The iconic Dark Hedges in Co. Antrim, used as the backdrop for scenes along the Kings Road on the hugely successful HBO series Game of Thrones, have suffered greatly throughout 2016.
Firstly, the might of Storm Gertrude brought down several of the famous trees, devastating fans who feared for the site, now one of the most photographed in the world, would not be the same.
Surviving the might of Mother Nature, man was also to strike a further blow by painting a white road marking down the middle of the Bregagh Road, home to the Dark Hedges.
Making the most of the its unfortunate series of events, however, Tourism Ireland has revealed the fate of the trees felled earlier in the year and it really is very special.
With each episode of the new season six, a new door will be revealed, carved from the wood of the fallen trees, and telling the story of the recently broadcast episode.
With two episodes down, the second “Door of Thrones” was established in Fiddler’s Green Bar and B&B in Portaferry, Co. Derry, while the first can be found in Cuan Bar in Strangford, Co. Down.
Ten intricately carved doors will be created in collaboration with HBO which will link ten of the best Northern Ireland Games of Thrones’ film sets in a “Door of Thrones” tour.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with HBO in 2016, to highlight Northern Ireland – through the exciting events of Game of Thrones – on the global stage. TV and film are recognised as strong influencers on travellers everywhere and the stellar popularity of Game of Thrones is a fantastic opportunity for us to promote Northern Ireland to a huge audience of potential visitors,” said Tourism Ireland CEO, Niall Gibbons.
“Our latest campaign is a fun and innovative way to bring the destination to the attention of Game of Thrones fans everywhere – they will see our ads, spiking their curiosity about the landscapes and locations featured in the series and inspiring them to come and explore them for themselves.”
Located on the Bregagh Road in Armoy, Co. Antrim, the Dark Hedges are one of the most photographed tourist attractions in Ireland, bringing Game of Thrones fans the world over to the Orchard County.
Used in the series as the location for the “King’s Road”, the stretch of road and its wooded border is one of the must-see Northern Ireland sites for the show’s avid followers.
The beautiful tunnel of beech trees was originally planted in the 18th century by the local Stuart family to decorate the entrance into their nearby Georgian mansion, Gracehill House.
Encouraging fans of the show worldwide to “discover the real world Westeros,” Tourism Ireland is also releasing weekly videos showcasing the sites of locations on Northern Ireland that feature in the show.
Included in the films are many of the best backdrops of the show including Tollymore Forest Park, the Cushendun Caves, Castle Ward, Ballintoy Harbour, The Dark Hedges, Inch Abbey, Audley’s Castle and Strangford Lough.
“Our latest film – showcasing numerous filming locations – will encourage fans to come and experience the real Westeros to see the spectacular mountain, lakes and coastline of Northern Ireland and follow in the footsteps of their favourite villains and heroes!” Niall Gibbons said of the short films.
A third initiative also sees exclusive limited edition Game of Thrones stamps made available with each episode.