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This Indian Travel Blogger Explored GoT Shoot Locations in Ireland and Came Away with Life Lessons

Pooja Kochar spent the last month in Ireland, exploring the shoot locations of the Game of Thrones series; something that she says is one of the most popular bucket list items for all GoT fans.

“Death is so final, whereas life is full of possibilities” – Tyrion Lannister.

I have been a travel blogger for three years now and have noticed an increase in the number of solo women travellers chasing unconventional destinations. When we travel alone, we are forced to live in our own company with no plan B. It might seem difficult or uncomfortable in the beginning, but eventually, you always find a way. It’s your fault if you take a wrong turn and if you see a beautiful lake at the end of the turn, then that’s how it was meant to be. Good or bad, you have no one to blame and that changes your perspective towards life. We seek adventures that define us in some way or the other.

In a similar search, I recently went to Northern Ireland to explore all shoot locations of the Games of Thrones series.

"I am not going to stop the wheel, I am going to break the wheel" - Daenerys Targrayen She inspires so many women, the strongest character across all seasons - This castle was used to shoot a few scenes with her dragons.
“I am not going to stop the wheel, I am going to break the wheel” – Daenerys Targrayen. She inspires so many women, the strongest character across all seasons – This castle was used to shoot a few scenes with her dragons.

And I looked at it as a metaphor for how women in my age group are inspired by idea of unconventional adventurous trips and challenging stereotypes. I travelled for hours to photograph a castle which appeared on screen for 60 seconds, because that one photograph will have 10 interesting travel stories connected to it and that is what I crave.

Game of Thrones has multiple plots that keep its fans engaged. A large part of the show is simultaneously shot across Northern Ireland – Belfast, Spain, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco.

Just like the show, the twists and turns of this journey locked me in. I was intrigued by the effort that must have gone behind scouting for locations and pre-production planning. With narrow streets, unpredictable climate, dark alleys and a large number of tourists, it was clear that most of the locations I visited must have been difficult for the crew because to shoot at. I was lucky to meet someone who manages the official show permissions. “This is the only show which is shot with two units simultaneously for 120 days each. If one of the spokes in the wheel is missing, it will collapse. The show demands so much of each one’s personal endurance,” he said.

As a creative person, this journey led to a very complex yet fulfilling experience. It was crash course on how we need to constantly create things and excite our souls. It made me realise that we live once, why not live out loud and was symbolic of my freedom as a human being. This trip belongs to a 30ish woman who still has the courage to live for herself and be completely unapologetic. Next year I am going to visit Spain and Croatia and complete the GoT triangle

Here is a glimpse of Ireland. These images have been clicked using minimum camera equipment – dodging strong winds and extreme weather conditions. The locations include cliffs, steep mountains, forests, castles, etc. appearing in various episodes spread across all seasons.

“We don’t get to choose whom we love” – Jamie Lannister

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This is on the way to Belfast, spread across acres of land.

“Fear cuts deeper than swords” – Arya Stark

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These are Cliffs of Moher, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. The cliffs form the background of a many frames and fight sequences

“Words are wind” – Brienne Of Earth

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This is what Belfast looks like with no cold showers, snow and unpredictable winds. These locations are used to shoot the North.

“I am the sword in the darkness, I am the watcher on the wall” – Jon Snow

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This quote is symbolic of tough times — everything dark is related to winters in the series. It is one of the most popular quotes across all seasons.

“I am wolf and I will not be scared” – Arya Stark

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Getting to this cliffs is extremely tough; explore at your own risk.

“I will do what queens do, I will rule” – Daenerys Targaryen

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Take a tour inside the castle and explore the dark pathways to get a feel of the era.

“The only key to survival is your sword. Handsome armour. Not a scratch on it” – Ned Stark

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These locations give so much character to each protagonist. They influence their screen personality and behaviour.

“When you play a game of thrones – you win or die” – Cersei Lannister

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Old castles are very interestingly included in the Game Of Thrones narrative – A door that leads to so many secrets. This location is situated five hours away from Dublin towards Belfast.

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About the author: Pooja Kochar is the founder of 30ish (Blog) and PhotoblogHER (Photoblog). She combines art and activism to challenge stereotypes and talk/blog about issues related to women empowerment. A woman should be applauded not for the way she looks but for the way she thinks, loves, believes, stands strong and challenges life, this is what truly defines my vision as a blogger. Know more about Pooja at www.poojakochar.com. Find more pictures from her trip here.

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