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Game of Thrones studio tour to debut in 2020
THIS month marks the beginning of the end for Game of Thrones, the globally popular HBO hit that will kick off its final season on April 14. But beginning next year, "Thrones" fans will be able to get their Westeros fix in person.
HBO is turning one of the show's former studios in Northern Ireland into a 110,000-square-foot tourist attraction. The Game of Thrones Studio Tour will be an interactive exhibition of the show's sets, costumes, weapons and other props, and include exhibits that break down how the technically ambitious fantasy blockbuster was made. It will open in spring 2020.
"It's going to be an immersive experience where fans will feel like they are inside their favorite sets from the show," said Jeff Peters, HBO's vice-president for licensing and retail.
The tour will be at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, about 25 miles south-west of Belfast, where scenes in the castles Winterfell and Castle Black and several sea battles were shot. But it will include the actual sets and props from all over the "Thrones" universe, which will be rebuilt and restored for public consumption by the same construction crews and artists who worked on the show, Peters said.
The project, inspired by Warner Bros.' Harry Potter studio tour outside London, will be the first of perhaps four former "Thrones" filming locations in Northern Ireland to be transformed into interactive fan experiences. The others have not been finalised, but possibilities include the still-standing sets for King's Landing, in Belfast, where the production was based, and Castle Black and the Wall, in a quarry outside the city.
The plan to create "Thrones" attractions was first publicised last fall, but details have been scarce.
The show has previously spun off other real-world brand extensions, like the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, featuring composer Ramin Djawadi and a touring exhibition of artifacts from the show. But the studio tour will offer the most in-depth Game of Thrones experience so far, allowing fans to walk through the same sets where the show's stars such as Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke once inhabited the story. NYTIMES