House Stark of Winterfell (bottom), its look-alike castle and Arya Stark
Courtesy HomeAway.com; HBO; Inset:Helen Sloan/HBO
Playing Dungeons and Dragons is one thing, but this may take role-playing games to a whole new level.
Game of Thrones fanatics have always had the lengthy source material of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series to help them bide their time between seasons, but there are actual locations around the world that can serve as playgrounds to live in just like Ned Stark or Robert Baratheon … except, well, for those who are still alive.
Here are 5 real-life estates that could serve as the next vacation spot for you and your sun and stars.
Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones seasons 1-3 ahead
1. "House Stark of Winterfell" a.k.a. Carr Hall Castle
This 12-acre English estate may not give you rule of the entire North, but keep your head on! It does allow guests to access a private deer park estate (perfect lodging for direwolves) and features rooms outfitted with furs on the bed to help keep you warm through those long winter nights.
2. "House Tyrell of Highgarden" a.k.a. the Château de Challain
If you want to be treated like the future queen of the five kingdoms, this French château is reminiscent of the home of Margaery Tyrell who has traded up from her deceased husband Renly Baratheon and begins season 4 of the HBO drama engaged to King Joffrey Lannister.
3. "House Greyjoy of Pyke" a.k.a. The Castle of Aragon
The one good thing about ruling the West from the hard and bleak Iron Islands is that the Greyjoys reside on an island all their own. The private island this real-life historical Italian monument sits upon may not be as grey (pun intended) as its Westeros counterpart, but it does provide access to the nearby town via an ancient bridge built in 1438 by Alfonso of Aragon.
4. "House Lannister of Casterly Rock" a.k.a. Ballyhannon Castle
This Celtic castle boasts deep, spiraling staircases reminiscent of the Lannister’s stony halls and chambers. And while it doesn t have a gold mine at its base, the castle does sleep 25 and is well worth taking a head wound in battle to defend. Just remember to pay your debts. The Ballyhannon Castle is currently rented at £ 600 per night.
5. "House Martell of Sunspear" a.k.a. El Castillo
Casual viewers may not be as familiar with the House Martell, but they will be once Pedro Pascal makes his Game of Thrones debut on the April 6 premiere as Oberyn Martell (also known as “Red Viper of Dorne” to his friends … or enemies. We can’t tell. ) Those wishing to escape the cold weather of the North can live like the Martells in the South at this refurbished Uruguayan castle.