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The "Dark Hedges," where character Arya Stark made her escape, can be found near Armoy in Co. Antrim. Photo by: Google Images

‘Game of Thrones' injected $129 million into Northern Irish economy

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The "Dark Hedges," where character Arya Stark made her escape, can be found near Armoy in Co. Antrim. Photo by: Google Images

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” deals with dark subjects, but its effect on the Northern Ireland economy is bright and cheery. The popular fantasy series, which is filmed in Belfast, has pumped more than $129 million into the area’s economy.

The production’s beneficial effect has been wide-ranging, according to Moyra Lock of the Northern Ireland Screen Agency.

“Apart from the pure economic impact on Northern Ireland in terms of expenditure and goods and services, I think there is a huge tourism value,” she told EuroNews.com.

“When people see ‘Game Of Thrones’ on the TV they will see a whole different side to Northern Ireland,” she said. “They see the beautiful locations here.”

The film crew makes great use of Antrim’s stunning scenery, including the Causeway Coast. This has attracted thousands of tourists who are eager to see where the Snows, Lannisters and the rest of the characters make their homes. This has been a boon to business, especially in the hospitality industry.

In addition, the Titanic Museum has seen an uptick in visitors, thanks to a special exhibition of costumes from the show.

The drama, which is based on the novels of George R.R. Martin, follows the struggles of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros as they compete for control fo the Iron Throne. Three seasons have already aired, culminating in a shocking massacre at the Red Wedding.

A fourth season will air in fall 2014.

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