The HBO hit show "Game of Thrones" takes place in a world of fantasy, but dozens of the scenes were filmed at real medieval castles and in wild forests and craggy mountainsides across Europe and Iceland.
Google Earth captured images of 33 of these real-life places for fans of "Game of Thrones," a series based on the books by author George R.R. Martin.
For instance, the above photo showing the Arena of Meereen — featuring Daario Naharis (actor Michiel Huisman), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) — was filmed at a bullring in Osuna, Spain.
But beware: Views of these scenes from Westeros' seven kingdoms contain spoilers up through Season 6. [Read the Full Story About the Show's Set Inspiration]
King's Landing — the capital and largest city of Westeros — was established by the Targaryens when they made the iron throne out of their enemies' swords. Eddard Stark and Robert Baratheon later deposed the Targaryens but kept King's Landing as the capital.
The coastal capital is filmed in the medieval walled city of Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The Frostfang Mountains comprise a tall and jagged mountain range in the far north of Westeros. Part of the range extends into the North, where the Starks rule, but most of the mountains are north of the wall in wildling (or "free folk") territory. In Season 2, Qhorin Halfhand takes several scouts, including Jon Snow, to explore the Skirling Pass in the Frostfangs to look for wildlings.
This scene was filmed in Höfðabrekka, Iceland.
The island of Lokrum, in Croatia, served as the backdrop for the city of Qarth, as well as the fortification used for the House of the Undying in Season 2.
Many of the scenes in Qarth are digital, but a few of the garden scenes were filmed in Lokrum's botanical gardens and in its former Benedictine monastery.
Arena of Meereen
Though Daenerys initially shut down the fighting pits in Meereen, the Meereenese requested she reopen the venue. Accepting that advice was disastrous for the Mother of Dragons, as the rival Sons of the Harpy tried to assassinate her during the arena's grand reopening. Daenerys managed to escape on the back of her dragon, but only in the nick of time.
This scene was filmed in the bullring of Osuna (Plaza de Toros de Osuna), in southern Spain.
The Iron Bank of Braavos
The Iron Bank of Braavos is the richest bank in all of Westeros. It often loans money to people from the seven kingdoms.
The backdrop for the bank is St. Jacob Cathedral in Sibenik, Croatia.
When Mace Tyrell arrives in Braavos, Tycho Nestoris welcomes him in the name of the Iron Bank.
Producers chose the square of St. James Cathedral in Sibenik, Croatia, as the backdrop for this scene.
Brienne of Tarth fights the Hound
At the end of Season 4, Brienne of Tarth and the Hound face off in an epic fight. Brienne declares her loyalty to the Starks and asks Arya, who had been traveling with the Hound, to join her. But Arya chooses neither person, and instead steals the Hound's money so she can buy passage to Braavos.
The fight was filmed in Thingvellir National Park in Iceland, a UNESCO World Heritage site. GoT also used the park as the backdrop for when the wildings arrive and camp in the North.
Daenerys and Khal Drogo's wedding
Daenerys Targaryen and Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo celebrated their wedding on the outskirts of Pentos, receiving three dragon eggs as a wedding gift.
This scene was filmed by the Azure Window, a natural rock arch standing over the sea off the coast of Malta. Unfortunately, the limestone arch is no more; it fell in March 2017 after a severe storm.
Prince Doran overlooks Dorne
When Prince Doran of Martell overlooked Dorne from the back of the palace, he was actually looking at the gardens of the Alcázar of Seville, Spain.
In this scene in Season 5, Prince Doran discusses his brother, Oberyn, with Ellaria Sand. Meanwhile, Doran's son, crown-prince Trystane, courts princess Myrcella Baratheon.
Ellaria seeks revenge on the Lannisters because they were involved in Oberyn's death. But Doran disagrees, as he doesn't want to start another war.
Prince Doran's palace
In this great hall, Ser Jaime Lannister sat with Prince Doran, Crown-Prince Trystane, Princess Myrcella, Ellaria Sand, a few of her Sand Snakes, Prince Oberyn's guard and others to discuss the release of Ser Bronn of the Blackwater.
This scene takes place inside of the Ambassador's Hall (Salon de los Embajadores), the throne room of the original Arabic Palace at the Alcázar of Seville, in Spain.
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Laura is the archaeology and Life's Little Mysteries editor at Live Science. She also reports on general science, including paleontology. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Scholastic, Popular Science and Spectrum, a site on autism research. She has won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association for her reporting at a weekly newspaper near Seattle. Laura holds a bachelor's degree in English literature and psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in science writing from NYU.