The Geology of Game of Thrones

This stunning geology hasn't gone unnoticed by the TV and film industry.

Perhaps Northern Ireland is most notable for being the location for filming a huge portion of HBO's multi award-winning fantasy drama series 'Game of Thrones'. The series is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos, with Northern Ireland being the filming location for most of Westeros. Discover Northern Ireland have produced a tourist map guiding visitors to the main filming locations. We've provided a taster of some of the geological Game of Thrones locations and fans won't have to travel very far to come across somewhere that looks just more than a little familiar.

This is Westeros as it exists in the days of tumult, in the days following the death of King Rober.

Baratheon, in the shortening days that warn that winter is coming.  But this is also the geologic history of Westeros, reaching far deeper through the annals of time than the reign of any of the Seven Kingdoms.  We pieced this geologic history together from character observations, town names, official Game of Thrones maps, and the principles of geology learned here on Earth.  Using only limited data we were able to reimagine 500 million years of planetary evolution, including volcanoes, continents rising from the oceans, and ice ages (with guest appearance by white walkers and dragons).
Geologic events occurring XX million years ago (Mya) on Westeros:

  • (today) The size of the Game of Thrones planet
  • (25 Mya) The Earth split Westeros from Essos
  • (30-40 Mya) When Dorne boiled
  • (40 Mya) Land of ice
  • (60-80 Mya) The rise of the Black Mountains
  • (80-100 Mya) As the Moon rose, so did the Lannisters
  • (300 Mya) Diving the tropical reefs of Winterfell
  • (450 Mya) The sand ran red
  • (500 Mya) The first mountains
  • (2,000 Mya) Can you find it?

The Eyrie in the Vale of Arryn
Iceland, where the northern scenes of the show were filmed, is also becoming a tourist hot spot.
Dunluce Castle, Northern Ireland (Iron Islands, House Greyjoy)

Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland (North of the Wall)

Svínafellsjökull  (North of the Wall)
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