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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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Wall’s crowning glory on TV

ANCHORED against the merciless winters of rural Northumberland, Hadrian’s Wall was once the northermost limit of Roman civilisation, beyond which lurked barbarians and other unknown horrors.

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Sean Bean, as Ned Stark, in a scene from Game of Thrones.

It should come as no surprise then that this ancient monument has inspired the backdrop for the popular fantasy Sky TV drama Game of Thrones.

Some 700 feet tall and hewn from solid ice, The Wall – the colossal fortification forms an integral part of Game of Thrones – is an augmented version of our very own Hadrian’s Wall.

The fictional Wall protects the realm from the terrors of the ‘White Walkers’, who dwell in the far north.

Now author of the best-selling series George R.R. Martin has revealed that his inspiration for The Wall came from a visit to Northumberland.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Martin said: “I can trace back the inspiration to 1981. I was in England visiting a friend, and as we approached the Border of England and Scotland, we stopped to see Hadrian’s Wall.

“I stood up there and I tried to imagine what it was like to be a Roman legionary, standing on this wall, looking at these distant hills. It was a very profound feeling.

“For the Romans at that time, this was the end of civilisation; it was the end of the world. It was the sense of this barrier against dark forces – it planted something in me.”

Jude Leitch, general manager of Northumberland Tourism said: “Both the books and the TV series Game of Thrones have been a massive success, so it is thrilling to know that the first seed of inspiration for the story originated in Northumberland.

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