Game of Thrones Territory

Northern Ireland is really embracing the fact it is Game of Thrones territory. There is a “Welcome to Westeros” at Belfast Airport. The tourist board have created an app of film locations. As well as several extra attractions designed just for Game of Thrones fans. So whilst we were in Belfast we decided we had to visit some of the locations used for filming the programme.

Northern Ireland: Game of Thrones Territory
Titanic Studios
Titanic Studios

HBO film a lot of principal photography for Game of Thrones at the Titanic Studio in Belfast. As well as in the surrounding areas, that serve as locations for Westeros. Unfortunately, the studios aren’t open to the public. But you can see some of the sets towering over the waterfront. Whilst we were there, they were filming at Moneyglass. Which is now used as the Winterfell set, again this is not accessible to the public. Fear not, there are still plenty of film locations to see in Northern Ireland.

When visiting the locations, you will see tourist board plaques, relating to Game of Thrones. The plaques contain information about filming, like which scenes feature this place. As well as including behind the scenes photos and screencaps from the television show.

Game of Thrones Territory
Location Sign at Carnlough Harbour

When researching our trip to Belfast, we found several companies that ran Game of Thrones tours from both Belfast and Dublin. There also seemed to be two tour routes. One north of Belfast along the coastal route and one south of the city. We decided to hire a car and attempt to do both tour routes in a day. (Which didn’t work out, more on that later).

Carnlough Harbour Steps
Carnlough Harbour Steps

We started heading north along the Causeway Coastal Route to Carnlough. The harbour here serves as the Braavos canals in the programme. Notably when Arya jumped in the canal during her fight with the Waif and had to crawl up the steps.

Dunluce Castle
Dunluce Castle

As I mentioned in my post about the Giant’s Causeway, the bad weather meant Larrybane Quarry was closed. So we missed out on seeing that location. The next stop on our tour was Dunluce Castle. This ruined medieval castle on the cliffs depicts the Iron Island. Primarily, when Theon Greyjoy returned home to the Pyke.

The Dark Hedges
The Dark Hedges

One of the most dramatic locations in Northern Ireland is The Dark Hedges. The avenue of trees is a must for everyone visiting the area, but especially for Game of Thrones fans. They filmed the scene on the King’s Road here, in the opening episode of season two, when Arya is fleeing King’s Landing. Unfortunately, several of the trees were destroyed in a storm last spring.

As I mentioned the Northern Ireland tourist board are encouraging Game of Thrones to visit. One of the attractions is Journey of Doors, using the wood from the fallen trees ten intricate wooden doors were carved and places in pubs in Northen Ireland, each pub is near a location used for filming Game of Thrones, so spotting the doors can become a fun game whilst visiting the locations.

Day Two

On the first day exploring Game of Thrones‘ Territory, also decided to visit the Giant’s Causeway (as it was en route). We ended up spending a ridiculous amount of time there, as it was truly breathtaking. So we postponed visiting Castle Ward until the second day.

Castle Ward
Castle Ward

In the first few seasons of Game of Thrones, they filmed a large number of scenes at Castle Ward. Although the property isn’t used for filming anymore, it has become a must-see attraction for fans of the show. Winterfell Tours, operate cycle or boat tours around the grounds, as well as offering archery demonstrations. Once again, we opted to adventure on our own and spend the morning wandering around the beautiful area.

Castle Ward is a National Trust property with a Gothic house and beautiful grounds. The old demise includes a Tower, courtyard and stables. These buildings create the backdrop for Winterfell in the first season. Memorable when Tyrion slapped Joffery during their visit up north.

The Riverlands
The Riverlands

They also filmed a lot of additional scenes on the grounds of Castle Ward. The ‘Battle of Whispering Woods’ in season one and Robb and Talisa’s wedding were all filmed here. We walked along the towpath on the bay, which served as a film location for the Riverlands, it was easy to see why they used this beautiful location for the Trident.

The Twins
The Twins

Of course one of the most famous locations on the Trident is The Twins, home to Walder Frey. And sure enough on the banks of the bay is the old castle that they used for filming scenes outside The Twins in season one. As with a lot of the locations, they footage is heavily CGI’ed in post-production. But it was still nice to get a sense of the place.

Inch Abbey
Inch Abbey

A short drive from Castle Ward is Inch Abbey. The ruin of a medieval monastery is a historic location in Ireland. However, it was also used as the location of Robb’s camp in the finale of the first season.

I loved seeing all the locations and adore the fact Northern Ireland is embracing the fact it is Game of Thrones Territory! It has given me the taste for exploring more locations. I would love to go to Croatia or maybe our next visit to Ireland would include a trip to Skellig Michael where they filmed Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Inch Abbey
Ravens over Inch Abbey
Recommended Reading

Geek Girls Guide to Game of Thrones Territory

Leave a comment

Guardians of The Galaxy

For this week, Pinspiration post, I could have just added four Baby Groot projects! But I tried to restrain myself and include some of the other members of the Guardians of the Galaxy, well just one!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

Pins from Pinterest inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy
Disneybound Everyday Cosplay
Star Lord Everyday Cosplay by DisneyBound

When it comes to Everyday Cosplay, Disneybound really is the queen. I love their take on Star-Lord’s outfit, complete with retro walk-man. Although it is based on the outfit from the first movie, you could also add Peter’s t-shirt from the second movie, that is available from EMP.

Groot Bark by Geeks who Eat
Groot Bark by Geeks who Eat

Geeks Who Eat have done it again, with this beautiful chocolate bark, inspired by Groot. The Bark features, peanut butter and green chocolate melts to give the appearance of tree bark and peanuts for a salty sweet taste.

Baby Groot Amigurumi by
Baby Groot Amigurumi by

As I mentioned in my post about Loki, I love amigurumi figures. If there is one character destined to be a cute crochet figure it’s Baby Groot. Luckily the 53 stitches have written pattern, that is easy enough for beginners.

Groot Inspired Jewellery
Groot Inspired Jewellery

One of my favourite ways to show off my geekier side is by wearing geeky jewellery. Rock Love‘s Guardians of the Galaxy range is amazing. The dancing Baby Groot earrings and Candy eating Groot are adorable. However, the range also includes a “Power Stone” necklace and Awesome Mix Cassette earrings.

Guardians of the Galaxy Pinspiration

You can see all my Pinspiration posts here, these including more Avengers themed ideas. If you would like to be featured in a future post please contact me.



Leave a comment

Pinspiration -Loki

In my previous “Road to Infinity War” Pinspiration posts, I have included “heroes,” this week is the turn of a villain, Loki. Is he a villain or more an anti-hero? I like to think of him as a toxic hot ex-boyfriend, the guy you hope will change, but who always lets you down! And, yes I do believe Loki will betray Thor yet again in Avengers: Infinity War.

Loki
Mischief Dress by Elhoffer Designs

One of the reasons I love creating these Pinspiration Posts is to promote fellow geek bloggers and independent geek brands. So for this Loki themed pinspiration post, I am happy to include two geek girl favourite brands. First up is the Mischief Dress from Elhoffer Designs. Inspired by the original Loki outfit from the movies.

Loki Quote Boy Shorts

Next up is the cute Boyshorts from Jordandene, featuring Loki’s quote from The Avengers. Speaking of Jordandene, have you seen her newest project The Sartorial Geek? It’s an amazing magazine celebrating geeky women.

Amigurumi by Over the Bifrost

I am principle a knitter but have dabbled in some crocheting, saying that I am a huge fan of amigurumi. Whilst, amigurumi patterns are mainly for cute animals. In recent years, more patterns are emerging based on pop culture and characters.  Over the Bifrost has created a lovely pattern for an amigurumi Loki, and you can follow her Loki’s adventures on her blog.

Loki Helmet Ring from TotallyObsessed

This ring based on Loki’s helmet, it a great way to carry the God of Mischief with you. TotallyObsessed has created a lovely piece of jewellery that can be worn every day to show your love of Loki.

You can see all my Pinspiration posts here, these including more Avengers themed ideas. If you would like to be featured in a future post please contact me.

Loki Pinspiration

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

Leave a comment

Pinspiration -Black Widow

It is almost a decade since Black Widow’s first appearance onscreen in Iron Man 2. Since then fans have been wanting a stand-alone film for Natasha Romanoff. Which hopefully, we will be getting in the next few years. Until then she is an important member of Avengers Team (for a while the only female member).

Black Widow
Black Widow Cookies
Black Widow Pinata Cookies

When I listed my favourite Captain America pins, I mentioned that I loved piñatas, will I am also a fan of piñata cakes and cookies! I was so excited when I found the Black Widow piñata cookies on the Ya Gotta Have A Hobby blog.

Black Widow Belt
Cosplay Belt Tutorial

It would be quite easy to add this rhinestone design to an existing black belt. Although Set to Stunning designed this belt is intended as part of a cosplay, I think it would be great would be for everyday cosplay. Wearing it over a little black dress or playsuit would make a cute Black Widow themed outfit.

BlackWidowCocktail
Cocktail by The Experience Bar

The Experience Bar designs nerdy cocktails based on video games, cartoons and movies. By blending Vodka, Kahlua, Grenadine with Cola. The Black Widow cocktail manages to incorporate the colours of her “suit” in this drink.

Black Widow Nail Art
Nail Art

I love nerdy nail art but tend to be drawn to the simpler designs. Like the Thor Manicure I wrote about, this Black Widow themed manicure is easy enough for a beginner and Chalkboard Nails has created a great step by step guide.

You can see all my Pinspiration posts here, these including more Avengers themed ideas. If you would like to be featured in a future post please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

Leave a comment

Pinspiration -Hulk

For this Pinspiration post, it is the turn of the Incredible Hulk. Although Bruce Banner’s alter ego has only had one stand-alone film in the MCU, he still proves to be one of the most popular characters.
I must have been hungry when I collated this list as it included several recipes for Hulk inspired food!

Hulk
Hulk Cake Pops
Cake Pops

Cake Pops seemed to be incredibly popular a few years ago, appearing in coffee shops or dessert buffets everywhere. Geeky shaped treats also started appearing on blogs, like these Hulk Fists. Craftsy has a simple tutorial explaining how to mould these cake pops. I think they would be amazing for any superhero themed party.

Smash Potatoes by Geeks Who Eat

I only recently discovered the Geeks Who Eat blog, but they have quickly become some of my favourite bloggers. They manage to create innovative recipes related to marking the release of a new movie, game or TV Show. Like these Hulk Smash Potatoes, they produced to make the cinema release of Thor: Ragnarok.

Hulk Smash Toast
Hulk Smash Toast by From Girlie to Nerdy

Who doesn’t love Avocado on Toast? It is my go-to Sunday Brunch option. Danielle created this amazing Hulk Smash Avocado Toast to introduce her son to the popular breakfast dish. I think it is a great food to eat when to start your all day Avengers movie marathon.

Cross Stitch Pattern
Cross Stitch Pattern by Hall Stitches

If you are not a budding chef or have no culinary skills, I had to include something non-food based. This cross stitch pattern by Hall Stitches on Etsy, featuring both the silhouettes of The Hulk and Bruce Banner. I love the simple design, shows the two sides of the character resulting in a beautiful handmade piece of art for you to create.

Incredible Hulk

You can see all my Pinspiration posts here, these including more Avengers themed ideas. If you would like to be featured in a future post please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

Leave a comment

The Giant’s Causeway

Giant's CausewayFor our wedding anniversary, Jason and I wanted to have a mini break somewhere different in the U.K. Whilst tossing around ideas of the obvious places to visit, Oxford, Brighton, or Bath, Jason suggested Belfast. I immediately loved the idea because of the Game of Thrones connection and so our research began. Every guide about Belfast you read will include a trip to the Giant’s Causeway.

After the snow storms in London last week, we were fearful we would have to postpone our trip, or that if we did travel we might have to cancel some of our plans. However, luckily the snow didn’t seem to hit Belfast, yes it was cold, but we managed to achieve most things on our list. Including a few Game of Thrones-themed adventures (which I will post about later).

Causeway Coastal Route
Causeway Coastal Route

Saturday our first full day in Northern Ireland, we drove along the Causeway Coastal Route heading north. Driving along the landscaped varied from pretty fishing villages to rock headlands, making it easy to see why this is such popular scenic drive. We had planned on visiting the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge but, the wet weather caused the area to be closed off. So we were unhappy to miss out seeing it. As the site is also used as a filming location for Game of Thrones.

The Giant’s Causeway

Basalt Columns

Giant's Causeway

The highlight of the Causeway Coastal Route is, of course, The Giant’s Causeway itself. The result of volcanic activity millions of years ago, the Giant’s Causeway is thousands of interlocking basalt columns. From above the columns look like hexagon paving, but actually the pillars run deep into the ground. (You can read more about it here)

Giant's Causeway
Giant's Causeway
Hexagonal Stones

Included with the cost of entry into the Causeway Experience, was an audio guide. The onsite staff recommended we took headphones with our interactive guides, to be handsfree and kee our hands warm. As we walked along the trail the audio guide explained the legend of the stones and the giants. Each part of the stones is built into the legends from the rock format that looks like the giant’s gate, camel or boot.

Giant's Gate
Giant’s Gate
Giant's Boot
Giant’s Boot
1 Comment

Pinspiration -Iron Man

For this week’s Pinspiration post, it is the turn of Iron Man, the superhero who started the Marvel Movies franchise. I struggled to find fun tutorials to include on this list. I am unsure if it is because I am not a fan of Tony Stark or the lack of Iron Man Crafts.

Iron Man
Iron Man Cookie Cutter
Cookie Cutters by 3DArt on Etsy

These cookie cutters inspired by Tony Stark’s helmet could be used to make iced cookies.  Or with fondant icing for decorations on cupcakes, like cakes below. 3DArtBoutique also sell cutters inspired by other Avengers.

Iron Man Cupcakes
Cupcakes by Food, Fun & Faraway Places

The Iron Man themed cupcakes on the Food, Fun & Faraway Places’ blog would look amazing without the helmet decoration. I love the simple look of the red and yellow swirls. However, the extra decoration makes them look really impressive.

Iron Man Cocktail
Iron Man Cocktail

We all know Tony Stark likes a drink, whether it’s drinking champagne with Pepper, or a pre-fight whiskey with Loki, so of course, I had to include an Iron Man themed cocktail!

Iron Man Coin Purse
Loungefly Coin Purse

Although, this isn’t a craft. I love this coin purse from Loungefly. It is one of the cutest pieces of Iron Man merchandise I have seen. Perfect for any Avengers fan, not just those on Team Stark.

You can see all my Pinspiration posts here, these including more Avengers themed ideas. If you would like to be featured in a future post please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

Leave a comment

Pinspiration -Thor

This week as part of the Marvel Movie Marathon, it was time to re-watch Thor: Dark World. This week also saw the release of Thor: Ragnarok on digital demand. So it’s the ideal time to have a Thor-themed viewing party. Here are a few ideas to inspire you.

Thor
Milkshake by Popcorner Reviews

As well coming up with the idea of Marvel Movie Marathon, Monica at Popcorner Reviews created this amazing Mjolnir Milkshake! The s’more flavoured milkshake is decorated with a sweet and salty marshmallow/pretzel hammer. In her post she gives detailed instruction on creating the mighty hammers.

Mjolnir Cupcakes by Spaceships and Laser Beams

If you are not a fan of milkshakes, you can decorate your cupcakes with Thor’s mighty hammer, as seem on Spaceships and Laserbeam’s Blog. Even though I am an awful baker, I love cupcakes! I am always looking for cute and unusual cupcake decorations. So expect to see a few more of the next few weeks.

Everyday Cosplay by Adorkable Me

Erini at Adorkable Me put together a cute Casual (or Everyday) Cosplay outfit inspired by Thor. I love the idea of using an open front cardigan as a cape. It is a concept I will definitely try to incorporate into my future everyday cosplay outfits. If you wanted to add more of a movie twist to the outfit you could add the official Mjolnir necklace.

Thor Inspired Nail Art by Happy Little Geek

Finally, I had to include Happy Little Geek’s Thor Manicure. Inspired by the classic Thor ourfit from The Avengers movie, Charlie’s tutorial is a great introduction into geeky themed nail art. Her step by step instructions, easily explain several techniques. Making it a great tutorail for a beginner, and the finished result looks amazing!

You can see all my Pinspiration posts here, these including more Avengers themed ideas. If you would like to be featured in a future post please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

2 Comments

Monday Musings -Batgirl Revisited

Monday Musings - Batgirl Movie

Last year, I wrote about the upcoming Batgirl movie. I spoke about how happy I was that Joss Whedon had signed on as the director. And examined some of the storylines I would like to have seen included in the movie. I posted this before Whedon’s ex-wife published her open letter. My post was also written before I had seen experienced seeing the Amazons, Valkyrie and Dora Milaje on the big screen. My opinions have obviously changed since writing the blog post.

Last week, news broke that Whedon had walked away from the project. Initial articles stated he was “unable to find a story” Of course, this is ridiculous. Over the years many comic book storylines have featured Batgirl. Anyone one of which could be adapted into a feature film.

The news instead seems to point to yet more problems in with the DCEU franchise. The success of the Wonder Woman movies last year was a high point for the franchise. However, the Justice League movie (which Whedon worked on), was meet with mixed reviews, was a low point.

According to Wikipedia, there are over twenty possible films planned in the DCEU. Whilst some like the Wonder Woman sequel and Shazam movie, have tentative release dates. Over a dozen more are all in the planning stages. These include a Gotham Siren adaption, Flashpoint and The Batman reboot. Production on the Batgirl movie was due to start later this year. I’m assuming this will still happen. The success of Wonder Woman, shows audience want to see female lead superhero movies. Batgirl is one of the best know DC women, along with Supergirl she is the obvious choice for a next movie.

All over the weekend, I have seen several blog posts featuring lists of “female directors who should direct the Batgirl movie.” I am not going to re-hash them here (but have included a few of the links at the end of this blog post). I will go on record as saying I am hoping Lena Dunham isn’t involved in the project, I am not a fan of her work.

Batgirl (New 52)

On Twitter, several authors expressed an interest in the project. Of course, we would all love to see Gail Simone write this movie, most comic book fans are familiar with her work. The New 52 reboot of Batgirl, with Barbara Gordon, once again redonning the cape and cowl. Is one of the more popular storylines and, is the obvious choice for the film. Similarly, I would love to see Hope Larson work on the movie. As the current writer of the Batgirl comics she is someone very familiar with the character, and personally, I love the ‘Summer of Lies‘ storyline.

Batgirl Summer of Lies

Whilst it looks like the movie is still moving forward, which of course I am happy about. I do still have so many issues around its place with the DCEU as a whole. The Wonder Woman movie could exist outside of the franchise. Her storyline is not intertwined with other characters from the DCEU. Yes, there was the package from Bruce Wayne at the beginning, which served as a plot point. But she could have just as easily found the photo herself.

Batgirl’s origin story includes Batman. In both versions, young Batman intrigues the young Barbara Gordon. Originally, in the Detective Comics (which was later retold in Year One), she idolized Batman and Robin and saves them from Killer Moth. In the New 52 storylines, Batman is an important part of the plot.

Which leads me to my problem. Can this movie work whilst the DCEU is a mess? Ben Affleck has expressed an interest in leaving the franchise. And the standalone Batman movie is on hold. Can they make a Batgirl movie with a new Batman, will that work? Should this movie be made after the new Batman reboot? Or will the Flashpoint storyline reboot the franchise, so recasting a new Batman would be possible.

Overall, I am happy Joss Whedon has left the Batgirl projects. I am excited to see a female director making another superhero movie and the possibility of a female writer. However, as with all projects in the DCEU at the moment, this news has left with more questions than answers.

Recommended Reading

9 Rad Women We’d Love To See Director Batgirl (Nerdist)
10 Female Directors Who Could Take on DC’s ‘Batgirl’ Movie (comicbook.com)
Batgirl: Year One
Batgirl: The Darkest Reflection TP (The New 52)
Batgirl: Summer of Lies

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

5 Comments

Pinspiration -Captain America

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you will know I have been re-watching all the MCU movies before the release of Avengers: Infinity War in April. But I wanted to do something special on the blog leading up to this cinematic event. So for the next few weeks, I am going to showcase some of my favourite “pins” from Pinterest based on a character from the MCU. Starting with my favourite Avenger, Captain America.

Pinspiration: Captain America
Captain America inspired Sweater
Photo by Kyle Cassidy

First up is the knitting pattern inspired by the Super Solider outfit by Linda J. Dunn from the Geek Knits book. As a knitter and Captain America fan, I added this tunic to my “Ravelry Queue” (like a To Read shelf in Goodreads) the moment I saw it. The problem is when would I wear it. All the Captian America and Avengers movies were released in the spring.  And with the majority of cons in the summer, so there is no time I could wear this sweater.

These shield cookies look extremely complicated to make but are visually stunning. Luckily Rosie’s Dessert Spot has a simple instructional video with step by step directions. I am sure they are a lot tastier than Vibranium.

Captain America Geek Chic
Brooklyn navy yard by jordandene

I love this geek chic outfit Jordandene put together on Polyvore. Based around her lovely Winter Solider Tank. Which features the classic quote from the Captain America sequel. For me, this is a perfect outfit for an autumnal day. I can imagine wearing this whilst walking along the Brooklyn Promenade with a cup of coffee in hand. Maybe grabbing a lobster roll at Luke’s in Dumbo or stopping to take photos of the iconic skyline.

Captain America Pinata
Photo by Maureen Wilkinson

I am obsessed with pinatas. They were not really a thing in the U.K. when I was growing up. So I didn’t discover the joy of a pinata until I was an adult. In fact, I insisted on having a wedding cake pinata at my wedding, just so I could join in. So the idea of making a Captain America themed pinata seems so much fun to me. In Maureen Wilkinson, she explains how she made a Captain America Sheild pinata for her son’s birthday party.

Captain America

Next week is some of my favourite posts inspired by Thor, if you’d like to be featured in my future pinspiration post, please contact me.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

3 Comments