Freelancing Knights of Redemption at The Winterfell Festival – Castle Ward

Freelancing Knights of Redemption at The Winterfell Festival

Updated On: November 08, 2023 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

What is The Winterfell Festival?

This anticipated festival is a celebration of everything related to the popular HBO TV series Games of Thrones. The Winterfell Festival takes places in the impressive historic National Trust estate known as Castle Ward.

This is the fourth year Winterfell Festival has come to Northern Ireland. It’s only grown in popularity with special guest and entertainment provided. Filming may have ended on the show but the enthusiasm for it doesn’t end. That’s why so many people headed to the festival on Sunday 16th September 2018 to celebrate.

Things to See at The Winterfell Festival

Meet the Direwolfs Dogs

At this event, many people got the opportunity to see the real-life Direwolf Dogs that appeared in Game of Thrones. The production company were unable to use real-life Direwolfs in the show due to laws. So the closest thing was Northern Inuit dogs which is a domestic dog breed that looks similar. You’ll Meet the dog stars known as Odin and Thor who were trained by the talent Carolina Benoist.

Q&A with Mark Addy

BAFTA nominated Actor Mark Addy who played King Robert hosted a great Q&A with the visitors at the Winterfell Festival. Mark played a huge part in the first season of Game of Thrones. He hosted two Q&A sessions where fans grilled him on all things Game of Thrones and more. Mark was a great hit with fans and looked liked he also had a great time being there.

Tour of The Castle Gardens

Visitors were able to take a tour around the grounds of the castle and explore places where famous scenes of the show were filmed. This was popular with visitors as it felt like they were in a Game of Thrones Episode. The grounds as Castle Ward are stunning so simply touring it for that alone is enough.

Sword Fighting 

Another popular attraction at The Winterfell Festival was the impressive sword fighting and falconry displays. The Devils Horsemen took part in full contact jousting that was interesting and got the crowds appearing. There was also a variety of performances from the Freelancing Knights of Redemption showing some medieval combats displays.

Fighting events at the festival
Fighting events at the festival

Ian McElhinney in Conversation

Northern Irish actor and director Ian McElhinney made an appearance at the festival where he discussed what it was like being on such an iconic TV Show and his character Ser Barristan and much more.

Other Attractions

There were so many other unmissable things at the Winterfell Festival including blacksmith demonstration from Owen Mort. The White Walkers trail where you could explore the truth of the White Walkers. The Armagh Rhymers provided entertaining with songs and stories. You could also take part in some archery for both adults and children.

This is a brilliant festival and we highly recommend visiting the next time it comes to Northern Ireland. You’ll be entertained throughout the whole day with so much see and do!

Have you ever been to the Winterfell festival at Castle Gardens in Northern Ireland? Or is it something you would like to visit in the future? We would love to know 🙂

If you liked this blog post check out some of our other blogs: The Amazing Game of Thrones Tapestry, The Real Direwolves, Where is Game of Thrones Filmed, A Drive Through The Dark Hedges,Ulster Fleadh.

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