Harry Potter charms student traveler

Submitted photo: amanda ragusa / THE WARNER Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London provides fans with an in-depth look at the making of the Harry Potter films. A “Dark Arts” exhibit has recently opened, featuring actors dressed as ‘death eaters,’ creating a spooky atmosphere around this Halloween season.

SUBMITTED PHOTO / AMANDA RAGUSA / THE WARNER Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter in London provides fans with an in-depth look at the making of the Harry Potter films. A “Dark Arts” exhibit has recently opened, featuring actors dressed as ‘death eaters,’ creating a spooky atmosphere around this Halloween season.

Published: October 30, 2015

Commentary by
AMANDA RAGUSA

GALWAY, Ireland — This city is booming with culture and friendly smiles. Ireland should definitely be a top destination on all of your travel wish lists, and stopping in Galway is a must.

What many do not know is that Ireland is a prime film location. Any Harry Potter fans out there in the Royal population? Obviously.

Well as it turns out, the sixth film of the series “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” contains a scene filmed at the justly famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland.

The Cliffs of Moher are a magnificent set of steep drop offs naturally made by what was believed to have been a giant prehistoric river.

Look out for this beautifully mesmerizing sight next time you watch the film. Hint: remember when Harry and Dumbledore go to find one of the horcruxes?

The Burren is a unique limestone rock landscape also found in County Clare. Legendary author J.R.R. Tolkien found his way to this area back in his days of writing “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

He seemed to have gotten his inspiration for Mordor, a region in Tolkien’s Middle Earth, during his time exploring the Burren landscape.

You can also learn about a mythological story of a leprechaun who resides in a cave in the fissures of the Burren limestone. What is the name of this cave, you ask?

Of course it is “Pol na Gollum,” which translates to “Hole of Gollum.” If one looks closely enough, a face will appear visibly in the limestone. Water constantly flows out of the mouth and makes a gurgling noise, much like Gollum’s famous cough.

I ventured to London a week ago and made my way to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter. No one could be disappointed by this wondrous and utterly magical experience.

All fans of J.K. Rowling’s work must make a pilgrimage to London at some point in their lives to understand fully what went into the making of all eight films.

The attention to detail was impeccable, and the number of hours put into making every set, prop, costume and so much more is unfathomable. The week I took my tour around the studio also happened to be a special one. Warner Bros. had recently opened a “Dark Arts” exhibit, and they spared no expense.

I would never want to ruin anyone else’s potential experience, so I will not share much with you all now.

“Death Eaters” lurked around every corner, and not once did I see one of those actors break character. The spooky feel of the tour was perfectly fitting with Halloween right around the corner.

I have one last thing to mention about a little television program titled “Game of Thrones.” Northern Ireland is home to the one and only Castle Black.

I was able to pass by it on my way up the coast last month.

For anyone interested, meaning most people, there is actually a “Game of Thrones” guided tour which leaves out of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

I truly hope some of you, if not all, are able to see some of these sights in the future.

The beauty of London and the Emerald Isle is not in short supply.

I hope some of this was new to fantasy fanatics, and I wish you all a Happy Halloween!

Contact the writer: amanda.ragusa@scranton.edu

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