Categories: TV & Film

Winter came, blowing bad fortune into good – Doors of Thrones

They said: “Winter is coming”. We were ready. In January 2016, Storm Gertrude wreaked havoc across Northern Ireland. She felled some of the iconic trees along the highway known to Game of Thrones® fans as the Kingsroad. But from the devastation of the Dark Hedges came a bright shining idea that showed our giant spirit to the world. Rather than succumb to Winter, we instead carved the fallen into 10 intricately crafted doors and sent them to the four corners of the country for safe keeping. Each now tells the story of an episode from Season 6 and have gone on to become an integral part of the Game of Thrones® experience for our army of fans around the world. 

Take the Journey of Doors

We hung 10 pieces of history for fans across ‪a variety of locations in Northern Ireland‬. So, come explore these stunning places that appeared across all seasons of the show. Don’t forget to get your Journey of Doors Passport stamped at each location – a must-have souvenir for all Thronies.  ‬‬‬

Strangford, County Down

Door 1 at The Cuan in Strangford, County Down, portrays the show’s opening title sequence as well as a map of Westeros. It also reminds you of the state of play between the warring Houses at the close of Season 5. 

Portaferry, County Down

Across Door 2 at the Fiddler’s Green in Portaferry, County Down, you will observe the growing conflicts within the Houses of Bolton and Greyjoy. The iconic Kraken rises from the depths at the bottom of the door, while the flayed man of the treacherous House Bolton reigns above all. 

Newcastle, County Down

You might spy a ship’s departure from the Greyjoy-controlled Iron Islands on Door 3 at the Percy French in Newcastle. Below it, a lone direwolf appears above Winterfell, surrounded by signs of looming battle on the horizon. 

Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

The dominance of the dragons on Door 4 at Blakes of the Hollow in Enniskillen accurately echo House Targaryen’s return to power while certain elements also refer to their recent past misfortunes. Above it all keeping a watchful eye is the white falcon of House Arryn.

Limavady, County Londonderry

The dreaded Night King and his followers feature heavily on Door 5 at Owens in Limavady. White Walkers flank him on both sides commanding an army of undead Wights at his back. Below, rests the Stark Sigil entwined in branch and root, preparing for the inevitable attack between the living and the dead. 

Ballintoy, County Antrim

Door 6 at the Fullerton Arms in Ballintoy champions House Targaryen, specifically, Daenerys’ most aggressive and fearsome dragon, Drogon. It depicts Dothraki stallions in his grasp signifying their allegiance and willingness to follow their Queen across the Narrow Sea.

Ballymoney, County Antrim

Signs of the recently deceased Three-Eyed Raven permeate on Door 7 at the Dark Hedges Estate in Stranocum. These omens foreshadow the events of the past that are about to bear down on the present. At the base of the door, you’ll see a beech tree leaf hidden within a crown - a reference to the trees of The Kingsroad itself.

Cushendun, County Antrim

“Valar morghulis. Valar dohaeris” asserts the centre of Door 8 at Mary McBride's in Cushendun, chronicling Arya Stark’s journey in the free city of Braavos. In the centre rests the Faceless Man Coin that originally brought her to the city. Below that sits Needle, a reference to the final deadly confrontation that leads Arya to her decision to return home to Winterfell.

Ballygally, County Antrim

At Ballygally Castle echoes of the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ - symbols of both House Stark and House Bolton - dominate the penultimate Door 9. Swords and shields litter the door like a bloody battlefield. You’ll see the battle-scarred face of the Stark direwolf dominating over the flayed man below suggesting a House Stark victory, but at a very heavy cost.

Cathedral Quarter, Belfast

The final Door 10 at The Dark Horse in Belfast depicts Westeros’s state of affairs as Season 6 draws to a close. The Lannister lion reigns over the Sept of Baelor, signifying its destruction along with the deaths of hundreds of King’s Landing nobles, including some of House Tyrell and the Faith Militant. The bottom of the door you’ll find Stark and Targaryen sigils, alluding to the revelations about the possible parentage of Jon Snow.

One Door closes, another opens

While you tour Northern Ireland on your Journey of Doors, another stunning 26 Game of Thrones® filming locations open up for exploration by you. So keep your Filming Locations app at the ready to find out what scenes were filmed nearby.