Check out the 10 Game of Thrones-themed doors and The Extras Dept discusses GoT extras casting

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If you’re heading off to Northern Ireland any time soon, be sure to drop by any one of the 10 businesses currently decorated with a intricately carved Game of Thrones-themed door. They’re gorgeous, creative and add a bit of Westerosi glam to wherever they are.

In 2016, a few trees from the Dark Hedges (which served as the King’s Road in season 2) blew down during Storm Gertrude. The felled 200-year old beech trees were fashioned into 10 doors engraved with Game of Thrones-themed designs. Now, each hang in local pubs, restaurants and inns located near Game of Thrones filming sites.

1 The Cuan

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The Cuan is a family-run restaurant in Strangford, a seaside village in County Down. It’s near Castle Ward aka Winterfell, Audley’s Field, Quoile River and Inch Abbey.

2 Fiddler’s Green

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This pub and B&B is located in the central square of Portaferry around 2 miles from Quintin Castle where Bronn and Lollys Stokeworth’s scene in season 5 was filmed.

3 Percy French

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Percy French is a scenic restaurant in Newcastle at the foot of the Mourne Mountains near Tollymore Forest Park (where the direwolf pups were discovered in the pilot) and Leitrim Lodge.

4 Blakes of the Hollow

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This Victorian pub is over 125 years old and located near Pollnagollum Cave which served as Hollow Hill, a hideout for the Brothers Without Banners, in season 3.

5 Owens

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This White Walker themed door hangs in the traditional pub of Owens (I suspect there’s a jar for every “Hold the Door” pose that’s struck there) in Limavady, which is near Downhill Beach (aka Dragonstone) and Binevenagh (the Dothraki sea in season 5).

6 Fullerton Arms

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This guest house is within walking distance of Ballintoy Harbor, the filming location for most of the Iron Islands’ scenes.

7 Gracehill House

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Of all the local businesses graced with these Game of Thrones doors, Gracehill House is the one that’s located closest to the Dark Hedges from which these doors was made in the first place.

8 Mary McBride’s

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This tiny bar (one of the smallest in Northern Ireland) in Cushendun is near, well … the Cushendun Caves where Melisandre’s infamous shadow baby scene was filmed.

9 Ballygally Castle

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It’s only fitting that one of the doors went to an actual castle. Ballygally Castle was built in 1625 and now serves as a hotel near Cairncastle (the site where Ned executed a Watch deserter in the pilot), Carnlough Harbour (where Arya’s daring escape into Braavos’ canal in season 6 was filmed), The Glens of Antrim, Sallagh Braes and Shillnavogy Valley.

10 The Dark Horse

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The Dark Horse is a coffee house in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Though it’s not close to any one filming location, the door was placed in a Belfast establishment to honor the city for all the ways it has supported the production of Game of Thrones.

To ease your itinerary making process, Discover Northern Ireland has provided a downloadable Passport with the name, description and address of each of the locations listed above.

In other news, Siobhan Allan, the co-founder of The Extras Dept, the agency through which Game of Thrones hires its extras, spoke to the Belfast Telegraph about the unexpected journey of her would-have-been “wee part-time” business.

Allan founded The Extras Dept 10 years ago when her daughter was struggling to find 250 extra for a Maeve Binchy adaptation she was working on. Though business was tough-going at first, Game of Thrones was what really set them on their way.

“It was pretty big that HBO, one of the biggest production firms in America, was leaving the US for the first time and coming to Northern Ireland, and we got that opportunity,” Allan said. “Over those 14 weeks, we had to make sure we did everything well. If they asked us for six dwarfs and one amputee, we always managed to get what they were looking for, even if it seemed impossible.”

Business has expanded considerably since then. Last year Allan and her team had to balance season 7 of Game of Thrones with 6 other productions which were all running at the same time.

The Extras Dept’s next big venture is moving business to Dublin. “We already have 2,000 extras on our books in the city,” Allan said. “But we would still like to get some more.

As for advice for anyone interested in becoming an extra, Allan is straight forward about the feasibility of supporting oneself: “We always tell people, ‘Don’t give up your full-time job’, but some of our extras also get paid very well. It depends on continuity.”

34 responses

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    1. Those doors are wonderful, if I am ever in the area I swear I will steal one right off its hinges…

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    2. Thank you for this! I’m heading to northern Ireland in July for everything GoT of course 🙂 These doors are on the list, so I appreciate a comprehensive article listing all of them!

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    3. I’m bicycling the Ring of Kerry in July, I’d love to visit at least one of these beautiful door. Any idea which is the closed to Killarney?

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    4. Thank you so much for this post, Petra!!! One more thing to put on my list for when I finally make it back across the pond…

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    5. Gregg,

      Unfortunately the doors are in Northern Ireland so I’d say they’re all a fair distance from the Ring of Kerry (though “far” is a relative term. Apparently Ballintoy, where Fullerton Arms is, is only a 6 hour drive from Killarney, if you want to take a biking break for a day)

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    6. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:
      Those doors are wonderful, if I am ever in the area I swear I will steal one right off its hinges…

      While looking at these gorgeous doors, I kept thinking they wouldn’t last a week here in New York City before everything but the hinges would mysteriously disappear.

      But I kid about my city — the hinges would be gone as well! 😉

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    7. Thank you for this article! I am so excited to say that I am leaving next weekend for my first visit to Belfast and was planning on trying to see at least two of the doors! They are amazing and beautiful and such a great idea! I am also taking 2 GoT tours! Beyond excited to get to experience Norhern Ireland and see where my favorite show of all time is filmed! I feel truly blessed to be able to do this!

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    8. Clob,

      Thanks for the link. I don’t know how I missed the post about the doors a year ago. So I guess someone programmed a robot carving machine to cut the door designs.

      (Now I want the GoT postage stamps that were pictured in that post too!)

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    9. Ten Bears:
      Clob,

      Thanks for the link. I don’t know how I missed the post about the doors a year ago. So I guess someone programmed a robot carving machine to cut the door designs.

      (Now I want the GoT postage stamps that were pictured in that post too!)

      There’s a bit more about the actual design and carving process to read at http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?201136-Game-of-Thrones-Doors

      Using a “CNC machine” (Computer numerical control ), the carving was indeed automated…

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    10. Clob,

      but someone had to design them first, right? Robots can’t do that just yet, at least so Ive heard….

      edit – never mind, I see that they don’t have credits for them yet.

      Are those stamps going to go on sale, perhaps?

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    11. All the doors are gorgeous, and I don’t mind that they’re not “hand carved” – modern craftsmen know how to use machines to do the grunt work and only finishing touches are done by hand. Big shout out to whoever designed the doors (by computer, of course 🙂 ).

      And now it turns out I might be going to NI this summer! The first part of our sailing is confirmed, we’ll end up in Islay in Scotland, but after that we could turn either north or south. If we turn south, Ballintoy harbour could be a stop for our boat! I’m already imagining myself posing “in the Iron Islands” 😀

      Even if I never see any of the doors or locations in real life, got to admire how NI enterprise and tourism bodies have embraced GoT and are capitalising on it.

      Thanks also for the link to The Extras Dept’s Siobhan Allan’s interview (boy, weren’t they lucky to set up their company just in time for GoT!) I really like these glimpses of all the behind-the-scenes work that goes on around GoT. The article also has some other interesting tidbits for anyone interested in NI society and politics. Siobhan Allen’s (protestant) mum was the first female mayor of (largely Catholic) Derry back in 1972, and Siobhan and her best friend, Catholic Siobhan, thought about visiting each other’s churches. That’s even more heart-warming than all the later business success.

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    12. Gregg,

      See this map: http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-03-02/how-to-take-a-game-of-thrones-tour-of-northern-ireland

      So one of your closest locations is Tollymore Forest; it’s a lovely spot with brilliant biking tracks (http://www.trailbadger.com/trails/down/tollymore-forest/), accessed from Newcastle where the Percy French (listed above) is.

      …However, if you’ve time to make a longer visit, the north coast is the way to go! I’m from near there, so may be slightly biased, but there are more locations around that way. Plus, the Gran Fondo of the Giro d’Italia bike race takes places along the coastal road, so you’d be following in the tracks of competitors if you brought your bike.

      You’d also pass ‘the Wall’ – Magheramorne Quarry (can’t be accessed, but can be seen through the gates, and from across Larne lough in Islandmagee: https://www.instagram.com/p/BSMNaUjhEtm/?taken-by=tracydempsey

      The more I live abroad the more I appreciate our beautiful north coast. Ring of Kerry is spectacular too; you’ll have a great trip wherever you go!

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    13. talvikorppi,

      Oletko suomalainen? 🙂 Olen pohjois-irlantilainen ja opiskelija yliopistossa Jyväskylässä! And I didn’t know ’til I saw your username that the ‘Korppi’ online student portal at JYU means ‘raven’, ha!

      The first Finn I met was in Northern Ireland working on a short film (“Orchard Road”); I went to Tampere from JKL to meet them for its screening at the international film festival. Very proud to represent. 😉 We loved the Finns!

      Anyway, Ballintoy Harbour’s lovely: https://www.instagram.com/p/BSMTIOHBL97/?taken-by=tracydempsey

      …as is our north coast in general. See more locations here: http://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-03-02/how-to-take-a-game-of-thrones-tour-of-northern-ireland

      Hyvää matkaa!

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    14. Clob,

      The design work is brilliant! I presume the software this guy Kieran McKay used to create his designs also drives the woodworking CNC milling machine in 3 axes. I think I saw the maximum depth allowed was restricted to 16mm.

      Although the CNC machine did the ‘grunt work’, it must have taken Kieran ages to come up with those 10 designs. I reckon he ought to be awarded an honorary Emmy for his efforts 😉

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