With all the hype surrounding the second last season of Game of Thrones, Tourism Ireland has put together a giant tapestry featuring the show’s most memorable scenes.
The tapestry which is a central part of Tourism Ireland’s recent campaign is aimed at banking on the popularity of the show to attract more visitors to the North Atlantic island nation. The 77-metre tapestry celebrates the country which is a major filming location for the series, from Winterfell to the Iron Islands.
When Game of Thrones (GoT) penned by George R R Martin was adopted into a television series by HBO, it almost immediately gained the cult status it was fated for. As the original novella started selling like hotcakes following the success of the show, so did the related merchandise. With this, Ireland, where major portions of the show have been shot, started garnering a new brand of tourists- GoT fans.
It was until recently, that Tourism Ireland launched a campaign that featured a giant tapestry for all Game of Throne lovers. The tapestry, made with linen from Northern Ireland, is remarkably detailed and depicts memorable moments from the first season of the show right up until the end of season six.
Various artists from Jelly Kitchen have worked on illustrations for the Bayeux-style tapestry which is currently on display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. An interactive version of the tapestry was made online in a new web app on Tourism Ireland’s wherein fans can zoom in on and explore each work and episode in a detailed manner. The online version also enables fans to re-live and share favourite scenes with friends and point out where they were filmed in Northern Ireland. It also guides tourists to the actual places where Game of Thrones was filmed in Ireland.
Advertising agency Publicis London has created the campaign in collaboration with Tourism Ireland and HBO. This is similar to New Zealand’s Tolkien Tourism campaign which celebrates the success of The Lord of the Rings franchise, encouraging fans to visit New Zealand for exploring the real sites which appeared in the fictional work. This campaign is credited as having raised the annual tourism numbers in New Zealand.
An excerpt from HBO’s “Making Game of Thrones” blog read, “Tourism Ireland is celebrating the role of Game of Thrones in Irish culture by creating a giant, 252-foot-long medieval-style wall-hanging that covers the story of the show from its beginning to the latest episode.
Each significant scene and character is recreated and designed by artists and illustrators, whose hand-drawings are then converted into digital images to create a ‘weaving guide.’ The final product is hand-woven, with embroiderers meticulously reviewing and retouching each fine detail.”
— Chris Ellis (@Ellistrations) October 8, 2017
Game of Thrones which is filmed in multiple locations including Belfast at large and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain and the United States, enjoys 30 million viewers per episode across all platforms. Considered to be amongst the highest grossing television shows of all time, major filming of GoT takes place in Northern Ireland.
The primary location for the first season in 2010 was the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Exterior scenes in Northern Ireland were filmed at Sandy Brae in the Mourne Mountains (standing in for Vaes Dothrak), Castle Ward (Winterfell), Saintfield Estates (the Winterfell godswood), Tollymore Forest (outdoor scenes), Cairncastle (the execution site), the Magheramorne quarry (Castle Black) and Shane’s Castle (the tourney grounds). The producers initially considered filming the whole series in Scotland but decided on Northern Ireland because of the availability of studio space.
Reportedly, the production of Game of Thrones has boosted Northern Ireland’s creative industries, contributing to an estimated 12.4 pc growth in arts, entertainment and recreation jobs between 2008 and 2013 compared to 4.3 pc in the rest of the UK during the same period.
The franchise also enjoys a popular stance in India, with fans going gaga over the fantasy, drama show and wanting GoT themed weddings. Here’s hoping it does not turn out to the Red one, everyone dreaded!
With the final season closing in, Indians just like their European counterparts want to visit the Ireland to re-live the tale. Anisha Dey, an ardent follower of the show an avid reader of the parent book, A Song of Ice and Fire stated, “I have watched the show and wanted to trace back the actual place where the series has been shot. It is the dream of any fan to retrace the roots of a fantasy universe in a real set-up. Northern Ireland is hence on my bucket list and the latest campaign by Tourism Ireland just made that wish stronger. To be able to stand at Winterfell, or breathe in the air of Castle Black, makes you a part of the series in a very personal way.”