Belfast Telegraph

Is this a hint that HBO's Game of Thrones season eight premiere will be in Belfast in April?

by James Gant

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will fly back on to screens in April, that much has been confirmed.

But HBO have been vague about an exact date and location of the popular program's premiere.

Yet one lesser well-known member of the cast may have just revealed that its premiere will take place in Belfast.

Around 70% of Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland, bring tourism to remote parts of the country.

Notably, the 300-mile long, 700-foot hight ice wall, which protects the realm from the Wildlings, is actually a much smaller disused cement works in Co Antrim, overlooking the Irish Sea.

Buses travel daily across Northern Ireland to show visitors where the medieval, war-crazed characters do battle.

There are sightseeing trips up the north-east coast to visit the Giant's Causeway and Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, which are transformed into the remote Iron Islands for the show.

The cold backdrop of Winterfell - family home of House Stark - also has filming locations in Tollymore Forest and on the Castle Ward Estate to the south of Belfast.

The Stark clan's terrifyingly beautiful direwolves were found in Tollymore forest in season one and they featured in the thought provoking Instagram post.

Megan Parkinson, who plays Alys Karstark for two episodes in season seven, posted the teaser on her account alongside Robb and Bran Stark's direwolves Summer and Greywind - real names Odin and Thor who are specially trained northern inuit dogtos from Belfast.

Alys is youngest child and only daughter of Lord Rickard Karstark. Without spoiling the program for those still playing catch-up, Alys's fate was intertwined with lead characters including Jon Snow and Stannis Baratheon.

Tagging her location as Belfast, Ms Parkinson wrote: "#Tbt to these two majestic beauts - hopefully I'll be able to go back and see them again soon in the new year. April maybe?

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The teasing Instagram post

"If you want continuous photos of beautiful doggos daily, go follow @got_direwolves. Thor and Odin are the best of the best and their owners aren't too bad either."

And some read into this as evidence that Game of Thrones will return to Belfast for its final season premiere in April.

One eagle-eyed Twitter user wrote: "Lord of Light, is this a sign the premiere will be held here in Belfast?"   

HBO tweeted a video to officially announced the return of Game of Thrones on November 13.

It wrote: "Every battle. Every betrayal. Every risk. Every fight. Every sacrifice. Every death. All #ForTheThrone."

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