A rugged landscape lies before Catelyn Stark. Tensions are high as she enters Renly’s camp. Though the Baratheons have been loyal friends to House Stark, this war has cast allegiances and the kingdoms into upheaval
She has arrived at the climax of a grueling melee. Renly Baratheon looks on with an air of nonchalance as the final two combatants have at it. Amidst rolling green hills and cheering soldiers, the Knight of Flowers is defeated by a mysterious opponent.
The victorious knight reveals herself to be Brienne of Tarth. Shock ripples through the camp, but Renly just laughs. It is after all, just a game to him.
Cut to a billowing cliff top.
The wind howls as Stannis faces his younger brother Renly for the first time since both laid claim to the Iron Throne. Eyes lock, and each knows the other won’t retreat. As the ocean toils below, the drama of the scene is enhanced by the landscape in which it takes place. The Baratheon brothers reach no compromise and war looms.
Epic moments need epic landscapes
For moments this tense, this epic, this huge you need a setting that not only equals the drama, but amplifies it. That’s exactly why HBO chose Northern Ireland to create George RR Martin’s fantasy world. The Game of Thrones (GOT) series has nearly four million ‘likes’ on Facebook. The season two premiere attracted a global audience of about 8.3 million viewers alone.
With figures like these it’s no surprise that GOT is doing for Northern Ireland what The Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand.
Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen explains, “Game of Thrones is a phenomenal worldwide success and everything about the show can be talked of in superlatives. The show is of a vast size and scale and is not only benefitting Northern Ireland economically, but is further cementing Northern Ireland’s reputation as a world-class location for film and television.”
There is even a coach tour that takes fans to locations used in the series.
Where does the action take place?
The scene of Renly’s camp is, in actual fact, the Larrybane Chalk Quarry in County Antrim. Murlough Bay (also in County Antrim) was the setting for the Baratheon brother’s meeting. Both locations are tantalizingly close to the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge.
No ordinary bridge, Carrick-a-Rede spans an 80m-deep chasm and looks like the stuff of adventure fantasies, with its stunning craggy rocks and sweeping ocean views. If rumours are true, filming has already taken place at the bridge for season three of GOT. But what scene from the book could the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge bring to life?
Due to the ironclad secrecy policies of the GOT production crew, speculation is the best we can offer. Fans of the books will recall one particular scene, where the cantankerous Balon Greyjoy is blown from a rope bridge on the Iron Islands. Could this be Carrick-a-Rede’s big moment?
Well, in a series that’s anything but predictable, we might just have to wait and see.