Game of Thrones bosses ‘not Belfast fans’

Published Friday, 13 June 2014
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A senior HBO executive appears to have painted a less than sparkling picture of Belfast in the US press, saying he would have to see if producers were "still game" after finding the city "a challenge".

Game of Thrones bosses ‘not Belfast fans’
Game of Thrones films on location across Northern Ireland. (© UTV)

Michael Lombardo, president of programming with the television network, was speaking to New York Magazine about possibly extending the show's run to accommodate a potential eighth book.

Game of Thrones is based on a series of novels by writer George RR Martin, while much of the filming is carried out on location across Northern Ireland.

However, Lombardo's response suggests that producers Dan B Weiss and David Benioff might not be thrilled about the prospect of a longer stay in Belfast.

The good news is work keeps them busy, let's just say that.

Michael Lombardo, HBO

"I just hope Dan and David are still game," the senior executive is reported as saying.

"It's a little bit of a personal challenge I don't think they contemplated when we initially found our location in Belfast, what that meant for them personally ...

"Belfast is not the most cosmopolitan of cities to spend half of the year."

HBO and Games of Thrones have teamed up with Tourism Ireland to promote Northern Ireland as a top holiday destination for tourists from around the world.

A major campaign urged visitors to avail of the chance to experience first-hand the locations that double as the land of Westeros.

Local sights like Cushendun Caves, Murlough Bay, Ballintoy Harbour, and Larrybane have all featured on screen, displaying Northern Ireland to millions of fans of the show.

Belfast has also hosted HBO's Game of Thrones exhibition which tours cities around the globe to display artefacts and allow fans to explore Kings Landing and even sit on the coveted Iron Throne.

© UTV News
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8 Comments
peter in derry wrote (158 days ago):
Film it in derry, Belfast is overated
jolly in bora bora wrote (159 days ago):
I'm just waiting for the hysterical reaction of the yokels in Belfast who don't seem to be used to people telling them the home truth that the place is just a bit parochial, weird, self obsessed and downright grim. I know it well and also wouldn't fancy having to live there either.
John in London wrote (159 days ago):
You should have went a few miles down to Dublin. Everything you want in a Cosmopolitan city. Great Place.
Linda in Lisburn wrote (160 days ago):
Beautiful scenery and I know this sounds laughable, but we are the friendliest people around.Great Craic good food the drink and hospitality second to none..They're taking the p*** ,this is a great country.
Dermot in Belfast wrote (160 days ago):
In other words, we dislike the sectarianism, backward looking, flag protests, road closures and nights of rioting. The 12th July riots must look like a rerun of The Lord of The Rings to these executives. A very concerning warning that the attitudes of many in this place are destroying commercial growth and investment. Next series will be filmed in Poland or Romania. Put that in your pipe and smoke it Peter.
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