game of thrones - Fort Manoel in Malta
the Great Sept of Baelor
Our driver patiently manoeuvres us through the dense traffic of Sliema, before we find ourselves crossing the small bridge that connects us to Manoel Island. We are in Malta, on our way to another famous Game of Thrones filming location - Fort Manoel. It is at the end of season one, where Fort Manoel was used to make us remember this location as the Great Sept of Baelor, the center of religious worship in King's Landing. It is the infamous place where King Joffrey executes Ned Stark in front of Sansa as well as Arya, who is hiding in the crowd. It is also the location of some scenes that follow the execution, shown in the last episode of season one. One famous scene is when Joffrey takes Sansa up to the walls to see her father's head mounted on a spike. And when Sansa moves towards Joffrey, preparing to shove him off the walkway but Sandor Clegane holds her back.
Where there is a will, there's a way
This set is what we remember when our driver suddenly stops the car. It seems to be the end of the ride because a security guard tells us that the fort is not open for public anymore. Leaving the car at the checkpoint we are walking the rest of the road until a fence at the bridge over the moat prevents us from entering this military fortification, built in the 18th century by the Order of Saint John. Is that it? Walking frustrated around, our hopes get up when we find a small spot to climb down into the deep moat that surrounds the fort. "Wo ein Wille ist, ist auch ein Weg - Where there is a will, there's a way."
And a way into the fort is what we find after some "breakneck climbing" exercise. Sweating but happy we finally have access to the "Great Sept of Baelor". There we hide behind walls and columns, shooting photos, trying not to draw any attention. We feel like Arya Stark hiding behind the "Statue of Baelor" except that there is no such statue. We wish that we could have been part of the crowd when they shot this first truly shocking scenes of Game of Thrones.