British Open 2019: These Game of Thrones scenes were filmed near Royal Portrush

July 15, 2019

Northern Ireland isn’t just the home of great accents and many beautiful golf courses. It also provided the backdrop for a host of iconic Game of Thrones scenes. Legions of fans travel to Northern Ireland and crisscross the country paying homage to the show they love, and along the way they pass by the site of 2019 Open Championship.

Royal Portrush is on the northern tip of Northern Ireland, in Country Antrim, and has been the setting of a gamut of Game of Thrones moments. Let’s run down a few…

(Spoiler alert, by the way! Though if you’re reading this, none of this is likely to come as a surprise.)

1. Jamie’s ‘Rescue’ of Myrcella

Without getting too nerdy about the various Game of Thrones plotlines, in Season 5 Cersei instructs her brother-lover, Jamie Lannister, to go to Dorne and bring their daughter, Myrcella, back to King’s Landing. The bad news: The journey was ill-fated for Myrcella. The good news: The beach they landed on was in Portstewart, a town over from Royal Portrush.


2. The Dothraki Grasslands

Before the Dothraki were essentially wiped out in the Long Night, they spent their days riding around the Dothraki Sea and the Dothraki Grasslands. Those grasslands were in Esteros, of course. But where were those grasslands in the real world? You guessed it: Northern Ireland, just down the road from Royal Portrush.


3. Theon’s Return

Before Theon was literally and figuratively ripped apart by Ramsey Bolton, only to slowly build his way back to an eventually heroic death, he was arguably the most annoying character on the show. Arrogant, brash and duplicitous, he returned to his homeland of Pyke to try to win the favor of his father, Balon. Except it wasn’t actually Pyke, it was County Antrim.


4. Tyrion’s Slavers Bay Experience

Tyrion had quite the story arc throughout the Game of Thrones series, but its lowest point came halfway through Season 5 when, after the Battle of the Blackwater, he was captured by Jorah who, in turn, was captured by a bunch of slavers in Slavers Bay. That site, which overlooks the ocean and offers a distant look at the coast of Scotland, is the same terrain on which many of the country’s finest golf courses reside.