Malta's Game of Thrones Locations

As Game of Thrones fans all over the world celebrate the eagerly awaited sixth season of the hit TV series, we thought that it would be appropriate to take a nostalgic trip back to the first season. Back to the season that saw Viserys receive his crown of gold, the execution of Ned Stark and the wedding of Daenerys to Khal Drogo. As some fans may know, a lot of season 1 was filmed on location in Malta and Ireland, so we decided to list some of our favourite locations in Malta. 

1. Mdina Gate - King's Landing Gate

Mdina is a walled hill town found in the centre of the island. It is Malta's old capital city and dates back to around 4000 years ago. 

In the first season of Game of Thrones, Mdina's city gate was featured as the gate of King's Landing and saw Catelyn and Ser Rodrik Cassel ride through the gates of Mdina (or King's Landing) to investigate the attack on Bran. 

2. Fort Ricasoli - Red Keep Gate

Fort Ricasoli is a large fortification built by the Knights of Malta in the seventeenth century in the southern part of the island in a village called Kalkara. It was originally built as a military installation, and it was again used as a defence mechanism during World War Two, when it was badly damaged. 

The Fort is now looked after by the Malta Film Commission and has been used as a location for films and TV series like Troy, Gladiator, Agora and of course Game of Thrones. In fact in season one, Fort Ricasoli was used to represent the Red Keep in King's Landing.

3. Azure Window - Daenerys and Drogo's Wedding

The Azure Window is one of Gozo's most iconic sites - it is an iconic, 30metre high, flat-topped natural rock arch that can be found in Dwejra, close to the Inland Sea and Dwejra Bay. The beautiful geography in this area was created when two caves collapsed thousands of years ago. Besides Game of Thrones, this area featured in films such as The Count of Monte Cristo and Clash of the Titans. Unfortunately geologists claim that it is only a matter of time before the arch collapses due to a number of major fissures, so we recommend visiting the site sooner rather than later!

This location was used for Daernerys and Drogo's wedding scene in season one episode one. In the episode the foreground looks different to what it's like in real life, because the show's crew covered the ground in mesh and smothered it in sand to make the scene look like it took place in the desert. This did not go down too well with the Maltese authorities, and local fans blame this as the reason why the show was eventually relocated. 

4. Verdala Palace Grounds - Illyrio Mopatis House

Verdala Palace was built in 1586 by Grandmaster Hugues Loubenx de Verdalle. The lush gardens surrounding the palace are as close as Malta gets to having its own forest, and they were used as hunting grounds by the Knights of Malta for hunting. Since 1987 Verdala Palace has served as the official summer residence of the president of Malta.

The Palace was the set for Illyrio's Mopatis' mansion in season one. The place were Daenerys and Viserys live. It is also the place where they meet Khal Drogo and his khalassar before the wedding. The Palace is only open to the public for special occasions, but you can walk through Buskett Gardens to get a glimpse of the Palace.

5. San Anton Palace - The Red Keep

The San Anton Palace and its gardens, were built by Grandmaster Antoine De Paul between 1623 and 1626 as his summer residence. The Palace is now the official residence of the President of Malta. The Palace is surrounded by mature gardens, some of which are open to the public and others which are private. The gardens were opened to the public in 1882 and include a number of plant and tree species from around the world, some were planted by visiting heads of state. 

In the first season of Game of Thrones, the Palace appeared a number of times. First in King's Landing, when Littlefinger meets Eddard and recommends for him to keep his investigation into the death of Jon Arryn's death lower in profile. It is also where the Starks arrive and keep their horses. San Anton was also the location where Sansa Stark and Septa Mordane hear the Lannister men slaughtering the Stark guards.

6. Fort Manoel - Great Sept of Baelor

Fort Manoel is a fortification located in Marsamxett Harbour, just of the town of Gzira. The fort was built between 1723 and 1755 by Grandmaster Manoel de Vilhena, and is shaped like a star. It is currently not open to the public as it is undergoing major restoration works to fix the damages sustained during the Second World War, as well as other damage that has occurred due to weathering. 

At the end of Season 1, Fort Manoel was chosen as the location for the Great Sept of Baelor. The infamous place that saw Ned Starks execution by King Joffrey. 

These are some of the most popular Game of Thrones locations, however there are also some others too, such as Fort St. Angelo which was the Red Keep Dungeon and Underground Chambers, Pjazza Mesquita in Mdina where the fight between Jaime Lannister and Ned Stark took place, and St. Dominic's Priory in Rabat which doubled as the Red Keep courtyard where, in season one episode seven, Ned tells Cersei that he knows her secret. 

Whether you are a massive Game of Thrones fan or not, and you would like to know more about Game of Thrones tours in Malta, or any other film related tours, please feel free to drop us a line by clicking here. 


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