Behind the scenes of world-first Games of Thrones exhibition in Northern Ireland as £40m tour opens

UTV News visits the world-first new exhibition as it opens to the public.

A “game-changing” Game of Thrones visitor attraction has opened in Northern Ireland.

Visitors will get to see parts of sets, costumes, weapons and behind the scenes video clips in the exhibition at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, County Down.

Fans will get the opportunity to go inside the studio used during the filming of the HBO fantasy series at the new £40million attraction.

The programme, watched by millions around the world, was principally filmed on location and in studios across Northern Ireland, showcasing the region internationally.

The new Games of Thrones Studio Tour is due to open on Friday 4 February.

Speaking at the opening, Northern Ireland GoT star Ian McElhinney, who played Barristan Selmy, told UTV News: "The series may be over - but somewhere like this? This is going to become huge.

"Once the word gets out and people see this place... they'll say 'we'll have to go there."

  • GoT star Ian McElhinney, who played Barristan Selmy, speaks to UTV News reporter Eden Wilson at the exhibition

Take a look behind the scenes ahead of Linen Mill Studios opening the tourism attraction's doors to the public.


Visitors get to "learn the tales behind the creation of the iconic arms and the craftsmen who brought them to life."

Castle Black

See how artists' original sketches transformed into the fantasy world that have entertained audiences of millions.

Beyond the Wall

Learn more about the lands dreamed up by GoT novelist George R. R. Martin.

Production Design

Visitors can go behind the scenes to learn about how filmmakers created the richly detailed props and scenery that bring the series to life.


See iconic sets and props including Daenerys Targaryen’s Dragonstone throne.

Destroyed Throne Room

The £24 million tour features sets from some of the series' most famous scenes.

Crypts and Winterfell

The tour features the chance to be immersed in authentic sets, as visitors can stand on the flagstones of the Winterfell Great Hall, and visit the Crypts.

Prosthetics and Green Screen interactives

See the experts' special and visual effects come to life and learn about the processes behind the making of complex scenes.

King's Landing

While the King's Landing set was located in Dubrovnik, Croatia, Linen Mill Studios and Warner Bros' interactive tour transports fans to the GoT realms.

Glaswegian star Daniel Portman, who played Podrick Payne in the series, told UTV News Belfast had become a "home away from home for the best pat f of a decade" as he returned to the city to attend the exhibition's launch.

He said: The people of Belfast and Northern Ireland were so amazing to us when we were here. They really treated us with a lot of warmth."

Two years after the show’s finale was aired in 2019, it has become a significant source of tourism for Northern Ireland.

A visitor looks at props from the show Credit: Niall Carson/PA

Stormont Economy Minister, Gordon Lyons, described the opening of the world’s first and only officially-licensed Game of Thrones studio tour attraction as “game-changing” .

Mr Lyons described the show as a “television and cultural phenomenon” and paid tribute to local talent and crafts people who brought the story to the small screen.

“That Northern Ireland was the principal filming location is testament both to the quality of the places we have here, and to the highly skilled, screen industry, talent base available,” he said.

“I am delighted, therefore, that Linen Mill Studios, where a significant proportion of Northern Ireland-based scenes were filmed, has become the world’s first and only officially-licensed Game of Thrones studio tour attraction, and a tangible symbol of the show’s legacy in Northern Ireland.

Ian Beattie and Ian McElhinney talk about the show at the studio tour Credit: Niall Carson/PA

“This is the only place on the planet where you can see first-hand some of the stunning sets, intricate costumes, imaginative props, breath-taking concept sketches and many more authentic items related to the show.”

Visiting the attraction on Wednesday morning before it opens to the public on Friday, Mr Lyons said the timing, coming after the Covid pandemic, “could not be more opportune”.

“As international travel opens up once more, Northern Ireland has added this world class attraction to its already dynamic tourism offering,” he said.

“I congratulate studio owners on bringing the project to fruition and look forward to seeing the positive impact the Game of Thrones Studio Tour has on the local tourism landscape for many years to come.”