Travel is my passion. But for many of my friends, watching a good program on television is what gets them excited. There is one such production that has captured the imagination of not only my friends but also millions of viewers across the globe and kept them passionate and glued to their television sets for not one but eight back-to-back series and for years together.
You know what I am referring to. It’s the HBO produced American television series ‘Game of Thrones’ created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. The series is based on George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire and takes place on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, and takes the viewers through the power struggles among noble families as they fight for control of the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
We reached Old Town and next to Onofrio’s fountain the meeting point on time. In fact a little before. Enough time for me to look around, take a few pics and observe. For me it is fun watching people enjoying their vacations. The couples, the families and especially the kids whom I find so interesting and amusing. They always in their own world enjoying the present. And I still remember that little one and her happy bright eyes as she was licking on to her super long delicious ice cream cone.
“Welcome ladies and gentlemen to our Games of thrones walking tour. We are all set to go. The tour will be for two hours. During this time I am going to take you to some of the most prominent and exciting locations of your favorite series”. It was our guide for the morning, Marija Knapic. A bright sunny morning. And I remembered our last evening. Raining incessantly and me praying, O God don’t spoil our holiday 😐. God had heard and ensured that the day was going to be care free without any raincoats or umbrellas 💃🕺. Except Marija, with her red umbrella.
We started and as we walked a few steps we felt happy that the walk was going to be enjoyable. Not only for the beauty that we were about to experience but also for Marija’s great sense of humor while speaking perfect English, a constant smile on her face, her fast paced walk with a purpose and a great mastery over the story and the actors. She had also acted in few episodes during the shoot as an extra while mentioning that the shooting would always be in the winters when there were less tourists and this was one good way of earning a quick buck, while also being part of the entire action. Come let’s also get into action.
We were soon climbing the steps to Fort Lovrijenac. This towering majestic fort is located outside the walled Old Town of Dubrovnik and doubled as the Red Keep in King’s Landing in the Game of Thrones series. Many scenes were filmed here, including the tense tournament that was thrown in honor of King Joffrey’s name day in season two.
You got to walk up the steep stairs to the entrance counter on the first level, buy your tickets which costs fifty kunas per person and enter this palatial fort. The triangular shaped building is set on three levels and has ten large cannons guarding the sea facing walls. The inscription above the main door, “Freedom cannot be sold for all the gold of the world” perhaps signifies the pride of Dubrovnik over the years. And who would not feel proud when you also happen to live in such a beautiful city.
It is time now to take you through this wonderful piece of history as we walk our way up to the top of the fort. Those of you who have been ardent followers, it would surely be fun recalling some of the filming spots. There are few hints from our end too. Come let’s go and enjoy your nostalgia and the stunning views from top.
When you have these views in front of you, it leaves no doubts why Dubrovnik, a perfectly maintained medieval city, was chosen as one of the destinations for the filming of Game of Thrones. There are many episodes in season two, three, four, five, six and eight which have been shot in Fort Lovrijenac, Pile Bay, Pile Gate, Ploce Gate, Old Town streets and walls, Minceta Tower and Lokrum Island. It was now time to move back towards Old Town again and to a widely talked about spot, in addition to some of the locations that we have already seen yesterday in Old Town Dubrovnik & Dubrovnik Old Town by night….
We are now at the top of the Jesuit Staircase. This beautiful Baroque stairs is located on the south side of Gundulic Square. The steps lead you to Uz Jezuite Street, where the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius and two of Dubrovnik’s colleges, Jesuit College and Ragusinum are located.
The most iconic scene in season five, ‘Walk of Shame’ was shot here in which Cersei Lannister looks down at the disapproving crowd as she is forced to walk naked through the streets of King’s Landing to the Red Keep, as a woman screams ‘shame’ in her ears. Beginning at the top of the Jesuit Staircase and walking down, this scene was performed in reality by a body double since Lena Kathren Headey, the English actress who performed this iconic role was pregnant during that time, as reports suggest .
This was actually one of the most expensive scenes to film for ‘Game of Thrones’ as the street below these Spanish Steps is usually filled with vendors and packed crowds engaged in a bargain. The film crew had to pay all of the bars, restaurants and vendors a full days work to be able to gain rights to this area. In addition all the house owners of the street were paid to keep their windows shut and stay indoors.
It was few hours of fun going through some wonderful history, great locations, beautiful views and interesting anecdotes related to this super successful American fantasy-drama HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’ which has won numerous awards, including three ‘Prime time Emmy Awards’. And now it’s time for some lunch, some more walk and a little relaxation at our guest house amidst nature, before we are back to Old Town again for yet another evening of celebrations and fun.
‘Game of Thrones’. Undoubtedly one of the prime reasons why Dubrovnik has seen an upsurge of tourists over the years and become one of the most sought after tourist destinations.
Visit Dubrovnik. Get nostalgic amidst nature in this beautiful world.