Game of Thrones

Since I last wrote, I’ve not done a lot since I’m still sick. What I thought was a cold has turned out to be acute bronchitis. Thanks for that, Northern Ireland! I’ve just been attending classes and relaxing in the meantime.

Even though I am still not 100% yet, I attended Sunday’s Game of Thrones tour. I have to say it was most definitely worth it! Even if you aren’t familiar with HBO’s Game of Thrones, stay with me and appreciate the photos!

On the way out for the tour, we stopped at Carrickfergus and saw the castle. Carrickfergus Castle is the best example of a Norman castle you’ll get in all of Ireland (according to our tour guide).

Carrickfergus Castle

We didn’t stay long, as we had a lot more places to catch up with. It’s worth noting that on the way to the next destination, I got my first glimpse of Scotland! It was just a hazy bump rising up from the sea on the horizon, but it’s still exciting to think that Scotland is so close.

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This is where Davos and Melisandre came up from the sea.

Anyway, on with the Game of Thrones commentary… So do you remember when Melisandre gave birth to the shadow baby that assassinated Renly? Remember how she did it in that creepy cave to which Davos took her using his old smuggling tricks? Yep. I went to that cave in Cushendun. It was quite funny really. You see, someone’s private residence is on the other side of this cave. So, in reality, Melisandre gave birth to a shadow baby in someone’s driveway.

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The entrance from the sea.
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And this is where Melisandre gave birth to her shadow assassin.

Alright, so we have the cave under Storm’s End. But where is Storm’s End? Right near Carrick-A-Rede, that rope bridge I previously crossed, in a place called Larrybane. Where we stood is the exact site where they shot the tourney in which we first meet Brienne of Tarth.

In this scene, Renly and his new wife, Margaery, are watching Brienne fight, no, dominate Loras Tyrell. Then Catelyn Stark shows up and, well, you can watch the episode… This scene was actually filmed in a limestone quarry that didn’t look that impressive at first, but once I got to looking it is actually pretty impressive, especially since it is on the sea next to Sheep Island.

Surprisingly, not too far away we found Pyke Harbor. The folks from the Iron Islands weren’t that welcoming to Theon Greyjoy, but they sure were welcoming to us! Pyke Harbor, otherwise known as Ballintoy, was another beautiful location to check off the list.

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Where Theon first arrived back at Pyke.

Ballintoy was actually used quite often. To the left of this area is an inlet where Theon was baptized by the Damphair in the name of the Drowned God, with all that, “What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger.”

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Where Theon was baptized by Damphair.

The other scene shot here was on the opposite side. I introduce to you Dragonstone where Davos and his son meet Salladhor Saan! If you remember, this is where Davos basically says Salladhor is old and won’t last long as a pirate. To this, Salladhor Saan replies he will only join with Stannis if he can have Cersei. If you watch the show, you know the rest.

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The site of Salladhor Saan’s recruitment.

So what is left to complete a Game of Thrones tour? Let’s see… How about the King’s Road? You’ve got it! The Dark Hedges are the filming location for the King’s Road, where Arya was filmed going back towards the North. We walked the full length of it, but I’m not quite sure which direction I was heading in….

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The King’s Road

That concludes the recreation of my Game of Thrones tour! I’m quite glad I went on it. It was strange to think that Tyrion, the Khaleesi, Arya, and my other favorite characters had been there and at Titanic Studios in Belfast.

Near the end I also had a chat with the driver who took us on the tour and he told me about some filming going on nearby my campus for Castle Black! John Snow is so close, but Robb Stark is still my favorite. To the King in the North!


Day One, Two, Three….

Day one.

Wake up, go to “History of Economics.” The lecture is only two hours followed by a one hour tutorial. This day was a short one. What did I get out of it? Economists like to argue.

There were only five students in my class, and I was the only female. This felt so weird. Sick with a cold, so I then spent the afternoon relaxing and met our final mysterious flat mate. Went for a few groceries, followed by a mandatory residential services presentation. Then I crashed into a deep sleep.

Day two.

Sick still. Went to “Fractals, Chaos, and Complex Systems.” Listened to a quite hilarious applied mathematician poke fun at pure mathematicians, especially topologists. One of my professors in the States is a topologist so I found this extremely amusing. Once again, only five students were in this class, but it was a mix of genders. This is a three hour lecture with a three hour lab on select Fridays.

After class, Twin and I went to the library to get our “fish and chips” textbook, along with my economics textbooks. I’m pretty happy with the fact that two out of my three classes thus far do not require me to purchase any textbooks.  (In case you’re wondering what a “fish and chips” book is, you’ll need to check out the cover of William Flake’s The Computational Beauty of Nature. I thought it was a clever nickname.)

I then spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, still attempting to conquer this cold.

Day three. Today.

Surprisingly, I have no classes on Wednesdays. This creates a nice relaxing rest day right in the middle of the week, and who couldn’t dig that? So what have I done? Well….

I met up with Twin and three of the German guys to head into the city. Once we arrived, Twin and I signed up for yLink cards, the youth discount system for the train and bus system here. I’m looking forward to having that in 7-10 days.

We also went to the Visit Belfast store and I bought myself two mugs for tea (lots of chamomile with honey right now) and hot chocolate. One of them has the filming locations from Game of Thrones in the shape of the Iron Throne.

Then, we went towards the shopping district and, at long last, purchased some phones. So yes, I am back to being connected to civilization! I wasn’t planning on it, but it seems that the benefits (telling flat mates that I’m not dead, coordinating meeting points, getting a late night taxi, etc.) outweigh the cost (£70).

And then… There was this thing I did… Well, I think it will surprise quite a few people… But…

I got my cartilage pierced! Did you see that one coming?

No, you didn’t see it coming. And neither did I. I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, but I didn’t think it would be today! I’m still letting it sink in.

Anyway, we wandered around Belfast, took in the murals, ate dinner, saw a giant fish, and then came on home.

It’s been a pretty chill day, but now I need to get ready for more studying and my next class tomorrow.