game of Thrones Doors are all in order, depicting scenes, themes and House of interest of each episode as they aired. As such and due to geographical locations I would say it’s very much worth while doing them in order though do check the individual websites (which i will link) as some are pubs that may operate later times.
A complete tour would definitely require at least one night’s stay half way through and I believe at some point it is most likely that a tour company will jump on board with this idea in the not so distant future.
So here we go…
Game of Thrones Doors of Thrones
1. The Cuan, Strangford Co. Down (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: Audley’s Field by Strangford Lough was the scene of Jamie Lannister’s capture and Castle Ward aka Winterfell is just a short drive away.
Episode:1 The Red Woman
Showcasing all of Westeros, Door 1 followed in the footsteps of Episode 1 and set the scene for the episodes to come. Located beside the ferry port, The Cuan fed and played host to some of the crew during the filming of the earlier seasons. With beautiful food and a warm and welcoming atmosphere it’s a great start to our Doors of Thrones tour.
2. Fiddler’s Green, Portaferry Co.Down (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: Quintin Bay where Jaime Lannister goes to find Bronn and persuade him to accompany him to Dorne to rescue his niece / daughter Myrcella.
Episode 2: Home
Fiddler’s Green is a small and unassuming pub. I was lucky enough to meet the landlord and she told me of how she was desperate to keep it a secret, ushering people out of the bar in order to reveal it the next day. A much rougher door it depicts the hardships suffered by all families in that episode. Cersei is banned from attending Myrcella’s funneral, Tyrion is forced to release 2 dragons whilst Daenerys is still missing, Ayra is still blind and being regularly beaten senseless by the Waif, Ramsey’s father has borne and true heir and Theon makes his return to the Iron Islands.
3. The Percy French, Newcastle Co.Down (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: Tollymore Forest, the setting for the Haunted Forest and also where the Starks found their Dire Wolves in Season one.
Episode 3: Oathbreaker
The Percy French sits in the grounds of the magnificent 4 star Slieve Donard Resort and Spa. Very proud of this beautiful door they have recently announced a Westoros Steak with Valyrian Steel style knife as part of their menu. Much more polished, this door is almost golden brown and depicts the demise of Rickon Stark’s Direwolf, Shaggydog, the 3 eyed raven in training with Bran and the Greyjoy’s Kracken again (though I’m not entirely sure why as the Greyjoys did not feature in this episode).
4. Blakes of the Hollow, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: Pollnagollum Caves – hideout for the Brotherhood Without Banners and where they took Ayra Stark in Season 2 and also where Beric is resurrected by Thoros following his death. This door and the filming location are quite a distance from any others but if you have the time and the inclination, this area is overwhelming in its natural beauty.
Episode 4: Book of the Stranger
Blakes of the Hollow is an award winning bar in the centre of Enniskillen. It is a beautiful 125 year old Victorian pub with lots of nooks and crannies (and a pool table), and the door faces the bar itself. Thanks to Daenerys kicking some serious ass in this episode, this is the first door of thrones graced with her dragons. It also showcases Merreen as in this episode Tyrion negotiates the later useless truce with the slave masters. This I have to say is my personal favourite of all the Doors of Thrones.
5. Owen’s Bar, Limavady Co.Londonderry (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: Dragonstone – previously home to Stannis Baratheon
Episode 5: The Door
The bar itself is a small, friendly family run business with brothers Damien and Garry at the helm. The Night’s King is the centre focus of this Game Of Thrones Door of Thrones No5 is this episode centred around the back story of how the Night’s King came to be, Bran’s step forward in his abilities and sadly how Hodor got his name….I think we can all agree we were all a little scarred by this epsiode.
6. Fullerton Arms, Ballintoy Co. Antrim (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: Picturesque Ballintoy Harbour is the setting for the Iron Islands, home of the Greyjoys. 10 minutes drive will also have you at the beautifully famous Dark Hedges.
Episode 6: Blood of My Blood
The next cluster of doors are all in very close proximity to the Dark Hedges where the wood for the doors was gathered. Depicting the family crest, her largest dragon Drogon and the Dothraki horses the door is an ode to all things Daenerys and her impending journey to Westeros.
7. Gracehill House, Ballymoney Co.Antrim (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: The Dark Hedges aka Kingsroad (which runs from Castle Black to Kingslanding) are directly across the road.
Episode 7: The Broken Man
As Sansa and Jon struggle to find Houses to join them in the battle against Ramsey Bolton there is an element of time to this door. It doesn’t show much of what has happened in this episode of Game of Thrones, more what is to come. This door is situated in a beautiful old House used as a golf watering hole.
8. Mary McBrides, Cushendun Co. Antrim (Link here)
Nearby Filming Location: Cushendun Caves were the location for the birth of Melisandre’s Shaddow baby that killed Renly in season 2.
Episode 8: No One
A girl is no one…no wait, a girl is Arya Stark. Wow was that an infuriating storyline. The first door with any script on it, door of thrones 8 sports the infamous Game of Thrones line ‘Valar Morghulis’ or ‘All men must die’ in High Valyrian. It also features the Titan of Braavos and at the bottom we can see a series of helmets all belonging to characters. I recognise The Hound’s hound helmet, Ser Gregor Clegane‘s above it, I think the hooded figure represents the faceless man but I’m unsure of the 2 on the left. Mary McBrides was once Ireland’s smallest pub but it has since been extended and serves a rather excellent pint of Guinness.
9. Ballygally Castle, Co. Antrim (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: The Dark Hedges, Ballintoy Harbour, Cushendun Caves and Cairncastle where Ned beheaded the Night’s Watch deserter and also serves as the backdrop of Winterfell.
Episode 9: Battle of the Bastards
Best episode of any TV show ever? Quite possibly. It took 25 days to shoot the battle scene and it was worth every minute. The penultimate door depicts House Stark and House Bolton Crests, Ramsey’s 7 day hungry dogs and Winterfell in all it’s glory. If you’re looking for a place to stay on your tour Ballygally Castle is it. Soaked in history it is a modernised Castle with plush rooms and friendly service, you can also try their Game of Thrones Afternoon Tea.
10. The Dark Horse, Belfast Co. Antrim (Link here)
Nearby Filming Locations: The Paint Hall / Titanic Studios are 64,000 square feet and is home to nearly all interior shots including everything inside King’s Landing: the Red Keep, the throne room, and the Great Sept of Baelor.
Episode 10: The Winds of Winter
Scoring a magnificent 10/10 on IMDb was there anything that didn’t happen in this episode? The final door is magnificent – the centerpiece is the Lannister Crest, flanked by the mighty Ser Gregor Clegane, the hand of the king is featured top left and right with the entangled Stark and Targaryen crests to the bottom. Let’s not forget the (ex) Citadel which sits at the bottom – poor Margery. The Dark Horse is a beautiful and decadent coffee house opposite its famous big sister The Duke of York in Belfast. This is a fantastic location as it fits so well among the polished dark wood and is opposite arguably the most popular bar areas in the city.
For all you Game of Thrones fans looking to do your own tour, I have created a handy shared Google map for you to use and I hope it’s of use to you all! Happy Doors hunting!