Belfast Telegraph

Pictured: £1m Belfast Game of Thrones set nears completion

By Ciaran Barnes

Work on a £1million Game of Thrones set in Belfast including a custom-built castle has almost been completed.

Builders are preparing to move off the site beside the Harland and Wolff cranes opposite the Paint Hall studios in the Titanic Quarter after spending the past five months on the mammoth project - the most expensive of its kind in Northern Ireland.

As our images show, the castle, including turrets and ramparts, is on the verge of being completed.

It will be used for scenes in the upcoming series of the show, which is also filmed in locations including Malta and Croatia.

The castle will be maintained after filming ends, with on-set sources saying bosses intend on using it as a tourist attraction and for movie projects.

The ongoing success of the Paint Hall studios is a welcome boost to the local economy, which has been left reeling with the recent loss of hundreds of manufacturing jobs in Co Antrim.

As Sunday Life revealed last month, the latest Star Wars spin-off is due to begin filming there next year.

Franchise creator and legendary director George Lucas visited Belfast before Christmas to give his seal of approval to the city being used as a location.

However, the sci-fi saga will not arrive until the eighth and final series of Game of Thrones - starring Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington and Sophie Turner - wraps up production later this year.

A $15million budget has been allocated for each of the show's six feature-length episodes.

The Paint Hall has been used by programme makers HBO as the main studio location since cameras started rolling on the fantasy drama in 2010.

Other Northern Ireland locations featured in Game of Thrones include the Dark Hedges near Ballycastle, Ballintoy Harbour on the north Antrim coast and Shillanavogy Valley, near Slemish in Co Antrim.

The daunting Castle Black, home to the Night's Watch, and The Wall, were built in a disused quarry at Magheramorne.

cbarnes@sundaylife.co.uk

Belfast Telegraph

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