Game of Thrones fans will soon be able to step foot into the world of Westeros.
On Monday, HBO announced intentions to open several Game of Thrones filming locations in Northern Ireland as tourist attractions following the HBO series' eighth and final season, offering fans the chance to step into the universe created.
"HBO is thrilled to celebrate the work of the 'Game of Thrones' creative team and crew by preserving these locations and inviting fans to visit Northern Ireland and explore Westeros in person," said Jeff Peters, Vice President, Licensing and Retail of HBO, according to Variety. "The opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland's pivotal role in the life and legacy of the show and share its culture, beauty and warmth is also a huge inspiration behind these Legacy projects."
With a tentative opening target of 2019, Game of Thrones Legacy will be "on a scale and scope bigger than anything the public has ever seen," with the sets of Winterfell, Castle Black, and Kings Landing being reopened as tourist attractions, along with the possibility of others to follow. Each site will also offer fans the chance to see Game of Thrones exhibits featuring costumes, props, weapons, set decorations, and other production materials.
"While [Game of Thrones] fans have seen the stunning landscapes, coastlines and mountains in the series, we are thrilled they will now have the opportunity to fully experience the charm of Northern Ireland and immerse themselves in to the world of Westeros," John McGrillen, CEO of Tourism NI, the company HBO is working with, said of the "game-changer for Northern Ireland on the global tourism level."
In the past, HBO has launched live Game of Thrones extensions, such as the Touring Exhibition and the Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience, but Game of Thrones Legacy will be the first official set visit offered by the premium cable network.
For fans hoping to stay in the world of Game of Thrones for longer than just a short set visit, part of Gosford Castle, the 17th-century castle which served as the set for the House Tully's Riverrun castle on the HBO series, was put on the market in July. The more than 15-bedroom portion of the castle boasted a price tag of just £500,000, or $656,452 in US dollars, a sum that seems reasonable given that it has been featured in one of the most popular series.
Season eight of Game of Thrones is set to premiere sometime in 2019.