Titancon 2013 - The King in the North tour
Following the success of the main TitanCon convention the day before, the coach tour certainly lived up to expectations as the weather held for much of the day and we got to see a variety of locations used in the show. I had been looking forward to viewing some of the locations used in the show up-close and so, on my 31st birthday, and with my hangover slowly disappearing, I bordered Coach 2 with my fiancée and 40 or so other attendees.
The first stop on the tour was Inch Abbey, the origins of which go back near a millennium. This was the venue used for Rob Starks camp in Season 1 and was the home of the famous ‘King In The North’ speech. Following a short walk up a hill ( dodging cars and dogs in the process!), we reached the Abbey where we had adequate time to wander, take photos and even have a moment of Silence for (Season 3 spoiler alert!!!) the late Rob Stark. I’ll be honest, I’m not a massive Stark fan so this location to me was all about viewing where Jaime Lannister told Catelyn that there ‘are no men like me, only me’.
Following on from this, we got back on the coach for the very short journey over to further up the River Quoile, where we would view where the funeral of Hoster Tully was filmed. I say the ‘short journey’ but coach 1 went the wrong way and ended up being rather late to the meeting point. Following a short walk along the river from the coach park, we found the location, now used as a local fishing point, completely empty, allowing us to get some great unobscured photos down the river. Although the lower platform had been removed, I thought it was fantastic HBO had actually left the rest of the platform there for the use of the local community.
Next on the Agenda was Audley’s Castle, which doubled as the exterior location of The Twins. This, we were assured, was a 10 minutes walk, although I’m pretty sure the final time was closer to 40 minutes. This was probably the main negative of the day but even so, all the attendees took the extra exercise in good humour as we stopped by the Castle for a break and a group photo. This was another very distinctive location which can be easily identified on the TV show, especially the scene where Robb waits for Cat to return from meeting with Walder Frey.
Following Audley’s Castle, we visited Whitespots Country Park, to visit the ‘Castle’ that Ygritte sees in Season 3, which turns out to be a windmill. By this time, it had started to rain so it was head down and push forward as we climbed the hill to the Windmill, which was already echoing with the sounds of ‘Hodor’ , a very obscure sound to hear on a Sunday in Mid- September in an Irish Country Park.
With the completion of this, we headed over to the Clandeboye Estate for an evening of food, medieval activities, and most importantly, plenty of alcohol. With the rain still coming down, we settled down in the bar before heading over to watch some Archery and Sword Combat. I thought this was particularly good that everyone was given the opportunity to get involved, as it would have been too easy for the organisers to just skip this interactive element. After this, we watched some Fire eating before retreating to the main hall for a feast, a sing along or two, a wedding and even a poem dedicated to the 10 minute walk. After dinner, we were treated to some fire dancing before heading back to the coaches for the journey home.
To put into context the relaxed atmosphere of the event, it says a lot that cast members felt at ease enough to privately attend the event in their own time to join in the festivities as normal attendees. If you’re on the fence about doing the Coach Tour, I would say cast any doubts aside and throw yourself into the random nature of the event. Where else do you get to visit locations from your favourite tv show, have a go at archery and sword fighting, and have a medieval feast all in the space of a few hours.