One storm, two fallen trees, ten intricately hand-crafted doors.
The Doors of Thrones
In January 2016, storm 'Gertrude' ripped through Europe and felled two trees from The Dark Hedges. Rather than disposing of the debris, the wood was used to hand-craft ten doors decorated with motives from Game of Thrones - Season 6. The doors were then placed at popular pubs or restaurants in the vicinity of a location.
It's incredible to watch how much work went into making the doors:
Fans can now download a passport to follow the location of the doors and collect a unique stamp at each of the locations. Hard copy passports are also available at the pubs and restaurants that are part of the location.
Door 1: The Cuan - Strangford, County Down
The very first door was installed at the charming guesthouse and restaurant The Cuan, which accommodated some of the key cast in Season 1. Owners Caroline and Peter McErlean are dedicated fans of the show and offer GoT-themed culinary experiences. Nearby locations include Olde Castle Ward (Winterfell), Audley's Castle (The Twins), Quoile River (the Trident), Inch Abbey (Robb Stark's Camp in the Riverlands). You might also want to test your archery skills with Winterfell Tours.
The carvings show the continent of Westeros and the Houses at War at the end of Season 5.
Door 2: Fiddler's Green - Portaferry, County Down
Live music is the drawcard of this atmospheric pub.
Depicted are the inner conflicts of Houses Bolton and Greyjoy. The flayed man of the Boltens sits at the top, while the Greyjoys' kraken emerges from below.
Door 3: Percy French - Newcastle, County Down
Offering panoramic views, this traditional restaurant sits at the foot of the Mourne mountains. Nearby locations include Tollymore Forest (The Woods of Winterfell) and Leitrim Lodge (The Lands North of Winterfell).
In the upper section of the door, a lone ship escapes from the Iron Islands now controlled by Euron Greyjoy. In the lower part, the Direwolf over Bolton-ruled Castle Winterfell symbolises the coming war between both houses.
Door 4: Blakes of the Hollow - Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
A century-old establishment serving pints to everyone who is in need of a traditional stout (and who isn't, right?). Closeby is the location of Pollnagollum Cave (Hollow Hill).
This door tells the story of House Targaryen, from present developments to past events. Above all, the white falcon of House Arryn watches on.
Door 5: Owens - Limavady, County Londonderry
Not far from the stunning Binevenagh Mountain, used as the Dothraki Grasslands in Seasons 5 and 6, the Owens pub is the social hub for the villagers of Limavady and visitors alike. Other locations within easy reach are Portstewart Strand (The Dornish Coast) and Downhill Beach (Dragonstone).
Pub-goers are greeted by the Night King and his army of White Walkers. The sigil of the House Stark sits underneath.
Door 6: Fullerton Arms - Ballintoy, County Antrim
Housed in a historic building, the Fullerton Arms guesthouse serves award-winning dishes and is the perfect base to venture out to several GoT locations, in particular to Ballintoy Harbour (Pyke) and Larrybane (Renly Baratheon's Camp).
The centrepiece of this door shows Drogon - Daenerys Targaryen's black dragon. The stallions stand for the allegiance of the Dothraki to her queen.
Door 7: Gracehill House - Stranocum, County Antrim
Why not combine a fancy meal with a visit to what is certainly among the most stunning GoT locations in Northern Ireland - The Dark Hedges (The Kingsroad). It's literally just a five-minute walk from the restaurant to the film location. As a side note, the alley with its beech trees used to be the driveway that lead up to Gracehill House.
Symbols of the deceased Three-Eyed Raven adorn the door in recognition of the fact that key events from the past are starting to unfold in the present.
Door 8: Mary McBride's - Cushendun, County Antrim
It might be small, but this only adds to the atmosphere of this coastal pub. Have a pint or a cider, and then stroll along the seashore to the location of Cushendun Cave (below Storm's End). Another location in the area is Murlough Bay (Slavers Bay on Essos and Renly's Camp in the Stormlands).
Following Arya's recent storyline, the Titan of Braavos looms above, the coin from the faceless man is in the middle while further down Arya's beloved Needle is depicted.
Door 9: Ballygally Castle - Ballygally, County Antrim
Should you decide to stay in this historic castle dating back to 1625, be warned: it's known to house a resident (but friendly) ghost. Ballygally Castle is perfectly situated to explore the GoT locations of Cairncastle (North of Winterfell) and Carnlough Harbour (Braavos Canal). Or how about driving to the village of Glenarm and popping into the Steensons workshop, whose talented jewellers crafted many of the signature pieces for the characters in GoT?
The Battle of the Bastards is the key theme of this door. Splintered shields and broken swords are strewn everywhere, but after heavy losses, Jon Snow can claim his victory.
Door 10: The Dark Horse - Belfast, County Antrim
The last door was placed at a traditional coffee house that can be found in the historic quarter next to the Belfast cathedral. Northern Ireland's capital is the perfect hub to jump on McComb's film location tour or to visit the Belfast outlet of Steensons, creators of the show's jewellery.
At the end of Season 6, the Lannisters (note the Lion sigil between two members of the Kingsguard) have regained power over King's Landing and the Sept of Baelor.
Link for Passport Download
The passport for the 'Location of Doors' can be downloaded on Tourism Northern Ireland's website using the following link.
The locations for the doors are all marked on Northern Ireland Screen's free location app, which is available on IOS and Android.