If you have ever dreamed of visiting the places of game of thrones, you are not alone. Ireland is home to four of the most Instagrammed locations used to film George RR Martin’s fable, making it the most popular country in a study by Irish online casino Slotbox. Three Spanish sites made the list, while Icelandic Kirkjufell topped the poll with 86,616 hashtags.
The mountain of Kirkjufell served as the backdrop for scenes in Beyond the Wall in thrones.
The Dark Hedges on the Bregagh Road (above) – the backdrop to King’s Road – had 70,297 tags, Dunluce Castle / House Greyjoy had 38,862 tags, Castle Ward (Winterfell), with 18,093 and Tollymore Forest (Forest of Winterfell), 18,003, complete Irish locations. The rows of beech trees in the Dark Hedges were planted in the 18th century by James Stuart.
It seems that the output of house of dragons rekindled people’s passion for the show, as Google searches game of thrones filming locations have increased by 153% worldwide in the past year. Using Instagram hashtag data, Slotbox analyzed 40 filming locations of the two HBO-originating series to find out how many photos were taken at each location.
After Kirkjufell, it was the Bardenas Reales nature reserve in northern Spain with 80,601 hashtags. The desert landscape was used in season six, doubling for the Dothraki Sea. Other popular Spanish sites include the Alcázar de Sevilla (39,031 hashtags), used as the location for The Water Palaces of Dorne in season five, and the Roman Bridge at Corboda (26,975 hashtags).
The bridge was used in season five to represent the Long Bridge in the Free City of Volantis. Just 15 minutes by ferry from Dubrovnik in Croatia is the tiny island of Lokrum, which has attracted 76,956 hashtags on Instagram. The Botanical Gardens were used to film Qarth garden scenes when Daenerys and her entourage attended a garden party in the second season.
The study used Instagram hashtag data to reveal the most and least photographed locations from a comprehensive list of 35 locations used in the filming of game of thrones and house of dragons. Where the location had more than one name, for example La Plaza de Toros in Spain, also known as Osuna Bull Ring, the number of hashtags were combined.