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Westeros awaits: Game of Thrones sets opening to tourists

Stake your own claim to the Iron Throne with a trip to the Northern Ireland sets after season 8 of the HBO hit airs.

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HBO

Pack your swords and fur cloaks, Game of Thrones fans. You're going to Westeros.

As the eighth and final season of the hit show nears (so slooowly), HBO has announced plans to convert several sets in Northern Ireland to tourist spots. 

The network has yet to confirm the specific sites for what will be called the Game of Thrones Legacy attractions, but possibilities include the sets for Winterfell, Castle Black and King's Landing, HBO said Monday. Set tours will let fans get up close with costumes, props, weapons, art files and other production materials, and interact with content that showcases some of the show's digital wizardry. 

The attractions will be "on a scale and scope bigger than anything the public has ever seen," promised the network, which has already proven it likes to do things big and bigger when it comes to Thrones.  

Also under consideration is a formal studio tour of Linen Mill Studios in Corbet-Banbridge that will showcase all seasons and settings.

"The opportunity to celebrate Northern Ireland's pivotal role in the life and legacy of the show and share its culture, beauty and warmth is also a huge inspiration behind these Legacy projects," Jeff Peters, HBO vice president of licensing and retail, said in a statement.

Croatia, Spain, Greece and other spots around the globe also stand in for the lands of Westeros. Many already offer tours that let visitors walk the ground where pivotal moments from the show were filmed.

It feels like forever since August 2017, when the season 7 finale brought us dragons and White Walkers and some unwitting aunt-on-nephew lovin', but showrunner David Benioff promises season 8 will be worth the wait. 

It's "the biggest thing we've ever done," he said backstage at last week's Emmy Awards, where the show took home nine awards, including Outstanding Drama Series. 

Season 8 should come to HBO sometime in 2019. 

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