Northern Ireland alleges to the Game of Thrones tourism

Published on : Tuesday, April 16, 2019

There are squeals of delight as Summer and Grey Wind make a shocking appearance at Winterfell to get together with the recent batch of “Thronies.” The direwolves are astonishingly chilled out and have been trained in such a way that they do not look at cameras so they alternate between snuggling with strangers and lying down, enjoying power naps. Caelan Mulhall keeps Grey Wind on restriction, as his twin Ross does the same with Summer. Their dad William quietly stands at the back of them with an amazing grey beard and fierce expression, like the Dothraki slave master he gets to be on television. The brothers’ state that these fascinating dogs are Northern Inuits named Thor and Odin — and we by now know that Winterfell is a sprawling, National Trust property known as Castle Ward.


Resembling Northern Ireland, the fortune of Mulhall family changed when the HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones(GoT) came calling around a decade back, giving their pups brief yet unforgettable roles  — computer-generated imagery took over as the dogs grew — and afterward employing the rest of the family as human extras.


“We were like the lepers of the world here in Northern Ireland. We were like the greyscale,” says tour guide Dee Morgan, alluding to a grisly, usually deadly skin disease featured on the show. “We never thought that Game of Thrones would do for us what Lord of the Rings has done in New Zealand. It’s our time to shine.”


And shine the country does, as it puts the years of conflict known as the Troubles behind it and flourishes as part of the United Kingdom with an open border to the Republic of Ireland.

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