NI tourism impact 'surreal' for Game of Thrones author

Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says he finds it “surreal” and “wonderful” that tourism in Northern Ireland has received such a boost from his work.

The American novelist spoke to UTV as he returned to the National Trust property Castle Ward, near Belfast where Winterfell was set.

Many of the filming locations have become popular tourist destinations since appearing on the hit TV series.

“I hadn’t realised quite the extent until I got here to Castle Ward and saw Winterfell on people’s shirts and buses and signs with lines from my books on it,” George RR Martin said.

“It’s pretty amazing and I know it’s happening in other parts of the world.

“There’s something wonderful about that, something a little surreal about that. I mean these places - whether it’s Belfast or Dubrovnik, whatever location - have wonderful histories of their own, real histories of things that really happened, that are fascinating too.”