The Magnificent Game of Thrones Tapestry Belfast
Updated February 2023
The Game of Thrones Tapestry that is currently on display in the Ulster Museum in Belfast N. Ireland is a magnificent 80-metre-long medieval-style wall hanging depicting the story of George Martin’s epic Game of Thrones® saga. The Tapestry is back on display at the Museum after returning from Bayeux. You can view the Tapestry for free in the Museum.
The Game of Thrones tapestry was developed as a joint project with Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland and was unveiled at the Ulster Museum in July of 2017. The Museum can be found in the Botanic District of Ulster right beside Queens University.
The Ulster Museum is open Tuesday – Sunday and remains closed on Monday, except for Northern Ireland Bank Holidays and it is located in the University area right beside Queens University. Entry is free to the museum and not only can you enjoy the Game of Thrones Tapestry but you can take a step back in time and view Ireland’s history.
The Ulster Museum Game of Thrones Tapestry room is massive and the tapestry is absolutely breathtaking. It is a gigantic 300ft (over 80 metres) long piece depicting over 100 scenes from seasons one to seven of the Game of Thrones show.
The display of the tapestry is breathtaking – there is a small screen set in the corner of the room that shows a stop motion video of the actual weaving of the tapestry and you can just imagine the hours of work that went into this priceless piece.
Weaving the Game of Thrones Tapestry
The tapestry is a Bayeux style linen piece, that was sourced from the last surviving linen mills in Northern Ireland, Thomas Ferguson’s local mill in Banbridge. They are also involved in producing some of the fabrics used for the costumes in the show.
It was an intensive and secretive process with Game of Thrones fans, HBO and Tourism Ireland developing a series of sketches for the tapestry, which would then need to be coloured and developed into the patterns for weaving.
Designing the Game of Thrones Tapestry
Once the colours were decided upon, the weaving team began in shifts to create the base tapestry. Each shift took 4 hours to weave one metre of the tapestry. To capture the magic of this process a stop-action camera was put in above the loom and then the single photos were stitched together to create a video of the process.
Once the weaving was finished, it was sent to Belfast to be embroidered. The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum near Holywood C. Down was the secret location. There was a team of 36 stitchers working in groups of 6-9 on each panel. The “team” included staff from the Ulster Museum from all areas. There were also a large number of volunteers who contributed from various guilds throughout Belfast. Members of the Northern Ireland Lace Guild, the Patchwork Build and the Embroidery Guild all contributed an outstanding amount of skill and hours of work.
Embroidering the Games of Thrones Tapestry
These hand-embroiderers meticulously retouch every fine detail – from King Joffrey’s golden crown to Daenery’s shimmering hair to the bright oranges and golds in the dragon fire. Using a simple colour palette to keep the tapestry as authentic as possible you can see from the photos that the embroidery includes golds, silvers, greens and reds.
The full Northern Ireland Game of Thrones Tapestry is currently on display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast. A new section of the tapestry will be added every week, for the duration of Game of Thrones® in season 8. The public can see the tapestry at no charge until August 2018.
Once the final season of the Game of Thrones was finished in May of 2019 the Game of Thrones tapestry travelled to Bayeux in Normandy, north-western France, home of the world-famous 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry. The Game of Thrones®’ Tapestry was exhibited there from September 2019, near its historic counterpart – which was a key source of inspiration for the making of the Tapestry.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland has said that the Game of Thrones Tapestry “has attracted visitors from all over the world to Northern Ireland and has been seen by around 150,000 visitors to the Ulster Museum.”
So much has been happening in the GOT world here in Ireland. You can take an amazing studio tour located at the authentic filming location of Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, Game of Thrones Studio Tour invites you to step behind the scenes of The Seven Kingdoms and beyond.
Prepare to experience the world of Game of Thrones like never before and explore how one of the world’s greatest ever TV series was created and brought to life on screen.
This incredible exhibit will give you a chance to step into the fantasy and become a citizen of Westeros. Experience the battles, and see the costumes and props close up it’s amazing.
You can purchase a variety of tickets including transportation from both Belfast and Dublin.
Admission Ticket and Shuttle Bus transfer to The Studio Tour
Tickets to Game of Thrones Studio Tour include complimentary off-site parking with a shuttle service from The Studio Tour Car Park to the tour main entrance. This car park is located at The Boulevard Banbridge. Cost of entry for one adult and child is £39.50.
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