Game of Thrones hits the beach

Published Tuesday, 02 August 2011
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Hit television series Game of Thrones has caused a stir on Northern Ireland's north coast, as a number of imposing statues cropped up amid the usual picturesque scenery.

Fans of the George RR Martin novels, on which the HBO show is based, will know that the figures are in fact the Seven - or the gods of Westeros.

Appearing on Downhill beach, the statues are an unfamiliar addition to the oft-photographed landscape and yet look quite at home beneath Mussenden Temple on the nearby cliff-top.

Locals and those eager for a sneak peek behind the scenes of filming alike have been left intrigued by the goings-on.

Amanda Killen, who is originally from Australia but lives in Castlerock, snapped pictures of the statues which immediately attracted thousands of hits from online viewers around the world.

"Castlerock is a very small community and, all of a sudden, Game of Thrones has put us in the spotlight," she told UTV.

Amanda is delighted to see Northern Ireland getting such positive publicity and added: "Suddenly people are sitting up and taking notice of Northern Ireland."

But while there's plenty of curiosity about having a film set on the doorstep, it seems local people are a little shy about intruding - perhaps to the relief of the crew.

"People do seem quite reticent about it," Amanda said, explaining that she had taken some of her photos from the cliff-top as parts of the beach were closed off during filming for safety.

"I saw Mission Impossible being filmed in Sydney and couldn't believe how many people turned up for a look - I was surprised they got any filming done!"

Game of Thrones is currently filming its second series, both at Belfast's Paint Hall studios and at a number of other locations - but with Northern Ireland's film industry positively booming, there's no telling what sights may greet locals in the future.

Check out Amanda Killen's photos in our Game of Thrones gallery here ...

© UTV News
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