Game of Thrones Studio Tour gets the go-ahead in Northern Ireland

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour will let fans explore sets from the show and see props and costumes. It was delayed thanks to COVID-19, but has now turned a corner.

Game of Thrones has a close relationship with Northern Ireland. The show filmed all over the world, but that’s where it made its home base in places like Titanic Studios in Belfast or Linen Mills Studios in Corbet-Banbridge. This resulted in around 350,000 people per year visiting Northern Ireland to see Game of Thrones landmarks like the Dark Hedges and Ballintoy harbour as of 2019.

Now, Northern Ireland hopes to further solidify this connection with the Game of Thrones Studio Tour, a permanent fixture at Linen Mills Studios where tourists will be able to explore full-sized Game of Thrones sets, get an up-close look at props and costumes, and more. The owners hope to attract 600,000 visitors a year and employ 200 people.

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour was supposed to open this October…and then came the coronavirus, which slowed everything down, from construction to marketing to the bureaucratic steps that had to be taken before formal planning could begin. But now, the BBC reports that the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has given the green light for the project to go forward, so things are finally back on track.

“This is an ambitious project which will provide a significant boost to the local and regional economy,” said a spokesperson from the Council. “It is hoped that the creation of local employment opportunities will act as a catalyst for the economy at this time.”

Even if the tour had opened this year, it’s unlikely it would have seen as much traffic as expected since the coronavirus has also slowed down much of the travel industry, so maybe a delay won’t affect things that much. And once it opens, I’m sure the jobs and tourism dollars will be welcome by an economy trying to recover from the affects of the pandemic.

And it’ll be great for fans, too. Just look at the mock-ups of some of the sets that will be available to tour:

Image: Linen Mill Studios/HBO

Image: Linen Mill Studios/HBO

Image: Linen Mill Studios/HBO

There’s no opening date for the Game of Thrones Studio Tour as of yet, but we’re glad to hear it’s moving along safely.

Next: Game of Thrones showrunners adapting sci-fi epic The Three-Body Problem for Netflix

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