Re-enact scenes from Game Of Thrones on location

Game Of Thrones guide Tonka Matana with a photo of a scene from the drama showing Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) inside the old city of Dubrovnik.
Game Of Thrones guide Tonka Matana with a photo of a scene from the drama showing Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) inside the old city of Dubrovnik.PHOTO: COURTESY OF BOON CHAN

It can be tough being a fan of the hit fantasy series Game Of Thrones. The already long wait between seasons has grown only longer as schedules have been pushed back to accommodate winter shooting in European locales such as Northern Ireland and Iceland.

Well, if the show will not come to you soon enough, one option is to go to the show.

It is partly why my friends and I decided to visit Dubrovnik in Croatia. The old city is famed for its spectacular stone walls, which were built between the 7th and 17th centuries. They are 4 to 6m thick and loom impressively up to 25m high. In 1979, the old city was inscribed into the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) list of World Heritage Sites.

More importantly, Dubrovnik stands in for King's Landing, the royal capital of Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms in Game Of Thrones. Many scenes from the show have been shot in the area and the best way to take it all in is to have a guide take one around.

Enter Ms Tonka Matana, 35, a PhD student in archaeology whose subject of research is none other than Dubrovnik.

Her more crucial credentials are that she is a huge fan of the show, has encyclopaedic knowledge of it and has even appeared in it as an extra in Season 4. Alas, she was cast as a peasant woman and only the noble folk extras got to take part in the death scene of evil King Joffrey at his wedding.

Also, her Tour The Game Of Thrones is ranked No. 2 on TripAdvisor under Tours in Dubrovnik.


She would set out a scene at length, detailing the season it was featured in, its context, the characters involved and even verbatim dialogue. Then she would flash a laminated screen capture to invite us to confirm that, yes indeed, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) came through this archway and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) shared a moment here on this ledge in Trsteno Arboretum. Caught up in the moment and encouraged by our guide, we posed for photos in merry imitation of the screengrabs. But it turns out that we were amateurs at this game.

A highlight of the tour was the Jesuit Stairs that connect Gundulic Square to the Church of St Ignatius in the old city. These grand stone steps were where Cersei Lannister started her infamous naked walk of shame (a body double stood in for actress Lena Headey).

As we gathered to take a group picture, Ms Matana said: "Oh, you're getting photobombed. Wait, he's taking his shirt off."

And then we heard the lusty cries of "Shame! Shame!" as a topless man re-enacted the ritual of public humiliation.

In the show, Septa Unella does the trumpeting as she rings a bell while escorting Cersei. But instead of rotten fruit and spittle in the show, the man in real life is greeted with knowing smiles and indulgent laughter.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2017, with the headline 'Re-enact scenes from Game Of Thrones on location'. Print Edition | Subscribe