A senior HBO executive has revealed to the US press a less than sparkling picture of Belfast, commenting on the producers struggles with the city and questioning if they are still 'game'.
The news came from Michael Lombardo, president of programming with the television network, speaking to the New York Magazine about the possibility of extending the show's run to accommodate a potential eighth book, recently proposed by Anne Groell, the editor of George RR Martin's epic book saga 'A Song of Ice and Fire'
"I recently learned while editing The World of Ice and Fire (another awesome thing you must buy when it comes out!), there are really technically eight kingdoms, all having to do with who has annexed what when Aegon the Conqueror landed in Westeros. So, maybe eight books for Seven Kingdoms would be okay."
Although this would be amazing news to both A Song of Ice and Fire readers and Game of Thrones viewers alike, the news may not be as welcoming to show runners Dan B Weiss and David Benioff. The pair are reportedly struggling with the Northern Irish capital, and are having a hard time adapting to the city.
The good news is work keeps them busy, let's just say that.
"I just hope Dan and David are still game, 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."
Just as Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings used various locations across New Zealand, so too the makers of Game of Thrones chose Northern Ireland, with extensive filming along the stunning Causeway Coast and Glens to represent everything from Winterfell to the King’s Road. Belfast city has also been used as a filming location for major events in the series, including the attack at Blackwater Bay, with filming taking place at the famous Titanic Quarter.
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, easily summed up in the interactive map below
Check out the full website here and follow @DiscoverNI on twitter to keep up to date with Game of Thrones and all of the beautiful filming locations. As a resident of Northern Ireland, I have to disagree with the producers 'struggles'. I feel that our country offers some of the most picturesque and beautiful locations for filming, and this has largely spurred the success of the HBO show. It almost feels like Westeros is alive...